One of the defining hallmarks of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, is its propensity for using front organizations to advance its goals. The New Orleans-based nonprofit organization has fully 360 subsidiary and adjunct groups. Lately, one of its affiliates, a misleadingly-named nonprofit entity called New York Agency for Community Affairs, Inc. (NYACA), has been at the center of attention. A recent probe by a consortium of New York City newspapers shows NYACA thus far in this year alone has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from New York state and local taxpayers for political campaign services. In many cases, the lawmakers who earmarked the funds had been locked in close re-election campaigns that used NYACA volunteers. It’s no small wonder that NYACA and ACORN overlap to the point of being nearly indistinguishable.
According to its mission statement, NYACA was founded “to provide a vehicle for … Read More ➡
Attorney General Eric Holder suggested on August 24 that he had no choice but to appoint an independent counsel to investigate CIA interrogation of terror suspects. He said:
As Attorney General, my duty is to examine the facts and to follow the law. In this case, given all of the information currently available, it is clear to me that this review is the only responsible course of action for me to take.
Too bad he didn’t do his “duty” when as a U.S. Attorney in 1995 a federal judge referred a case to him for investigation that was far more clear-cut than anything concerning the CIA.
NLPC was a plaintiff in the successful lawsuit to open the meetings and records of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health care task force. The task force was directed by Ira Magaziner, who now directs the international development initiatives of the William J. Clinton Foundation.… Read More ➡
In an editorial today titled “Sorry Charlie,” the Washington Post called on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) to step down as House Ways and Means Chairman. The editorial comes in the wake of Rangel amending his financial disclosure forms for the years 2002 to 2006, showing that his net worth was roughly double what he previously claimed. The Post called Rangel’s revised filings “a treasure trove of outrage.”
Rangel’s amendments were prompted by increased scrutiny of his finances after NLPC exposed his failure to disclose (or pay taxes on) rental income from his beachfront “villa” at the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic.
The Post concludes:
Much is expected of elected officials. Much more is expected and demanded of those entrusted with chairmanships and the power that comes with them, especially when it involves the nation’s purse strings. From all that we’ve seen thus far, Mr. Rangel has violated
… Read More ➡
David Gewirtz, who contributes to Anderson Cooper’s blog at CNN, claims to “debunk” our story about White House New Media office plans to collect data from social networking websites.
Our story was based on a document called a “Request for Quote.” Of the document, Gewirtz states, “It’s a publicly available government procurement document, and just for you, I’ve read all 51 excruciatingly boring pages of the thing.”
Maybe too boring for Gewirtz, as he must have skimmed over this section that appears on page three under “Performance Objectives:”
(K) Provide a web-based tool for government employees to administer and manage this record keeping. (i.e. add new publicly accessible websites to the crawl or adjust the crawl frequency.) Provide a minimum of 10 simultaneous login accounts.
In other words, the administration wants the ability to have at least 10 government workers simultaneously adding new web sites to a crawl program, or … Read More ➡
NLPC has uncovered a plan by the White House New Media operation to hire a technology vendor to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans from social networking websites.
The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”
In the course of investigating procurement by the White House New Media office, NLPC discovered a 51-page solicitation of bids that was filed on Friday, August 21, 2009. Filed as Solicitation # WHO-S-09-0003, it is posted at FedBizzOps.com. Click here to download a 51-page pdf of the solicitation.
While the solicitation specifies a 12-month contract, it allows for seven one-year extensions. It specifies no dollar cap. Other troubling issues include :
extremely broad secrecy terms preventing the vendor from disclosing to
… Read More ➡
In response to reporters’ questions on Friday about his failure to disclose hundreds of thousands in assets, House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel had this to say:
I recognize that all of you have an obligation to ask questions knowing that there’s none of you smart enough to frame it in such a way that I’m going to respond.
Click here for a report from New York City’s WCBS-TV that includes video.… Read More ➡
Charles Hurt of the New York Post reports today:
Rep. Charles Rangel claimed on mortgage papers that a Harlem brownstone was his principal residence — even though he was living elsewhere at the time, The Post has learned.
When the Democrat — who is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee — took out the mortgage in 1990, he said the property on West 132nd Street was his “principal residence,” records show.
By our count, Rangel simultaneously claimed three “primary residences.” The first is where he really lives, in three rent-stabilized Harlem apartments, for which he does not qualify, based on his income. He actually had four apartments, but gave one up in the wake of reports that he was using it as a campaign office, prompting NLPC to file a Complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that he violated election law.
The second is a DC home he … Read More ➡
House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) may have gotten a fleeting break when Edward Kennedy’s death knocked reports of his newly-disclosed wealth off the front page.
But by this morning, editorial writers had caught their breath and were busy at work skewering the Chairman of the committee that writes the nation’s tax laws. And just think how much fresh meat has been left for the weekend crew.
From the New York Daily News:
There are two sets of rules for Rep. Charlie Rangel – the ones he writes for everyone else and the ones that are, or were, beneath his compliance, powerful personage that he is.
From the Wall Street Journal:
When normal people happen to “find” their own money, it might mean a twenty left in a winter coat, or discovering change beneath the sofa cushions. But if you’re Charlie Rangel, it means doubling your
… Read More ➡
As a pro football fan, I always welcome the late summer, which brings pre-season games. They are great to watch, for about ten minutes, and then they disappoint. The starters play a couple of series and then they are gone. Then you get that sinking realization that it doesn’t matter that much, either to you or the teams, who wins. So you go to bed craving the authenticity of the regular season.
Tonight, I found a replacement in the form of Rep. Jim Moran’s Town Hall meeting on health care. I took my two kids and we had an authentic Town Hall experience. It was everything it was cracked up to be.
Moran represents Virginia’s eighth district, including the cities of Arlington and Alexandria. It hooks weirdly out into the DC suburbs to encompass Reston, where the event was held a high school gymnasium that held more than 2,000 people. … Read More ➡
Richard Rubin of CQ Politics is reporting:
House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel, already beset by a series of ethics investigations, has disclosed more than $500,000 in previously unreported assets.
Among the new items on Rangel’s amended 2007 financial disclosure report were an account at the Congressional Federal Credit Union worth at least $250,000, an investment account with at least $250,000, land in southern New Jersey and stock in PepsiCo and fast food conglomerate Yum! Brands. None of those investments appeared on the original report, which was filled out by hand and filed in May 2008.
NLPC’s exposure of Rangel’s unreported and undisclosed income from his Dominican Republic “villa,” touched off more intensive scrutiny of Rangel’s finances, leading Rangel to revise his filings, albeit months late.
Rangel can’t claim that he merely overlooked reporting a half million in various assets. These omissions appear willful and deliberate. Of course, … Read More ➡