Tag Archives | Corruption

Where in the World are Obama’s Blunders (That is, Bundlers)?

Suitcase Of MoneySeth Cline writes on Open Secrets:

Nearly lost in the troves of campaign finance data recently released by presidential candidates was an updated list of bundlers for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. These 359 well-connected supporters have raised at least $56 million for Obama and the Democratic National Committee so far this year, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Obama’s campaign, the sole presidential campaign to disclose information about its bundlers, only gives broad ranges for the amounts these elite fund-raisers have raised, so the exact amount they’ve raised is unknown.

But because the campaign releases a figure for the minimum amount bundled, it’s safe to say that bundlers constitute a sizable portion of the fund-raising for Obama and the DNC.

In fact, more than $1 of every $3 donated to Obama and the DNC so far this year has come from bundlers, according to the Center’s research.

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Media Roots: Occupy Wall Street, Divide & Conquer, Medical Marijuana Crackdown

Via Media Roots: Abby & Robbie Martin cover the Occupy Wall Street Movement: the divide and conquer tactics being used to discredit OWS, the different schools of thought and ideology within the movement and the original demands made by the U.S. Day of Rage; the Obama administration's shocking crackdown on medical marijuana and new federal law banning medical marijuana card holders from owning firearms; Blackwater and the privatization of the armed forces: is the corporatization of the U.S. military preventing an anti-war rebellion similar to that seen in the '60s?
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JP Morgan Chase Donates $4.6 Million To NYPD On Eve Of Protests

167451-occupy-wall-streetWondering how much it costs to buy off the police department? JP Morgan Chase just gave the New York City Police Foundation the largest donation in its history. How the police show their gratitude will presumably determine whether they receive similar donations from companies in the future. Via Naked Capitalism:

No matter how you look at this development, it does not smell right. From JP Morgan’s website, hat tip Lisa Epstein:

JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD’s main data center.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sent CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon a note expressing “profound gratitude” for the company’s donation.

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It’s Time to Get Money Out of Politics

Boss TweedVia GetMoneyOut.com:

Bailouts. War. Unemployment. Our government is bought, and we’re angry. Now, we’re turning our anger into positive action. By signing this petition, you are joining our campaign to get money out of politics. Our politicians won’t do this. But we will. We will become an unrelenting, organized wave advocating a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics.

As the petition grows, we can use on The Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC as a platform to force this issue to the center of the 2012 elections. From our former Washington lobbyist, Jimmy Williams, here is a DRAFT of our constitutional amendment:

“No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S.

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“Monetizing” Electoral Politics: TV Networks Are Out To Sell, Not Tell

CampaignPinsAlready the projections are in—not for who is going to win the election in 2012—but for how much it is likely to cost.

Public Radio International concludes: “Campaign spending in the 2012 US election could reach $6 or 7 billion dollars as outside groups pay for electoral influence.”

Here we are in the middle of a deep recession that’s getting deeper by the day, with austerity the unofficial slogan du jour while Republican scheme up new ways to trim, cut and decimate government spending, and parties are spending billions on political horse races.

They decry government spending but they don’t talk much about their own spending, do they?

And neither do the Democrats who are also backing an orgy of spending cuts if only to show their opponents how “responsible” they are.

As both parties slash spending that benefits people, they are in a manic overdrive effort to raise more for themselves and their campaigns.… Read the rest

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‘Kids For Cash’ Judge Gets 28-Year Prison Sentence

ap_Mark_Ciavarella_nt_110818_wgPennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella jailed teenagers for minor offenses (e.g. satirizing a teacher on Myspace) in return for over $1 million in kickbacks from the area's for-profit youth prison. Mother Sandy Fonzo alleges that Judge Ciavarella is only "the tip of the iceberg" in a practice that is occurring across the country. Fonzo's star-wrestler son, whom Ciavarella sentenced, committed suicide after spending six months imprisoned among violent offenders as punishment for being caught with a marijuana pipe. In her words, "Judge Ciavarella is proof that for-profit incarceration cannot happen." The Kids For Cash scandal involved more than 30 state and local government officials and contractors, says ABC News.
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South Africa’s Cancer Of Corruption

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA: Twenty one years after Nelson Mandela walked free, corruption has become the issue du jour in South Africa.

Even president Jacob Zuma who narrowly slithered out of a corruption trial before his election is blasting corruption in the ranks of the African National Congress which came to power as the morally superior alternative to an apartheid regime that shamelessly used the wealth it controlled to benefit Afrikaners and deprive the black majority of services.

“Let’s make a plan,” were the code words members of the all white National Party used to scheme ways of stealing state resources to benefit themselves, a cozy reality overshadowed by the vicious racial policies that outraged the world.

As the ANC prepared to win power democratically, there was concern among leaders that a deprived black majority might feel it was “their turn” and thus, their right to cash in on their political victory.… Read the rest

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Wyoming: The New Cayman Islands

Cayman IslandsKelly Carr and Brian Grow recently reported in Yahoo Finance:

The secretive business havens of Cyprus and the Cayman Islands face a potent rival: Cheyenne, Wyoming.

At a single address in this sleepy city of 60,000 people, more than 2,000 companies are registered. The building, 2710 Thomes Avenue, isn’t a shimmering skyscraper filled with A-list corporations. It’s a 1,700-square-foot brick house with a manicured lawn, a few blocks from the State Capitol.

Neighbors say they see little activity there besides regular mail deliveries and a woman who steps outside for smoke breaks. Inside, however, the walls of the main room are covered floor to ceiling with numbered mailboxes labeled as corporate “suites.” A bulky copy machine sits in the kitchen. In the living room, a woman in a headset answers calls and sorts bushels of mail.

A Reuters investigation has found the house at 2710 Thomes Avenue serves as a little Cayman Island on the Great Plains.

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