Fight Corporate Media Liars


June 8th to August 8th, 2006

The CORRUPTION UPDATES posts corruption news stories from California, the Nation and the World, and gives you the straight story.


Corruption Updates 1


GO TO: CORRUPTION UPDATES 2 (the next page)

1)The Article Says:

Deal Maker Details the Art of Greasing the Palm

Published: August 6, 2006 NYT



How to get rich buying politicians:

Want to get a federal contract? This article describes how to buy the influence necessary to get a fat federal contract, and get rich. Mr. Brent R. Wilkes is another thread in the web of corruption surrounding the convicted, imprisoned Representative Randy Cunningham. The scariest thing about our system is that Wilkes claims to have “played by the rules.” What are the rules for corruption? Apparently, it is similar to a “silent shakedown,” where nobody says anything, but everybody knows the deal.

This article described how 12,000 “earmarks” cost us 64 billion dollars. What was the true cost to the special interests? Mr. Wilkes was quoted as spending $706,000 on bribes since 1997, for a fantastic result of $100 million.

There is no legal problem here, for under present law, this bribery is condoned. Unless the legislator or lobbyist has the bad tastes of “explicitly” linking the contribution to a favor. Part of the article describes how Mr. Wilkes learned how to give his bribes “legally,” creating the appearance of a separation between the bribes and the earmark or vote being purchased. Wilkes learned that his presentations to “sell” his projects bored the bribees, the Congressmen who were at the presentations. Just give us the money and shut up, was the attitude of the Congressmen. Everyone knows this is bribery, but our laws are insufficient to defend our democracy against these criminals. Even though the “bribery” laws are weak, some of these players were so crude they actually broke this feeble law.

Our legislators have made campaign finance laws where proving criminal intent is difficult, if not impossible. Our legislators have made bribery legal, acceptable practice in our legislature. We all know what is happening, if we admit it to ourselves, or not.

Other revelations in this article describe Congressional Committee members who have millions of dollars in earmarks to “distribute,” without any public, or political scrutiny. Lobbyists are described as “gatekeepers” for congressmen, collecting and organizing bribes, and transforming them into legal “contributions.”

These practices, and these people, are unacceptable. All non-voter contributions, bribery, must be stopped.

Also see:

4th article on page, below.

On Earmarks:

Corruption Updates 14, 5th article on page, “Earmarks Continue”

See this informative article on Murtha and Earmarks:

Corruption Updates 14, 10th article on page, “Trading Votes for Pork across the House Aisle”

See: Interesting information about our new Chairman of the House Appropreations Committee: http://www.answers.com/topic/john-murtha

See: Listing for CREW in Answers.com, which lists Murtha as a member to watch for corrupt practices. Quite an honor!

(Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington)

On the Dems fudraising leading up to the election:

Corruption Updates 20, 6th article on page, Buisness Groups Woo Dems”

Corruption Updates 20, 1st article on page, Pelosi Collects Millions”

Corruption Updates 21, 8th article on page.lobbyists could change if Dems Win”

On Duke Cunningham:

Corruption Updates 2, 8th article, “Duke wife though he was just “normally corrupt.”

Corruption Updates 2, 11th article on page, “Duke Inquiry Cites Breakdowns,” Widespread Corruption of Committee Processes

Corruption Updates 17, 8th article on page, “Duke lashes out from Prison”

Corruption Updates 30, 5th article on page, “DUKE BRIBER FINED”

Corruption Updates 31, 9th article on page, “DUKE MENU OF BRIBERY PAYOFFS W/CONGRESS SEAL

2)The Article Says:

Capitol -- that's the hot ticket

Lawmakers mine a mother lode of freebies, reports say.

By Judy Lin -- Bee Capitol Bureau

Published 12:01 am PDT Tuesday, August 8, 2006



Live in luxury in politics:
Sacramento’s political elite doesn’t just enjoy fat paychecks, bribery, and exceptional benefits, but collect some fat perks as well. Since it is accepted practice for political staff to move between government, corporate, and lobbying jobs, it should surprise no one that the Capitol staff receives special treatment, bribes, as well. And Staff returns these favors from inside the halls of the Capitol.

