Archive for the ‘scandal’ Category

Obama Stresses Transparency, Ethical Conduct to New Administration

January 21, 2009

Promising “a new era of openness in our country,” President Barack Obama signed executive orders Wednesday relating to ethics guidelines for staff members of his administration.

From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/0
1/21/obama.business/index.html

***

Many will see the new president’s action on ethics as a repudiation or at least a slap at the Bush Cheney years.  But White House experts tell us most recent new Chief Executives have had statements and policy guidlines similar to those unveiled by Obama today.

But that doesn’t always stop wrongdoing or shady conduct….

“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency,” Obama said.

Among other things, Obama said he would issue a pay freeze for his senior staff.

We certainly applaud the pay freeze and hope this emphasis on ethics yields clean government across the board.

Read the rest:
Obama, Biden: Fight Scandal, Corruption, Bad Government Please….

 Democratic Scandals Boring, Less Sexual, But Genuine

Carville’s 2009 Predictions: Stand By For More Democrat Scandals

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For Obama and other public servants, three tests of integrity

January 20, 2009

Rarely before in American history has there been such a need for the restoration of public trust in our government and businesses.

As Barack Obama takes the oath of office, he does so amid widespread disappointment in the alleged mercenary conduct of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), the insatiable greed of some in the business community that precipitated the economic meltdown, and the unprecedented Ponzi scheme apparently perpetrated by Bernard Madoff.

Bernard Madoff (C) walks out from Federal Court after a bail ... 
Bernard Madoff (C) walks out from Federal Court after a bail hearing in Manhattan January 5, 2009 in New York City. Paris prosecutors on Tuesday opened a fraud investigation into the Madoff scandal, after a French woman filed suit over the loss of her life savings, judicial officials said Tuesday.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Hiroko Masuike)

These scandals have eroded public confidence and have led to further cynicism about our institutions of government and business. In response, calls are mounting to enact various reforms designed to prevent – or at least uncover faster – such ethical breaches. But something much more fundamental is needed: a restoration of covenantal ideals.

By Egil ‘Bud’ Krogh
Christian Science Monitor

Related:
 Obama, Biden: Fight Scandal, Corruption, Bad Government Please….

Those who accept the mantle of public service enter into a de facto covenant – a binding agreement – with those who are led, and the first tenet of that covenant is integrity. Public trust can be restored with a clearer understanding of that covenant. Government and business leaders must understand that their part of the covenant requires them to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and civility. Those who are led are also required to perform at their highest standards of integrity and civility. This reciprocal covenant may well involve a degree of selflessness and mutual sacrifice seldom demanded of our citizens today.

Almost 40 years ago, I was sworn in to Richard Nixon’s White House staff. After taking the oath of office, I was given four commissions appointing me to different positions during my tenure over the next four years. Each commission began with these words: “Reposing special trust in the integrity … of [your name] the president appoints you to [your position]” This preamble should have been an imperative for me to fulfill my part of the covenant between myself as a public servant and my fellow citizens.

However, in response to what I erroneously concluded was a national security crisis involving the leak of the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times, I committed a serious crime. I approved a “covert operation” to get derogatory information on the leaker of those documents and deprived a fellow citizen of his right to be free from an unreasonable, unwarranted search of his office, violated the “special trust” that was reposed in my integrity, and breached my duty under the covenant.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm
/20090120/cm_csm/ykrogh

Obama, Biden: Fight Scandal, Corruption, Bad Government Please….

January 20, 2009

New government or old government we all want and deserve good government.  Honesty.  Integrity.  Wisdom.  But most of all no illegal activity.

One Democrat will miss Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington DC today:  Portland, Oregon Mayor Sam Adams, who lied about an affair with a youngster….

This comes soon after the Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon scandal broke into the media…

Among other things, the city’s first black female mayor is accused of stealing gift cards meant for needy families and treating herself to fur coats and pricey hotel stays on her developer-boyfriend’s tab.

Jurors in Baltimore city, typical jurors, they render verdicts from the gut,” said Warren A. Brown, a city defense attorney for more than 20 years. “To hell with the law, to hell with the facts, they will render a verdict that they think is fair, is right.”

Not so fast with that “to hell with the law” talk, Sport.

