A two-year investigation into U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm’s campaign finances resulted in his indictment on Monday — on federal charges of cheating the government out of taxes on his restaurant.
Grimm was slammed with a 20-count indictment charging he fraudulently underreported the wages he paid his workers at Healthalicious on the Upper East Side and concealed the eatery’s actual income…
Grimm, 44, is also charged with obstruction and perjury for allegedly lying about his involvement in the business in a sworn deposition…
The feds said Grimm ran the day-to-day operations of the restaurant between 2007 and 2010, and “engaged in schemes to fraudulently under-report the wages he paid his workers — many of whom did not have legal status in the United States — and fraudulently under-report the true amount of money the restaurant earned to both federal and New York State tax and insurance authorities.”
He pulled off part of the scam by paying a “large portion” of employees’ pay in cash, “thereby lowering the restaurant’s payroll tax costs,” the feds said.
In all, prosecutors said, he hid more than $1 million in Healthalicious sales and wages…
FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos noted that…“As a former FBI agent, Rep. Grimm should understand the motto: fidelity, bravery and integrity. Yet he broke our credo at nearly every turn. Rep Grimm lived by a new motto: fraud, perjury and obstruction,” Venizekos said…
Last week, Grimm’s lawyer said the investigation into his Republican client was politically motivated and predicted he would be vindicated of whatever the charges were…
Grimm made headlines in January after threatening a New York 1 reported who’d asked him about the investigation.
In the exchange, which was caught on camera, Grimm said, “Let me be clear to you. If you ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony.”
A real class act – Congressman Grimm. As an ex-Marine, an ex-FBI agent, you’d think the concept of standing up for law and order might have made an impression on him. Though his behavior towards the press – and not so incidentally ordinary working people in his employ – makes it seem that exploitation is more in his line.
McAllister and some of the folks who worked to get him elected
The married U.S. congressman embroiled in controversy over kissing a woman on his Louisiana office staff may request a federal investigation into the leak of the security camera video showing the incident, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Republican Representative Vance McAllister, who took office last November in a special election that he won partly by promoting his Christian values, apologized on Monday after a Louisiana newspaper posted a surveillance video showing him in a passionate embrace with office scheduler Melissa Peacock, who is also married. The scandal erupted when the security video from his Monroe, Louisiana, district office was posted on the website of a local weekly newspaper, the Ouachita Citizen.
Peacock resigned from McAllister’s office on Monday, the congressman’s communications director, Jennifer Dunagin, said.
If you believe.
But McAllister considers the leak to be a serious breach in office security and may send a letter to House Speaker requesting an official investigation into the matter by the FBI, Dunagin said…
The Ouachita Citizen, which boasts a paid weekly circulation of just 5,200 copies, said it had obtained the video from an “anonymous source.” The grainy low-light footage was captured by a handheld camera pointed at a computer monitor showing multiple security camera images throughout the small office building…
The Monroe, Louisiana News-Star…quoted McAllister’s chief of staff, Adam Terry, as saying that a staffer had denied providing the video to the newspaper…
On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he was glad McAllister had apologized for the incident, but declined to say whether McAllister should resign when asked by reporters…
Peacock and her husband, Heath Peacock, have longstanding ties to McAllister, each contributing $5,200 to his election campaign, according to Federal Elections Commission disclosure forms. Heath Peacock and McAllister had previously worked together at Mustang Engineering, an oil and gas pipeline and services company.
CNN quoted Heath Peacock on Tuesday as saying that he was “devastated” by the incident and blamed McAllister for ruining his marriage.
“He has wrecked my life,” Peacock told CNN. “We’re headed for divorce.”
Eric Cantor burbled a few remarks about the high standards in our Congress. I’m not certain if he’s talking about public record-keeping or what. He certainly can’t be talking about ethics or dedication to service for Americans.
Regular readers recall my dicho about “Republicans would have invented hypocrisy if Christians hadn’t beaten them to it”. Congressman McAllister gets an extra pat on the behind for catching both sides of the ethic.
Wisconsinites tired of relaxing on weekends and staying home on federal holidays are in luck: On Thursday, GOP state Sen. Glenn Grothman announced his challenge to 13-term moderate Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.). In a conservative district that went to Mitt Romney by seven points in 2012…
In January, Grothman introduced legislation to eliminate a state requirement that workers get at least one day off per week. “Right now in Wisconsin, you’re not supposed to work seven days in a row, which is a little ridiculous because all sorts of people want to work seven days a week…”
Eliminating days off is a long-running campaign from Grothman. Three years earlier, he argued that public employees should have to work on Martin Luther King Day…It would be one thing if people were using their day off to do something productive, but Grothman said he would be “shocked if you can find anybody doing service.”
MLK Day and “Saturday” aren’t the only holidays Grothman opposes. At a town hall in 2013, he took on Kwanzaa, which he said “almost no black people today care about” and was being propped up by “white left-wingers who try to shove this down black people’s throats in an effort to divide Americans.”
