Mark Hemingway of the Washington Examiner reports that 45 members of Congress are clinging to campaign funds received from Rep. Charles Rangel’s National Leadership PAC during the 2008 election cycle. The total of outstanding funds is $303,000.
"It just shows how out of touch they are and certainly explains Congress' 11 percent approval rating," said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center. "It's a case where greed trumps common sense and everybody knows that returning the money is the ethical thing to do."
The House ethics committee announced Monday that it is charging Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) with congressional rules violations, just days after another House Democrat, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), was also hit with ethics charges by the committee.
The ethics committee has not released the details of Rep. Waters’ alleged violations, but the charges are believed to stem from the congresswoman’s suspected attempt to obtain bailout funds for a bank where her husband served as a boardmember.
Rep. Waters has denied the allegations, and said she will fight them in a public hearing.
One of the more serious violations was Rangel’s failure to disclose or pay taxes on rental income from a vacation home at the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic. Following a review of Rangel’s financial disclosures in August of 2008, NLPC dispatched an investigator to the Dominican Republic who established that Rangel’s beachfront “villa” was continuously rented out.
Sen. John F. Kerry has just passed another tax onto wealthy Republicans - by having his wife pay half-a-million dollars in back taxes on his yacht.
Kerry has been docking his $7 million, 76-foot yacht, Isabel, in Rhode Island, which has no yacht tax, since he purchased it in March. However, Massachusetts has a 6.25 percent "use" tax on any item bought elsewhere for use in Taxachusetts. State officers regularly track down those purchasing tires, alcohol, or other consumer goods in neighboring states, such as tax-free New Hampshire.
The eight members of the House Ethics Committee sit in judgment on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), but it is hard to see how at least two of them can be impartial when they have received campaign funds from Rangel’s National Leadership PAC.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY), in photo, received two contributions of $5,000 each during the 2004 election cycle, on 12/15/03 and 1/20/04. Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) received contributions of $1,000 and $2,000 during the 2004 cycle, on 6/29/04 and 7/13/04 respectively.
The deadline for ShoreBank to come up with sufficient outside capital has been extended again, with the Federal Reserve saying more than $150 million from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and $75 million in TARP money aren’t enough to save the politically-connected community lender. Crain’s Chicago Business reports it’s the third extension the Wall Street firms have granted to enable ShoreBank to get its act together, with the new deadline August 6.
Over 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 1.3 million new registrations generated by ACORN-affiliate Project Vote last year, 400,000 were thrown out.
The effort by House Republicans to investigate email practices at the White House hit a wall yesterday, when a motion to subpoena the White House deputy chief technology officer was blocked by Democrats during a House Oversight subcommittee hearing.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) demanded a recorded vote on a motion to subpoena White House technology officer Beth Noveck, after saying that the absence of a White House witness “undermines the purposes of the hearing and prevents us from doing our job of conducting oversight of this issue.”
I was interviewed by David Asman on the Fox Business Network on Wednesday, July 21. The topic is the racial mandates contained in the Dodd-Frank financial services regulatory overhaul. Here's a transcript:
After being charged with violations of House Rules by the House Ethics Committee today, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) got downright testy with MSNBC reporter Luke Russert when asked if he was going to keep his job. Rangel asked him who he was with and then disparaged the network by saying "it just shows what happened to a channel that did have some respect."