It looks like the “Chicago Way” will continue with William Daley taking the White House Chief of Staff position formerly held by Rahm Emanuel. Daley is a particularly poor choice because he represents the nexus of big government, big business and the left-wing activist groups they enable and bankroll.
Daley is not a “centrist,” nor is he “pro business,” except when he is getting a piece of the action. Daley has carried the title of “Midwest Chairman” of JPMorgan Chase but he is not a banker or a businessman. He is a broker of influence. That is why JPMorgan Chase hired him in the first place.
It would be tempting to say that this appointment underscores how close Obama is to bailed-out Wall Street, but I believe the reality is far worse. Daley straddles the worlds of corporate boards and bare-knuckle Chicago politics. From his new position, he will no … Read More ➡ “Daley is Poor Choice for White House Chief of Staff”
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has formally opened a legal defense fund in an apparent acknowledgement of our accusation that he illegally used almost $400,000 in PAC funds for his legal defense. According to a statement Rangel made to Politics Daily:
The repeated filings of allegations, no matter how unsubstantiated, by the National Legal Policy Committee (sic), a politically-motivated right wing group dedicated to eviscerating civil rights and labor union protections, have led me to this action.
On November 29, we filed a Complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Rangel violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by using almost $400,000 in funds from his National Leadership PAC to pay legal bills related to the House Ethics Committee actions against him.
I discussed President Obama’s CEO “summit” today with David Callahan, the author Fortunes of Change: The Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America. CNBC hosts are Melissa Francis, Sue Herrera and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera. Here is a transcript:
Michelle Caruso Cabrera: A big day in Washington, a big day at the White House. On the agenda – spending some of the cash that US companies are hoarding and hiring new employees. But is the President really trying to do more for business, or is this just for show? Politics as usual? Peter Flaherty is President of the National Legal and Policy Center. David Callahan is a Senior Fellow at Demos and author of Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America. Peter I am going to start with you. Do you believe anything is going to happen from this? Is the President … Read More ➡ “CNBC: Flaherty Criticizes Obama/CEO Summit”
Yesterday, I discussed the resignation of Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler with Stuart Varney on Fox Business Channel. Here is a transcript:
Stuart Varney: This leads perfectly into our next guest. Joining the company right now is Peter Flaherty. He is the President of the conservative watchdog group, the National Legal and Policy Center. Peter, I presume you heard what our own Andrea Tantaros just said – that there is an element of politics in Mr. Kindler’s abrupt resignation. You would agree with that I take it, could you give us a little more detail?
Appearing on New York City’s Channel 5 this morning, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) was asked about allegations that he improperly used funds from his so-called National Leadership PAC for his legal defense in his House ethics case. Rangel responded by calling the allegations “ridiculous” and attacking NLPC.
Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler has unexpectedly announced his resignation. NLPC recently filed a shareholder proposal with Pfizer critical of the company’s deal with the White House to support ObamaCare. We foresaw Kindler’s retirement in the resolution’s supporting statement:
If ObamaCare fails to control health care costs, as several studies now suggest, the government will seek savings through price controls. Shareholders ultimately will lose. Perhaps Kindler plans to retire before Pfizer is required to sell its products for less than the cost of production.
We were more prescient than we realized.
Kindler, who is only 55, cited the “extremely demanding” requirements of the job. Kindler received a multi-million dollar bonus for his lobbying for ObamaCare. Kindler will have no trouble affording, and getting access to, quality health care for the rest of his life. The rest of us will not be so lucky. Unless ObamaCare is repealed, Kindler’s hit and run … Read More ➡ “Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler Resigns Even Sooner Than We Predicted”
Benjamin Lesser of the New York Daily Newsreports today that Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) on November 17 amended his 2008 financial disclosure forms to show $3,500 in “gambling winnings.” This disclosure, late by two years, raises more questions than it answers. According to the Daily News:
The amendment does not say how Meeks won the money, where he was gambling or how much he bet. It merely says: “In 2008, I had gambling winnings of approximately $3,500.”
This is the second time that Meeks has amended his disclosure forms. In June, he reported that he was the recipient of an unsecured $40,000 personal loan from controversial businessman Edul Ahmad in 2007.
Why Meeks did not report the “gambling winnings” at the same time he disclosed the Ahmed loan is not known.
On the House floor tonight, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) again asserted that he did not personally gain from the acts of which he is accused, notwithstanding the fact that he failed to report, or pay taxes on, rental income received from his Dominican Republic beach house. Rangel seems to believe that if you repeatedly say something, it becomes true, no matter how absurd.
After we exposed this tax evasion, we took an even closer look at Rangel’s finances and history. In September 2009, we filed a Complaint with the Ethics Committee alleging that Rangel hid more income from a six-unit brownstone apartment building in Harlem. We have also assembled other information that we have not made public painting a picture of a hustler who has cut corners his entire career.
Today’s imminent censure of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) is the result of Ethics Committee investigations that went much further than we expected, even after we exposed Rangel’s failure to pay taxes on income from his Dominican Republic beach house and his acceptance of corporate-funded Caribbean junkets.
Rangel filed the ethics complaint against himself in late 2008. He no doubt expected the Committee to cover up for him, fulfilling the same role it has played during Rangel’s 40 years in Congress. Rangel seems amazed that the accusations against him could result in his censure. Perhaps he feels betrayed by the Democratic leadership and the institution of Congress that traditionally has taken care of its own.
The start of the Rangel scandals can be pegged to David Kocieniewski’s New York Timesstory in July 2008. His article prompted us to begin our review of Rangel’s finances, resulting in our exposé of Rangel’s tax evasion and his acceptance of corporate-funded junkets.
It should be noted, however, that New York Post reporter Geoff Earle wrote a year earlier about Rangel’s solicitation of corporate money for the Rangel Center.
July 23, 2007- Geoff Earle of the New York Post reports that Rangel is soliciting funds for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service from corporations that have interests before Congress, and that Rangel secured a $2 million “seed money” earmark from Congress.
July 11, 2008– New York Times’ David Kocieniewski reports that Rangel occupies three rent-stabilized apartments in a luxury building, and uses a fourth as a campaign office.