Posts Tagged ‘ethics’
February 19th, 2013 at 12:31 pm
More Local Govt. Corruption in California

An investigative report from the Orange County Register deserves to be read in its entirety, but here’s my executive summary.

Hundreds of schools in California enlisted the services of a bank to underwrite school construction bonds, known on Wall Street as “capital appreciation” bonds.  The key attraction: no payments on principal or interest for 35 years.

Of course, that kind of delay isn’t free.  One school district in Orange County is estimated to owe $13 for every $1 borrowed when the bills come due.  This means that for one $22 million bond issue in 2011, the Placentia-Yorba Linda school district will eventually owe $280 million – 13 times the original amount.

It gets worse.  In 2008, thanks to arguably illegal politicking by the bank underwriter, district voters approved up to $200 million in bond issuances.  But while not all of the total are capital appreciation bonds, those that are could very well bankrupt the district for a generation or more.

The failures on display here are all too familiar.  Public officials opting to mortgage the future to look like a hero in the present saddle taxpayers with huge financial burdens.  Financial whizzes with no ethical scruples abuse the system for big profits.  And money wasted on concrete eye-candy – a football stadium and 600 seat performing arts center – while funding for classroom instruction gets reduced.

While there is no silver lining to the Register piece, it’s worth reading as a reminder of how much American government at all levels needs a deep renewal of ethics, thrift, and a commitment to the common good.

December 5th, 2011 at 3:56 pm
Fact Checking Gingrich’s Ethics

Newt Gingrich thinks that Nancy Pelosi just gave him a great Christmas gift. She is so despised by conservatives, he thinks, that having her threaten to unleash dirt on him will make conservatives rally to his cause. But let’s think this out a little further: Nancy Pelosi knows the same thing. She WANTS it known that she wants to go after Gingrich, because she WANTS conservatives to rally to his cause, because she KNOWS he is so incredibly beatable — in part because of all the dirt that she and so many others have stored up about the guy.

So she’s playing smart politics by helping Gingrich now — because helping Gingrich now helps Obama later.

Meanwhile, there’s a problem with Gingrich’s complaint, here:

Gingrich said that Pelosi’s suggestion that she would reveal information from that investigation underscored that the ethics charges were politically motivated. “It tells you how capriciously political that committee was,” Gingrich said.

The problem is that Gingrich actually admitted having prevaricated to investigators for two solid years about the charges. Moreover, it wasn’t just Democrats who found him flagrantly guilty; it was his fellow Republicans, or at least three of the four of them, who joined the conclusion.

So how, pray tell, was it politically motivated?

All of which is just by way of acting as a fact checker….. Politically, of course, Gingrich is an effective salesman, in a way, of the Gingrich cause, which is the cause of Gingrich. World historical definers of and savers of civilization can’t be bothered with petty facts…..

November 21st, 2011 at 9:45 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Most Ethical Congress In History
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

June 24th, 2011 at 9:42 am
Video: In Search of Standards
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While a long record of incompetence by those in government makes it hard for the American people to believe they have the answers to our nation’s problems, CFIF’s Renee Giachino ponders the question, “Shouldn’t we at least believe that those in government meet basic standards of decency and integrity?”

March 21st, 2011 at 12:51 pm
Missouri GOP Holding ‘Air Claire’ McCaskill’s Feet to the Fire

Forget all the media salivating for the 2012 presidential campaign.  The Missouri Republican Party is launching its first attack on Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill’s liberal use of taxpayer money.

Over the weekend, the Missouri GOP printed a full-page ad in the Springfield, MO News Leader demanding that McCaskill explain why she paid the U.S. Treasury $88,000 for flights on one of her husband’s private jets.  McCaskill continues to claim that only one of the flights was for a purely political reason (and thus ineligible for taxpayer reimbursement), yet her check covers 89 trips.

Since McCaskill’s seat is seen as a great pickup opportunity for Republicans, don’t expect the Missouri GOP to let the self-styled accountability watchdog off the leash easy.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2012 campaign cycle!

