American FLAG BANNER: Committee for Democracy


Fight Corporate Media Liars


August 9th to the 29th, 2006

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



Previous Corruption Updates: Page 1

Next Corruption Updates: Page 3


The Article Says:

Perata reconsiders bills amid bad press, Steve Geissinger, 8-29-06 Oak Tri

Perata and committees he controls have long-standing ties to development interests, which have donated about $1 million in the past two years -- including $50,000 from Sacramentan Angelo K. Tsakopoulos, who did not return calls for comment Friday. “


Perata takes HALF-MIL to sell out: Perata takes half-mil to kill bills.
There is no question that "donations" and special interest campaign contributions put, and keep, "our" politicians in office. And these politicians serve the needs of the special interests first. Again and again we see both parties can not govern honestly under the pall of bribery disguised as “campaign contributions.”

Perata claims he is reconsidering flood measures he shelved for his developer contributors. Perata is embarrassed, and is making statements to regain some credibility. He has no intention of ticking off his big-money special interest masters.

Even Lois Wolk, D-Davis, who's legislation was crushed by this display of special interests power, cannot honestly identify the forces that crushed her bill: the special interests that fund the senate leader of her party, and her party. "My approach has always been to judge politicians by their actions," Wolk said. Be honest Ms. Wolk, you CAN judge a politician by their contributors. And you can predict their votes.

It would not be wise for Ms. Wolk to bite the hand, the machine, that feeds her. The solution is simple: we must outlaw all contributions and gifts to candidates or officeholders, or their staffs and families, from any source other than individuals qualified to vote in the election for that officeholder.

The Article Says:

Builders give Perata $500,000

By Jim Sanders -- Bee Capitol Bureau

Published 11:37 am PDT Friday, August 25, 2006


Perata takes HALF-MIL in exchange for soul:

Trick, he never had one.

The California Building Industry Association gave Perata $500,000 two days after he killed important flood control legislation they opposed. “Earlier this week, however, Perata denied that contributions from the building industry affected his decision to shelve the flood-control legislation.” LIAR.

The builders Association tells us that "that their participation in state politics is no different from that of many industry associations". That's the problem, and this statement demonstrates just how damaged our democracy is. Open bribery is acceptable. "Everyone does it," and "it's always been like this" are the sad justifications our politicians give us. Industrial control has slapped the voter to the curb. This open corruption must stop. We must prevent any contributions to candidates or officeholders from any source other than voters qualified to vote in the election they contribute to. We want honest legislation, and legislators. If bribing our politicians is illegal, the special interests will be restricted to their due rights of association and petition. And we, the voters, will decide which politicians get our financial support and viability, not the special interests. And political policy will reflect our needs, not the special interests'.

The Article Says:

Builders' clout cited as flood bills stall, By Jim Sanders -- Bee Capitol Bureau

Published 12:01 am PDT Friday, August 25, 2006


Dem claims BUILDERS CLOUT Arnie's fault:

Dems cite Arnie as cause of Perata's corruption?

This article describes the efforts by California Builders to kill a flood control package that would have required responsible development in flood plains. Responsibility would cost our business leaders dearly. We find it amazing that "Florez, D-Shafter, said the building industry has become increasingly powerful since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office." Perata just received his 500,000 payoff from the building industry, not Arnie. Is Mr. Flores aware that Perata is a Democrat? Really. Is Mr.Florez also aware that his candidate for governor, Angelides, had his primary rescued by a massive infusion of developer money? I'm sure he is. Let's face it, Mr. Flores, both of the parties are sponsored by developers, and the other special interests, and not our citizens.

This article describes the vortex of corruption that special interests and corrupt politicians have created in Sacramento. Both parties breathe the same air, and both parties are corrupted and controlled through bribery.. In the words of a building lobbyist, they are "no different from many other associations -- it actively participates in state politics, contributes to candidates it supports and tries to keep lawmakers informed about issues it considers key."

