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Biden routes campaign cash to family, their firms

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
0
Not much else to say about this.

Instead of working to get some state trooper fired Palin should have been figuring ways to give money to her relatives.

I wonder if this will get half as much coverage as the troopergate.
link
Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. has paid more than $2 million in campaign cash to his family members, their businesses and employers over the years, a practice that watchdogs criticize as rife with potential conflicts of interest.

The money largely flowed from the coffers of Mr. Biden's failed presidential campaign during the past two years to a company that employs his sister and longtime campaign manager, Valerie Biden Owens, according to campaign disclosure filings.

The senator from Delaware also directed campaign legal work to a Washington lobbying and law firm founded by his son R. Hunter Biden, the disclosures show.

Putting family members and their companies on the political payroll is legal if the work is legitimate and charged at market rates, according to the Federal Election Commission. Still, public watchdog groups have long criticized such arrangements.

"Even though legal within restraints, it's not something I view as completely ethical," said Craig Holman, legislative director for Public Citizen, a campaign finance watchdog organization. "Any candidate ought to shy away from that."

Aides to Mr. Biden said all of the payments he has made to family members or their employers were aboveboard.

"While no Biden family members are being paid by the Obama-Biden campaign, one of Joe Biden´s greatest political strengths and secret weapon has always been his sister Valerie, starting with her role managing his David-versus-Goliath upset Senate victory in 1972," said Biden spokesman David Wade.

"Valerie is a well-known and highly regarded political operative in Democratic politics in Delaware and nationally, and her firm has worked on top races from Michigan to Texas. End of story," Mr. Wade said.

Mr. Biden is hardly alone among members of Congress whose campaigns hold close ties to family. FEC records also show that Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain's political action committee, Straight Talk America, paid more than $15,000 in 2006 to his wife, Cindy.

McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said the payment reimbursed Mrs. McCain for catering expenses she had covered in connection with an election night party.

The majority of Biden campaign money tied to family - $1.8 million - was for media consulting bills to Joe Slade White & Co., where Mrs. Owens is a top executive. The firm did not return telephone and e-mail messages.

Such payments usually include a large portion of "pass through" money, where the consulting company gets campaign cash then uses it to produce and buy political ads. Still, the consulting company usually keeps a portion of the money, Mr. Holman said.

"It's a lot of money either way," he said.

Other Biden campaign expenditures over the years included more than $50,000 in salary payments to Mr. Biden's sister. And the Washington lobbying and law firm of Oldaker, Biden & Belair, which Hunter Biden co-founded, has received more than $150,000 combined from Mr. Biden's presidential campaign fund and his political action committee, Unite Our States.

Dubbed "the rainmaker" by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, William Oldaker is a registered lobbyist and a former FEC general counsel who has worked on numerous other political campaigns.

Obama aides say Hunter Biden never profited from any fees that the campaign paid to the firm.

"Bill Oldaker was Senator Biden´s counsel for his Senate races, not Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden didn´t make a dime from the firm's representation of Senator Biden because the firm´s partners share expenses but don´t share revenue unless they work on the representation," Mr. Wade said.

"In the case of Bill Oldaker´s election law practice, none of the revenue is shared with Hunter Biden. Bill represented Senator Biden´s Senate campaigns since before Hunter was old enough to vote."

The District-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington earlier this year issued a report that found 16 senators, including Mr. Biden and Mr. McCain, had paid one or more family members fees or salaries. The group's report, made public in February, analyzed campaign filings covering the 2002, 2004 and 2006 election cycles. It named 87 senators from all 50 states: 42 Democrats, 43 Republicans and two independents.

The CREW report listed Mr. Biden among the top five senators by salaries and fees paid to family members, saying he paid his sister and niece more than $50,000. It also listed Mr. Biden among the top five senators by payments to a family business or employer, with more than $40,000 paid to his son's firm.

The watchdog group also found that other Biden campaign cash paid reimbursement expenses for his sister, his wife, two of his sons, his brother and the senator.

The CREW report did not include payments from Mr. Biden's presidential campaign. But a review by The Washington Times of FEC campaign records as well and data compiled CQ MoneyLine and the Center for Responsive Politics - groups that track the flow of money in politics - found more than $1.8 million to Joe Slade White & Co. and more than $100,000 to Oldaker, Biden & Belair.

CREW also noted that at least 33 federal lobbyists, including, at the time, Hunter Biden, were registered with the federal government. Hunter Biden recently dropped his lobbying clients amid scrutiny about whether his work undermined Sen. Barack Obama's anti-lobbyist rhetoric on the campaign trail. Mr. Obama refuses money from federal lobbyists, saying they're a corrosive force in Washington.

Elected officials can hire family members for their campaigns at fair market value rates, but they are not allowed to convert campaign donations to "personal use" or hire family for their official congressional offices. Some observers say having family members on the campaign payroll blurs the lines of what's permissible.

"Technically, it's legal, but frankly, it doesn't pass the smell test," said Bruce Buchanan, a professor of government and presidential politics at the University of Texas at Austin. "That's why all the public interest groups flag it and report it. It feeds the public perception that politicians are ethically challenged."
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,561
3
0
The reason this won't resonate is Biden has a lifelong record of not using his office to add to his bank account.
He lives in a modest home. Has a modest net worth. And actually commutes to his home rather than live in Washington.
It's one of his best traits.
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,918
18
81
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Not much else to say about this.

Instead of working to get some state trooper fired Palin should have been figuring ways to give money to her relatives.

I wonder if this will get half as much coverage as the troopergate.
link
Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. has paid more than $2 million in campaign cash to his family members, their businesses and employers over the years, a practice that watchdogs criticize as rife with potential conflicts of interest.

The money largely flowed from the coffers of Mr. Biden's failed presidential campaign during the past two years to a company that employs his sister and longtime campaign manager, Valerie Biden Owens, according to campaign disclosure filings.

The senator from Delaware also directed campaign legal work to a Washington lobbying and law firm founded by his son R. Hunter Biden, the disclosures show.

Putting family members and their companies on the political payroll is legal if the work is legitimate and charged at market rates, according to the Federal Election Commission. Still, public watchdog groups have long criticized such arrangements.

"Even though legal within restraints, it's not something I view as completely ethical," said Craig Holman, legislative director for Public Citizen, a campaign finance watchdog organization. "Any candidate ought to shy away from that."

Aides to Mr. Biden said all of the payments he has made to family members or their employers were aboveboard.

"While no Biden family members are being paid by the Obama-Biden campaign, one of Joe Biden´s greatest political strengths and secret weapon has always been his sister Valerie, starting with her role managing his David-versus-Goliath upset Senate victory in 1972," said Biden spokesman David Wade.

"Valerie is a well-known and highly regarded political operative in Democratic politics in Delaware and nationally, and her firm has worked on top races from Michigan to Texas. End of story," Mr. Wade said.

Mr. Biden is hardly alone among members of Congress whose campaigns hold close ties to family. FEC records also show that Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain's political action committee, Straight Talk America, paid more than $15,000 in 2006 to his wife, Cindy.

McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said the payment reimbursed Mrs. McCain for catering expenses she had covered in connection with an election night party.

The majority of Biden campaign money tied to family - $1.8 million - was for media consulting bills to Joe Slade White & Co., where Mrs. Owens is a top executive. The firm did not return telephone and e-mail messages.

Such payments usually include a large portion of "pass through" money, where the consulting company gets campaign cash then uses it to produce and buy political ads. Still, the consulting company usually keeps a portion of the money, Mr. Holman said.

"It's a lot of money either way," he said.

Other Biden campaign expenditures over the years included more than $50,000 in salary payments to Mr. Biden's sister. And the Washington lobbying and law firm of Oldaker, Biden & Belair, which Hunter Biden co-founded, has received more than $150,000 combined from Mr. Biden's presidential campaign fund and his political action committee, Unite Our States.

Dubbed "the rainmaker" by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, William Oldaker is a registered lobbyist and a former FEC general counsel who has worked on numerous other political campaigns.

Obama aides say Hunter Biden never profited from any fees that the campaign paid to the firm.

"Bill Oldaker was Senator Biden´s counsel for his Senate races, not Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden didn´t make a dime from the firm's representation of Senator Biden because the firm´s partners share expenses but don´t share revenue unless they work on the representation," Mr. Wade said.

"In the case of Bill Oldaker´s election law practice, none of the revenue is shared with Hunter Biden. Bill represented Senator Biden´s Senate campaigns since before Hunter was old enough to vote."

The District-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington earlier this year issued a report that found 16 senators, including Mr. Biden and Mr. McCain, had paid one or more family members fees or salaries. The group's report, made public in February, analyzed campaign filings covering the 2002, 2004 and 2006 election cycles. It named 87 senators from all 50 states: 42 Democrats, 43 Republicans and two independents.

