IRS Expedited Tax Exemption for Obama Foundation While Stiffing Tea Party

Lois Lerner photoIn May 2011, the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate the Barack H. Obama Foundation, which was soliciting tax-deductible contributions from the public although it was not tax exempt. The Foundation is named for Obama’s father and is based in Kenya. Its founder and chairman is Abon’go Malik Obama, whose father is also the father of President Obama.

The IRS not only failed to investigate, but in June 2011 it retroactively granted the Obama Foundation tax-exempt status. Click here to see the letter from Lois Lerner (in photo), Director of the Exempt Organizations division.

It appears that the Obama Foundation was treated quite differently from Tea Party and conservative groups seeking nonprofit status. Soliciting tax-deductible contributions before applying for tax-exempt status is against the law, and should have been an impediment, if not an outright disqualification, from being granted such status.… Read More ➡

Cuomo Calls it “Scandalmania”

John Sampson and Andrew CuomoThank you, Governor Cuomo, for giving a name to the epidemic of corruption that’s coming to light in New York, much of it exposed by the National Legal and Policy Center. We don’t even have an office or staff in the state. The graft is so rampant that we spotted it from hundreds of miles away by reviewing public documents and with, of course, help from some of the few honest people on the ground.

Cuomo yesterday told Susan Arbetter, a reporter with public broadcasting station WCNY:

What I’m trying mightly to do is not allow the scandal mania – because you know how the press is with scandals and that becomes all consuming – I don’t want that to eclipse the session and I don’t want it to derail the session because we have a lot of good work to do for New Yorkers who just want their government

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Hold Off on Buying That Chevy Volt; Price to Drop $10,000 in Face of Dismal Sales

Volt and AkersonGreat news for consumers who are considering buying General Motors’ green wonder car, the Chevy Volt. I know how excited those environmentally conscientious Volt enthusiasts can get, but a little patience can pay off big time if potential buyers hold off for a year or so on their purchase. According to GM CEO Dan Akerson and following another dismal month of Volt sales (1,306 in April), the car that defies logic will soon be available for up to $10,000 less money. The good news extends to shareholders of GM as the next generation of the Volt will supposedly be profitable for the company. So, as we say prepare to say goodbye to the current generation of the obsolescent Volt, let’s take a trip down memory lane to review how past promises for the car panned out.

The Chevy Volt’s taxpayer-funded roots date back to the Bush Administration, with a concept … Read More ➡

EV Automaker Tesla Makes Profit— Off Taxpayers

NLPC Associate Fellow Paul Chesser was a guest last night on the Willis Report on Fox Business Network. Here’s a transcript:Gerri Willis: Unbelievable story. Well, meanwhile in the electric car world the Tesla company is set to announce the company’s first-ever quarterly profit this week, Wednesday. But reportedly what is driving this company into the black are California tax credits. That’s right. With more on this, Paul Chesser of the National Legal Policy Center. All right. How is it possible that this company is making money only because of tax credits? Is that your analysis, Paul?

Paul Chesser: Well, that’s what it looks like. In California they’ve got a unique economy in California where they set up these special deals for renewable energy, for electric cars, for manufacturers. And they get these credits. It is likely sort of a … Read More ➡

John Sampson Busted; He Also Got Loan From Fraudster Ed Ahmad

John SampsonNew York State Senator John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) was arrested today, charged with embezzelment, obstruction of justice and making false statements to the FBI.

Also, the New York Daily News reports today that the FBI is investigating a $188,500 “loan” to Sampson from Edul Ahmad, the Guyanese-American businessman who pled guilty to charges in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

Ahmad also made a $40,000 loan to U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) who failed to disclose it until the FBI reportedly began reviewing his finances, apparently prompted by headlines about a nonprofit called New Direction Local Development Corporation. Among other irregularities exposed by NLPC, New Direction raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never received the assistance. 