This article fails to point out the difference between the legitimate special interest rights of association, speech, and petition, and the illegitimate use of money-bribes-by non-voting interests. These bribes subvert the voters' control of their representatives, their right to choose their own representatives. Not the representatives of the Special Interests.

We must end contributions from any source other than voters qualified to vote in the election they contribute to. Or this corruption will never stop.


The Article Says:

Dan Walters: Legislators redefine cynicism by strangling redistricting reform

By Dan Walters -- Bee Columnist

Published 12:01 am PDT Monday, August 21, 2006


Political Parties-Special Interests divide political and economic ownership of California:

Think We're Cynical? Read this.
Mr. Walters observes that, It should be evident to any even halfway objective observer that the Legislature is an abjectly dysfunctional body, chronically incapable of responding effectively to the issues.” Policy decisions are, driven by the wishes of a relative handful of powerful interest groups.“ Walters says that this problem worsened

five years ago when...the two major parties cooked up a redistricting deal to fix the Capitol's status quo by designating the party ownership of all 120 legislative districts.” Mr. Walters described the result as a power grab by special interests and the parties which, rendered the November elections meaningless, and effectively disenfranchised millions of independent voters.”

Walters sees the solution in judicial redistricting. This is a difficult problem. We have not been able to make our parties or politicians act ethically, but we can significantly lessen the damage done by their corruption.

Restricting the party's financing of local candidates to 30% of local contributions, and eliminating non-voter outside money from local elections will produce politicians funded by their local voters, and make it more difficult for the parties to dictate to the local voters. It is certain that any comprehensive solution to monopolistic parties and districts must include breaking the links between the special interest wealth and political power.

The Article Says:

Bill Targets State Food Label Warnings

By LIBBY QUAID, AP Food and Farm Writer inLAT
9:29 AM PDT, August 20, 2006

In March, the House overwhelmingly approved legislation that would preempt state warnings. The Senate held a hearing on the issue in July.​” “200 state laws or regulations could be affected, according to the Congressional Budget Office”




Big contributors try to trump state safety law by buying influence in House and Senate.

This is corruption in action, directly distorting the legislative process to achieve special interests goals at odds with the general welfare of our citizens. The “contributions” of big agriculture and big food processors are being paid back by trumping the will of the voters with the power of corrupt influences.

The Article Says:

Desert Connections

By Chuck Neubauer and Richard T. Cooper, LATimes Staff Writers
LAT, August 20, 2006


How Big Money Gets Richer in Nevada: LATimes. An excellent survey of how dirty relationships benefit the briber and bribee.
This article describes the deep relationships between wealth and political power that make it impossible for citizens to know if their politicians are making honest policy. This is the story of how the political power of Harry Reid, D-Nev, and the money of super-Lobbyist” Harvey Whittemore came together in a vast Nevada development, Coyote Springs. “Helping make Coyote Springs come alive was an alliance between a multimillionaire developer and one of the highest-ranking members of Congress: Nevada Democrat Harry Reid, the Senate minority leader and a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.”

Where is the line between honest public policy and corruption? It is impossible for our politicians to make honest public policy when their pockets are lined with money by the interests they are supposedly regulating. Highlights of this long and complex article include massive giveaways, “At one point, Reid proposed opening the way for Whittemore to develop part of the site for free — something for which the developer later agreed to pay the government $10 million.” There are many favors a senator's influence can achieve. “No federal appraisal was made” for a land switch of turtle habitat “Nevada's congressional delegation tucked an obscurely worded provision into a huge land bill “, which would have done Whittemore a large financial favor” To get millions from your politicians is quite cheap, for Reid only “received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Whittemore.“ Reid could afford to be generous in repaying his sponsor's favors, for the payback came from the public treasury.

