White House: ‘Saudi Arabia Has An Extensive Border With Syria’

Mideast mapYesterday, the White House provided a background briefing via conference call for reporters covering President Obama’s speech last night on the American response to the advance of ISIL. A “senior administration official,” who was not identified by name fielded the question of “which countries will join the United States in launching airstrikes in this area?”

The administration official is now probably glad he was not identified. He probably should have consulted a map before giving this answer:

ISIL has been I think a galvanizing threat around the Sunni partners in the region.  They view it as an existential threat to them. Saudi Arabia has an extensive border with Syria. The Jordanians are experiencing a destabilizing impact of over a million refugees from the Syrian conflict, and are profoundly concerned that ISIL, who has stated that their ambitions are not confined to Iraq and Syria, but rather to expand to the

Read More ➡ “White House: ‘Saudi Arabia Has An Extensive Border With Syria’”

New York Scandal Figure Malcolm Smith Defeated for Re-Election

Malsolm SmithState Senator Malcolm Smith, a former Senate Majority Leader, yesterday lost a Democratic primary for his seat in Queens. He is scheduled to face a retrial in January for attempting to bribe Republican Party officials to allow him to run for New York City mayor as a Republican in 2013.

Smith, and his finances, first came under scrutiny by federal prosecutors after NLPC exposed his involvement with a charity called New Direction Local Development Corporation.  Along with U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Smith used New Direction as a political slush fund. Among other financial irregularities, the nonprofit raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never received the money.

Smith was defeated by former New York City councilman Leroy Comrie by a wide margin. Comrie also has links to Meeks and other prominent members of the Queens political machine, which is corrupt from top to bottom. As a councilman, Comrie requested … Read More ➡ “New York Scandal Figure Malcolm Smith Defeated for Re-Election”

Space Launch Deal Puts Spotlight on Revolving Door

Correll photoWashington’s metaphorical “revolving door” keeps on spinning. A recent case involving a former Air Force procurement official is at the center of a high-stakes dispute over the launching of rockets into space, and the huge contracts that go with them.

From March 2011 to January of this year, Roger “Scott” Correll (in photo) was the official at the Pentagon responsible for procuring launch services from private companies. One of his last official acts before his “retirement” in January was to oversee a deal with a company called United Launch Alliance (ULA) for a whopping 36 future launches. ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed.

This month, Correll popped up with a new job with Aerojet Rocketdyne, which just happens to supply rocket engines to ULA. His title is Vice President for Government Acquisition and Policy, seemingly more than befitting of his role.

Granted, there are not a lot … Read More ➡ “Space Launch Deal Puts Spotlight on Revolving Door”

Modica: GM Hid Ignition Defect From Bankruptcy Judge

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica was a guest last night on The Willis Report on Fox Business Network.

Here’s a transcript:

Gerri Willis: Well, Kenneth Feinberg as you heard is in. But Mary Barra making it clear today that doesn’t mean money is going to be doled out. So should there be a compensation fund for GM victims? Many people talking about that tonight. Here to weigh in, Mark Modica, the National Legal and Policy Center, and Jack Burkman, a Republican strategist. Mark, I will start with you. So as I said they retained Ken Feinberg. As you know he has been critical, 9/11, BP, Boston marathon, doling out the dough. What does this tell you? Is this the right thing to do for GM right now? Mark, to you.

Mark Modica: Absolutely, absolutely. I think that was the direction this … Read More ➡ “Modica: GM Hid Ignition Defect From Bankruptcy Judge”

GM Asked to Pay Back $10 Billion Bailout Costs

pile of cashPeter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today posed key questions to the General Motors leadership at a National Press Club press conference, including whether the company will repay to taxpayers the $10 billion direct cost of the GM bailout.

News that the U.S. Treasury Department has sold its remaining stake and that Mary Barra will take over as GM’s new CEO have put the spotlight on the company and its future. GM executives have pointed to GM’s $26.8 billion in cash as evidence of its improved financial position. Analysts have raised the possibility that the company will buy back shares or institute a dividend.

Questions for GM:

1) Will GM compensate taxpayers for the $10 billion loss they have taken on their involuntary “investment” in the company?

2) If not, why should taxpayers take a loss now on their GM “investment” when the company allegedly … Read More ➡ “GM Asked to Pay Back $10 Billion Bailout Costs”

Meeks Crony Dorothy Ogundu Arrested For Stealing $370K; Where is IRS?

Ogundu perp walkOn the basis of information brought to light by NLPC, Nigerian-born physician Dorothy Ogundu was arrested yesterday. She is charged with multiple counts of grand larceny, forgery and falsifying business records by the New York State Attorney General.

