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Pete Stark’s Own Questionable Dealings

From Roll Call:

Ethics Panel Eyed Stark’s Property

By Jennifer Yachnin
March 4, 2010 

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) is in line to chair the Ways and Means Committee after an ongoing ethics investigation sidelined Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), even though Stark himself has tangled with the ethics committee in recent months.

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly known as the ethics panel, recently dismissed allegations that Stark had improperly received a Maryland property tax break intended for the state’s residents.

In its Jan. 28 report, the committee said Stark applied for the tax break but declared that his actions — including indicating on a form that he was registered to vote in Maryland, which was later corrected by a state employee — did not violate any law or House rules because he did not receive the tax break in the period under review. The independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which recommended the ethics committee investigate the matter, had concluded that applying for the tax break was a violation in its own right.

Discrepancies in Stark’s tax status were first raised in a Bloomberg.com report in March 2009, which indicated the lawmaker had received about $3,800 in homestead tax credits between 2007 and 2008 on his Anne Arundel County home.

To review, the ethics committee dismissed charges that Mr. Stark received tax credits he was not entitled to, even though he reportedly received $3,800 in homestead tax credits in just one year?

What a surprise.

At the same time, Stark revealed another ethics matter tied his real estate holdings in an interview with the publication Inside Politics.

According to the March 19 article, the ethics committee approved Stark’s request to lease a rental property to “a former Clinton White House official who had become a lobbyist,” but the panel later revoked its approval after he had done so

Stark’s most recent financial disclosure forms, covering calendar year 2008, include a Capitol Hill row house valued at $1 million to $5 million, which generated $50,000 to $100,000 in annual rent.

District of Columbia property tax records indicate the home, valued at more than $900,000 in the current tax year, is located at 316 Second St. SE.

Lobbying disclosure forms and other public records show the firm Capitol Hill Strategies listed at that same address as early as November 2006 until at least October 2007.

Financial disclosure forms covering calendar years 2006 and 2007 indicate Stark listed the value for the home at $1 million to $5 million and the annual rental income at $50,000 to $100,000.

It is not known how much Capitol Hill Strategies paid to use the property. Capitol Hill Strategies President Chuck Brain, who served as director of legislative affairs to then-President Bill Clinton, did not return repeated telephone calls or e-mails requesting an interview.

Before joining the Clinton administration, Brain served as an aide to former Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) and later returned to the Hill as an aide to Rangel

In late 2006 or 2007, the time that Capitol Hill Strategies is listed at the Stark property, the firm represented Advamed, Amgen Inc., Delta Airlines, Merck & Co., the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Prudential Financial Inc., Wachovia Corp., the Biotechnology Industry Organization, Business Roundtable, Citigroup Management Corp., the Investment Company Institute and the National Venture Capital Association, according to lobbying records.

During that same period, Stark served as the ranking member and then chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health

So, to review, even though the House ‘ethics committee’ revoked their approval of Mr. Stark renting to this lobbyist, he was still renting to him at least as late as 2007.

What a surprise.

A public records search of the property disclosed several current tenants, including the firm Northern Taiga Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of the Alaska Native Corp. for Rampart, Alaska. NTVI’s Web site describes the firm as “a general contractor with substantial Federal construction and professional services contracting experience and capabilities.”

NTVI CEO Kevin Krauklis confirmed Wednesday that the company currently rents the carriage house portion of the property.

In an interview in January, Krauklis expressed surprise that the property was owned by a Member, although he recognized Stark’s name from rent payments sent to a Maryland address.

“You’re saying we’re renting from a Member of Congress?” Krauklis said at that time. “I know the name Pete and Deborah Stark. … I didn’t know he was a Representative.”

NTVI pays Stark $1,750 per month, Krauklis said…

Neither NTVI nor its parent company, the Baan O Yeel Kon Corp., appear in the Lobbying Act Disclosure Database maintained by Congress.

According to records compiled by FedSpending.org, the Baan O Yeel Kon Corp. has received federal contracts totaling more than $203 million between fiscal years 2000 and 2009

To sum up. Besides being a Stark raving lunatic, Mr. Stark has been getting tax breaks he is not entitled to and getting money from lobbyists even though the House ‘ethics committee’ has told him not to.

Clearly, Nancy Pelosi the right man to fill a seat once held by Charlie Rangel, and Dan Rostenkowski before him.

Pete Stark is a perfect fit.

(Of course, come to think of it, almost any Democrat would fill the bill.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 4th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Pete Stark’s Own Questionable Dealings”

  1. No surprise at all that there are ethical concerns for any person nominated to this position.

    Having some dirt allows for the quick removal if needed. No surprise the criminal Pelosi made this choice.

  2. JohnMG says:

    Another tax cheat joins the Obama team. Don’t any of these bastards pay the taxes they owe? (rhetorical question, I know) :-(

    I’m surprised they didn’t appoint him to the House Ethics Committee. You know–“fox in charge of the hen house” scenario.

  3. proreason says:

    The key point is that this madman is in the mainstream of Democratic leadership.

    There was a time when the Democratic Party at least made a pretense that it was pro-American.

    But the Clinton impeachment pushed the party over the edge. They don’t even pretend anymore that they are about anything other than bringing down the country that dared to criticize a president who couln’d keep his pants on in the Oval Office.

  4. GetBackJack says:

    After 40 years of fairly serious theological study I’m utterly convinced that one of the primary things God is rubbing our noses in, His creation, is the experiential siren-allure and the total danger of the thing we call ‘government’.

    Destroying ourselves via the naw-chash of government.

    Naw-chash; a primitive root; properly, to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell; generally, to prognosticate:–X certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) X enchantment, learn by experience, X indeed, diligently observe. Genesis 3:1, serpent.

  5. Tater Salad says:

    What is the problem here? Ole’ Pete would be an excellent pick for this job. He would fit right in this Obama administration perfectly. Adding another whackjob like this to an adminstration that is already full of them has advantages for the rest of the public sector. “They are all at least in the same cage”. The bar to get a job at the White House is quite evidently low it would seem.

  6. Tater Salad says:

    A Pastor with GUTS!

    Thought you might enjoy this interesting
    prayer given in Kansas at
    the opening session of their Senate. It seems
    prayer still upsets some
    people.. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open
    the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is
    what they heard:

    Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask
    your forgiveness and to seek your direction and
    guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those
    who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we
    have done.

    We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed
    our values.

    We have exploited the poor and called it
    the lottery.

    We have rewarded laziness and called it

    We have killed our unborn and called it

    We have shot abortionists and called it

    We have neglected to discipline our
    children and called it building self esteem….

    We have abused power and called it

    We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions
    and called it ambition.

    We have polluted the air with profanity and
    pornography and called it freedom of expression.

    We have ridiculed the time-honored values
    of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

    Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts
    today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

    The response was immediate. A number of
    legislators walked out during the prayer in
    protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian
    Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than
    5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls
    responding negatively. The church is now receiving
    international requests for copies of this prayer
    from India , Africa and Korea .

    Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on
    his radio program, ‘The Rest of the Story, ‘and
    received a larger response to this program than any
    other he has ever aired.

    With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep
    over our nation and wholeheartedly become our
    desire so that we again can be called ‘one nation
    under God.’

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