NLPC “blows the whistle” on government officials and interest groups engaged in questionable activities. NLPC has filed formal Complaints with a variety of authorities and regulators, including the Federal Election Commission, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Congressional Ethics Committees.
NLPC supports government integrity in two additional ways: by promoting the First Amendment as the basis for campaign finance reform, and by promoting use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Barack Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard vacation is unseemly. At a time when unemployment is near 10% and virtually all Americans have suffered losses in their home values and retirement funds, Obama’s holiday at a $20 million estate is inappropriate.
The White House is refusing to say how much the rental is for the “Blue Heron Farm,” but press reports indicate similar properties go for $35,000 to $50,000 a week.
Many Americans are currently having difficulty living within their means. What kind of example is Obama setting? His salary as President is $400,000. How can he afford this vacation when the rental alone is $35,000 to $50,000? Maybe it’s because Presidents now have a reasonable expectation of becoming rich upon leaving office, another regrettable development.
In February, Obama said, “You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the … Read More ➡
Just how out of touch is Congress? The above video clip is now famous. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) talks on her cell phone while cancer survivor Tracy Miller tries to ask her a question at a health care Town Hall meeting.
Rep. Jackson Lee was one of five members of Congress who took part in a Citigroup-funded junket to the sunny Caribbean island of St. Maartens shortly after all five voted for TARP. The trip was led by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY), the tax cheat who has proposed tax increases to fund health care.
Debating Obama’s health care plan, with Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Penn.; Jullian Epstein, Democratic strategist; Julie Roginsky, Democratic strategist; Ben Ferguson, radio show host; Peter Flaherty, National Legal and Policy Center; and CNBC’s Dennis Kneale.… Read More ➡
Talking jets and Congress, with Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Penn.; Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Jullian Epstein, Democratic strategist; Julie Roginsky, Democratic strategist; Ben Ferguson, radio show host; Peter Flaherty, National Legal and Policy Center; and CNBC’s Dennis Kneale.… Read More ➡
Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha have retreated half way on their plan to spend $550 million on private jets for use by members of Congress. This is not good enough. Plans for the remaining four aircraft must be abandoned as well.
Murtha was quoted by AP as saying, “If the Department of Defense does not want these aircraft, they will be eliminated from the bill.” I guess the public uproar over the jet purchase had nothing to do with it. After years of ramming unwanted projects down the throat of the Defense Department, Murtha this time just wants to defer to the Pentagon.
It is amazing that Pelosi continues to allow Murtha such a high visability as his cronies get indicted one by one, and he unapologetically defends earmarks for projects like the Airport for No One in his district.
The fact that these aircraft purchases were even contemplated shows … Read More ➡
Congress is partially backing down on its plan to buy new executive jets. CNBC host Dennis Keale discusses with Julie Roginsky, Democratic strategist; Keith Boykin, The Daily Voice; Peter Flaherty, National Legal and Policy Center and Jack Burkman, Republican strategist… Read More ➡
The Senate ethics committee cleared Sens. Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad of breaking rules by getting mortgages through a VIP program, even as it scolded them Friday for not being more careful to avoid the appearance of sweetheart deals.
Apparently, the Committee was so proud of its work that it released its decision on a Friday afternoon in August. This will do nothing to undermine the reputation of both the House and Senate Ethics Committees as laughingstocks.
The Select Committee on Ethics told Dodd of Connecticut and Conrad of North Dakota in separate letters that it found “no substantial credible evidence” after a yearlong investigation that their mortgages from Countrywide Financial Corp. broke Senate gift rules. The two influential Democrats got their mortgages through a VIP program for those designated as “friends” of then-Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.
Hillary Chabot reports in the Boston Herald today:
Attorney General Martha Coakley donned a cap and gown to receive an honorary law degree from Suffolk University as her office actively probed a school trustee for conflict of interest – and maintains she did not have to get ethics clearance first.
But Ken Boehm of the ethics watchdog agency National Legal and Policy Center blasted Coakley over the Suffolk honor: “By any ethical yardstick, that’s way over the line and it shouldn’t have happened. Anything of value received from someone under investigation is wholly inappropriate.”
Coakley, widely viewed as a potential candidate for U.S. Senate and a strong backer of ethics reform, was awarded the honorary degree May 7, telling graduates, “If your reputation for integrity is impaired, set that diploma on fire.”
Suffolk spokesman Greg Gatlin said in a statement:
Amazingly — despite credible allegations of numerous violations of federal law — Mollohan is still the Chairman of the House Appropriation Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. That subcommittee, according to Cong. Mollohan’s own website, “funds the departments of Justice and Commerce.”
So let’s get this straight: The highest-level legislator responsible for funding the Justice Department is himself the subject of a very serious Justice Department investigation. Was there ever a bigger conflict of interest?