Add to this the troubles of the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and others before him (like Spitzer in New York and the Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick….) and it is obvious that we still have a way to go before we know that our governments are “clean”….

Kwame Kilpatrick
Former Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick

Good lesson for the New Obama Administration: keep it clean and honest….

***************

Associated Press

More than a year after denying it, the newly elected mayor of Portland has admitted having a sexual relationship with a male teenager in 2005.

Sam Adams, who is openly gay, acknowledged the relationship in a statement Monday, after the Willamette Week newspaper broke the story on its Web site.

In Washington, D.C., for the inauguration, Adams will cut his trip short to issue a public apology Tuesday afternoon in Portland, said Wade Nkrumah, his spokesman.

Adams, 45, said he and the teen were together in the summer of 2005, shortly after the teenager turned 18 in June, and when Adams was a city commissioner. The revelations come nearly a year and a half after Adams and the teen said rumors of a sexual relationship between them were false.

“I lied at the time because I was afraid that people would believe untrue rumors being circulated by an undeclared mayoral opponent that I had broken a law involving sexual relations with a minor. But this is not a good excuse,” Adams said in his statement.

Despite the rumors, Adams coasted to victory in his race, making Portland the largest U.S. city to ever elect an openly gay mayor. He was sworn in Jan. 1.

In his statement Monday, Adams apologized to the teen for making him lie about the relationship. He also apologized to colleagues and voters.

The young man, now 21, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Related:
Democratic Scandals Boring, Less Sexual, But Genuine
.
Carville’s 2009 Predictions: Stand By For More Democrat Scandals

By Sara Smith
News 4, NBC, New York

Now Democrats have reclaimed the White House and both parties of Congress, so of course they’re obliged to pull double duty in both sexual and political scandals. Let’s see, they’ve got the sex scandals pretty well covered: who can forget such luminaries as Eliot Spitzer, Patron Saint of Hookers; Tim Mahoney, the proud Florida Democrat with multiple mistresses who replaced the Republican with the “drinking problem”; the lizard-tongued humanoid adulterer John Edwards; and last but not least, America’s greatest mayor and sexiest texter, Kwame Kilpatrick.

John Edwards
Lizard-tongued what?

William Jefferson, official photo.jpg

Above: Democratic Congressman William “the Refrigerator” Jefferson of Louisiana in better days….


Former New York Governor’s “friend”….

In this Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008 file photo, Illinois Gov. Rod ...
Not guilty of anything…In this Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008 file photo, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has some final words for the media after he announces his choice of former Ill. Attorney General Roland Burris to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat in Chicago. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has revoked embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s access to classified federal security information, officials said Friday.(AP Photo/Paul Beaty, file)

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., smiles as he leaves the House of ... 
Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., smiles as he leaves the House of Representatives, Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

China’s dairy industry took deadly shortcuts to growth

January 8, 2009
Milk was an unpopular product only a generation ago, and then business executives and the government pushed its consumption. Some couldn’t compete and cheated.
By Barbara Demick
January 8, 2009
Reporting from Xingtang, China — Like many Chinese peasants of his generation, 53-year-old Wang Zhengnian had never seen a cow until he reached adulthood. He certainly never drank a glass of milk.

The fact that Wang now spends his days tending 400 cows on a farm near Beijing says a lot about the way China created a dairy industry out of thin air. But in their haste, the Chinese made mistakes that left six babies dead and hundreds of thousands ill from tainted milk.

Milk is not part of the traditional Chinese diet. Most Chinese adults are lactose-intolerant and many are repelled by the smell of dairy products.

But in the 1990s, economic planners decided that dairy cows were a quick way to improve rural incomes, particularly in northern provinces such as Hebei, Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang with cool climate, flat terrain and lack of other economic prospects. To encourage consumption, the propaganda machine spread the word that children needed to drink milk to grow as strong and tall as Westerners.

China farm 

Above: A cattle farm in the eastern Chinese city of Jimo. Milk and other dairy products weren’t popular before the 1990s. Photo: Wu Hong / European Pressphoto Agency

In a landscape that looks more Rust Belt than Dairy Belt, people opened farms in patches of land between derelict factories and villages.

“Cows have been good for us,” Wang said as he whistled for his herd to come in for milking last week in Xingtang County, 170 miles southwest of Beijing. “The business is bad right now because of the scandal, but it was great before.”

