Skip to comments.Senators Want to Send FEC Back to the Drawing Board on Corporate Jets (Keating Five alert)
Posted on 12/28/2009 12:54:13 AM PST by rabscuttle385
Feingold, McCain, Lieberman Introduce Resolution to Reverse FECs Action to Gut Corporate Jets Provision.
WASHINGTON, DC A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation to reject a Federal Election Commission regulation that would effectively gut Congress work to crack down on Senators accepting rides on corporate jets. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI), John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) introduced a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the FECs decision and require it to redraft the regulation. In the regulation published in the Federal Register on December 7, the FEC undermined Congress decision in 2007 to make senators and presidential candidates pay the full cost of a flight on a corporate jet, rather than just the equivalent of a first class fare. The three senators were all strong supporters of cracking down on the subsidized use of corporate jets by members of Congress as part of the landmark ethics and lobbying reform bill of 2007.
In the wake of the Abramoff scandal, the crackdown on corporate-subsidized use of private jets was a key part of Congress ethics and lobbying reform effort, Senator Feingold said. The FECs recent decision to carve a loophole in that reform is outrageous. Congress must pass this resolution and President Obama, who worked tirelessly to pass this reform when he was in the Senate, will undoubtedly sign it to reverse this terrible decision by the FEC.
This is just the latest in a long line of decisions by the FEC that misinterpret and undermine Congressional gift and ethics laws. When the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act passed in 2007, the intent of Congress was clear Senators would have to reimburse the full charter rate when traveling on corporate-owned aircraft, said Senator John McCain. The FECs decision is disgraceful. I hope Congress will now act swiftly to pass this resolution of disapproval.
Senator Lieberman said: When we passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act in 2007, we closed a major loophole that for years had allowed owners of corporate jets to avoid the strict gift limits by undervaluing the cost of flights provided to Members of Congress. The new FEC rule threatens to open up that loophole and will once again lead to the perception that Members of Congress can be influenced by the corporations and people who can offer us use of private jets. We should act now to reverse the FEC rule.
Under the Congressional Review Act, a resolution of disapproval passed by Congress and signed by the president would make the FEC-passed regulation, including the newly created loophole in the corporate jet provision, ineffective. The FEC would then have to issue a new regulation without the loophole.
The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) of 2007 contained new rules on personal, official, and campaign travel on non-commercial aircraft, often known as corporate jets. Prior to HLOGA, members who flew on corporate jets were required to reimburse the owner of the aircraft only the amount that they would have paid to fly first class between the origin and destination of the flight. HLOGA provided that senators and presidential candidates would have to reimburse such travel at the charter rate. House members were prohibited from flying on non-commercial aircraft altogether. Showing great disrespect for Congress intent in HLOGA, the FEC created a loophole in the statute for members travel on corporate jets on behalf of someones campaign other than their own.
McCain would know a lot about riding other people's corporate jets, especially after he did so in the 1980s, now wouldn't he?
"I was very, very concerned about the appearance of the meetings before I went," he said. I'm a big boy. I made the decision." His first real effort to explain came at a Phoenix news conference a week after The Arizona Republic reported that he and his family had vacationed at Mr. Keating's home in the Bahamas in 1984, 1985 and 1986, and had only belatedly reimbursed the developer's company for flights there on the corporate jet.
Senator McCain said he was unaware that some of the personal flights had not been paid for until Mr. Keating's accountants brought them to his attention in March 1989. He made the reimbursements in May and June.
Source: Rasky, S.F. (1989, Dec. 21). To Senator McCain, the Savings and Loan Affair Is Now a Personal Demon. The New York Times, p. A24.
Mr. McCain, who of the five Senators was the closest socially to Mr. Keating, would travel with the businessman to his vacation home in the Bahamas, where they swam, snorkeled and went fishing. But he did not repay more than $13,000 to American Continental until 1989, when he said the company notified him that the bill was due.
