By Gary P Jackson
With all of the breaking news from the joint CBS/Peter Schweizer exposé more is coming out about Nancy Pelosi’s corrupt dealings.
From Wynton Hall at Breitbart’s Big Government:
Former Speaker of the House–and current Minority Leader–Nancy Pelosi apparently bought $1 million to $5 million of Visa stock in one of the most sought-after and profitable initial public offerings (IPO) in American history, thwarted serious credit card reform for two years, and then watched her investment skyrocket 203%.
The revelation appears in Throw Them All Out, the new book by investigative journalist and Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer, which was the focus of 60 Minutes on CBS this evening, and which is featured in this week’s issue of Newsweek. [and here]
Schweizer’s investigation of Pelosi and other members of Congress–from both parties–raises a critical question: should it be legal for lawmakers to buy stocks in companies directly affected by their legislative efforts?
In early 2008, Nancy Pelosi and her real estate developer husband, Paul, were given an opportunity to buy into a Visa IPO. It was a nearly impossible feat–one that average citizens almost certainly could never achieve. The vast majority of purchase opportunities went to institutional investors, large mutual funds, or pension funds.
Despite Pelosi’s consistent railing against credit card companies, on March 18, 2008, the Pelosis bought between $1 million and $5 million (politicians do not have to report the exact amounts, only ranges) worth of Visa stock at the IPO price of $44 per share. Two days later, the stock price rocketed to $65 per share, yielding a 50% profit. The Pelosis then bought Visa twice more. By their third purchase on June 4, 2008, Visa was worth $85 per share.
How did Nancy Pelosi snag one of the most coveted initial public offerings in history? The facts are still emerging. Yet according to Schweizer, corporations that wish to build congressional allies will sometimes hand-pick members of Congress to receive IPOs. Pelosi received her Visa IPO almost two weeks after a potentially damaging piece of legislation for Visa, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act, had been introduced in the House. If passed, the bill would have cut into Visa’s profits substantially by lowering so-called “interchange fees,” the 1% to 3% charge retailers pay Visa when customers use Visa cards for purchases. Interchange fees are a critical source of revenue for the four credit card companies–$48 billion in 2008, to be exact.
If the Credit Card Fair Fee Act had been passed into effect, it would have amended antitrust laws to require credit card companies to enter negotiations with merchants over interchange fees, and it would have given the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission the power to arbitrate if the two sides failed to come to an agreement. For that reason, Visa and the other credit card companies strongly opposed the bill.
The Credit Card Fair Fee Act was exactly the kind of bill one would think then-Speaker Pelosi would have backed. “She had been outspoken about antitrust problems posed by insurance, oil, and pharmaceutical companies,” Schweizer notes, “and she was vocal about the need for controlling interest rates individual banks charged to use their credit cards.”
Read more here.
Nancy Pelosi and all of those involved in this should not only be removed from Congress, but should go to prison for the rest of their lives. What are the odds nothing happens whatsoever.
That’s not all, BTW, back in 2008 the American Thinker had this little jewel:
Pelosi’s ETHA bill and Amgen
Previously, we reported the suspicious timing of Amgen executives making large donations to Speaker Pelosi’s campaign just before she submitted a bill that would likely increase that company’s bottom line. The Early Treatment of HIV Act (ETHA) would expand coverage of a pricey drug, EPOGEN® made by Amgen and used in treating anemia in HIV positive patients. In addition, the drug is marketed as PROCRIT® under license by Johnson & Johnson, a company in which — according to her most recent financial disclosure — she was heavily invested in at the time. J&J sales would increase and likely benefit Amgen (although possibly indirectly) under licensing agreements. CNSnews has investigated and affirmed our initial revelations to a great extent and added to the case.
Medicaid announced it was considering cutbacks in government purchasing of those drugs several months before the Amgen donations were made. Just a few days before Medicaid was set to announce implementation of the rules change, Amgen execs began dumping money into the campaign coffers of Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Party. Speaker Pelosi submitted the ETHA bill, which would reverse some of the Medicaid expenditure reduction within hours of the formal announcement of the Medicaid changes.
In addition, as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi sets the agenda of the House. The House joined the Senate in approving informal resolutions urging Medicaid to cancel the rules change late last year. The effort worked, Medicaid did so and Amgen stocks soared. The House resolution and the separate ETHA bill were both overwhelmingly backed by Democrats. Amgen CEO, and President Kevin Sharer pumped $26,000 into congressional Democrats campaign committees in the weeks before the ETHA bill was submitted and after Medicaid announced it was considering the rules change.
Pelosi received $30,000 from Amgen executives to her campaign and the Democrat campaign committees received $26,000 just prior to the bill submittal. A look at the 2007 donations of Amgen show very little donations at any other time, in 2007 or otherwise.
