Puerto Rico Governor Tries to Distance Himself from His Brother

Alejandro Garcia Padilla, the governor of Puerto Rico, is claiming that he has nothing to do with a controversial charity, which has his brother Antonio Garcia Padilla as its only employee, according to Alana Goodman in the Washington Free Beacon.

The nonprofit is called Sociedad Economica De Amigos Del Pais. Its funding comes from corporations doing business with the Commonwealth government. According to its federal tax return, Antonio makes $70,000 per year for a forty-hour work week. The group is a resurrected version of a nonprofit founded as the Hispanic Education and Legal Fund (HELF) in 1996 by New York union boss Dennis Rivera and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson.

Antonio’s forty-hour work week came as news to students at the University of Puerto Rico, where he purportedly serves a full time law school professor. From the Free Beacon:

The student council is calling on the administration to investigate whether Garcia Padilla

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GM and NHTSA Elude Accountability in Failed Fire Risk Recall

It has now been more than three months since news broke that General Motors, once again, failed to properly protect owners of its vehicles from risks resulting from shoddy quality control. The latest incident involves about 1.4 million GM vehicles that were at risk of erupting into flames due to engine oil seepage. The at-risk vehicles were previously recalled by GM years ago, but the quick-fix remedy offered by GM did not solve the underlying problem.

It appears that most of mainstream media has been fiddling while the GM vehicles burned. One of the few articles that criticized the latest GM recall failure came in November of 2015 from the Associated Press via the Detroit Free Press. That story questioned the actions of GM in the case along with the crony government regulatory environment as NHTSA failed, yet again, to take action on a well-known safety problem. Following are excerpts … Read More ➡

Questionable Charity in Puerto Rico Has One Employee— the Governor’s Brother

A nonprofit group founded by ex-New York SEIU boss Dennis Rivera has received big contributions from corporations that do business with the Puerto Rican government, while employing the governor’s brother as its only employee. This arrangement was reported today by Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon, based on information provided by NLPC.

The charity, now known as “Sociedad Económica De Amigos del Pais,” was founded in New York in 1996 by Rivera and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as the Hispanic Education and Legal Fund (HELF). Its name change, relocation to Puerto Rico and change of mission raise additional red flags.

The nonprofit was already under scrutiny as a possible vehicle for political corruption.

On November 22, the New York Post ran a story, based on documents provided by NLPC, detailing how $1 million was routed from HELF to another foundation headed by Richardson. A whistleblower … Read More ➡

Senator Blunt, Election Rival Kowtow to Black Lives Matter

roy bluntWhen it comes to standing up to racial shakedowns, political leadership is in short supply in Missouri, as it is in other states. On January 9, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. (in photo), facing re-election, squared off against his Democratic opponent, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis. The event, sponsored by the state’s Martin Luther King Celebration Commission, revealed a disturbing acquiescence by the candidates to the radical Black Lives Matter. A co-emcee kicked things off by declaring: “Black lives matter. Period.” Once at the podium, Sen. Blunt, rather than offer a rebuke, responded: “Black lives matter – we do need to say that.” Kander proved even worse. And they aren’t the only politicians in the state to roll over.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a national movement that matters – in all the wrong ways. Two weeks ago National Legal and Policy Center Read More ➡

FBI Investigating Clinton Foundation Pay to Play?

According to unconfirmed reports, the FBI is now investigating the possibility that donors were directed to the Clinton Foundation in return for favors from the State Department when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. This would be in addition to the ongoing investigation into Hillary’s use of a private email account for official business.

We hope the FBI is reviewing the circumstances described below that we uncovered and have already made public:

New York University (NYU) and the United Arab Emirates UAE)- We documented that Cheryl Mills, Hillary’s longtime aide and confidant, worked as State Department chief of staff while at the same time she was NYU general counsel from January to May 2009. She collected $198,000 from NYU during that period, while she also received a government paycheck.

Mills also continued to serve on the board of the Clinton Foundation for over a month after joining the State Department. Even worse, … Read More ➡

Puerto Rico Bond Expert Ravitch Not So Independent

The following letter was sent today by NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm to Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

I am writing regarding the recent hearing the Judiciary Committee held on December 1, 2015, “Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Problems: Examining the Sources and Exploring the Solution.”

