LightSquared Fiasco Puts Harsh Spotlight on FCC’s Genachowski

Genachowski photoIn a major victory for the National Legal and Policy Center, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday reversed itself and revoked a controversial waiver it had granted LightSquared, which would have allowed the company to deploy a national wireless network. The reversal is not only a major setback for LightSquared’s billionaire owner Phil Falcone, but puts a harsh spotlight on the role of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

According to Cecelia Kang of the Washington Post Tech blog:

The FCC’s decision is expected to all but end LightSquared’s aspirations to provide mobile broadband services via satellite airwaves — a plan that was touted from its inception by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Under his tenure, the FCC granted the company a key conditional waiver in January 2011 that was meant to help fast-track the network.

A friend of President Obama’s from Harvard Law School, Genachowski has brought a culture of wheeling … Read More ➡

Rep. Meeks Threatens to ‘Go After’ NLPC

Meeks photoIn a recent interview with the “City and State” website, which covers New York politics, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) said that he wants “to go after” our not-for-profit status. The threat was part of a more general attack on the New York Post, which has published a series of articles based on information we have provided. We have also provided information to the New York Times and New York Daily News. All the headlines have led to a House Ethics Committee investigation, and reportedly, a grand jury investigation of Meeks’ finances.

We are not exactly quaking in our boots. Richard Nixon first made popular using the IRS to go after perceived enemies, and it has seldom worked. And just what would be the basis for Meeks’ challenge to our tax status? In the interview, Meeks reveals his smoking gun:

What do I have here? [Laughs, and pulls out

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SPECIAL REPORT: The Big Labor Stranglehold: Killing Jobs & Hurting America

Union Special Report coverAuthored by Carl Horowitz, director of NLPC’s Organized Labor Accountability Project, this Special Report examines the effect labor unions have on the workforce. As the recent events in Wisconsin showed, labor unions and their political alliies are as influential as ever. Unless major changes are made to the ways they function within the public sector, they’ll continue to undermine any economic recovery.

Click here or on cover at right to download a 27-page pdf of the Report.

This Special Report is published in association with Human Events.… Read More ➡

SEC Cracking Down on LightSquared’s Falcone?

Phil Falcone photoBillionaire Phil Falcone, whose cozy relationship with the Obama Administration was first exposed by NLPC, may face civil fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to a filing yesterday by Harbinger Group Inc., Falcone and two other directors have received “Wells Notices,” meaning that they are under investigation.

Falcone is the Chairman, CEO and primary investor in Harbinger Group Inc., a hedge fund. Reportedly, other Harbinger investors include Soros Fund Management. Harbinger owns LightSquared, which has received an unusual waiver from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deploy a national 4G wireless network.

Media reports have alleged that Falcone prevented some investors from withdrawing their money from the hedge fund during the financial crisis, while allowing others to do so. The Wall Street Journal reports today that one favored investor was  (surprise!) Goldman Sachs. One of the Harbinger directors who received a Wells Notice is Omar Asali, … Read More ➡

Ethics Group Files FOIA on Chevy Volt Fires

Volt fire photoThe National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) today filed a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for any and all communications with General Motors (GM).

The NHTSA is investigating three fires in the battery packs of GM’s Chevy Volt following collision tests, but may have withheld information of this potential safety problem from the public for several months.

The United States government still owns a significant stake in GM.  There’s an obvious conflict of interest in a government agency investigating a government-owned company. Moreover, the NHTSA cannot be impartial because it has become a cheerleader for electric vehicles. A November 25 NHTSA statement reads, in part:

NHTSA continues to believe that electric vehicles have incredible potential to save consumers money at the pump, help protect the environment, create jobs, and strengthen national security by reducing our dependence on oil.

