Some House Republicans — apparently led by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) — are attempting to emasculate the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). The House Conference reportedly voted last night 119-74 to place control of OCE under the Ethics Committee, effectively destroying it. The full House is scheduled today to vote on the larger Rules package of which Goodlatte’s amendment is part.
This is an incredibly stupid start to the new Congress, and badly undercuts President-elect Trump’s efforts to “drain the swamp.”
Media reports suggest that Speaker Paul Ryan opposed the move, but there have been reasons for skepticism about the House leadership’s commitment to OCE. It doesn’t matter what happened last night. It is now up to Ryan to save OCE. He must act with strength and decisiveness.
“Google will pay very well and the benefits will be wonderful, but any conservative who takes this job will have to sell his or her soul. Anyone with an ounce of personal integrity should not even consider it.”
“Google is not trying to hire a free-market advocate because it suddenly believes in free markets. It is a monopoly and it intends to stay that way. Google wants to buy off and defuse critics who have been emboldened by the election of Donald Trump.”
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump responding to Silicon Valley’s recent suggestions that President-elect Trump “engage” Silicon Valley’s tech elite for key government posts, while preserving many of the digital initiatives started by the Obama Administration.
Trump is holding a meeting with tech leaders next week. With the exception of billionaire Facebook board member and Trump supporter Peter Theil, it is unclear whether representatives of Facebook, Google, Twitter and other tech giants will be there.
In its letter, NLPC slams Silicon Valley’s recommendations as a sure way to undercut Trump’s commitment to “drain the swamp” of corporate lobbyists and DC powerbroker influence, while undermining his commitment to restoring American jobs and the economy.
The Daily Signalincluded this reaction to President-elect Trump’s hints yesterday that he is backing away from further legal pursuit of the Clintons:
“It was a premature decision [not to continue investigating Clinton] because we don’t know what evidence on the email server or Clinton Foundation will emerge,” said Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, told The Daily Signal.
“It shouldn’t be the call of the White House anyway, but should be left up to the new attorney general—and IRS commissioner—whether to investigate,” Flaherty continued, noting the IRS should look into the nonprofit status of the Clinton Foundation. “Prosecuting Hillary might seem like piling on from a political sense, but if she broke the law, this is a decision that should be left to law enforcement.”
Asked about the presidential election result, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi claimed:
“I had to answer a lot of questions from my daughters, from our employees. They were all in mourning. Our employees were all crying. The question that they are asking, especially those who are not white ‘Are we safe?’, women are asking ‘Are we safe?’, LGBT people are asking ‘Are we safe?’.”
Nooyi went on to “assure everybody in the U.S. that they are safe.” Of course, the only purpose to such an assurance is to allow such an inane and inflammatory statement to be made in the first place. Nooyi’s comments are inappropriate for the CEO of a major corporation. She should resign.
Isabel Vincent reports today in the New York Post that the Clinton Foundation set up a for-profit entity called the Haiti Development Fund that took in $20 million from “investors” Carlos Slim and Frank Giustra but that it is a mystery what happened to most of the money.
The Fund was supposed to provide capital to Haitian entrepreneurs in the wake of the 2010 earthquake, but the Post could only find evidence of one project that received funding.
The Fund was run by a Jean Marc Villain, who appears to be an American citizen or green card holder of Haitian descent. At the time he supposedly managed the Fund, he was in bankruptcy. He conveniently failed to report his $100,000 salary to the bankruptcy court. From the story:
“This cries out for an audit or an investigation,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National
In a 2011 memo published by Wikileaks, Clinton underling Doug Band described how he secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in free travel and gifts for Bill Clinton and his family. While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton did not disclose any gifts or free travel, as required.
The gifts were first reported by Alana Goodman in the Daily Mail:
‘In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family – for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like,’ wrote Band in the Nov. 16, 2011 memo to attorneys conducting an internal review of the Clinton Foundation.
Alana Goodman in the Daily Mailreports that Hillary Clinton headlined a 2015 fundraiser for a group called Common Good VA that brought in $1 million shortly before the political committee bankrolled a Virginia state Senate candidate who is married to the FBI agent who oversaw of the Clinton email investigation.
In addition, Common Good VA received big donations from Clinton loyalists including then-Clinton Foundation operative Doug Band who wrote a personal check of $50,000.
In the Observer, investigative reporter Ken Silverstein details how a prominent Hillary Clinton fund raiser named Freddy Balsera was partners in a company called Global Development Consultants with an Argentine named Carlos Molinari, who is a key figure in a scandal involving Cristina Kirchner, the former president of Argentina. While president, Kirchner received tens of millions in kickbacks on government contracts and moved the cash out of the country. Prosecutors believe that much of the loot ended up in Florida.
Curiously, in May 2011 Global Development Consultants and another firm formed an LLC called Stambul Ventures to manage the luxury Langford Hotel in downtown Miami. Molinari’s divorce records, which included a list of his assets, and Florida corporate records show that he had an interest in the property as well.
The Langford’s developers raised millions — 35 percent of the total costs — through
A variety of ethics groups and activists, including NLPC, came together today to ask Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to commit to a Code of Ethical Conduct for their transition teams should they win the election. The proposed Code is based on the Code adopted by the 2008 Obama transition operation with important revisions. Here is the complete text of our request:
Ethics in government is a dominant issue in your campaigns for president. Members of both parties agree it is of paramount importance that the public believe their leaders make decisions solely to advance the public interest.