More Rules For Thee But Not For Me reported yesterday that there are some questions as to the amount of money Elizabeth Warren spent to set up the “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” as a federal watchdog to prevent financial institutions from abusing U.S. consumers.

The article reports:

The Office of Inspector General of the United States Federal Reserve (OIG) was requested by the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Committee on January 29, 2014, to evaluate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) headquarters renovation costs that rose from $55 million to at least $215.8 million.

…According to a 2012 Independent Performance Audit, the legislation uniquely guaranteed the CFPB an automatic percentage of the Federal Reserve System’s operating expenses and that “funding is not subject to the traditional formulation and review of the Congressional appropriations process.” In addition, “Receipt of funds from the Federal Reserve authorizes the agency’s budget spending authority.”

The article explains why this spending is a problem for Ms. Warren:

The OIG found that the “Scope and Justification for Estimates” for the “$55 million and $95 million budget amounts for the renovation for fiscal year FY 2012 [beginning October 1, 20011] and FY 2013 [beginning October 1, 2012], respectively, were published in the CFPB’s public budget documents.” The OIG also found that “Approvals through decision memorandums were obtained for these amounts.” But the OIG reported that “CFPB was unable to locate any documentation of the decision to fully renovate the building.”

It therefore appears that although Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the responsible party at the CFPB who approved the “decision to renovate,” the design, and the cost “Scope and Justification for Estimates,” all documents regarding her decisions have vanished.

More missing paperwork from the Obama Administration. Someone needs to open a Lost and Found for these people. Ms. Warren was supposed to be protecting consumers from overzealous corporations, meanwhile she was exploiting the taxpayers to create her own luxurious offices. This sort of expense can be added to the list of places the federal budget could easily be cut.


Should Political Candidates Be Held To The Same Laws As The Rest Of Us ?

Yesterday a website called Legal Insurrection posted an article about the law practice of U. S. Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren.

William A. Jacobson, the writer of the article, reports:

I confirmed with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers by telephone that Warren never has been admitted to practice in Massachusetts.  I had two conversations with the person responsible for verifying attorney status.  In the first conversation the person indicated she did not see any entry for Warren in the computer database, but she wanted to double check.  I spoke with her again several hours later, and she indicated she had checked their files and also had spoken with another person in the office, and there was no record of Warren ever having been admitted to practice in Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, the article also states:

Regardless of where she was admitted, Warren consistently since the late 1990s has held herself out as having her professional address for legal representation at her Harvard Law School office in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Warren was listed as “Of Counsel” on Travelers’ Supreme Court Brief, listing her Harvard Law School office as her office address:

I called a lawyer I know and asked if this was normal practice. I was informed that the average lawyer would be disbarred (or worse) for practicing law in Massachusetts without having been admitted to the bar in Massachusetts.

The article further states:

There is no requirement that a law teacher be licensed to practice law in Massachusetts in order to teach or publish on topics related to law.  In fact, a law teacher need not even be a lawyer.  Once that law teacher starts acting a lawyer, however, the normal licensing rules apply.

The question becomes whether Warren was “practicing law” at her Cambridge address, or doing something that does not constitute the practice of law.

A person practicing law in Massachusetts needs to be licensed to do so.  Superadio Ltd. Partnership v. Winstar Radio Productions, LLC, 446 Mass. 330, 334, 844 N.E.2d 246, 250 (Mass. 2006)(“As a general proposition, an attorney practicing law in Massachusetts must be licensed, or authorized, to practice law here”).

As a lawyer, she would have known that she had to be admitted to the bar in Massachusetts to practice law in Massachusetts.

The article concludes:

I detail above the facts and law which lead me to the conclusion that Warren has practiced law in Massachusetts without a license in violation of Massachusetts law for well over a decade.

I expect Warren will disagree, and I welcome a discussion of the facts and the law.

I doubt that will happen.  Instead, and similar to how her campaign tried to demonize me and the Cherokee women who questioned her supposed Native American ancestry, I expect Warren’s campaign will attempt to deflect these serious issues by attacking the messenger.

Warren should disclose the full scope of her private law practice.  Perhaps there are facts not publicly available which will demonstrate that Warren was not engaged in the practice of law in Massachusetts when she earned $212,000 from Travelers, plus other fees from others who sought out her legal expertise dating back to the 1990s.

The voters of Massachusetts are entitled to know, before they vote, whether one of the candidates for Senate has not been following the rules which apply to everyone else.

Massachusetts voters have a choice in November between a man who legally practiced law in this state for a number of years and a lady who seems to have very little regard for the law.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Elizabeth Warren Is the Democrat’s Choice To Run Against Scott Brown

Today’s New York Times is reporting that Elizabeth Warren has won the nomination of the Massachusetts Democrat Party and will be running against Scott Brown in November’s Senate race. Ms. Warren won nearly 96 percent of the votes at the state Democrat convention.