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NLPC Shareholder Proposal Challenges Pfizer’s Support of ObamaCare

Ian Read photoNLPC has filed a shareholder proposal challenging Pfizer’s support for ObamaCare. The resolution actually asks for a report on Pfizer’s lobbying priorities. Here is the supporting statement submitted to Pfizer for inclusion in the proxy:

Pfizer played a key role in the passage of ObamaCare, even though a majority of Americans were opposed. CEO Jeffrey Kindler organized pharmaceutical CEOs in support of the bill, promoted a massive advertising campaign, and partnered with Left-wing groups normally hostile to Pfizer’s interests. For these actions, he received a multi-million dollar bonus.

According to media reports, Pfizer and other companies in 2009 made an $80 billion deal with the Obama administration. In return for support of ObamaCare, the companies received promises of a guarantee of customers and insulation from certain kinds of competition. This kind of back room dealing corrupts the political process, generates public outrage, and is inappropriate for an institution like Pfizer

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Case of Jesse Jackson, Jr. is Test for House Ethics Commitee

Jesse Jackson Jr. photoLast week, the United States House of Representatives Ethics Committee voted to end its temporary deferral of a case against Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL). The US Justice Department had requested the deferral but has since withdrawn that request. The case had been deferred for over two years.

Jackson, the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson, is in his ninth term in the US House and is under investigation for allegations that he attempted to buy the open US Senate seat that was vacated by President Barack Obama. It has been reported that Jackson’s supporters were willing to raise $1.5 million on behalf of Governor Blagojevich’s re-election campaign.

While Jackson has maintained that he did no wrong, the investigation will continue. According to Associated Press and reported on theGrio.com, Jackson’s office had no comment on the announcement and his attorney was unavailable for comment. In Chicago, the US Attorney’s office had … Read More ➡

The Protestors ALREADY Occupy Wall Street

Wall Street protest photoAre the anti-Wall Street protestors demonstrating against themselves? The richest and most prominent Wall Street executives overwhelmingly supported and bankrolled Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.

And on Wall Street, little distinction is made between liberal Democrats and avowedly socialist activist groups. The big banks financed ACORN. Although ACORN has disbanded in the wake of scandal, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, formerly headed by White House Chief of Staff William Daley, continues to fund similar groups committed to undermining capitalism and debasing democracy.

Goldman Sachs and other big financial institutions lobbied for Dodd-Frank, which institutionalizes the “too big to fail” policy. In doing so, Goldman and the others support the same type of politically directed capital allocation as advocated by the people in the streets.

The Fortune 500 companies are headed by executives, many of whom attended elite liberal universities and came of age during the late 60s and early 70s. … Read More ➡

LightSquared Scandal Explodes

Obama photoAllegations that we first made in February about White House political favors for a company called LightSquared are starting to get the attention they deserve.

LightSquared is owned by the Harbinger Capital hedge fund, headed by billionaire investor Phil Falcone. He visited the White House and made large donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Soon after, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted LightSquared a highly unusual waiver that allows the company to build out a national 4G wireless network on the cheap.

The deal has been criticized not only for its ‘pay to play’ appearance but also because the LightSquared network would interfere with the part of the wireless spectrum that is used by Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

On its iwatch news website, the Center for Public Integrity published a blockbuster special report on Wednesday confirming that LightSquared “pressed its case… at times citing its fundraising for Democratic causes … Read More ➡

Did Obama’s Brother Get Special Treatment From IRS?

Obongo and Barack Obama photoThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has unexpectedly and retroactively granted tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation following our formal Complaint that the Foundation was soliciting tax-deductible contributions without such status.

The Foundation is headed by Abon’go Malik Obama, President Obama’s half-brother, and named for their common father. It came under scrutiny earlier this year when NLPC raised questions about its tax status and what has happened to the money it has raised.

It normally takes at least six months, and usually longer, for the IRS to grant tax-exempt status to an organization following its application. It appears that the earliest that it could have applied was May of this year, yet it received a determination letter in June, retroactive to 2008.

According to a May 8 New York Post story by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein:

Alton Ray Baysden, a former State Department employee at whose

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