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Tag: Corruption

Chirac Trial on Hold?

It’s taken 15 years to get this far (which is to say not very far at all), so what’s the rush for former French President Jacques Chirac to stand trial for corruption charges stemming from his time as the mayor of Paris? Well, he’s 78 years old, for one ...

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 READ MORE



sco.ca.gov

High Salaries Ring a Bell

A hospital executive pulling down $875,000 a year? How about a water official collecting $600,000? Those are among the salaries contained in a new round of public compensation disclosures by the California state controller in the wake of the pay scandal in Bell.

Posted on Mar 5, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Agência Brasil

Berlusconi Protesters Have a Few Tricks Up Their Sleeve

Following a long-standing tradition of creative Italian resistance, activists are planning to adorn Silvio Berlusconi’s villa with condoms, as well as performing parodies set to the soundtrack of “Grease,” to protest the prime minister’s most recent alleged sexual escapades.

Posted on Feb 4, 2011 READ MORE



Clarence Thomas Did Not Disclose Wife’s Income From Conservative Groups

While ruling on cases near and dear to the hearts of his wife’s clients, for 13 years Justice Clarence Thomas failed to report spousal income from conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation because, he claims, he misunderstood the disclosure forms.

Posted on Jan 26, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Rodridgo Abd

Guatemalan Ex-President Gets His Day in Court

Justice is coming to Guatemala, as former President Alfonso Portillo has gone on trial in Guatemala City, accused of embezzling a cool $15 million.

Posted on Jan 23, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Baby Doc Tries to Do Good

In a transformation befitting of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol,” Haiti’s former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, now back in his homeland after years in exile, wants to lay his hands on millions of dollars, he says, to help rebuild his catastrophe-ridden homeland.

Posted on Jan 23, 2011 READ MORE



YouTube / Christine4Senate

O’Donnell Accused of Dipping Into the Campaign Till

Christine O’Donnell raised a record $7.3 million in her 2010 bid to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate, but allegations about how she spent that money and funds from previous campaigns have led to a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors and the FBI. ... (more)

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 READ MORE


Madoff
AP / Louis Lanzano

Billions More for Madoff Victims

The cash pot available to compensate victims of Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme has grown by $7.2 billion after a settlement was reached with the estate of a Palm Beach client of the Wall Street shyster.

Posted on Dec 17, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Agência Brasil

Berlusconi Allegedly Bought Votes

Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi’s political rap sheet is already quite appalling, from alleged under-age sexcapades to anti-Semitic jokes. But new allegations by state prosecutors have added another blotch on the billionaire’s bill: He’s accused of buying votes to stay in power.

Posted on Dec 10, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Antonio Sierra

Leaked Cables Show Drug War Concerns

While it may just prove what we already know, WikiLeaks’ gold mine of information has birthed yet another gem. It seems the U.S. is worried about the prospects of Mexico’s fight against its rampant drug trade, describing the army there as “risk averse” and official corruption as widespread.

Posted on Dec 3, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Karen Ballard

Cheney May Face Nigerian Bribery Charges

Before he was vice president, Dick Cheney ran oil giant Halliburton, a subsidiary of which once dropped $180 million in bribes on Nigerian officials. Now Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency plans to charge Cheney over the affair.

Posted on Dec 2, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

Wendell Potter on ‘Deadly Spin’

The health industry spinmaster-turned-whistle-blower says the consumer is funding the industry’s smear campaigns: “A big portion of what we spend or pay in premiums is skimmed off to operate and conduct these fear-mongering and anger-mongering campaigns.”

Posted on Nov 30, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

Wendell Potter on ‘Deadly Spin’

The health industry spinmaster-turned-whistle-blower says the consumer is funding the industry’s smear campaigns: “A big portion of what we spend or pay in premiums is skimmed off to operate and conduct these fear-mongering and anger-mongering campaigns.”

Posted on Nov 30, 2010 READ MORE


The Health Insurance Industry’s Vendetta Against Michael Moore

Health insurance executives at an industry strategy session on how to respond to Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary “Sicko” thought they may have to implement a plan “to push Moore off a cliff,” says whistle-blower Wendell Potter.

Posted on Nov 23, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Jeff Widener

Power and the Tiny Acts of Rebellion

There is no hope left for achieving significant reform or restoring our democracy through established mechanisms of power. We must take to the streets, armed with the tiny acts of truth and kindness that throughout history have exposed the oppressor’s cruelty.