The now-bankrupt dairy producer Sanlu Group, headquartered in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei, was a big reason for the success. Company Chairwoman Tian Wenhua was a Communist Party official, but also a reformer. She now faces life imprisonment for covering up the scandal over Sanlu’s tainted milk.

Related:
China Serves Hard to Swallow Poison Food Trial for Western “Consumption”

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-
china-cows8-2009jan08,0,5029200.story

Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Corruption Could Still Touch Obama, Emanuel

December 20, 2008

Gov. Rod Blagojevich is legendary in Illinois political circles for not picking up the phone or returning calls, even from important figures like the state’s senior senator, Dick Durbin.

But there was always one call Blagojevich regularly took, say his aides, and that was from Rahm Emanuel — his congressman, his one-time campaign adviser and, more recently — and troubling for Emanuel — one of his contacts with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition staff.

The friendly rapport Blagojevich and Emanuel shared over the years has suddenly become a troubling liability for Emanuel and the new president he will serve as chief of staff.

Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich makes his first substantial public ...
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich makes his first substantial public comments since his arrest last week on federal corruption charges at the State of Illinois Building Friday, Dec. 19, 2008 in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Emanuel and Obama have remained silent about what, if anything, Emanuel knew of the governor’s alleged efforts to peddle Obama’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Emanuel did contact the governor’s office about the appointment, and left Blagojevich with the impression that he was pushing Valerie Jarrett, a close Obama friend, so he wouldn’t have to compete with her in the White House for Obama’s attention, said a source close to Blagojevich. The source requested anonymity because the person were not authorized to talk about the governor’s discussions regarding the vacancy.

It was not clear whether Blagojevich inferred Emanuel’s motive for advocating Jarrett, or whether Emanuel discussed the appointment with Blagojevich directly or with John Harris, the governor’s then-chief of staff who also is charged in the case, according to the source.

Emanuel’s refusal to discuss the matter publicly, and the few comments offered by Obama to date, have prompted questions about Emanuel’s ties to Blagojevich and what fallout he’ll face as the criminal case unfolds, although sources have said he is not a target of prosecutors. Even so, any hint of scandal for Emanuel threatens to tarnish Obama’s promise of new political leadership free of scandal and corruption.

Obama has said he will release a full accounting of his transition staff’s interaction with Blagojevich and his aides over his Senate replacement once he receives the OK from prosecutors sometime this week. Until then, Obama has said it would be inappropriate for him or his aides to comment further.

Prosecutors refer in the 76-page complaint to the governor’s discussions on FBI tapes about a ”president-elect advisor,” believed to be Emanuel, but they do not specifically cite contacts with Emanuel or anyone on Obama’s transition staff.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2008/12/20/u
s/AP-Illinois-Governor-Emanuel.html

Obama faces huge challenges; growing fast

December 14, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama, relatively young and inexperienced, is facing a rapidly growing list of monumental challenges as he prepares to take the reins of a nation in turmoil.

“I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead,” Obama said after his historic election a little more than a month ago.

It was a sobering assessment at the time, but the country’s problems have only worsened since then. Now, Obama sounds dire, particularly as he talks about the economy: “We’re in an emergency.”

He spoke during a week in which Congress killed a bailout of the failing auto industry, the government reported that jobless claims spiked to their highest levels in more than a quarter-century, and the Treasury Department said the nation registered a record federal budget deficit for November.

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer

President-elect Barack Obama gestures during a news conference ... 
President-elect Barack Obama gestures during a news conference in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. Obama, relatively young and inexperienced, is facing a rapidly growing list of monumental challenges as he prepares to take the reins of a nation in turmoil.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

With woes foreign and domestic on more fronts than even Franklin Delano Roosevelt encountered when he took office in the midst of the Great Depression, Obama will be sworn in as the country’s 44th president in January.

His leadership will be tested immediately and in many ways. His performance from the outset could well set the tone for his presidency.

Not only is Obama saddled with lingering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is inheriting from President George W. Bush, but he also must deal with:

-a deepening recession in the U.S. and a spreading global economic crisis.

-an automotive industry on the brink of collapse and soaring national debt.

-increasing unemployment and its ripple effects.

