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Corruption & Secrecy

Corruption & Secrecy | Virginia

Corruption Watch: Construction Magnate Funneled $10,000 to DeSteph after Lawmaker Attempted to Thwart Investigation Into It’s Malpractice

By Cole Driver on September 25, 2019.

According to a review by American Ledger, previously unreported campaign finance filings show that Virginia State Sen. Bill DeSteph received $10,000 in campaign contributions from construction magnate, JES Construction, after allegedly leading the charge to remove the regulatory authority disciplining the organization for inadequate business practices.

In January 2019, Virginia Mercury News reported that DeSteph sent more than a dozen emails to administrators at the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR), demanding the organization drop their case against JES Construction for failing to obtain building permits and failing safety inspections. DeSteph even went as far as demanding that the DPOR direct all communications in regards to the investigation of JES Construction to his office.

Corruption & Secrecy | Kentucky

Bevin Cut Off Resources to Laid Off Ashland Steel Workers

By Cole Driver on September 5, 2019.

In January 2017, Gov. Matt Bevin ignored the cries of local steelworkers in Ashland County, Kentucky, by gutting funding for the Ashland Career Center, a local career organization designed to help guide local steel mill workers to their next position incase of layoffs.

Nearly two years later, in September 2019, almost 260 steel workers employed at AK Steel in Ashland were given notice they would likely be laid off, and now are left without a fully functioning resource center to help them find their next job because of Bevin’s steep cuts to the Ashland Career Center.

Corruption & Secrecy | Maine

FEC Reports Suggest Collins Violated Ethics Rules By Accepting Campaign Contributions From Her Government Staff

By Cole Driver on August 1, 2019.

As recently as January 2019, Sen. Susan Collins’ campaign accepted illegal contributions from her own government staffers in an apparent violation of Senate ethics rules and federal law. The actions undermine decades-old promises to cease the illicit activities of her campaign in the late 90s.

According to reporting by The Hill from 1998, Sen. Susan Collins’ campaign violated Sec. 603 of the Federal criminal code, which states that it is illegal for a Member of Congress to accept political contributions, including an “advance of money,” from employees in their federal offices even if it is promptly reimbursed. Her chief of staff, Steve Abbott responded to the allegations from The Hill by vowing that this illegal practice would not continue. He also thanked the outlet for bringing the law to his attention, which he said the campaign was “not familiar” with.

Corruption & Secrecy | Kentucky

Healthcare Executives Funneled Campaign Cash to Bevin After His Admin Helped Fund Their New Office Headquarters

By Cole Driver on July 31, 2019.

Top executives of healthcare corporation, BrightSpring -- formerly known as Rescare and PharmMerica -- donated tens of thousands to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s political campaign a year after Bevin’s administration approved a $500,000 state grant to help fund construction of the organization’s lavish new office headquarters.

According to a review of public filings by American Ledger, the donations from BrightSpring executives, made in February and March 2019, came just two months after BrightSpring opened the doors of it’s brand new office headquarters in Louisville.

Corruption & Secrecy

Secret Service Paid for Mar-a-Lago Party Rentals Days Before Agents Forced to Work Without Pay

By on January 4, 2019.

Days before Secret Service agents were forced to work without pay during the partial government shutdown, the agency paid more than $95,000 to rent generators, light towers and tents for a $1,000-per-ticket party at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Corruption & Secrecy | Arizona

Kyl to Resign From Senate 3 Days Before Financial Disclosure Filing Deadline

By on December 14, 2018.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., announced today he will resign from his appointed seat on Dec. 31, three days before the former lobbyist is required to file financial-disclosure paperwork.

Corruption & Secrecy

Trump’s Foreign Income Soared Since Taking Office

By on December 7, 2018.

President Donald Trump’s domestic businesses -- his golf courses, hotels, even his ice rink in Central Park -- have hemorrhaged money during his term, while his income from foreign projects in countries like India, Canada and Uruguay soared. The pattern is sounding alarm bells with both ethics experts and political observers who see the falling domestic revenue as a sign of Trump's increasing unpopularity ahead of an election year.

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