The special interests spend a lot of money to bribe our legislators. But they don't ignore the political toiling class. The special interests bribe the staff as well. Staff gets less than front-line politicians, but Staff does less for them.

This article describes the receipt of “at least” $218,000 in free passes to a variety of events that were “gifts” to staffers as well as officeholders. And they didn’t just get tickets like the rest of us cattle, but access to “luxury” boxes and other elite perks, that the rest of us can't get into, even if we could afford it. These “gifts” are given by interests “with business at the Capitol,” according to this article. Big surprise. But what's the payoff?

What does this “...vast gift-giving network,” this web of corruption, pervading our legislators and their staffs get the special interests? It gives them access to the staff workers who actually craft the legislation. It gives special interests friendy access to the day to day workings of our politicians.

Our initiative will ban political gifts from any source. All staff, and family members of staff and officeholders must be precluded from accepting bribes from any interest with business before our government.

If these people, “our” politicians, want to socialize, they can do it on their own time, with their own money.

Perks, salary, per diem, and the magic carpet ride of special interest luxury events. What a great time to be a politician.

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3)The Article Says:

Angelides Unveils Reform Plan

He vows to root out political corruption. The governor's aides accuse him of hypocrisy.

By Robert Salladay, Times Staff Writer
August 8, 2006



Angelides desperation forces pretense of honesty:

Angelides’ reform plan pulls out all the bells and whistles to “to curb political corruption in the Capitol.” In reality, Angelides’ plan has everything except what it takes to curb political corruption in the Capitol. His “reform” does nothing to stop or slow the special interests from bribing our candidates and officeholders.

Angelides’ “reform” plan is not a reform plan at all. It changes nothing at all. It is merely an expansion of disclosure rules. Illicit, undemocratic influences will not be stopped, nor slowed. Special interests will continue to buy our democracy under Angelides and the Democrats, just as our democracy is sold by Arnie and the Republicans.

This article describes how the Angelides and Schwarzenegger camps are accusing each other of shady contributions, influences, and special interest deals, of Corruption. The disgraceful thing is that both sides are right, both sides are corrupt. It’s the one thing that both sides are telling the truth about. It’s amazing to watch the pot and kettle kicking the hell out of each other, but the real victim is the voter. We get to choose between candidates who are better suited for selling themselves to the highest bidder, rather than leading our government.


4)The Article Says:

California's `Big 6': Masters of the New Lobbying Game

By Tom Hamburger, Walter F. Roche Jr. and Richard Simon, Times Staff Writers
August 5, 2006


updated link to original article


The Big Six gravy train: LA Times Must Read Article:

This is a must-read for all of our voters. It would be a great story, concerning the nasty webs of influence, wealth, and power at the highest levels of government, if it was not true. And at our expense.

The story is of the "Triangle Trade," between the committee chairmen, private interests, and lobbyists. They trade money for influence. This article describes the use of earmarks, quid pro quos, and the flow of well-connected people between very lucrative jobs in industry, government, and lobbying.

The main characters in this story are the California Republicans currently dominating the major committees in Congress, but it could easily have been written when the Democrats were in power. This article argues that a “new reality” of corruption envelopes Washington. Maybe, but it just looks like yesterday’s corruption has grown up, and is taking steroids. Not different, just bigger and stronger.

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5)The Article Says:

Lobbyist donated cash to Doolittle

Congressman received $14,000, helped Abramoff win contract.

By David Whitney -- Bee Washington Bureau

Published 12:01 am PDT Saturday, August 5, 2006
Story appeared on Page A1 of The Bee



Abramoff-Doolittle: A Love Story:

This story describes the close ties between Abramoff and California Congressman Doolittle. Doolittle received “contributions” from a series of Abramoff clients and then voted or acted favorable on these client’s interests.

Our representatives in Washington are no different from our representatives in California, except they can charge a lot more for their services, and they have more customers. Their method is obvious: The special interests give them money, and receive sympathetic legislation, if not just straight-up “earmarked” contracts worth millions, in return. Sometimes it is difficult to see who is more corrupt; the buyer or the seller.

The legislation, and policy, that bribed politicians produce is fundamentally flawed. Corruption hurts our country domestically, but the effects of our corruption are often felt even more harshly by people in distant lands. Abramoff advocated contract SLAVERY in the Mariana Islands. The direct impact of our corrupt policy hurts our political system, our society, and the world.

