VECO Paid for Porker Don Young’s Pig Roasts

pig roastFor the first time, earmark champion Rep. Don Young (R-AK) has been linked to criminal activity by the government. It came in a memo filed last week in the sentencing of former VECO CEO Bill Allen, the central figure in the corruption probe that ensnared former Senator Ted Stevens.

In May, we expressed concern that the overturning of Stevens’ conviction — and Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision not to retry him — endangered the prosecution of Young and other corrupt Alaska politicians.

Allen, and another VECO executive named Rick Smith, pled guilty to bribery and other offenses in 2007. The government is seeking a 46 month prison sentence and a fine of $750,000 for Allen, and 42 months and a fine of $7,500 to $75,000 for Smith.

According to the memo, which is of stipulated facts in the case between prosecutors and Allen’s lawyers, Young accepted golf clubs worth $1,000 … Read More ➡

Mollohan Scandal Property Goes to Foreclosure

Last week, media reports indicated that a vacant lot on Bald Head Island, North Carolina co-owned by Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) and his former aide Laura Kuhns, and their spouses, is going to a foreclosure auction.

The lot was one of five properties co-owned by the Mollohans and Kuhnses that have been part of a controversy that prompted an on-going Justice Department investigation, and Mollohan’s resignation as Ranking Member on the House Ethics Committee in 2006.

Kuhns is President and CEO of Vandalia Heritage Foundation, one of five nonprofits to which Mollohan has earmarked well over $100 million. The cozy relationships between Mollohan and his earmark recipients, against the backdrop of a rapid increase in Mollohan’s net worth, created the appearance that Mollohan is benefitting personally from the earmarks.

This appearance was enhanced by an amendment (actually a letter) Mollohan filed with the House Clerk on December 23, 2005 … Read More ➡

Wal-Mart, PepsiCo Unapologetic About Bankrolling Sharpton After Rush Limbaugh/NFL Flap

Emailers protesting Wal-Mart support for Al Sharpton’s group, the National Action Network, are getting the following response:

Walmart supports the National Action Network (NAN) as part of an ongoing effort to partner with national organizations that support issues and initiatives of importance to our customers, and the communities we serve.

Our support for NAN is focused on addressing health and wellness issues and other issues important to our customers and associates. Our company will continue to support organizations that can further our mission to help people live better.

Emails to PepsiCo are getting this reply:

As a global consumer products company that serves all people, we support many not-for-profit organizations with a variety of missions. The leaders of these organizations may at times have points of view that do not necessarily represent those of PepsiCo. I want to assure you that this Company does not endorse those individual viewpoints, political

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Colgate-Palmolive Denies Supporting Sharpton Group in Wake of Rush Limbaugh/NFL Controversy

Colgate adEmailers protesting Colgate-Palmolive’s support for Al Sharpton’s group,  the National Action Network (NAN), are getting a response that reads, in part:

We did not participate in the 2009 NAN Conference in New York City.

That’s interesting, because the conference program identifies Colgate-Palmolive as a “sponsor.” Even more interesting, a Colgate-Palmolive ad in a separate program from the same event states, in part:

Colgate-Palmolive is honored to be named Corporation of the Year by the National Action Network…

Emailers do get an admission from the company that it supported NAN last year:

In April, 2008, Colgate was among almost 40 corporate sponsors of a multi-day conference in Memphis organized by the NAN commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrating his continuing legacy.

It would be pretty hard for Colgate-Palmolive to deny its 2008 sponsorship. I had a confrontation with CEO Ian Cook at the company’s annual meeting where I prodded him … Read More ➡

Sharpton’s Corporate Sponsors Funded Anti-Rush Limbaugh Campaign

Sharpton photoAl Sharpton’s platform for his assault on Rush Limbaugh’s NFL ownership bid was the National Action Network (NAN), which is bankrolled by corporate America.

The following companies were identified this year by NAN as “sponsors”: American Honda, Anheuser Busch, Colgate-Palmolive, Comcast, Entergy, Ford Motor Company, Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Macy’s, PepsiCo, Pfizer and Wal-Mart. Sponsorship reportedly cost $50,000.

NLPC is asking these companies to end their support for Sharpton and NAN. Here’s how to contact them:

American Honda
phone: 1-800-999-1009 (Mon.-Fri., 6:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Pacific Time)
Fax: 310-783-3023 (24 hours)
Click here to find your local dealer.