The article reports:

It was a foregone conclusion that Ms. Warren, who has been widely perceived as the presumptive nominee, would win the endorsement. The question was how many votes her rival, Marisa DeFranco, would receive. Ms. DeFranco, an immigration lawyer, needed 15 percent of the vote to earn a spot on the ballot.

During the past few days, Ms. Warren has been endorsed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick

The article further reports:

Ms. Warren began the day with some good news with two new polls — from The Boston Globe and from Western New England University — showing her running essentially even with Mr. Brown.

Massachusetts is pretty much a one-party state, so I suppose it is not surprising to see Ms. Warren running even with Scott Brown, but I do find that somewhat hard to believe. In recent weeks it has become obvious that Ms. Warren has not been entirely honest about certain aspects of her heritage that she has used to advance her career. A lot of people I have talked to have been totally turned off to her as a candidate because of the ciaims of Indian heritage that may or may not be true. Scott Brown is likeable, personable (and frankly a whole lot less conservative than I would prefer), but he has never claimed to be a conservative, and I believe he has always voted for what he thought was in the best interest of the people he was elected to represent. Scott Brown is the best choice for the voters of Massachusetts–it will be interesting to see if they make that choice.

Enhanced by Zemanta

What Are The Odds That There Will Be A New Democrat Senate Candidate In Massachusetts Before November ? posted an article today about some recipes submitted by Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren to the POW WOW CHOW cookbook. Howie Carr, a Boston talk-radio host, has uncovered some information that seems to show that the recipes were plagiarized. The information is posted on Howie Carr’s website. You can compare the recipes for yourself.

Ms. Warren has had a rough couple of weeks. There are a lot of unanswered questions about her supposed Indian heritage (which was very valuable in advancing her career) and now the POW WOW CHOW recipes look less than authentic. Ms. Warren has been raising money to run against Scott Brown for quite some time and has amassed a substantial war chest. Is that a guarantee that she will get the Democrat nomination? The Democrats pulled a switch in a New Jersey Senate election a few years ago (google “Jon Corzine”–it may take you a while to get the whole story!), but I don’t think they will do that is Massachusetts.

DaTechGuy, a Massachusetts blogger, recently had a few thoughts on the subject–he pointed out that Marsia DeFranco (the other Democrat running in the Primary) is not setting the world on fire:

Marsia DeFranco has been a candidate for the US Senate since last year and has been campaigning since then. Her fundraising has been so successful that her campaign couldn’t loan me the money to replace my furnace even if it wanted to.

But money isn’t everything what about press. Lets look at how much coverage she has generated:

I did an exact search for the Name “Marisa DeFranco” in Google news over the last year (5/16/11 – 5/16/12) sorted by date, I got 208 results shown via 6 pages.

This is going to be an interesting November.


Enhanced by Zemanta

It Sounds Like A Good Idea– But It Just Doesn’t Work

Yesterday Michael Barone at the Washington Examiner posted an article about the recent dust-up about Elizabeth Warren‘s American Indian heritage. I live in Massachusetts and this story has been rather widely reported here.

The point of concern is not whether Elizabeth Warren is Native American or not–I really don’t care. The question is whether or not someone who may be 1/32 Native American can use that fact to be given special consideration when applying for education or employment opportunities.

The article notes:

Let’s assume the 1894 document is accurate. That makes Warren 1-32nd Native American. George Zimmerman, the Florida accused murderer, had a black grandmother. That makes him one-fourth black, four times as black as Warren is Indian, though the New York Times describes him as a “white Hispanic.”

What’s wrong with what Warren did? Capehart seems to understand that. “The implication in these stories is that Warren used minority status to advance her career,” he writes.

Well, yes. When she was hired, Harvard Law School had just denied tenure to a female teacher and was being criticized for not having enough minorities and women on its faculty.

Of course Harvard and Warren say her claim to minority status had nothing to do with her being hired. And if it did, no one is going to say so. Nothing to see here, just move on.

Quotas really don’t help anyone actually succeed–they may open a door for someone, but if a person is not academically qualified to take advantage of an opportunity, opening a door for that person does not help anyone–it simply puts an unqualified person in a position that a qualified person could fill. We need to remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “A man should not be judged by his skin color but by the content of his character.” A person should be given opportunities based on his (or her) abilities, not race or sex. 

America has made some serious mistakes in the way certain groups of people have been treated. As Americans, we need to acknowledge that, stop doing it, and learn from our mistakes. We can’t redo the past, and discriminating against the majority of Americans will not change the past.

Enhanced by Zemanta

I Hate To Pile On, But…

Elizabeth Warren is having a bad time right now. The facts have caught up with the dialogue. For a politician that is never a good thing (well, sometimes it is, if they are telling the truth!). I probably should mention at this point that I live in Massachusetts, will be voting for Scott Brown, and made a small donation to his campaign (considering the name of this website, that should not be a surprise).

