In the News: Obama Insists Ex-Lobbyists Don’t Undermine Ethics Policies

NLPC chairman Ken Boehm is cited in a CNSNews.com story about the number of former lobbyists that are being hired to work in the Barack Obama White House:

The Obama administration is defending its commitment to strict ethical policies even after appointing lobbyists to key posts.
 
Mark Patterson, a former lobbyist with the financial firm Goldman Sachs, will be chief of staff for newly appointed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, according to the National Journal.
 
The news comes a week after some government watchdog groups objected to the nomination of William J. Lynn III, a former Raytheon Company lobbyist, to be deputy secretary at the Department of Defense.
 
“There is no question that the policy is right out of step when you get to make exceptions for major departments like Defense and Treasury,” Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, told CNSNews.com.
 
“It cuts

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TARP Inspector General Asked to Investigate Citigroup and Bank of America Donations to Rainbow/PUSH

Today the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) asked Neil M. Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), for a formal review of the sponsorship by Bank of America and Citigroup of the Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Conference currently taking place in New York City. The January 13-16 event is one of two of Jesse Jackson’s annual fundraisers.

According to official conference materials, Citigroup is a “Gold Sponsor,” a designation costing $50,000. Bank of America is identified as a “Silver Sponsor,” a designation costing $30,000.

Both Citigroup and Bank of America are major recipients of TARP funds. Taxpayers are now Citigroup’s largest shareholder after infusions of $45 billion. Bank of America has already received $25 billion. According to today’s Wall Street Journal, it is seeking billions more in order to make possible its acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

NLPC’s Complaint reads, in part:

“When the TARP was … Read More ➡

Obama Must Withdraw Geithner Nomination

Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today made the following statement:

President-elect Obama should withdraw Timothy Geithner’s nomination for Treasury Secretary. Obama says that middle–class families with incomes of $250,000 are wealthy and their taxes should be raised, but he wants a Wall Streeter who didn’t pay his taxes to be his point man on the economy.

The amount of unpaid taxes — $42,000 — may sound like pocket change to Geithner and his Wall Street buddies, but it is a lot of money on Main Street.

Geithner’s claim that he didn’t know he was supposed to pay taxes doesn’t pass the laugh test. It is true that American citizens who work for the IMF are responsible for the employer’s share of the payroll tax, but IMF employment includes generous pay and a host of other perks. Anyone who has ever worked there is well … Read More ➡

Obama Invited Blagojevich Appointment of Roland Burris By Backing Off Call for Special Election

Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today reacted to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris to Barack Obama’s Senate seat by saying:

It’s getting more difficult for Barack Obama to extricate himself from the political mess in Illinois. Obama and other leading Democrats should have stuck to their calls for a special election to fill his Senate seat, instead of reverting to a brokered process. It only invited this kind of shenanigans from Blagojevich.

It is hard to see how Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris has less credibility or moral standing than one brokered by other Illinois politicians. They all come out of the same corrupt culture that includes both parties.

Much of the initial media coverage of Blagojevich missed the point. I don’t believe was he was out of control or some sort of lone wolf. I believe his intercepted conversations are typical … Read More ➡

Obama Labor Nominee Hilda Solis Supports Coercive Card Check and Says Illegal Aliens are Americans

Dr. Carl Horowitz, director of the Organized Labor Accountability Project of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today reacted to Barack Obama’s nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) for Labor Secretary. He said:

This is a terrible nomination. Solis is a total flack for the union bosses. I predict an explosion of union corruption, especially with infrastructure stimulus funds flowing to unions like the Laborers and Teamsters, which still have not freed themselves from the influence of organized crime.

Solis is a co-sponsor of the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), the unions’ top legislative priority. EFCA would force private-sector employers to recognize a particular union as the sole bargaining agent if its organizers can get at least 50 percent of affected workers to sign a card indicating their desire to join, ending secret elections.

This “card check” is inherently coercive. There have been many documented instances of union … Read More ➡

Obama’s Choice of Eric Holder for Attorney General Criticized Because of Holder’s Role in Health Care Task Force Cover-Up

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a plaintiff in the successful 1993 lawsuit to open the meetings and records of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health care task force, today criticized Barack Obama for selecting Eric Holder as his Attorney General nominee.

