Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Lobbyists Running Santorum's Charity - get ready to throw-up.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
JohnWxy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:43 PM
Original message
Lobbyists Running Santorum's Charity - get ready to throw-up.
http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/7821894/detail...

(emphases my own)

Sen. Rick Santorum calls himself the Republican point man on lobbying reform in Washington.

But Santorum's reform plan doesn't deal at all with lobbyists running charities on behalf of members of Congress.

Good thing for the Senator, because Team 4 has discovered that's exactly who's in charge of his charity, Operation Good Neighbor.


Santorum has been handing out lots of checks from his charity, Operation Good Neighbor, since he formed it in 2001.

"To me, it was part of a mission that I set out, which is I'm a great believer in the non-profit sector. I strongly believe we have an obligation to try to get more money into that," Santorum said.

But Santorum's charity has also put money -- $216,000 -- into unexplained travel and meetings through 2004.

That's almost half of the $501,000 donated to community organizations, mostly in Philadelphia.


Who's doing all that traveling and where are they going? Team 4 asked the charity and the Senator, but they've refused to release the records.


"One thing I'm very clear about is to try to keep a separation between anything I do officially and the charity. I don't want the charity involved in politics," Santorum said.

But politics is involved in the charity. Santorum put political lobbyists and campaign staffers in charge of Operation Good Neighbor.

Charles Black is a member of the board of advisers for Operation Good Neighbor, and a federally registered lobbyist with the Washington firm BKSH.

One of his clients is Alcoa, a company that last year received a $1.9 million federal defense contract that Santorum and fellow Sen. Arlen Specter trumpeted in a news release.


Barbara Bonfiglio is treasurer of Operation Good Neighbor. She's also treasurer of Santorum's reelection campaign and his political action committee, America's Foundation. Bonfiglio is a principal in Williams and Jensen, a top Washington lobbying firm.

And Operation Good Neighbor's executive director is Rob Bickhart, who gets paid a salary by the charity and rent because Operation Good Neighbor is located in the suburban Philadelphia offices of Bickhart's company, Capitol Resource Group.

Santorum's re-election campaign and his PAC are also located there and they pay rent, too. And they pay management fees to Capitol resource.

Parsons: "Why are you paying a lobbyist, Rob Bickhart, to run that charity of yours?"

Santorum: "Well, first of all, he's not a lobbyist, No. 1."

Parsons: "Well, he's a principal in a lobbying firm."

Santorum: "No, he's a principal in a public affairs firm, a government relations firm. And he does a whole bunch of other things."

But Capitol Resource Group's Web site clearly lists lobbying as a service it provides to clients.

And just last month, when Sen. Arlen Specter was facing questions about his ties to lobbyists, published reports in the Post-Gazette and New York Times said Bickhart and his Capitol Resources Group lobbied Specter.

Parsons: "Sen. Specter said last month that he was lobbied by Rob."

Santorum: "That's fine. Look, the bottom line is, I have a charity My name is associated as the founder."

"Beyond that, the operation of the board is the board's decision. It's not my decision," Santorum said.

But Santorum is chairman of the board for Operation Good Neighbor, according to the charity's most recent IRS tax filings.

Santorum isn't the only member of Congress with his own charity. Former House Speaker Tom Delay also established a non-profit. His charity's secretary was Barbara Bonfiglio, the same lobby firm principal who is in charge of the purse strings at Operation Good Neighbor.
Copyright 2006 by ThePittsburghChannel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Frustratedlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Pretty Incredible, Isn't It?
Santorum isn't the only member of Congress with his own charity. Former House Speaker Tom Delay also established a non-profit. His charity's secretary was Barbara Bonfiglio, the same lobby firm principal who is in charge of the purse strings at Operation Good Neighbor.

Non-profit, of course?

They have so many backs their scratchin'/covering, it's a wonder they find time to work.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. Local News coverage....that's good...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. We'll see
This particular channel spends about 20 minutes out of every 30 minute news broadcast on sports, nine minutes on weather, and about 45 seconds on local interest puff pieces.

But I'm delighted that this scumbag is getting any negative attention anyway!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. "Non-profit"=s paying all $$$ to top execs/owner; no stock dividends.
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 04:32 PM by Divernan
A lot of people need to understand that "non-profit" does NOT ! ! !, I repeat NOT ! ! ! mean that all an organization's funds/assets go to some noble cause. It simply means there are no stock dividends paid out. For example the "non=profit", often very large, nationwide outfits that run group homes for the mentally retarded reward their top people with business meetings in the Carribean, large bonuses and salaries, and multiple perks. This is at the same time that they cut corners on their food budgets and hire untrained, minimum wage people who couldn't get a job at McDonalds. Another example is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western PA. The non-profit old boys there bought a major downtown Pittsburgh building and graced their executive offices with marble floors, original art, custom made desks of rare wood, luxury gyms, etc. At the same time, they were complaining that they couldn't afford some pretty basic health care for women and children - innoculations and such.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. Interesting, Barbara Bonfiglio was Richard Pombo's (CA11) treasurer, too!
Small world, or just a coincidences? I don't believe coincidences just happen in politics and I am thinking the republican version of lobbying reform is going to explode in their face when it gets examined under the microscope because there is just too much shit swept under the rug, and it's starting to smell. Can you say culture of corruption?


Pombo replaces PAC's lobbyist treasurer
March 9, 2006

SACRAMENTO - Rep. Richard Pombo of Tracy this week became the latest lawmaker in Congress to get a new treasurer for his politicalaction committee, part of a growing trend in Washington that has become one side effect of the ethics scandals gripping the Capitol.

But both Pombo's old and new treasurers work for the same powerful lobby shop, a massive firm whose clients have contributed at least $10,000 to his campaigns since 2003. The new treasurer, however, is not a registered lobbyist.

At issue is Pombo's "leadership PAC," a kind of extra campaign committee that many lawmakers maintain. Pombo calls his Rich PAC. The money raised for these accounts can be used for nearly any purpose other than to directly get the lawmaker re-elected.

<snip>

Pombo spokesman Brian Kennedy said she was not fired. Bonfiglio quit Williams & Jensen to pursue other interests, Kennedy said.
Kennedy said he did not know if the firm had any business before the House Resources Committee. Bonfiglio herself did not lobby the panel, he said.

Williams & Jensen is one of Washington's largest lobby shops, with clients ranging from Coca-Cola to Motorola to Pfizer.
Several of the firm's clients have contributed either to Rich PAC or to Pombo's campaign account, including: Smithfield Foods, $1,000; Florida Power & Light, $2,500; Bayer, $2,000; Brinks Co., $1,500; DuPont, $1,000; and Edison Electrical Institute, $2,000.

<more>

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. Yep. Santorum is just the guy to reform DC. Yep.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Sep 15th 2014, 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC