NLPC “blows the whistle” on government officials and interest groups engaged in questionable activities. NLPC has filed formal Complaints with a variety of authorities and regulators, including the Federal Election Commission, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Congressional Ethics Committees.
NLPC supports government integrity in two additional ways: by promoting the First Amendment as the basis for campaign finance reform, and by promoting use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
NLPC Associate Fellow Paul Chesser was a guest on the Willis Report on Fox Business Network last night. Here’s a transcript:
Gerri Willis: Well, onto electric cars. Uncle Sam is back to doing what it does best – wasting your taxpayer dollars. Over one hundred and thirty million granted to a California company to build a network of electric car chargers in major cities. Chargers, our next guest says, may not even work for electric cars. Joining me now, Paul Chesser, associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center. What are you talking about? These charge centers won’t even work?
Paul Chesser: Well, it depends on what kind of car you have, Gerri. There are three different technologies out there, there is the Japanese, which this particular boondoggle happens to work with, there is another one that most … Read More ➡
The syndicated TV program Inside Edition tonight ran a report on the questions we have raised about who paid for New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s wedding. Tom Anderson, the director of the our Government Integrity Project, was interviewed on-air. Click here to read a transcript of the story.… Read More ➡
The sniping and backbiting behind the financial scenes are escalating as those involved with Fisker Automotive and other green tech flops seek to direct blame for their investment failures. U.S. taxpayers, as usual, have suffered bystander casualties.
The latest controversy surrounds Silicon Valley investment firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, which has suffered a series of setbacks over its strategy to place sizable wagers on so-called “clean energy” companies. Their tech bettors hit on several huge successes during the 1990s dot-com boom, which history shows was a huge bubble with a nasty burst. The same thing happened with the government-fueled housing expansion and now the renewable energy sector is ballooning for the same reason.
The conflicts with Kleiner Perkins are mostly about disagreements over who said what to whom and when – soap opera stuff. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, recipient of a $465 million stimulus loan guarantee from … Read More ➡
An audit by the Department of Energy’s Inspector General found that the persistent weak demand for electric vehicles harmed the deployment and timeliness of a $135 million-plus taxpayer funded charging network, which spun a cycle of excessive grants and project expansion, that led to an enormous waste of public money.
The investigators, led by IG Gregory Friedman, determined that conditions for reimbursement to Ecotality, Inc. (and its subsidiaries) for the EV charging demonstration project were “very generous,” although not explicitly prohibited under federal regulations.
“While we acknowledge that the Department had maintained and archived award documentation, an independent reviewer cannot understand the rationale behind important decisions made by Department officials, as required by government internal control standards,” Friedman’s report said. “Additionally, the Department’s weaknesses in oversight of administrative aspects of Ecotality’s awards may have led to funding items that were not directly attributable to the grant.”
Anthony Weiner may have violated federal law when he failed to disclose his lavish six-figure wedding in his financial disclosure forms, says a government accountability group.
Ethics watchdog group National Legal and Policy Center examined the federal Financial Disclosure Reports for both Weiner and long-suffering wife Huma Abedin for 2010, the year of their wedding.
The cost for the ceremony was at least $100,000 but probably ran closer to $250,000 including all accommodations, clothing and extras. Neither Weiner nor Abedin had the resources to pay for the ultra-expensive wedding, yet neither recorded gifts on their Financial Disclosure Reports for that year.
Evidence surfaced about a year ago that the Obama Administration played a role, once again, in choosing winners and losers by protecting friends in the UAW over less-favored groups when the Daily Caller unearthed emails pointing to Treasury’s involvement. The emails confirmed that the Treasury Department was the driving force behind the termination of non-union pension benefits. The evidence suggests that Treasury officials lied when they testified, under oath, that the … Read More ➡
The acquittal by a six-member Florida jury on July 13 in the trial of George Zimmerman for second-degree murder, with an option to convict for manslaughter, at least among rational people, produced relief and apprehension – relief because Zimmerman wouldn’t be headed to state prison; apprehension because the verdict likely would be a prelude to a federal probe. The latter is now underway. Attorney General Eric Holder, with the tacit approval of President Obama, has launched a campaign to delegitimize and overturn the verdict on the belief that Zimmerman, a white of partial Hispanic ancestry and a Neighborhood Watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., wantonly shot a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, to death, and with racial intent. Any Justice Department action on this score would jeopardize rule of law and public safety. So it’s only fitting that this campaign got a boost this past weekend from demonstrations across the U.S. organized … Read More ➡
Reports have trickled out lately that, all of a sudden, demand is so great for the all-electric Leaf that Nissan’s production just can’t keep up.
“We’re going to be short on inventory all through the summer,” said Erik Gottfried, director of electric vehicle sales for Nissan, to Automotive News. “It will be late fall before we can produce enough to satisfy everybody.”
Then the appropriate question from taxpayers should be, “What did we pay $1.4 billion for you to do in Smyrna, Tennessee then?!?”
That’s how much stimulus-backed money went to the Japan-based automaker to design a factory outside Nashville to crank out up to 150,000 Leafs and 200,000 Leaf batteries per year. The plant began production late in 2012, and according to the Department of Energy, was to create 1,300 permanent “green” jobs, remove 11,000 gasoline-powered cars from the road annually, and lead to 51,000 … Read More ➡
President Obama’s former head of the Auto Task Force, Steven Rattner, helped orchestrate the auto bailouts that saw billions of taxpayer dollars spent to save General Motors and Chrysler in a rigged bankruptcy proceeding favorable to political allies (i.e., the UAW). Rattner is now calling for taxpayers to come to the rescue of Detroit as the city struggles to restructure through a bankruptcy process without federal handouts.
Rattner penned an op-ed piece for the NY Times that trumpeted the success of the auto bailouts and called for similar action to save Detroit. Rattner likens the Detroit situation to Hurricane Sandy, and as such, deserving of taxpayer money. Perhaps Mr. Rattner should contribute his own money to help the noble folks of Detroit rather than continue to try and redistribute the wealth of others to those he deems worthy.
There were many contributing factors to the bankrupting of Detroit, all of … Read More ➡
For nearly five years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have operated under federal conservatorship. A number of observers, including lawmakers on Capitol Hill, think that’s too long. What’s more, they want to pull the plug on the mortgage giants’ existence. On June 25, Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced a bill, the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013 (S. 1217), that would replace these companies with a new insurance-based system. Supporters champion the legislation as a way to protect the public from future bailouts and promote more home mortgage lending.
Yet the measure may invite a rerun of the 2008 credit meltdown because it doesn’t challenge the prevailing assumption of homeownership as a right. An alternative bill, at least, introduced last Thursday by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., would reduce taxpayer exposure. Created by Congress, respectively, in 1938 and 1970, Federal National Mortgage Association … Read More ➡