Billionaire Phil Falcone, whose cozy relationship with the Obama Administration was first exposed by NLPC, may face civil fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to a filing yesterday by Harbinger Group Inc., Falcone and two other directors have received “Wells Notices,” meaning that they are under investigation.
Falcone is the Chairman, CEO and primary investor in Harbinger Group Inc., a hedge fund. Reportedly, other Harbinger investors include Soros Fund Management. Harbinger owns LightSquared, which has received an unusual waiver from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deploy a national 4G wireless network.
Media reports have alleged that Falcone prevented some investors from withdrawing their money from the hedge fund during the financial crisis, while allowing others to do so. The Wall Street Journal reports today that one favored investor was (surprise!) Goldman Sachs. One of the Harbinger directors who received a Wells Notice is Omar Asali, … Read More ➡
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) today filed a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for any and all communications with General Motors (GM).
The NHTSA is investigating three fires in the battery packs of GM’s Chevy Volt following collision tests, but may have withheld information of this potential safety problem from the public for several months.
The United States government still owns a significant stake in GM. There’s an obvious conflict of interest in a government agency investigating a government-owned company. Moreover, the NHTSA cannot be impartial because it has become a cheerleader for electric vehicles. A November 25 NHTSA statement reads, in part:
NHTSA continues to believe that electric vehicles have incredible potential to save consumers money at the pump, help protect the environment, create jobs, and strengthen national security by reducing our dependence on oil.
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NLPC has filed a shareholder proposal challenging Pfizer’s support for ObamaCare. The resolution actually asks for a report on Pfizer’s lobbying priorities. Here is the supporting statement submitted to Pfizer for inclusion in the proxy:
Pfizer played a key role in the passage of ObamaCare, even though a majority of Americans were opposed. CEO Jeffrey Kindler organized pharmaceutical CEOs in support of the bill, promoted a massive advertising campaign, and partnered with Left-wing groups normally hostile to Pfizer’s interests. For these actions, he received a multi-million dollar bonus.
According to media reports, Pfizer and other companies in 2009 made an $80 billion deal with the Obama administration. In return for support of ObamaCare, the companies received promises of a guarantee of customers and insulation from certain kinds of competition. This kind of back room dealing corrupts the political process, generates public outrage, and is inappropriate for an institution like Pfizer
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Last week, the United States House of Representatives Ethics Committee voted to end its temporary deferral of a case against Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL). The US Justice Department had requested the deferral but has since withdrawn that request. The case had been deferred for over two years.
Jackson, the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson, is in his ninth term in the US House and is under investigation for allegations that he attempted to buy the open US Senate seat that was vacated by President Barack Obama. It has been reported that Jackson’s supporters were willing to raise $1.5 million on behalf of Governor Blagojevich’s re-election campaign.
While Jackson has maintained that he did no wrong, the investigation will continue. According to Associated Press and reported on theGrio.com, Jackson’s office had no comment on the announcement and his attorney was unavailable for comment. In Chicago, the US Attorney’s office had … Read More ➡
Are the anti-Wall Street protestors demonstrating against themselves? The richest and most prominent Wall Street executives overwhelmingly supported and bankrolled Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.
And on Wall Street, little distinction is made between liberal Democrats and avowedly socialist activist groups. The big banks financed ACORN. Although ACORN has disbanded in the wake of scandal, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, formerly headed by White House Chief of Staff William Daley, continues to fund similar groups committed to undermining capitalism and debasing democracy.
Goldman Sachs and other big financial institutions lobbied for Dodd-Frank, which institutionalizes the “too big to fail” policy. In doing so, Goldman and the others support the same type of politically directed capital allocation as advocated by the people in the streets.
The Fortune 500 companies are headed by executives, many of whom attended elite liberal universities and came of age during the late 60s and early 70s. … Read More ➡
Allegations that we first made in February about White House political favors for a company called LightSquared are starting to get the attention they deserve.
LightSquared is owned by the Harbinger Capital hedge fund, headed by billionaire investor Phil Falcone. He visited the White House and made large donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Soon after, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted LightSquared a highly unusual waiver that allows the company to build out a national 4G wireless network on the cheap.
The deal has been criticized not only for its ‘pay to play’ appearance but also because the LightSquared network would interfere with the part of the wireless spectrum that is used by Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
On its iwatch news website, the Center for Public Integrity published a blockbuster special report on Wednesday confirming that LightSquared “pressed its case… at times citing its fundraising for Democratic causes … Read More ➡
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has unexpectedly and retroactively granted tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation following our formal Complaint that the Foundation was soliciting tax-deductible contributions without such status.
The Foundation is headed by Abon’go Malik Obama, President Obama’s half-brother, and named for their common father. It came under scrutiny earlier this year when NLPC raised questions about its tax status and what has happened to the money it has raised.
It normally takes at least six months, and usually longer, for the IRS to grant tax-exempt status to an organization following its application. It appears that the earliest that it could have applied was May of this year, yet it received a determination letter in June, retroactive to 2008.
According to a May 8 New York Post story by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein:
Alton Ray Baysden, a former State Department employee at whose
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President Obama will not use the word “stimulus” in apparent recognition that his previous policies have failed. Instead, he will use the word “investment,” which is a complete misnomer. An expenditure can only be called an investment if there exists the possibility of a profit.
Infrastructure spending by the federal government promotes corruption because the work goes to the most politically well-connected contractors. At the state level where the money is spent, it is often “pay to play.”
Since decisions about infrastructure spending often result from a brokered process (witness Congressional earmarks), there is often a disconnect between the spending and where it is needed most.
Politicians collude with unions to increase the costs of construction through what are called Project Labor Agreements. These pacts are supposed to guarantee labor peace, but what they actually do is pad the costs of labor to the benefit of politically well-connected unions.
Federal … Read More ➡
Tom Anderson, director of NLPC’s Government Integrity Project, has raised questions about the recent Yahoo Sports exposé of the University of Miami football program. The explosive July 16 story by Charles Robinson has already led to suspensions by the NCAA of eight current Miami players.
Anderson does not argue that the players are innocent of NCAA rules violations, but cites evidence that current and former players may been targeted by Ponzi-schemer Nevin Shapiro (in photo) in order to direct blame away from other parties, including coaches. Anderson became involved in the issue due the overlap of this sports scandal with political corruption in south Florida.
Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock has highlighted some of Anderson’s criticisms of the original Yahoo/Robinson piece. For instance, one of Robinson sources is Shapiro’s ex-girlfriend who is unidentified because she is allegedly “afraid of reprisals from Miami football players.” Whitlock writes:
“Why didn’t Yahoo! ask
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On Friday, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn, New York indicted Edul Ahmad, a Guyanese businessman who was last month arrested in a $50 million mortgage-fraud scheme. Ahmad made an unsecured personal loan to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) that was repaid only after Meeks’ finances came under scrutiny by the FBI.
In January 2010, we exposed Meeks involvement in a charity called New Direction Local Development Corporation that raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never received it, among other questionable dealings. In March, we asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate Meeks for paying $830,000 for a newly built home in 2006 that was worth more than $1.2 million. Media coverage of these events apparently triggered the FBI inquiry.
On July 22, the FBI reportedly removed Ahmad in handcuffs from a Guyana-bound aircraft on the tarmac at JFK International Airport. According to an FBI press release, the scheme worked … Read More ➡