Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Corruption’ Category

Read Full Post »

Unequal Protection: Part I: Corporations Take Over

Truthout

Tuesday 15 March 2011

by: Thom Hartmann, Berrett-Kohler Publishers | Serialized Book

Chapter 1: The Deciding Moment?

The first thing to understand is the difference between the natural person and the fictitious person called a corporation. They differ in the purpose for which they are created, in the strength which they possess, and in the restraints under which they act.

Man is the handiwork of God and was placed upon earth to carry out a Divine purpose; the corporation is the handiwork of man and created to carry out a money-making policy.

There is comparatively little difference in the strength of men; a corporation may be one hundred, one thousand, or even one million times stronger than the average man. Man acts under the restraints of conscience, and is influenced also by a belief in a future life. A corporation has no soul and cares nothing about the hereafter….

—William Jennings Bryan, in his address to the
Ohio 1912 Constitutional Convention

Part of the American Revolution was about to be lost a century after it had been fought. At the time probably very few of the people involved realized that what they were about to witness could be a counterrevolution that would change life in the United States and, ultimately, the world over the course of the following century.

In 1886 the Supreme Court met in the U.S. Capitol building, in what is now called the Old Senate Chamber. It was May, and while the northeastern states were slowly recovering from the most devastating ice storm of the century just three months earlier, Washington, D.C., was warm and in bloom.

In the Supreme Court’s chamber, a gilt eagle stretched its 6-foot wingspan over the head of Chief Justice Morrison Remick Waite as he glared down at the attorneys for the Southern Pacific Railroad and the county of Santa Clara, California. Waite was about to pronounce judgment in a case that had been argued over a year earlier, at the end of January 1885.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Contact:  Garrett Russo //

13 Oct 2010 //

Washington, D.C. - Corrupt lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are polluting the United States Capitol.  These members highlight the need for increased oversight by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), including expanding its reach to the Senate. Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released The Most Corrupt Members of Congress: Unfinished Business, highlighting the urgent need for active ethics enforcement in Congress. In fact, ethical lapses are the only true bipartisan activity in Washington today, and further highlight the need for increased enforcement in the 112th Congress. Many of these same characters will likely remain on the public payroll.

“Since CREW released our first Most Corrupt report in 2005, more than half of the unethical members of Congress we’ve highlighted have left office,” said Melanie Sloan, CREW’s Executive Director.  “That’s a pretty good batting average, but not good enough. 26 shady politicians remain, most of whom haven’t even been investigated by the congressional ethics committees. Congress must give the OCE the tools it needs to ensure that every corrupt politician is held accountable for his or her actions.  In addition, the Senate would benefit from the creation of a similar office with jurisdiction to inquire into senatorial misdeeds.”

Currently the OCE has no subpoena power, a very limited time frame to investigate any allegations, and can only look at misconduct that occurred since March 2008.  In spite of being forced to fight with one hand tied behind its back, the OCE has referred 13 cases to the House Ethics Committee for review, though the committee has taken action against only two.  Even that limited success has prompted members of both parties to openly talk of stripping away the OCE’s authority — or even dismantling the office altogether — in the 112th Congress. Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) has proposed legislation that would eviscerate the OCE, and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has said he wants to “take a look” at its usefulness.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

12 of America’s Most Crooked Candidates on the Ballot in the 2010 Election

Here are some of the absolutely least deserving candidates for high office.
September 16, 2010 |

Since 2005, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), has compiled a list of the dirtiest, most corrupt critters to scurry across the halls of Congress. The annual report shines some light on the double-dealing and back-scratching of some shady characters, and its release generally gets good play among political reporters.

But 2010 is the year of the upstart, insurgent candidacies — with dozens of “outsiders” on the scene dedicated to “cleaning up Washington,” “taking our country back,” etc. It’s the year of the Tea Parties, and no incumbent is safe. So it’s entirely appropriate that CREW should release a new list this year, one that looks not at the worst sitting members of Congress but at the dirtiest candidates — the people most likely to rank among the most corrupt in Congress if they go on to win their elections.

From James Traficant, running as an independent candidate in Ohio just 14 months after his release from prison on charges of bribery, racketeering and filing fraudulent tax returns, to Alvin Greene, an unemployed and apparently indigent Democratic Senate candidate out of South Carolina who can’t explain how he came up with the $10,000 fee required to file — here are 12 of the absolutely least deserving candidates for high office.