Anheuser Busch
email: [email protected]
1-800-342-5283

Colgate-Palmolive
Click here to send an email.
1-800-468-6502 (Consumer Affairs)
1-212-310-2000 (Corporate Headquarters)

Comcast
Email: [email protected]
1-800-COMCAST (1-800-266-2278), (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

Entergy
Click here to send an email.  (go to “Other Questions and Comments” at bottom … Read More ➡

Sharpton Should Shut Up About Rush Limbaugh NFL Owner Bid

Sharpton coverI am not sure why Rush Limbaugh would want to own an NFL team. It is surely more fun to criticize the establishment on a daily basis than to become part of it. Leaving that aside, the last person in the world who should have a say in the matter is Al Sharpton. (The next to last is his mentor Jesse Jackson.)

Sharpton has written a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying the NFL should reject Limbaugh’s bid. Yesterday the New York Times actually referred to Sharpton’s group, the National Action Network, as “a civil rights organization,” demonstrating the legitimacy that Sharpton has somehow come to enjoy in recent years. Let’s see if Goodell will further elevate Sharpton’s stature by responding in a serious way.

As we documented in Special Report earlier this year, Sharpton is unapologetic about the Tawana Brawley hoax. He is a racial agitator and divider, … Read More ➡

House Ethics Committee Expands Rangel Probe, Again

The House Ethics Committee released a statement today announcing that it is expanding its investigation of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY).  Although somewhat vague, the statement makes reference to “all Financial Disclosure Statements and all amendments filed in the calendar year 2009.”

In August, Rangel amended his financial disclosure forms for 2002 to 2006. As a result, Rangel’s reported net worth roughly doubled from between $516,015 and $1,316,000 to between $1,028,024 and $2,495,000.  Members of Congress are required to disclose their income and assets within certain ranges. The forms are signed under penalty of the False Statements Act.

Rangel somehow neglected to report a checking account with the Congressional Federal Credit Union and one with Merrill Lynch, each valued between $250,000 and $500,000; tens of thousands of dollars in earning from dividends from a number of mutual funds and stocks; and the capital gain from the … Read More ➡

Rangel Scandal Timeline

With the spotlight this week on House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY), we have prepared this timeline of his current problems. Rangel has been involved in so much controversy that it is difficult to keep it all straight. I hope this helps.

July 11, 2008New York Times’ David Kocieniewski reports that Rangel occupies three rent-stabilized apartments in a luxury building, and uses a fourth as a campaign office.

July 14, 2008– NLPC files Complaint with the Federal Election commission alleging use of a rent-stabilized apartment for a campaign office comprises an illegal corporate contribution from the landlord. Rangel announces he will close the office.

July 15, 2008– Christopher Lee of the Washington Post reports that Rangel solicited donations on Congressional letterhead to the so-called Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service at City College of New York (CCNY), in violation of House rules.… Read More ➡

Rangel’s Brownstone Corruption Goes Back to Sixties

Rangel's brownstoneIn a lengthy story today titled “The case against Charlie Rangel,” New York Post reporters Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein examine “forty years of tax evasion, misdeeds and contempt.” Most interesting is their account of how Rangel tapped into a housing program for poor people to renovate his Harlem brownstone into six units, one of which continued to be his residence.

It’s the same building cited by NLPC in a September 16 Complaint to the Ethics Committee. On his financial disclosure forms, Rangel reported little or no rental income for eight years (1993-2001) from the six units, even though public records show tenants were living there. Click here to download a 35-page pdf of the Complaint

According to the Post:

On April 9, 1965, a 34-year-old lawyer named Charles Rangel took out a low-interest mortgage to renovate his childhood home — a row house on West 132nd Street that

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Ethics Now Tops Economy As #1 Issue

RasmussenWhen former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was heard on FBI wiretaps selling President Obama’s Senate seat, Obama first called for a special election. When it looked like a Republican might win, Obama acquiesced to Blagojevich’s appointment of laughingstock Roland Burris.

The media made Obama pay no price. That was unfortunate, but it also no doubt lulled Obama and his staff into thinking that the public just doesn’t care about corruption. This is a dangerous mindset. There is increasing evidence that the American people do care. According to a Rasmussen:

…the latest national telephone survey shows that 83% now view government ethics and corruption as very important, placing it just ahead of the economy on a list of 10 key electoral issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. Eighty-two percent (82%) of voters see the economy as very important.

Rasmussen continues:

The new findings come at a time when 43% of

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