As you correctly noted in your opening statement, part of the confusion that reigns is because Puerto Rico has failed to provide audited financial statements for the past two years.

National Legal and Policy Center has been focusing on ethics and accountability issues associated with the Puerto Rican debt crisis.  As you probably know, just two days after your hearing, the U.S. Attorney for Puerto Rico and the F.B.I. jointly announced the indictment of ten individuals, including both businessmen and government officials, in a series of major corruption schemes to commit Federal programs bribery, honest services wire fraud and extortion.

With respect … Read More ➡

Black Lives Matter Activists Sabotage Public Order, Intimidate Critics

The politics of racial grievance took center stage in 2015. Leading the way was an ad hoc nationwide group known as Black Lives Matter (BLM). Menacing, confrontational and adept in social media, its activists are recruiting blacks, the younger the better, as foot soldiers for disruptive protests rivaling those organized by the master of the trade, Al Sharpton. Like Sharpton, the group claims to seek justice for blacks who have lost their lives at the hands of “racist” white police and vigilantes. And like Sharpton, their style involves character assassination, cause-and-effect distortion, and threats. In recent weeks, BLM activists – there are now nearly 30 chapters – have blocked urban thoroughfares, stormed college campus offices, and disrupted presidential candidate speeches. Woe unto those who fail to meet their demands.

The idea that black lives matter shouldn’t strike anyone as controversial. All lives matter. But that’s not the rock upon which … Read More ➡

Justice Dept. Assails VW as Barra is Elevated to GM Chair

The Obama Administration’s Justice Department is now suing Volkswagen for “up to $90 billion for allegedly violating environmental law.” Politically-favored General Motors was fined $900 million, or 1% of that amount, for covering up an ignition switch defect that led to the deaths of at least 124 people. At last count, the number of people who lost their lives as a result of emissions' tampering by VW stood at zero.

Meanwhile, the GM board unanimously elected CEO Mary Barra as its Chairman, demonstrating that it is still not independent of political influences, even years after the 2009 bankruptcy process.

Barra was in charge of quality control during the time that GM was hiding its deadly ignition switch defect. She became CEO while the company continued to cover up the extent of a problem that was putting motorists' lives at risk. Barra repeatedly evaded and misrepresented in public statements, and in … Read More ➡

Menendez Shameless But Indictment Looms

In a headline today NJ.com asks the question, “How has Menendez Indictment Affected His Senate Duties?” The story details how Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is acting if nothing is wrong, and quotes NLPC Chairman (not executive director) Ken Boehm:

A leading Menendez critic said he had no problem with the senator's efforts to carry on as if he did not face criminal charges.

"Defendants can act anyway they want," said Ken Boehm, executive director of the National Legal and Policy Center, a Falls Church, Va.-based watchdog group. "I take almost an attitude of, 'It's a free country, he's a free man, he's innocent until proven guilty.' At the end of the day, that's not going to change the driving forces behind the indictment."

The indictments resulted from a federal investigation initiated after media reports that Menendez attempted to intervene to thwart a Medicare-fraud investigation of Dr. Salomon Melgen, his largest donor, and that Menendez pressured … Read More ➡

Sen. Corker to Get Scrutiny in Wake of Disclosure Omissions

On December 11, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) amended his financial disclosure reports after he “failed to properly disclose millions of dollars in income from real estate, hedge funds and other investments since entering the Senate in 2007,” according to Brody Mullins in the Wall Street Journal.

The amendments were made after the Journal made inquiries about certain specifics on Corker’s disclosures. Corker called the omissions “filing errors.” From Roll Call today:

But for some government watchdog groups, this incident raises questions about what led to the discrepancies on Corker’s reports in the first place, and points to broader problems within the disclosure and congressional ethics process.

In 2007, Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, co-wrote a letter to congressional leaders calling for changes to the financial disclosure process, including narrowing or eliminating the form’s value ranges.

“It’s important to know how much it was because

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