Skip to comments.Rangel, Other Reps, Party in Caribbean With Citi Funds
Posted on 01/30/2009 5:35:54 PM PST by melt
Six Democratic members of Congress enjoyed a Caribbean junket sponsored by Citigroup after Congress had approved the $700 billion bailout of financial services firms in October.
The National Legal and Policy Center, a watchdog group, has asked Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, for a formal review of the Citigroups sponsorship of the trip by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel and five others.
The NLPC says the trip violated House rules.
The purported purpose of the Nov. 6-9 junket was to attend the Caribbean Multi-Cultural Business Conference on the island of St. Maarten, but the primary purpose of attending for most participants appeared to be to take a vacation, according to the NLPC, which had a representative at the event.
The NLPC said in a statement: The lead sponsor was Citigroup, which contributed $100,000. Citigroup was certainly aware that it would be a major recipient of bailout funds. It was also aware that its fortunes had become increasingly reliant on Congressional actions.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...
My guess is given enough time he will hang himself.
How old is the idiot, and too bad he didn’t invest in Madoff.
And, B HO can only complain about Corporate Bonuses?
**WHERE IS THE INVESTIGATION????????
Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas**
She is TOO STUPID to be a Crook, which DOES make her smart enough to be a DEMOCRAT!!
“Could you make the rover go to where our astronauts planted the flag?” Shiela Jackson Lee, JOhnson space Center to technicians piloting the MARS ROVER.
Everyone is getting rich, but the sucker common stock holder.
Nancy Pelosi "drained the swamp" and look what she found laying on the bottom.
The gov’t and their lobbyists are robbing us blind...
Where’s “Zero” with his words of wisdom?
Isn’t this the island where Obama’s “other woman” lives in exile??
Isn’t this the island where Obama’s “other woman” lives in exile??
Nice pics. If there were any justice, these would all be mug shots.
That sums it up.
If you wished to attend but couldn't pay to go to President Obama's inauguration, you were pretty much out of luck.
Unless you're a member of the County Board.
Two county supervisors, Toni Clark and Elizabeth Coggs, are billing taxpayers thousands of dollars - including a hotel stay for one of them at $644 per night - so they could spend five days in Washington, D.C., this past week, a trip that allowed the pair to attend various inaugural festivities.
"Did I go to the swearing in?" Clark said Thursday. "Yes, I did."
Clark, however, cut off the interview, saying she was in the middle of children's basketball practice. Coggs did not return repeated calls to her office and cell phone.
Terrence Cooley, chief of staff for Board Chairman Lee Holloway, said he signed off on the trip in early December because it appeared legitimate. Clark and Coggs said they were going to Washington to meet with U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, county lobbyists and others.
"Nobody said anything about the inaugural," Cooley said.
He said he, of course, realized that the trip would coincide with the Obama festivities, but he said he wouldn't speculate on whether Clark and Coggs designed the trip so they could be in D.C. when the new president was taking his oath.
"This is when they could schedule the meetings," Cooley said.
Officials haven't done a final tally of the cost for the two supervisors to jet to D.C., but the figure is expected to come in around $4,000, including airfare, hotel and other expenses.
The biggest expense was to find lodging near the capital during the height of inaugural activities. An estimated 2 million attended Obama's swearing-in ceremony Tuesday. Records show Clark stayed at a Comfort Inn in Alexandria, Va., just minutes from the U.S. Capitol, arriving the afternoon of Jan. 16 and leaving Wednesday morning. The county issued a pre-paid check to the hotel for $2,227.60 for the five-day stay.
The hotel cost a little less than $160 for each of the first two days, but the daily rate then skyrocketed to $644 for the final three days of her stay. Clark had to kick in $20 from her wallet to cover the full cost of her room, according to a hotel receipt provided by Comfort Inn.
By contrast, Coggs had no lodging expenses because she stayed with relatives in the D.C. area.
In addition, the two had earlier estimated their combined airfare at a little more than $900. They also each received cash advances for $324.
Numerous aldermen, state reps and other Wisconsin government officials went to the inauguration, but No Quarter couldn't find any others who billed taxpayers for their costs.
A Coggs staffer initially put in the request for the trip on Dec. 4. The letter said Coggs and Clark had four meetings over three days on Monday through Wednesday of this week.
But at least one of those meetings never happened.
According to the schedule, the two County Board members were to sit down with officials at Waterman & Associates, the county's D.C. lobbying firm.
"There were travel complications that did not permit the meeting they had planned," board spokesman Harold Mester said Thursday. He didn't have any further explanation.
Clark and Coggs were also slated to meet with a staffer with the Casey Family Programs, a Washington-based foundation, on Monday and an official with the National Association of Manufacturers on Wednesday. Neither group returned calls. The schedule also lists a sit-down with Moore, Milwaukee's Democratic rep in the U.S. Congress.
Moore spokesman Derrick Plummer said he would check to see if that meeting happened. He declined to say whether his boss supplied the two county pols - or anyone else - with inaugural tickets. Wisconsin's congressional delegation distributed some 1,600 tickets to state residents.
"We have a policy of not disclosing that," Plummer said.
Several officials confirmed that Coggs and Clark were among many Wisconsin dignitaries to attend an open house at the Les Aspin Center for Government in D.C. on Monday night. The state's congressional delegation held its own open house earlier in the day.
State Sen. Spencer Coggs, a Milwaukee Democrat, said he saw both Clark and Coggs, his cousin, at the Les Aspin event. He said he didn't see them at Obama's swearing-in ceremony, but he assumed they went, saying that was the main purpose for everybody's trip.
But the senator, who paid for his own trip, defended his cousin and Clark, saying both had mentioned that they were in Washington for several meetings. He said it was justifiable that they used tax dollars for the excursion.
"If, in fact, they had legitimate county meetings, then it was a legitimate trip," the senator said.
But if their real intent was to go to these meetings, couldn't they have found some dates when hotels and others weren't charging premium rates? Otherwise, why head to Washington this week?
"I don't know," said Coggs, the senator.
The two County Board members will have to answer that.
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