Archive for the ‘donations’ Category

Even as Vice President, Biden Keeps “Biden for President Inc.” Open to Tidy Up Loose Ends

January 23, 2009

Joe Biden ended his own presidential bid after coming in fifth in the Iowa caucuses more than a year ago. But his presidential campaign lived on — and continued receiving taxpayer money — well after he was elected vice president.

The vice president is not gearing up to challenge President Barack Obama in the 2012 Democratic primaries, though. Rather, he’s keeping his committee, Biden for President Inc., open to tidy up loose ends in preparation for a mandatory federal audit, which could become expensive to defend.

So, Biden continued requesting federal funds for his campaign — through the so-called primary matching funds program — for months after he was tapped to be Obama’s running mate.

By Kenneth P. Vogel

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill dance at the Commander-In-Chief ... 

In all, Biden’s campaign received more than $2 million through the program, which matches private contributions with taxpayer money. He requested more than $37,000 in matching funds after he joined the Democratic ticket, including a final payment of $2,275 which came just last week.

The trickle of payments and upkeep of the committee, which continues to pay consultants’ bills and rent office space in Delaware, creates odd optics, but is not uncommon in the quirky world of campaign finance. The situation results from arcane federal election laws that require many campaign committees to stay open — and keep a cash reserve — for months, or even years after an election to balance their books….

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Gay Leaders Furious with Obama Over Rick Warren

December 18, 2008

Barack Obama’s choice of a prominent evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that – in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California – is looking for a fight.


Rick Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California, opposes abortion rights but has taken more liberal stances on the government role in fighting poverty, and backed away from other evangelicals’ staunch support for economic conservatism. But it’s his support for the California constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that drew the most heated criticism from Democrats Wednesday.

Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church

“Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans,” the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, wrote Obama Wednesday. “[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.”

By Ben Smith, Nia-Malika Henderson

The rapid, angry reaction from a range of gay activists comes as the gay rights movement looks for an opportunity to flex its political muscle. Last summer gay groups complained, but were rebuffed by Obama, when an “ex-gay” singer led Obama’s rallies in South Carolina. And many were shocked last month when voters approved the California ban.

“There is a lot of energy and there’s a lot of anger and I think people are wanting to direct it somewhere,” Solomonese told Politico.

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In this Aug. 16, 2008 file photo, then Democratic presidential ...
In this Aug. 16, 2008 file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, joins Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, for a discussion on moral issues. Aretha Franklin will sing, Warren will pray and more than 11,000 U.S. troops will be watching over the ceremonies in case of a terrorist attack during President-elect Barack Obama’s Inauguration.(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Corruption, Nepotism and Entitlement: Illinois Politics

December 17, 2008

Illinois politics, it seems, is where corruption, nepotism and politics meet.

He was married to one of the state’s top legislators.  That connection and his blue-collar reputation and charm catapaulted him into the Governor’s job.  Then he figured he was “owed” more: a cabinet position, money for campaigns and maybe even money for himself and his wife.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

That belief that I am  “owed” runs deep in Illinois politics.

Jesse Jackson Jr.,  the son of a prominent minister and civil rights activists thought he was owed too.  From the House of Representatives he had his eye on the Senate and perhaps bigger jobs and money for his wife.

I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine is common in Illinois: and it has been for years.

What makes the itch go away and then crave more is money and favors….
“As much as politicians in Illinois have had a tradition of corruption, the people of Illinois have had a tradition of accepting it, even expecting it — and long before Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich was accused of trying to put a Senate seat up to the highest bidder,” wrote Kate Zernike of the New York Times.

“Otto Kerner, who served as governor in the 1960s, was found to have accepted bribes in the form of racetrack stock only after the track owner deducted it on her taxes as the cost of doing business.”

And there are many more examples of corruption in Illinois politics and acceptance by the Illinois voters…

Former Gov. Otto Kerner, right, was convicted in 1973 on bribery, tax evasion and perjury charges; and former Representative Dan Rostenkowski pleaded guilty to two charges of mail fraud in 1996.
Above, left, Dan Rostenkowski. Right, Otto Kerner, Jr.

In Illinois, Corruption Often Expected, Accepted


 In this Aug. 17, 2005, file photo Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, ... 
In this Aug. 17, 2005, file photo Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, left, laughs with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich during Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair  in Springfield, Ill. Blagojevich was roused from bed and arrested Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008, after prosecutors said he was caught on wiretaps audaciously scheming to sell now President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for cash or a plum job for himself in the new administration.

Ill. gov. says ready to tell his side of scandal

(AP Photo/Randy Squires, File)