Consumers Beware: Ally Bank is GMAC

Ally BankWho knew? Ally Bank is running all those TV ads belittling the “fine print” used by other banks. But as the Wall Street Journal detailed on Tuesday, the ads do not disclose that Ally is a unit of troubled GMAC  Financial Services, the former financing arm of GM, now seeking its third multi-billion taxpayer  bailout.

Ally had been offering some of the highest CD interest rates in the nation until federal bank regulators pressured Ally to reduce them. Lower rates are one thing but there is another compelling consideration when shopping CD rates. When you deposit your money with Ally, you abet the financial and auto bailouts.

Now this may not bother some people. Short-term Ally deposits are probably not at more risk than those at other FDIC-insured institutions. But if you believe that the Wall Street and automaker bailouts are an outrageous soaking of the taxpayer to … Read More ➡

Citigroup’s Eric Eve Resigns From ACORN Advisory Committee

Citi logoCitigroup has advised NLPC that Senior Vice President Eric Eve has resigned for ACORN’s Advisory Committee. In a September 28 letter to Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, I asked that the bank sever its relationship with ACORN, including Eve’s membership on the Committee.

In an October 29 reply, Citigroup also stated that it has “suspended our charitable financial support and program relationship with ACORN, and we are awaiting the results of the independent audit of ACORN activities now underway.”

This is ominous, and certainly leaves open the possibility of continued Citigroup support for ACORN. The “independent audit” is no such thing. It is an investigation of ACORN by itself, under the direction of ACORN ally Scott Harshbarger.

ACORN’s own description of the “audit” when it was announced on September 22, suggested that it would be something less than comprehensive:

This independent and thorough review, commissioned by the ACORN Board,

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Rangel Says Ethics Committee Has Not Asked About His Finances

The Washington Post reports today that staff members of the House Ethics Committee met with Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) in July and questioned him about a trip by Rangel and four other members of the Congressional Black Caucus to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. According to the Post:

Rangel said he has not been interviewed by the committee to discuss other elements of the investigation, which involve his personal finances and whether House resources were improperly used to raise funds for a college center named for him.

It was NLPC that exposed both the Caribbean junket and Rangel’s failure to disclose, or pay taxes on, rental income from his Dominican Republic “villa.” While we welcome the investigation of the junket, we believe that tax evasion is a serious matter, and that Rangel should be treated no differently than any other citizen.

We don’t know … Read More ➡

Leaked Document: Justice Probe of Mollohan Is Ongoing

According to a confidential House Ethics Committee report produced in July, and described in the Washington Post today:

The Justice Department has told the ethics panel to suspend a probe of Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W. Va.), whose personal finances federal investigators began reviewing in early 2006 after complaints from a conservative group that he was not fully revealing his real estate holdings. There has been no public action on that inquiry for several years. But the department’s request in early July to the committee suggests that the case continues to draw the attention of federal investigators, who often ask that the House and Senate ethics panels refrain from taking action against members whom the department is already investigating. (emphasis ours)

Of course, the “conservative group” is NLPC. Following a nine-month investigation, NLPC filed a 500-page Complaint on February 28, 2006 with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia … Read More ➡

Gingrich Must Sever Ties With Sharpton

Sharpton/GingrichIt is time for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to end his association with Al Sharpton. The two have been appearing together around the country as part of something called the Education Equality Project.

As Dr. Carl Horowitz of our staff has documented in a Special Report released earlier this year, Sharpton has promoted fake hate crimes against blacks, and has inspired racial antagonism against whites and Jews. Indeed, this long-established pattern of behavior continues to the present.

Just last week, the purported victim of a 2007 racially-motivated attack in West Virginia recanted her story that she had been kidnapped and raped in a backwoods trailer by white men. Sharpton had championed her plight, descending on Charleston to lead an anti-hate rally, much as he rallied to the side of the accuser of the Duke lacrosse players in 2006.

Gingrich shares with Sharpton an affinity for the TV camera. Their … Read More ➡

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 ➡