NLPC Blasts Obama/Geithner Big Bank Bailout

According to Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC):

“The trillion-dollar stimulus plan has not even passed Congress and the administration proposes to throw another trillion at Wall Street on top of the $750 billion already provided without a tangible benefit.

Buying toxic assets was supposed to be the purpose of the first TARP. After Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner warned that our financial system would collapse if TARP were not passed, they spent the money on something else — bolstering the capital position of banks. Politically well-connected Citigroup has received $45 billion, more than the book value of the company, and it is still in trouble.

The burden is on President Obama and Timothy Geithner to explain why another Wall Street bailout will work when the first one did not. This latest plan would have the taxpayer finance the purchase of troubled assets, opening the … Read More ➡

NY Times: Rangel Says NLPC Does Media’s “Dirty Work”

In an article titled “Rangel’s Financial Disclosures Omitted Data Over 30 Years, a Report Says,” today’s New York Times reports:

In an interview on C-SPAN on Sunday and in a letter mailed to supporters released Tuesday, Mr. Rangel said the conservative-oriented National Legal Policy Center had sent an investigator to examine the finances of a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic, then passed along critical information to a reporter from The Post. The newspaper subsequently printed an article questioning whether Mr. Rangel had reported all the rental income he received from the villa on his financial disclosure forms and tax returns.

“Newspapers forwent actual, independent reporting, and instead relied on this organization to do the dirty work for them,” Mr. Rangel wrote.

Unfortuntely for Rangel, the story also details a new report from the liberal-oriented Sunlight Foundation that accuses Rangel of thirty years of financial disclosure violations:

Representative Charles

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Capitol Hill Newspaper Profiles NLPC’s Rangel Investigation

In an article titled “Conservative Watchdog Group Targeted Rangel,” NLPC’s investigation of Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is detailed in today’s edition of The Hill. The newspaper, which is widely read by members of Congress and their staffs, reports:

When the news broke that Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) may have been abusing New York City rent-control laws, Peter Flaherty and Ken Boehm smelled blood.

The two investigators are principals and founders of the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group whose research has spurred news stories taking Rangel to task for alleged ethical violations.

The center has time, money and seasoned Washington hands, who research publicly available information.

But it is not just Democrats who are the center’s targets. Some big-spending Republicans, such as former Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska) and Rep. Don Young (Alaska), also have found themselves in the center’s crosshairs.

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NLPC Uncovers $183,000 in Additional Contributions to Friends of Blagojevich from Johnston Horse Racing Interests

Today the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) publicly released an in-depth analysis of financial contributions made to Friends of Blagojevich from Balmoral and Maywood race track owner John Johnston and other Johnston-owned/affiliated interests. The new analysis reveals that previous accounts of Johnston contributions to Friends of Blagojevich greatly under-reported the actual contributions by Johnston family interests and far exceed the $160,000 in contributions that have been reported previously.

According to the latest analysis which was sent to the House Impeachment Committee last Thursday afternoon, Johnston-owned/affiliated interests contributed more than $343,000 to Governor Blagojevich’s campaign committee from 2002-2007. The new analysis uncovered several significant and large contributions from Johnston businesses or affiliates that heretofore had not been factored into official news accounts, including contributions from Coast to Coast Food Services Ltd. ($60,000), Racing Research ($15,000), the Egyptian Trotting Association ($45,000), and Associates Racing Association, Inc. ($40,000). All businesses are either … Read More ➡

Newspaper Says Big Shots on Wall Street, in Congress Still Don’t Get It

NLPC research is cited in an editorial appearing today’s edition of the Binghampton (NY) Press & Sun-Bulletin:

Bad habits are hard to break, but some people in America’s corporate and political worlds don’t even seem to be trying in the midst of the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. […]

New York’s Charles Rangel and five other Democratic members of the House enjoyed a trip to the Caribbean sponsored in part by Citigroup (see above) in November – after Congress had approved the $700 bailout for financial firms (including Citigroup).

The members no doubt will object to the terms “junket,” but that shoe fits. The National Legal and Policy Center, a watchdog group, has asked Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to investigate the Nov. 6-9 excursion to the island of St. Maarten.

It was called the Caribbean Multi-Cultural Business Conference, but

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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 ➡