Stopping lobbyists from directing, or giving, contributions to our candidates or officeholders is our first priority.

Corruption Updates 17, 10th article on page; “Aide Who Linked Abramoff and Rove Resigns at White House”

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6)The Article Says:

Sacramento Bee,


August 3, 2006

Report on Angeledes endorsement of the “Clean Elections” initiative. 89.


Angelides loves honest politics:

Angelides must be very desperate. He's moved from endorsing superficial reforms, to actually supporting 89, and a limited democracy. A limited access to democracy for the people is better than what we have now, but it does nothing to diminish the bribery that both the parties subsist on.

Angelides does not seem to possess the strength or faith in his convictions. His primary campaign was saved by a massive infusion of Big Developer Money. Without Angelides’ massive infusion of big developer money, Wesley could have won. Angelides’ endorsement is little more than a desperate campaign tactic, for a flailing candidate.

Schwarzenegger, on the other side, takes a different approach. His people stated He does not believe in reforming democracy, if it costs anything. Wow.

Our sovereignty, our political authority, has been lost to the corporations and special interests. Both gubernatorial candidates, as well as the rest of our politicians, are slaves to the special interests. We need no more halfway “reform” measures. California’s politicians need to be cut off from the special interests. Now.

Getting elected in California must be based on collecting money, and support, from the constituents, not collecting money from special interests. Neither party wants to keep the non-voting interests limited to their due free speech and petition rights. They want the money. Their careers, their prestige, and their authority would be threatened if they had to depend on the voters to get the funding to get elected.

We endorse "Clean" campaigns as a start, but only as a start. “Clean” campaigns does not directly address the problems of special interest corruption. WE NEED CLEAN ELECTIONS, and CLEAN CAMPAIGNS. Our initiative will pit the true believers in democracy against the politicians, the government, the corporations and the corporate media. Good Luck!

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7)The Article Says:

Pentagon To Scrap Site Connected To Scandal

Rep. Goode's Earmark Led to Contract Award

By Walter Pincus Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 1, 2006; Page A04



What corruption costs, and what YOU pay:

The “Duke” Cunningham scandal just will not die. It’s like the roots of a stubborn weed that you just can’t dig out.

It is a complex scandal. Mitchell Wade, one of the bribers of Cunningham, apparently also funneled funds to Congressman Goode of Virginia, who then “earmarked” appropriations funding for an unneeded pentagon support service center which profited Wade. This useless service center is now being closed, at no small expense to our honor and wallet.

The article stated that $90,000 was “contributed” to Goode, but does not mention what Goode did in return, for Cunningham. Nor is there any mention of the size of the appropriation. I would guess that it is in the millions. A small bribe brings a huge return, in our corrupted polity.

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8)The Article Says:

Los Angeles Times, July 13, 06.

Lagging prison reform

by Jenifer Warren.



An Honest public official? We Salute HAGAR:

Ms. Warren describes the anger of Mr. John Hagar, the Special Judicial Master overseeing reform of our broken down prisons. Mr. Hagar was angry at the political influence exerted by the prison guard's union on Gov. Schwarzenegger's administration.

Two things are apparent from this article.

  1. The Governor is counting the money for the upcoming election and accommodating a powerful union.

  2. Mr. Hagar is a rare honest person, confronting a very powerful union's use of political money to bribe elected officials.

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9)The Article Says:

Sacramento Bee, July 16, 06.

Prison report Shines light on special master

Andy Furillo.



Hagar Bashed in HATCHET JOB:

Mr. Furillo has a completely different view of Mr. Hagar's role in reforming California's prisons. Mr. Furillo insinuates that Mr. Hagar's motivation is his pay as a lawyer. We believe that fixing the prisons is taking so long because of how screwed-up the prisons are, and not because Mr. Hagar is stretching out the job. But it’s a hatchet job, so what can you expect?

What caused the furor? According to Mr. Furillo, Mr. Hagar “called the governor's Cabinet secretary a liar, accused his chief of staff of “trading” appointments for political support.” OK Mr. Furillo, what POLITICIAN is not a corrupt liar? The system excludes any other type of people.