The CREW report listed Mr. Biden among the top five senators by salaries and fees paid to family members, saying he paid his sister and niece more than $50,000. It also listed Mr. Biden among the top five senators by payments to a family business or employer, with more than $40,000 paid to his son's firm.

The watchdog group also found that other Biden campaign cash paid reimbursement expenses for his sister, his wife, two of his sons, his brother and the senator.

The CREW report did not include payments from Mr. Biden's presidential campaign. But a review by The Washington Times of FEC campaign records as well and data compiled CQ MoneyLine and the Center for Responsive Politics - groups that track the flow of money in politics - found more than $1.8 million to Joe Slade White & Co. and more than $100,000 to Oldaker, Biden & Belair.

CREW also noted that at least 33 federal lobbyists, including, at the time, Hunter Biden, were registered with the federal government. Hunter Biden recently dropped his lobbying clients amid scrutiny about whether his work undermined Sen. Barack Obama's anti-lobbyist rhetoric on the campaign trail. Mr. Obama refuses money from federal lobbyists, saying they're a corrosive force in Washington.

Elected officials can hire family members for their campaigns at fair market value rates, but they are not allowed to convert campaign donations to "personal use" or hire family for their official congressional offices. Some observers say having family members on the campaign payroll blurs the lines of what's permissible.

"Technically, it's legal, but frankly, it doesn't pass the smell test," said Bruce Buchanan, a professor of government and presidential politics at the University of Texas at Austin. "That's why all the public interest groups flag it and report it. It feeds the public perception that politicians are ethically challenged."
So, it presents an appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest, but there is zero evidence or allegations of actual impropriety or conflicts of interest. Gotcha.

You try to somehow compare this to Troopergate where a bipartisan state legislature unanimously called for an investigation, during which Palin and her staff refused to appear and ignored subpoenas, and the independent investigator concluded that Palin abused her power. When presented with the report and questioned by reporters she flat out contradicted the findings; she didn't deny the validity, but denied the reality that she was found to have abused her power. Do you see the difference here or do you not?
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,561
3
0
As shown in the previous two replies:
Now McCain has ProfJohn on his smear team.
 

OrByte

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2000
9,299
137
106
This won't get any news coverage because it isn't news.

If we ran stories about every thing that "doesn't pass the sniff test" we would drown in worthless news stories.

tell me again how he violated ethics laws ala Sarah Palin and then maybe there is a story here.
 

ayabe

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
7,449
0
0
I know, I feel bad for Palin, as I heard on MSNBC today, PJ's sister was lamenting how the MSM will have to atone for years because of the "atrocities" perpetrated on Palin.

My heart weeps.

 

Stoneburner

Diamond Member
May 29, 2003
3,491
0
76
The appearance of impropriety is worse for Projo than an official investigative report stating Sarah Palin broke the law :)

Projo has lost his mind. He can't bark any more about, "OMGZ! McCain is only down 2 points!" so he's latched onto a desperate scatter shot method of moral equivalency.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,478
9,427
126
Any other sources besides the Rev. Moon's personal mouthpiece?
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,521
0
76
Anyone who believes that Biden is any less of a "filthy politician" than Palin, or vice versa, is a fucking idiot. The same is true of Obama and McCain.

So, if that shoe fits, you're blind fucking idiots, plain and simple.
 

OrByte

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2000
9,299
137
106
Originally posted by: palehorse
Anyone who believes that Biden is any less of a "filthy politician" than Palin, or vice versa, is a fucking idiot. The same is true of Obama and McCain.

So, if that shoe fits, you're blind fucking idiots, plain and simple.
In order to say something like that you must have witnessed someone, somewhere saying that Biden is less of a "filthy politician" than Palin or blah blah blah.

I think you are projecting something here but I don't know what exactly... your problem is, no one has taken that position you claim.

take a deep breath PH, its almost over for all of us :)
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
73,113
24,664
136
Originally posted by: palehorse
Anyone who believes that Biden is any less of a "filthy politician" than Palin, or vice versa, is a fucking idiot. The same is true of Obama and McCain.

So, if that shoe fits, you're blind fucking idiots, plain and simple.
Saying "all politicians are equally dirty" is a nice and simple line, but it doesn't really square with reality. All politicians are not equally dirty.
 

ayabe

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
7,449
0
0
Originally posted by: eskimospy
Originally posted by: palehorse
Anyone who believes that Biden is any less of a "filthy politician" than Palin, or vice versa, is a fucking idiot. The same is true of Obama and McCain.