Subsequent investigation has revealed that another money-maker drug made by Amgen estimated to cost $30,000 per patient in some cases would likely benefit from increased purchasing under ETHA implementation. That drug called Enbrel is used as an inhibitor in cases of severe psoriasis among other conditions. Many HIV patients develop psoriasis and other conditions which are also under medical testing with Enbrel treatment. If approved by the FDA for treatment in HIV associated illness, the expanded market of government purchasing provided by the ETHA bill could be a real windfall for the company.
A PriceWaterhourseCooper study showed that the early treatment of HIV bill could increase coverage to about 30,000 patients in the first year alone. Even if only 1% of the newly covered population receives Enbrel treatment it could increase Amgen sales by millions of dollars.
Read more about this deal here.
This might be a good time to remind readers about all of the money that changed hands between Texas Governor Rick Perry, his staff, and the good folks over at Merck, as well as the half million dollars he got to shill for the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. Corruption lives in both political parties at all levels of government.
It also is a good time to remind readers Newt Gingrich took $300,000 from Freddie Mac in exchange for helping make sure Congress never regulated the industry. An industry that was being raped by it’s top executives, paying themselves millions they never earned, and whose collapse would cause the financial mess we are in now.
As Newt’s corrupt little adventure points out, sometimes corruption doesn’t just put a lot of money in these loser’s pockets, it also causes great harm to America and her people. We’re still trying to recover from the mess caused by Fannie and Freddie. Newt was, as usual on the wrong side. Like the the rest of these corrupt bastards, Newt sold his soul, and the nation, for money.
More on Pelosi’s Amgen deal from CNS News:
Pelosi’s Bill Could Benefit Husband’s Stock Holding
On July 27, 2007, 28 executives of the Thousand Oaks, Calif., pharmaceutical firm Amgen contributed more than $20,000 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) campaign.
On Aug. 2, Pelosi (D-Calif.) reintroduced the Early Treatment for HIV Act, a bill that could boost Medicaid coverage of HIV-related drugs, including Procrit, which is manufactured by Amgen and marketed by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, a firm in which Pelosi’s husband owns at least $250,000 in stock, according to Pelosi’s disclosure forms.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Specifically, the legislation would give states the option to allow patients who are HIV-positive, but do not have AIDS, to qualify for Medicaid coverage earlier in the course of the virus. Currently, Medicaid coverage doesn’t kick in until a patient develops AIDS.
The legislation could also extend to HIV drugs Prezista and Intellence, manufactured by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. But these two drugs would not always be for early treatment of HIV.
The legislation has more than 50 co-sponsors, including some Republicans. However, considering Pelosi’s potential interest in the legislation, her sponsorship of the bill is questionable, said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group.
“An ethical issue pops up as a result of her investment in Johnson & Johnson,” Fitton told Cybercast News Service. “Obviously she should explain whether or not her contributions from Amgen and its executives are influencing her position on the HIV bill in an inappropriate way.“
[ .... ]
In addition to the 28 separate contributions Pelosi received last July from Amgen, seven other contributions were made by executives in the months of July and August, for a total of $30,050 to Pelosi’s re-election campaign. Also, AmgenPAC (political action committee) gave Pelosi’s campaign a total of $10,000 last year.
“Amgen has maintained an employee-funded political action committee which has contributed on a bi-partisan basis to federal and select state candidates,” said Amgen spokeswoman Kelley Davenport in a written response to Cybercast News Service.
“The candidates chosen for these contributions are candidates who are generally supportive of important issues, such as patient access and innovation preservation,” Davenport added.
“Amgen is proud of its record of involvement in the political process and we will continue to be active participants in the federal and state public policy arenas,” the statement continued.
Fitton contends that such a wide range of donations indicates a “coordinated effort to support her on the part of Amgen.“
Fitton would like to see an ethics investigation, but that would require another House member to call for the House Ethics Committee to review the matter.
“It’s not three or four steps removed,” Fitton said. “The drug presumably would be covered under the bill. So will any Democrat or Republican ask for an investigation of this, whether she violated the rules? On the face of it, she seems to be bringing discredit on the House as a result of this apparent conflict of interest.“
Read more here.
This is unacceptable.
All of this shows that the need for serious reform is urgent. Congress, and government in general, has become a sewer filled with crapweasels who have no ethics whatsoever. They don’t even understand the concept of ethics.
Politicians at all levels of government, and in both parties are guilty. Though Congress has exempted itself from many of the laws that make what they do illegal, they are not exempt from the wrath of the people.
2012 is coming. It’s up to everyone to make sure they are well informed, and everyone they know is informed. It’s time to literally clean house and throw all of these bums out in the streets!
We must find men and women of honor. People who can’t be corrupted. Men and women who will write and pass laws that will reform government, remove all temptations for our elected leaders to become corrupt, and severely punish those who do it despite all reform.
If we don’t reform our government in radical ways, America will not survive.
What these corrupt politicians have done, is mighty close to treason, and should be treated as such.