In December 2012, the House Ethics Committee announced that it could find nothing wrong with the Ahmad loan, even though the Office of Congressional Ethics, a separate entity, found:

…there is a substantial reason

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Queens Politics Paralyzed Amid Reports Ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley Wore FBI Wire

Shirley Huntley photoYesterday, the New York Times reported:

On Friday, prosecutors disclosed that Shirley L. Huntley, when she was a Democratic state senator from Queens, had secretly recorded conversations with seven elected officials and two other people after she was confronted by the F.B.I. and asked about her alleged participation in criminal schemes involving embezzlement and bribery.

NLPC exposed a sham charity Huntley founded called The Parent Workshop, to which she steered tens of thousands in taxpayer money. Our research was first reported in the New York Post of March 6, 2011, apparently triggering the criminal probe.

The nonprofit conducted no activities. Instead, the money was siphoned off by an aide and Huntley’s niece, both of who were previously charged with crimes. Huntley was defeated in a Democratic primary for her seat on September 13, 2012.

NLPC’s Huntley allegations were a byproduct of our investigation of U. S. Rep. Gregory … Read More ➡

Boeing: Cause of Dreamliner Fires ‘Almost Doesn’t Matter’

battery photo“Attention ladies and gentlemen, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will depart shortly – any potential fires caused by our lithium ion batteries will now be contained within the aircraft. Please line up at the gate for imminent boarding!”

Are you ready?

In case you missed it the Federal Aviation Administration, by publishing an Airworthiness Directive in the Federal Register last week, opened the door for the troubled “green” aircraft to return to service in the coming months. The document lays out the specifications required for Boeing to get the extremely costly project moving again, if the changes are implemented and FAA inspectors sign off.

But don’t call it a “fix,” because engineers don’t know what caused the fires in the first place. Boeing’s top engineer Michael Sinnett says the new configuration is designed to prevent a fire (the old one wasn’t??), according to the Associated Press, but even if … Read More ➡

Administration Denies Reality at Fisker Congressional Hearing

Fisker hearingAs the Department of Energy seized the last of Fisker Automotive’s reserves in lieu of an unknown amount that it was due to repay this week, what’s left of the lame electric automaker clings to the slim hope it can survive.

While CEO Tony Posawatz and his team may need an intervention, a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday revealed that DOE and committee Democrats (as well as those in the Obama administration) are hopelessly stuck in an alternate universe, where losing millions of taxpayer dollars is considered a good record. Republicans had called officials from the company – including founder Henrik Fisker, as well as administrators of DOE’s loan program – to explain the logic that went into granting $529 million to a fledgling, unproven car company that targets an ultra-rich clientele.

Democrats attempted to dismiss the hearing as a “show trial” to … Read More ➡

Fisker Failure was Easy to See Coming

Biden/FiskerWhile hindsight may always be 20/20, foresight should be pretty clear in many instances as well. The Fisker failure was one of these times. Many saw the folly in spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to support the green debacle. In fact, the Associated Press has reported that even the Obama Administration had warning of the Fisker loan risks back in April of 2010 when the Energy Department began emailing their concerns.

Congress will be holding hearings starting today to address the scandalous waste of taxpayer money on Fisker. Reuters states one of the goals of the hearing, “‘The Obama Administration owes the American taxpayer an explanation as to why this bad loan was made in the first place, and what they are going to do to minimize the loss that taxpayers face,’ said Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, chairman of the subcommittee holding Wednesday’s hearing.” Perhaps we should also … Read More ➡

Incompetence and Dysfunction Rampant at Energy Department

Chu photo“Ineptocracy” is a new Internet-popularized word in wide circulation, which came to my inbox with the following definition:

“A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.”

Clearly the word’s creation was inspired by the current presidential administration, where the ineptocrats abound. And as NLPC has documented for 4+ years, nowhere has that been more evident than in President Obama’s Department of Energy, under the management of soon-departing Secretary Steven Chu.

Most of those stories have documented the foolishness, misjudgment and cronyism surrounding the distribution of stimulus funds. But another area of mismanagement and incompetence has been revealed at DOE, and this time it has security implications.

Inspector … Read More ➡

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