Roy Blunt — Running for U.S. Senate, Missouri

Roy Blunt is a candidate in the Republican primary for the United States Senate in Missouri. For the last 14 years, Rep. Blunt has served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s 7th congressional district. As a member of Congress, Rep. Blunt came under fire for a variety of issues including employing the same corrupt tactics that forced his mentor, former Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, to resign. Rep. Blunt’s ethical issues were documented in CREW’s 2006 report on the most corrupt members of Congress.

In 2003, Rep. Blunt divorced his wife of 31 years to marry Philip Morris (now Altria) lobbyist Abigail Perlman. Before it was known publicly that Rep. Blunt and Ms. Perlman were dating – and only hours after Rep. Blunt assumed the role of Majority Whip – he tried to secretly insert a provision into Homeland Security legislation that would have benefitted Philip Morris, at the expense of competitors. Notably, Philip Morris/Altria and its subsidiaries contributed at least $217,000 to campaign committees connected to Rep. Blunt from 1996 to 2006.

Also in 2003, Rep. Blunt helped his son, Andrew Blunt, by inserting a provision into the $79 billion emergency appropriation for the war in Iraq to benefit U.S. shippers like United Parcel Service, Inc. and FedEx Corp. Andrew Blunt lobbied on behalf of UPS in Missouri, and UPS and FedEx contributed at least $58,000 to Rep. Blunt from 2001 to 2006.

Family connections have also helped another of Rep. Blunt’s sons, former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. Gov. Blunt received campaign contributions from nearly three dozen influential Missouri lobbyists and lawyers when he ran for governor of Missouri in 2004, half of whom had provided financial support to his father. Earlier in 2000, when Matt Blunt was running for Secretary of State, Rep. Blunt was involved in an apparent scheme, along with Rep. DeLay, to funnel money through a local party committee into Matt Blunt’s campaign committee.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Pakistanis skeptical about a new one billion dollar US embassy

By T9 Times Articles

Posted on 19 Aug 2009 at 1:18am GMT

The Pakistani government is suspicious of a nearly one billion dollar U.S. plan to expand the American embassy in Islamabad, a senior Pakistani official told The Media Line.

Following reports earlier this week that the scheduled $945.2 million expansion of the U.S. embassy in Islamabad was to include the deployment of up to 1,000 U.S. Marines to the Pakistani capital, a highly-placed official in the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said the government is increasingly sceptical of the U.S. plan and intends to raise the issue with Richard Holbrooke, U.S. President Barack Obama’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Well, here we go again, the 2nd. largest embassy on the planet, only to be exceeded by “Fortress America” in Baghdad. I suppose that “suspicious” could be called a vast understatement, when considering the secrecy and then the final unveiling four years later, of an embassy that actually serves as a military installation.

The Military Petrochemical Agrocorporate Fusion Energy Complex is obviously still Hell bent on “the long war” and will go to any lengths to pursue their efforts to control Middle Eastern oil.

Read Full Post »

Apple Jacks, Prada, And Kidney Trafficking: Taking Stock Of The New Jersey Arrests

TPM Muckraker- By Zachary Roth – July 27, 2009, 12:04PM

At 6am last Thursday, more than 200 FBI and IRS agents fanned out across the state of New Jersey, as part of that corruption and money-laundering probe that ended up netting 44 people, including mayors, rabbis, and a state lawmaker.

Now that the dust has settled, it’s worth taking a look at the whole sprawling operation.

The story (sub. req.) starts with a 36-year-old real-estate investor and philanthropist named Solomon Dwek. Dwek, a member of the tight-knit Syrian-Jewish community of Deal, New Jersey, used family connections — his father is a prominent local rabbi — to win investors’ trust and build a real-estate fortune whose value at one time approached $500 million.

But at some point, Dwek appears to have taken out more loans than he could pay back. In 2006, in an effort to pay back his creditors, he allegedly deposited a $25 million check at PNC Bank, which was not backed by funds. He was charged with defrauding the bank out of $25 million.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Agents led suspects from F.B.I. headquarters in Newark on Thursday. The inquiry began with questions on money laundering.

Agents led suspects from F.B.I. headquarters in Newark on Thursday. The inquiry began with questions on money laundering.

DAVID M. HALBFINGER | NYT | July 23, 2009

A two-year corruption and international money-laundering investigation stretching from the Jersey Shore to Brooklyn to Israel and Switzerland culminated in charges against 44 people on Thursday, including three New Jersey mayors, two state assemblymen and five rabbis, the authorities said.

