Will the FTC’s Ramirez Tell the Truth at Senate Hearing?

Federal Trade Commission Chair Edith Ramirez is scheduled to testify tomorrow, May 11, before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The topic is “Examining the Proposed FCC Privacy Rules.”

The hearing comes amid allegations that Ramirez is not independent and takes her direction from Google.

On March 9, Ramirez contradicted herself in testimony she gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the FTC’s dropping of an antitrust action against Google in 2013. She testified that the FTC decision not to sue Google was “consistent with the recommendation that had been made by our Bureau of Competition staff,” adding that any “press reports to the contrary are just flatly wrong.”

However, an FTC Staff report, portions of which were inadvertently released last year, revealed exactly the opposite. The Bureau of Competition staff sought an antitrust action against Google.

Remarkably, Ramirez misleading statement was apparently prompted by a … Read More ➡

Clinton Foundation Donor That Got Big OPIC Loans Now Faces Corruption Allegations

Another Clinton Foundation donor with ethics problems received a loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. This time, the dollar amounts are gargantuan, and the recipient is at the center of a corruption scandal in Pakistan.

According to a report in the Washington Free Beacon by Alana Goodman,  a Middle Eastern investment firm called The Abraaj Group has contributed $500,000 to $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. Abraaj owns and manages a utility company named K-Electric in Pakistan. That country’s former oil minister,  Asim Hussain,  has been arrested for providing illegal favors for K-Electric and harboring Islamic terrorists in hospitals he owns. From the article:

The investigation has not impacted the U.S. government’s ongoing partnership with the Abraaj Group, which dates back to at least 2012. That year, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation—a federal agency that dispenses corporate loans under the

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Justice Dept. Pursued Nemesis of Clinton Foundation Donor

Ken Silverstein in the New York Observer adds important new information to the case of Clinton Foundation donor Gonzalo Tirado, which was first exposed by NLPC. Tirado headed Ponzi-schemer R. Allen Stanford’s bank in Venezuela, but now lives openly in Miami.

After the Stanford flame out, the Venezuelan Tirado sought political asylum in the United States. Although never charged with a crime stateside, Tirado was an extremely dubious candidate for asylum. It is unclear whether he was actually granted it, but Tirado now resides safely in Miami, even as Stanford victims still struggle to recover a portion of their investments.

Tirado’s ability to stay in the United States almost certainly has something to do with paying Hillary insider Jonathan Mantz $350,000 to lobby the State Department on his behalf, on top of donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Moreover, the Justice Department indicted a decorated former DEA agent named Tom Raffanello, who had … Read More ➡

Watchdog Asks for Probe in Mortgage Lending ‘Revolving Door’ Case

A watchdog group is asking for an investigation of David H. Stevens, a former Federal Housing Administration (FHA) official, who currently serves as President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) today asks in dual requests to the U.S. Attorney for District of Columbia, and the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that Stevens be investigated for possibly violating the statutory one-year ban on having contact with his former agency, as well as the lifetime ban on having contact with officials on matters on which he worked while in government. Click here to download a copy of the requests.

At issue is Stevens’ apparent quarterbacking of a campaign by the big banks to win mortgage lending business from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the wake of the financial crisis, and the placement of the two Government Sponsored Enterprises … Read More ➡

Puerto Rico Governor Tries to Distance Himself from His Brother

Alejandro Garcia Padilla, the governor of Puerto Rico, is claiming that he has nothing to do with a controversial charity, which has his brother Antonio Garcia Padilla as its only employee, according to Alana Goodman in the Washington Free Beacon.

The nonprofit is called Sociedad Economica De Amigos Del Pais. Its funding comes from corporations doing business with the Commonwealth government. According to its federal tax return, Antonio makes $70,000 per year for a forty-hour work week. The group is a resurrected version of a nonprofit founded as the Hispanic Education and Legal Fund (HELF) in 1996 by New York union boss Dennis Rivera and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson.