The Senator insisted that his payments were tardy because of lax personal accounting, and he denied that he intended to get free trips.
Source: Berke, R.L. (1991, Jan. 5). 2 Senators Deny Impropriety In Dealings With Keating. The New York Times, p. A6.
"I have done this kind of thing many, many times," said one of the Senators, John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who in an interview likened the Lincoln case to his efforts "helping the little lady who didn't get her Social Security."
Source: Berke, R.L. (1989, Nov. 5). Helping constituents or themselves? The New York Times, p. A24.
J.D. Hayworth '10 - the cure for the McCain strain of the RINO virus
Until you limit each senator to one term only...will the corruptible practices finally stop. Each senator controls some type of committee...and thus gets favors via that group via the folks he affects. It’s a great responsibility which they all fail to grasp the corrupt nature of their job.
I’d settle for repealing the 17th amendment.
Thanks for the quotes nailing the RINO for his Keating connections. Interesting to note the timing of notification from Keating’s accountants is in the spring of 1989, just as Keating’s house of cards is beginning to tumble into the S&L black hole. Sorry lot that whole Keating Five — definitely a turning point in history that would ultimately give us ObamaCare.
Indeed, letting corrupt state legislators appoint Senators would be great because politicians only become corrupt once they win federal office, while they serve in state office they are saints who support limited government and oppose federal encroachment on “state’s rights” issues, even the liberal rats and RINOs. You’d be hard pressed to find any state legislator that supports Roe V. Wade or federal gun control for example. ;)
Meanwhile on planet Earth,
The AZ leg would reelect McCain.
The WI leg would replace the honest moonbat Feingold with a corrupt moonbat under strict orders to bring home more pork.
The CT legislature would elect Ned Lamont to replace Liarman and reelect Chris Dodd (whom will lose next year under the current system).
The IL House Speaker would give 1 seat to his bouncing baby girl, the State AG, and auction the other seat off, Acorn would win the bid on behalf of Jesse Jackson.
The Massachusetts leg would elect a member of the Kennedy family. (chances for a GOP Senator would go from half a chance in the current special election to mathematically impossible as the GOP legislators could all fit in a van and carpool to work together)
In Alaska the the RINOs would vote with the rats to elect a pork loving RINO to one seat and a rat to to the other. So things would stay the same in Alaska.
Some smart people like this idea, but it is based on vague principle, the reality is you lower the pool of voters from the whole state to a couple hundred career politicians and things get worse, how worse is the only question.
The problem with the Senate is not the manner in which it’s elected. It’s the people that get elected and their twin ideologies, power for it’s own sake and socialism.
Thus, SCOTUS can make a Roe v. Wade decision which overturns laws in essentially all states - laws which no one suspected were unconstitutional when they were debated and passed. Such a decision would have been harder to achieve if the people who confirmed judges and convicted them of impeachment represented the state governments rather than the people of the states, as now.
I confess that I have no solution for the fact that the technology of politicians' ability to choose their own voters via the gerrymander has been perfected via computer, making House races generally uncompetitive. The result of that being that it is the Senate, ironically, which is the more democratic institution than the House. At least they can't gerrymander state borders.
McCain-Feingold and all the rest of the "campaign finance reform" laws are unconstitutional.
The absurd assumption that the members of a monopoly - the Associated Press - are objective is a planted axiom in the rationale for any such legislation.
All such legislation is promoted by journalists rather than the people.
I don’t like state governments any more than the federal government. Most of them suck, mine sure does. After 2006 and 2008 most state officeholders are liberal democrats.
You countered nothing of what I said. Socialism is inconsistent with the founder’s design. Taking away the people’s (the REAL government of the state) right to directly elect their Senators will do nothing to counter socialism and will make corruption worse, possibly significantly worse.
You seem to think that state officeholders would oppose federal power just cause. If they are liberal democrats or RINOs they don’t. They like government power, period, at every level.
Why not get rid of the FEC altogether? It never acts to prosecute any wrongdoing undertaken by any campaign, so why even bother having it?