The case began with bank fraud charges against a member of an insular Syrian Jewish enclave centered in a seaside town. But when that man became a federal informant and posed as a crooked real estate developer offering cash bribes to obtain government approvals, it mushroomed into a political scandal that could rival any of the most explosive and sleazy episodes in New Jersey’s recent past.

Peter J. Cammarano III, leaving the courthouse in Newark, was elected Hoboken mayor in June. He is accused of agreeing to help a supposed developer with his projects in exchange for cash.

Peter J. Cammarano III, leaving the courthouse in Newark, was elected Hoboken mayor in June. He is accused of agreeing to help a supposed developer with his projects in exchange for cash.

It was replete with tales of the illegal sales of body parts; of furtive negotiations in diners, parking lots and boiler rooms; of nervous jokes about “patting down” a man who turned out to indeed be an informant; and, again and again, of the passing of cash — once in a box of Apple Jacks cereal stuffed with $97,000.

“For these defendants, corruption was a way of life,” Ralph J. Marra Jr., the acting United States attorney in New Jersey, said at a news conference. “They existed in an ethics-free zone.”

Mr. Marra said that average citizens “don’t have a chance” against the culture of influence peddling the investigation had unearthed.

Ralph J. Marra Jr., above center, acting United States attorney in New Jersey, said average citizens “don’t have a chance” against the culture of corruption unearthed.

Ralph J. Marra Jr., above center, acting United States attorney in New Jersey, said average citizens “don’t have a chance” against the culture of corruption unearthed.

Even veteran political observers were taken aback by the scope of the investigation. The mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield were among those arrested.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Related

Life Can Imitate Art: Indictments Describe Deals More Fit for a Crime Movie (July 24, 2009)

Syrian Sephardic Communities Shaken by Charges Against a Leading Rabbi (July 24, 2009)

Millionaire, Patron and Now Informant (July 24, 2009)

Read Full Post »

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: July 23, 2009 | Filed at 8:25 a.m. ET

Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano is one of many people brought to FBI Headquarters in Newark after an being taken into custody early this morning. Robert Scrianno/The Star-Ledger

Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano is one of many people brought to FBI Headquarters in Newark after an being taken into custody early this morning. Robert Scrianno/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — FBI agents are sweeping across northern New Jersey Thursday, making arrests in what reportedly is described as a major corruption probe.

WNBC-TV in New York reported and showed images of the mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus being taken into FBI headquarters in Newark. The station also showed rabbis being taken into custody.

Radio station New Jersey 101.5 FM reports the sweeps are taking place in Hudson, Bergen, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

The stations say the probe centers on money-laundering and political bid rigging.

FBI spokeswoman Myrna Williams tells The Associated Press the arrests will go on till noon. She would not provide any more information.

Corruption has permeated New Jersey politics for years. Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie takes credit for 130 convictions of elected and appointed officials on corruption charges.

Christie is the Republican candidate for governor.

Dennis Elwell, mayor of Secaucus is lead to to FBI Headquarters in Newark after an being taken into custody early this morning. Robery Scrianno/The Star-Ledger

Dennis Elwell, mayor of Secaucus is lead to to FBI Headquarters in Newark after an being taken into custody early this morning. Robery Scrianno/The Star-Ledger

Monmouth County and Federal Investigators remove boxes of evidence from the Deal Yeshiva as part of an international money laundering and corruption probe that includes rabbis in the Syrian Jewish communities of Deal and Brooklyn.

Monmouth County and Federal Investigators remove boxes of evidence from the Deal Yeshiva as part of an international money laundering and corruption probe that includes rabbis in the Syrian Jewish communities of Deal and Brooklyn.

Click here for more pics from The Star-Ledger – NJ.com

Read Full Post »

TPM July 18, 2009

A bipartisan group of six “moderate” US senators, dubbed the “Gang of Six” by news agencies, issued a demand July 17 for a slowdown on Democratic health care reform. These senators – including three conservative Democrats, one conservative Independent who caucuses with Democrats, and two moderate Republicans – asked for a slowdown on health care reform not because their constituents wished it so: recent polls show that a clear majority of Americans want health care reform now including a public health care option such as that proposed by President Obama and progressives in Congress. No, these senators asked for a slowdown on health care reform because the for-profit health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries have bid them to do so in the hope that reform can be stopped, and because these same industries have generously provided them with career campaign contributions totalling more than $11 million.

Read more about these sicko’s

Gang of Sickos (part 2)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 503 other followers

%d bloggers like this: