The Hill: Ethics Panel Probes Allegation Involving Rangel

Isenberg photoFrom The Hill today:

The House ethics committee is investigating an alleged quid pro quo between Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and an oil company executive, the subject of a lengthy New York Times article published in December.

Eugene Isenberg, the oil executive accused of trying to influence Rangel through a $1 million donation to the education center bearing Rangel’s name, is cooperating with an ethics committee investigation into the matter and predicts that the panel will find no wrongdoing.

The story by Susan Crabtree continues:

The assertion was caught on tape during a conversation with Peter Flaherty of the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog that has investigated several ethics stories about Rangel. Flaherty approached Isenberg at the company’s annual meeting in Houston last week, taped the conversation and provided The Hill a transcript and audio recording.

As detailed in a previous entry, I actually questioned … Read More ➡

Weekly Standard Updates State of Corporate ‘Diversity’ Obsession

Business diversityIt is hardly front-page news that for the last couple decades America’s corporations have promoted racial, ethnic and sexual proportional representation, now rechristened “diversity,” with brisk efficiency. From orientation training onward, an individual employee in many companies can expect to be barraged with the message: Diversity must be lived. A lengthy feature story in the May 25 Weekly Standard, “Where Everybody Is Disadvantaged,” reveals, often to comic effect, how oppressively ingrained this mindset has become. Intrepid reporter Matt Labash provides a first-hand account of this corporate mischief, effectively amplifying observations contained in a 2007 NLPC Special Report prepared by the author of this blog. 

Whether out of principle or out of fear of boycotts, lawsuits and other unwanted publicity, corporate officials these days are pulling out the stops to Celebrate Diversity. Labash, a guest at the Ninth Annual National Multicultural Business Conference at the Disney Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida, … Read More ➡

Nabors Chairman Gets Testy With Flaherty About Rangel Center Donation; Calls NY Times ‘Full of Malarkey’

Eugene Isenberg photoEugene Isenberg, Chairman and CEO of Nabors Industries, is smiling in the photo at right but he wasn’t happy when I questioned him at the company’s annual meeting in Houston on Tuesday, June 2.

Isenberg’s controversial $1 million pledge to the so-called Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York came at a time when Rangel helped preserve a loophole that allowed Nabors to save tens of millions in taxes after moving to the Bahamas. These facts were first reported in the New York Times in an article by David Kocieniewski in late 2008.

Under my questioning, Isenberg again denied any quid pro quo. He also denied that there was any “understanding” or a “wink and a nod.” He would not even concede an appearance problem.

Click here to download a 7-page pdf transcript of our exchange.

Isenberg was clearly annoyed … Read More ➡

House Ethics Committee Asks NLPC For Info on Rangel-Led, Citigroup-Funded Caribbean Junket

Carib junket photoOn May 22, the House Ethics Committee asked NLPC if to provide photographs, audio recordings and other materials related to a trip to the sunny Caribbean island of St. Maarten in November 2008 by the following five House members: Charles Rangel (D-NY), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Donna Christensen (D-VI).

I was present in St. Maarten, where I documented violations of House Rules that prohibit corporate sponsorship of travel and hospitality.

When I inquired whether this matter was under investigation, I was told that House Rules prevented the Committee from confirming an investigation. We provided the material on May 29 along with a formal request for an investigation.

Click here to download a 4-page pdf of the Complaint, without exhibits.

The sponsor of the trip was the Carib News Foundation, but it was funded by “lead sponsor” Citigroup, a major … Read More ➡

GM is Now ‘Appendage of Obama’s Political Machine’

GM logoBarack Obama argued that if GM collapsed, jobs would be lost and shipped overseas, dealers would close, and the taxpayer would be saddled with all kinds of costs. Well, Obama is “saving” GM and all those things are happening anyway.

This is not a bankruptcy; it’s the moral equivalent of a bank robbery. The White House didn’t “broker” a deal, but it BROKE the things that make our economic system work: rule of law, respect for contracts, and bankruptcy supervised by the judiciary, as specified in the Constitution.

The discussion today misses the point. It’s should not be about the economy but about what this raw exercise of power means for the future of democracy.

GM and Chrysler are being turned into appendages of Obama’s political machine. Nothing would be more harmful to the automakers than this cap-and-trade scheme being considered in Congress, but the companies are up there lobbying Read More ➡

Corporate America Sells Out Public By Jumping On Cap-and-Trade Bandwagon

WaxmanCommunist Godfather Vladimir Lenin is alleged to have famously said, “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

No where is that observation more relevant than in the sorry spectacle taking place in Congress as corporations, in exchange for short-term government handouts, fall over themselves to endorse a carbon dioxide regulation bill that will impose a crushing energy tax on the American people. 

Sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman, (D-CA), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), the “cap-and-trade” legislation, called the American Clean Energy and Security Act, would put a cost on carbon dioxide by imposing a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. On May 22, the committee approved the legislation which will be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and other committees for consideration. The bill would establish a market in which regulated industries, such … Read More ➡

New NLPC Special Report Exposes the Real Al Sharpton

Sharpton report coverNLPC today released a special report titled Mainstreaming Demagoguery: Al Sharpton’s Rise to Respectability. It is a thorough examination of the character, career and impact of the controversial Reverend by Dr. Carl Horowitz of the NLPC staff.

Click here or on the cover to the right to download a 50-page pdf version.

Sharpton has been the subject of extensive media coverage and criticism in the past. But nothing so far has delved into Sharpton’s beliefs and tactics the way this report does. In particular, the report seeks to set the record straight, with details of Sharpton’s history, which includes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence.

The report also analyzes why, despite this well-documented background, Sharpton is treated as a respectable figure, with presidential candidates seeking his endorsement, George W. Bush welcoming him to the White House, and most recently, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg calling him a Read More ➡

SPECIAL REPORT: The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility: The Religious Left vs. Health Care Markets

ICCR Report coverIn this report published in August 2008, Dr. Carl Horowitz analyzes ICCR’s increasingly effective tactics, and the lack of will by shortsighted executives who submit to the demands of anti-business activists. Click here or on the cover to the right to download a 32-page pdf.

ICCR is a nonprofit coalition with a claimed membership of about 275 institutional investors, most of them of a religious nature, with a combined stock portfolio of more than $110 billion. The group operates on the belief that the best way to revolutionize a publicly-traded company is to become part of it. Investor affiliates introduce proxy resolutions at shareholder meetings, as part of campaigns to alter corporate behavior on a variety of issues, especially health care.

During the 2007 spring corporate meeting season, ICCR circulated a memo urging investors to vote against an NLPC-sponsored shareholder proposal asking companies to disclose their charitable giving. Ironically, ICCR … Read More ➡

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