Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category
It isn’t a secret that Steny Hoyer is a partisan hack who doesn’t have consistent principles. That’s apparent in Hoyer’s latest statement to the press. Monday morning, Hoyer issued a statement, saying “One of the basic principles that safeguards our democracy is the separation of the personal business interests of our leaders from the government business with which they are entrusted while in office. That is why I am deeply concerned by reports over the past few days that Donald Trump is continuing to promote his personal business ventures as he prepares to assume the presidency. Reports of his meeting with Indian business representatives and reports that he used a phone call with Argentinean President Mauricio Macri to lobby on behalf of a Trump-branded building project are, if accurate, unacceptable behavior for the incoming President of the United States.”
Don’t mistake my opinions with defending Donald Trump. I won’t defend the indefensible. Another thing I won’t do is tolerate political hacks that use situational principles. I define situational principles as principles that are used on political opponents but aren’t used on political allies.
I checked Hoyer’s Whip webpage to see if he’d issued any statements criticizing Hillary Clinton’s pay-for-play scheme through the Clinton Foundation. Thus far, I haven’t found anything resembling that. This statement, however, complains about the House Oversight Committee’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation. While Hoyer stopped short of defending the Foundation, that didn’t prevent him from launching a blistering political attack against Republicans:
With their barrage of unwarranted attacks through subpoenas and letters, House Republicans are engaged in a blatant and partisan campaign to discredit Secretary Clinton at the expense of American taxpayers and Congressional resources. Investigation after investigation has found no wrongdoing, and Director Comey made clear that there was no criminal activity. House Republicans’ attacks against Secretary Clinton have become an obsession, and they have been dragging the American people along with them on a political witch hunt while ignoring critical challenges that ought to be the focus of Congress’s attention instead.
Apparently, the American people thought the Clinton’s pay-to-play disturbing. First, every poll released in the final month noted that the American people didn’t trust Mrs. Clinton. Next, I think it’s interesting that Hoyer thinks investigating the Clinton Foundation’s self-enrichment plan isn’t using Mrs. Clinton’s official governmental responsibilities for personal enrichment.
Clearly, donors thought that donations to the Clinton Foundation bought them additional access to Mrs. Clinton. That’s what this article indicates:
Foundation officials delayed release of the quarterly report of its latest donors on its website until the after the Nov. 8 presidential election, which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost to Republican rival Donald Trump.
The low number of new donors may indicate potential contributors were frightened away by repeated news reports that the Clinton charity is under FBI investigation regarding multiple allegations of “pay-to-play” influence-peddling schemes involving both Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, as well as their key political aides.
The thing that this election taught us is that people are tired of DC insiders being hypocrites. I suspect that people think of Hoyer as being a classic DC hypocrite. This video is proof of that:
Technorati: Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Clinton Foundation, Pay for Play, Democrats, Donald Trump, Mauricio Macri, Conflict of Interest, Republicans, Election 2016
After Marilyn Mosby dropped the remaining charges against the 6 Baltimore police officers, it didn’t take long for the other shoe to drop. 5 of those 6 officers have filed a civil lawsuit against Ms. Mosby.
According to the article, “In several lawsuits filed earlier this year, Officers William Porter, Edward Nero, Garrett Miller, Lt. Brian Rice, and Sgt. Alicia White alleged defamation, false arrest, false imprisonment, and violation of constitutional rights, among others.” Later in the article, Attorney Michael Glass explained that “These officers were humiliated. Our position is that the charges were brought for a reason other than prosecuting criminal conduct. There was a political motivation and the charges were not supported by evidence.”
The acquittal of these officers, coupled with Ms. Mosby’s attention-grabbing headline will make it easier for these officers to win their lawsuit. Throughout the process, lawyers questioned Ms. Mosby’s decision. Alan Dershowitz was among those that criticized her decision:
One of the key figures in this lawsuit will be Samuel Cogen of the Baltimore Sheriff’s Office. The reason he’ll be important is because Mosby’s prosecutors initially said that he’d conducted an independent investigation. He’s gone under oath since then in an attempt to clear his name:
However, in an affidavit unsealed in the course of Rice’s civil lawsuit, Cogen claimed he in fact did not conduct the investigation. He said he merely signed off on the investigation completed by the state’s attorney’s office which ultimately led to the charges filed against the officers.
The situation is perfect for the plaintiffs. They can approach Cogen and offer to drop his case in exchange for his truthful testimony.
Showing that Mosby’s prosecutorial team embellished the truth will strengthen these officers’ lawsuit.