If we’re going to go to fantasyland and propose changes to the Constitution, I’d much prefer term limits for all congressmen than any change as to how they were put there.
McCain & Spector........2 aging whores.
Get ready for McCain and Graham to bring up amnesty again. This time with Schumer.
CODDLING??? Heck, he IS a liberal & statist! It's embarrassing to think that so many of my fellow FReepers voted for this guy in '08.
Many of the "state legislatures" in the deep south have been gerrymandered by slimy RAT party machines since reconstruction, regardless of the fact the state votes for conservative Republicans on the federal(and statewide) level. Popular GOP Senators like Jeff Sessions that would otherwise win re-election handily with a mandate from the people would immediately be replaced with sleazy RAT hacks that do Harry Reid's bidding. They'd then be in power for life regardless of how "the people" feel, with the Dems holding lopsided majorities in the state legislature. All of the conservatives from North Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana would be removed immediately by their RAT state legislators.
Some states going from usually conservative representation to one-party socialist representation in the U.S. Senate:
NORTH CAROLINA (NC HOUSE 68-RAT, 52-GOP ; NC SENATE 31-RAT, 19-GOP)
ALABAMA (AL HOUSE 61-RAT, 43-GOP; AL SENATE 25-RAT, 10-GOP),
MISSISSIPPI (MS HOUSE 74-RAT, 47-GOP, MS SENATE 27-RAT, 25-GOP),
LOUISIANA (LA HOUSE 53-RAT, 48-GOP, LA SENATE 23-RAT, 16-GOP)
I also think Tennessee would send at least one DIABLO to the Senate, since the Tennessee House is currently controlled by a RAT majority with a RINO puppet as "speaker"
You'd also ensure states like Arkansas, where Republicans occasionally get elected to the Senate (Blanche Lincoln is very vulnerable in 2010), instead send nothing but marxists to the Senate for life (the GOP "opposition" in the RAT legislature is so small they can fit in a phone booth). The same is true here in Illinois, since our state legislature was redrawn in 2002 to give Chicago an unfair lopsided majority and ensure all us Cook County suburbanites are "represented" by Chicago politicians in the legislature. Right now, the only way non-Chicagoans get any actual "representation" in Illinois is thur state judges and U.S. Congressmen
Ironically, IL Constitution Party Chairman Randy Stufflebeam is also a big cheerleader for "abolishing the 17th amendment". Third parties always complain about the two main parties "locking them out" of the political process, but I can think of no greater way to rig the Senate for "two parties only" than abolishing the 17th amendment. Third parties certainly have the potential to send people to the U.S. Senate now -- all they need is 34% of the vote (or less in a four way race) to win a U.S. Senate seat. That's why we have two Senators right now that weren't elected with a "D" or an "R" next to their name on the ballot. But there's no way in hell that "third parties" will ever get a sizeable presence in state legislatures, let alone a majority in a state legislative body that would be needed to send one of their own to the Senate. The founding fathers had no way of knowing how political parties would develop when they decided state legislatures would choose Senators, but in today's political world it would ensure government of the Republicrat fatcats, for the Republicrat fatcats, and by the Republicrat fatcats.
We’ve got a majority in both bodies in TN now (19R-14D in the Senate, 51R-48D in the House, due to a recent special election). We, however, would not have elected (via the joint session of the legislature) our first GOP Senator since Reconstruction until January of this year. We elected our first Republican officials (Sec of State, Treasurer & Comptroller) for the first time since Reconstruction in the January joint session. Because of the chronic occupation of the majority of legislatures by Democrat majorities, some states would simply never elect Republicans again to the Senate, one big strike against the 17th Amendment. The GOP Senators would also tend to be top-heavy from the midwestern states (ND, for example, wouldn’t be chronically electing Dems, ditto SD, nor NE — in those 3 states, we’d have 6 GOP Senators as opposed to the 3 we currently have).