But don't let the corruption of Reid bother you , because everyone does it: “Jon Summers, an aide to Sen. Reid, said, "Harvey Whittemore has a history of giving money to political candidates far and wide — and to both political parties.” Not only Reid benefits from his powerful position, but two of Reid's sons are employed by Whittemore, negotiating with the federal government to advance the development. The feds apparently listen hard when a senator's son speaks. In fact, the senator's office itself was lobbied by his own sons. “In 2001, the senator's office established a rule that family members could lobby his office but could not get special treatment.” It defies logic and ethics to believe that family members could even be allowed to lobby their own family for political favors, and could do so without “special treatment” Our politicians have been so corrupt for so long they can't see their own corruption.

The Article Says:

'Duke' Cunningham's Wife Says She Felt Deceived

From the Associated Press in LAT

August 19, 2006


Duke Wife Thought He Was Just “Normally” Corrupt: This woman shows how hard it is to differentiate between a little and a lot of corruption.

This article would be funny, if it wasn't real. Nancy Cunningham, wife of the convicted political cheat, “Duke” Cunningham, said she“felt deceived about the extent of her now-estranged husband's corruption” The extent? What is “normal” corruption?

Possibly the yachts, homes, and antiques they received as bribes were less than normal corruption, for the quality of the bribes was “not that great,” according to Mrs.Cunningham.” If receiving yachts and houses was petty, it's no wonder “she didn't question junkets paid for by defense contractors because other senior congressional figures, including Speaker Dennis Hastert, joined in. “

Well, if everybody's doing it, it must be o.k. Well, I'm o.k. With Duke doing eight years in prison.

Also see More Duke Links Below

Top of Page

The Article Says:

Former Bush Official Seeks New Trial

By Associated Press
1:42 AM PDT, August 19, 2006

WASHINGTON -- A former Bush administration official convicted of hiding details of his relationship with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has asked for a new trial.


Bush Appointee tries to Avoid Prison:

Another link in the Abramoff web of corruption: convicted influence peddler Safavian tries to avoid prison.

David Safavian was the chief of staff of the GSA, and used his influence to help Abramoff buy government buildings in Washington, DC. No property was purchased, but Safavian tried, and he took one of Abramoff's legendary golfing junkets. Hopefully Safavian's conviction will stand, and another corrupt person who betrayed the public trust will be imprisoned.


For More About Abramoff's Web of Corruption:

Corruption Updates 33, 8th article on the page, "House Panel Opens Investigation of GSA Chief's Deal With Friend"
Corruption Updates 47, 8th article on the page, "Waxman Seeks RNC E-Mail on Use of Federal Resources" (Looking at political manipulation by GSA head)

Top of Page

The Article Says:

Perry's big donors get state posts, business

Associated Press in HouChron. Aug. 17, 2006, 3:58PM


Texas Gov Rewards his Big Donors:

Gov. Perry's big donors clean up.

The big “donors” to Gov. Perry of Texas get a lot of bang for their bucks. “many are beneficiaries of government business and plum state appointments, The Dallas Morning News reported today.”

In Texas there are no limits to campaign contributions, and apparently no limit to what these contributions can buy. Texans understand that, "The kinds of people who step up to the plate to give this kind of money tend to be people who want something from government," said Andrew Wheat of Texans for Public Justice, a nonprofit group that tracks campaign contributions.” We in California have campaign contribution limits. Now we must make voters the only contributions in our elections.

Top of Page

The Article Says:

Former Murrieta Mayor Indicted

While Mayor, Jack van Haaster allegedly acted on a conflict of interest and provided false information, further stoking the town's political intrigues.

By Maeve Reston and Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer, August 17, 2006


Murrieta Mayor Indicted. Ex-Mayor van Haaster used office for self-enrichment.

Mayor Van Haaster is charged with using his influence to advance his, and his daughter's financial condition. What is amazing is how the personal corruption of our politicians is publicly felt.
“In May 2005, Van Haaster was booted from office in a recall campaign that targeted him, current Mayor Kelly Seyarto and Councilman Doug McAllister. Recall supporters complained of the council haphazardly supporting new development in town and not responding adequately to residents' concerns.” This article describes the hubris of politicians funded by special interests, and fueled by greed. Keeping the developers from buying our politicians will keep our cities from being very poorly developed. And maybe they will have to keep the schools, and roads, and electricity, and water up to decent standards, instead of leaving us to pay the true costs of “development.”