Back in late May, 6 GOP legislators sent a letter to Paul Thissen, criticizing him for his temper tantrums that he directed at GOP staffers. That’s what elitists do when they don’t get their way. In Rep. Thissen’s instance, he’s spent 2 years in political Siberia. While Thissen mistreated GOP staffers, DFL legislators sat silent.
Lest anyone think that the DFL’s corruption is tied only to the House while they’re the minority party, the truth is that the DFL’s corruption is much deeper than that. The DFL is the majority party in the Senate. Still, DFL Senate Deputy Majority Leader Jeffrey Hayden has admitted to accepting money from Community Action of Minneapolis for “plane tickets, hotel stays and spa services for he and his wife.” That’s metro DFL-speak for saying he got caught red-handed doing something he shouldn’t have done.
They caught Hayden after the Minnesota Department of Human Services investigated Bill Davis, then the CEO of now-defunct Community Action of Minneapolis, aka CAM. When they investigated CAM, the investigation found that Davis had “spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money on trips, golf and other perks. The Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Commerce pulled their contracts with the group after a DHS audit found Community Action overcharged state and federal grant programs for more than $600,000 of administrative costs.”
Now, Sen. Sandy Pappas is stonewalling an Ethics Subcommittee hearing in her attempt to protect Sen. Hayden. Alpha News’s Julia Erynn has done an outstanding job covering this scandal. Make sure to check out her latest article, which focuses on Sen. Hayden’s ethics difficulties.
Electing DFL majorities, then expecting ethical behavior, is foolish. They’re experts at sitting silent while they watch other DFL legislators mistreat staffers or rip off public programs for thousands of dollars. At the 1996 Republican National Convention, J.C. Watts gave a memorable keynote speech, saying that the definition of character is “doing the right thing even when no one was watching.” Rep. Thissen and Sen. Hayden don’t fit that definition.
In typical progressive do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do fashion, Russ Feingold has exposed himself as just another typical career politician:
According to a report earlier this week by the Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice, Feingold’s political action committee, Progressives United PAC, bought 100 leather-bound copies of the ex-senator’s 2013 book, along with 1,000 hardcover copies. Feingold also received $77,000 in salary from both the PAC and its nonprofit companion.
Of course, Feingold’s act for years has been not having an act. As a champion of campaign finance reform, he has consistently condemned the pernicious effects of money in politics. But evidently his distaste for campaign cash wasn’t enough to keep him from bathing his cronies in greenbacks.
The PAC was created with the stated goal of “directly and indirectly supporting candidates who stand up for our progressive ideals.” But instead, it appears it existed almost solely to support salaries for Feingold loyalists who lost their jobs after his 2010 loss to businessman Ron Johnson. Bice calculated that nearly 90% of the $7.1 million raised between January of 2011 and March of 2015 went to fundraising or staff salaries, including $317,823 to Feingold’s former chief of staff, Mary Irvine. All told, Feingold, Irvine and eight former staffers drew salaries or consulting fees from the fund.
We’re talking about the same principles as the Clinton Foundation except on a significantly smaller scale. The Clinton Foundation was essentially a holding spot for Hillary’s campaign-in-waiting:
The media’s focus is on Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, and whether she took official actions to benefit her family’s global charity. But the mistake is starting from the premise that the Clinton Foundation is a “charity.” What’s clear by now is that this family enterprise was set up as a global shakedown operation, designed to finance and nurture the Clintons’ continued political ambitions. It’s a Hillary super PAC that throws in the occasional good deed.
Other than in scale and the Foundation’s “occasional good deed”, how is Feigold’s PAC different than the Clinton Foundation?
This is a big deal. It isn’t that progressives will abandon Feingold. It’s that independents that thought of him as a straight shooter will abandon him. This will still be a featured race in 2016 but this Journal-Sentinel article will definitely hurt Feingold.
Last night on the Special Report All Star Panel, Ron Fournier said that James Carville had accidentally sold Hillary out:
Fournier also commented on James Carville’s defense of Clinton, arguing that “what Carville did is give up the goods. What he admitted there was that this was not a matter of convenience, which is what the Secretary said. He admitted that the reason she did this was so she didn’t have to comply with the oversight of the House, and with the natural laws of transparency. He gave up the goods. He sold her out.”
What a tangled web she weaves when Hillary attempts to deceive. The more she talks about this, the deeper she digs the hole. The dishonesty is bad enough but that isn’t the worst part for Hillary.
Hillary’s dishonesty contributes to her image that she isn’t trustworthy. Everyone remembers her most famous moment of dishonesty:
It’s clear that Hillary’s first instinct is to not tell the truth. It’s clear that telling the truth isn’t a high priority with her. In fact, Hillary has repeatedly shown that Hillary’s highest priority is protecting Hillary politically.
