Tag: Buck McKeon

Mar 07 2012

AD-38: Are Nuclear Weapons Buying a California Assembly Seat for Patricia McKeon?


Rep. Buck McKeon and his wife, Patricia, a candidate for California Assembly

Well, the defense contractors that have a stake in House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon certainly want to curry favor.

The donations made by the four companies were distributed fairly evenly between committee Republicans and Democrats, but skewed slightly more towards the GOP signers on average.

Leading the way was Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-Cal.). The four companies have given him $318,900 over this period, almost double what the runner up, former representative Ike Skelton (D-MO) — his predecessor as chairman — received. McKeon has long has a reputation as a friend of the defense industry in general — Salon reported in February that the defense industry firms have rushed to support his wife’s California Legislature race this year — and he has a number of key defense plants in his district, including one where work has been conducted on the new strategic bomber.

According to McGehee, of the Campaign Legal Center, “On the Armed Services Committee there is a tacit understanding between members and the military construction sector — ‘you scratch my back (with campaign contributions), I’ll scratch yours (by supporting policies that help your industry). And it’s all cloaked in patriotism and national security to protect it from criticism or harsh scrutiny.”

Spokespeople for House members and companies alike deny there has been any quid pro- quo.

“Funding from special interests does not always mean something unethical is afoot,” said McKeon spokeswoman Alissa McCurley. “Chairman McKeon receives input from senior military leaders as part of routine Congressional oversight. Those views, along with those of Committee professional staff members, are what sets his annual priorities.” She added that “President Obama’s own statement that nuclear weapons will be key to our national defense” make McKeon’s worries about the arsenal’s decay reasonable.

After reading the entire piece linked above, you can see how donating a few $ hundred thousand to Patricia’s California State Assembly race is chump change compared to the $ billions that are tied up in defense contracts, including a new strategic bomber.

And, what a great way to conceal/launder excessive political contributions to Rep. Buck McKeon, which are regulated by federal law. Sort of like, when Buck paid his wife for her campaign work.

These two POLS are pretty sharp in getting paid twice by the special interests and legally too.

But, do voters in AD-38 really want to elect an assembly member that votes based on how much money they can personally collect or one who makes decisions on what is best for the state.


Mar 01 2012

AD-38: House Spouse Patricia McKeon Makes Out Good from Husband’s Campaign Account


Rep. Buck McKeon and his wife, Patricia, a candidate for California Assembly

Here is a follow up from Roll Call to a post I made yesterday on the amount of money Patricia McKeon has made from her husband’s Rep. Buck McKeon’s Congressional campaign account.

Several House lawmakers have made their spouses and other relatives the highest-paid workers on their campaigns over the past few years.

During the past four and a half years, these relatives have collectively received millions in salaries, fees and bonuses, according to a CQ MoneyLine study of campaign finance records.

It all appears legal, but some people question whether this spending is ethical or even a good investment of donated money in modern elections.

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) leads the pack in payments to his spouse. Since 2007, McKeon has reported disbursements to his wife, Patricia, topping $264,000, including a bonus of $4,600 in January 2007. Her compensation more than doubles the salary of the next-highest-paid employee on McKeon’s campaign and does not include thousands in reimbursements for food, travel and other expenses.

In response to Roll Call’s query, McKeon said in a statement, “Patricia gets paid by the campaign as a senior staff member for handling multiple critical elements and roles of the operation and bringing roughly 20 years of experience to the table.”

The fact is the McKeon’s have been “double dipping” for years.

Rep. Buck McKeon gets his Congressional salary of around $175,000 per year, collecting campaign contributions from special interests who are trying to influence legislation and then paying his wife from his collected pool of contributions.

Pretty good work, if you can get it, no?

Here is the chart:

The amount is: $263,168 for Patricia McKeon

Now, Buck wants to use these same political contributors to fund his wife’s campaign for the California State Assembly.

So, she can win political office, collect her $96,000 a year public salary and repeat the cycle.

See in California, if you know how to work the system, you can make out pretty good drinking from the public trough.

California voters should just say NO to both of these POLS.


