Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler Resigns Even Sooner Than We Predicted

Kindler photoPfizer 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 Unless ObamaCare is repealed, Kindler’s hit and run … Read More ➡ “Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler Resigns Even Sooner Than We Predicted”

Rep. Gregory Meeks Failed to Report Gambling Winnings

Meeks photoBenjamin Lesser of the New York Daily News reports 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.

Meeks is reportedly the subject of a federal grand jury investigation. NLPC exposed Meeks’ involvement in a … Read More ➡ “Rep. Gregory Meeks Failed to Report Gambling Winnings”

House Censures Charles Rangel; Ex-Ways and Means Chair DID Profit From Corruption

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.

Rangel turned the microphone over to Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) who referenced Ethics Committee staff director Blake Chisam who said … Read More ➡ “House Censures Charles Rangel; Ex-Ways and Means Chair DID Profit From Corruption”

We Welcome Charles Rangel Censure, But Criminal Prosecution Must Follow

Rangel & Holder photoToday’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.

Still, it would be wrong to suggest that Congress is cleaning up its act. The ethics trials of Rangel and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) were delayed until after the election by Ethics Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) so … Read More ➡ “We Welcome Charles Rangel Censure, But Criminal Prosecution Must Follow”

Timeline of Rangel Ethics Scandal

NY Post/RangelThe start of the Rangel scandals can be pegged to David Kocieniewski’s New York Times story 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, 2008New York Times’ David Kocieniewski reports that Rangel occupies three rent-stabilized apartments in a luxury building, and uses a fourth as a campaign office.

July 14, 2008– NLPC files Complaint … Read More ➡ “Timeline of Rangel Ethics Scandal”

CNBC: Flaherty Says Open GM IPO to All (But Retail Investors Should Not Buy)

Today, I debated whether GM should set aside IPO shares for taxpayers with Julian Epstein, LMG CEO and Democratic strategist. CNBC hosts are Trish Regan and Melissa Francis. Here’s a transcript:

Melissa Francis: We are asking, should the government tell GM to set aside IPO shares for the taxpayer. Here is what you said. Mario: The taxpayers should be ably to buy as many shares as they can with the amount of money they gave GM to bail them out. But James says the government is doing the public a favor by preventing participation in the IPO. That really cuts both ways. Joining us now is Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center and Julian Epstein, the CEO of LMG and a Democratic strategist. Julian, this is kind of a PR disaster, I would say on the part of the government. What is the deal do … Read More ➡ “CNBC: Flaherty Says Open GM IPO to All (But Retail Investors Should Not Buy)”

New Congress Must Defund Legal Services Corporation, AARP, and Soros

John Boehner photoIn the previous years, NLPC has demanded an end to taxpayer funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), AARP and George Soros’ private foundations, only to be rebuffed by Democratic and Republican Congresses. The incoming Congress was elected to cut out inappropriate spending. The practice of collecting money from all taxpayers and using it to promote political causes with which many disagree is simply unethical. Incoming House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) must put a stop to it.

Legal Services Corporation- This year, LSC is receiving $420 million in tax dollars. LSC funds 136 local groups to provide civil (not criminal) day-to-day legal help to poor people. Unfortunately, many LSC-funded lawyers instead spend their time on liberal political and social causes.

When Republicans won control of the House in 1994, they passed a three-year phase-out of LSC. They also passed strict rules on how the money could be spent. Drafted with … Read More ➡ “New Congress Must Defund Legal Services Corporation, AARP, and Soros”

Corporate CEOs Must Heed Election Results, Too

Kindler photoThe electorate’s repudiation of Barack Obama and his Congressional allies was not only a rejection of Big Government, but also of business elites who were buffeted from the downturn by political dealing at the expense of ordinary people.

Unless Corporate America heeds the election results, it too will risk the wrath of an informed and energized public. Here are CEOs who must pay attention to what happened yesterday:

Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler– Not only did Kindler (above) lead the charge of Big Pharma CEOs for ObamaCare, he actually got a multi-million dollar bonus from Pfizer for doing so. This is not going to look very good once ObamaCare spikes insurance premiums, prompts hospital closures, and explodes the number of uninsured. Of course, Kindler wasn’t naïve or confused, he had reason to help destroy the health system. Big Pharma made a deal that guarantees it customers and insulation from competition. … Read More ➡ “Corporate CEOs Must Heed Election Results, Too”

Bernanke Should Heed Election Results and Abandon Quantitative Easing

BernankeThe Fed is supposed to be insulated from politics but it is not supposed to be divorced from reality. In the face of the election results, Ben Bernanke’s reported plan for hundreds of billions in additional government bond purchases seems ill advised.

The American people have spoken. Government spends and borrows too much. The electoral repudiation of Big Government was preceded by the emergence of the Tea Party movement, which is transforming debate over our financial nation’s future. Public debt has become Public Enemy #1.

It is arguable whether Bernanke’s first expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet saved us from a depression. He thinks so. After all, he has devoted his entire academic career to studying the notion that lack of liquidity is what caused the Great Depression. But whether he is right or not is beside the point. Liquidity does not solve all future problems.

No depression looms but … Read More ➡ “Bernanke Should Heed Election Results and Abandon Quantitative Easing”

Politico: Rangel in Disarray

John Bresnahan of Politico reports today:

Rep. Charles Rangel is heading into a Nov. 15 ethics trial with no lawyers, little money and a risky strategy that may turn his trial into a political showdown, rather than a legal face-off, according to sources close to the New York Democrat.

It’s not even clear if the ethics trial will start on time. Rangel has asked for a delay in the proceedings, but the ethics committee – with members off running their own reelection campaigns – has not publicly ruled on the request.

The article includes speculation that Democrats might go easy on Rangel because they will have already have lost their majority. Indeed, with the latest projections that they will lose 50 or more seats on Tuesday, Democrats may be so shell shocked that the Rangel trial may be the last thing on their minds. The path of least resistance may … Read More ➡ “Politico: Rangel in Disarray”