TARP Money Funneled to Jesse Jackson Fundraiser


By: Jim Kouri, CPP

TARP Inspector General Asked to Investigate Citigroup and Bank of America Donations to Rainbow/PUSH; Bailout Recipients Headline Jesse Jackson Fundraiser

On Thursday, the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) asked Neil M. Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), for a formal review of the sponsorship by Bank of America and Citigroup of the Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Conference currently taking place in New York City. The January 13-16 event is one of two of Jesse Jackson’s annual fundraisers.

According to official conference materials, Citigroup is a “Gold Sponsor,” a designation costing $50,000. Bank of America is identified as a “Silver Sponsor,” a designation costing $30,000.

Both Citigroup and Bank of America are major recipients of TARP funds. Taxpayers are now Citigroup’s largest shareholder after infusions of $45 billion. Bank of America has already received $25 billion. According to Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, it is seeking billions more in order to make possible its acquisition of Merrill Lynch.
NLPC’s Complaint reads, in part:

“When the TARP was presented to Congress, Secretary Henry Paulson and others argued that the situation was dire, and that the failure of major financial institutions posed a systemic risk to our economy. The stated goal was to unfreeze credit so that banks can make loans to businesses and individuals. It was never contemplated that banks use their capital to make donations to organizations founded by a controversial figure like Jesse Jackson.

“It should be noted that shareholders have made objections to corporate donations to Rainbow/PUSH and the so-called Citizenship Education Fund (CEF) even before the onset of the financial crisis. CEF is a 501(c)(3) organization founded by Jesse Jackson that co-sponsors the Wall Street Conference. In recognition of these objections, the New York Stock Exchange itself ended its financial sponsorship of the event in 2005.

“Citigroup’s management and board of directors cannot claim that it is unaware of the donations to Jesse Jackson’s groups, or that they have not sparked controversy. Indeed, in remarks at the company’s annual meetings in 2006 and 2007, I vigorously raised the issue in connection to our shareholder proposals asking for disclosure of Citigroup’s charitable contributions, a resolution management opposed.

“It should be further noted that Citigroup’s relationship with Jesse Jackson began under questionable circumstances that have contributed in part to Citigroup’s present problems and its need to seek taxpayer support. When Travelers and Citicorp sought to merge in 1998, Jesse Jackson said he would oppose the merger. Citigroup initiated financial support to his organizations. Jesse Jackson changed his position and supported the merger. It was speculated in the media that Citigroup’s ‘charitable’ giving to Jesse Jackson’s groups did have a business purpose.

“As shareholders, we have protested corporate support for Jesse Jackson’s organizations. Now that all taxpayers are shareholders in both Citigroup and Bank of America, these donations are completely objectionable, and should not be allowed. Unless you undertake a swift review of this matter, and take appropriate action, public cynicism about the use of TARP funds for their intended purpose will only increase.”

Source: National Legal and Policy Center



Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the new editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us

About The Author Jim Kouri, CPP:
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.
Website:http://jimkouri.us

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