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Ex-NYPD Chief Kerik: My Attorney Helped Send Me to Prison.


Image: Ex-NYPD Chief Kerik: My Attorney Helped Send Me to Prison

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Former NYPD Commissioner and 9/11 hero Bernard Kerik has filed a complaint with the New York state bar accusing his high-profile attorney Joe Tacopina of working with prosecutors to send him to prison.

Kerik was sentenced to time behind bars after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges and admitting accepting $165,000 in apartment renovations from a company that was allegedly tied to the mob, The New York Daily News reports.

Tacopina, representing Kerik, assured him his legal troubles were over, but two years later Kerik was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison.

Kerik now accuses his attorney of helping federal investigators put him behind bars.

In his complaint to the bar, Kerik accuses Tacopina of being involved in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and/or misrepresentation.”

He also accuses Tacopina of revealing information crucial to his defense to federal investigators, improperly contacting Kerik in 2007 after he was indicted, and attempting to defraud Kerik of a seven-figure finder’s fee as part of a real estate deal.

The charges were filed before the disciplinary committee of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department.

Tacopina denies the claims, and his attorney Lanny Davis says that if any of the accusations were true, Tacopina already would have been sanctioned.

“Mr. Tacopina in 22 years of law practice has never received a bar complaint, let alone any discipline,” Davis told the Daily News. “Mr. Tacopina’s spotless record with the bar speaks far louder than the lies and innuendo that are being spread by those with an obvious agenda.”

One of Kerik’s major complaints is that Tacopina met with prosecutors, an accusation Tacopina denies. He says he only met with prosecutors once or twice for less than two hours to authenticate financial records.

But Kerik says that in March 2007, prosecutors disqualified Tacopina from representing him and then converted him into a witness against his former client.

Kerik says Tacopina then contacted him, which is against court rules. Tacopina’s attorneys deny that claim.

Kerik is also considering a malpractice suit against Tacopina, said one of his attorneys, Boston-based Raymond Mansolillo.

“We’ll assess the information that we’ve gleaned, and we’ll determine which avenue to take,” Mansolillo said. “I’m looking into whether any [of Tacopina’s representation] had any indirect or direct effect on where Bernie ended up.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in White Plains, which prosecuted Kerik, declined requests for comment.

But documents obtained by The Daily News show that the office questioned Tacopina.

“You can’t talk about things that would lead your client into an ambush,” Mansolillo said. “We have information that they did talk. We don’t know why. Those questions may have to be revealed by the U.S. attorney. It could go in a lot of directions.”

The men were close friends and business partners for years before Kerik faced the federal charges.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Christie’s Star Dims as Stories of Bullying, Double Dealing Emerge.


Image: Christie's Star Dims as Stories of Bullying, Double Dealing Emerge

By Sandy Fitzgerald

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is still a favorite in presidential polls, but the popular politician is already being singled out by Democrats and in the national media before he has announced his future intentions.

“It’s all a setup,” Michael Steele, who chaired the Republican National Committee in 2009, when Christie first ran for governor, told The Daily Beast. “It’s unbelievable. It says to me that there are interests in the media and in politics who don’t want the status quo to change, and who actually like this red/blue politics crisis-management model.”

Urgent: Do You Like Chris Christie? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Just two months ago, Christie beat Democratic opponent Barbara Buono by a 21-point margin. Since then, polls have shown him in a virtual tied race with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the presidency, with a CNN survey showing him as being slightly ahead.

The media attacks did not come far behind his second-term win. Last week, a front page article in The New York Times painted Christie as a bully who uses his political power to get revenge against his enemies.

Among several complaints, The Times article included the “Bridgegate” scandal, which targets Christie as being behind closing access lanes from Fort Lee, N.J. on to the George Washington Bridge. The lanes were shut down for four days after the city’s Democratic mayor refused to back Christie’s re-election campaign, and two Port Authority officials have resigned their posts over the issue.

In addition, the book “Double Down” was released just before the November election, using details from former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s vice presidential vetting team. The book painted Christie as being a politician who did favors for his allies and lobbied for business interests of people like Bernie Madoff.

Christie loyalists say that the governor is used to media scrutiny. One aide said that he’s also not surprised when “media outlets and Democratic organizations make him a target.”

Steele said such negative coverage plays itself out in many ways, “sometimes aided by the main target, sometimes by subordinates or opposition camps. There’s a tendency to reach that turning point so that the knives come out and the new narrative begins.”

However, it’s not just the liberal media that has turned against Christie. Conservative commentator Glenn Beck recently blasted Christie during an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, calling the New Jersey Republican “a fat nightmare” and labeling him as a “progressive.”

Some of the scrutiny also started in November 2012, when Christie hugged President Barack Obama after Superstorm Sandy, which experts say will likely haunt him if he runs for the presidency.

But even with the negative coverage, Steele said, Christie “is the same guy today as he was when he sat in my office when I was national chairman during his first bid for the governorship of New Jersey . . . He’s still the same breath of fresh air, the same guy who can create a new narrative for the Republican Party and the country, which is longing and starving for it.”

Steele says Christie needs to be sure he doesn’t become his “own worst enemy” and fuel
new headlines.

Urgent: Do You Like Chris Christie? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Poll: Most Believe Gov’t Corruption is Worse Under Obama.


Image: Poll: Most Believe Gov't Corruption is Worse Under Obama

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Most Americans believe that government corruption has gotten worse under the Obama administration, according to a new national survey conducted by two conservative organizations.

The survey, conducted by the conservative Judicial Watch in partnership with Breitbart.com, shows 77 percent of the 1,000 adults questioned are concerned about government corruption and 52 percent of them think the problem has gotten worse over the past five years since President Barack Obama first took office.

The Judicial Watch-Breitbart poll shows that the American people are thoroughly disenchanted with a government they see as corrupt and secretive,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

“The support for the rule of law on immigration runs against the establishment narrative pretending there is overwhelming support for mass amnesty. On a host of issues – ranging from corruption to transparency, to election integrity, to Obamacare – President Obama is completely out of touch with the American people.”

The poll taken Dec. 15-16 also sought information on attitudes concerning other subjects, including voter fraud, immigration policy, and Obamacare.

When it comes to government corruption, Republicans tended to be more concerned, the survey revealed, with 88 percent being most concerned, followed by independents at 75 percent and Democrats at 68 percent.

Overall, the poll found that Americans think the government is doing a worse job at policing its own corruption, with 52 percent saying matters have gotten worse in the past five years. Only 18 percent of those surveyed thought the government is doing a better job at self-policing. The survey also found specifically that four out of five respondents do not believe that Obama has fulfilled his 2008 campaign pledge to have “the most open and transparent [government] in history.”

The respondents also expressed skepticism about several other Obama agenda items, including immigration and healthcare reform. Forty-nine percent said they believe immigration laws currently on the books should be enforced, and think illegal immigrants should return home rather than stay in the U.S. Of those polled, 71 percent favor enforcing current immigration laws, while 21 percent support changing the laws.

The survey also revealed that most respondents are more confident in their states’ ability to handle healthcare issues than they are the federal government’s. But nearly one-third of the respondents don’t have confidence in government at any level to coordinate healthcare.

As far Obamacare, two-thirds of those surveyed said they are satisfied with the insurance they have now.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Snowden Criticizes Obama’s Surveillance Review Panel as Sham.


Image: Snowden Criticizes Obama's Surveillance Review Panel as Sham

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Former government contractor Edward Snowden, who’s been given asylum by Russia after leaking National Security Agency secrets, is criticizing a panel established by President Barack Obama’s to review U.S. surveillance programs as a sham designed to do nothing more than restore public confidence in spying activities.

“Their job wasn’t to protect privacy or deter abuses, it was to ‘restore public confidence’ in these spying activities,” Snowden said in an email exchange with Globo TV in Brazil, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The review panel last week recommended sweeping limits in the government’s surveillance programs, including requiring a court to sign off on individual searches of phone records and stripping the NSA of its ability to store that data collected from Americans.

In the email exchange with Globo, Snowden continued to defend his public release of classified information about NSA surveillance programs, describing himself again as a whistleblower and not traitor. Snowden, who earlier this year fled from his NSA job in Hawaii for Hong Kong, and later Russia, after handing over secret information to reporters, said he does not believe he would be treated justly if he returns to the United States because he has embarrassed the Obama administration and the U.S. intelligence community.

“It’s clear that I could not possibly get a fair trial in my country,” he insisted.

Snowden is reportedly seeking permanent asylum in several countries, including Brazil. For now, he lives in Russia under temporary asylum. But he denied in the interview that he has offered Brazil and other countries information about U.S. spying operations against them in return for asylum.

“I will never exchange information for asylum and I don’t think the Brazilian government would do that either,” Snowden reportedly told Globo. “A grant of asylum should always be a purely humanitarian decision . . . I will never cooperate with anyone outside of a lawful and appropriate manner.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

‘Duck Dynasty’s’ Phil Robertson: I’m Not Backing Off Comments.


Image: 'Duck Dynasty's' Phil Robertson: I'm Not Backing Off Comments

By Sandy Fitzgerald

A defiant “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson told a Bible study class in Louisiana Sunday that he isn’t backing down from his anti-gay stance, saying his controversial GQ Magazine comments came from the Bible and he’s not sorry he said them.

“I will not give or back off from my path, because you conquered death, Father, so we are not worried about all the repercussions,” Robertson, wearing his trademark camouflage headband, told the class at White’s Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, La., reports The Daily Mail.

Editor’s Note: Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks 

The A&E Network suspended Robertson from his family’s hit show last week after his comments in the magazine interview. Among other things, he said: “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong…start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Beastiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and those men.”

Robertson told the Bible class that he was “just reading what was written over 2,000 years ago. All I did was quote from the scriptures, but they just didn’t know it. Whether I said it or they read it, what’s the difference? The sins are the same. Humans haven’t changed.”

In addition, Robertson denied that he is “a hater.”

“I love all men and women,” he said. “I am a lover of humanity, not a hater.”

He also said that “sexual sins are numerous and many” and admitted he has “a few” himself.

