The New York Times reports in a front-page story today that Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) successfully pressed Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, to grant a visa to an Ecuadoran woman whose family made significant donations to his campaign and other Democratic campaign groups, including the Obama Victory Fund.
The woman, Estefania Isaias, is the daughter of Roberto Isaias, a wealthy Ecuadoran who is wanted along with his brother, William Isaias, for allegedly looting a bank in their home country. Estefania was barred from entering the United State because she previously had illegally brought her maids into this country.
In January, a New York TV station first reported that the criminal investigation of Menendez had been widened to include his relationship with the brothers, who are seeking to stay in the United States in the face of extradition requests by Ecuador.
According to Times reporter … Read More ➡
Today, we requested that the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform undertake an “independent” investigation of the General Motors ignition switch recall delay, in light of newly obtained emails by lawyers suing GM.
Those emails suggest that the Treasury may have timed its final sale of GM shares to precede public knowledge of the ignition switch fiasco. They also cast doubt on GM CEO Mary Barra’s previous account of what she knew and when she knew it.
Here is the text of a letter I sent today to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), in photo, the incoming Chairman of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee:
At a February 2010 Oversight Committee hearing on the risk from Toyota gas pedals, you asked a remarkably prescient question: “Does the government treat Toyota the same as it does all other automakers?”
Then-Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was unable to explain why the … Read More ➡
Loretta Lynch, who has been nominated by President Obama to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General, took part in a 2007 panel discussion at Duke Law School prompted by the Duke lacrosse rape case. Lynch’s comments provide insight into her mindset and raise unsettling questions about her commitment to equal justice and the rights of the accused.
The event took place on September 28, 2007. The wounds were still raw for members of the Duke lacrosse team, their families, and in a sense, the entire nation. That same month, Michael Nifong, the former District Attorney who had knowingly pursued false rape and hate crime accusations against three teammates, had been found guilty of criminal contempt of court.
The title of the session, moderated by Duke Law Professor Thomas Metzloff, was “The Practice & Ethics of Trying Cases in the Media.” On the panel with Lynch, who was identified as Loretta … Read More ➡
Documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) from the Department of Justice provide “hard evidence” that former Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) should have been prosecuted after NLPC exposed his questionable financial dealings, and triggered a Justice Department investigation.
CREW executive director Melanie Sloan told Politico yesterday, “It was clear the Justice Department should have indicted Mollohan.”
Mollohan was defeated for re-election in 2010 in a Democratic primary. His ethics woes were a key issue in the campaign.
Although we have not yet had the opportunity to study the underlying documents, CREW has released a very concise summary of their own review. The CREW summary confirms the key accusations made by NLPC against Mollohan. It is also a serious indictment of the Justice Department for failing to prosecute Mollohan.
The investigation began in February 2006 after NLPC filed a 500-page Complaint with the U.S. Attorney for the … Read More ➡
General Motors announced today that CEO Mary Barra will not attend a ceremony on November 17 at which she was scheduled to receive an award from the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM).
On Monday, we asked the museum to rescind the planned award to Barra in light of questions about her “credibility and veracity” in the wake of Sunday’s report that GM ordered 500,000 ignition switches from a supplier almost two months before it reported the safety defect to the government.
Earlier today, our request was seconded by the GM Survivors group. On behalf of 260 family and friends of GM recall delay victims, Laura Christian of Maryland wrote, “While we recognize that Mrs. Barra is the first woman to be named CEO of an American auto company, her first year in this position is only credited with one record so far – a record number of vehicle safety recalls … Read More ➡
Today I sent the following letter to Dr. Gretchen Green, the Acting Chair of the National Women’s History Museum:
We ask the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) to withdraw its planned award to General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
As you know, Barra is scheduled to receive the Katharine Graham Living Legacy Award on November 17 as part of your annual de Pizan Honors at The Mead Center for American Theater at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.
Barra has indeed made history – of the wrong kind.
Just three months ago, she sat in front of Congressional Committees and desperately tried to avoid answering questions about the negligence and cover up regarding an ignition switch defect. As Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said, “It goes beyond unacceptable. I believe this is criminal.” Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said, “Even under the ‘New GM’ banner, the company waited nine months to take action after … Read More ➡
America is on the verge of energy independence. We now pump as much oil as Saudi Arabia. Investments in new technologies are paying off, buoying our economy with new jobs and lower energy prices. What’s not to like?
Well plenty, if you are an activist who takes your lead from an organization called 350.org that wants to end the use of oil, gas and coal. The “350” comes from the group’s goal of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere from its present level of 400 parts per million to 350. Its unclear what good such a reduction would do. CO2 is naturally occurring and is always present in the atmosphere. It’s what we exhale.
When you are promoting a cause, however, it’s good to have a numerical goal no matter how arbitrary or unachievable. In fact, the more unachievable it is, the better in order to … Read More ➡
Today’s New York Post reports that Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), already under indictment, sought out and allegedly accepted campaign contributions in his initial 2010 race for Congress that exceeded contribution limits.
He asked for $10,000 donations from six people, when the legal limit for individual contributions is $2,400. The contributions were not disclosed on Grimm’s campaign disclosure forms, evidence that Grimm may have been aware that they were illegal.
From the article by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein:
“A candidate who tries to get others to solicit contributions far in excess of the legal limit raises big red flags,” said Ken Boehm, a former prosecutor and chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a Virginia watchdog. Not reporting donations, or funneling them through straw donors, is illegal.
Despite being a Republican, Grimm is close to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) of Queens, in photo with Grimm. According to a … Read More ➡
National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell should resign or be fired. Goodell either saw, or should have seen, the elevator video of Baltimore Raven running back Ray Rice clocking his fiancé.
Goodell’s should be KO’ed by this episode. It would be an appropriate irony. Domestic violence is a serious issue. Goodell has jumped on a number of causes where there is far less consensus either within the NFL or society at large. He has obligated the NFL to politically correct stances on issues that seem to reflect his personal political beliefs.
If the NFL is truly “America’s Game,” it should not involve itself in divisive social issues. Everyone should feel welcome to attend a game or watch on TV. But Goodell has decided that the NFL is going to be a vehicle to advance gay rights, notwithstanding the hoards of kids who watch football. The advertising on NFL is already … Read More ➡
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife were found guilty yesterday of charges related to their acceptance of gifts from a businessman named Jonnie Williams, Sr. They are most likely going to prison where meals, soap and everything else will be free. Unfortunately, Virginia taxpayers will be paying the price for their misrule long after they are released.
McDonnell’s transportation plan, signed in 2013, puts a huge tax burden on ordinary citizens and helped corrupt Virginia politics. It obligates taxpayers to funding projects like the recently opened Metro Silver Line, which will never come close to breaking even. Made possible by the issuance of bonds (debt), these capital-intensive projects cannot simply repealed by the Legislature and another Governor. We are stuck with them, and the costs, forever.
The beneficiaries are unions, bond traders, and all the real estate developers whose properties near transportation projects will skyrocket in value.
I’ve … Read More ➡