Democratic National Committee Taps Crony Corporations

Obama InvescoAs Democrats struggle to raise funds to coronate President Obama as nominee in Charlotte, N.C. this September, the role of two crony corporations increases daily.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the president’s re-election organization will consider moving his acceptance speech at the Democrat National Convention to Bank of America Stadium.

Three unidentified Democrats “involved in the fundraising” told the news service the goal would be to sell more skyboxes to wealthy donors, apparently because fewer are available at Time Warner Cable Arena where the convention is presently scheduled.

“The almost 74,000-seat home of the Carolina Panthers professional football team would also have room for the convention to sell more floor passes close to the stage,” Bloomberg reported. “Planners for the event are struggling to meet a $36.6 million fundraising goal, according to the Democrats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter.”

Back in …

Daley is Poor Choice for White House Chief of Staff

William Daley photoIt looks like the “Chicago Way” will continue with William Daley taking the White House Chief of Staff position formerly held by Rahm Emanuel. Daley is a particularly poor choice because he represents the nexus of big government, big business and the left-wing activist groups they enable and bankroll.

Daley is not a “centrist,” nor is he “pro business,” except when he is getting a piece of the action. Daley has carried the title of “Midwest Chairman” of JPMorgan Chase but he is not a banker or a businessman. He is a broker of influence. That is why JPMorgan Chase hired him in the first place.

It would be tempting to say that this appointment underscores how close Obama is to bailed-out Wall Street, but I believe the reality is far worse. Daley straddles the worlds of corporate boards and bare-knuckle Chicago politics. From his new position, he will no …

Did Fraud Enable Al Franken’s ‘Efficient Campaign’?

Franken photoOver the weekend, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) was a keynote speaker at the NetRoots Nation conference in Las Vegas where he said his 2008 campaign was “the most efficient campaign I think in the history of the Senate. We won by 312 votes. We didn’t waste one bit of effort.”

That’s for sure. In December 2009, NLPC President Peter Flaherty wrote:

After a legal battle and a selective recount, Democrat Al Franken was declared the winner over incumbent Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) by 312 votes. ACORN-endorsed Franken no doubt benefitted from the 43,000 new voters that ACORN and its affiliates claimed to have registered in Minnesota before the election.  Even assuming only half of these people voted, and the level of fraud was only 2%, it is likely Franken would have lost. Of course, ACORN voter-registration fraud rates have been shown to be exponentially higher. For instance, of the

NLPC to Challenge Wal-Mart for Support of ObamaCare, Cap and Trade at Annual Meeting

Wal-Mart logoI will speak in favor of our shareholder proposal that asks for a report on Wal-Mart’s lobbying priorities at the company’s annual meeting on Friday, June 4 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It will take place in the Bud Walton Arena at the University of Arkansas from 7a.m. Central Time to about 11a.m. A live webcast of the meeting will be available on the company’s website at www.walmartstores.com/investors.

NLPC is a critic of Wal-Mart’s embrace of Left-wing political and social causes, a trend initiated by former CEO H. Lee Scott and accelerated under CEO Mike Duke.

Our statement of support for the resolution appearing in the proxy reads:

The Company’s public policy positions and related advocacy activities should be developed and prioritized based on market and fact-based analyses and not on pressure from politicians, union bosses, or anti-business activists who are hostile to Wal-Mart and its business model.

In a June 30,

Prokhorov NBA Bid Gets Scrutiny; ACORN-Funder Ratner Needs Russian Billionaire to Build Brooklyn Arena

Ratner & ProkhorovBruce Ratner is a New York real estate developer and owner of the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association. For five years, he’s been trying to move the team to a new arena in Brooklyn that he hopes to build, relying on New York’s powers of eminent domain to move hundreds of homeowners and businessmen out of their quarters.

The Brooklyn arena project, known as Atlantic Yards, is on life support. It is only being kept alive by an investment of Russia’s richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov, who is reportedly worth more than $13 billion. He is investing $200 million with Ratner for a 85% ownership interest in the Nets, and a 45% interest in the $4.9 billion arena project, which includes residential and office towers.

