Tag Archives: GOP Corruption

News & Comment

Did Trump Bribe Florida, Texas GOP Attorneys General in Trump University Scam?

Pay for Play? Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Donald Trump
Pay for Play? Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Donald Trump

Donald Trump has made it clear that he views campaign donations as bribes.

“As a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do,” Trump said in July 2015. “As a businessman, I need that.”

At a rally in Iowa in January, he put it even more plainly. “When I want something I get it,” Trump said. “When I call, they kiss my ass. It’s true.”

Now it is becoming clearer every day that Trump has given donations to at least two Republican state attorneys generals — Greg Abbott, who is now governor of Texas, and Pam Bondi of Florida — who then decided not to pursue fraud investigations into his Trump University get-rich scheme.

This scandal in which the Republican presidential nominee appears to have bribed state officials has largely been ignored by the Beltway media, who are instead fixated on Hillary Clinton’s ineptitude as a webmaster when she served as secretary of state.

But with new reports that Trump paid a $2,500 fine related to one of the donations, it appears unlikely that the “liberal media” can continue to ignore what could well be the biggest scandal of the 2016 campaign.

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Poetic Justice

Oodles of Rubles

Paul Manafort’s tenure as Trump’s guy is done.
His departure will go unmourned by anyone.
We can’t express joy
That he’s unemployed,
Because we know he still has his Russian slush fund.

News & Comment

Why the Silence about Donald Trump’s Mob Ties?

The company he keeps - from left: Paul "Big Paul" Castellano, Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, Roy Cohn, and Trump
The company he keeps – from left: Paul “Big Paul” Castellano, Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, Roy Cohn, and Trump

It is the most under-reported story of the summer, and the mystery is why. Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, is well known to have had ties to notorious crime figures like Paul “Big Paul” Castellano, head of the Gambino crime family, Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, boss of the Genovese mob, and others of their ilk in New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey.

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Enumerati

Poll: GOP Seen as Intractable, Dishonest, Unethical and Extreme by Most Americans

52% to 27%

Margin by which Americans perceive Democrats as more willing to work with the other party than Republicans, new Pew Research poll shows.”Democrats also hold a 20-point advantage when it comes to which party ‘is more concerned with the needs of people like me’ and a 10-point edge when it comes to governing in a more ethical and honest way. The GOP, meanwhile, is viewed as much more ‘extreme’ in its issue positions (54% to 35%) and more influenced by lobbyists (47% to 30%).”

Enumerati

Ex-Florida GOP Chair Greer Now Sells La-Z-Boy Recliners

$8/hour

“Jim Greer, the disgraced former chairman of the Florida GOP, is now selling La-Z-Boy recliners for $8 an hour plus commission at an Orlando-area furniture store as part of a prison work release program,” the Orlando Sentinel reports. “Greer still has seven months left on his prison sentence for stealing $125,000 from the state GOP.”

News & Comment

Boston Globe Denies Romney’s Demand for a Correction on Bain Story

Politico.com has published an email from Boston Globe editor Martin Baron to Gail Gitcho, communications director of the Romney campaign, in which Baron says the paper sees no need to correct its report that Romney remained in charge of Bain Capital three years longer than he has claimed:

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News & Comment

Nixon’s ‘Operation Diamond’ Plan to Neutralize Antiwar Protesters Included Mugging Squads and Kidnapping Teams

photo-vietnam-war-protest-1970

Washington Post:

John N. Mitchell, Nixon’s campaign manager and confidante, met with Liddy at the Justice Department in early 1972, when Mitchell was attorney general. Liddy presented a $1 million plan, code-named “Gemstone,” for spying and sabotage during the upcoming presidential campaign.

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News & Comment

DeLay Gets Three Years for Money Laundering Corporate Donations in 2002 Elections

Count me as surprised that DeLay was sentenced to jail time:

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a money-laundering case stemming from the 2002 elections.

DeLay, once one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress, was convicted in November for illegally funneling $190,000 in corporate money through the Republican National Committee to help elect Republicans to the Texas Legislature during the 2002 elections.

Texas judge Pat Priest sentenced DeLay to three years on a conspiracy charge and also sentenced him to five years in prison for money laundering. Priest, however, allowed DeLay to accept 10 years probation on the money laundering charge, assuming he meets certain conditions set by the court.

DeLay could have received up to life in prison on the money laundering and conspiracy charges.

The former Houston area congressman, known as “The Hammer,” was unrepentant today in court. “I fought the fight. I ran the race. I kept the faith,” he said, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

It will be a bigger surprise if he serves more than three months.

News & Comment

Ethics Group Files Complaint against Christine O’Donnell, Citing Embezzlement, Tax Evasion

David C. Weiss
David C. Weiss
Last week, CREW, the nonpartisan D.C.-based ethics watchdog group, announced it would filing a complaint against Christine O’Donnell, the GOP-tea party U.S. Senate candidate in Delaware. Today, CREW announced it had filed the complaint with the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware:

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed complaints with the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against newly-minted Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell (R) for using campaign funds for personal living expenses. By misusing campaign funds, Ms. O’Donnell committed the crime of conversion; by lying about her expenditures on forms she filed with the FEC, she committed false statements; and by failing to include the campaign funds she misappropriated as income, she committed tax evasion.

“Christine O’Donnell is clearly a criminal, and like any crook she should be prosecuted,” said Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director. “Ms. O’Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: thieves belong in jail not the United States Senate.”

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Camera

Christine O’Donnell’s Ex-Campaign Manager Accused Her of Embezzling Donations, Said O’Donnell ‘Just Wanted to Make a Buck’

As we noted earlier, the announcement by the nonpartisan ethics group CREW that it will file a complaint on Monday charging Delaware’s GOP-Tea Party Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell with misappropriating campaign donations apparently struck a nerve. O’Donnell reneged on two invitations to appear on Sunday political shows, including — and this is telling — the GOP-friendly show on the Fox.

O’Donnell’s alleged financial corruption may be news to the rest of the country, but on Election Day, the Delaware Republican Party, no less, released an anti-O’Donnell robocall in which Kristin Murray, O’Donnell’s former campaign manager accused O’Donnell of using campaign donations to pay personal expenses and of incompetent financial management that left bills unpaid and the campaign thousands of dollars in debt.

Transcript:

KRISTIN MURRAY: This is Kristin Murray. In 2008, I was the campaign manager for Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. I got into politics because I believe in conservative values and wanted to make a difference. But I was shocked to learn that O’Donnell is no conservative.

You see, this is her third Senate race in five years. As O’Donnell’s manager, I found out she was living on campaign donations — using them for rent and personal expenses, while leaving her workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt.

She wasn’t concerned about conservative causes. O’Donnell just wanted to make a buck. That’s why I left and why I won’t trust O’Donnell with my hard-earned tax dollars.

This ad has been paid for by the Delaware Republican party, www.delawaregop.com. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

As Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW, said in a release last week, “Ms. O’Donnell has had no discernible job for several years, and instead has lived the life of a professional candidate, using the generosity of her campaign donors for her support … That may just be freeloading to most people, but it’s embezzlement for a federal candidate.”

In the robocall, Murray suggests that O’Donnell’s financial shenanigans somehow make her “no conservative.” This is laughable, of course. Based on the right wing’s abysmal track record in managing the economy, O’Donnell’s financial incompetence and malfeasance make her a textbook conservative.