Monday, August 15, 2011

CODEPINK files complaint with Congressional Ethics Committee against AIPAC-funded junkets to Israel

Move Over AIPAC

Calls for end to loophole that allows front group to act as conduit for Lobby trips.

The peace group CODEPINK has filed a formal complaint with the Congressional Ethics Committee, calling for an investigation of the junkets to Israel paid for by the powerful Israel lobby AIPAC but channeled through their educational front group, The American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). This summer recess, a staggering 81 Congresspeople—one out of five members—are participating in these trips.

According to the House Ethics Rules, Congress is prohibited from participating in any multiple-day trip that is planned, organized, requested, or arranged by a lobbyist. AIPAC skirts the law by funneling the trips through AIEF.

According to the latest publicly available tax returns, in 2009 AIEF did not even have paid staff, relying on AIPAC employees to do its work. AIPAC contributed more than $3.2 million of employee salaries to cover the staff costs of AIEF in 2009. In other words, a 501(c)(4) organization with registered lobbyists is paying for the staff of a 501(c)(3) organization to run congressional delegations that cannot legally be funded by an organization that employs registered lobbyists.

“AIPAC barely tries to hide that fact that AIEF is a front group,” says CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin, who filed the complaint. “The groups are housed in the same offices, have overlapping boards of directors, share staff, employ the same Chief Financial Officer and are constantly moving funds from one entity to another. It’s time for Congress to put an end to this charade by closing the AIPAC loophole.”

Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen who helped draft federal lobbying and ethics reform legislation signed into law in 2007, agrees. “The House ethic rules do not allow a non-profit group like AIEF, which is controlled and directed by the lobby group AIPAC, to pay for travel junkets for members of Congress. This AIPAC loophole is rendering the travel rules meaningless and should be stopped,” says Holman.

“With constituents facing severe economic hardships, Representatives should be home in their districts during this August recess to tell voters how they will dig us out the mess they’ve created,” says Josh Ruebner, the national advocacy director at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. “Instead many of them are spending part of their recess in Israel on a lobbyist-funded trip, being pressured into even more tax-payer-funded weapons for the Israeli military, weapons used to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians.”

CODEPINK, which organizes citizen diplomacy delegations to Israel and Palestine, including Gaza, believes these AIPAC trips give the participants a skewed view that hides the oppressive nature of the Israeli government. “The trips are designed to push the U.S. Congress into supporting AIPAC policies of unconditional support for the Israel government, such as continuing to give $3 billion of our taxdollars to Israel and vetoing the upcoming Palestinian call for statehood at the UN,” said Benjamin. “AIPAC puts the interests of Israel before U.S. interests, which makes these Congressional junkets dangerous and downright un-American.”

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1 comment:

  1. More than getting U.S. congressmen to listen to their crap concerning Gaza ( A very bigotted campaign against the local Gazans, to be sure), recognizing the CFR arm of The City of London and the Rothschild/Rockefeller propaganda network in the U.S.A. will guarantee these congressmen that when election time rolls around, the CFR will be there with ample positive campaign coverage for grovelling mewlers with no positive news coverage for their opponents.
    Less than 33% of voters know anything about their candidate beyond physical appearance and party affiliation. The other 70% base their vote on those 30 second and one minute campaign advertisement slots bought from the CFR controlled TV networks. Sounds incredible but this is true. Going to Israel to lick the Rothschild obelisk at the 'World Court of the World' covered with satanic and freemasonic magical symbolisms is more reason for these 81 visits than any discussion of Gaza. The Royal leader of England is the Grand Patron of freemasonry and their focus of loyalty. This entity of alliance between the City of London and freemasonry is the one destroying the U.S. using 9-11, HAARP weather manipulations, the Intentional engineering fiascos of the Fukushima plant and the Maconda prospect oil well blow-out, and the myriad of Wall Street and central bank focused frauds catapulting American cash equity into British protectorate bank accounts. All designed with the economic destruction of the U.S. in mind. This is what got Bush41 knighted back in the early 1980s. And he has carried on in the shadows ever since.
    I have been on this study full time for 10 years. And I was the #1 'A' in my 150 member logic class in college by 30% and made the Dean's list with 21 credit hours that quarter. The U.S. is being vampired and back-stabbed with fatality in mind. Obama already has the U.S. doing all Queen Lizard's warfare (queen Elizabeth of England.)and the U.S. can not afford it. Obama is the Bush's tool. I think they worked on him.

    Did I see that 94% of our tax dollar goes to buy war to kill our innocent neighbors? Yes, I did.
    If you voted for these people, CLEAN UP YOUR MESS.