According to NLPC President Peter Flaherty, “Holder is not ethically qualified to serve as Attorney General. His track record is not one of independence or objectivity. Instead, he has been guided by politics and self-interest.”

On December 21, 1994, federal Judge Royce Lamberth, who presided over the litigation to open the health care task force, asked Holder, who at the time was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to investigate Ira Magaziner for possible perjury and criminal contempt of court. He also suggested that Attorney General Janet Reno should appoint an independent counsel to investigate.

Reno announced on March 3, 1995 that she would not appoint an … Read More ➡

Obama Support for Auto Bailout Characterized as Payoff to United Auto Workers

UAW logoPeter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today criticized proposals to bailout GM, Chrysler and Ford, arguing that the plans are actually intended to bailout the United Auto Workers (UAW). Flaherty said:

The $700-billion Wall Street bailout was not meant to be a prize for special interest groups that were on the winning side of the election. It is a mistake to use TARP to reward high-tax, non-right to work states like Michigan. It was argued that failure of financial firms posed systemic risk; no such risk exists with the automakers.

The automaker bailout is actually a UAW bailout. The union will not allow companies to deploy capital in ways that the market would dictate such as closing plants and layoffs. That’s why UAW opposed the GM/Chrysler merger and a government role in it.

UAW wants to instead enrich health and retirement plans they control, like … Read More ➡

Special Report: How Labor Unions Embraced Antiwar Extremism

Special Report coverIn September 2006, NLPC published a Special Report titled Common Cause with America’s Enemies: How Labor Unions Embraced Antiwar Extremism. Authored by Dr. Carl Horowitz, the director of NLPC’s Organized Labor Accountability Project, the report details the close relationships between union leaders and anti-war activists. Click here or on image at right to download 28-page pdf of Special Report.

According to Horowitz, “It’s no secret that much of the opposition to our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is anti-American, and not simply antiwar.  Prominent self-styled ‘peace activists’ such as Cindy Sheehan, Leslie Cagan and Ramsey Clark rarely waste an opportunity to portray America as the number-one obstacle to world peace. What may be less known is the prominent role that many of the nation’s labor unions have had in promoting this view.”

The report analyzes the alliance between union activists and Communist-allied organizations such as Code Pink, A.N.S.W.E.R., … Read More ➡

Special Report: Why Unions Promote Mass Immigration

Special Report coverIn June 2006, NLPC released a special report titled Why Unions Promote Mass Immigration by Dr. Carl F. Horowitz, director of NLPC’s Organized Labor Accountability Project. Click here or on the image at right to download a 20-page pdf of the Special Report.

Unions, argues the NLPC report, form one part of an interest-group triumvirate that consistently acts to thwart real immigration reform. The other two elements are big business and ethnic politicians. Each has cultivated a working relationship with the other. Congress and the successive presidential administrations listen to them more than the American people.
 
Horowitz said, “Unions want to expand their ranks, and by extension their pot of dues. Immigrants, the more the better, serve this purpose. Less than 8 percent of all private-sector employees now belong to a union, down from more than 30 percent a half-century ago. In their mind, membership means more clout.”

Horowitz … Read More ➡

Court May Allow Delta to Terminate Unionists

The Jan. 18 decision by an U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit could force the Air Line Pilots Ass’n to end a no-overtime campaign by Delta Air Lines pilots.The opinion, written by U.S. Circuit Judge Gerald B. Tjoflat, affirmed that Delta’s pilots “were engaged in an unlawful no-overtime campaign,” in violation of a contract that expired in 1999 but remains in collective bargaining.” While ALPA attorneys insist the union has directed the pilots to cease their no-overtime campaign, Tjoflat’s opinion noted the judges “seriously doubt” that ALPA has done all it can to stop it. ALPA’s constitution permits the union “to discipline, fire or expel any member for a number of reasons, including ‘acting in any manner to circumvent, defeat or interfere with collective bargaining,'” the opinion states. Tjoflat’s opinion suggests that if ALPA “has lost control of its members,” Delta may return to court and seek permission … Read More ➡