Mar 01 2012

AD-38: Former Congressional Staffer Calls McKeon Campaign an All-Cost Frenzy


Patricia McKeon, wife of Rep. Buck McKeon and candidate for California Assembly as she addresses the Simi Valley Tea Party

You remember the FLAP about the controversial political memo that was reportedly hacked out of Rep. Buck McKeon’s e-mail account. Now, one of Rep. McKeon’s former staff is coming forward criticizing the involvement of the Congressman in his wife, Patricia’s California Assembly campaign.

The unethical, malicious trend shadowing the 38th CA Assembly District republican primary forces asking: what of Congressman and Mrs. McKeon?

Heretofore, I have attested to the McKeons’ straightforward, gracious character.  Plain spoken, honorable people would have been my testimony. But the following has recast my understanding.

The Jan. 6, 2012-Buck McKeon “strategy” memo detailing collusion between Buck McKeon Chief of Staff Bob Cochran, BM Deputy Chief of Staff Bob Haueter, and Tony Marsh regarding “thorough background checks” of former McKeon District Director Scott Wilk and his political consultant Jason Roe, and their “shady political connections.”

Their collusion also targets CA Rep. Congressman Elton Gallegly. Cochran et al. are to “make sure that Elton is made a part of the conversation and that his similar situation is known” regarding the Countrywide loan scandal that had ensnared Buck McKeon.

Jan. 18, 2012-Mrs. McKeon files a bastardly criminal charge against Scott Wilk with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.

Jan. 25, 2012-The DA discredits and rejects the charges.

Feb. 6, 2012-Bob Haueter continues insisting that the DA is investigating Scott Wilk.

Knowing such, observe: rather than performing due diligence regarding his re-election against California Democratic Party-endorsed and increasingly well-funded challenger Dr. Lee Rogers Congressman.

McKeon has turned his arsenal towards ensuring Wilk’s loss to Mrs. McKeon in their 38th CA AD primary.

Observe their assumption that Scott Wilk has “shady political connections”.  The memo did not say “thorough background checks into….. possible recent shady political connections” but “into… their…..shady political connections”. Did the thought if we can’t find any skeletons in his closet, then we will put some there follow that assumption?  Being “sure we are doing an all-out hatchet job on . . .” republican leaders” may have preceded it.

Furthermore, why “destroy” a former District Director with a record of loyalty?  Is opposing a McKeon, damnable?

Observe that Wilk is not the only conservative that Buck McKeon had turned his arsenal towards. Making “sure Elton is made part of the conversation . . .” regarding Countrywide is hurling a fellow conservative and his district under the bus. Was the idea if we go down, everybody goes down?

Observe the frenzy guiding Mrs. McKeon’s Assembly campaign.  A wildly spurious criminal charge aimed at, imprisonment?  Or just financial and professional ruin?  Is opposing a McKeon, criminal?

Furthermore, the memo is riddled with federal violations. Section 734.406 of Federal Election Commission law summarily criminalizes “Participation in political activities while on duty, in uniform, in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties, or using a Federal vehicle.” Bob Haueter alleging hacking of House email as the reason for the memo’s exposure coupled with Buck McKeon Spokesperson Alissa McCurely calling it “an internal staff memo” confirm that it was drafted with federal property and on federal time.

In other words, this former staffer of Rep. Buck McKeon questions the need of the Congressman to use underhanded tactics, including involvement of the Los Angeles County District Attorney, in order to subvert the election process – particularly since Patricia McKeon’s chief opponent is also a former Buck McKeon aide, Scott Wilk. And, to use his Congressional influence to smear another Republican Congressman, Elton Gallegly.

Andre Hollins who wrote the above is well known in the Santa Clarita Valley. He has served as McKeon’s Antelope Valley Field Representative and is a former president of the Santa Clarita Valley Republican Assembly. Prior to moving to Santa Clarita Valley he handled voter registration for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

By the way, has there ever been an investigation into the theft of that memo?