When he’s not advocating for people to spend more time working, Grothman has gotten in trouble for advocating that (some) people be paid less. “You could argue that money is more important for men…”…after pushing through a repeal of the state’s equal pay bill.
He has pushed to pare back a program that provided free birth control, while floating a bill that would have labeled single parenthood, “a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” Grothman justified the bill by contending that women choose to become single mothers and call their pregnancies “unplanned” only because it’s what people want to hear.
This dude’s middle name must be “Shit-for-brains Scrooge”.
Have a nice weekend. Don’t think about taking a job in Wisconsin if folks elect a prick like Grothman.
An 8-year-old South Carolina girl’s dream of having the woolly mammoth become the official state fossil has been put on hold while lawmakers debate an amendment that gives God credit for creation of the prehistoric animal.
A bill that recently passed the state House to designate the Columbian Mammoth as the state fossil stalled in the Senate after Republican Senator Kevin Bryant added two verses from the book of Genesis.
That amendment was ruled out of order but senators this week will debate a new amendment that says the mammoth was “created on the sixth day along with the beasts of the field,” Bryant said on Monday…
Just in case you think the notion of stupid vs ignorant has been resolved in Confederate politics.
The original measure followed a letter to elected officials by Olivia McConnell, an-8-year-old from New Zion, South Carolina.
In it, she pointed out that there is no state fossil, said Democratic Representative Robert Ridgeway, who received the letter and sponsored the measure.
McConnell suggested the elephant-like mammoth because an early find of its remains took place in 1725 on a South Carolina plantation where slaves dug up a tooth, Ridgeway said…
Reaction from some South Carolina residents has been “nasty,” Bryant said.
“Please stop making our state look like backwards hillbillies who believe in fairy tales,” Alex Davis commented on Bryant’s website. “Keep your religious views out of the government.”
Ridgeway said he was surprised at the controversy.
“I was just trying to support a young child who is interested in science,” he said. “We should support children in any endeavor that they seem interested in. That’s one thing the state should be behind.”
The official Republican response will most likely be “the behinder we are, the more behinder we get!”
Embarrassed by Republican corruption
We were treated to a rare moment of candor last week when a Republican legislator expressed a sense of shame about his party’s blatant voter suppression tactics. Wisconsin state senator Dale Schultz appeared on the radio program The Devil’s Advocate last Wednesday to talk about Republican efforts to limit the hours available for early voting in the state.
Not surprisingly, Schultz is a lame duck that doesn’t need to worry about getting reelected nor pandering to the Republican’s resentful, fearful, and misinformed white base.
The lawmaker said, “I am not willing to defend them anymore. I’m just not and I’m embarrassed by this.” He was the lone Republican to oppose the bill, which ultimately passed. After very accurately calling voter fraud “mythology”, he then went on to say:
“It’s just, I think, sad when a political party — my political party — has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics. And again, I’m a guy who understands and appreciates what we should be doing in order to make sure every vote counts, every vote is legitimate. But that fact is, it ought to be abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter fraud.
“The only thing that we do have in this state is we have long lines of people who want to vote. And it seems to me that we should be doing everything we can to make it easier, to help these people get their votes counted. And that we should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future, rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.”
Every now and then I joke about my cynicism; but, I walked away from white-bread America sixty years ago because of the hypocrisy, bigotry and corruption common to so much of social life in this nation. The excuse accepted by politicians, then, was the Cold War and McCarthyism, the excuse for their cowardice and inaction.
But, today, we’re washed in the hypocrisy, the abundant waste of a liberal government that accepts all the lies and garbage of a conservative government. The Democrats – with whatever power they’ve had over the past six years – were just as cowardly as the Truman government. Campaigning for a National Health Service and then fighting for halfway measures that guarantee continued and unneeded profits for the insurance industry is another example of corruption selling out America’s working families.
The incredible waste of money and effort that shells out billions of dollars to combat the existence of a pitiful number of terrorists scattered about the globe is characteristic of a dying imperial nation – more like 19th Century England than the 21st Century United States.
Our education policy under a liberal Harvard Constitutionalist is no less corrupt and futile than the advocacy of that “education president” who spent his college career at Yale stuffing drugs up his nose.
Cynicism isn’t required to comprehend how often and how thoroughly the American middle class has been sold out by our political saviors – of both parties. All we are left with is voting against the evil of two lessers. When we’re allowed to vote.
A pregnant woman is just a “host” for a fetus, according to Virginia state Sen. Steve Martin.
The Republican legislator representing Virginia’s 11th district made the comment in response to a Valentine’s Day card from a reproductive rights group calling on him to protect reproductive health options in the state.
“I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive,” Martin wrote on Facebook. “However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.”
Martin’s claim that he does not “expect to be in the room” or “do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive” is, of course, entirely disingenuous. He is a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid expansion, which would ensure affordable access to healthcare and contraception for people across Virginia.