So, if that shoe fits, you're blind fucking idiots, plain and simple.
Saying "all politicians are equally dirty" is a nice and simple line, but it doesn't really square with reality. All politicians are not equally dirty.
That's the problem this tit-for-tat approach that the media has been guilt tripped into by the mouth frothing angry white man segment of the R party.

If you report something dirty on an R, you must automatically pin a D with something even if they're not in the same ballpark.

All in the name of balance or "fairness".

It's like this ACORN crap which doesn't even matter compared to the wide-spread pattern of voter caging etc that the RNC has been engaged in, which is REAL FRAUD, vs. turning in a sheet of names full of people who'll never vote and couldn't if they tried.
 

NeoV

Diamond Member
Apr 18, 2000
9,531
2
81
Prof, do you even read your own articles?

"Mr. Biden is hardly alone among members of Congress whose campaigns hold close ties to family"

You might have an actual, valid comparison to Palin if in fact Biden was giving high-paying jobs to his old high school classmates, even though they weren't at all qualified for them, but his sister is a rather well-known commodity in her field of work.

This reeks of more GOP desperation, nothing else.

Then we have Palehorse - he of the old-school - "they are all dirty crooks and liars" mind-set.

Joe Biden is one of the least-wealthiest politicians in Washington - how many of them commute 100 miles every day?
 

retrospooty

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2002
2,031
74
86
Originally posted by: palehorse
Anyone who believes that Biden is any less of a "filthy politician" than Palin, or vice versa, is a fucking idiot. The same is true of Obama and McCain.

So, if that shoe fits, you're blind fucking idiots, plain and simple.
You reps are soooo angry... I love it!

How does it feel to have had congress and the white house and finally get your way to enact all the programs you wanted and then totally blow it and have the majority of the country turn away from you?

It must really suck =)
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,645
1,149
126
Originally posted by: retrospooty
Originally posted by: palehorse
Anyone who believes that Biden is any less of a "filthy politician" than Palin, or vice versa, is a fucking idiot. The same is true of Obama and McCain.

So, if that shoe fits, you're blind fucking idiots, plain and simple.
You reps are soooo angry... I love it!

How does it feel to have had congress and the white house and finally get your way to enact all the programs you wanted and then totally blow it and have the majority of the country turn away from you?

It must really suck =)
If you think PH is a blind partisan, or even a general Republican, you're pretty far off track. He's pretty independent-minded, and calls it like he sees it.

The truth is that politicians are pretty seedy creatures almost by necessity due to our severely flawed system and political infrastructure.

That said, I support Obama/Biden this time around. But McCain/Palin are at least better than Bush/Cheney (not saying much there am I).
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,521
0
76
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Originally posted by: retrospooty
Originally posted by: palehorse
Anyone who believes that Biden is any less of a "filthy politician" than Palin, or vice versa, is a fucking idiot. The same is true of Obama and McCain.

So, if that shoe fits, you're blind fucking idiots, plain and simple.
You reps are soooo angry... I love it!

How does it feel to have had congress and the white house and finally get your way to enact all the programs you wanted and then totally blow it and have the majority of the country turn away from you?

It must really suck =)
If you think PH is a blind partisan, or even a general Republican, you're pretty far off track. He's pretty independent-minded, and calls it like he sees it.

The truth is that politicians are pretty seedy creatures almost by necessity due to our severely flawed system and political infrastructure.

That said, I support Obama/Biden this time around. But McCain/Palin are at least better than Bush/Cheney (not saying much there am I).
:thumbsup: and thanks for the kind words!

That said, I'm just sick and tired of everyone out there trying to place the candidates on some sort of scale in terms of their "scuminess." If we allow ourselves to assume that they are all scum, thus eliminating that as a deciding factor, we can then, and only then, begin to examine each of them on the nuts and bolts they propose as solutions to the real issues facing this country.

Oh, and retrospooty, I'm not now, nor have I ever been, a member of any political party -- and I've been an Obama supporter for most of his campaign. So the only thing that really "sucks" around here is your own intuition...
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
83
91
Biden is a democrat, so this is clearly a distraction effort by a losing campaign too afraid to face the real issues like Keating, Palin's daughter's pregnancy, and whether or not McCain called his wife a wise and beautiful woman.
 

retrospooty

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2002
2,031
74
86
Originally posted by: palehorse
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Originally posted by: retrospooty
Originally posted by: palehorse
Anyone who believes that Biden is any less of a "filthy politician" than Palin, or vice versa, is a fucking idiot. The same is true of Obama and McCain.

