Eugene Isenberg, Chairman and CEO of Nabors Industries, is smiling in the photo at right but he wasn’t happy when I questioned him at the company’s annual meeting in Houston on Tuesday, June 2.
Isenberg’s controversial $1 million pledge to the so-called Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York came at a time when Rangel helped preserve a loophole that allowed Nabors to save tens of millions in taxes after moving to the Bahamas. These facts were first reported in the New York Times in an article by David Kocieniewski in late 2008.
Under my questioning, Isenberg again denied any quid pro quo. He also denied that there was any “understanding” or a “wink and a nod.” He would not even concede an appearance problem.
Click here to download a 7-page pdf transcript of our exchange.
Isenberg was clearly annoyed … Read More ➡ “Nabors Chairman Gets Testy With Flaherty About Rangel Center Donation; Calls NY Times ‘Full of Malarkey’”
On May 22, the House Ethics Committee asked NLPC if to provide photographs, audio recordings and other materials related to a trip to the sunny Caribbean island of St. Maarten in November 2008 by the following five House members: Charles Rangel (D-NY), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Donna Christensen (D-VI).
I was present in St. Maarten, where I documented violations of House Rules that prohibit corporate sponsorship of travel and hospitality.
When I inquired whether this matter was under investigation, I was told that House Rules prevented the Committee from confirming an investigation. We provided the material on May 29 along with a formal request for an investigation.
Click here to download a 4-page pdf of the Complaint, without exhibits.
The sponsor of the trip was the Carib News Foundation, but it was funded by “lead sponsor” Citigroup, a major … Read More ➡ “House Ethics Committee Asks NLPC For Info on Rangel-Led, Citigroup-Funded Caribbean Junket”
Barack Obama argued that if GM collapsed, jobs would be lost and shipped overseas, dealers would close, and the taxpayer would be saddled with all kinds of costs. Well, Obama is “saving” GM and all those things are happening anyway.
This is not a bankruptcy; it’s the moral equivalent of a bank robbery. The White House didn’t “broker” a deal, but it BROKE the things that make our economic system work: rule of law, respect for contracts, and bankruptcy supervised by the judiciary, as specified in the Constitution.
The discussion today misses the point. It’s should not be about the economy but about what this raw exercise of power means for the future of democracy.
GM and Chrysler are being turned into appendages of Obama’s political machine. Nothing would be more harmful to the automakers than this cap-and-trade scheme being considered in Congress, but the companies are up there lobbying … Read More ➡ “GM is Now ‘Appendage of Obama’s Political Machine’”
This picture of Al Sharpton talking to Attorney General Eric Holder was taken yesterday at the White House where Barack Obama announced his nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. The White House has been giving Sharpton a surprisingly high profile lately. Al has practically moved in.
Barack Obama was supposed to be our first “post-racial” president. After all, he won the Democratic primaries and the general election with white votes. Obama’s supporters argued that Obama was just the leader to move the country beyond race. Sharpton’s mentor Jesse Jackson became so flustered at this possibility that he wished to cut off Obama’s privates.
Obama’s “post-racial” presidency is nonsense as long as he hobnobs with a racial bully like Sharpton, not to mention his nomination of Sotomayor, whose primary qualification for Obama may be her ethnicity. The headline in today’s Wall Street Journal is “Hispanic Picked for Top Court.”… Read More ➡ “Sotomayor, Sharpton and ‘Post-Racial’ Claptrap”
That’s the question asked today by Richard Mauer of the Anchorage Daily News in the wake of Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision last month to drop the prosecution of former Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK). The newspaper asked NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm and other experts whether the prosecutorial misconduct in the Stevens case should taint the related investigations of Rep. Don Young (R-AK), whose photo is at right, and Steven’s son Ben, former president of the Alaska state Senate.
From the Anchorage Daily News:
“I can see they’re a little singed around the edges, but at the same time, they all take the oath to pursue the evidence of crime wherever it leads, and they do have a duty to the public to the degree that there’s people out there that are selling their office in one way or another — they owe it to the public to follow up,”
… Read More ➡ “Is Alaska Corruption Investigation Still Alive?”
Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu was convicted yesterday of making illegal campaign contributions. Earlier this month, Hsu pled guilty to operating a Ponzi scheme in which investors were swindled out of $20 million. Hsu’s favorite politician was Hillary Rodham Clinton, for whom he raised $850,000.
Hillary is Secretary of State. That would seem to invite at least some media attention, if not a full-blown firestorm, but nary a word is heard about Hillary’s ethical suitability for the post.
At the Hsu trial, the jury was played a phone message left by Hillary for Hsu that went like this:
What am I going to do with you, Norman? You are working so hard for me.
I just don’t even know what to say anymore. I’ve never seen anybody who has been more loyal and more effective and really just having greater success supporting someone like you.
Hillary says that she did not … Read More ➡ “Hsu Convicted But No Reckoning for Hillary”
At her press conference last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that she had learned of waterboarding in 2003, contradicting her earlier claims. Pelosi’s lie is getting the attention it deserves, but getting less attention is her remarkable explanations for her actions. At several points, she stated that her goal was to elect a Democratic Congress and a new president. She seemed to plead with the reporters to understand that torture was most important as an issue with which to defeat Republicans.
Well then, if the torture issue is a political weapon, and its actual practice is of secondary concern, we must ask the question about Pelosi’s sincerity when it comes to Congressional ethics. After all, she promised to “drain the swamp.” Democrats have a majority in large part because of the ethics issue.
While Pelosi dissembled before reporters, a firestorm raged around Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), her unsuccessful candidate … Read More ➡ “Ethics Get Waterboarded in Pelosi’s Swamp”
Yesterday, we criticized the Sharpton-led rally for education in Washington, DC that is taking place tomorrow, Saturday, May 16. The “Close the Gap” rally purportedly commemorates the 55th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision. It looks like the event may be smaller than organizers planned.
From the website of WDAF-TV in Kansas City:
Hundreds of people across the country including in Kansas City were planning to head to Washington D.C. Friday to join in a rally for education. But, instead they’ve been left standing around waiting for buses that never came.
Rev. Al Sharpton’s organization, the National Action Network, organized the “Close the Gap” rally in Washington D.C. on May 16. People from all over the country planned to board buses provided by the group to head to D.C. and rally for children’s education.
This morning dozens of people took off work, packed a lunch
… Read More ➡ “Sharpton’s Busses Don’t Show Up for DC Rally; Marchers Stranded”
Wall Street Journal reporter John Wilke passed away last week at the age of 54.
NLPC served as a source for Wilke on a number of articles including an October 30, 2007 front-page story titled “How Lawmaker Rebuilt Hometown on Earmarks; Johnstown Gets Billions With Power Broker’s Aid; FBI Questions a Contract.” It detailed how Murtha has steered as much as $2 billion to his district.
Wilke’s scrutiny of Murtha was an outgrowth of earlier stories on Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), including an April 7, 2006 front-page story titled “Appropriations, Local Ties And Now a Probe of a Legislator.” It touched off a firestorm that resulted in Mollohan’s resignation from the House Ethics Committee on April 21, 2006.
Five weeks earlier, NLPC had filed a Complaint with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia detailing more than 250 misrepresentations and omissions on Mollohan’s disclosure reports, prompting an extensive probe … Read More ➡ “John Wilke (1954-2009) Helped Expose Murtha, Mollohan”
Earlier in the week, we noted that Rep. John Murtha’s taxpayer-funded empire was becoming a family affair with the hiring of his nephew, Col. Brian Murtha, as a lobbyist for the Marines on Capitol Hill.
Now the Washington Post has put the spotlight on another nephew, Brian’s brother Robert, who owns a company called Murtech. Carol D. Leonnig and Alice Crites reported on May 5:
…last year, Murtech received $4 million in Pentagon work, all of it without competition, for a variety of warehousing and engineering services. With its long corridor of sparsely occupied offices and an unmanned reception area, Murtech’s most striking feature is its owner — Robert C. Murtha Jr., 49. He is the nephew of Rep. John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who has significant sway over the Defense Department’s spending as chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.
Robert Murtha said he is not at liberty
… Read More ➡ “Murtha’s Nephew Gets No-Bid Defense Contracts”