Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Culture Of Corruption At The FEC? You Bet!


Last week, I tried catching everyone up on the complaint DWT filed with the FEC last year against a cook of crooks, Nicholas Mastroianni and then-Congressman Patrick Murphy. Murphy, Upchuck Schumer's pick to run for the Florida Senate seat, was taking massive bribes from Mastroianni for help in getting wealthy Chinese "investors" into America on EB-5 visas-- same trick the Kushner-in-law family has been using to make some cash. Florida is a swingy purple state and the presidential election was very close last year. Trump edged Hillary 4,617,886 (49%) to 4,504,975 (84%). But Upchuck Schumer's Senate candidate fell flat on his ass, despite all the money Mastroianni poured into Murphy's pockets. Rubio outpolled Trump and Murphy underperformed Hillary. Rubio beat Murphy 4,835,191 (52%) to 4,122,088 (44.3%). Sorry for the tangent.

To reiterate what transpired last week with the FEC... they dismissed the case, which centered on how Mastroianni was paying Murphy off for his help in corruptly using the EB-5 visa program that Murphy has pushing in Congress. Basically, we were quite certain that Mastroianni had orchestrated a scheme to funnel more than $100,000 into Murphy’s political campaign efforts by using shell companies and straw entities to hide the source of the money, which were coming from Chinese nationals participating in Mastroianni’s EB-5 visa-for-sale program. Shell companies were already being broadly scrutinized for being possible illegal donor entities under the law. But more importantly in this case, Chinese nationals cannot legally make contributions in federal races. We complain about the help the Russians gave Republican Donald Trump... but what about this Chinese cash being funneled into Democrat (barely) Patrick Murphy?

In return for these donations to his campaign and his Super PAC, Murphy co-sponsored legislation for Mastroianni’s benefit. Namely, Murphy used his elected office to try to expand the EB-5 program and make it permanent. In return, Mastroianni has used LLC’s, businesses, family and associates to move money to Murphy, his EB-5 go-to boy.

So, as I said, last week we finally heard back from the FEC-- 36 pages of legalese claptrap. I finally got an attorney to help me put it into English. Remember, Mastroianni had been taking in foreign partners in the EB-5 program, and buying real estate. In one case, the real estate partnership made the contribution to Murphy’s campaign, not Mastroianni. Foreigners can’t contribute to political campaigns in America, though they have been doing it very regularly. When Mastroianni was challenged on it, he said, in essence, "you haven’t proved that my partner was foreign." The FEC didn’t bother to ask him whether his partner was, in fact, foreign. Instead, they just said, in sum, "the papers before us don’t prove that Mastroianni’s partner is foreign, we are not going to bother to ask, and therefore, we are dismissing the complaint."

Oddly enough, this happened right around the time that Mastroianni (or maybe his foreign friends) contributed $150,000 to Señor Trumpanzee’s Super PAC. Love that bipartisanship! You too?

Two of the three Democratic FEC Commissioners dissented, and basically said, “this is BS." I mean, this was an incredibly blatant case of corruption. This was the dissent:

But Thursday it got stranger. One of the dissenting commissioners, Ellen Weintraub, complained about the decision on Twitter, something I’ve never seen before:

Weintraub went right to the heart of the problem. In the Trumpian kakistocracy there is no such thing as Justice or even right and wrong-- just what works for the kakistocrats. I was surprised to see Bloomberg cover the story a couple days ago. They were also perplexed that the FEC dropped the case without investigating it. "Two Democratic FEC commissioners, Ellen Weintraub and Ann Ravel, said the allegations raised 'serious questions of misconduct' that should have been investigated," wrote Kenneth Doyle.
The case was among the first involving allegations of illegal foreign campaign money released by the FEC following the 2016 election cycle. Pending cases are kept secret until they’re resolved; FEC officials have indicated more than a dozen matters involving foreign money allegations still are pending.

A complaint filed with the FEC alleged that a $50,000 contribution to the pro-Murphy super PAC, called Floridians for a Strong Middle Class, came from money raised by real estate developer Nicholas Mastroianni. The money was collected from Chinese nationals seeking to participate in an immigration program known as EB-5, the complaint said, citing news reports.

The EB-5 visa program, which facilitates immigration by foreigners investing in U.S. projects, has been derided by critics as “cash for citizenship.”

The FEC complaint said foreign money from aspiring Chinese immigrants was funneled by Mastroianni into a limited liability company called 230 East 63rd -6 Trust LLC, which in turn contributed to the pro-Murphy super PAC.

The complaint also alleged two other LLC contributions to the super PAC, worth an additional $25,000, were made illegally with money that actually came from Mastroianni.

Floridians for a Strong Middle Class spent a total of nearly $2.5 million on ads supporting Murphy and opposing his opponent, Sen. Marco Rubio (R), who won the Florida Senate race. Overall, more than $90 million was spent on the 2016 Senate race in Florida, according to FEC reports analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics.

A “statement of reasons” was filed in February by Weintraub and Ravel, following a preliminary vote on the case-- designated Matter Under Review (MUR) 7081.

“For our democracy to work, the American public must have confidence that they-- and not some unknown foreign actors-- are financing our candidates for office,” their statement said.

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At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't recall obamanation's FEC looking into fraud and caging during the 2000 or 2004 elections either. I don't remember anyone looking into AG gonzalez's bootprints all over state election boards all over the south. And I don't remember obamanation doing shit about all the various means of suppressing minority and poor voters all over, but especially in the retarded orange-utang's "swing" states. And I didn't see obamanation arresting anyone over the Russian interference in our '16 election, though, by his own admission, he knew much about it.

So... yeah... laws only matter if someone enforces them. fucking DUH!!!

You want to disinfect this shithole? Quit electing democraps and republicons!!


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