So, if that shoe fits, you're blind fucking idiots, plain and simple.
You reps are soooo angry... I love it!

How does it feel to have had congress and the white house and finally get your way to enact all the programs you wanted and then totally blow it and have the majority of the country turn away from you?

It must really suck =)
If you think PH is a blind partisan, or even a general Republican, you're pretty far off track. He's pretty independent-minded, and calls it like he sees it.

The truth is that politicians are pretty seedy creatures almost by necessity due to our severely flawed system and political infrastructure.

That said, I support Obama/Biden this time around. But McCain/Palin are at least better than Bush/Cheney (not saying much there am I).
:thumbsup: and thanks for the kind words!

That said, I'm just sick and tired of everyone out there trying to place the candidates on some sort of scale in terms of their "scuminess." If we allow ourselves to assume that they are all scum, thus eliminating that as a deciding factor, we can then, and only then, begin to examine each of them on the nuts and bolts they propose as solutions to the real issues facing this country.

Oh, and retrospooty, I'm not now, nor have I ever been, a member of any political party -- and I've been an Obama supporter for most of his campaign. So the only thing that really "sucks" around here is your own intuition...
Sorry... and Point taken.

I just thought with all the the cussing, you were an angry rep. =)
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,521
0
76
Originally posted by: retrospooty
Sorry... and Point taken.

I just thought with all the the cussing, you were an angry rep. =)
No problem! :)

Also remember, some anger is perfectly OK in politics -- but, only when it's delivered as passion. Anger for the sake of anger, for no other reason than the identity of the political party involved, is hostile and counterproductive.

With that in mind, I'll try to cut back on the cussing... lol ;)
 

Farang

Lifer
Jul 7, 2003
10,914
3
0
"Valerie is a well-known and highly regarded political operative in Democratic politics in Delaware and nationally, and her firm has worked on top races from Michigan to Texas. End of story," Mr. Wade said.
Why shouldn't he hire her?
 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,007
571
126
Originally posted by: OrByte
Originally posted by: palehorse
Anyone who believes that Biden is any less of a "filthy politician" than Palin, or vice versa, is a fucking idiot. The same is true of Obama and McCain.

So, if that shoe fits, you're blind fucking idiots, plain and simple.
In order to say something like that you must have witnessed someone, somewhere saying that Biden is less of a "filthy politician" than Palin or blah blah blah.

I think you are projecting something here but I don't know what exactly... your problem is, no one has taken that position you claim.

take a deep breath PH, its almost over for all of us :)
I don't know if he's filthy or not, but I know for certain that after the "racism lurking in every dark shadow," comment, that he's entirely devoid of clues.
 

Harvey

Administrator<br>Elite Member
Administrator
Oct 9, 1999
35,052
28
86
Originally posted by: ProfJohn

The money largely flowed from the coffers of Mr. Biden's failed presidential campaign during the past two years to a company that employs his sister and longtime campaign manager, Valerie Biden Owens, according to campaign disclosure filings.

The senator from Delaware also directed campaign legal work to a Washington lobbying and law firm founded by his son R. Hunter Biden, the disclosures show.
.
.
"While no Biden family members are being paid by the Obama-Biden campaign, one of Joe Biden´s greatest political strengths and secret weapon has always been his sister Valerie, starting with her role managing his David-versus-Goliath upset Senate victory in 1972," said Biden spokesman David Wade.

"Valerie is a well-known and highly regarded political operative in Democratic politics in Delaware and nationally, and her firm has worked on top races from Michigan to Texas. End of story," Mr. Wade said.
Hmmm... Every penny Biden paid his sister was fully disclosed in proper legal documentation for professional services she actually performed, THE SAME professional services she had provided for other Democrats, and that professional services she provided were of benefit to her clients.

Where's the problem? :confused:

Instead of working to get some state trooper fired Palin should have been figuring ways to give money to her relatives.

I wonder if this will get half as much coverage as the troopergate.
Thanks for yet more of your typical bullshit distractions, deceptions and lies from one of your typical ultra right wing smear sources, the Moonies' "Washington Times." I'm not suprised. But then, you always try to distract, deceive and lie. :thumbsdown:

The only "coverage" your source is worth is as coverage it provides for the floor of a bird cage or wrapping around dog poop. :roll:
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,478
9,427
126
Originally posted by: loki8481
Biden is a democrat, so this is clearly a distraction effort by a losing campaign too afraid to face the real issues like Keating, Palin's daughter's pregnancy, and whether or not McCain called his wife a wise and beautiful woman.
:p
 

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