Sometimes the wheels of justice turn slowly, but in the case of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, they would not have started turning at all had it not been for a Watchdog report from 2010. The investigation exposed an egregious case of influence-buying by Pingree, and now, five years later, the Federal Election Commission has finally ordered her to make amends for violating campaign finance law.
A Note From Our President
Our Watchdog reporters have written many stories over the years that triggered immediate action, but sometimes the impact of our work to hold government accountable isn't seen right away.
This was the case recently with a Watchdog story from 2010 that resulted in a nearly $23,000 federal fine against a leading campaign finance reform advocate caught in a stunning act of hypocrisy. It started when Watchdog exposed Congresswoman Chellie Pingree catching luxury flights in her billionaire boyfriend's corporate jet, even as she railed against such abuses and attacked members of Congress for acting like "the fat cats of Wall Street." Now, five years later, the FEC has ordered Pingree - former president and CEO of the campaign finance reform advocacy group Common Cause - to pay for the flights and slapped her with a fine for violating the very campaign finance laws she supports.
Investigative journalism is often a long, arduous process, but this story is one of those encouraging reminders that we must always be vigilant in holding our elected officials accountable.
HOUSTON, Texas — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, released the following statement regarding recent reports that Planned Parenthood is selling body parts of aborted babies:
“Today’s news regarding allegations that Planned Parenthood is possibly selling the body parts of the babies it has aborted is sickening.
“There is no place for taxpayer funding of organizations that profit from taking away innocent life, much less profiting off the bodies of the lives they have stolen. Congress should immediately begin an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s activities regarding the sale and transfer of aborted body parts, including who is obtaining them and what they are being used for. And it should renew efforts to fully defund Planned Parenthood to ensure that its morally bankrupt business receives not one penny of taxpayer money.
“I proudly stand on the side of life and remain committed to fighting for all innocent life to be valued and protected under the laws of this nation.”
Party Violated Federal Elections Campaign Act
Concord - Citing a "series of reporting errors" and multiple violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has fined the New Hampshire Democrat Party $4,375. The FEC fine follows actions taken last year by the New Hampshire Department of Justice against Governor Maggie Hassan's reelection campaign after it accepted $33,000 in illegal campaign contributions.
"Governor Hassan and the New Hampshire Democrat Party have exhibited a troubling pattern of illegal behavior and a complete disregard for state and federal campaign finance regulations. As the senior Democrat elected official in New Hampshire, Governor Hassan needs to take responsibility for this unethical conduct and explain why her political operation continues to break the law," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn.
The Department of Justice forced Hassan to return all of her illegal campaign contributions to the big money, special interest political action committees that were attempting to buy influence over her administration.
April 24, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to investigate the Clinton Foundation's ties to the Russian company, Uranium One, which donated millions to the foundation, seemingly in exchange for a lucrative U.S. uranium contract:
"Loretta Lynch's first act as Attorney General should be to launch a full-scale investigation of the Clinton Foundation's ties to the Russian company, Uranium One. The appearance that Hillary Clinton sold approvals to foreign governments puts a stain on every foreign policy decision she made as Secretary of State. The national security team had to know about this, and went along with it, and the notion that President Obama knew nothing is simply unbelievable. Our national security is now for sale."
Americans for Limited Government is a non-partisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms, private property rights and core American liberties. For more information on ALG please visit our website at www.GetLiberty.org.
Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn today called on Senator Jeanne Shaheen to donate all of the tainted campaign contributions she received from disgraced Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to charity. Buzzfeed today reported that Shaheen is refusing to give up the donations and will only commit to holding them pending the outcome of his trial. Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) have decided to give up the donations immediately:
"Senator Klobuchar and Senator Bennet made the right decision to get rid of disgraced Senator Bob Menendez's tainted contributions. Senator Shaheen has no good reason to continue to hold on to Menedez's dirty money, and she needs to follow the lead of her senate colleagues and get rid of it immediately," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "Senator Shaheen's continued unwillingness to purge these tainted donations from her campaign coffers raises serious questions about her commitment to integrity and ethics in government."
In 2008, then-candidate Shaheen called on Senator John Sununu to return campaign donations from Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) after he was indicted, but before his trial.
"Senator Shaheen demanded that Senator Sununu return campaign contributions from indicted Senator Ted Stevens but won't return her own donations from indicted Senator Bob Menendez. Granite Staters are smart enough to realize that she is a dishonest hypocrite who holds herself to a different standard than she holds others."