-the threat of terrorism amid a historic transfer of power.

At the same time, Obama may be drawn into an unfolding political scandal over Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich‘s alleged efforts to trade the president-elect’s former Senate seat for personal gain. The ongoing federal investigation could ensnare some of his top advisers and taint the self-styled reformer who has tried to steer clear of notorious Chicago politics.

The president-elect says he’s “absolutely confident” his aides did not try to cut deals with Blagojevich, but at the very least, the scandal is a distraction for a leader facing the magnitude of problems on Obama’s plate.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081214/ap_on_
go_pr_wh/obama_mounting_challenges

Democrats’ scandals play into GOP hands

December 14, 2008

It is payback time for Republicans, who have been burying Democrats in a blizzard of attacks about a “pay-to-play” scandal that has embarrassed and distracted Barack Obama’s   presidential transition and tax-evasion charges against a powerful political ally in the House.

Two years ago, it was the Democrats who were pounding congressional Republicans for a string of lobbying, legislative-payoff and sex scandals, but now it’s the Democrats and President-elect Obama who are on the defensive a little more than one month before they are to take charge of the government and strengthen their grip on Congress.

Democratic Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois, whom Mr. Obama endorsed and supported in two gubernatorial campaigns, was arrested last week by federal authorities in a brazen “pay-to-play” scandal said to involve attempts to extract payoffs for filling Mr. Obama’s open Senate seat.

By Donald lambro 
The Washington Times

**FILE** A Nov. 5, 2008 file photo shows Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich at a news conference in Chicago. A report published Friday, Dec. 5, 2008, in the Chicago Tribune says that federal investigators have made covert tape recordings of Blagojevich as part of their corruption investigation of his administration. Blagojevich hasn't been charged with any wrongdoing and has repeatedly denied doing anything illegal. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

**FILE** A Nov. 5, 2008 file photo shows Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich at a news conference in Chicago.

And Rep. Charles B. Rangel of New York, the influential chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee — who would be in charge of Mr. Obama’s tax plan — is being investigated for, among other things, failure to pay his taxes and helping a wealthy donor to a center named in his honor to obtain a tax loophole in return for a large contribution to the facility.

Last week, Republican campaign committees unleashed a barrage of press releases promoting a flood of press stories about the Democrats’ latest troubles with headlines that read “Did Obama team have contact with Ill. governor?”; “Rangel’s troubles create a problem for the Democrats”; and “Democrats’ web of corruption continues to grow.”

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., smiles as he leaves the House of ... 
Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., smiles as he leaves the House of Representatives where majority Democrats, in the face of strong GOP opposition, passed a $14 billion emergency loan for struggling U.S. automakers, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The smell of a partywide scandal “might be building, though it’s not there yet,” said Jennifer Duffy, senior political analyst at the Cook Political Report. “But Democrats

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec/14/democrats-scandals-play-into-gop-hands/

Is Rahm Emanuel Involved in Blagojevich Scandal?

December 12, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, refused to take questions from reporters this morning about whether he was the Obama “advisor” named in the criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The complaint states Blagojevich wanted a promise of a high-level appointment or some other reward for Blagojevich in exchange for Blagojevich naming Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett to replace him in the U.S. Senate.

By Fran Spielman and Abdon M. Pallasch Staff Reporters  
Chicago Sun-Times

Emanuel was uncharacteristically absent from Obama’s news conference this morning. He was spotted two hours later in the lobby of Chicago’s City Hall. He was there to listen to his two children performing in a concert with their school, Anshe Emet.

Related:  See a video:
http://www.myfoxchicago.com/myfox/pages/Home/Deta
il?contentId=8054792&version=1&locale=EN-US&lay
outCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1

A Sun-Times reporter pressed him to comment about whether he was the emissary named in the criminal complaint.

“You’re wasting your time,” Emanuel said. “I’m not going to say a word to you. I’m going to do this with my children. Dont do that. I’m a father. I have two kids. I’m not going to do it.”

Asked, “Can’t you do both?” Emanuel replied, “I’m not as capable as you. I’m going to be a father. I’m allowed to be a father,” and he pushed the reporter’s digital recorder away.

Blagojevch was caught on tape saying….

Read the rest:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/1326788,rahm-emanuel-blagojevich-obama-121108.article