Top of Page

The Article Says:

'Duke' Inquiry Cites Breakdowns

The findings could widen the Cunningham scandal, a Democratic memo suggests.

By Greg Miller, Times Staff Writer
August 10, 2006



Secret report: Congress Corrupt:

Better Keep this one secret. Or we might want our democracy back.

An internal congressional probe finds widespread corruption of committee processes. Who thought Congress was healthy? Exxon Mobil and friends. This article describes a now secret report about breakdowns in appearances. Cunningham apparently was openly greedy. That is consistent with Congress' public image. But Legislators are getting nervous now that their open corruption is becoming increasingly disgusting to the public. What separates Cunningham from the rest of the pack is that he was caught. None of our politicians are advancing serious reform which would restore our democracy, let alone its “appearances.” Since “earmarks” operate in secret, Cunningham's inappropriate funding requests can not be compared with other “secret” Congressional “transactions.”

Despite those concerns, the aide said, Cunningham's requests often were granted. For that reason, the aide added, portions of the report could be embarrassing to committee staff and leadership. Another aide said that "staff felt pressured by Cunningham" and often acquiesced, "not wanting to offend him or make him upset."”
Cunningham's anger is nothing compared to the voters' rising anger. I look forward to the day when honest politics produce a more honest politician.

Duke and Wilkes:

Corruption Updates 1, 1st article on page, “Wilkes Tells All”

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

Corruption Updates 2, "Duke Inqiry Cites Breakdowns" (Congress Corrupted by Bribery. That's the breakdown)

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

Top of Page

12)The Article Says:

lobbyists' donate when legislation pending
Lawmakers hunt for cash in final days of voting on bills

Chronicle, Wednesday, August 9, 2006


Lobbyist' Donate When Legislation Pending:

Blatant Bribery as special interests contribute to politicians voting on their measures.

This article describes how our legislators use the end of session log jam of legislation to extort “contributions,” (bribes) from the special interests. Really? I'm confused. Who is bribing who? Do the special interests bribe the legislators? Or do the legislators bribe the special interests? It is a matter of semantics. And apparently a matter of timing: The lobbyists bribe the politicians at the beginning, during elections, and the politicians bribe the lobbyists at the end of session, when their bills are on the line. At the end of the Session the politicians have the upper hand, so the bribers are hard pressed by the politicians. To the citizens the results are the same, and the public interest be damned.

"It's an opportune time to fleece lobbyists for as much money as possible because the fate of bills is literally being voted on," Wow, what a “fleecing.” The lobbyist gives a thousand and gets a million. Somebody's getting fleeced, and it's not the lobbyist or the legislator.

There is a sadly funny aspect to this article, when Willie Brown is consulted as an expert on corruption. Apparently Willie’s corruptions are considered the good old days.

Another potentially humorous view of this frenzy of corruption was explained away as being simply a function of the calendar.” Burn that calendar, and throw out the criminals who are marking time by it.

Martyn Hopper, a business lobbyist, was quoted as saying, "The unfortunate part is when there are so many fund raisers it focuses attention on the bad side of the political system." And what, pray tell, is the good side of this frenzy of corruption? Oh yes, when you get your payoff.


Previous Corruption Updates: Page 1

Next Corruption Updates: Page 3


Go to: CORRUPTION UPDATES: The most recent posting

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

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

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

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

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

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


Top of Page

Home Page




Corruption Database



Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
vPage 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29


Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
Page 33
Page 34
Page 35
Page 36
Page 37
Page 38
Page 39
Page 40
Page 41
Page 42
Page 43
Page 44
Page 45
Page 46