In regard to the Indian claim, it really would have remained simply an item of family lore to have fun with if she hadn’t checked off a few boxes on her way to her current position. Every family has its urban legend–that’s part of the fun of being a family–but you are not supposed to try to advance your career by claiming whatever urban legend your family embraces.

Ms. Warren has a larger problem with truth and image in this campaign. On Tuesday, the Washington Examiner posted an article which included some of Ms. Warren’s employment history.

The article reports:

In addition to the story about Warren’s minority claims, the Boston Globe reported that Warren had a lucrative consulting job with Travelers Insurance in which she helped the company stop asbestos-related lawsuits, work that conflicts with her image as a consumer protection advocate who was once tapped to head the federal government’s newly created Consumer Protection Agency.

“I think the Native American story will pass,” University of Massachusetts political science professor Maurice Cunningham said. “But it’s a little hard to make the case you are purely for the consumer when you are working for Travelers Insurance.”

There are actually two disturbing things about the Travelers Insurance story. First, I understand that insurance companies (like any other business) are in business to make money, but that does not give them the right to try to squelch legitimate claims–if the asbestos-related lawsuits were legitimate and not over-the-top, there should have been no effort to stop them. If they were lawsuits where the lawyers made the money and the victims made little or nothing, they should have been stopped. (Tort reform, anyone?) Second, unless Ms. Warren can explain why she worked to stop the lawsuits, her credibility as a consumer advocate is about the same as her credibility as an Indian.


Enhanced by Zemanta

The Massachusetts Senate Race

Scott Brown, Republican U.S. Senator represent...

Scott Brown, Republican U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts, at a U.S. Senate campaign event on December 31, 2009, in Plymouth Massachusetts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Senate race in Massachusetts is going to be interesting. Scott Brown took the seat in a special election in 2010 after the death of Senator Kennedy. He was embraced by the Tea Party and traveled the state extensively to win votes. Senator Brown has not voted in line with the wishes of the Tea Party, but has definitely been his own man. I have not always agreed with his votes, but will be voting for him again–he is an honest man, and I believe he is trying to vote in the best interests of Massachusetts and America.

The other candidate for the Senate seat is Elizabeth Warren, currently a law professor at Harvard. Ms. Warren has made a few misstatements in her campaign that may be a problem for her.

Today’s Boston Herald reports:

Despite claiming she never used her Native American heritage when applying for a job, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign admitted last night the Democrat listed her minority status in professional directories for years when she taught at the University of Texas and the University of Pennsylvania.

Other than the fact that the statement calls into question Ms. Warren’s basic honesty, it really is no big deal.

The Herald further reports:

The Herald reported Friday that embattled Harvard Law School officials touted Warren’s Native American heritage — she reportedly has ancestors from the Cherokee and Delaware tribes — as proof of the faculty’s diversity.

The Warren campaign has said the U.S. Senate candidate never allowed Harvard Law to claim her as a minority hire. Warren herself has said she could not “recall” ever listing her Native American background when applying for college or a job.

It really is no big deal whether or not Ms. Warren was hired because of her racial background or not–it is a concern, however, that she feels necessary to lie about it during the campaign.


Enhanced by Zemanta

The Senate Campaign In Massachusetts Has Begun

Scott Brown, Republican U.S. Senator represent...

Image via Wikipedia

The election is a year away, but in Massachusetts the race for the Senate seat currently held by Scott Brown is already underway. I have seen ads on television from various groups. I have seen some of the snide remarks made in the debates between Democrat candidates. I guess it’s going to be a long year.

Massachusetts voters are responsible for the people they send to Washington and the impact those people have on the economy. I received the following press release in my email tonight on some recent statements by Democrat Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren:

Professor Warren Calls For Higher Payroll Taxes On Small Business Owners
In The Same Speech, She Hypocritically Blames Others For “Voting Against” Small Businesses

 BOSTON – During a speech to the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce yesterday, Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren advocated raising payroll taxes on people making as little as $108,000 a year – a proposal that would impact the very same small businesses she accuses Republicans of “voting against.”

 As reported in today’s Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Warren answered a question from an audience member about payroll taxes by saying:

 Not shying away from point-blank questions from Gaudette Insurance Agency President Lee Gaudette about funding Social Security for the baby boom generation, Ms. Warren said that if income were taxed for Social Security at a flat rate, instead of having the taxable portion capped at $108,000, the program would pay for itself.

 Earlier in her speech, however, Warren said that “small businesses are the crucial engine of job creation in Massachusetts and across the country” and went on to accuse Republicans of “voting against small businesses.”

 “Professor Warren’s double-speak on small businesses is breathtaking,” said Nate Little, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Republican Party. “Her endorsement of a tax hike on those making $108,000 a year demonstrates how fundamentally out-of-touch she is with the concerns of entrepreneurs and small business owners. Next year’s election will be about the economy, and it’s clear that Professor Warren’s economic plans would crush the people she rightfully describes as the ‘engine of job creation.’”

The race begins.

Enhanced by Zemanta