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Thread: GOP wants to eliminate shadowy DOJ slush fund bankrolling leftist groups

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    GOP wants to eliminate shadowy DOJ slush fund bankrolling leftist groups

    Funding LaRaza....

    GOP wants to eliminate shadowy DOJ slush fund bankrolling leftist groups

    By Melissa Jacobs
    Published March 01, 2017
    FoxNews.com


    The Obama administration funneled billions of dollars to activist organizations through a Department of Justice slush fund scheme, according to congressional investigators.

    “It’s clear partisan politics played a role in the illicit actions that were made,” Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, told Fox News. “The DOJ is the last place this should have occurred.”

    Findings spearheaded by the House Judiciary Committee point to a process shrouded in secrecy whereby monies were distributed to a labyrinth of nonprofit organizations involved with grass-roots activism.

    “Advocates for big government and progressive power are using the Justice Department to extort money from corporations,” Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton told Fox News. “It’s a shakedown. It’s corrupt, pure and simple.”

    There is a recent effort by Republicans to eliminate the practice, which many believe was widely abused during the Obama administration.

    When big banks are sued by the government for discrimination or mortgage abuse, they can settle the cases by donating to third-party non-victims. The settlements do not specify how these third-party groups could use the windfall.

    So far, investigators have accounted for $3 billion paid to “non-victim entities.”

    Critics say banks are incentivized to donate the funds to non-profits rather than giving it to consumers.

    “The underlying problem with the slush funds is we don’t know exactly where the money is going,” Ted Frank, director of The Competitive Enterprise Institute Center for Class Action Fairness, told Fox News. “Using enforcement authority to go after corporate defendants, DOJ bureaucrats are taking billions away from taxpayers to fund their pet projects overriding congressional preferences.”

    Frank said the money should go to the Treasury Department and the process subverts the legislative branch’s essential spending power. The Justice Department has argued that money is allowed to bypass Treasury because the banks’ donations to the groups are voluntary.

    Both the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Research Service have concluded that the settlement agreements do not violate Congress’ power of the purse. But others disagree.
    “This is real abuse of power,” adds Franks.

    For example, in the FY16 Enacted Congressional Appropriation, Congress allotted $47 million for the HUD Housing Counseling, but the Citi and Bank of America settlements shipped in an additional $30 million in funding. The Legal Services Corporation was allocated $385 million from Congress but is getting an additional $412 million in taxpayer dollars from the third-party settlement practice.

    The recent Volkswagen settlement, which requires a $1.2 billion investment into zero emission technology, was not only twice denied by Congress but is now expected to receive four times the amount originally requested by the Obama administration.

    A sample of the left-leaning organizations benefiting from the largesse include the National Council of La Raza, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the National Urban League.
    The NCLR and NCR did not return phone calls seeking comment.

    A Senate majority staff report, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, released last spring notes the NCRC’s “checkered history” of promoting “illegal immigration and advocating for benefits and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.”

    The group voiced strong opposition to the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The NCRC has photos of a Sessions protest on its homepage.

    The Senate majority staff report also found the “DOJ bypassed Congress to use a portion of the settlements to finance the administration’s housing policy.”

    While legislation sputtered last year, lawmakers have resurrected an effort to quash the practice with companion bills in the House and Senate.

    “Democrats thought it was an attack on Obama,” said Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaking to Fox News. “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but one of good government. Actions settled by the federal government should go back to the federal government, back to the taxpayer.”

    Lankford has introduced the Stop Settlement Slush Fund Act of 2017 while House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., submitted similar legislation in the House.

    “Congress must permanently end the abuses Obama’s Justice Department exploited to use settlements to funnel money to their liberal friends,” Goodlatte said in a statement.

    As lawmakers face protests in their home districts, the issue of shadow subsidies underscores the foggy nature of taxpayer dollars used in partisan politics.

    “The protests are as organic as a plastic cup,” says Fitton. “There is a massive left-wing infrastructure in place trying to protect the monstrous government created by the Obama administration.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017...st-groups.html

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aaaaah, so NOW we know why the Congressional Politburo is on fire against our new Attorney General!! Thank you Newmexican! Thank you so much. Great research!!
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    March 1 2017
    Report: DOJ Was Operating a Shadow Slush Fund for Activists

    by Charlotte Hays

    Ever wonder where all that money goes when the government settles a federal action against a bank for millions of dollars?