As bad as those things are, though, they aren’t Hillary’s worst attributes. What’s worst is that Hillary’s lived a life of privilege for so long that she thinks that the rules don’t apply to her. Every State Department employee signs Form OF-109…except Hillary. Every State Department employee’s emails are stored on the State Department’s server. When those employees leave, the State Department determines which emails are personal and which are work-related…except Hillary.
People talk about Hillary’s campaign as a coronation. What these people haven’t realized is that Hillary’s already appointed herself queen…years ago.
Cleta Mitchell’s tireless work on the IRS scandal has turned up some interesting information:
Cleta Mitchell, who testified Wednesday to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, pointed out to Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer that IRS employees belong to the National Treasury Employees Union, which has directed 94 percent of its contributions to Democrats this election cycle.
The union, she said, has given to 11 of the 18 Democrats on the House Oversight Committee.
“And, every time there is a hearing on any aspect of this investigation about the IRS targeting,” Mitchell said, “the Democrats come in one by one and say the same thing over and over again. ‘Let’s shut this down. Let’s shut this down.’”
This fits perfectly into the Democrats’ culture of corruption method of operation. A special interest organization or a government employees union contributes to a powerful Democrat’s campaign and, suddenly, that union’s scandal disappears. It hits the proverbial black hole, never to be seen again for the rest of eternity.
This type of quid pro quo enables corrupt bureaucrats to continue their corrupt practices because they know they’re protected if they’re ever caught. Why wouldn’t the IRS let their ideology get in the way of their professional responsibilities? If their corruption ever got caught, Elijah Cummings would just get in front of a camera and complain that this is a partisan witch hunt, that Republicans were selectively leaking information that lacked proper context, etc.
It isn’t a stretch to think that the IRS’s campaign contributions contributed to the Democrats’ change in tone. When the investigation focused on “rogue agents in Cincinnati”, Democrats were outraged at the IRS’s activities. The minute that people figured out that it wasn’t confined to Cincinnati, the Democrats’ storyline changed. I don’t know when the IRS started contributing to the Democrats’ campaigns but it wouldn’t surprise me if their contributions coincided with the Democrats’ change in tone.
That isn’t proof but it isn’t implausible either.
The Democratic members of the committee pressed the theme that the IRS also targeted progressive groups, though little support for that argument was received from the witnesses.
If I were advising Chairman Issa, I’d authorize Rep. Cummings to put an official committee report that a) listed the specific progressive groups that the IRS targeted, b) highlights what additional scrutiny the IRS gave to these progressive organizations and c) reported how long it took for these progressive organizations to get their applications approved.
Further, I’d impose a deadline that the report is due by. Finally, I’d tell Chairman Issa to prepare a chart listing a) all of the TEA Party organizations that the IRS asked intrusive questions of and b) whether these organizations’ applications were approved and how long it took to get their applications approved.
That way, there could be a detailed, side-by-side comparison between the IRS’s targeting of TEA Party organizations and the alleged ‘targeting’ of progressive organizations.
Imagine the visual contrast if it’s shown how intrusive the additional IRS questions were for TEA Party organizations, how many of the TEA Party organizations still hadn’t gotten their applications approved after 2 years and how the allegedly ‘targeted’ progressive organizations got their applications approved in a short amount of time.
That’s something the Democrats and the IRS couldn’t explain away. That’s because the IRS scrutiny of TEA Party organizations was stifling, improper and possibly a violation of their civil rights.
Technorati: IRS, Campaign Contributions, Elijah Cummings, Progressives, Culture of Corruption, Democrats, TEA Party Organizations, IRS Applications, Cleta Mitchell, Darrell Issa, Investigation, Transparency, GOP
Back in February of 2007, then-Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller pushed through a $30-a-day increase in per diem payments for senators:
The Senate voted 59-7 to ratify an increase in daily expense allowances from $66 to $96 per senator, a 45 percent boost. The ratification came with a hitch: Those who voted for it automatically get the expense payments, known as per diems. The seven senators who voted against it don’t get it. “You can’t vote ‘no’ and take the dough,” Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, said after the vote.
The seven dissenters, all Republicans, can still collect expense checks. But first, they must tell the Senate fiscal staff how much they will take, and that paperwork will be public. Voting “no” were Sens. Ray Vandeveer, of Forest Lake; Dick Day, of Owatonna; David Hann, of Eden Prairie; Bill Ingebrigtsen, of Alexandria; Amy Koch, of Buffalo; Geoff Michel, of Edina; and Pat Pariseau, of Farmington.
