Tag Archives: bank accounts

Greed in Congress

In my mind there are two types of people on Capitol Hill. There are those who are really trying to fix America’s problems and there are those who are really trying to line their own pockets. I really love those who are trying (even those who are misguided but who are trying to fix America). I really, really loathe those who are simply padding their bank accounts.

From NYT:

Soon after he retired last year as one of the leading liberals in Congress, former Representative William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts started his own lobbying firm with an office on the 16th floor of a Boston skyscraper. One of his first clients was a small coastal town that has agreed to pay him $15,000 a month for help in developing a wind energy project.

Amid the revolving door of congressmen-turned-lobbyists, there is nothing particularly remarkable about Mr. Delahunt’s transition, except for one thing. While in Congress, he personally earmarked $1.7 million for the same energy project.

So today, his firm, the Delahunt Group, stands to collect $90,000 or more for six months of work from the town of Hull, on Massachusetts Bay, with 80 percent of it coming from the pot of money he created through a pair of Energy Department grants in his final term in office, records and interviews show.

Experts in federal earmarking — a practice of financing pet projects that has been forsaken by many members of Congress as a toxic symbol of political abuse — said they could not recall a case in which a former lawmaker stood to benefit so directly from an earmark he had authorized. Mr. Delahunt’s firm is seeking a review of the arrangement from the Energy Department. (more…)

More from CREW:

Rep. Delahunt’s case may be more direct than most, but he isn’t alone. CREW’s research found five other former lawmakers, all of whom left office within the past five years, collecting lobbying fees for institutions they earmarked to while in office (two others are registered to lobby for institutions they have earmarked to, but reported earning only nominal fees). The members collectively earmarked more than $70 million to the organizations they went on to represent, and have pulled in a total of nearly $1.9 million from the work. Former Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), for example, earmarked $1.6 million for defense contractor Northrop Grumman in the 2008 budget. Then he left office – but apparently kept up the relationship. The company was one of his early lobbying clients, and lobbying disclosure records show the contract brought in nearly $1.3 million in fees between 2008 and 2010.

Sunday Afternoon News Roundup

  • It seems that everybody on the planet is following the Casey Anthony trial. I actually had to do a Google search in order to figure out who Casey Anthony was. I think it’s far more interesting to follow the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case. Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the former head of the IMF. He’s been accused of the rape of a hotel maid. I thought the case was locked tight when his DNA was found on the maid’s clothing. But no! The prosecution’s case has begun to crumble. The maid was taped during a call with her boyfriend saying, “Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing.” That doesn’t sound so good for the prosecution. She lied about being gang raped in Guinea. She told prosecutors that she had a single source of income, her maid job, but she has four different bank accounts with over $1000 each in four different states. All of a sudden the former IMF chairman seems to be looking less and less guilty.
  • Another week goes by and another Republican announces that he/she is running for president. This time it is Thaddeus McCotter, a congressman from Michigan.
  • A huge protest at the Georgia state capitol over their extremely restrictive immigration law. We need to get a handle on immigration. This is not something that the states need to undertake or should undertake, in my opinion. Instead, Congress needs to fix this.
  • According to a new poll, only 58% of Americans knew the answer to this question: “In which year did the United States declare its independence?” Seriously? Republicans are cutting education budgets throughout the country. When you see results like this, it is obvious that we need to increase education funding, not cut it. In case you’re wondering, the answer is 1776.
  • If you’re looking for a good reason why the American middle class struggling, just look at this article on a BMW plant which is closing. This is exactly what happened throughout the Midwest. Once good manufacturing jobs leave, members of the middle class, as a rule, are forced to take lower paying service sector jobs. I think I would feel differently if companies who are outsourcing jobs were losing market share or losing money, but neither is the case. Instead, companies want to make more money than they’re already making. I would feel better if this outsourcing and increased corporate profits would lead to increased salaries for workers, but it doesn’t. The only ones who win from this outsourcing are the corporate executives. When America begins to care about the middle class again, stuff like this will not happen.
  • A Pennsylvania congressman confronts his constituents over cuts to the middle class and protecting big business and the rich.
  • Michele Bachmann ended her gaffe-prone week by stating, “a dollar in 2011 should be the same as a dollar in 1911.” I’m not sure what Michele Bachmann meant by the statement. I think that she was implying that the Obama administration’s trying to stimulate the economy and injecting money into the system has caused the devaluation of our dollar. I guess she was suggesting that we should’ve done nothing and sat by as millions more Americans would’ve lost their jobs, pushing unemployment rates up to the 15-20% range. Is that what she is suggesting?
  • Leave it to Chuck Schumer, Senator from New York, to say what everyone else is thinking. The GOP is sabotaging the economy for their own political gain. I don’t know if this is true or not. I do know that a stimulus of some sort will help the economy and help drive down the unemployment rate. The GOP is resisting this with all of its might.

Alvin Greene used his own money

Alvin Greene

Do you think that South Carolina authorities turned over every rock to make sure that this fishy story held up? In my mind, it doesn’t matter. SC Dems should run candidates that excite SC. They obviously didn’t in this case.

From HuffPo:

Greene had reported just over $1,000 in monthly income on court paperwork and was appointed a public defender to represent him on a pending obscenity charge. His meager finances raised questions about how he paid the required $10,440 fee to run as a U.S. Senate candidate.

But when state agents reviewed Greene’s bank accounts, they found an October deposit of nearly $6,000, which was Greene’s military exit pay, and about $3,000 deposited early this year from state and federal tax refunds, Lloyd said.

The records matched Greene’s story that the 32-year-old candidate, who has been collecting unemployment benefits since he left the military in August, was able to afford the fee because he saved his money and lived frugally.

“He clearly does not have someone paying him. He just decided to take his money and run for U.S. Senate. There’s no big conspiracy,” Lloyd said. (more…)