Mr. Furillo does not mention the vast political war chest the prison guard union is wielding in the upcoming election. Was Arnie playing ball with the Union? Mr. Hagar apparently suspected as much when he told the correctional officers union that the state's prison crisis is 'on your shoulders'.” Mr. Furillo should be ashamed of this attack on Mr. Hagar.

The prison union has been using its money to buy influence in Sacramento for over a decade, and has corrupted a long line of Governors, apparently now including Schwarzenegger. The real story here is that the Governor has been influenced by another special interest, and somebody like Mr. Hagar had the moxie to stand up to it.

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10)The Article Says:

San Francisco Chronicle, July 14, 06.

Big Oil lobbyists stall bills in Legislature that industry opposes

by Tom Chorneau.






Mr. Chorneau well describes the political clout, the bribery money, that Big Oil wields in our State Legislature.

Mr. Chorneau's excellent article reveals how big oil has “intimidated” our representatives, allowing “oil company lobbyists...[to] tie up or kill almost a dozen bills considered hostile to the industry, including a plan to tax windfall profits....” Is bribery a form of intimidation? Mr. Chorneau notes that “oil giants...have almost unlimited resources to throw into political campaigns.” Chorneau points out that Chevron spent 1.2 million in political contributions in 2005.

This article demonstrates how contributions from non-voters affects our legislators and damages their ability to craft responsible legislation. The oil industry is one of a pack of powerful industries crudely corrupting our legislators, assuring irresponsible legislation. This is a failure of democracy.

There is only one way to stop this attack on our democracy. Industries must be limited to having speech and petition rights, and gotten out of the business of stealing our elections and bribing our politicians. It's the only way we are going to get responsible legislation. Support our initiative.

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Big Oil

Articles Related to Big Oil

11)The Article Says:

In Las Vegas, They're Playing With a Stacked Judicial Deck

Some judges routinely rule in cases involving friends, former clients and business associates -- and in favor of lawyers who fill their campaign coffers.

By Michael J. Goodman and William C. Rempel, Times Staff Writers, Los Angeles Times,
June 8, 2006





Judge [Donald M. Mosley] listens to lawyers’ concerns during a 2002 trial. Mosley gave $10,000 in unspent campaign funds to a girlfriend. He called it a loan. She said it was a gift. The judge’s campaign fund raising reports show that the money was neither withdrawn nor paid back.”

A sheriff’s deputy looks out on the Las Vegas Strip from the new $185-million Clark County courthouse. “I don’t think what goes on in Nevada bears any resemblance to a justice system,” “

District Judge Nancy M. Saitta awarded more than $1 million in fees for a certified public accountant and his attorneys, two of whom held a campaign fund raiser for her while she was ruling on their case. “People who appear in my courtroom are all on equal footing,” she said”.



Can you buy justice? If you can buy politicians, then you can buy laws. But why spend so much time and money if you can just buy the Judge? Judge Gene T. Porter collected campaign contributions from lawyers presenting cases in his court. If you want a tax break, or just want to avoid paying your fair share, or want a special law, you can bribe, I mean “contribute” to the politicians. But if you want to escape the hand of the law itself, then you “contribute” to the judges. What a system! Every politician that runs for any office must be made to succeed or fail based on the support of the local voters, not the special interests.

Next article in this series: Corruption Updates, page 6: Fake Reform Predicted

Third article in this series: Corruption Updates, page 12: Fake Reform Done

Articles Related to Judicial Reform



Contact Us: Committeefordemocracy.org

Go to: CORRUPTION UPDATES: The most recent posting

SEE ARCHIVES I: PAGES 1-4 June 8 to August 31, 2006

SEE ARCHIVES II: PAGES 5-8 Sept. 1 to 8, 2006

SEE ARCHIVES III: PAGES 9-13 Sept. 7 to Oct. 9, 2006

SEE ARCHIVES IV: PAGES 14-18 Sept. 29 to Nov. 1, 2006

SEE: ARCHIVE V: PAGES 19-24 Oct. 19 to Dec. 5, 2006

SEE: ARCHIVE VI: Dec. 6, to Jan. 12, 2007




Corruption Database



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