One of the senators that voted for that outrageous increase was Julianne Ortman. According to this article, Sen. Ortman was a busy person that winter:
It’s been a busy and prosperous spring for Sen. Julianne Ortman.
For the past six weeks, Ortman has been working full time in her new $91,000-a-year job as chief financial manager for the office of Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, a political ally. At the same time, she has been collecting her $31,149-a-year legislative salary and a $96 daily expense allowance while missing some committee hearings and Senate floor sessions.
The dual roles of the Republican from Chanhassen, an assistant leader of the minority caucus, were evident May 11. Ortman was paid by Hennepin County as working on county business from 8 until 10 a.m., while state records show her answering a roll call for the start of the day’s Senate session in St. Paul at 9:20 a.m. A review of county payroll records and Senate documents from April and early May show that Ortman often bounced between her two jobs, at times starting one job just minutes after officially punching out from the other.
According to this search website, the article was first published by the Star Tribune on May 19, 2007. Mark Brunswick and Mike Kaszuba were the reporters. Mssrs. Brunswick and Kaszuba should be praised for their work in piecing this information puzzle together.
It’s bad enough that Sen. Ortman voted for that expensive per diem increase. I said at the time that $66 a day is more than enough, especially when the senators that voted for the per diem increase were getting the per diem 7 days a week from the first day of the session until the last night of the session.
It’s worse knowing that Sen. Ortman was on the clock for the legislature and for Hennepin County at the same time:
In two instances, she missed Senate committee meetings while working for the county, according to the records. Meanwhile, many of her county payroll records show her working long hours, evenings and weekends on days when the Senate was in session.
Sen. Ortman owes taxpayers an explanation for how she worked long hours for Hennepin County at the same time the Senate was also in session. They’d probably like to know how it’s possible to be in two places at the same time.
Obviously, this isn’t a policy difference. However, it’s the type of thing that raises ethical and potentially legal questions about Sen. Ortman.
Alan Dershowitz, the famed civil rights attorney and Harvard Law School professor, is upset with the prosecutors in the George Zimmerman trial:
Immediately after the verdict was announced, however, the NAACP and outspoken activist Al Sharpton called on the Justice Department to launch a federal civil-rights probe, charging that the case had been racially tainted.
Dershowitz is calling for a civil-rights probe as well. But he contends the person whose rights were violated was Zimmerman.
“I think there were violations of civil rights and civil liberties — by the prosecutor,” said the criminal-law expert. “The prosecutor sent this case to a judge, and willfully, deliberately, and in my view criminally withheld exculpatory evidence.”
The evidence in this case was contradictory. That means the jury couldn’t have honestly been certain of anything. That’s reasonable doubt. The jury could’ve said that they found the evidence sufficient to convict. That’s what race-baiters like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and President Obama were counting on. They’d pinned their hopes on the jury voting on their emotions, not the evidence.
To their credit, the jury didn’t take the bait from these race hustlers. They followed the law. They examined the evidence. They concluded that George Zimmerman acted in self defense. Either that or they concluded that the prosecution didn’t meet their burden of proving their theory of the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Dershowitz singled out special prosecutor Angela Corey for “disciplinary action.”
He criticized the state’s probable-cause affidavit for not including evidence indicating Zimmerman could have been acting in self-defense, including graphic images of blood streaming from his scalp and nose.
“The prosecutor had in her possession photographs that would definitely show a judge that this was not an appropriate case for second-degree murder,” the Harvard professor told Newsmax. “She deliberately withheld and suppressed those photographs, refused to show them to the judge, got the judge to rule erroneously this was a second-degree murder case.
“That violated a whole range of ethical, professional, and legal obligations that prosecutors have. Moreover, they withheld other evidence in the course of the pretrial and trial proceedings, as has been documented by the defense team,” he said.
It’s quite stunning to hear of a special prosecutor withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense team. The picture of George Zimmerman’s bloody head alone should’ve eliminated the charges of second degree murder before the trial. It also should’ve put into question whether there was a case for manslaughter.
That’s because the picture showed that it was reasonable for George Zimmerman to think his life was in danger. Regardless of who followed who, the reality is that George Zimmerman’s worries were legitimate the minute Trayvon Martin started bashing George Zimmerman’s head into the pavement.
The race-baiting industry won’t stop because hatemongers like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Barack Obama need it to continue. That’s the sad commentary on America.
Tags: Angela Corey, Special Prosecutor, Ethhics Sanctions, Civil Rights Violations, Prosecutors, Exculpatory Evidence, Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School, Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Self Defense, Reasonable Doubt
One man’s unsubstantiated accusations might be a liberal’s smokescreen. That appears to be the case with this editorial. Here’s what I’m specifically talking about:
Remembering this is a family newspaper, my descriptors point more toward sad, spiteful, brutal, even mean. Yes, they come in two colors: red and blue.
