Posts Tagged ‘Disclosure Forms’

Culture of corruption postscript: The Hilda Solis files

by Michelle Malkin on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

This is article 410 of 457 in the topic Government Corruption

urlCulture of corruption postscript: The Hilda Solis files
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2014

Put on your super-shocked faces, everyone: Former Obama administration official Hilda Solis, who is now running for yet another government position in Los Angeles, is embroiled in yet another union corruptocracy scandal. The Hope and Change hits just keep on coming.

Solis served as President No More Business As Usual’s first secretary of labor. Remember waaaay back then, when “most transparent administration in history” had not yet become an automatic punchline? Well before Solis’ confirmation, it was already clear she was a poster child for left-wing sleazeball politics:

–Solis’ husband’s businesses failed to pay thousands of dollars in tax liens, which were 16 years old, until she was nominated.

–While she was in Congress, Solis served as director and treasurer of a union-promoting lobbying group, American Rights at Work, which was pushing her Big Labor “card check” legislation to eliminate the secret ballot, undermine worker choice and obliterate privacy protections.

–Solis failed to disclose those interest-conflicted positions to the House on her financial disclosure forms. In effect, she was lobbying herself — while the group she worked for raked in at least $1 million in contributions from labor unions and spent thousands of dollars on television spots described by the group in its report to the FEC as “electioneering communications.” The scheme circumvented vaunted McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms barring so-called soft money donations from unions and corporations alike. Despite apparent violations of both basic disclosure and campaign finance rules, Solis skated.

–Upon winning confirmation, Solis quickly went to work doling out plum political appointments at the Labor Department and fat pay raises to a half-dozen of her former Capital Hill staffers. Americans for Limited Government found that “the appointees had significant pay increases averaging 50 percent upon changing jobs; one employee’s salary nearly doubled.” Cha-cha-cha-ching!

After stepping down from her Obama cabinet position last year, Solis is back in the political spotlight. With massive union backing of some $500,000, she’s running for the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Question: Why did she step down from her cushy White House post? Inquiring local reporters in Los Angeles wanted to know.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that her resignation coincided with an FBI inquiry into her role at an Obama reelection campaign fundraiser in 2012. When the paper asked the Solis campaign whether she had informed Obama of the FBI probe, a spokesman responded tersely: “It is inappropriate for a cabinet official to (discuss) private communications with the president.”

Oh, now we care about what’s appropriate? LOL.

It also turns out that for the entire last year she served as President Obama’s labor secretary, Solis had retained a high-priced Washington, D.C., law firm “to address legal issues” involving the fundraiser and possible violations of the federal Hatch Act — which prevents cabinet members from directly grubbing for campaign cash. Solis had incurred a debt of between $50,000 and $100,000 for the legal bills. Her campaign says it’s almost “all” paid off, but won’t specify by how much.

On Monday, the latest eruption of corruptocracy shook the Solis machine. Hews Media Group-Community News obtained a lawsuit filed in California’s Central U.S.

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McClatchy: Obama signed ‘if you see federal employees who look like they could leak something, say something’ executive order

by Doug Powers on Thursday, July 11th, 2013

This is article 348 of 457 in the topic Government Corruption

You might have expected the “most transparent administration in history” to have less of an obsession with leakers instead of more when compared with previous administrations, but that’s far from the case:

In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.
[...]
Federal employees and contractors are asked to pay particular attention to the lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors – like financial troubles, odd working hours or unexplained travel – of co-workers as a way to predict whether they might do “harm to the United States.” Managers of special insider threat offices will have “regular, timely, and, if possible, electronic, access” to employees’ personnel, payroll, disciplinary and “personal contact” files, as well as records of their use of classified and unclassified computer networks, polygraph results, travel reports and financial disclosure forms.

According to McClatchy, President Obama mandated the “if you see a potential leaker, say something” in a 2011 executive order, but that didn’t stop Snowden. A similar “find the leakers” initiative did however help root out such notoriously leaky federal employees as James Rosen and his parents.

Report “odd behavior”? Like this?

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Or this?

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Or this?

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Just a demonstration of how difficult it is to spot “odd behavior” at the federal level these days.

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Fiscal cliff negotiations update: Biden, Congress to receive pay increases — no other news to report

by Doug Powers on Friday, December 28th, 2012

This is article 432 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

All of us watching the “fiscal cliff” circus (or as much of it as we’ve been allowed to watch) who are potentially faced with paying higher taxes next year while the country is set to hit the debt limit on New Year’s Eve have only one question on our minds: When will President Obama lift the pay freeze on federal employees?

