UPDATE: 10-15-08 DID BIDEN USE CAMPAIGN FUNDS TO PAY FAMILY?
"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."
Original blog entry ...
Traditionally, democrats have been extremely involved in supporting the unions and the unions have been extremely involved in supporting the democrat party and its politicians. Often to the detriment of its rank-and-file and to the benefit of the union’s leadership and their friends.
So why should we be surprised when the brother and son of the Vice Presidential candidate finds themselves embroiled in a lawsuit involving allegedly nefarious characters, a hedge fund, and the investment of the pension funds of numerous public service unions?
So why should we be skeptical when the principal parties to this legal action, now being played out in the New York Supreme Court, seemed to be oblivious to the character, qualifications and financial stability of the other people in the proposed business relationship?
Why should anyone be surprised when family members of a long-term powerful politician take the path of least resistance and become lobbyists, board members and corporate officers of entitites which do business with various local, state and federal governmental entities or regulated industries.
But most of all, why should we be surprised it involves a Vice Presidential candidate chosen by a Presidential Candidate who goes to great lengths to assure the people that he is a “different type of politician” and he represents the change of the future? Especially when the candidate’s rhetoric are not matched by his deeds.
Cranking up the scandal machines …
Now that Barack Obama has chosen Senator Joseph Biden as his vice presidential running mate, the opposition and amateur researchers everywhere are scrambling to detect even the faintest whiff of scandal that could be used against the Senator.
The wrong Biden?
While it is always nice to have an influential family member to serve as an introduction source or as a conversation starter, it is unlikely that Barack Obama’s selection for vice president, Senator Joseph Biden, is or was directly involved in a business dispute involving the Senator’s son, Hunter Biden (38) and the Senator’s Brother, James Biden (59).
The allegations …
As filed by The Washington Post …
“Biden's Son, Brother Named in Two Suits”
“A son and a brother of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) are accused in two lawsuits of defrauding a former business partner and an investor of millions of dollars in a hedge fund deal that went sour, court records show.”
“The Democratic vice presidential candidate's son Hunter, 38, and brother James, 59, assert instead that their former partner defrauded them by misrepresenting his experience in the hedge fund industry and recommending that they hire a lawyer with felony convictions.”
“A lawsuit filed by their former partner Anthony Lotito Jr. asserts in court papers that the deal was crafted to get Hunter Biden out of lobbying because his father was concerned about the impact it would have on his bid for the White House. Biden was running for the Democratic nomination at the time the suit was filed.”
“Hunter Biden was made president with an annual salary of $1.2 million, despite his inexperience in the hedge fund industry, the lawsuit said.”
“Before that, he had been part of the Washington law firm Oldaker, Biden & Belair, which earned $1.76 million in lobbying revenue in the first half of 2006, according to Congressional Quarterly's CQ MoneyLine.”
“Lotito's lawsuit alleges that James Biden called him in January 2006 to arrange a job for Hunter Biden. It says James Biden told him that his brother (Sen. Biden) ‘was concerned with the impact that Hunter's lobbying activities might have on his expected campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination,’ and, ‘Biden told Lotito that, in light of these concerns, his brother had asked him to seek Lotito's assistance in finding employment for Hunter in a non-lobbying capacity.’"
For more on the allegations, the Washington Post story link appears below in the Reference Links section of this blog.
The wrong scandal …
While there are a number of interlocking entities, people and deals, it seems to me that the real scandal may be how the hard-earned money of public workers and others whose union pension might have been influenced by this cast of characters.
(This is a partial list -- there are two pages of clients listed in the lawsuit)
The reason I believe that this is the wrong scandal is simple. After reading some of the court filings, I can plainly see that the principals involved (Lotito, James Biden and Hunter Biden) appear to have little or no expertise when it comes to soliciting, directing or managing pension or other funds. Primarily because I could not find any satisfying answers to some of my questions …
Why did James and Hunter Biden fail to discover alleged personal and financial problems involving one of their principal partners in the cited enterprise during their due diligence efforts?
Or, if they did perform the necessary due diligence, why did they enter into business with a person who may have lacked the requisite character and finances to deliver on their promises?
What specific expertise and background was demonstrated by senior management which would qualify them to solicit and/or manage investment monies that were the subject of this lawsuit.
Why are some of the proposed transactions any different from the type of “finders fees” one finds in placing brokered money in financial institutions? And why the richness of the fee?
What benefits, if any, accrued to those pension funds whose monies were being directed by the Biden & Lotito Group and how was this selection of an investment beneficial to the fund’s membership?
Family members as lobbyists …
It is almost a miracle how money just seems to flow to spouses and relatives of high-ranking, long term legislators. Especially those who are employed by law firms and corporations as lobbyists, board members, public relations counsel, etc. Of course, you need go no further than Barack Obama’s alleged dealings with organizations that did business with his wife and friends.
Managing perceptions …
And Barack Obama’s claims that he and his team is somehow different from politicians everywhere is beginning to wear thin. Concentrating on his actions rather than the words paints a very different picture: a shallow, self-absorbed politico who is machine-bred and driven. Whose self-serving associations mark him as an old-style politician with more than a hint of narcissism.
What can YOU do?
Realize that Barack Obama is an empty suit whose rhetoric of hope and change is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. He is a narcissistic politician of the old-style Chicago school where actual deeds far overshadow the words. His apparently continuing friendships with anti-American racists and anti-Semites, unrepentant domestic terrorists and political crooks only sets the stage for what is to come.
In selecting an “old political hack” such as Joseph Biden for his Vice Presidential running mate only points out that he is aware of his failings. Selecting a man from a humble background to overcome his elitist behavior. Selecting a man with significant foreign relations experience to offset his lack of knowledge, experience and expertise in handling national security matters. (I wonder will Biden live in the White House so Obama will be ready when that 3:00 a.m. telephone call rings?) Selecting a Catholic to counter his pro-abortion stance in which he has said that “he wouldn’t want his daughters to be burdened with the consequences of a mistake.” Selecting a man who does not require a TelePrompTer to deliver well-scripted and well-delivered oratory… but stumbles over his extemporaneous words in crowds.
With Biden, we seem to have an unbroken tradition of the democrat party; the party of the lawyers which attempts to secure judicial victories when the people refuse to support their far-left social engineering experiments and whose convoluted and unreadable legislation is designed to convey special advantages on those special interests and lawyers who actually crafted the bills and amendments.
Ignore this present attempt to gin up a Joe Biden scandal. But ask yourself, why do the democrats and the unions always seem to be at the center of any storm involving referral fees and cushy jobs for people with little or no experience? How much does this cost the union members whose money is managed by these characters? Not exactly looking out for blue-collar workers are they?
Remember, while John McCain may be somewhat of an unknown, he does have a reputation and history for defending the United States from its enemies, both foreign and domestic. He is the one with the bi-partisan approach where the democrats in Congress refuse to do business with the Republicans – thus further road-blocking any substantive change.
Both parties are somewhat corrupt and have their fair share of scoundrels. But, in this election, it is possible that one candidate, Barack Obama, can do significant damage to the United States; militarily, socially and economically. Especially since he is likely to have a rubber-stamp Congress to pass his initiatives.
With only a few days before the democrat convention, I wonder whether or not this matter may rise in importance enough to secure a significant advantage for Hillary Clinton who could very well be voted into the candidacy for the Vice President if Biden is forced to step aside.
Quote of the day: “Being generous, just helping one's relatives and being blameless in one's actions; this is the best good luck.” -- Buddha
A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…
The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS