Thursday, May 10, 2007

Northup Designates “Role Model”

From the Conservative Edge:

The Fletcher for Governor Campaign criticized Anne Northup today for her role in using federal funds to support a charitable organization that she founded and was a board member of. Here's what the Fletcher camp had to say: Marty Ryall, Campaign Manager for Governor Ernie Fletcher, said today, “Anne Northup is the last person who should be preaching to anyone about ethics.”

“In 2002 Anne Northup used her position on the Appropriations Committee to funnel $5 million dollars to a charity that she founded and was a board member. This was a direct violation of Congressional ethics rules,” Ryall said.

Ryall added, “Governor Fletcher has stated on numerous occasions that he will release the names as he is required to do so by law. If Anne Northup does not like the law as it is written, perhaps she should have changed it when she was in the state house instead of spending her time raising taxes,” Ryall concluded.

The Ryall press release contained a copy of a May 9th, 2002 editorial from Roll Call Magazine regarding the situation which called for Northup to get a written ethics opinion on her dealings and make the opinion public. You can read The Roll Call editorial when you Click here.

The bombshell revelation from the editorial is that Anne Northp cited, in brushing aside the criticism raised by the editorial, Democratic Congressman Allan Mollohan as her ethical role model in setting up these types of organizations and then using her influence to funnel federal funds to the group. For those of you who have been reading The Conservative Edge for less than a year,we pointed out last year that Allan Mollohan is under criminal investigation, and resigned his seat on the House Ethics Committee over legal questions surrounding his activities with the civic organizations and his funneling of federal funds to them, that Northup cites as the ethical model for her work. Here's what the Washington Post wrote about Mollohan in April of 2006:

Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (W.Va.) stepped down temporarily from his post as ranking Democrat on the House ethics committee, amid accusations that he used his congressional position to funnel money to his own home-state foundations, possibly enriching himself in the process. As recently as Thursday, Mollohan, a 12-term lawmaker, had said he would not step aside, but he bowed to pressure yesterday from House Democratic leaders eager to pursue their campaign against what they call a "culture of corruption" in the Republican Party.

"It has become clear that the unprecedented campaign that has been launched against me will continue to be at least as relentless as it has been to date," he said in a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), maintaining his innocence. "I do not want these baseless allegations to divert attention from the important work that the House Ethics Committee must undertake in the remainder of this Congress."

In a 500-page complaint filed with a U.S. attorney in February, the conservative National Legal and Policy Center in Falls Church challenged the accuracy of Mollohan's financial disclosure forms and detailed a remarkable change in the lawmaker's personal fortune. Mollohan's real estate holdings and other assets jumped in value from $562,000 in 2000 to at least $6.3 million in 2004, said Ken Boehm, chairman of the legal center.

During the same period, Mollohan used his position on the House Appropriations Committee to secure more than $150 million in appropriations for five nonprofit entities that he helped establish in his congressional district. One of the groups is headed by a former appropriations aide, Laura Kurtz Kuhns, with whom Mollohan bought $2 million worth of property on Bald Head Island, N.C.

All of which raises questions for Northup. Since she is using ethics as an issue, she should explain how her funneling federal funds to her group is different than Mollohan's. This could prove to be quite difficult, since she clearly cited Mollohans now questionable conduct. as a model for her conduct. Clearly, Northup should be held accountable on this. After all, if she wins the primary having rasied the ethics flag, it could be a huge problem for her in the fall.

Finally, we call on Northup to release any written ethics opinion she received in response to the Roll Call editorial which validated her actions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When will we find out if anyone did anything wrong? I've been waiting for a year to see what the actual truth is about Mollohan. There is spin by the NLPC but nothing has ever happened. Are the accusations baseless?
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