Posted on Nov 22, 2010 READ MORE



Rep. Charles Rangel via Flickr (CC-BY)

Congress Convicts Rangel

Rep. Charlie Rangel may as well have stuck around for the full hearing. An ethics subcommittee convicted the veteran lawmaker Tuesday of 11 counts of naughty, having to do with fundraising, cheap rent and taxes. Rangel’s colleagues could decide to give him the boot, but he’s likelier to get off with just a reprimand.

Posted on Nov 16, 2010 READ MORE



AP

The Origin of America’s Intellectual Vacuum

The country suffers an impoverishment of ideas and analysis at a moment when we desperately need radical voices to make sense of the corporate destruction of the global economy and the ecosystem.

Posted on Nov 15, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Tracy O (CC-BY-SA)

In Politics, Money Isn’t Everything

Much has been made of the $4 billion spent in the midterm elections, including $140 million of Meg Whitman’s own money, but spending, as Ms. Whitman found out, does not equal victory. Sharron Angle spent more per voter than any other candidate—about $97—and still lost.

Posted on Nov 10, 2010 READ MORE


From Uprising to Hostile Takeover ... and Back Again

At the end of this $4 billion We-Didn’t-Start-the-Fire-worthy vaudeville known as the 2010 election, what do we have to show for it?

Posted on Nov 5, 2010 READ MORE


The Rise of Sewer Money

In New York, there is a traditional name for the kind of anonymous cash now cascading into the American electoral process.

Posted on Oct 28, 2010 READ MORE



BP and Other Polluters Pay for Senate Campaigns

The Guardian is reporting that some of Europe’s biggest polluters, including everyone’s favorite oil company, have given $240,200 in campaign donations to U.S. senators who, coincidentally, helped defeat climate change legislation.

Posted on Oct 26, 2010 READ MORE



How Much for That Senate Seat in the Window?

Today on the list: How did outside groups manage to spend $3.6 million on one Colorado race in one day? And what the hell happened to Randy Quaid? Plus: The future of books, music and your democracy, after the jump.

Posted on Oct 26, 2010 READ MORE


Good Head

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Posted on Oct 25, 2010 READ MORE    


The Scandal of 2010

If you travel any place where there is a contested race for the House or Senate, you are bombarded with attack ads, almost all against Democrats, paid for by groups that do not have to reveal where their money comes from.

Posted on Oct 25, 2010 READ MORE


Waiting for Another Watergate

What is the most powerful political operation in the country in this 21st century? It’s the United States Supreme Court. The men and women in black are on their way to deciding their second national election in just the first decade of the century.

Posted on Oct 19, 2010 READ MORE


Auction House

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Posted on Oct 17, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Ken Denny

Corruption in Afghan Elections

Remember when President Bush said the U.S. would bring democracy to Afghanistan? Afghan and Western officials have indicated that last month’s elections were so fraudulent that almost 25 percent of all votes cast will be thrown out.

Posted on Oct 17, 2010 READ MORE


They All Do It

Both parties and their allies exploit and stretch campaign finance laws. To expect otherwise is to expect lions not to eat zebras when the opportunity arises.

Posted on Oct 14, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Matt York

How Democracy Dies: Lessons From a Master

The ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes spent his life battling the assault on democracy by tyrants. It is disheartening to be reminded that he lost.

Posted on Oct 10, 2010 READ MORE


If I Had a Hammer

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Posted on Oct 8, 2010 READ MORE    



Flickr / Gregg O'Connell (CC-BY)

Chamber of Commerce Goes on a Political Shopping Spree

The pro-business and, more often than not, pro-Republican group is spending $10 million on TV ads this week alone, and it doesn’t have to say who is paying for any of it. The ads, part of a reported $75 million campaign to shake up Congress, represent the biggest one-week spending spree by a non-party group, reports AP.

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 READ MORE


The Cash Cow of Anonymity

How sweet and innocent they seem, these mysterious organizations with names like Americans for Job Security. Who could argue with that? Who wants job insecurity?

Posted on Oct 4, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / d. FUKA

China Cracking Down on ‘Black Jails’

Chinese authorities are investigating a private company that is accused of taking payments from local officials to imprison and abuse disgruntled constituents. China has a long tradition of oppressed provincials making pilgrimages to seek redress in the capital.

Posted on Sep 27, 2010 READ MORE



For Whom the City of Bell Tolls

Police have arrested current and former city officials who are accused of pilfering millions from the taxpayers of Bell. The small Los Angeles suburb gained national notoriety as a poster town for bureaucratic corruption, and authorities wasted no time investigating and arresting the alleged nest featherers.

