Monday, January 11, 2010

Democrat Culture of Corruption: Gary Ackerman Edition

"The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history." --Nancy Pelosi, November 7, 2006.

How's that working out these days, Nancy? Let's see, we've got Charlie Rangel, John Murtha, Greg Meeks, just to name a few, up to their necks in ethical problems but all conveniently given a pass by Queen Pelosi.

Today we add to that illustrious list one Gary Ackerman of New York.
Rep. Gary Ackerman hosted a meeting between Israeli officials and a defense contracting firm whose stock he later sold at a big profit, in which he had invested money - and made a big profit, a Daily News probe has found.

The Queens Democrat put no money down when he obtained private stock in the company, Xenonics Inc., relying on $14,000 borrowed in 2002 from the company's top shareholder, a longtime friend.

The sweetheart loan required no collateral and had no written payback date, a potential violation of House ethics rules.

When the company went public, its stock soared. Ackerman says he repaid the loan at 6% interest and sold the stock for more than $100,000 in 2005 and 2006.

House ethics rules bar members of Congress from using Congressional resources to promote commercial enterprises, stating: "The prohibition against use of House resources to support unofficial undertakings clearly applies to support of business endeavors."

The rules also require written repayment plans for any loans Congress members take out. Ackerman confirmed he had no such written plan for the 2002 loan.
Sure looks like an open and shut case to me. You put no money down, get a loan for $14,000 and flip it for a tidy $100,000 profit.
Ackerman offered various explanations for the terms of the loans. Questioned about the 2002 loan, he first claimed he paid it off in 2005, then changed that to 2004. When The News noted no loan is mentioned on his 2004 financial disclosure form, he amended the report days later.

In response to News queries, he also changed the number of years he had to repay the 2002 loan, from five to three.

After refusing to say why he took the loan, he admitted it was for Xenonics stock. Ackerman claims both loans were "due by a date certain," but provided no documents to back it up.
Homina homina.

Ackerman looks awfully guilty here. Time for an "ethics" investigation, don't you think, Nancy?

No comments: