Corruption in state and local politics

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:24 pm

In Edison, a police force under investigation braces for more arrests
Advance Local (New Jersey)
Just over five months ago, authorities say officer Paul Pappas clocked in for the evening shift, climbed in his unmarked patrol car and drove to New Brunswick to slash his ex-girlfriend's car tire.

The brazen, bizarre incident -- in which the 43-year-old cop, in full uniform, was found underneath his ex's car cutting the woman's tire -- was captured on a nearby security camera, leading to his arrest, according to the police report obtained by NJ Advance Media.

...
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:22 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivers_Ca ... s_Plaines)
Rivers Casino is a casino in Des Plaines, Illinois, United States, a northern suburb of Chicago. It is minutes away from O'Hare International Airport. Rivers Casino opened on July 18, 2011.

The building sits above a few inches of water in a shallow pit. This was created for the casino to comply with state law, intended to legalize riverboat gambling.

...
Emphasis added.
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Anaxagoras
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Anaxagoras » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:19 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:22 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivers_Ca ... s_Plaines)
Rivers Casino is a casino in Des Plaines, Illinois, United States, a northern suburb of Chicago. It is minutes away from O'Hare International Airport. Rivers Casino opened on July 18, 2011.

The building sits above a few inches of water in a shallow pit. This was created for the casino to comply with state law, intended to legalize riverboat gambling.

...
Emphasis added.
That's funny. But special laws and loopholes create such silliness. Gambling is supposedly illegal in Japan, but pachinko parlors have figured out the loopholes that allow it. They can't give winners cash directly, but they can give prizes, and those "prizes" can be sold at another small shop, only a few steps away, that's set up exclusively to buy those "prizes" from the customers for cash.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Witness
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Witness » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:13 am

Scott's blind trust mirrors hundreds of investments also held by wife

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott’s blind trust, set up by the multi-millionaire to avoid perceived conflicts of interest, includes tens of millions of dollars in investments in the exact same companies as his wife, Ann.

The holdings give the appearance of what one ethics attorney calls a “common investment strategy” that could undercut the intended independence of Scott’s trust, a POLITICO analysis of financial disclosure reports filed as part of Scott’s Senate campaign shows.

Both the first lady’s investments and Scott’s blind trust holdings were revealed as part of federal financial disclosure forms filed in July. The overlap in their investments has not been previously reported. It’s clear from reviewing the holdings that actions Scott has taken during his nearly eight years as governor have affected companies in which Ann Scott holds an interest — which he could review as governor — and those held in the blind trust, in which a number of investments mirror those held by his wife.

“It’s hard to think of Gov. Scott’s blind trust as an effective barrier to potential conflicts of interest when the investments in the trust mirror his family’s investments,” said Larry Noble, senior director and general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center. “Unless it is an incredible coincidence, it looks like a common investment strategy, which effectively undercuts the benefits of the blind trust.”
And this made me laugh:
Scott campaign spokesman Chris Hartline said Scott does not talk with Ann about her investments.

“The Governor does not discuss the First Lady’s investments with her or with her financial advisers,” Hartline said in an email. “First Lady Ann Scott is not an elected official, but as always, we are following all the rules and guidelines of the blind trust and the financial disclosure requirements.”
Details: https://www.politico.com/states/florida ... ife-607026

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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:07 pm

Background: John Jay College is the public college in NYC where (among other things) cops go to get a degree so they can get a promotion.

College professors allegedly sold drugs, ‘pimped’ out students
NY Post
Veteran professors at the Manhattan school renowned for training future crime-fighters ran a lawless den of depravity called “the swamp,” where they allegedly used and sold drugs, and “pimped” out and sexually preyed on students, according to two women at the center of a widening scandal at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

The shocking allegations are now under criminal probe by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the state Inspector General, The Post has learned.

...
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Anaxagoras
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Anaxagoras » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:42 pm

Sounds a bit far-fetched.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Witness
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Witness » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:10 am

Not "state and local", but it'll fit right in:
Judicial Watch Sues Secret Service Presidential Travel Expense Records

Latest Travel Expense Details Total $3,024,036.50, bringing total for presidential travel expenses to $17,224,938.46

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Secret Service records about expense costs associated with President Trump’s travel between December 22, 2017, and April 28, 2018 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:18-cv-01851).

Judicial Watch filed suit after the Secret Service failed to comply with multiple FOIA requests seeking travel for the following trips:
  • President Trump traveled to his Mar-a-Largo estate in Palm Beach, Florida between December 22, 2017-January 2, 2018 for the Christmas holiday
  • President Trump traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, on January 8, 2018, for the NCAA National Championship game
  • President Trump traveled to Mar-a-Lago between January 12-15, 2018
  • President Trump traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 18, 2018, where he attended a rally at H&K Equipment Co. to discuss tax cuts
  • Eric Trump traveled to Mar-a-Lago between Jan. 19-21
  • [&c., you'll read the detail on the site]
[snip]

The Secret Service records provide costs for meals, hotels, air/rail, car rentals and other incidentals incurred during personal travel by the president and his family.

“The Secret Service is a mess when it comes to transparency on its basic operations,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Presidential travel is too expensive, and, in particular, taxpayers subsidize too much of the bill for presidential campaign travel. President Trump would do well to reform and demand a better, less expensive way to move him around the country.”

This is not the first time Judicial Watch has been forced to file suit against the Department of Homeland Security for failing to respond to FOIA requests for presidential travel-expense records. While monitoring travel for President Obama and his family, Judicial Watch has encountered continuous resistance to FOIA requests. Between July 21, 2014, and November 10, 2015, the Secret Service failed to respond to 19 separate FOIA requests seeking records of security-related expenses for travel by Barack Obama and other VIPs.

On November 10, 2015, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking the court to enjoin the Secret Service from continuing to withhold responsive documents from Judicial Watch (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:15-cv-01983)). Judicial Watch appealed the District Court’s dismissal of its claim that the agency has a policy and practice of violating FOIA’s procedural requirements in connection with processing of Judicial Watch’s FOIA requests. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed the District Court’s judgment on Judicial Watch’s request for injunctive relief and remanded the policy and practices claim for further proceedings. The D.C. Circuit held that “[t]he Secret Service’s alleged practice of prolonged, repeated, and unexplained delay, if allowed to continue, would harm Judicial Watch’s mission to inform the public about the costs of VIP travel by unlawfully interfering with its statutory right to ‘promptly’ obtain non-exempt records upon request.”

Judicial Watch was forced to file a related suit on May 6, 2016, after the Secret Service failed to respond to five (5) additional travel-related FOIA requests (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:16-cv-00863)).

To date, Judicial Watch has uncovered total travel expenses of the Obamas amounting to $114,691,322.17.
https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-roo ... e-records/

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Pyrrho
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Pyrrho » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:59 pm

https://www.apnews.com/aa6e62c9a71148cd93508ac9ee6bf9ce
Illinois Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday he will repay more than $330,000 in property tax breaks he received on a Chicago mansion after a county investigator accused him of a “scheme to defraud” taxpayers by taking toilets out to lower its value.

Campaign officials for the billionaire said he will pay the county treasurer by the end of next week. He will pay nearly $133,000 for refunds obtained on a Chicago mansion for 2012, 2013 and 2014 and nearly $199,000 for additional tax savings for 2015 and 2016.
:flush:
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:35 pm

Legislators spent big on lavish fundraisers — but gave no grants to students
NY Post
A nonprofit run by state lawmakers to raise scholarship money for needy minority students spends most of the cash on its lavish annual soiree — including $6,000 on limos — and gave out no grants the last two years, The Post has learned.

The New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators organizes a “Caucus Weekend” — a series of workshops, concerts and parties — in Albany every February for minority members of the Assembly and the Senate.

The group charges sponsors up to $50,000 for a chance to party with lawmakers at events that have ­included Grammy Award-winning rappers and high-profile speakers such as Hillary Clinton and Jesse Jackson.

...
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WildCat
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by WildCat » Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:38 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:35 pm
Legislators spent big on lavish fundraisers — but gave no grants to students
NY Post
The New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators organizes a “Caucus Weekend” — a series of workshops, concerts and parties — in Albany every February for minority members of the Assembly and the Senate....
They only reported this because they're racist.
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by WildCat » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:20 pm

Powerful Chicago Alderman Ed Burke Faces Federal Corruption Charges:
Longtime Ald. Edward Burke, one of Chicago’s most powerful figures and a vestige of the city’s old Democratic machine, has been charged with attempted extortion for allegedly using his position as alderman to corruptly solicit business for his private law firm.

The 37-page criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court comes five weeks after the FBI carried out a stunning raid on Burke’s City Hall office, working for hours behind windows covered with brown butcher paper before leaving down a back staircase with computers and files.

According to the one count, Burke in 2017 tried to extort a company that owns fast-food restaurants in the Chicago area and needed help with permits for a remodeling job.

The evidence includes numerous recorded calls from Burke’s cell phone as well as emails and other documents, according to the complaint, which was filed Wednesday and unsealed Thursday.

The complaint also alleged Burke illegally solicited a campaign donation from an executive with the restaurant company for another politician, who is not named in the charges.

Burke is expected to turn himself in Thursday afternoon for an initial appearance at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse before a magistrate judge.

The criminal charge was jaw-dropping even for a city with a long history of public corruption. While dozens of his City Council colleagues have been convicted and sent to prison over the decades, Burke was largely seen as too clever or sophisticated to be caught. He had faced federal scrutiny several times before but always escaped charges.

As a consummate insider with his hands on many of the city’s levers of power, Burke is arguably one of the biggest fish ever reeled in by the U.S. attorney’s office, which has famously indicted a succession of Illinois governors, aldermen and other politicians in a seemingly never-ending parade of graft.

For decades, the Southwest Side alderman has used his iron grip on the City Council’s Finance Committee and key role in slating Cook County judges to build a massive amount of political capital.

Burke, who turned 75 last week, often decides whether Chicago’s most important legislation will move forward. He controls millions of dollars in campaign funds. He is the sole steward of the city’s $100 million workers’ compensation program. And he plays a crucial role in redrawing the city’s ward maps — a key in maintaining political power amid shifting demographics.

He’s also married to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, who was quietly sworn in to a second 10-year term on Nov. 29, the same day her husband’s City Hall and 14th Ward offices were raided. The FBI carried out a second search of Burke’s City Hall office on Dec.13.
When the feds raided his offices the national press was convinced this had something to do with Trump because he represented Trump in a property tax appeal.
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:48 pm

Beat me to it. :)
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