National Legal and Policy Center

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National Legal and Policy Center
Founded 1991
Type Non-profit
Location
Services Advocacy, litigation, public education
President
Peter Flaherty
Website nlpc.org

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) is a right-leaning 501(c)(3) non-profit group that monitors and reports on the ethics of public officials, supporters of liberal causes, and labor unions in the United States. The Center files complaints with government agencies, legally challenges what they view as abuse and corruption, and publishes reports. The NLPC is described as conservative in nature.[1] The NLPC's current president is Peter Flaherty.

The NLPC was founded in 1991 following the release of the Senate Ethics Committee report into the Keating Five.

Government Integrity Project[edit]

In early February 2004, NLPC filed complaints with the FEC [2] for election law violations during his 2004 presidential campaign. A conciliation agreement made public by NLPC on April 19, 2009, described $509,188 in campaign-related expenses on Sharpton's American Express card. His campaign committee paid $121,996, leaving $385,192 in illegal payments from other sources, including $65,000 from unknown sources. NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm had accused Sharpton of running an "off the books" presidential campaign. Sharpton and his National Action Network (NAN) agreed to pay a $285,000 "civil penalty" for his campaign election law violations.[3]

Corporate Integrity Project[edit]

The Corporate Integrity Project as stated on the NLPC website "seeks to promote integrity in corporate governance, including honesty and fair play in relationships with shareholders, employees, business partners and customers." It does so by:

  • Asserting that the social responsibility of the corporation is to defend and advance the interests of the people who own the company, the shareholders.
  • True responsibility is fidelity to one's own mission, not someone else's, or someone else's political agenda.
  • Exposing influence peddling on public officials by corporations, which inevitably is the result of high levels of government spending and intervention in the marketplace.
  • Combating practices that undermine the free enterprise system, including philanthropic giving to groups hostile to a free economy.[4]

The Corporate Integrity Project has led campaigns against Boeing, CBS/Viacom, Fannie Mae, MCI/Worldcom, and Subway for practices ranging from large corporate scandals to anti-American campaigns. The scandals they have unearthed have led to the firing of Boeing CFO Michael M. Sears, the resignation of Boeing CEO Phil Condit, and prison terms in 2005 for both Darleen Druyun and Michael M. Sears.

Lawsuit v. Hillary Healthcare Task Force[edit]

NLPC was a plaintiff in the successful 1993 lawsuit to open the meetings and records of Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care task force.

On February 24, 1993, Hillary Rodham Clinton and the six Cabinet members serving on the task force were sued under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by NLPC, along with two other groups, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and the American Council for Health Care Reform. FACA requires government task forces to conduct its affairs in public if non-government employees, or “outsiders,” take part.[5]

On March 10, 1993, Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that the task force had to open its meetings to the plaintiffs and the media.[6] Lamberth ruled that the "official" members of the task force, meaning the First Lady and the Cabinet Secretaries who comprised its membership, could not meet in secret because Clinton was not a government employee. But Lamberth also ruled that all the other people working on the plan, who were organized into "sub-groups," could continue to work in secret, because FACA was never meant to apply to staff.

Lamberth's ruling was appealed by the White House, and was overturned on June 22, 1993 after the task force had supposedly already disbanded on May 30.[7] Justice Department lawyers argued that since Hillary Rodham Clinton "functions in both a legal and practical sense as part of the government," her participation in the task force should not trigger FACA. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed.

Boeing Tanker Deal Scandal[edit]

On October 6, 2003, NLPC filed a formal Complaint with the Pentagon Inspector General and the Defense Department Criminal Investigative Service, which was the basis for a front-page Wall Street Journal article the next day.[8]

Based on NLPC’s original investigation, the Complaint detailed how Defense Department procurement officer Darleen Druyun, while still at the Pentagon, sold her house to a Boeing executive who was also working on the tanker deal.

The Complaint specifically raised the possibility that Druyun had negotiated employment with Boeing while still at the Pentagon. Federal law prohibits defense acquisition officials from discussing jobs with companies unless they recuse themselves from contract decisions involving those companies.

On November 24, 2003, Druyun and Boeing Chief Financial Officer Michael M. Sears were fired.[9] One week later, Boeing Chief Executive Office Phil Condit resigned.[10]

On October 1, 2004, Druyun was sentenced to nine months in prison by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. On February 18, 2005, Sears was sentenced to four months in prison and fined $250,000 by U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Lee.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Conservative Watchdog Group Targeted Rangel", Susan Crabtree, The Hill, 2-09-2009.
  2. ^ Complaint filed February 2, 2004 before the Federal Election Commission, MUR 5408; Amended Complaint filed February 6, 2004 before the Federal Election Commission, MUR 5408
  3. ^ FEC Conciliation Agreement, filed February 19, 2009
  4. ^ NLPC. "Corporate Integrity Project".
  5. ^ APPS, et al. v. Clinton, 813 F. Supp. (D.D.C. 1993)
  6. ^ APPS, et al. v. Clinton, 813 F. Supp. 82 (D.D.C. 1993)
  7. ^ APPS, et al. v. Clinton, 997 F.2d 898 (DC Cir. 1993)
  8. ^ Complaint filed October 6, 2003 with Inspector General, Department of Defense and Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service,"Re: Allegations of Misconduct Regarding the Boeing Lease Proposal"
  9. ^ See Boeing News Release issued November 24, 2003 "Boeing Dismisses Two Executives for Unethical Conduct"
  10. ^ See Boeing News Release issued December 1, 2003 "Boeing Announces Resignation of Phil Condit; Lew Platt Named Non-Executive Chairman, Harry Stonecipher Named President and CEO"
  11. ^ See Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 19, 2005 "Ex-Boeing executive jailed for 4 months"

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°52′59″N 77°10′07″W / 38.8830°N 77.1687°W / 38.8830; -77.1687