Posted on Sep 21, 2010 READ MORE


A Chance for Supreme Court Damage Control

With Congress coming back this week, there’s a chance to limit the damage the Supreme Court has caused our democracy.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 READ MORE


A ‘Framework’ Seriously Bent

Just how corrupt is the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan? It should be clear by now that President Hamid Karzai doesn’t want us to know.

Posted on Sep 9, 2010 READ MORE


Rotten Eggs and Our Broken Democracy

The massive recall of salmonella-infected eggs, the largest egg recall in U.S. history, opens a window on the power of large corporations over not only our health, but over our government.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Richard Loyal French (CC-BY-ND)

Lobbying Is About Getting Nothing Done

A 10-year study of the influence business finds that the billions of dollars ($3.5 billion in 2009 alone, according to the Center for Responsive Politics) thrown at elected officials add up to a whole lot of nothing—that is, the influential spend a lot of time, energy and cash stalemating each other and keeping things the way they are.

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 READ MORE


House of Entitlement

After reading the ethics reports on Reps. Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters, the obvious question is: What is wrong with these people? The tempting answer: They’re members of Congress.

Posted on Aug 3, 2010 READ MORE



house.gov

Another Prominent Democrat Faces Ethics Charges

Rep. Maxine Waters, a stalwart progressive voice in the House for nearly 20 years, is defending herself against charges that she improperly intervened to help bail out a bank with ties to her husband. Waters released a statement denying any wrongdoing, saying she was merely working on behalf of minority banks.

Posted on Aug 2, 2010 READ MORE


Rangel Rodeo

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Posted on Jul 28, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Government via nytimes.com

This Military Contractor Rocks a $100,000 Belt Buckle

David H. Brooks did well enough selling body armor to the military to hire 50 Cent and Aerosmith to play at his daughter’s bat mitzvah. He wore a gem- and diamond-encrusted American flag belt buckle, lest his patriotism come under suspicion. Now he’s on trial for allegedly improperly putting millions on his expense account, for fraud and for insider trading.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 READ MORE



More Champagne for Goldman Sachs

You know you have it made when a $550 million settlement with the SEC boosts your stock by $3 billion. Goldman Sachs’ penalty for selling a fancy investment it secretly bet against was about half what was expected, amounting to just 14 days of earnings. You might say they got away with it.

Posted on Jul 15, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Digital Sextant (CC-BY)

4 New Orleans Cops Indicted in Post-Katrina Killings

Four police officers have been indicted on charges related to the fatal shootings that took place on the Danzinger bridge days after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans. Two civilians were killed and four others wounded in the incident. If convicted, the officers could receive the death penalty.

Posted on Jul 14, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick

A close reading of the new health care legislation, which will conveniently take effect in 2014 after the next presidential election, is deeply depressing.

Posted on Jul 11, 2010 READ MORE



Universidad de la Habana

Cuban Intellectual Expelled After Attacking Corruption

Cuba’s Communist Party has reportedly expelled an esteemed intellectual, Esteben Morales, for writing a “bombshell article” accusing senior officials of corruption. Morales was stripped of his membership in the party and has since disappeared from public view.

Posted on Jul 3, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Susan Wilt

Congress Tires of Lining Karzai’s Pockets

The House has decided not to approve some $4 billion in aid to Afghanistan after The Wall Street Journal reported that the country’s notoriously corrupt government has secretly flown billions of dollars in U.S. aid and drug money to “safe havens abroad.”

Posted on Jul 1, 2010 READ MORE


Intoxicated on Fundraising

“You don’t have to drink. You just have to pay.” Has there ever been a better summary of how Washington works—and the need for campaign finance reform—than this line from a 2007 e-mail?

Posted on Jun 2, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / mattdente (CC-BY-SA)

Obama’s USDA Leaves Subsidy Payees More Places to Hide

Yasha Levine, who reported for us on tea party diva Michele Bachmann’s hypocritical penchant for federal farm subsidies, tipped us off that the Obama administration and Congress are making it harder to track the millionaires who hit up Uncle Sam for crop cash.

Posted on May 20, 2010 READ MORE



Iraq Electoral Commission

Iraq’s Election Results Stand

The Iraqi electoral commission has upheld the results of the country’s parliamentary election after a partial recount demanded by the incumbent prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, whose coalition finished second in the voting.

Posted on May 16, 2010 READ MORE


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