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).
Commentators on both the Left and the Right are suggesting that the impending indictment of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is retribution against Menendez for his recent criticisms of Obama administration foreign policy. While we concur that almost everything that Attorney General Eric Holder does is tainted by politics, a few points about the Menendez case are in order:
1) The reported charges against Menendez, that he tried to interfere with a Medicare fraud investigation of his largest donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, and that he went to bat for Melgen in the Dominican Republic port security deal, were not cooked up by the political operation at the White House.
The Medicare investigation was initiated by the anti-fraud unit of HHS. (Melgen was the biggest recipient of Medicare reimbursement in the whole country in 2012). The port security deal was uncovered by the National Legal and Policy Center. We broke the story … Read More ➡
CNN is reporting that Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) will be indicted on charges related to favors he provided to his largest campaign contributor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Miami-area eye doctor.
The probe was reportedly initiated after media reports that Menendez intervened on Melgen's behalf with government officials regarding a Medicare billing dispute and a port security deal in the Dominican Republic. Based on information provided by NLPC, the New York Times first reported on February 1, 2013 that Menendez went to bat for the Dominican port security deal that would have resulted in a "highly lucrative windfall" for Melgen.
One of Melgen’s companies contributed $700,000 to Senate Majority PAC, a “super PAC” associated with now-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Most of the money was spent in New Jersey to re-elect Menendez in 2012.
Lachlan Markay of the Washington Free Beacon website today details the saga of something called the Clean Energy Project. Founded and staffed by for former aides to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), the nonprofit collected donations from corporations which received hundreds of millions in federal grants and loan guarantees at Reid’s urging. From the article:
Their donations to the CEP suggest “a vehicle to promote pay-to-play politics,” says Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, an ethics watchdog group.
“It is run by Reid insiders, funded by those who want Reid’s political favors, and there’s a track record of Reid dispensing favors to those who fund it,” Boehm said in an email. “As the late Senator [Sam] Ervin said, sometimes things are what they look like.”
Also from the article:
Rebecca Lambe, Reid’s top political strategist who has been directed by Reid to take the lead
Eric Holder is on his way out as U.S. attorney general, but he wants to leave a reminder of his legacy. Unfortunately, it is a legacy of racial polarization heavily driven by his ally, Al Sharpton. The Department of Justice (DOJ) today released a report concluding that police in Ferguson, Mo., the St. Louis suburb where a fatal shooting last August by a white officer, Darren Wilson, of a violent black youth triggered repeated rioting, has exhibited patterns of bias. Released in summary form earlier this week, the study accuses Ferguson police of systematic targeting of blacks. Yet the accusation is flimsy, a vindictive response to a state grand jury’s sensible refusal last November to indict Wilson for murder. Its motive is even more obvious in light of DOJ’s decision today to clear Wilson of civil rights violations.
National Legal and Policy Center has been on this from the start. … Read More ➡
Christine Young is the Consumer Watchdog that has written about the newest GM safety concern on timesleader.com. Ms. Young tells the story of a frustrated Chevy Cruze owner who is afraid to drive his vehicle because of problems with power steering. GM’s response to the problem belies the perception that the company is properly addressing safety issues on its vehicles.
You see, GM has sent letters and issued a service bulletin that admits a dangerous defect exists. However, owners are … Read More ➡
A recent search of Manheim’s auction site gives the best indicator of Chevy Volt’s wholesale value. A whopping 138 model year 2012 Volts sold in just one week at the auction. That’s about the same amount of NEW Chevy Volts that are sold by General Motors in a week!
The news for Volt owners is not good. The average sale price for a 2012 Volt at auction was below $12,000. That’s about $3,000 less … Read More ➡
Achieving justice, Al Sharpton-style, isn’t cost-free. And even his natural allies are admitting that the New York-based civil rights leader-provocateur can’t say “no” when it comes to money. This Tuesday, the New York Post published an article on a Staten Island, N.Y. rally on behalf of the late Eric Garner, a local black resident who died last July 17 soon after being arrested by police. Rev. Sharpton has championed his cause, insisting that white cops had racial motivations in using a banned chokehold in the arrest, which involved Garner’s attempted sale of loose cigarettes. Yet Garner’s adult daughter, Erica Snipes, is not impressed. Asked by an undercover video journalist if she thought Sharpton was a crook, she responded, “He’s (Sharpton’s) about this,” rubbing her fingers together. And she’s not the only person who feels the Rev is putting his bank account first.
Today’s Chicago Tribune spotlights Commonwealth Edison’s “charitable” contributions to activist groups that might be expected to oppose electricity rate increases. From the article by Julie Wernau:
Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center just outside Washington, D.C., called the practice of making such donations a "double cheat" on ratepayers.
"Why should ratepayers have to pay increased rates so the utility can go out and give money to groups that might otherwise criticize their increase request?" Boehm said.
The article also detailed contributions to foundations and groups associated with Illinois politicians:
Commonwealth Edison spent $27,000 in ratepayer money in 2013 for a golf outing hosted by members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, which was raising money for the legislative body's foundation.
ComEd used $736,000 in ratepayer money in 2011 to fund World Business Chicago, an economic development organization chaired by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The CEO
Is the fix in? General Motors is acting like it faces a major decision in responding to the self-nomination of Harry Wilson for its board of directors. Wilson was one of the key members of President Obama’s Auto Task Force, and purports to be acting at the behest of hedge funds who want GM to spend the “cash hoard” that was made possible by US taxpayers.
Ironically, Wilson was one of the people who determined how much of a “hoard” GM would accumulate, an amount he now criticizes as being excessive. During, and just prior to, GM’s bankruptcy process, taxpayers supplied about $50 billion to “invest” in the company. Canadian taxpayers chipped in about $10 billion while GM had its balance sheet cleared of about $30 billion of debt. The liabilities owed to the politically-favored UAW remained intact.
Why did the Auto Task Force that Wilson served believe that GM … Read More ➡