NLPC President Peter Flaherty said today, “Excessive executive pay and perks are indeed a problem, as NLPC sought to highlight way before the financial meltdown. But the real scandal now is bank bailouts without end.
Instead of engaging in fake populism by trashing corporate travel to Las Vegas or the Super Bowl, Obama should produce a plan to deal with the banking crisis. Throwing more taxpayer money at AIG and Citigroup as they lurch from crisis to crisis is not a plan. I am worried that by the time Obama and Timothy Geithner come up with a strategy, there will be no money left.
The tally for AIG is now $175 billion with no end in sight. AIG placed bets on derivative trades that it could not possibly pay off if it lost. This is called fraud. These bad bets were big enough to bring down the financial system. Obama … Read More ➡
According to Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC):
“The trillion-dollar stimulus plan has not even passed Congress and the administration proposes to throw another trillion at Wall Street on top of the $750 billion already provided without a tangible benefit.
Buying toxic assets was supposed to be the purpose of the first TARP. After Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner warned that our financial system would collapse if TARP were not passed, they spent the money on something else — bolstering the capital position of banks. Politically well-connected Citigroup has received $45 billion, more than the book value of the company, and it is still in trouble.
The burden is on President Obama and Timothy Geithner to explain why another Wall Street bailout will work when the first one did not. This latest plan would have the taxpayer finance the purchase of troubled assets, opening the … Read More ➡
In an article titled “Rangel’s Financial Disclosures Omitted Data Over 30 Years, a Report Says,” today’s New York Times reports:
In an interview on C-SPAN on Sunday and in a letter mailed to supporters released Tuesday, Mr. Rangel said the conservative-oriented National Legal Policy Center had sent an investigator to examine the finances of a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic, then passed along critical information to a reporter from The Post. The newspaper subsequently printed an article questioning whether Mr. Rangel had reported all the rental income he received from the villa on his financial disclosure forms and tax returns.
“Newspapers forwent actual, independent reporting, and instead relied on this organization to do the dirty work for them,” Mr. Rangel wrote.
Unfortuntely for Rangel, the story also details a new report from the liberal-oriented Sunlight Foundation that accuses Rangel of thirty years of financial disclosure violations:
… Read More ➡
Today the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) publicly released an in-depth analysis of financial contributions made to Friends of Blagojevich from Balmoral and Maywood race track owner John Johnston and other Johnston-owned/affiliated interests. The new analysis reveals that previous accounts of Johnston contributions to Friends of Blagojevich greatly under-reported the actual contributions by Johnston family interests and far exceed the $160,000 in contributions that have been reported previously.
According to the latest analysis which was sent to the House Impeachment Committee last Thursday afternoon, Johnston-owned/affiliated interests contributed more than $343,000 to Governor Blagojevich’s campaign committee from 2002-2007. The new analysis uncovered several significant and large contributions from Johnston businesses or affiliates that heretofore had not been factored into official news accounts, including contributions from Coast to Coast Food Services Ltd. ($60,000), Racing Research ($15,000), the Egyptian Trotting Association ($45,000), and Associates Racing Association, Inc. ($40,000). All businesses are either … Read More ➡
Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today made the following statement:
President-elect Obama should withdraw Timothy Geithner’s nomination for Treasury Secretary. Obama says that middle–class families with incomes of $250,000 are wealthy and their taxes should be raised, but he wants a Wall Streeter who didn’t pay his taxes to be his point man on the economy.
The amount of unpaid taxes — $42,000 — may sound like pocket change to Geithner and his Wall Street buddies, but it is a lot of money on Main Street.
Geithner’s claim that he didn’t know he was supposed to pay taxes doesn’t pass the laugh test. It is true that American citizens who work for the IMF are responsible for the employer’s share of the payroll tax, but IMF employment includes generous pay and a host of other perks. Anyone who has ever worked there is well … Read More ➡
Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today reacted to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris to Barack Obama’s Senate seat by saying:
It’s getting more difficult for Barack Obama to extricate himself from the political mess in Illinois. Obama and other leading Democrats should have stuck to their calls for a special election to fill his Senate seat, instead of reverting to a brokered process. It only invited this kind of shenanigans from Blagojevich.
It is hard to see how Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris has less credibility or moral standing than one brokered by other Illinois politicians. They all come out of the same corrupt culture that includes both parties.
Much of the initial media coverage of Blagojevich missed the point. I don’t believe was he was out of control or some sort of lone wolf. I believe his intercepted conversations are typical … Read More ➡
Congressman William Jefferson has a knack for attracting the wrong kinds of people with money. That skill earned him a high-profile federal indictment a year and a half ago. The Louisiana Democrat is going to need his friends, too, which include labor chieftains, when he goes on trial in Alexandria, Virginia early next year. Voters in his New Orleans district also are showing their loyalty. This November they handed him a runoff victory over his rival, Helena Moreno, in the Democratic primary. And they’re overwhelmingly likely to return him to Congress when he faces Republican challenger Anh Cao in the December 6 general election, which, like the primary, is being held late due to Hurricane Gustav. The man’s been leading a charmed life – at least if one ignores the possibility of a prison sentence of up to 235 years.
Back in June 2007 a federal grand jury indicted … Read More ➡
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a plaintiff in the successful 1993 lawsuit to open the meetings and records of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health care task force, today criticized Barack Obama for selecting Eric Holder as his Attorney General nominee.
According to NLPC President Peter Flaherty, “Holder is not ethically qualified to serve as Attorney General. His track record is not one of independence or objectivity. Instead, he has been guided by politics and self-interest.”
On December 21, 1994, federal Judge Royce Lamberth, who presided over the litigation to open the health care task force, asked Holder, who at the time was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to investigate Ira Magaziner for possible perjury and criminal contempt of court. He also suggested that Attorney General Janet Reno should appoint an independent counsel to investigate.
Reno announced on March 3, 1995 that she would not appoint an … Read More ➡
Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today criticized proposals to bailout GM, Chrysler and Ford, arguing that the plans are actually intended to bailout the United Auto Workers (UAW). Flaherty said:
The $700-billion Wall Street bailout was not meant to be a prize for special interest groups that were on the winning side of the election. It is a mistake to use TARP to reward high-tax, non-right to work states like Michigan. It was argued that failure of financial firms posed systemic risk; no such risk exists with the automakers.
The automaker bailout is actually a UAW bailout. The union will not allow companies to deploy capital in ways that the market would dictate such as closing plants and layoffs. That’s why UAW opposed the GM/Chrysler merger and a government role in it.
UAW wants to instead enrich health and retirement plans they control, like … Read More ➡