    If you thought this money was returned to bank patrons or that the government uses it to pay down the deficit, or to support other government activities, think again.

    According to congressional investigators, this money has been going into the coffers of activist organizations. Reportedly, this operation was set up under the aegis of the Department of Justice. Fox reports:

    The Obama administration funneled billions of dollars to activist organizations through a Department of Justice slush fund scheme, according to congressional investigators.
    “It’s clear partisan politics played a role in the illicit actions that were made,” Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, told Fox News. “The DOJ is the last place this should have occurred.”
    Findings spearheaded by the House Judiciary Committee point to a process shrouded in secrecy whereby monies were distributed to a labyrinth of nonprofit organizations involved with grass-roots activism.
    "Advocates for big government and progressive power are using the Justice Department to extort money from corporations,” Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton told Fox News. “It’s a shakedown. It’s corrupt, pure and simple.”
    There is a recent effort by Republicans to eliminate the practice, which many believe was widely abused during the Obama administration.
    When big banks are sued by the government for discrimination or mortgage abuse, they can settle the cases by donating to third-party non-victims. The settlements do not specify how these third-party groups could use the windfall.
    So far, investigators have accounted for $3 billion paid to “non-victim entities.”
    Critics say banks are incentivized to donate the funds to non-profits rather than giving it to consumers.

    Tom Franks of the Competitive Enterprise Institute says that DOJ officials have been able to use money from lawsuits to support their favorite causes. Citizens are in the dark about this patronage from DOJ lawsuits.

    Sometimes this money goes to government groups that many would like to see curtailed. Congress appropriated $47 million for HUD Housing Counseling, but HUD Counseling received $30 million from Bank of America lawsuit settlements. The Legal Services Corporation received $385 million from Congress but thanks to lawsuit settlements, it will be getting an additional $412 million.

    Among the organizations that have received contributions from money raised by federal lawsuits: the National Council of La Raza, the National Community Reinvestment, which, according to a congressional report, promotes illegal immigration, Coalition and the National Urban League. The report raises an interesting question: are some of the groups protesting at town halls being funded from this money? (Just for the record: they have the right to protest but not a right to DOJ funding for their protests.)

    Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma has introduced a bill to stop the practice of using what is in effect a slush fund created by lawsuits to fund left-leaning activism. Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlate of Virginia has introduced similar leg Rep. Bob Goodlette of Virginia has introduced similar legislation in the House. Lankford says money from federal settlements should go to the government or to the taxpayer.

    - See more at: http://iwf.org/blog/2802976/Report:g....pDvIQ0nN.dpuf
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    From 2010. The Democrat controlled DOJ has been funding their "grassroots" under the table for years!!

    Judicial Watch Sues Obama Justice Department For Records On Slush Funds For 'Favored Groups'

    Nov 9, 2010 1:54 PM EST

    Organizations Hand-Picked by Justice Department Reap Large Financial Rewards from Lawsuits to which They Have No Official Connection


    WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain information about a DOJ policy that directs large sums of cash settlements from DOJ Civil Rights Division discrimination lawsuits to organizations that are not officially connected to these lawsuits ( Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Justice (No. 10-1783)). According to Judicial Watch's lawsuit, filed on October 25, 2010:

    In August 2010, Judicial Watch commenced an investigation into [the DOJ's] practices regarding the distribution of leftover settlement funds to 'qualified organizations' not otherwise connected with the settled litigation. [Judicial Watch] sought this information in furtherance of its educational mission after learning of an apparently novel settlement arrangement used in two recently settled cases brought by the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, United States v. AIG Federal Savings Bank and Wilmington Finance, and United States v. Sterling. Byron York, "Justice Department steers money to favored groups," The Washington Examiner, August 5, 2010.

    According to Mr. York's report, in the past, when the Civil Rights Division filed discrimination lawsuits against banks or landlords, such cases often resulted in a settlement whereby the defendant put aside a sum of money to compensate the particular victims of the alleged discrimination. In these two recently settled cases, however, [the DOJ] agreed not only to put aside money for the victims of the alleged discrimination, but also to provide money to "qualified organizations" approved by the Justice Department which are not connected to these lawsuits nor alleged to be victims of discrimination by the defendants.

    Judicial Watch filed separate FOIA requests with the DOJ on August 6 and August 31 seeking information about the controversial use of the funds as well as the general policies regarding the selection of "qualified organizations." DOJ acknowledged receipt of both requests and was required to respond by September 14 and October 5 respectively. But to date, Judicial Watch has received no documents and no indication when documents will be forthcoming.

    In the lawsuit United States v. AIG Federal Savings Bank and Wilmington Finance AIG was accused of allowing third-party mortgage brokers to charge a higher fee to black borrowers than for white borrowers. AIG disputed the claims and there was no factual finding of any wrongdoing, according to York. Nonetheless, by consent decree, AIG (in which the Obama administration has a controlling interest) agreed to pay $6.1 million to aggrieved victims of the alleged crime and guaranteed that $1 million of these funds would be distributed to "qualified organization(s) to provide credit counseling, financial literacy, and other related educational programs targeted at African-American borrowers."

    In the Sterling lawsuit (filed in 2006) the DOJ accused a California landlord of discriminating against prospective Korean tenants. Again, the defendants denied the charges and there was never any fact finding of wrongdoing according to York. Nonetheless, by consent decree, the defendants agreed to pay $2.65 million to alleged victims. If enough victims could not be located, the remaining funds would be distributed to "qualified organizations." The DOJ selected the California Housing Rights Center to receive a portion of the funds.

    "This policy effectively allows the Justice Department to use its vast resources to initiate baseless lawsuits and funnel huge financial rewards for its leftist allies, including potentially groups such as ACORN. And, as our lawsuit shows, the Obama-Holder team wants to funnel this money in secret. Let's hope our federal lawsuit stops the cover up," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton

    Visit www.JudicialWatch.org to review Judicial Watch's lawsuit.Founded in 1994, Judicial Watch Inc. is a constitutionally conservative, nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. JW is perhaps the most active FOIA requestor and litigator operating today.SOURCE Judicial Watch

    https://www.thestreet.com/story/1091...ed-groups.html




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  5. #5
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Here is the way the DOJ spun it in 2010. Now the truth comes out to over 3 Billion dollars. Holder,Perez and Hinojosa look like the architects.

    Justice Department steers money to favored groups
    By BYRON YORK (@BYRONYORK)

    8/5/10 12:00 AM


    The Justice Department has found a new way to pursue civil rights lawsuits, using the powers of the Civil Rights Division not just to win compensation for victims of alleged discrimination but also to direct large sums of money to activist groups that are not discrimination victims and not connected to a particular suit.

    In the past, when the Civil Rights Division filed suit against, say, a bank or a landlord, alleging discrimination in lending or rentals, the cases were often settled by the defendant paying a fine to the U.S. Treasury and agreeing to put aside a sum of money to compensate the alleged discrimination victims. There was then a search for those victims -- people who were actually denied a loan or an apartment -- who stood to be compensated. After everyone who could be found was paid, there was often money left over. That money was returned to the defendant.

    Now, Attorney General Eric Holder and Civil Rights Division chief Thomas Perez have a new plan. Any unspent money will not go back to the defendant but will instead go to a "qualified organization" approved by the Justice Department. And if there is not enough unspent money -- that will be determined by the Department -- then the defendant might be required to come up with more money to give to the "qualified organization."

    The arrangement was used in a recently-settled case, United States v. AIG Federal Savings Bank and Wilmington Finance. The Justice Department alleged that AIG violated the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by allowing third-party wholesale mortgage brokers to "charge African-American borrowers higher direct broker fees for residential real estate-related loans than white borrowers." The financial institution denied any wrongdoing, and there was no factual finding of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, under the terms of a March 19, 2010 consent decree, AIG agreed to pay $6.1 million to "aggrieved persons who may have suffered as a result of the alleged violations."
    Stay abreast of the latest developments from nation's capital and beyond with curated News Alerts from the Washington Examiner news desk and delivered to your inbox.

