NLPC Staff's blog

Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch is Soft on Political Corruption

Loretta Lynch and Barack ObamaLoretta Lynch, President Obama's choice to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General, has an especially weak record of investigating and prosecuting political corruption. Moreover, her longstanding ties to the New York political machine have limited her independence as a prosecutor.

Lynch, who currently serves as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has watched as Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the neighboring Southern District of New York, has prosecuted case after case. And Bharara would not have acted except for a slew of newspaper headlines about political corruption generated by the National Legal and Policy Center.

White House: 'Saudi Arabia Has An Extensive Border With Syria'

Mideast mapYesterday, the White House provided a background briefing via conference call for reporters covering President Obama's speech last night on the American response to the advance of ISIL. A "senior administration official," who was not identified by name fielded the question of "which countries will join the United States in launching airstrikes in this area?"

The administration official is now probably glad he was not identified. He probably should have consulted a map before giving this answer:

New York Scandal Figure Malcolm Smith Defeated for Re-Election

Malsolm SmithState Senator Malcolm Smith, a former Senate Majority Leader, yesterday lost a Democratic primary for his seat in Queens. He is scheduled to face a retrial in January for attempting to bribe Republican Party officials to allow him to run for New York City mayor as a Republican in 2013.

Smith, and his finances, first came under scrutiny by federal prosecutors after NLPC exposed his involvement with a charity called New Direction Local Development Corporation.  Along with U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Smith used New Direction as a political slush fund. Among other financial irregularities, the nonprofit raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never received the money.

Space Launch Deal Puts Spotlight on Revolving Door

Correll photoWashington's metaphorical "revolving door" keeps on spinning. A recent case involving a former Air Force procurement official is at the center of a high-stakes dispute over the launching of rockets into space, and the huge contracts that go with them.

From March 2011 to January of this year, Roger "Scott" Correll (in photo) was the official at the Pentagon responsible for procuring launch services from private companies. One of his last official acts before his "retirement" in January was to oversee a deal with a company called United Launch Alliance (ULA) for a whopping 36 future launches. ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed.

Modica: GM Hid Ignition Defect From Bankruptcy Judge

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica was a guest last night on The Willis Report on Fox Business Network.

Here's a transcript:

Correction & Apology to the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America

shameOn March 11, we published an item titled "Illinois Electrical Workers Bookkeeper Sentenced for Embezzlement, " in which we inaccurately reported the name of the union with which the offender was affiliated. We identified Melissa Gustafson, who was sentenced to probation on March 7, as "a former bookkeeper for United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers Local 84110." In fact, Ms. Gustafson is a former bookkeeper for International Union of Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers - Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) Local 84110. Despite their similar names, these are different unions. Indeed, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America has no Local 84110.

We compounded our error by illustrating the posting with the logo of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. We apologize for these mistakes. Since we always strive for accuracy and fairness in our Union Corruption Update postings, and in all our public communications, we are happy to set the record straight.

 

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GM Asked to Pay Back $10 Billion Bailout Costs

pile of cashPeter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today posed key questions to the General Motors leadership at a National Press Club press conference, including whether the company will repay to taxpayers the $10 billion direct cost of the GM bailout.

News that the U.S. Treasury Department has sold its remaining stake and that Mary Barra will take over as GM's new CEO have put the spotlight on the company and its future. GM executives have pointed to GM's $26.8 billion in cash as evidence of its improved financial position. Analysts have raised the possibility that the company will buy back shares or institute a dividend.

Questions for GM:

Meeks Crony Dorothy Ogundu Arrested For Stealing $370K; Where is IRS?

Ogundu perp walkOn the basis of information brought to light by NLPC, Nigerian-born physician Dorothy Ogundu was arrested yesterday. She is charged with multiple counts of grand larceny, forgery and falsifying business records by the New York State Attorney General.

Ogundu ran a Queens, New York health clinic for which Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) secured $380,500 in federal funds. She is a prominent Meeks supporter, and until yesterday, a fixture of the Queens political scene.

After reviewing Meeks' earmarks in 2011, NLPC decided to take a closer look at Angeldocs, Inc., which operates the Aki Life Health Center. The New York Post published a major exposé of the Center in April 2012, based on information provided on an exclusive basis by NLPC. Subsequently, NLPC filed a Complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against Angeldocs, alleging self-dealing and inurement by Ogundu. 

Corruption Surrounds World Bank Loan for Argentina

American Argentine moneyThe United States is broke. The federal government has to borrow 40% of each dollar it spends. We send billions to lending institutions, most of all, the World Bank, to which the American taxpayer is the biggest contributor. Yet this debt load may be on the verge of increasing. The government of Argentina currently is demanding a $3 billion loan from the World Bank. Argentina makes for an unreliable debtor. Burdened by decades of corruption, nationalization and devaluation, Argentina has a long history of refusing to pay its debts.

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