What's Hot
08/03/2010 - 12:26

Ben Chandler photoMark 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.

From the Examiner:

"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."

2,798 reads
08/02/2010 - 18:18

Waters photoThe 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.

2,004 reads
08/02/2010 - 16:00

Bill Lann LeeBill Lann Lee, a former U.S. Assistant Attorney General who served during the Clinton administration, is deeply involved with a group that donated thousands of dollars for the legal defense of convicted terrorist lawyer Lynne Stewart.

Five-and-a-half years after being convicted of providing material support for terrorism, Stewart last month was resentenced to ten years.

Lee, who was Bill Clinton's top civil rights officer from 1997-2000, is a donor to, and serves on the advisory board of, the Impact Fund. The Berkeley-based foundation directed a $5,000 grant to the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee in 2006.

3,313 reads
07/30/2010 - 13:46

AFSCME logoCasinos held a special appeal for Paula Dorsey, even as her losses mounted. Her big mistake was using union funds to cover those losses. Dorsey, formerly president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 48, agreed to plead guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on June 25 to embezzling roughly $180,000 in union funds. She admitted her actions to officials of the Milwaukee labor organization after being contacted by the union bank concerning suspicious withdrawals. In addition to payment of restitution, she faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

4,818 reads
07/29/2010 - 17:19

Rangel/NY PostThe House Ethics Committee threw the book at Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) today, alleging violations of House rules on 13 counts. Click here to download a pdf of the 40-page Statement of Alleged Violations.

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.

3,364 reads
07/29/2010 - 17:05

Kerrry boatSen. 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.

6,906 reads
07/29/2010 - 11:03

Ben ChandlerThe 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.

4,262 reads
07/28/2010 - 15:27

Sheila BairThe 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.

4,942 reads
07/26/2010 - 16:57

Franken photoOver 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.

3,533 reads
07/23/2010 - 15:00

Google logoThe 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.”

3,645 reads
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