Well lose sleep no more, America, because that day is today:

President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.

According to disclosure forms, Biden made a cool $225,521 last year. After the pay increase, he’ll now make $231,900 per year.

Members of Congress, from the House and Senate, also will receive a little bump, as their annual salary will go from $174,000 to 174,900. Leadership in Congress, including the speaker of the House, will likewise get an increase.

Biden’s contract called for an additional performance bonus if he hit more than 100 gaffes during the 2012 election season — a goal he eclipsed easily.

Here’s a good question:

Shouldn’t the senate pass a budget before getting a pay raise? weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-or…

They could be thinking that if they pass a budget there might not be enough wiggle room for a pay raise, so it’s best to do it the other way around.

Still no fiscal cliff deal to announce. There are reports of a “mini deal” in the works, which often turn out to be one giant horrible idea chopped into smaller bite-size pieces.

(h/t Twitchy)

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Susan Rice’s ‘fat cat’ foreign investments blasted by liberal group

by Jim Kouri on Monday, December 3rd, 2012

This is article 48 of 116 in the topic Obama Appointments

While President Barack Obama lambastes the so-called “fat cats” who “outsource” their money and jobs to other countries, perhaps the President should look at one of his own minions, Susan Rice, who appears to have turned her government connections into a winning lottery ticket, said a political strategist on Sunday.

According to Mike Baker, a GOP consultant and attorney, a liberal-left grassroots organization this weekend setup an Internet petition slamming Susan Rice, a potential secretary of State nominee, and demanding she divest herself of her stock in the Canadian company seeking approval for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline to the Gulf Coast.

“It’s indefensible that Susan Rice has millions of dollars invested in oil companies and banks that will make huge profits if the State Department gives approval to the XL pipeline,” said officials at Roots Action.

According to Baker, Rice, the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, owns somewhere between $300,000 and $600,000 in TransCanada Corp. stock, as per her financial disclosure forms.

The pipeline needs the approval of the State Department before construction can begin and Amb. Rice may be the person who can give that approval, thereby enriching her, her friends and fellow party members.

The exposing of Rice’s financial history has led to intense criticism from environmentalists at a time when several Senate Republicans have vowed to oppose her because of her early statements about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

Green groups are pressing the White House to require that any nominee for the position divest themselves of any stock in TransCanada or other oil sands companies.

“The core organizations of the Democratic base have vowed that after the election they will hold Obama’s “feet to the fire” with a Tea Party-style mobilization from the left — forcing votes on progressive proposals, organizing mass rallies and grooming their own candidates for the next congressional elections. They’ve sworn these oaths before, but after each election, they persuade themselves to give the leadership another chance. Soon the next election is upon them, and they line up for their marching orders” states the Roots Action news and views section.

“As a high-ranking administration official — and a potential replacement for Hillary Clinton early next year to run the State Department — Susan Rice shouldn’t have any stake in corporations that are doing all they can to plunder tar sands in Canada and send carbon emissions soaring even faster,” the group states.

The Obama administration has touted Rice’s name as a possible Clinton replacement. In addition, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA) is supported by fellow lawmakers for the Secretary of State post as Hillary Clinton’s successor in President Obama’s second-term.

The GOP senators are the most vocal critics of Amb. Rice’s comments during her appearances on the Sunday morning news shows just five days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

According to her defenders, Rice had based her presentation on inaccurate or doctored intelligence assessments that the military-style assault on the U.S. Consulate and a nearby CIA facility, which killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, appeared to be spontaneous, inspired by protests across the Arab world against an anti-Islam video made in the United States.

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Censured tax cheat Charles Rangel to Mitt Romney: Unlike you, Americans pay their fair share of taxes

by Doug Powers on Friday, September 21st, 2012

This is article 177 of 307 in the topic Taxation/IRS

Our Hypocrite of the Week winner is Charles Rangel, the congressman who is living proof of a swamp left undrained. Rangel wins for this story that appears on his website: Rangel to Romney: Americans Pay Their Fair Share Of Taxes, Unlike You:

New York, NY – Congressman Charles B. Rangel issued the following statement in response to Gov. Mitt Romney’s remarks saying 47% of the American people do not pay federal income taxes and nearly half of voters are “dependent upon government”:

“Nothing can be further from the truth than Gov. Romney’s ridiculous remarks that nearly half of American people do not pay federal income taxes, they pay other federal and state taxes. The 47 percent figure cited by the Republican presidential candidate covers only the federal income tax and ignores the fact that people may pay a higher percentage of their income on a wide variety of taxes.

