jump to last post 1-2 of 2 discussions (8 posts)

Watch it and weep Washington DC (Doesn't Care) - Congress slush funds?

  1. tsadjatko profile image88
    tsadjatkoposted 3 years ago

    Are you outraged over Congressional abuse of Leadership PAC money? Are you tired of an ineffective government run by a privileged class that has forgotten what it's like to be a hard-working, struggling citizen? A Youtube search for Leadership Pacs provides all the evidence you need to know about how our congress men/women are only in it for the lavish rewards they can scam from campaign contributers http://www.youtube.com/results?search_t … &page=
    Apparently an annual salary of $174,500 and a vast array of taxpayer-funded perks is not enough for most members of Congress. Otherwise, why would they need "Leadership PACs" - personal political action committees that supposedly raise money for political activities but in practice provide a pipeline of cash to subsidize their already-elite lifestyle. As long as they can dream up a political pretext for spending the money, no matter how vague or stretched, it's a "legitimate" Leadership PAC expense.
    Now remember, in addition to official salaries more than triple what the average American household earns, members of Congress have an average net worth of about $966,000, according to OpenSecrets.org.
    And yet these greedy elitists still feel the need to siphon off some political donations to pay for luxuries they could easily afford anyway. As Trevor Potter, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), told "60 Minutes," Leadership PAC money "can be used for literally anything." By law - a law Congress wrote and passed - Leadership PAC money has but a single limitation: It cannot be spent directly on the PAC owner's own election campaign.

    How convenient...

    "You can use [Leadership PACs] for babysitting..., you can use them for paying for car service. You can use them for travel," Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, told CBS News "60 Minutes" in a segment broadcast on Sunday. Schweizer's book on the topic, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes and Line Their Own Pockets, comes out today (Tuesday). Some lawmakers have used their Leadership PAC money to entertain friends on elite golf courses or to treat them to NFL games. "It's a political slush fund," Potter told "60 Minutes." "Over time, we've had them. They've been outlawed. They spring back in new guises, and this is the latest guise."

    And that's not all.

    When members of Congress leave office, they can keep their Leadership PAC money and use it for their second career as a lobbyist, or in retirement to finance the maintenance of old political connections.
    Let's have a look at some of the frills our elected officials have spent their Leadership PAC donations on:
        Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-FL, spent $32,000 in Leadership PAC money to take some defense industry donors on a tour of some California wineries.
        Rep. Robert Andrews, D-NJ, spent $16,000 to fly his family to Scotland for the wedding of a friend that he was considering hiring as a political consultant.
        Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, spent $100,000 over the past two years treating his political cronies to some of world's top golf courses.
        Rep. George Meeks, D-NY, dropped $35,000 on tickets to NFL games for his friends' football watching pleasure.
        Disgraced presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, used $114,000 to pay mistress Reille Hunter to make a campaign video.
        In one case, the misuse of funds extended beyond even the lawmaker's death. In 2007, after Rep. Paul Gillmor, R-OH, died suddenly from a heart attack, his staff spent his Leadership PAC money on dinners and pizza parties.

    And there are other abuses.

    "60 Minutes" noted that many members of Congress also use Leadership PAC money to hire relatives to work on their campaigns.
    And the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found that at least 15 members of Congress have loaned their campaign funds money, then charged ridiculously high interest rates.
    Such schemes can yield serious money, but the profits come directly out of the pockets of their unsuspecting contributors.
    One enterprising congresswoman, Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-CA, loaned her campaign $150,000 at 18% interest. Over 12 years, she collected a tidy $228,000.
    "Congress has created this domain that allows them to decide whether something is ethical or whether something is good," Schweizer said. "And it's another example, unfortunately, where the rules that apply to the rest of us don't really apply to members of Congress."
    http://moneymorning.com/2013/10/22/how- … -congress/

    1. Old Poolman profile image82
      Old Poolmanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      They also pointed out there are two bill before congress to outlaw these PAC's, but they will never come up for a vote.  Just when we think they can't get any greedier, something like this comes up.
      Term Limits are the answer we are looking for.  I don't plan on voting for a single incumbent.  It is time to get all the rats off the ship.

      1. Josak profile image60
        Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this


        Congressional approval is like 12%. There is no reason we have to put up with it.

        1. Old Poolman profile image82
          Old Poolmanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I would love to know who makes up the 12% that think they are doing a good job?

          1. Josak profile image60
            Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Me too.

          2. tsadjatko profile image88
            tsadjatkoposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            That poll means nothing because everybody knows when the people are asked would they vote their congress man or woman out they invariably say oh no, he/she is doing a good job. You don't get 88% saying yes, vote the bum out.

  2. Wayne Brown profile image85
    Wayne Brownposted 3 years ago

    Hell, 88% don't even know what their Representatives or Senators are doing.  They just hawk the low-information party line and keep voting for the same village idiot.

    1. Old Poolman profile image82
      Old Poolmanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Wayne, even worse, a large percentage of them could not even name the person they voted for, or who their representatives are.