    That is standard procedure in such cases. But then AIG also agreed, in the words of the consent decree, to "provide a minimum of $1,000,000 to qualified organization(s) to provide credit counseling, financial literacy, and other related educational programs targeted at African-American borrowers." The money would come from unspent funds in the victim-compensation fund. But if it turned out that, after paying off the victims, there was less than $1 million left in the victim-compensation fund, AIG agreed to "replenish the settlement fund so that it contains $1,000,000 for distribution for those educational purposes."

    The consent decree directs AIG to consult with the Justice Department on which "qualified organizations" could receive money, and it gives the Department the right to approve where the money will go. In any event, the money will go to groups who have no direct connection to the lawsuit and its allegations of discrimination.

    Xochitl Hinojosa, a Justice Department spokeswoman, says no money has yet been given to organizations under the AIG agreement. But she adds that the funds, and those from other cases, will "go to 'qualified organizations' that have a mission that addresses whatever the harm is that was the subject of the litigation."

    The Department followed a similar procedure in another case, United States v. Sterling. In that suit, which was first filed in 2006, the Department accused a large California landlord of violating the Fair Housing Act and other laws by "refusing to rent to non-Korean prospective tenants, misrepresenting the availability of apartment units to non-Korean prospective tenants, and providing inferior treatment to non-Korean tenants in the Koreatown section of Los Angeles."

    The defendants did not admit any wrongdoing, and there was no factual finding of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, in a November 3, 2009 consent decree, the defendants agreed to pay $2.625 million to compensate alleged victims. On top of that, the consent decree stipulated that if there weren't enough alleged victims on which to spend the $2.625 million, then what's left "shall be distributed...to a qualified organization(s) mutually agreed upon by the United States and defendants...for the purpose of conducting fair housing enforcement or educational activities in Los Angeles County."

    Hinojosa says that in the Sterling case, $40,000 will be split between the victim fund administrator and a group called the Southern California Housing Rights Center. According to the Center's website, its goal is to promote "freedom of residence" through the use of "education, advocacy and litigation." Thus, money used to settle a lawsuit over alleged discrimination might well go to fund yet another lawsuit over alleged discrimination.

    Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, recently learned about the new Justice Department practice and on July 8 sent a letter to Holder asking for an explanation. "While these settlements may appear reasonable on their face, I am concerned that this change in policy has the potential to divert compensation intended for victims to third party interest groups that were not wronged by the defendant," Grassley wrote. "Absent proper safeguards and internal controls, this policy change could drastically alter the way victims are compensated and could set the Department down a path where third party interest groups are compensated to a greater level than victims. Moreover, as a staunch supporter of victims' rights, I want to know what this change in policy means for individual victims and for advocacy groups that are both selected and not selected to serve as 'qualified organizations.'"

    Grassley asked Holder which suits have been settled or are being settled in this fashion, how much money is involved, and what guidelines apply to the settlements. "What, if any, qualifications are taken into consideration when determining whether an organization should be designated a 'qualifying organization'?" Grassley asked. "What protections and safeguards are in place to oversee the use of funds by the 'qualified organization' to ensure that monies that could otherwise be used for victim compensation are used in a manner free of fraud, waste, and abuse?"

    Grassley has not yet received an answer from Holder.

    Republicans are particularly concerned that the "qualified organizations" money might end up with groups that are associated with the community organizing group formerly known as ACORN.

    Republican lawmakers want to avoid sending federal money to groups that Congress has deemed unsuitable to receive it.

    But the concerns of Republicans, and perhaps some Democrats, go beyond ACORN and other activist groups. The new Civil Rights Division tactic represents a departure from a fundamental principle of such cases, which is the pursuit of justice on behalf of actual victims. "If the Department of Justice recovers funds for alleged civil rights violations, the money should go to compensate victims or to the Treasury," says Bob Driscoll, who was a top official in the Civil Rights Division during the first two years of the George W. Bush administration. "The practice of the Civil Rights Division steering settlement funds to favored advocacy groups is at odds with both civil rights laws and common sense. If Congress wants to fund certain advocacy groups or set up grants for agencies to award in order to promote non-discrimination, it can. But allowing the Civil Rights Division to steer a defendant's money to its ideological allies is offensive."
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ju.../article/11539
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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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