Why Won’t Obama Stop AIG Bonuses?

AIG logoBarack Obama has shown no hesitation to wield the power of the state, but he claims that he’s unable to stop these outrageous AIG bonuses, even though taxpayers now own 80% of AIG.

Obama wants the government to dominate the health care and energy economies. He’s proposed huge new taxes to help finance expansion of the federal government. More to the point, he would allow bankruptcy judges to abrogate contracts as part of his mortgage bailout. His automaker bailout contemplates the setting aside or revision of UAW contracts.

It is astonishing that these bonuses will be paid to executives at AIG’s financial products division, the unit that wrote trillions of dollars’ worth of credit-default swaps. AIG placed bets on derivative trades that it could not possibly pay off if it lost. This is called fraud. These bad bets were big enough to bring down the financial system.

Instead of claiming … Read More ➡

More Scrutiny for Murtha as Investigative Noose Tightens

Politico reported on March 11:

Over the course of the past decade, Rep. John P. Murtha has earmarked millions of dollars for the Electro-Optics Center at Penn State University — money that has, in turn, gone to clients of the PMA Group, the Murtha-linked lobbying shop that was raided in November as part of a federal criminal probe.Murtha Pelosi photo

PMA may soon be Murtha’s undoing. The firm was founded by his top operative Paul Magliocchetti, who is now reportedly under investigation for making campaign donations in the names of other people. Campaign finance violations are not treated seriously by prosecutors, except for this one. The result can be prison time and big fines. If faced with the prospect of jail, would Magliocchetti turn on Murtha?

PMA has collapsed as most of it’s lobbyists have quit. It’s quite a fall from last year when it ranked as the 10th-biggest Washington lobbying firm … Read More ➡

Rep. Mollohan’s Foundation Got Free Rent From Earmark Recipient

WVHTC buildingRoll Call reports today:

The West Virginia High Tech Consortium has provided more than $75,000 in free rent and administrative services to the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation, according to tax records, while receiving millions of dollars worth of earmarks from Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W. Va.), who serves as the family foundation’s secretary.

Questions about Mollohan’s foundation are not new. Michael Forsythe of Bloomberg News reported on June 22, 2006:

Mollohan helped funnel at least $179 million in U.S. government contracts over the last six years to companies that gave to the West Virginia Democrat’s family-run charity, tax records and other documents show.

The money went to 21 companies and nonprofit groups that contributed $564,427 to the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation from 2002 to 2004 — almost half of the charity’s revenue, according to the documents. The congressman, an Appropriations Committee member whose finances are under federal

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Obama Should Focus on Bank Crisis Rather Than “Fake Populism”

NLPC President Peter Flaherty said today, “Excessive executive pay and perks are indeed a problem, as NLPC sought to highlight way before the financial meltdown. But the real scandal now is bank bailouts without end.

Citi logo

Instead of engaging in fake populism by trashing corporate travel to Las Vegas or the Super Bowl, Obama should produce a plan to deal with the banking crisis. Throwing more taxpayer money at AIG and Citigroup as they lurch from crisis to crisis is not a plan.  I am worried that by the time Obama and Timothy Geithner come up with a strategy, there will be no money left.

The tally for AIG is now $175 billion with no end in sight. AIG placed bets on derivative trades that it could not possibly pay off if it lost. This is called fraud. These bad bets were big enough to bring down the financial system. Obama … Read More ➡

NLPC Blasts Obama/Geithner Big Bank Bailout

According to Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC):

“The trillion-dollar stimulus plan has not even passed Congress and the administration proposes to throw another trillion at Wall Street on top of the $750 billion already provided without a tangible benefit.

Buying toxic assets was supposed to be the purpose of the first TARP. After Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner warned that our financial system would collapse if TARP were not passed, they spent the money on something else — bolstering the capital position of banks. Politically well-connected Citigroup has received $45 billion, more than the book value of the company, and it is still in trouble.

The burden is on President Obama and Timothy Geithner to explain why another Wall Street bailout will work when the first one did not. This latest plan would have the taxpayer finance the purchase of troubled assets, opening the … Read More ➡

NY Times: Rangel Says NLPC Does Media’s “Dirty Work”

In an article titled “Rangel’s Financial Disclosures Omitted Data Over 30 Years, a Report Says,” today’s New York Times reports:

In an interview on C-SPAN on Sunday and in a letter mailed to supporters released Tuesday, Mr. Rangel said the conservative-oriented National Legal Policy Center had sent an investigator to examine the finances of a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic, then passed along critical information to a reporter from The Post. The newspaper subsequently printed an article questioning whether Mr. Rangel had reported all the rental income he received from the villa on his financial disclosure forms and tax returns.

“Newspapers forwent actual, independent reporting, and instead relied on this organization to do the dirty work for them,” Mr. Rangel wrote.

Unfortuntely for Rangel, the story also details a new report from the liberal-oriented Sunlight Foundation that accuses Rangel of thirty years of financial disclosure violations:

Representative Charles

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NLPC Uncovers $183,000 in Additional Contributions to Friends of Blagojevich from Johnston Horse Racing Interests

Today the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) publicly released an in-depth analysis of financial contributions made to Friends of Blagojevich from Balmoral and Maywood race track owner John Johnston and other Johnston-owned/affiliated interests. The new analysis reveals that previous accounts of Johnston contributions to Friends of Blagojevich greatly under-reported the actual contributions by Johnston family interests and far exceed the $160,000 in contributions that have been reported previously.

According to the latest analysis which was sent to the House Impeachment Committee last Thursday afternoon, Johnston-owned/affiliated interests contributed more than $343,000 to Governor Blagojevich’s campaign committee from 2002-2007. The new analysis uncovered several significant and large contributions from Johnston businesses or affiliates that heretofore had not been factored into official news accounts, including contributions from Coast to Coast Food Services Ltd. ($60,000), Racing Research ($15,000), the Egyptian Trotting Association ($45,000), and Associates Racing Association, Inc. ($40,000). All businesses are either … Read More ➡

Obama Must Withdraw Geithner Nomination

Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today made the following statement:

President-elect Obama should withdraw Timothy Geithner’s nomination for Treasury Secretary. Obama says that middle–class families with incomes of $250,000 are wealthy and their taxes should be raised, but he wants a Wall Streeter who didn’t pay his taxes to be his point man on the economy.

The amount of unpaid taxes — $42,000 — may sound like pocket change to Geithner and his Wall Street buddies, but it is a lot of money on Main Street.

Geithner’s claim that he didn’t know he was supposed to pay taxes doesn’t pass the laugh test. It is true that American citizens who work for the IMF are responsible for the employer’s share of the payroll tax, but IMF employment includes generous pay and a host of other perks. Anyone who has ever worked there is well … Read More ➡