NLPC Chairman Emeritus Ken Boehm passed away early Friday morning after an eight-year battle with cancer. Funeral arrangements appear at the end of this post.
Ken co-founded the National Legal and Policy Center in 1991 with Peter Flaherty. From 1994 to until March of this year, he served as full-time Chairman. A 2013 front-page Sunday New York Times profile of NLPC described Ken as:
“…a master of poring over court records and other public filings to find questionable links between politicians and their patrons. “
Ken’s ability to “connect the dots” of political corruption was on display in 2004 when he singlehandedly exposed the Boeing Tanker Deal Scandal.
Ken went online and found that an Air Force official named Darleen Druyun sold her home to a Boeing lawyer with whom she was negotiating a multibillion dollar contract. He also found that Boeing hired Druyun’s daughter at the same time … Read More ➡
During his two days on Capitol Hill, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly denied that the company censors information and opinion with which it disagrees, despite extensive evidence to the contrary.
Facebook censorship is real. The National Legal and Policy Center has regularly had our Facebook postings suppressed when they pertain to Black Lives Matter, which we have regularly criticized.
It just so happens that Zuckerberg has a different view of Black Lives Matter. Zuckerberg purports to value free expression, famously allowing the “signature wall” at Facebook headquarters. But when in 2016 “Black Lives Matter” graffiti was met with “All Lives Matter,” Zuckerberg just could not have it. He issued a memo calling such sentiments “unacceptable” and “malicious” and assured everyone that the company was “investigating the current incidents.”
Media consistently pour the love on the progressive moralizers at Apple (except for occasional slams about Chinese labor conditions), and nowhere are they more willing to amplify phony claims about the company’s “goodwill” achievements than when it comes to the environment.
All corporate mouthpieces need to do in Cupertino is post some propaganda on their press release page about “renewables” and the tech bloggers and business media drool. Lazy-minded (and just plain lazy) liberal journalists eagerly adopt, repurpose and regurgitate even the most outrageous and debunk-able of claims, and dis-serve their reading public by delivering the misinformation.
Witness Monday’s announcement that “Apple (is) now globally powered by 100 percent renewable energy.” Here’s how some of the uncritical beat writers (representative of most of those who wrote about it) disseminated the release:
There’s a rich irony to last Monday’s announcement by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., that she would not seek reelection in the face of revelations that she had averted her eyes from clear evidence of sexual harassment occurring in her own office. For during these past several months, Rep. Esty has been an outspoken supporter of #MeToo, an ad hoc movement that went viral last October in the wake of growing accusations – or revelations, if one will – of harassment against women. While “serves her right” might not be the right response to Esty’s pending departure, it would be difficult to deny she embodies a certain hypocrisy underlying much of political feminism.
The phrase “me too” is a classic expression of group conformity. It’s also the hottest hashtag in America, a war cry of women speaking out against a putative conspiracy of silence on the subject of male-on-female sexual harassment. … Read More ➡
Today we asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate Ana Matosantos, a member of the Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board, and to seek her removal. We cited apparent violations of federal conflict of interest statutes by Matosantos. According to information that we unearthed, Matosantos’ family business and other private companies with which she has a financial relationship stand to directly benefit from actions of the board.
The unelected board was established in 2016 to oversee the response Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, and was granted powers by Congress akin to a bankruptcy court. As we have helped to expose in the past, political corruption is endemic in Puerto Rico. Apparently, the Commonwealth can’t even go broke without someone trying to take advantage of the situation. Here is the full text of our letter to the Attorney General:
Dear General Sessions:
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) respectfully … Read More ➡
As if President Donald Trump isn’t facing enough challenges to his administration’s legitimacy, now he’s got another one. On March 28, U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte granted standing to a lawsuit by the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland alleging that the president, by continuing to profit from his Washington, D.C. hotel, is violating the constitutional ban on federal officials receiving gifts from domestic and foreign entities. According to Judge Messitte, his actions are causing “economic harm.” Yet evidence suggests that neither economics nor constitutional principle has much to do with this case.
Public officials in this country from the start have faced the pressure of being “bought and paid for.” Our Framers, recognizing the ever-present temptations of corruption, created safeguards to bar office holders from receiving presents, or “emoluments,” from outside parties. Article I, Section 6, Clause 2 of the Constitution, for example, bars sitting members … Read More ➡
When it comes to ethically compromised congressmen, Chicago seems to produce a bumper crop. Last Thursday, March 22, the House Ethics Committee released separate reports admonishing Reps. Bobby Rush and Luis Gutierrez, both Democrats from Chicago districts, for violating House rules concerning outside financial activities of members. The committee ordered Rush (in photo, on left) and Gutierrez (in photo, on right) to pay respective sums of $13,310 and $9,700 to the U.S. Treasury. The investigations were triggered by a probe by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. Given the facts, the sanctions appear to be slaps on the wrist. The case of Gutierrez, who is retiring after the current term, is especially disturbing in the context of other conflicts of interest.
Bobby Rush, now in his 13th term, represents the 1st District of Illinois, which covers a large portion of Chicago’s South Side. To many, he is best-known … Read More ➡
Apple CEO Tim Cook has received accolades for free speech advocacy by respected institutions such as the Newseum, but the company is being called on the carpet for consigning its data storage services – especially crucial encrypted access keys – to a bunch of communists.
Amnesty International announced Thursday it would initiate a social media campaign against Apple, because the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant caved to the Chinese government and agreed to allow its customers’ data to be housed on servers there.
The effort coincides with a visit by Cook to the China Development Forum, where he is co-chairing an event sponsored by the government in which business leaders meet with public officials in an effort to improve relations.
It also follows only a month after Reuters reported that Apple agreed to store encrypted keys used to access customers’ (or, users’) data storage accounts (such as iCloud).
If ever a federal agency was ripe for termination, the Bureau of Indian Affairs should qualify for consideration. The bureau has a justly-earned reputation as a patronage machine for tribal leaders and their cronies. The Trump administration has been emphasizing its intent to reform the agency. Tribal sovereignty, the product of several 19th-century treaties, is a fact of life. But there are ways of “draining the swamp” that would not require abrogating any treaties.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), created in 1824 and housed under the Department of the Interior since 1849, has much to manage with its current $2.5 billion annual budget. There are 567 federally-recognized Indian and Alaska Native tribes representing about two million persons. Many live on reservations comprising 55.7 million acres. Each tribe elects its own sovereign government to oversee such activities as courts, schools, job training, health care, infrastructure and gambling casinos.
Union corruption long has contributed to cost overruns on urban real estate projects, especially in New York City where developers tend to think big. But area labor leaders now are getting some well-deserved comeuppance. On Monday, March 5, Related Companies, the general contractor of the Hudson Yards mega-development on Manhattan’s West Side, sued the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and its president, Gary LaBarbera, in State Supreme Court for actions that allegedly inflated costs by over $100 million. The defendants, reads the suit, were “condoning, if not actively participating in, various corrupt practices.” Allegations include tortious interference, time sheet fraud and wage fraud, the latter offense highlighted by a scam in which two union members received a wage of over $40 an hour for fetching coffee. Nice work if you can get it.
The Hudson Yards, a mixed-use complex under construction made possible through the … Read More ➡