Antonio’s forty-hour work week came as news to students at the University of Puerto Rico, where he purportedly serves a full time law school professor. From the Free Beacon:

The student council is calling on the administration to investigate whether Garcia Padilla

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Questionable Charity in Puerto Rico Has One Employee— the Governor’s Brother

A nonprofit group founded by ex-New York SEIU boss Dennis Rivera has received big contributions from corporations that do business with the Puerto Rican government, while employing the governor’s brother as its only employee. This arrangement was reported today by Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon, based on information provided by NLPC.

The charity, now known as “Sociedad Económica De Amigos del Pais,” was founded in New York in 1996 by Rivera and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as the Hispanic Education and Legal Fund (HELF). Its name change, relocation to Puerto Rico and change of mission raise additional red flags.

The nonprofit was already under scrutiny as a possible vehicle for political corruption.

On November 22, the New York Post ran a story, based on documents provided by NLPC, detailing how $1 million was routed from HELF to another foundation headed by Richardson. A whistleblower … Read More ➡

FBI Investigating Clinton Foundation Pay to Play?

According to unconfirmed reports, the FBI is now investigating the possibility that donors were directed to the Clinton Foundation in return for favors from the State Department when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. This would be in addition to the ongoing investigation into Hillary’s use of a private email account for official business.

We hope the FBI is reviewing the circumstances described below that we uncovered and have already made public:

New York University (NYU) and the United Arab Emirates UAE)- We documented that Cheryl Mills, Hillary’s longtime aide and confidant, worked as State Department chief of staff while at the same time she was NYU general counsel from January to May 2009. She collected $198,000 from NYU during that period, while she also received a government paycheck.

Mills also continued to serve on the board of the Clinton Foundation for over a month after joining the State Department. Even worse, … Read More ➡

Menendez Shameless But Indictment Looms

In a headline today NJ.com asks the question, “How has Menendez Indictment Affected His Senate Duties?” The story details how Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is acting if nothing is wrong, and quotes NLPC Chairman (not executive director) Ken Boehm:

A leading Menendez critic said he had no problem with the senator's efforts to carry on as if he did not face criminal charges.

"Defendants can act anyway they want," said Ken Boehm, executive director of the National Legal and Policy Center, a Falls Church, Va.-based watchdog group. "I take almost an attitude of, 'It's a free country, he's a free man, he's innocent until proven guilty.' At the end of the day, that's not going to change the driving forces behind the indictment."

The indictments resulted from a federal investigation initiated after media reports that Menendez attempted to intervene to thwart a Medicare-fraud investigation of Dr. Salomon Melgen, his largest donor, and that Menendez pressured … Read More ➡

Sen. Corker to Get Scrutiny in Wake of Disclosure Omissions

On December 11, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) amended his financial disclosure reports after he “failed to properly disclose millions of dollars in income from real estate, hedge funds and other investments since entering the Senate in 2007,” according to Brody Mullins in the Wall Street Journal.

The amendments were made after the Journal made inquiries about certain specifics on Corker’s disclosures. Corker called the omissions “filing errors.” From Roll Call today:

But for some government watchdog groups, this incident raises questions about what led to the discrepancies on Corker’s reports in the first place, and points to broader problems within the disclosure and congressional ethics process.

In 2007, Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, co-wrote a letter to congressional leaders calling for changes to the financial disclosure process, including narrowing or eliminating the form’s value ranges.

“It’s important to know how much it was because

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IRS Proposes Dangerous Donor Reporting Rule

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposed a new rule in September that would allow charities to voluntarily report to the IRS contributions of more than $250. For donors reported to the IRS, the new rule would require the donor's name, address, and Social Security number.  Today, we filed this public comment:

The National Legal and Policy Center, a 501(c) (3) organization, opposes the proposed rule “Substantiation Requirement for Certain Contributions.”

It seems more than strange that the IRS would propose this rule in the wake of its illegal and Unconstitutional attempts to impede, delay and/or deny tax-exempt status to Tea Party and conservative groups. The proposed rule seems calculated to achieve the same result by opening donors to intimidation, harassment and vilification.

The voluntary nature of the proposed disclosure does not make it less dangerous.  Should the IRS at some future time deem voluntary disclosure a “success,” it will no

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