Flashback to 2010:

Rangel was found guilty by the ethics panel of 11 counts of violating ethics rules, including charges that he improperly solicited millions of dollars from corporate officials and lobbyists for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York, failed to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars of income and assets on financial disclosure forms, maintained a rent-stabilized apartment as a campaign office in a Harlem apartment building and failed to pay income taxes on a villa in the Dominican Republic.

We thank Congressman Rangel for the public reminder that compunction bypass surgery and excision of the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex are covered under Obamacare.

(h/t ZIP)

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The DNC’s Orgy of Lies and Hypocrisy

by Alan Caruba on Friday, September 7th, 2012

This is article 942 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

So far there is little to be believed in the course of the Democratic Party convention. It is a great concoction of half-truths, distortions, and outright lies. The hypocrisy fills the convention hall like the musk of a dead, decaying animal corpse.

I do not know why anyone is or should be surprised by this, given the party’s two designated leaders. President Obama has been telling voters the same lies over and over again since he began campaigning for the job. He is, of course, the titular leader of the Party.

The other is in a class of her own when it comes to lies, the DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. You don’t have to have to be a psychiatrist to know that Rep. Schultz is pathologically unable to tell the truth. It says a lot about the Party that she was chosen to be its chairwoman.

One need only Google “Debbie Wasserman Schultz + Lies” to come up with page after page of links to news reports and analysis pointing to lies that are often so blatant that they shocked seasoned news anchors like CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer, both of whom rebuked her on air.

In the interest of brevity, a quick look at Rep. Shultz’s lies includes her claim that she is just “a middle class American.” Not that many middle class Americans, however, have a second home. The Florida Representative has one in Newbury, New Hampshire.

Disclosure forms required of members of Congress revealed that in 2010 Rep. Schultz had a 401k retirement fund with investments in Swiss banks, foreign drug companies, and the state bank of India. There’s nothing illegal in this, but that does not excuse her efforts to tar Mitt Romney as someone hiding his assets overseas.

Rep. Schultz, however, really excels at telling lies about Republicans. Back in April during an appearance on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’, she said, “What’s really bothersome to me Candy is that it almost seems like my Republican colleagues in Congress and Mitt Romney are rooting for economic failure.”

As the convention began, the U.S. national debt hit $16,000,000,000,000! During his first term, Barack Obama added $6,000,000,000,000 and during half of his first term Democrats were in full control of Congress! It took George W. Bush eight years in office to add $4,000,000,000,000. Given another four years, Obama is on track to triple Bush’s debt increase.

Around the same time when the subject of voter IDs began to capture public attention, Rep. Schultz said that the Republicans’ call for IDs was comparable to the days of Jim Crow laws. When she was questioned by a crew from MRC-TV, she claimed she had never said such a thing. Meanwhile, everyone attending the Democratic Party convention must not only have a photo ID, but be prepared to show it three times in order to get into the venue.

In mid-August Rep. Schultz was asked if a major, liberal super PAC, Priorities USA Action, was sympathetic to the Democratic Party, she said she had “no idea” if that was true, but the next day on Fox News Sunday she was busy putting distance between the party and a particularly offensive television ad produced by the PAC.

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Culture of corruption update:Dirty Dem Laura Richardson gets House ethics wrist-slap for law-breaking, obstruction

by Michelle Malkin on Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

This is article 26 of 29 in the topic Ethics Investigations

This blog has chronicled the dirty dealings of California Dem Rep. Laura Richardson since May 2008, when she bailed on her half-million-dollar-plus, second-home mortgage. She was also a tax-dodger and utility bill welcher. A few weeks later, it turned out that she had defaulted on three home loans while lending her campaign $77,500. A few weeks after that, three defaults turned into six defaults. The unpaid debts kept piling up, but Richardson held on to her job. And Congress looked the other way…

…until 2009, when the House announced a probe into her failure to disclose required information on her financial disclosure forms and alleged special treatment from a lender.

In 2011, she was cleared of “knowingly” accepting favors, but became subject of a second probe into using employees on government time to work on her political campaign.

Last month, Richardson lost her primary re-election bid to fellow Dem Rep. Janice Hahn and will face off against her again on Nov. 6.