August 13th, 2010 at 3:44 pm
From the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” File: Maxine Waters Blames Bush for Ethics Charges
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At some point, Americans’ outrage over the nonsense spewed upon us by desperate Washington, D.C. liberals becomes twisted amusement.  Today, Representative Maxine Waters (D – California) managed to pull the “race card” and “blame Bush” card in one preposterous swoop.

Representative Waters now finds herself the defendant against Congressional ethics charges that she improperly offered special assistance to OneUnited, a bank on whose board her husband had served.  At the time, her husband owned $350,000 in OneUnited stock, which was threatened by the financial downturn and would stand to benefit from federal dollars.  Speaking to reporters to rationalize her behavior, Waters claimed that she was compelled to do what she did because the Bush Treasury Department wasn’t responding to her satisfaction:

The question at this point should not be why I called Secretary [Henry] Paulson, but why I had to.  The question at this point should be why a trade association representing over one hundred minority banks could not get a meeting at the height of the crisis.”

Waters apparently hasn’t received the memo that “the race card is maxed out.”

August 2nd, 2010 at 10:58 am
Perhaps Tom DeLay Should’ve Played the Race Card
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Pulling the race card is beginning to carry about as much cachet as Y2K alerts.

You know things have gotten bad when even Howard “I Have a Scream” Dean feels entitled to pull it (without bothering to understand that Shirley Sherrod was fired by the Obama Administration before supposedly “racist” Fox News had even referenced her name).  Fox News commentator Juan Williams, who is actually one of the less-insane liberals in public discourse, unfortunately seemed to resort to it yesterday on “Fox News Sunday.”  Commenting on new ethical charges against Rep. Charles Rangel (D – New York) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D – California), Williams immediately raised the issue of the two defendants’ race.  Why in the world should that be the immediate consideration while discussing these serious charges?

Too bad that former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay didn’t think of this.  Hey, if Howard Dean can try it, why not DeLay?

July 31st, 2010 at 4:51 pm
Charlie Rangel Wants Company in Prison

Though it’s undeniably true, it isn’t customary for a member of Congress on trial for ethics violations defends his actions by saying everyone else did it too.

So hats off for former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY).  In authorizing his attorneys to file a 32-page rebuttal to ethics charges that names members of both parties who’ve escaped prosecution for doing similar activities, Rangel is explicitly inviting prosecutors to consider going after other members of Congress.

But before they do that, one of the members Rangel didn’t name is facing her own ethics trial.  Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) is vowing to fight charges that she improperly steered $12 million worth of financial bailout money to a bank where her husband was a board member.

Even if convicted, Waters probably won’t face a prison term like Rangel.  However, if Rangel continues to name names, he may get company in prison.  I wonder if they’ll let him name his wing after himself…

July 29th, 2010 at 9:16 am
Rangel: I’m As Ethical As Any of My Fellow Congressional Leaders
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

May 27th, 2010 at 9:29 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Married to Chicago Politics
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

March 23rd, 2010 at 11:36 am
Obama Reneges On Yet Another Campaign Promise

Less than 48 hours after Democrats in the House of Representatives passed their government-run health care bill, President Obama this morning signed it into law.

In doing so, the president violated yet another promise he made to the American people.  In fact, the “ethics” page of Obama’s “Organizing for America” website still reads:

Sunlight Before Signing:   Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them.  As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.” [emphasis added]

Then again, the president has reneged on that specific promise on at least 32 occasions prior to today.  At this point, why even bother counting? 

H/T:  ATR’s Center for Fiscal Accountability and Real Clear Politics

March 19th, 2010 at 9:19 am
Video: Comprehensive Health Care Corruption

In these week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses how President Obama and his allies have sacrificed both sound policy and basic ethics in their push for government-controlled health care.


March 12th, 2010 at 10:32 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Pelosi Mad Hatter
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.