Whaddya mean I can’t say U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is dead-on right to say fellow House Rep. Keith Ellison is tied to a terrorist group?
Those two statements summarize several correspondences I’ve had from local readers wanting to share their opinions on unsubstantiated accusations from both of these elected officials.
This isn’t an unsubstantiated accusation. It’s Randy’s excuse for not running an LTE I submitted during the height of the National Security Five noncontroversy. I provided the proof of the Keith Ellison-Muslim Brotherhood connection in this post:
Tax records show the group that paid Ellison’s expenses, the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, received nearly $900,000 in taxpayer money in 2006 and 2007 from a rental arrangement for Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA), an Inver Grove Heights charter school.
Here’s the connection to the Muslim Brotherhood:
In May 2005, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross reported in The Weekly Standard that MAS is a U.S. front group for the Muslim Brotherhood, a claim supported by a September 19, 2004 Chicago Tribune story that stated: “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.”
It’s become increasingly clear that Krebs sees his job as providing political cover to the DFL. This isn’t an unsubstantiated rumor. Documents filed with the state of Illinois identify the Muslim American Society as being part of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Tax records verify that the MAS/Muslim Brotherhood paid for Ellison’s trip to Mecca. In fact, Ellison was the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation for accepting that expensive of a gift at a time when Democrats were in the majority.
It’s stunning to think that Krebs thinks that the connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and Keith Ellison isn’t direct and substantiated.
Simply put, it isn’t that the last 3 months of a campaign are the silly season. A legitimate case can be made that campaigns get silly in September and October.
It’s that it’s silly season 24/7 at the Times.
There’s no question that President Obama appreciates this disgusting ad:
That’s because this president, and the staff he surrounds himself with, love playing dirty politics. President Obama picked Bill Burton to be his deputy press secretary. President Obama knew that Bill Burton wasn’t a man of great character. That’s why it can’t be a surprise to the Obama campaign that Burton put this disgusting, almost defamatory, ad together.
It’s the Chicago way.
About the ad itself, others have given Mr. Soptic a pass:
It is my sincerest hope that when you made your anti-Romney ad mentioning your wife, your thinking was still too muddled by grief to make reasonable judgments. If so, shame on those who encouraged you and on those who exploited your rash words in this ad.
I won’t give Mr. Soptic a pass. I won’t hesitate in saying that it’s tragic when a woman that young dies of cancer. That’s as far as I’ll go, though.
It’s important to remember that it’s been 6 years since his wife passed away. That’s plenty of time to properly grieve his wife’s death. It’s equally important to remember that the insinuations didn’t come from a man who’d lost his wife weeks ago. They came from a man who’d had 6 years to collect himself.
He knew that Mitt Romney didn’t have anything to do with his wife’s death. Let’s be clear about this. If Bain hadn’t closed GST Steel, would his wife still be alive? No rational person would argue that.
President Obama hired David Axelrod, too. Axelrod plays dirty like other Chicago politicians and operatives. He doesn’t play hardball. He’s an outright liar who, when he’s caught, tries to deflect,change the subject and obfuscate. He’s a despicable person.
Which leaves the Dirtbag-in-chief. He’s loving this. If he has to have his henchmen use a dishonest, albeit sympathetic, man insinuate that Mitt Romney killed his cancer-riddled wife, he won’t hesitate in pulling that trigger.
By Bill Burton’s standards, President Obama and disgraced AG Eric Holder have blood on their hands because Operation Fast and Furious led directly to Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death.
If President Obama had character, he would’ve fired Holder and Secretary Napolitano immediately for their incompetence and their covering Operation Fast and Furious up. Instead, he hid the documents that Chairman Darrell Issa’s committee had subpeonaed with a flimsy assertion of Executive Privilege.
That’s before talking about the lies that Stephanie Cutter has told. She said she didn’t know anything about Mr. Soptic’s story so she wouldn’t comment on Burton’s video. Then it’s exposed that she participated in the campaign’s conference call with Mr. Soptic.
Don’t any of these people tell the truth?
President Obama’s administration and campaign are as disgusting as anything Richard Nixon ever put together. That’s what’s earned him the title of Dirtbag-in-Chief.
Tags: President Obama, Operation Fast and Furious, David Axelrod, Chicago Way, Bill Burton, Eric Holder, Joe Soptic, Stephanie Cutter, Janet Napolitano, Corruption, Richard Nixon, Democrats, Election 2012