Today, the House Ethics Committee announced a belated wrist-slap in the second probe against Richardson:

Pursuant to House Rule XI Clause 3(q)(2)(D), today the Chairman of the Committee on Ethics, Representative Jo Bonner, and the Ranking Member, Representative Linda T. Sánchez, submitted a report to the House of Representatives in the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Laura Richardson. The full Committee report includes the report of the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) in this matter, along with the responsive views of Representative Richardson. The full Committee report also addresses the concerns and arguments made by Representative Richardson in her views.

At the completion of its investigation, the ISC unanimously concluded that there was substantial reason to believe that Representative Laura Richardson violated the Purpose Law, 31 U.S.C. § 1301; House Rule XXIII clauses 1, 2, and 8; Clause 2 of the Code of Ethics for Government Service; and other standards of conduct, by improperly using House resources for campaign, personal, and nonofficial purposes; by requiring or compelling her official staff to perform campaign work; and by obstructing the investigation of the Committee and the ISC through the alteration or destruction of evidence, the deliberate failure to produce documents responsive to requests for information and a subpoena, and attempting to influence the testimony of witnesses.

As part of a resolution Representative Richardson negotiated with the ISC, Representative Richardson agreed to admit to all seven counts in the Statement of Alleged Violation, accept all other terms of the ISC’s recommendations, and waive all further procedural rights in this matter provided to her by House or Committee Rule. On July 31, 2012, the full Committee unanimously accepted the ISC’s recommendations that the Committee submit a public report to the House, and that the adoption of that report by the House serve as a reprimand of Representative Richardson for her misconduct and impose a fine in the amount of $10,000 to be paid no later than December 1, 2012.

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DEBBIE WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: “It Would Be Nice If We Had A Candidate for President Who Was Committed To America”

by Stephen Levine on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

This is article 91 of 143 in the topic Democratic Party

The statement that can be read two ways …

On Mitt Romney: “”It Would Be Nice If We Had A Candidate for President Who Was Committed To America” <Source>

While we know that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is referring to Mitt Romney’s overses financial dealings, I can’t help but thinking the very same thing about President Obama …

From what I have observed in the media, Marxist Obama does not appear to be committed to America. Far from it.

  • Bowing and scraping to foreign dignitaries.
  • Telling an enemy sovereign to lay low until after his re-election when he will be more flexible.
  • Cutting domestic oil production to drive domestic energy prices higher and make energy independence almost impossible.
  • Dividing America into a group of aggrieved constituencies rather than uniting America behind the American way of life.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the shrill drama queen that heads up the Democratic National Committee is a prime example of democrat hypocrisy.

Romney’s investments …

On Mitt Romney: “ … So we can see why he’s invested in Swiss bank accounts and accounts in the Cayman Islands. And you know, we also need to know why does — what is the allure of investments out of the country.” <Source>

But disclosure forms reveal that in 2010, Wasserman Schultz invested between $1,001-$15,000 in a 401k retirement fund run by Davis Financial Fund. As the fund discloses, it is invested in the Julius Baer Group Ltd. and the State Bank of India GDR Ltd., as well as other financial, insurance, bank institutions. “The Julius Baer Group is the leading Swiss private banking group, focusing exclusively on the demands of sophisticated private clients, family offices and external asset managers from around the world,” its website explains. “Bank Julius Baer is the principal operating company of the Julius Baer Group, with origins dating back to 1890. The rich Swiss heritage becomes manifest in the values for which the Bank stands, e.g. trustworthiness, accountability, discretion and expertise. However, at the same time Julius Baer is a modern, forward-looking company at the leading edge of a genuine growth industry.”

Similarly, according to disclosure forms from 2004, Wasserman Schultz had holdings in the Fidelity Advisor Overseas Fund. That fund is invested in HSBC bank (a British financial institution), Hengdeli Holdings (a Hong Kong watch company), Novo Nordisk (a Danish drug company), Volkswagen (a German auto company), Rakuten (a Japanese shipping business), Richemont Cie Financiere (a Swiss luxury goods company), and many others. <Source>

While there is nothing sinister about investing overseas in emerging markets where growth makes for attractive investments, the democrat “queen of mean” continues to portray Romney as a rich elitists with no regard for America or American workers. Something that is so far from the truth as to be a produce of George Orwell’s 1984-speak where black is white and up is down. It is the height of hypocrisy to attempt to smear a candidate based, not on wrongdoing, but the class warfare that the democrats use to divide the nation into haves and have-nots for the purpose of politically harvesting the have-nots with promises of future entitlements.

