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Politics, lawsuits entangle financial firm in state January 19, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in Corruption, Democrats, News, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

HARRISBURG — The head of a financial company the FBI raided two years ago in an ongoing investigation into “pay-to-play” practices donated more than $400,000 to state officials and political committees, and is accused in two lawsuits of colluding with bankers on municipal bond deals.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission paid the Investment Management Advisory Group of Pottstown, which advises local and state governments on municipal bond deals, about $3.5 million in fees over the past decade, said turnpike spokesman Bill Capone. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency paid the company, known as IMAGE, $142,500 in 2005 and 2006 for financial advice, an agency spokesman said.

IMAGE had contracts across Pennsylvania with school districts and authorities. The company advised the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority on three financing deals.

David Eckhart, president and managing director of IMAGE, gave $401,950 to state candidates and political committees since 1999, state records show. He donated $67,000 to federal candidates. Records show Eckhart continued to make significant campaign contributions through September 2008.

“Dave’s company has done great work,” said Gene Grabowski, a spokesman for IMAGE. “All these (campaign) contributions do is enhance your chance of being noticed.” He said Eckhart hasn’t donated to campaigns lately.

Eckhart gave $58,000 to a committee controlled by former Republican Party state chairman Bob Asher of Montgomery County; $55,500 to former Sen. Vincent Fumo, D-Philadelphia, who is on trial on corruption charges; $27,000 to Gov. Ed Rendell; $22,500 to U.S. Sen. Bob Casey while he was state treasurer and auditor general; $20,000 to a committee controlled by the late Ron White of Philadelphia, who was indicted in an influence-peddling scheme; and $10,000 to former Gov. Tom Ridge, according to Bureau of Elections documents.

-Article continued @ Sourced Site.


Trooper Says Election Delayed Alaska Drug Case December 27, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Corruption, Law, Palin, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy The Washington Post:

WASILLA, Alaska — The mother of Bristol Palin‘s boyfriend sent text messages discussing drug transactions less than a month after the young woman’s mother, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was nominated as the Republican vice presidential candidate, according to court documents filed this week.

An affidavit from an Alaska state trooper, filed Monday, states that Sherry L. Johnston referred in her messages to two police informants to “coffee” as a code for the drug OxyContin.

Johnston, 42, was arrested on felony drug charges last week after state troopers served a search warrant at her Wasilla home. She allegedly sold OxyContin tablets to the informants on three occasions this fall, the affidavit states. Police said two of the meetings were recorded by a hidden camera and a microphone.


-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Sen. Norm Coleman retains defense attorney following corruption suits December 17, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Corruption, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy Rawstory:

For Republican Senator Norm Coleman, whose prolonged electoral battle with his Democratic opponent Al Franken has beenwell publicized, public life just isn’t getting any easier.

Breaking reports from Coleman’s home state of Minnesota indicate the Senator-in-limbo has retained the services of defense attorney Doug Kelley, as part of an effort to fend off charges of corruption in two lawsuits.

The suits, filed in Delaware and Texas, also name Coleman’s wife Laurie, Jim Hayes, Laurie’s employer, and Nasser Kazeminy, an Iranian-born millionaire.

Both suits claim that Sen. Coleman accepted approximately $75,000 from Kazeminy in a payment scheme that funneled the money through Kazeminy’s Houston-based Deep Marine Technologies and into the coffers of Coleman’s wife’s employer.

The FBI, in announcing the onset of an investigation into claims against Kazeminy, added that Sen. and Laurie Coleman, along with Hayes, are not part of the investigation. Kazeminy’s attorney, Joe Friedberg, works for Minneapolis-based Winthrop & Weinstine, a law firm which once employed Sen. Coleman.

Records show Kazeminy is among Minnesota’s top 20 political donors, with all but one contribution from the last election cycle flowing into Republican accounts. Kazeminy also donated to former Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Obama on Attacking Keating Attacks on McCain: ‘We Don’t Throw the First Punch, But We’ll Throw the Last’ October 6, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Corruption, Lies, McCain, News, Obama, Politics.
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ABC/Political Punch

October 06, 2008 2:10 PM

In Asheville, NC, this afternoon, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., made a statement about today’s bleak economic news, hammered Sen. John McCain’s campaign tactics, and refused to answer questions about McCain’s role in the Keating 5 Scandal — which his campaign is discussing quite a bit — before getting into his car and speeding off to get some barbecue at 12 Bones Smokehouse.

‘Before we go get some barbecue I want to make a statement on the economy,” Obama said.

