Today at National Review Online, Jillian Kay Melchior revisits two mysterious fires at Al Sharpton’s offices, in 1997 and 2003. In both, important documents were allegedly destroyed. Melchior deserves credit for going back so far, reexamining fire department reports, and actually finding people close to the incidents.
Her very detailed story describes two Complaints filed by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) with the Federal Election Commission that reference the fires, and Sharpton’s general disdain for filings and disclosures required of nonprofit organizations and political campaigns. From the article:
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed two complaints with the FEC, helping trigger an investigation into Sharpton’s presidential campaign. The FEC later found that both National Action Network and other entities had illegally paid for travel expenses incurred by Sharpton’s campaign, in part because “Sharpton 2004 kept poor records of its activities and expenditures.”
State taxpayers were stiffed out of at least $87,000 when Rep. Charles Rangel stopped paying for the district office he rents in Harlem’s Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, records obtained by The Post show.
His staffers’ excuse? They lost the lease, according to state Office of General Services correspondence.
“I finally heard back from Congressman Rangel’s office and it seems we haven’t gotten the signed lease back because they lost it!” OGS real-estate specialist Sydney Allen wrote in a July 30, 2013, e-mail to a colleague that was obtained by The Post.
Rangel paid $7,253 in monthly rent on the 125th Street office he has rented since 2000, expense reports from 2012 show. But the payments stopped for all of 2013.
And the reaction of the New York state government, which is …
The Complaint was based on articles in 2008 by David New York Times reporter David Kocieniewski that detailed how Rangel lived in three adjoining rent-stabilized apartments and used a fourth as a campaign office. This coverage prompted a more far-reaching examination of Rangel’s finances that led NLPC to discover that Rangel failed …
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.
In the Tribune, Meeks omitted mention of his friend Edul Ahmad, from whom he secured an unsecured and unreported $40,000 personal loan, now the subject of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. In July, Ahmad was taken off a Guyana-bound airliner in handcuffs by the FBI and charged in a $50-million mortgage fraud scheme.
On 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.
The Complaint also alleges that Meeks appears to have disguised a personal gambling junket to Las Vegas as a leadership PAC fundraiser. In December 2010, Build America PAC paid expenses for an event at the ARIA Resort and Casino, but disclosed no contributions from the event.
The Complaint also asks the FEC to investigate a voided $5,000 check from Build America PAC to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The check was voided on …
Appearing on New York City’s Channel 5 this morning, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) was asked about allegations that he improperly used funds from his so-called National Leadership PAC for his legal defense in his House ethics case. Rangel responded by calling the allegations “ridiculous” and attacking NLPC.
Brian Tumulty of Gannett reports that former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) put his wife on his campaign payroll after he resigned from Congress and after he ceased to be a candidate for re-election. According to Massa’s quarterly report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Beverly Massa received $34,214 for April through June for serving as campaign treasurer, even though she was not paid for previously serving in the position.
Tumulty also reports that Massa paid for airfare, hotels, and meals at restaurants like Morton’s out of the campaign fund. Massa’s continued looting of leftover campaign funds is baffling given the scrutiny he is already under. As Tumulty reports:
The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, filed a complaint in April because Massa’s campaign committee paid $31,896 to GMAC for a leased vehicle two days before Massa announced he would not seek re-election.
The National Legal and Policy Center filed a formal Complaint with the Federal Election Commission today against former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY), and his campaign fund, that alleges violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Click here to download a 7-page pdf of the Complaint.
On April 16, Jake Sherman of Politicoreported that Massa’s campaign fund paid $31, 896 to GMAC just two days before Massa resigned from Congress. FECA prohibits the conversion of campaign funds to personal use.
On April 17, Carol Leonnig of the Washington Postreported that the Massa campaign made a $40,000 payment to Massa’s congressional office chief of staff, Joe Racalto. The expenditure was listed as a “Campaign management fee.” Racalto had previously on March 23 filed a sexual harassment complaint against Massa.
The Complaint points out that Racalto claims the $40,000 payment was to cover 15 months of work for the campaign, …