Government Integrity Project

Campaign Launched to Remove Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers photoFree-market minded grassroots activist group FreedomWorks has set up an online petition that calls upon Duke Energy's board of directors to fire CEO Jim Rogers:

Due to ethical and business issues that have damaged the reputation of Duke Energy and put shareholders and ratepayers at risk, we urge you to exercise your fiduciary responsibility as board members and dismiss Jim Rogers from his position as chief operating officer (Rogers is actually CEO).

Congress Must Cut Off AARP's Taxpayer Funding

AARP report coverToday I sent this letter to House Speaker John Boehner:

Republican members of Congress have asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate the non-profit tax status of AARP in light of the group's massive lobbying operation and its significant commercial activities. We strongly support this request. In addition, Reps. Wally Herger and Dave Reichert have put out a report titled Behind the Veil: The AARP America Doesn't Know, which we welcome.

At the same time, AARP's tax status is determined by the IRS, not Congress. We ask Congress to take an action that is within its own authority - ending the federal subsidy for AARP.

NLPC Calls for SEC Probe of Education Short-Selling Scheme

Shireman photoToday, I asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the activities of short sellers, including Steven Eisman, who profited from the collapse of share prices of companies that are in the for-profit education field. Evidence continues to emerge that officials of the Education Department cooperated in the shorts' campaign. The same request was previously made by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and other ethics advocates. My letter reads, in part:

Are Ad Dollars Influencing Auto Bailout Coverage?

The Detroit News was recently involved in a controversy surrounding a negative Chrysler 200 review by auto critic, Scott Burgess. Jalopnik.com reported that after receiving a complaint by an advertiser identified as a Chrysler dealership, the Detroit News softened the criticism on an online version of the review. Mr. Burgess displayed journalistic integrity by resigning over the incident. Since that time, the Detroit News has apologized and Burgess has returned to his position. This affair may just be a small scale indicator of a much wider flaw in the quality of journalists' coverage of the auto industry, particularly regarding General Motors.

Obama Invested in Company That Got Sweet Deal From FCC

Last night, NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm appeared on Fox Business Network to describe political favoritism by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that benefited Harbinger Capital, a hedge fund headed by billionaire Phil Falcone.

UAW Threat Looms as GM Struggles

As if General Motors did not have enough challenges to contend with, the UAW is now offering up some bellicose talk regarding upcoming labor contract negotiations. I discussed this issue last night with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network.

Obama Mortgage Borrower Bailout Prevents Foreclosures, Slows Recovery

housing chartThe mortgage foreclosure crisis in this country may have been superseded by events in Japan, Libya and elsewhere for now, but in its own way it's taking a heavy toll. And it's likely to get worse, given the context of evidence that an Obama-initiated homeowner subsidy program to stem the tide isn't working and of a new federal agency poised to extract $20 billion from lenders on behalf of heavily delinquent borrowers.

Is Japan Crisis GM's Latest Excuse?

Last week, ex-car czar Steven Rattner seemed to pre-emptively blame rising gas prices for problems at bailed-out General Motors. Now AP reports that GM says that it will cut unnecessary spending in the wake of the Japan disaster. Here's a novel thought for GM executives, you shouldn't be spending taxpayer money unnecessarily in the first place! Beyond that, I get the sense that the crisis in Japan will be the next excuse for the continued underperformance of GM stock since its IPO.

Is Salazar Lowballing Gulf Drilling Applications?

Ken Salazar photoTwo weeks ago, we asked whether Interior Secretary Ken Salazar considered himself above the law by ignoring court orders to resume the permitting process for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Now we learn that Salazar may have misled Congress and the public on the number of drilling permit applications he is ignoring.

Ex-Car Czar Acknowledges GM Problems

Appearing today on CNBC, Steven Rattner, the former head of President Obama's auto task force, made some surprising observations that undermine his previously articulated optimism about the future of bailed-out General Motors. Although he cleverly tried to lump Ford in with GM, he acknowledged GM's recent reliance on incentives to sell autos:

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