There has always been a lot of conversation about the money in politics. Generally speaking, that conversation has centered around campaign donations, but in recent years there has been another aspect of money in politics that needs some serious scrutiny. Basically it has to do with how middle class Americans become millionaires after a few terms in Congress. Congressmen make less than $200,000 a year, so even if you had no expenses at all it would take you five years to become a millionaire. Many do it through selling influence through donations to their ‘charitable organizations’ where the only charity goes to themselves. Others do it through insider trading. Some do it by getting exorbitant speaking fees from companies of countries that coincidentally have matters before the legislative or executive branches of our government. You can find examples of all of these activities in recent history with very little research. Recently, we had another example of questionable campaign donations.
Yesterday Fox News reported the following:
President Biden and his allies raked in campaign cash from a top Russia lobbyist in 2020, just months before his administration’s decision to scrap sanctions on a controversial firm building a Russian oil pipeline to Germany.
Richard Burt, a managing partner at McLarty Associates and a former U.S. ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration, ponied up $4,000 for Joe Biden in October 2020 and dropped another $10,000 in the lefty-aligned political action committee Unite The County in March 2020, FEC records show.
In addition to violating Biden’s own campaign pledge not to take lobbyist cash, the money from Burt is particularly noteworthy as he is currently directly engaged in lobbying activities for Nord Stream 2 AG.
“When Richard Burt donated to Biden Victory Fund, he failed to acknowledge that he was a registered foreign agent and was therefore ineligible to contribute,” a Democratic National Committee spokesman told The Post. “Because Burt also listed a different employer than on his [Foreign Agents Registration Act] registration, he was not flagged during our vetting process.”
The DNC said it returned the cash on Thursday after The Post’s inquiry.
The Switzerland-based Nord Stream 2 — controlled by an ex-East German stasi officer and close ally of Vladimir Putin — is currently engaging in sanctionable activity, according to the State Department. Team Biden raised eyebrows, however, after declining to enforce sanctions, citing U.S. national interests, Axios reported.
Critics worry the project will allow Russia dangerous influence over European energy supplies and increase their overall political leverage on the continent.
Somehow I am not convinced that the cash was fully returned rather than simply funneled somewhere else. Unfortunately this would have gone unchecked but for the efforts of the reporter at The New York Post who wrote the article.