Peter Flaherty's blog

NY Times: $900K Flows From 'Mysterious' Donor

New York Times logoThe New York Times has a front-page story today on a political giver named James Robert Williams, who has no visible means of support, but is very generous to both parties and to politicians of different stripes.  From the article:

...one government watchdog group called the pattern of donations extremely troubling. Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, said, "In more than 15 years of investigating political corruption, I've never seen a more suspicious set of facts."

'Ludicrous' EPA - NASCAR Partnership

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica appeared Wednesday on Cavuto on Fox Business Network to discuss the new "partnership" between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  and the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). Here's a transcript:

The Proposal Goldman Sachs Didn't Want Shareholders to See

Blankfein and Buffett photoThe Securities and Exchange Commission recently notified us that it will allow Goldman Sachs to exclude our shareholder proposal that asks for a report on the company's lobbying priorities. The basis for the exclusion was that another shareholder, The Needmoor Fund, had already submitted a similar proposal. We disagree that the proposals duplicate each other. We hope that Needmoor will raise the issues that prompted our proposal, especially Goldman's endorsement of Dodd-Frank, but we doubt they will.

Justice Dept. Going Easy on Corzine?

Corzine photoToday's headlines that Jon Corzine gave "direct instructions" for MF Global customer money to be moved to another account to cover a $175 million overdraft raises big questions about how this case is being handled. Congressional Committee's are imperfect investigative vehicles, but this time the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation has really scored. By digging out and making public an email from MF Global assistant treasurer Edith O'Brien, the Committee has done a huge public service.

Flaherty: 'No Apologies' for Exposing Black Lawmakers

Gregory Meeks photoIn a cover story for the National Journal dated tomorrow, Shane Goldmacher reports on accusations by members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) that ethics investigations are disproportionately aimed at African-American lawmakers.

The lengthy article includes an account of our exposé of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), and my response to the suggestion that black members of Congress are being targeted. From the article:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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