Sunday, January 13, 2013

Harry Reid Accused Of Accepting Bribes From Utah Business Man

During the 2012 Presidential election, Harry Reid accused Mitt Romney of not paying his taxes while Hollywood actor Jason Alexander claimed that Romney hasn't been paying his tithing. Both claims were outright LIES. The underlying assumption that Harry Reid wanted to get the American people to believe was that Mitt Romney is a criminal who hasn't been caught yet. However, we just may find that Harry Reid is a hypocrite when he made those false allegations.
We are now learning that Harry Reid is being accused of accepting bribes from Jeremy Johnson, a Utah businessman, with Utah Attorney General John Swallow, as the middleman who brokered the deal between the businessman and the Las Vegas Senator to make a federal investigation into his company go away. Jeremy Johnson claims to have proof of the whole transaction:
To back his allegations, Johnson provided an email from Swallow that Johnson identified as key in supporting his claims. Johnson also granted access to at least several dozen other emails, two financial records, several photos and a transcript of about 60 pages of a secretly recorded April 2012 meeting Johnson had with Swallow, who was then Utah’s chief deputy attorney general.
The documents appear to support Johnson’s story that in 2010 Swallow brokered a deal between Johnson and Richard M. Rawle, owner of the Provo-based payday-loan company Check City, to enlist Rawle to use his influence to get Reid involved on behalf of Johnson and I Works, Johnson’s Internet marketing company that was under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.
Copies of emails show Swallow worked with Shurtleff to arrange meetings between Johnson and top Utah officeholders.
Then, with the FTC investigation continuing, Johnson said Swallow suggested Reid could make problems with regulators go away — for a price.
"I said, ‘OK, what do I need to do?’ He’s like, ‘OK, it costs money,’ " Johnson said, who claimed Swallow was adamant he make a deal.
"I think he told me, ‘Richard Rawle has a connection with Harry Reid,’ " Johnson said.
He said Swallow at first wanted $2 million to enlist Reid’s help. But I Works was no longer profitable and he did not have the money, Johnson said, so they eventually agreed on $300,000 upfront and $300,000 later.
Harry Ried's false accusation was an attempt to get a certain percentage of the American people to believe that Mitt Romney was not the squeaky clean man he appeared to be. However, the truth is Mitt Romney is more representative of how Mormons really are than Harry Reid is. Mr. Reid might be Mormon, but he's anything but a squeaky clean guy. 
Liberty Central has discovered that he may have also engaged in a pay for play scheme in by awarding government contracts in exchange for campaign money: 
"In fiscal year 2010, Arcata won a 1.36 million dollar contract for the Continuous Threat Alert Sensing System (CTASS) according to after spending $50,000 to lobby the Senate. What the site fails to mention are the multitude of Arcata donations to Harry Reid and the Nevada Democrat Party. In addition, Arcata stands to gain another two million dollars in 2011, also a no-bid earmark directed by Senator Reid. The requests for these earmarks can be found here and here.
The Wong family, owners of Arcata Associations, have a long history of donating generously to Harry Reid. Their donations are over $130,000. Here is a PDF of all the donations."
Some might argue that such a quid pro quo arrangement is just the usual part of how politics is done in Washington D.C. Some would even argue that awarding earmarks is a Constitutional power that members of Congress have. However, Hot Air destroys that argument: 
"Reid and others in Congress defend the earmarking process by claiming that the Constitution vests Congress with the authority to appropriate funds, not the executive branch, and that earmarks more closely represent the intentions of the founders.  That’s absurd on several levels, but let’s focus on one pragmatic consequence of the earmarking process for this example.  The executive branch agencies have bid processes for purchasing systems and services, which in theory at least create competition and better outcomes and reduce bias in procurement.  Earmarks bypass the bid process entirely.  Arcata Associates doesn’t have to worry about competitors producing a better product, because Reid has in effect already picked the winner.
It’s just another example of Congress refusing to live by the same rules and regulations they impose on others.  In this case, that has big implications for waste, fraud, inefficiency, low quality procurements, and corruption."
The reason why this pay for play scheme is especially heinous is because of the timing of the donations. Once again, Liberty Central explains why this is bad news for Harry Reid and the American tax payer: 
"The most recent donations indicates a possible quid pro quo relationship between Arcata and Senator Reid. Arcata executives gave the Nevada Democratic Party $20,000 on June 5, 2009.
To understand why the timing of this large donation raises eyebrows, one must understand the timing of the congressional earmark process. For an organization to obtain an earmark, the organization must submit a request to Sen.Reid’s by their appropriations request deadline. In 2009, Sen. Reid’s deadline was at the end of February.
After receiving submissions, Reid would go through the many submission and some of them to submit to the Appropriations Committee for consideration. Thee committee’s deadline for submissions is sometime between April and June (the deadlines vary from year-to-year; this would most likely happen in mid-May). Between then and when the bill is released, Reid would prioritize the list of requests he submitted. Members typically submit many requests to the committee, but only some of these are funded. For example, in Fiscal Year [FY] 2010, Reid submitted 58 requests to the committee, of which 31 were funded.
Taking into account these priorities, the committee releases its bill with the list of earmarks. In 2009 (the FY 2010 bill), the committee released the bill on September 10, 2009. The FY 2011 bill was released on September 14, 2010.
On or about June 5, 2009, Tim Wong and his wife Shari each gave the Democratic Party of Nevada $10,000—the maximum about allowed by law. Note that June 5 is in between the date when requests were submitted to the Appropriations Committee and when the committee releases their list of earmarks.
On or about April 20, 2010, Buck and Aurora Wong each donated $2,200 to Harry Reid—nearly the maximum of $2400. Again, the timing here raises questions."
Reid's actions, if true, violates ethical and legal obligations that elected officials are expected to follow. Moreover, his unethical behavior are even more troubling for the Latter Day Saints as we see a high profile member of the Church engage in practices that do not reflect on how Mormons engage or should engage in business and politics. As members of the LDS Church, we have higher expectations for those who go into politics and are highly visible members of our faith. We expect LDS politicians to not engage in potentially corrupt and criminal activities that may reflect poorly on the Church and its members.

Mitt Romney lives up to those standards. Harry Reid appears not to.