NBA owners are expected to soon vote on approving Prokhorov’s ownership bid, but today’s New York Post spotlights Prokhorov’s business dealings in Zimbabwe, …

Martha Coakley Got A+ From ACORN

Coakley photoA June 12, 2008 press release from Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley ballyhoos the fact that she earned an “A+” from ACORN. Ironically, this perfect grade was awarded for “responding to the foreclosure crisis.” No single non-governmental entity is more responsible for the real estate meltdown than ACORN.

Coakley’s press release goes on to detail various prosecutions of shady subprime operators but, of course, there is not a word about any investigation or prosecution of ACORN.

ACORN’s role in the residential mortgage crisis, much of it driven by subprime lending, is no mystery.  Starting in the Seventies, ACORN saw the big banks as shakedown targets.  ACORN screamed “racism.” It accused mortgage lenders of “redlining,” or denying credit to borrowers in certain areas. It picketed the homes of bank directors in leafy suburbs.

A way out was offered to the banks. They could make contributions to ACORN and/or they could “invest” …

Citigroup Refuses to Rule Out More ACORN Funding

Citigroup logoBailed-out Citigroup is not ruling out continuing its support for ACORN. Citigroup spokeswoman Andrea Hurst told Fred Lucas of CNSNews.com:

Just for the time being, we are still basically continuing to review materials as far as the internal audit or investigation is concerned. I don’t really have any comment beyond that at this stage.

Hurst is referring to the recently concluded “investigation” by ACORN ally Scott Harshbarger, a former Attorney General of Massachusetts. In response to NLPC’s request in September that Citigroup to end its support for ACORN, the bank said that it was “awaiting the results of the independent audit of ACORN activities now underway.”

As I told CNSNews.com:

The Harshbarger report is a whitewash and limited in scope. So, we are fearful that Citigroup will reinstate support based on this whitewash.

We also asked Citigroup to end the membership of one of its executives, Eric Eves, on …

Obama’s 60-Vote Health Care Majority is Result of Fraud, Manipulation, Bribery

Obama/RiedWithout sixty votes in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would not be able to invoke cloture, or cut off debate. Anything short of sixty would allow a filibuster and doom Obama’s health care plan. The present 60-vote majority is artificial, the result of undemocratic means. Consider how three of these votes came to be:

Roland Burris– Appointed by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich just prior to his removal, Democratic leaders including Harry Reid pledged that he would never be seated. Barack Obama, along with other Democratic officials in Illinois, called for a special election to fill the seat. When it became apparent that a Republican could win, Obama and the others backed off from their request. Obama, Reid and the rest of the Democratic establishment eventually acquiesced to Burris’ appointment. The media was strangely uncritical of the sleaziest political deal of the decade.

Al Franken– After a …

Citigroup’s Eric Eve Resigns From ACORN Advisory Committee

Citi logoCitigroup has advised NLPC that Senior Vice President Eric Eve has resigned for ACORN’s Advisory Committee. In a September 28 letter to Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, I asked that the bank sever its relationship with ACORN, including Eve’s membership on the Committee.

In an October 29 reply, Citigroup also stated that it has “suspended our charitable financial support and program relationship with ACORN, and we are awaiting the results of the independent audit of ACORN activities now underway.”

This is ominous, and certainly leaves open the possibility of continued Citigroup support for ACORN. The “independent audit” is no such thing. It is an investigation of ACORN by itself, under the direction of ACORN ally Scott Harshbarger.

ACORN’s own description of the “audit” when it was announced on September 22, suggested that it would be something less than comprehensive:

This independent and thorough review, commissioned by the ACORN Board,

Taxpayer-Owned Citigroup Still Bankrolling ACORN

Citigroup logoNow that taxpayers are Citigroup’s biggest shareholder, owning 36% of common stock, it is time for the company and its foundation to end its relationship with ACORN and its affiliates.

Citigroup has received $45 billion in taxpayer TARP funds. In addition, taxpayers are on the hook for the lion’s share of losses on the company’s $335 billion loan portfolio.

According to the 2008 annual tax return of the Citi Foundation, it provided the ACORN Institute, Inc. with grants of $500,000 for each of the years 2006, 2007 and 2008, for a total of $1.5 million.

According to the ACORN Institute website:

The ACORN Institute operates a countrywide network of ACORN Centers which (sic) provide free tax preparation, benefits enrollment, and foreclosure prevention services. In partnership with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)…

It continues:

Working in conjunction with major national partners such as Citigroup,