“Obviously we woke up this morning and saw that the markets are still in turmoil.   Not only are we seeing the stock market go down, but there is still great danger of the credit markets locking up and we have seen the contagion is spreading to all parts of the globe.   Europe is having some of the problems that we are having here in the states. Asia is being affected.   Source Article

Obama Claps Back With Keating Five October 6, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Corruption, McCain, News, Obama, Politics.
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The Washington Independent

By Ari Melber 10/6/08 11:38 AM

When the McCain campaign announced this weekend that it would start attacking Sen. Barack Obama via guilt by association, peddling smears about people he barely knows, I thought the tack would lead to the Keating Five.  But I didn’t know it would happen this quickly.

The Obama campaign swung into action immediately.  By the time the Sunday news shows were taping, Democratic surrogates were hitting McCain with opposition research on his associations with extremist, racist groups (Begala) and the Keating Five (Emanuel). Today, of course, camp Obama is pushing a new Keating Economics website, which begins streaming a documentary about McCain’s Keating problem at noon.

Source Article

McCain’s “Keating 5” Scandal Involvement To Be Highlighted By Obama Campaign October 5, 2008

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The Huffington Post |  Nicholas Graham   |   October 5, 2008 11:11 PM

Update 12:30pm Monday, October 6:
The Obama campaign has released the full video of “Keating Economics: John McCain and The Making of a Financial Crisis.” Watch it below:

The Obama campaign, in an effort to combat increasingly negative attacks by the McCain camp, is launching an aggressive, multi-pronged effort to highlight McCain’s involvement in the “Keating 5” savings-and-loan scandal:

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Monday will launch a multimedia campaign to draw attention to the involvement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the “Keating Five” savings-and-loan scandal of 1989-91, which blemished McCain’s public image and set him on his course as a self-styled reformer.

Source Article

The Questions for Perot about McCain and Gambling September 29, 2008

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Huffington Post

Gerald Posner

Posted September 29, 2008 | 02:00 PM (EST)

Yesterday’s New York Times front-page investigative story about John McCain’s long time ties to the nation’s gambling industry (“For McCain and Team, a Host of Ties to Gambling“), jogged my memory about an unsettling bit of information I was given by Ross Perot in 1995.

In November 1995, my wife and fellow author, Trisha, and I, interviewed Perot for several days for an unauthorized biography (Citizen Perot: His Life & Times, Random House, 1996). During one of our conversations, outside of the ‘on the record’ taped interviews, Perot discussed with us how he had utilized private investigators to uncover information about other people. Perot never used, from what I could determine, any of the personal details he assembled about others. Rather, he was merely a collector of information, never knowing when it might come in useful.   Source Article

McCain and Team Have Many Ties to Gambling Industry September 27, 2008

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NY Times

Published: September 27, 2008

Senator John McCain was on a roll. In a room reserved for high-stakes gamblers at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, he tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table. When the marathon session ended around 2:30 a.m., the Arizona senator and his entourage emerged with thousands of dollars in winnings.

A lifelong gambler, Mr. McCain takes risks, both on and off the craps table. He was throwing dice that night not long after his failed 2000 presidential bid, in which he was skewered by the Republican Party’s evangelical base, opponents of gambling. Mr. McCain was betting at a casino he oversaw as a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and he was doing so with the lobbyist who represents that casino, according to three associates of Mr. McCain. Source Article

Role of McCain campaign manager under scrutiny September 24, 2008

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Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor September 24, 2008 11:52 AM

The campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain are tussling over reports that McCain’s campaign manager’s lobbying firm had ties to mortgage giant Freddie Mac as recently as last month — just before it and Fannie Mae were taken over by the government.

McCain’s camp is attacking the messenger — the New York Times, and others, quoted anonymous sources who said that campaign manager Rick Davis’s firm was paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month.

Its official blogger, Michael Goldfarb, accused the Times of another in a series of false attacks.

“Today the New York Times launched its latest attack on this campaign in its capacity as an Obama advocacy organization. Let us be clear about what this story alleges: The New York Times charges that McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month, contrary to previous reporting, as well as statements by this campaign and by Mr. Davis himself. Source Article

GOP dirty tricks in the swing states September 22, 2008

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Richard Silverstein
Monday September 22 2008 14:30 BST

We are now entering the closing weeks of what promises to be yet another close and contentious presidential election contest. As each side seeks to maximise its advantages and minimise its weaknesses, the Republican party has chosen the lowest of low roads, engaging in two sleazy political marketing campaigns over the past week.

First, DVDs of an anti-Muslim documentary film are being distributed to 28 million voters in swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Colorado and Wisconsin. Second, Republican telemarketers have begun push polling aimed at scaring Jewish voters in swing states from voting for Barack Obama.  Source Article