It should probably go without saying, too, that Martin does not support abortion rights.
The creep has edited his post since everything blew up and he realized that average folks aren’t as willing to join the Republican war on Women as are his acolytes in the anti-abortion movement. Fortunately, plenty of folks on the Left have screengrabs and are using them to reference what he originally said.
38 Republicans walked by wheelchair-bound Bob Dole and voted against the treaty
Any suspicion that the political right, after suffering a defeat on the debt ceiling and facing threats from business donors, is losing its clout can be dismissed by the fight over the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The treaty has been ratified by 141 countries. It is backed by the White House, former President George H.W. Bush, the major U.S. disability and veterans advocacy groups, and American businesses.
Senate Republicans, however, already defeated the treaty in 2012, and it now faces an uphill slog to get the two-thirds vote needed for ratification. Right-wing critics, led by former Senator Rick Santorum, the Heritage Foundation and home-schoolers, charge that adopting it would allow global enforcers to dictate the treatment of Americans with disabilities or the permissibility of home schooling, and ease access to abortion.
In reality, the treaty is modeled on the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. It states that nations must ensure that people with disabilities get the same rights and are treated with same dignity as all others. It might well pressure other countries to adopt U.S. standards.
The inevitable conflict between ignorance and stupidity – with a dash of paranoia added, not uncommon in today’s American conservatism.
A custom-built bus with oversized windows is parked outside a health fair at the University Medical Center. The decal on its side reads, “Making Healthcare Reform Transparent.” Inside the bus are snacks, Wi-Fi and three booths where sales agents from the Humana health-insurance company sit behind laptops and explain the Affordable Care Act to uninsured people. They sign up customers, too.
Mississippi is the poorest, sickest state in the nation, and most insurance companies have avoided it altogether, preferring to do business in more profitable markets. In 36 of Mississippi’s poorest counties, no insurance companies were offering plans that meet ACA guidelines until the Obama administration intervened and asked Kentucky-based Humana to help fill in the gaps. Humana had two of these buses built to spread awareness and drum up business. They’re zigzagging around the state on a tour called Covering Mississippi. So far they’ve traveled 7,000 miles, and the agents have seen more than a thousand people…
Nowhere else in America has a greater need for affordable, accessible health care. Mississippi has the lowest life expectancy in the country, the highest rates of obesity and diabetes, and an infant mortality rate closer to Sri Lanka’s and Botswana’s than to the rest of the United States’. Heart disease is epidemic, and nearly 20 percent of the state’s population — some 511,000 people — were uninsured when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act last March…
When the ACA was written, the law required all the states to expand Medicaid. Low-income people who weren’t poor enough to get existing Medicaid would be covered. Then the Supreme Court decided that states had the right not to expand Medicaid. Mississippi, led by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who has described Obamacare as “an assault on the liberty of American citizens,” was one of two dozen states to exercise this right. That left an estimated 300,000 Mississippians with no prospect of health insurance.
Just in case you still labor under the misapprehension that today’s conservatives actually care crap about working people, working poor, poor people. Decades of hatred rooted in racism support a political structure not only tied to elitism; but, willing and able to destroy the lives of people without power.
Mississippi is the worst example of this kind of criminal politics, a gangster economy, corrupt and ready to lie about everything from the weather report to school menus to maintain power for the racist elite.
The classic Southern Strategy of deluding white people into believing that because they are better off than Black folks – they are better off in general – has never changed. It wandered over from Dixiecrat Democrats to Nixonian Republicans. Stupid still trumps ignorance. But, then, that’s been the premise of the Confederacy and States’ Rights since we started the long march towards democracy in 1775.
Just fill in whichever state you feel deserves this clown
Allan Levene says he is a Republican congressional candidate in his home state of Georgia, as well as in Michigan, Minnesota and Hawaii.
Levene, 64, admits running for four congressional seats simultaneously is unorthodox, but nothing in the Constitution forbids it — and he wants to be a member of Congress as a way of saying thanks.
“I have such a debt to this country, a debt of gratitude to the United States for taking me in and letting me become a citizen about 40 years ago that I have to repay it,” the naturalized citizen originally from Britain said.
Wait. Let me get my rubber boots on.
The Constitution states a person elected to the House of Representatives must be a resident of the state he or she will represent when elected, so Levene will choose one race if he wins a primary election…
The Founding Fathers “didn’t really understand you could fly from state to state … times have changed so I am running in four states,” he said. “I can represent the public no matter where I live…”
K. Mark Takai, a Democrat and Hawaii state representative running in Hawaii’s 1st District, a race Levene has targeted, said he is skeptical and unsure if Levene’s strategy will resonate with Hawaiians.
“The heart of representative democracy (is that) you want someone to represent you who represents your community and its people,” Takai said.
Someone might explain further that Congress-critters should represent the whole community – not just the corporate flunkies who buy and sell electoral positions as an inherited right, defined by the class they truly represent.