Ogundu ran a Queens, New York health clinic for which Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) secured $380,500 in federal funds. She is a prominent Meeks supporter, and until yesterday, a fixture of the Queens political scene.

After reviewing Meeks’ earmarks in 2011, NLPC decided to take a closer look at Angeldocs, Inc., which operates the Aki Life Health Center. The New York Post published a major exposé of the Center in April 2012, based on information provided on an exclusive basis by NLPC. Subsequently, NLPC filed a Complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against Angeldocs, alleging self-dealing and inurement by Ogundu. 

A visit to the clinic by Post reporters found it “dusty, … Read More ➡ “Meeks Crony Dorothy Ogundu Arrested For Stealing $370K; Where is IRS?”

Corruption Surrounds World Bank Loan for Argentina

American Argentine moneyThe United States is broke. The federal government has to borrow 40% of each dollar it spends. We send billions to lending institutions, most of all, the World Bank, to which the American taxpayer is the biggest contributor. Yet this debt load may be on the verge of increasing. The government of Argentina currently is demanding a $3 billion loan from the World Bank. Argentina makes for an unreliable debtor. Burdened by decades of corruption, nationalization and devaluation, Argentina has a long history of refusing to pay its debts.

How bad a credit risk is Argentina? It’s bad enough to have defaulted on $81 billion in bonds back in 2001, touching off worldwide legal battles that rage on to this day. In the U.S. courts, literally a hundred judgments have been entered against this deadbeat nation, ordering it to pay its debts. Yet Argentine officials have ignored these judgments. And they have done so by expressing contempt for our legal … Read More ➡ “Corruption Surrounds World Bank Loan for Argentina”

SPECIAL REPORT: The Carnahan Wind Deal: Crony Capitalism in Missouri

In this 23-page report, NLPC Associate Fellow Fred N. Sauer looks at Wind Capital Group (WCG), a St. Louis-based company that has been the recipient of Obama administration stimulus funding, as well as other significant tax credits and subsidies.

WCG was founded in 2005 by Tom Carnahan, son of the late Missouri Democratic Governor Mel Carnahan and his widow, former Missouri Senator Jean Carnahan. He also is the brother of former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and former Congressman Russ Carnahan.

The firm’s core activity is building and operating wind farms in the Midwest, with a focus on the northwest part of Missouri. But to really understand how the firm operates is to know who has become wealthy as a result. WCG is now almost wholly owned by an Irish company, NTR plc. The Carnahan family’s expertise is politics, not business. And Wind Capital Group, though touted as an … Read More ➡ “SPECIAL REPORT: The Carnahan Wind Deal: Crony Capitalism in Missouri”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker Linked to Pay-to-Play Scheme

Cory BookerThe New York Post reports today:

A Newark nonprofit tied to associates of Cory Booker acted as a clearinghouse for lucrative construction contracts in exchange for donations to his charity and mayoral campaign, The Post has learned.

The Newark Downtown Core Redevelopment Corp., founded in 2005 to buy land for the Prudential Center and develop the surrounding area, has not completed its mission and had doled out multimillion-dollar contracts to companies that made donations to Booker’s pet causes.

Among those firms was the largest demolition company in New Jersey, which raked in $4.7 million from the nonprofit in 2007 and 2008.

The Post quotes NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm:

“The Newark Downtown Core Redevelopment Corp. was supposed to be a nonprofit that would help eliminate downtown blight, according to Mayor Cory Booker,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of ethics watchdog group National Legal and Policy Center. “Instead, the group was plagued with

Read More ➡ “Newark Mayor Cory Booker Linked to Pay-to-Play Scheme”

IRS Scandal: America Needs the Truth

Boehm headshotNLPC Chairman Ken Boehm was interviewed for CNN’s “The Truth about the IRS Scandal” airing this week on “Erin Burnett OutFront,” at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET. He has this op-ed posted today on the CNN website today:

America can handle the truth. Even if that truth could include a coverup at the powerful IRS.

The IRS mission statement pledges to “enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.” But public scrutiny has revealed details indicating a level of politicization totally at odds with that.

Look at the two eye-opening developments that have happened at the IRS since May: An acting IRS commissioner resigned, and another powerful IRS official refused to answer questions before Congress, pleading the Fifth Amendment.

Whatever is going on, there is only one way to proceed, and that is a professional and thorough investigation.

Click here to read entire op-ed.

Related:

IRS Stalled Read More ➡ “IRS Scandal: America Needs the Truth”