More Democratic Self-Dealing: National Council of La Raza Funding Nearly Triples After Obama Hires Lobbyist, Provides Ethics Waiver
This story is not getting nearly the attention it deserves, so I’m highlighting it here. In January 2009, President Obama appointed National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Vice President for Research, Advocacy, and Legislation Cecilia Munoz to be his Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
Since then, federal funds to NCLR have increased from $2.8 million in FY 2008 to $4.1 million in FY 2009 to more than $11 million in FY 2010. The highly-political NCLR affiliate Chicanos Por La Causa (Chicanos for the Cause, or CPLC) saw its funding increase from $11.8 million in FY 2007 and $13.2 million in FY 2008 to $24.4 million in FY 2009 and $18.3 million in FY 2010. In 2008, CPLC sued the State of Arizona to overturn the Arizona Legal Workers Act, which was upheld in the Supreme Court earlier this year.
When Obama took office, he issued Executive Order 12490, which contained three provisions:
- Lobbyist Gift Ban. No government appointee is allowed to accept gifts from lobbyists or lobbying organizations under this new pledge.
- Revolving Door Ban — All Appointees Entering Government. This ban bars appointees from participating in any matter involving parties related to previous employers. The restriction was criticized as being too limiting, since it is necessary to appoint experts in their fields, and these experts would often have conflicts of interest under this condition.
- Revolving Door Ban — Lobbyists Entering Government. Under this restriction, lobbyists are forbidden from participating in any matter they lobbied on within 2 years before their appointment. They are also restricted from participating in specific issues which they lobbied on, and may not seek employment with any executive agency they lobbied within.
Obama granted Munoz a waiver from sections 2 and 3, allowing her to work on La Raza-related matters despite moving straight from being a La Raza lobbyist to working in the White House on matters concerning La Raza. Some might deny that she actually influenced policy in these matters, but that begs the question as to why such waivers were granted. Surely if she intended to recuse herself, these waivers would have been unnecessary.
These shady ethics indulgences make a mockery of Obama’s vaunted ethics overhaul, and deserves more attention than they have received from the mainstream press.
Such rent-seeking and self-dealing has become the left’s standard model. Government entities, often staffed by members of leftist client groups, fund left-leaning organizations, who in turn provide money, directly or indirectly government-funded advocacy, and other aid for the election of more Democrat politicians, who then keep the cycle going. Union-owned politicians, some former union organizers, bargain with unions over contracts, then get a share of the unions’ cut for their campaign coffers. GE, headed by top Obama adviser Jeff Immelt, until recently blasted green propaganda on its massive television empire and Democrat propaganda on MSNBC while receiving corporate welfare and tax breaks from these “green” programs they advocate. Public broadcasting uses government funds to run left-wing media outlets, which in turn advocate for more funds for public broadcasting and help left-wing candidates. Planned Parenthood gets government funds that free up other monies not only for abortion but to steer from donors towards political advocacy.
Now yes, there are cases in which folks on the right are guilty of similar transgressions, but for principled small government advocates, there is a much lower risk of such toxic relationships. A smart, well-meaning, liberal political science professor whom I respect very much recently marveled to me at how stupid Republicans are for seeking to balance budgets by cutting government, because it forecloses the possibility of using much government money to buy votes. I responded that we don’t view it as stupid. We view it as the right thing to do. Principled Republicans are willing to take the hit rather than watch our government suffer the consequences of running out of other people’s money. We have a harder road to travel without ill-gotten gains greasing the wheels, but we have no other option.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Obama just thumbs his nose at the ‘little people’ and goes on about his business, buying influence by the truckload.
Screw ’em if they can’t take a joke or something.
Professor, I believe La Raza is a 501(c)3 organization, as is CPLC (one should ask themselves, what cause?) yet they constantly throw their support behind Hispanic candidate, as long as they are Democrats. Both Congressman Conseco and Congressman Bill Flores, who are Hispanic, were opposed openly by La Raza/Texas because those two gentlemen are Republicans. Bill Flores was running against a gringo (Chet Edwards) yet the two groups did not support him. You see, it’s not that they back Hispanic candidates for The Race or The Cause, they back Hispanics ONLY if they are Democrats. To begin with La Raza, CPLC and LULAC should lose all federal funding as well as their 501(c)3 status.
As to Jeffrey Immelt, he poured millions into Obama’ last campaign, so he, like Munoz, was given a position of power at the White House and full time access to Obama’s ear. Yet, when the truth be told, under Obama and Immelt, GE has made arrangements for more jobs to be created, in China. Obama claims Immelt will help create American jobs, but it is interesting to know that GE closed its last solar panel plant last June. Try to find a GE product made in the U.S. You might as well look for unicorns or chubacabras.
While I doubt there is any rational thinking person left who doesn’t understand what La Raza is all about, its very goals are to thwart U.S. federal law. They are open borders, amnesty with dual citizenship, but are the first to jump in if an illegal is arrested demanding that representatives of foreign councils be allowed access to the prisoner because the U.S. has no jourisdiction over that prisoner since they foreign citizens.
There are so nefarious organizations that freely operate with the blessings of this administration, and have open access to the President. La Raza is just one. CAIR, accused of aiding/abetting terrorist organizations is another.
The Obama administration is rife with this type of activity. The MSM will not touch it. Michele Malkin has highlighted this in her book Culture of Corruption, and in her numerous blog posts of the lobbyists, corruptocrats, and cronies in The One’s administration.
Just another lie the Republicans could use to win in 2012, if only they would wake up and start taking on the issues, the hypocrisy, and the out-and-out lies from 2008 (and in every speech) made by Obama.
Keep pointing out and pounding this. It needs to be exposed!
The Obama way: Make sweeping reforms to please the liberal minions that elected you. Provide waivers, so your favorite businesses/organizations don’t have to worry about the new restrictions.
I think these waivers are one of the most harmful things the Obama administration is doing. I’d much rather deal with revolving door issues than an executive branch that picks and chooses who is in their favored few. At least pay to play is clearly an ethics violation, while these waivers on the other hand lend legitimacy to the practice.
Enacting ever greater regulations, all subject to waivers, is a hallmark of crony capitalism. Obama funnels huge amounts of borrowed money to organizations that will contribute substantial dollars to his reelection campaing. If he is reelected we will learn the full extent of his destroy-America agenda.
Fantastic. Even more taxpayer money to race-mongering lawyers to sue the taxpayer. What a racket.
Let’s not forget that this is the same La Raza that McCain, Bush, Graham, and so many other Republicans are forever pandering to. Graham even made a speech at one of their gatherings promising to take care of “those bigots” (Tea Partiers and other anti-amnesty citizens).
That is the main problem with our one-party system. There is no one to turn to and people have been brainwashed into believing that voting against that party is punishable by a horrible death.
PasadenaPhil, I see that you are parroting the mantra of the left by claiming that TEA Partiers and conservatives are “anti-immigrant” when nothing is farther from the truth, and YOU DAMN WELL KNOW IT.
Conservative groups are anti-IL legal immigrant but if the left was honest about that, it would find that 90% of American agree with being anti-IL legal immigrant.
And since you mentioned “anti amnesty” I would like you to tell me what laws I can thumb my nose at because they do not suit me. Can I ignore speeding laws because I want to drive faster than the limit? Can I refuse to pay my taxes because I think they are oppressive? So, by your comment, I can assertain that you support amnesty for those who willfully break our laws.
Why was any federal money EVER going to an organization like this?
Why on earth are lobbying groups getting taxpayers funds? Isn’t that illegal? A conflict of interest? Anything? What of us taxpayers whom oppose the lobbying effort? This stinks.
It’s those ‘waivers’ that transmute the lead of Obama into the gold of a King. They are his perpetual get-out-of-jail-free card. No law is worthy of the name if a simple edict from our Great Leader, granting a ‘waiver’ (the Pope used to call them dispensations), can exempt his cronies from the obedience required of all other citizens. He has succeeded in ruling us, as Michelle observed, by transforming a government of laws into a government of waiver-dispensers.
Tar and feathers.
Principles and ethics are meaningless if you toss them aside whenever they are inconvenient.
[…] want to talk about this post by Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection: In January 2009, President Obama appointed National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Vice President for […]
Obama’s ethics and compliance waivers may be ugly and dangerously crimp our style, but could be worse…
The only difference between ACCORN and the NCLR is the name.La Raza has been a front for illegal activities for 40 years or better.