Boeing Tanker Scandals Never Go Away

A KC-46 Pegasus refuels an A-10 Thunderbolt II. (Boeing photo/John D. Parker)

It has now been more than fifteen years since the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) first exposed the “cozy dealings” between Boeing and an Air Force procurement officer named Darleen Druyun. The dealings were connected to the replacement of the nation’s fleet of mid-air refueling tankers. The aircraft, now known as the KC-46 Pegasus, refuels bombers and fighter jets on long-range missions.

The scandal that followed saw Druyun go to prison along with then-Boeing CFO Michael Sears, and the resignation of then-CEO Phil Condit.

In the intervening years, the original plan for the Air Force to lease the tankers from Boeing was scrapped. Boeing then lost the contract to an Airbus/Northrop consortium, only to pry it back through the exercise of raw political influence by the Obama administration.

A summary of the scandal that I put together … Read More ➡

Ocasio-Cortez’s Fundraising Tangle Included 527 Soft Money Operation

From the Washington Examiner, by Alana Goodman:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., sat on the board of a political action committee that operated the type of “soft money” group she wants to abolish through a constitutional amendment, according to federal records reviewed by the Washington Examiner.

“Soft money” is cash that goes to an interest group or PAC. This means it is largely unregulated and avoids the firm limits placed on “hard money” that usually goes directly to candidates or parties.

Ocasio-Cortez was a board member of Justice Democrats, a group that sought to get progressive candidates elected, from November 2017 to 2018. The group was founded by Saikat Chakrabarti, a Harvard graduate and technology entrepreneur who became an organizer for Bernie Sanders during the socialist’s 2016 presidential campaign, and progressive media personality Cenk Uyger. Chakrabarti is now Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff

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Ocasio-Cortez Attacks NLPC; Gets it Wrong— Twice

The following by Alex Griswold appeared in the Washington Free-Beacon:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) sent a false tweet Monday when attempting to correct a tweet that was also false.

A conservative nonprofit recently filed an FEC complaint against Ocasio-Cortez, arguing that the candidate violated campaign laws in her relationship with a PAC and business operated by her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. Luke Thompson, vice president of the Republican analytics firm Applecart, was the first to call attention to Chakrabarti’s role as architect of the opaque fundraising scheme.

Left-wing Intercept reporter Jon Schwarz noted in response that Thompson had once worked at Right to Rise, a 2016 pro-Jeb Bush super PAC that was recently fined by the FEC for accepting foreign donations. Ocasio-Cortez quote-tweeted his tweet and crowed that “the creepy org filing bogus ethics complaints against me just *actually* got hit with one of the biggest fines … Read More ➡

Anti-Semitism and ‘Islamophobia’: No Moral Equivalence

The disgust that many people feel following Thursday’s House of Representatives resolution condemning “hate” is justified. The resolution, retrofitted to the goals of “Third World first, America last” Democratic Party radicals, was a stern rebuke to critics of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., the Somalia-born Muslim whose derogatory comments about Jews triggered the action. Since anti-Semitism and Islamophobia each constitute “hate,” the argument goes, they are equally bad. Both therefore must be condemned without regard as to whether one does more harm than another.

Many naïve, well-meaning people across the political spectrum believe this moral equivalence claptrap. For them, opposing “hate” is a no-brainer. Who possibly could be in favor of it? Given such an assumption, a condemnation by Congress of hate in all forms is necessary. To single out anti-Semitism is insufficient since it implicitly gives other forms of hate a free pass. That’s why the resolution, which passed 407-23, … Read More ➡

‘This Isn’t Dark Money, It’s Pitch Black Money’

NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty appeared on Fox Business Network’s Evening Edit With Liz MacDonald on Wednesday, March 6 to discuss the Complaint by the National Legal and Policy Center’s Complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).… Read More ➡

FEC Complaint Filed Against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for ‘Extensive Off-the-Books’ Campaign

National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed a formal Complaint today with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti, and several other individuals and groups who orchestrated an extensive operation to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign spending during the 2018 campaign, in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended.

The funds were expended in support of ten or more Congressional candidates by a for-profit entity called Brand New Congress LLC, apparently operated by Chakrabarti. The Act requires that all expenditures of $200 or more to be disclosed to the FEC, and their purpose identified. The Complaint alleges that Chakrabarti’s LLC served as a “cutout,” for at least $885,735 received from Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign and two federal political action committees, Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats PAC.

The final disposition of the funds is unknown … Read More ➡

New Book Reveals Deep State Role in Pakistani Infiltration of House Democrats

Some conspiracy theories describe actual conspiracies. And ignoring the evidence can put a nation in harm’s way. Consider the possibility that an extended Pakistani family used their employment as cybersecurity specialists to steal emails, documents and equipment from dozens of members of the House of Representatives and then transfer them to outside parties, including the government of Pakistan. In a new book, Obstruction of Justice: How the Deep State Risked National Security to Protect the Democrats (Regnery), Daily Caller reporter Luke Rosiak makes a compelling case that this really happened. To their great debit, the FBI, the Justice Department, Capitol Police and lawmakers in both parties ignored the danger signs, and often provided cover for the culprits. Welcome to the Deep State.

It is overwhelmingly accepted among Democrats that Donald Trump and certain among his top aides conspired with Russian intelligence agents via social media to “steal” the 2016 presidential … Read More ➡

Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Staff Salary Cap a Way to Avoid Disclosure?

With great fanfare, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently announced that she would pay members of her staff a “living wage,” of at least $52,000 per year, and no staffer would make more than $80,000.

Alana Goodman in the Washington Examiner today raised the question of whether the cap served another purpose. From the story:

The National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, said the $80,000 salary cap for Ocasio-Cortez’ senior staffers was concerning because it could be used to intentionally evade financial disclosure laws.

“Purposefully underpaying staffers in order to avoid transparency is an old trick some of the most corrupt members of Congress have used time and again,” said Tom Anderson, director of the NLPC’s Government Integrity Project.

 … Read More ➡

Appeals Court Turns Back Constitutional Challenge to Mueller

Andrew Miller

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a constitutional challenge to the authority of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in a case brought by Andrew Miller, a former aide to Roger Stone during the 2016 Republican Convention who challenged a subpoena to appear before the grand jury last June.

“We are disappointed with the decision and will be considering future legal action, whether before the full court of appeals or the Supreme Court,” said Paul Kamenar, attorney for Mr. Miller. “The fact that the court took more than three months to decide this appeal after oral argument compared to the three days it took in December to decide another challenge to a Mueller subpoena issued to an unnamed foreign corporation, demonstrates that this was a serious and substantial challenge,” Kamenar added.

“We’re committed to continue supporting this legal challenge and any related actions“ … Read More ➡

Congressional Black Caucus Members Make ‘Mockery’ of Travel Rules with South Africa Junket

Beyonce and Jay-Z in South Africa

From Washington Examiner by Alana Goodman:

Five members of the Congressional Black Caucus took an official three-day trip to South Africa to be feted as VIPs at a Beyonce and Jay Z concert, according to congressional disclosure records.

The stated purpose of the $60,000 trip in December was to attend the “Global Citizen Mandela 100” concert, the stated purpose of which was to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the late Nelson Mandela and raise awareness of global poverty. The extravaganza was headlined by Beyonce, Jay Z, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, and Chris Martin.

Democratic Reps. Gregory Meeks, Barbara Lee, Bobby Rush, Terri Sewell, and Hank Johnson attended the event with VIP backstage passes. Also at the concert was Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS coordinator and special representative for Global Health Diplomacy.

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