Tax Returns …

“ … We don’t know because Mitt Romney has released one year of tax returns and an estimate of another year.

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Federal Reserve: So where are the consumers on the 2011 Consumer Advisory Council?

by Stephen Levine on Friday, January 14th, 2011

This is article 6 of 56 in the topic Federal Reserve

If you want to know why ordinary Americans have a deep suspicion of government and its pandering to special interests, you need go no farther than the perversion of language and intent when announcing consumer-related issues.

Style over substance?

Here we can see an example of style over substance in that the Federal Reserve Board has named ten new members to its Consumer Advisory Council and designated a new Chair and Vice Chair of the Council for 2011 – all the while knowing that the Council will be dissolved and new rules, regulations and disclosure forms will be issued by the recently-created Consumer Financial Protection Board.

The news release headline … “Consumer Advisory Council appointments for 2011”

Advisory status only … “The Council advises the Board on the exercise of its responsibilities under the Consumer Credit Protection Act and on other matters in the area of consumer financial services.”

Isolated in the beltway and scheduled to be disbanded … “The Council will hold its regular meetings in Washington, D.C., until the designated transfer date upon which certain consumer protection functions will be transferred from the Board to the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act.  As of that date, the Board’s Consumer Advisory Council will be dissolved.

And filled with special interest representatives …

Jim Park was designated Chair of the Council.  Mr. Park is the chief executive officer (CEO) of New Vista Asset Management .

Mary Tingerthal was designated Vice Chair of the Council.  Ms. Tingerthal is the President of Capital Markets Companies for the Housing Partnership Network.

The ten new members of the Council are:

Nancy Andrews, President and CEO, Low Income Investment Fund

Barrett Burns , President and CEO, VantageScore Solutions LLC.

Susan Ehrlich, President of Sears Financial Services

Josh Fuhrman, Senior Vice President, Programs and Policy,  Homeownership Preservation Foundation.

James Gutierrez, CEO, Progreso Financiero

Clinton Gwin, President, Pathway Lending.

Mike Long, Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, UW Credit Union

Rashmi Rangan, Executive Director of the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council

Kevin Stein, Associate Director of the California Reinvestment Coalition

Jonathan Zinman, Associate Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College

Council members whose terms continue in 2011 are:

Maeve Elise Brown, Executive Director, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates

Paula Bryant-Ellis, Senior Vice President, Community Development Banking Group, BOK Financial Corp.

Joanne Budde, President and CEO, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco

John P. Carey , Chief Administrative Officer, Consumer Banking, North America Citigroup

Tino Diaz, Managing Director and CEO, CharisPros – Mortgage Center

Kerry Doi, President and CEO, Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment

Betsy Flynn, CEO, President and Chairman, Community Financial Services Bank

Patricia Garcia Duarte, President and CEO, Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix

Ira Goldstein, Director, Policy Solutions, The Reinvestment Fund

Mike Griffin, Senior Vice President, KeyBank, N.A.

Brian Hudson, Sr., Executive Director and CEO, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency

Kirsten Keefe, Senior Staff Attorney, Empire Justice Center

Larry B.

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Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s closest aides earning millions

by John Lott on Monday, January 3rd, 2011

When government has a lot of money to give out, companies and unions will spend a lot to get that money. So much for Obama’s promises.

Some of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s closest aides, none of whom faced Senate confirmation, earned millions of dollars a year working for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and other Wall Street firms, according to financial disclosure forms.

The advisers include Gene Sperling, who last year took in $887,727 from Goldman Sachs and $158,000 for speeches mostly to financial companies, including the firm run by accused Ponzi scheme mastermind R. Allen Stanford. Another top aide, Lee Sachs, reported more than $3 million in salary and partnership income from Mariner Investment Group, a New York hedge fund.

As part of Geithner’s kitchen cabinet, Sperling and Sachs wield influence behind the scenes at the Treasury Department, where they help oversee the $700 billion banking rescue and craft executive pay rules and the revamp of financial regulations. Yet they haven’t faced the public scrutiny given to Senate-confirmed appointees, nor are they compelled to testify in Congress to defend or explain the Treasury’s policies. . . .

While it isn’t unusual for Treasury officials to come from the financial industry, President Barack Obama has been critical of Wall Street, blaming its high-risk, high-pay culture for helping cause the financial-market meltdown. . . .

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