NLPC is asking the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate the Barack H. Obama Foundation, which is soliciting tax-deductible contributions from the public although it is not tax exempt. The Foundation is named for Obama's father and is apparently based in Kenya. Its founder and chairman is Abon'go Malik Obama (in photo), whose father is also the father of President Obama.
The Foundation has addresses in Kenya and in Arlington, Virginia to which it asks that donations be sent. Two members of the NLPC staff went to the Arlington address on May 6. It is a commercial mail drop facility where the clerk touted the fact that the address "looked like a real office address" and the facility could arrange to forward mail to any location in the world.
James Capel, who until February was a top aide to Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), pleaded guilty yesterday in Manhattan Criminal Court to charges resulting from his failure to file a tax return for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Capel reportedly did not file a tax return from 2003 onward, but was saved from prosecution by the statute of limitations for the earlier years. Capel must pay $42,088 in back taxes and pay a $1,000 fine.
I will speak in favor of our shareholder proposal spotlighting Pfizer's deal with the White House to support ObamaCare at the company's annual meeting on Thursday, April 28 at the Renaissance Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The resolution itself asks for a report on Pfizer's lobbying priorities. Our supporting statement in the Pfizer proxy reads, in part:
Hindsight is always 20/20. It's easy to look back after a mistake and pinpoint what went wrong. But there's something to be said for heeding warning signs ahead of time too - to avoid the blunder all together. And often times, when we look back, we realize those warning signs were everywhere. We simply ignored them.
More than two decades ago voters in California were fooled when Proposition 65 - "The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986" - was passed into law. Prop 65 was advertised as a means to protect California's drinking water and exposure to chemicals in consumer products from dangerous toxic substances that cause cancer and birth defects. Sometimes all the law required were warning labels in advance of those exposures. And who would argue with that?
From General Motor's lavish presence at the New York International Auto Show taking place this week and next, you would think that the company is wildly profitable and that it has already paid back the $50 billion it got from taxpayers. Either that, or GM's much-ballyhooed cost cutting has failed, and that its bad old habits are very much alive.
NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica and I spent Wednesday walking the floor of the show at the massive Jacob Javits Convention Center on New York City's west side. It is impossible to know how much GM is spending on displaying its vehicles, technologies and related events, but it is more than any other car company. And it is certainly too much.
This week I am attending the New York International Auto Show and already there is plenty of news. The Wall Street Journal is today reporting that the government will "sell a significant share of its remaining stake in General Motors Co. this summer despite the disappointing performance of the auto maker's stock."
GM's share price yesterday dipped below $30. It was already under its IPO price was $33. For taxpayers to break even, shares would have to rise to $53, now increasingly unlikely. In fact, the stock is probably headed down. The Treasury understands this and wants to get out before the situation becomes even worse. The sales would probably take place sooner if not for the fact that the shares are locked up until May 22.
Karl Rodney, the organizer of the Caribbean junkets that were the downfall of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), has pled guilty to lying to Congress. During the Justice Department investigation, NLPC received a Grand Jury subpoena to provide photographs, audio recordings, and other materials from a November 2008 conference in St. Maarten.
I attended the event and documented the corporate sponsorship that violated House Rules, by companies like Citigroup, AT&T and Pfizer. It was this evidence on which the House Ethics Committee admonished Rangel in February 2010, prompting his resignation from the Ways and Means chairmanship.
Fans of the federal govern ment's auto bailout will push the "GM comeback" story at this week's New York International Auto Show. Good luck with that one.
Taxpayers still own about 26 percent of GM, and it looks increasingly unlikely that they'll ever get their money back: The share price would have to rise to more than $54, and it's stuck in the low thirties. Here's why:
The quality and safety concerns continue to surface at General Motors as officials investigate the likelihood that a Chevy Volt started a fire in a Connecticut home that devastated the garage where the vehicle was being charged. This story was reported by a local Eyewitness News team on Thursday and has not received widespread media coverage. This follows a GM recall of the Chevy Cruze that was necessitated after a steering wheel broke off of one of the vehicles traveling at highway speeds and endangered the family traveling in the car.
The Obama Administration continues to find ways to funnel taxpayer funds to General Motors and the UAW. A hidden bailout was recently uncovered buried within the Obamacare bill. This latest giveaway goes by the name of "Early Retiree Reinsurance Program" or ERRP for short. Washingtonexaminer.com reported last week that the program was discovered by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.