Loretta 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.
We conducted these investigations from afar, based primarily by an examination of public documents, without the benefit of tools available to prosecutors. Loretta Lynch had nothing to do with exposing all this corruption that was taking place right under her nose.
To his credit, Bharara is also investigating New York Governor … Read More ➡
The evidence continues to mount that General Motors has been less than transparent, if not outright culpable, regarding its ignition switch recall fiasco. As the death toll mounts (from the original 13 casualties reported by GM to the just revised 32 deaths) for victims involved in crashes of GM vehicles with defective ignition switches, new evidence has emerged that GM actually ordered replacement parts for the defective switches a full two months before they even reported a problem.
A Wall Street Journal article published on Sunday unveiled the damning evidence that GM placed an order for half a million replacement parts for defective ignition switches in mid-December of 2013. GM’s timeline of events points to February of 2014 as the time when they decided on recalling the vehicles. Mary Barra has stated that she was not aware of the issue until around that time, when GM notified the National Highway … Read More ➡
Today I sent the following letter to Dr. Gretchen Green, the Acting Chair of the National Women’s History Museum:
We ask the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) to withdraw its planned award to General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
As you know, Barra is scheduled to receive the Katharine Graham Living Legacy Award on November 17 as part of your annual de Pizan Honors at The Mead Center for American Theater at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.
Barra has indeed made history – of the wrong kind.
Just three months ago, she sat in front of Congressional Committees and desperately tried to avoid answering questions about the negligence and cover up regarding an ignition switch defect. As Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said, “It goes beyond unacceptable. I believe this is criminal.” Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said, “Even under the ‘New GM’ banner, the company waited nine months to take action after … Read More ➡
Every so often a General Motors’ truck owner forwards me their story regarding problems with brake line rust, a problem that executives at GM refuse to acknowledge. One recent such correspondence tells of one of the highest repair bills that I have heard of relating to corrosion and failed brake lines. Repairs were made to the vehicle after the owner narrowly avoided an accident as a result of failed brakes due to the corroded brake lines.
Marsha Joiner from Virginia sent me a copy of the invoice from her Manassas GMC dealership for repairs to her 2005 GMC Yukon. The whopping total for repairs directly related to corrosion from brake lines was a staggering $3,600. Her ordeal (along with other examples) has also been recently reported on by Consumer Affairs as they continue to be one of the few media outlets and consumer advocacy organizations that question the safety of … Read More ➡
It must be difficult for the Mom and Pop investor to make sense of General Motors’ recent earnings announcement and subsequent drop in share price. On Thursday morning, GM reported earnings that were trumpeted as being “impressive” by one major financial TV network. In fact, early in the day, headlines at the network stated that the entire market was being driven higher by strong earnings at GM and Caterpillar. That hyperbole came into question when GM share price dropped about 3% on a day that the broader markets were strong.
It was unfortunate for many investors who bought into the early hype and drove share price up pre-market. As is often the case on Wall Street, the little guy was at a disadvantage to the big guys who are more astute at filtering through the hype to get a clearer picture of the financial condition of publicly-traded companies. And when … Read More ➡
Today’s New York Post reports that Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), already under indictment, sought out and allegedly accepted campaign contributions in his initial 2010 race for Congress that exceeded contribution limits.
He asked for $10,000 donations from six people, when the legal limit for individual contributions is $2,400. The contributions were not disclosed on Grimm’s campaign disclosure forms, evidence that Grimm may have been aware that they were illegal.
From the article by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein:
“A candidate who tries to get others to solicit contributions far in excess of the legal limit raises big red flags,” said Ken Boehm, a former prosecutor and chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a Virginia watchdog. Not reporting donations, or funneling them through straw donors, is illegal.
Despite being a Republican, Grimm is close to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) of Queens, in photo with Grimm. According to a … Read More ➡
Environmentally conscientious, wealthy car enthusiasts are in luck! The much-hyped “D” unveiling came last week as Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, presented what appears to be a very impressive version of its plug-in Model S electric car called the P85D. Boasting 691 horsepower, 687 ft/lb of torque, AWD and a blazing 3.2 second zero to sixty time, the new rich peoples’ toy is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $120,000. In fact, the car is so darn impressive that the only obvious question is why in the world do we need to give the affluent purchasers of cars like this a federal tax credit of $7,500 each?
I can see why General Motors would need subsidies to sell such cars as the Cadillac ELR (which lumbers through a zero to sixty time in a laborious 9.4 seconds) at a price of about $75,000. The car is essentially a gussied-up Chevy … Read More ➡
Cadillac sales continue to sputter at General Motors. In fact, the brand is the only make at GM that has seen a year over year sales decline for the period ending in September at a time when the auto industry was booming. Specifically, Cadillac has logged in 127,837 sales for the first nine months of 2014 compared to 133,414 in 2013 for a sales decline of 4.2 percent. GM will now offer frequent flyer miles to help spur sales at the division.
The marketing move at GM follows a decision to relocate Cadillac’s sales team to New York City. That move, along with the renaming of Cadillac models, was criticized by Automotive News as follows:
It is most disappointing that the new head of Cadillac had this decision thrust on him without any chance to evaluate the situation or get some wise advice from outside the company — from
… Read More ➡
A special inspector general report on compensation for executives at General Motors and Ally Financial blasts the Treasury Department for allowing excessive pay at the companies as taxpayers lost billions of dollars on the auto bailouts. The watchdog group issuing the report monitors the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was set up to save financial corporations deemed “too big to fail” due to systemic risk to America’s financial system. The program was expanded to allow for the bailing out of the auto industry, despite the questionable use of funds specifically designated for financial institutions.
A NY Times piece states that the report criticizes the Treasury Department for loosening restrictions on TARP program pay limitations as follows:
Top executives at General Motors and Ally Financial, both of which received bailouts from the United States Treasury Department in 2009, were paid excessively even as taxpayers lost money, according to a special
… Read More ➡