Feb 29 2012

AD-38: Congressional Candidate Catherine Wright Blasts Patricia McKeon for Receiving Campaign Funds from Husband Rep Buck McKeon


Speaker Boehner, Patricia McKeon and Rep. Buck McKeon

This California Assembly race is starting to heat up. Catherin Wright, daughter of former Simi Valley Mayor and California Assemblywoman/State Senator Cathy Wright has criticized Assembly candidate Patricia McKeon for receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years from her husband’s (Rep. Buck McKeon) campaign fund.

Wright also has issues, she said, with McKeon’s wife, Patricia, being paid to work on her husband’s campaign.

“All the time my mom ran for office, I would help with the campaign. But my mom would never have paid me for it,” she said.

Patricia McKeon, a candidate in the California 38th Assembly District, is treasurer for her husband’s campaigns.

“(Buck McKeon) is paying his wife,” Wright said. “His wife wins by his winning.”

Here is the amount of campaign cash Patricia McKeon has received from Rep. Buck McKeon, at least through 2006.

Yes, the amount is: $263,168

Is this legal?

Yes, but ethical?

Seventy-two members of the House of Representatives spent $5.1 million in campaign funds to pay relatives or their relatives’ companies or employers during the past six years, a liberal watchdog group says in a report to be released Monday.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found nearly $3.5 million in campaign payments to relatives during the past three election cycles, from 2001 to 2006. Campaigns paid about $1.6 million to firms owned by or employing the lawmakers or their relatives, the group found.

It is not illegal for federal candidates to pay family members for political work, as long as they are paid fair market value, the Federal Election Commission has ruled. Some would like to change the law because of recent investigations.

Under House rules, lawmakers cannot put relatives on their office payroll. Exemptions have been granted when staff members become relatives after they have already been employed by a House member.

Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who heads the watchdog group, says paying relatives with campaign money gives the impression that Congress members use their “position as a profit center for the family.”

“A member of Congress would not be allowed to put that family member on their office payroll,” Sloan says. “The logic should be the same. If they can’t put them on the official payroll, why should they put them on the campaign payroll?”

This issue of receiving money from her husband’s campaign account WILL be big in this campaign – just as Patricia McKeon receiving direct campaign contributions from defense contractor lobbyists who have legislation before the Congressman.

Stay tuned….


Feb 14 2012

AD-38: Rep Buck McKeon’s Staff Says Memo Leak Was a Computer HACK


Rep. Buck McKeon’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bob Haueter center

Remember the campaign memo that suddenly began a firestorm last week?

Well, it was a HACK JOB says Rep. Buck McKeon’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bob Haueter.

When in doubt, blame faceless hackers.

That’s what Bob Haueter, deputy chief of staff for Rep. Buck McKeon, apparently did last week when asked how a compromising strategy memo made it past the California Republican’s senior staff.

Last Thursday, Haueter was attending a meeting of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County and was asked about how an internal memo that laid out the office’s strategy for addressing the California Republican’s involvement in the latest Countrywide mortgage scandal got out.

“[Haueter] is telling people the Congressional email was hacked and that is how the memo leaked,” an HOH tipster tells us. “This explanation sounds a bit [ex-Rep.] Anthony Wiener-ish to me … .”

Weiner, a Democrat from New York, was caught up in a scandal last year when he claimed that his Twitter account was hacked and pictures of him were sent out. It was not, and he ultimately resigned.

“As we mentioned to you before when you first contacted our office about this issue, the memo you published was an internal staff memo that was never shared nor discussed with the Congressman, and therefore we won’t be commenting any further on this matter,” McKeon spokeswoman Alissa McCurley said when asked for comment about the hacking allegation.

McKeon is one of four Members referred to the House Ethics Committee to discern whether Countrywide provided preferential treatment to influential lawmakers through an exclusive loan program.

Just to refresh your memory here is the memo again (embedded below):

So, now Rep. Buck McKeon is saying that his staff wrote the memo, but he didn’t know anything about it – since he never saw it. And, that somebody hacked into his office’s computer and stole a memo that had NO value, since the congressman didn’t see it.

Uh Huh…

Ok, remember Congressman, it is always the cover-up.

Now, inquiring minds want to know, has the Congressman’s office filed a police report for the theft?

Stay tuned…..