Culture of Corruption

Blago Gets 14 Years; Ethics Committee Must Now Act on Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Jesse Jackson, Jr. photoYesterday, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison for, among other things, attempting to "sell" the US Senate seat that was once held by President Barack Obama. Blagojevich's punishment comes on the heels of the U.S. House Ethics Committee's decision to continue its investigation into Congressman Jesse Jackson's role in the same scheme.

Rep. Gregory Meeks Assailed by NY Post as Meeks Attacks NLPC

Meeks photoThe New York Post today published an editorial titled "Greg Meeks - Again" regarding the allegations in our Complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on October 28.

Meeks apparently had not yet received a copy of the Complaint at the time he wrote a column published last week in the Queens (New York) Tribune. In the column, Meeks characterized us as "right wing" and (again) blamed us for his ethics problems. I can't wait to see his reaction to our new Complaint.

Watchdog Files FEC Complaint Against Rep. Meeks for Stanford Fundraiser

Meeks photoOn October 28, NLPC filed a formal Complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), his campaign, and his "leadership" political action committee called Build America PAC.

The Complaint alleges that Stanford Financial Group made illegal, in-kind contributions to Meeks' campaign for a 2008 fundraiser in the Virgin Islands. The event was hosted by R. Allen Stanford, who is currently in prison awaiting trial for charges related to his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Rep. Richardson to Face Full Ethics Probe?

Laura Richardson photoThe House Ethics Committee may soon conduct a complete investigation of Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D-CA). She has been under investigation for some time now for allegations that her staff undertook political activities while working on government time.

As reported this week by John Bresnahan in Politico, Ethics Committee staff members have been looking into potential Richardson violations since last year. At isssue is whether some of Richardson senior staff pressured subordinates to work on her reelection campaign matters during official time. This is against House rules and federal law.

FBI Files Detail Murtha Corruption

Murtha photoAccusations of corruption directed against the late Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) look like they were true. Recently released files seem to confirm that the Federal Bureau of Investigation suspected that Murtha schemed to route federal dollars to bogus companies and other operations that would benefit his friends and former employees and ultimately his own campaigns.

Case of Jesse Jackson, Jr. is Test for House Ethics Commitee

Jesse Jackson Jr. photoLast week, the United States House of Representatives Ethics Committee voted to end its temporary deferral of a case against Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL). The US Justice Department had requested the deferral but has since withdrawn that request. The case had been deferred for over two years.

Jackson, the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson, is in his ninth term in the US House and is under investigation for allegations that he attempted to buy the open US Senate seat that was vacated by President Barack Obama. It has been reported that Jackson's supporters were willing to raise $1.5 million on behalf of Governor Blagojevich's re-election campaign.

Watchdog Rejects Pelosi Explanation of Late Disclosure

Paul and Nancy Pelsosii photoPaul Pelosi, husband of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, will reportedly make millions of dollars from a previously undisclosed real estate venture in Mrs. Pelosi's home state of California. Mr. Pelosi is a real estate developer and an investment banker and entered into this project with the father of the current Ambassador to Hungary, as reported by The Washington Times earlier this week. Mrs. Pelosi helped the ambassador secure her the post.

Rep. Carson Stands By Tea Party/Lynching Remarks

Carson photoRep. Andre Carson (D-IN), the second Muslim to serve in Congress, has created an enormous controversy by following Rep. Maxine Waters' (D-CA) lead and lashing out at the Tea Party and its supporters in Congress.

Carson told a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and some of its supporters last week in Miami that, "some of them in Congress right now, of this Tea Party, would love to see you and me...hanging on a tree." He also stated that some members of Congress would like to see blacks as second-class citizens.

Meeks' Crony Ahmad Indicted in $50 Million Fraud

Meeks photoOn Friday, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn, New York indicted Edul Ahmad, a Guyanese businessman who was last month arrested in a $50 million mortgage-fraud scheme. Ahmad made an unsecured personal loan to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) that was repaid only after Meeks' finances came under scrutiny by the FBI.

In January 2010, we exposed Meeks involvement in a charity called New Direction Local Development Corporation that raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never received it, among other questionable dealings. In March, we asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate Meeks for paying $830,000 for a newly built home in 2006 that was worth more than $1.2 million. Media coverage of these events apparently triggered the FBI inquiry.

Ethics Committee to Probe Fraudster's Loan to Meeks

Meeks photoOn August 5, the House Ethics Committee announced that it has accepted a recommendation by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to "further review an allegation that Representative (Gregory) Meeks failed to disclose a payment he received in 2007 in a timely manner."

The payment was an unsecured $40,000 "loan" from Edul Ahmad, a Guyanese businessman who was last month arrested in a massive mortgage-fraud scheme. On July 22, the FBI reportedly removed Ahmad in handcuffs from a Guyana-bound aircraft on the tarmac at JFK International Airport.

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