December 10th 2011


  Buy Issue 2866
Qty:

Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY / EDITORIAL: Mining tax will hit Australian industry and super

CANBERRA OBSERVED: PM Gillard buys herself some breathing space

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Treasurer Swan's budget cuts hit unwaged mothers

QUEENSLAND: Labor's dying wish: to bury marriage once and for all

WATER: Time to protest over second Basin plan

NEW ZEALAND: John Key's National Party increases its vote

GLOBAL WARMING: Durban conference switches tack on climate change

EUROPEAN UNION: EU's options for tackling the eurozone crisis

UNITED STATES: Sarah Palin castigates congressional corruption

RUSSIA: What Russia's presidential election portends

FAMILY LAW: Labor and Greens creating a fatherless society

SOCIETY: Social engineering and the abuse of children

YOUTH AFFAIRS: Schoolies week excesses: public debate needed

ABORTION: Deceptive advertising of the abortion industry

CINEMA: A ringing affirmation of fatherhood

BOOK REVIEW: Forbidden reading

BOOK REVIEW Dickens: the early years

Books promotion page

FONT SIZE:

UNITED STATES:
Sarah Palin castigates congressional corruption


by Joseph Poprzeczny

News Weekly, December 10, 2011

Although former Alaskan Governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, hasn’t entered the coming presidential race, she’s far from being a spent political force.

Palin has fired a broadside at American national politicians, alleging that too many of them have been feathering their own nests ahead of the public interest.

In an opinion column carried in The Wall Street Journal, headlined “How Congress occupied Wall Street” (WSJ, November 18, 2011), she has said that it is time American voters were told how it was that so many politicians reached Washington as people of modest means and left as dollar-flush millionaires.

“How do they miraculously accumulate wealth at a rate faster than the rest of us? How do politicians’ stock portfolios outperform even the best hedge-fund managers’?,” asks Palin. “Politicians derive power from the authority of their office and their access to our tax dollars, and they use that power to enrich and shield themselves.”

Her article uses some of the findings of Stanford University-based Hoover Institution research fellow, Peter Schweizer, whose recently-released book, Throw Them All Out (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), reveals how politicians clandestinely enrich themselves. Schweizer is a member of Palin’s political action committee as a foreign-policy adviser.

Palin writes: “The money-making opportunities for politicians are myriad, and Mr Schweizer details the most lucrative methods: accepting sweetheart gifts of IPO [initial public offering] stock from companies seeking to influence legislation, practising insider trading with non-public government information, earmarking projects that benefit personal real estate holdings, and even subtly extorting campaign donations through the threat of legislation unfavourable to an industry. The list goes on and on, and it’s sickening.

“Astonishingly, none of this is technically illegal, at least not for Congress. Members of Congress exempt themselves from the laws they apply to the rest of us.”

In March 2010, documents were obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act revealing how Democrat congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House of Representatives (currently House minority leader), had used a US military aircraft for political self-promotion.

One report said: “Traditionally, the House speaker has flown in a 12-seat Air Force jet. However, Pelosi demanded and got a 200-seat C-32 — the military version of the Boeing 757 — because she wanted to take along as many of her voters as possible on her free trips.

“Pelosi’s air travel costs in 2009 and 2010 amounted to $2.2 million, out of which $101,429 was spent on food and alcohol used on board.

“Purchases for just one Pelosi-led trip in ‘her’ C-32 included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewar’s scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer, and several bottles of wine.” (PJ Media, November 25, 2011).

Sarah Palin, in her exposure of congressional self-enrichment, has stressed that this problem “isn’t confined to one political party or just a few bad apples”; it is “an endemic problem encompassing leadership on both sides of the aisle”.

She says she wasn’t surprised to learn of these practices in Washington, as she first encountered similar behaviour on entering Alaskan politics.

She recalls: “I’ve been fighting this type of corruption and cronyism my entire political career. For years Alaskans suspected that our lawmakers and state administrators were in the pockets of the big oil companies to the detriment of ordinary Alaskans.

“We knew we were being taken for a ride, but it took FBI wiretaps to finally capture lawmakers in the act of selling their votes. In the wake of politicos being carted off to prison, my administration enacted reforms based on transparency and accountability to prevent this from happening again.”

She pleads for greater transparency in public life, with “more detailed financial disclosure reports”, and politicians being required to submit them “much more often than once a year”.

She says: “We need equality under the law. From now on, laws that apply to the private sector must apply to Congress….

“Trading on non-public government information should be illegal both for those who pass on the information and those who trade on it. (This should close the loophole of the blind trusts that aren’t really blind because they’re managed by family members or friends.)

“No more sweetheart land deals with campaign contributors…. No earmarks where the congressman receives a direct benefit.… No lobbyists as family members, and no transitioning into a lobbying career after leaving office. No more revolving door, ever.”

Palin says that it is absolutely crucial that such reform “transcend political parties” and argues that members of America’s two current major grass-roots movements — the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street — should fall in behind her reform program.

“The Tea Party’s mission has always been opposition to waste and crony capitalism, and the Occupy protesters must realise that Washington politicians have been ‘Occupying Wall Street’ long before anyone pitched a tent in [New York’s] Zuccotti Park,” she says.

Joseph Poprzeczny is a Perth-based historian and journalist.

 

References:

Jim Kouri “House Speaker Pelosi exposed by legal watchdog group”, The Examiner (Denver, Colorado), March 20, 2010.
URL: www.examiner.com/law-enforcemen t-in-national/house-speaker-pelosi-exposed-by-legal-watchdog-group?render=print#print

Sarah Palin, “How Congress occupied Wall Street”, The Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2011.
URL: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204323904577040373463191222.html

Ion Mihai Pacepa, “Stealing as policy from the Iron Curtain to Robert Byrd”, PJ Media (Los Angeles), November 25, 2011.
URL: http://pjmedia.com/blog/stealing-as-policy-from-the-iron-curtain-to-robert-byrd/?singlepage=true


























subscribe

Join our mailing list


Your cart has 0 items



Subscribe to NewsWeekly


Research Papers


Facebook


Trending articles

COVER STORY It's the science, not the reef, that is being polluted

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Same-sex marriage and property rights clash in U.S.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS High time to introduce family-friendly taxation

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS Making housing affordable for young couples

ENERGY Greens' silence on folly of wind and solar power

NEW ZEALAND Roller-coaster election ends with conservative win

CANBERRA OBSERVED Forrest's bold plan for indigenous Australians



News and views from around the world

Europe’s alarming new anti-Semitism (Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks)

English booze culture fuels nearly 10 million hospital admissions each year (Sarah Knapton, UK Telegraph)

Why France is better than Britain (Anthony Peregrine, UK Telegraph)

Dam breaks in Europe as deflation fears wash over ECB rhetoric (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard)

Only one thing can save Britain from Labour: A Tory split (Peter Hitchens)

The Culture of Death bares its teeth: Planned Parenthood says life begins at delivery (Albert Mohler)  

Hell-bent on rewriting America’s past (Dean Kalahar, American Thinker)  

How the young have been trained to wallow in undeserved punishment (Deana Chadwell)

‘Madame Secretary’: front running for Hillary Clinton (G. Murphy Donovan)

What conservatives must learn from socialists: Roger Scruton (Michael Brendan Dougherty)



























© Copyright NewsWeekly.com.au 2011
Last Modified:
September 24, 2014, 12:53 pm