“We murder each other and we steal from one another, sex and immorality goes ballistic,” Robertson said. “All the diseases that just so happen to follow sexual mischief…boy, there are some microbes running around now.”

But he said that Jesus said, “‘It is a man and a woman.’ But we looked at it and said it was an outdated stereotype. When you look back at the human race, the sins have always been the same. We get high, we get drunk, we get laid, we steal and kill.”

After the class, Robertson, 67, stayed for services, during which his oldest son, Pastor Alan Robertson, mentioned the controversy.

“Well, we’ve had quite a week. Shot some ducks, done some shopping, ignited a national controversy,” the pastor said.

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said Saturday he’d help the Robertsons find a new deal for their show if it leaves the A&E Network,according to The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. 

“Regardless of one’s views on Phil Robertson’s statements, ‘Duck Dynasty’ has been an important representation of the state of Louisiana, inspiring prospective visitors and investors since its debut,” Dardenne said.

Meanwhile, the controversy has just made the Robertson family — which was already wealthy because of its duck-call business — prosper more. Walmart late last week reported Duck Dynasty’ merchandise is selling rapidly online as the furor continues.

According to Forbes, the Robertson family’s merchandise empire is worth $400 million, with Walmart sales totaling half of that amount.

The family also won’t be losing its Cracker Barrel sales. The restaurant chain caved in to pressure on Sunday and said it would put the “Duck Dynasty” merchandise back out for sale.

Editor’s Note: Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

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O’Reilly: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star was Wrong to Condemn Homosexuals
Palin: Duck Dynasty Firing Endangers Free Speech

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Sending Baucus to China Removes Democratic Critic of Obamacare.


Image: Sending Baucus to China Removes Democratic Critic of Obamacare

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Sending Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus off as the next U.S. ambassador to China could solve several problems for President Barack Obama, including removing one ofObamacare’s most vocal opponents from Capitol Hill.

Earlier this year, the outspoken lawmaker famously referred to Obamacare as a “huge train wreck,” saying it would be a failure if the government couldn’t afford money for research, reports The Washington Post. 

Baucus has also compared the HealthCare.gov launch to “Humpty Dumpty” with questions about whether the website could be eventually successful.

Removing Baucus from Washington means taking the outspoken critic away from his chairmanship of the Finance Committee since 2007. Baucus plans to retire next year, and ordinarily would be followed in the seat by second-ranking Democrat member Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va.

However, like Baucus, Rockefeller plans to retire after next year, so Baucus’ seat, if he leaves early, is expected to be taken by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the current chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senate aides told The Washington Post. Wyden has criticized the White House’s healthcare plans in the past, but he is not as strident with his opposition as Baucus.

But there are other possible reasons beyond Obamacare for the president to nominate Baucus, The Post reports.

Baucus, 72, is leaving office next year, but Republicans are expected to take the red state next year with Rep. Steve Daines.

However, if Baucus steps down early, The Post speculates, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock can appoint a Democratic replacement who would be able to run for a full six-year term in 2014. Lt. Gov. John Walsh is already running for the seat, but if he is appointed to it early, he would be the incumbent when the election takes place, giving him an advantage over other candidates.

Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina, who is Baucus’ former top hand, may also be considering a campaign, The Post reports, so his name could also be in the short list to fill Baucus’ seat.

Baucus though, does have extensive experience in China, having visited eight times. He also lead U.S. efforts in the 1990s to persuade China to enter the World Trade Organization and worked to establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations between the two countries.

In addition, Baucus has hosted Chinese trade delegations in both Montana and Washington D.C.

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Top Democrat Baucus Sees ‘Huge Train Wreck’ for Obamacare
Top Democrat Baucus, Head of Finance Panel, to Retire

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Boehner’s DC Landlord Lobbies for Tanning Industry.


Image: Boehner's DC Landlord Lobbies for Tanning Industry

By Sandy Fitzgerald

House Speaker John Boehner may be perpetually tan, but he doesn’t have a tanning bed in his Washington D.C. apartment — which he rents from a lobbyist for the American Suntanning Association.

“There is not nor has there ever been a tanning bed in the residence!” Boehner’s landlord, lobbyist John Milne insisted in an email Tuesday to The Daily Caller.

Boehner, who has insisted for years that his healthy hue comes from spending a lot of time outdoors and not baking in a tanning bed, has longtime ties to the tanning industry lobbyist.

He started renting Milne’s apartment in 2006, reports The Washington Post, when he was first elected Speaker of the House, a move that raised some eyebrows because of Milne’s lobbyist career.

When Boehner first started living at the apartment, Milne’s clients included restaurant chains and health insurance companies who hired him to lobby on issues tied closely with Boehner’s House position, including minimum-wage increases, tax breaks for small businesses, and tax-free savings accounts for insurance costs, the Post reported in 2006.

But since then, the American Suntanning Association contracted with lobbying firm mCapitol, where Milne works, for services this year.

Boehner’s camp has denied for years that Milne lobbies him on any issue. However, the Indoor Tanning Association PAC donated $5,000 to Boehner in 2011, according to records.

Several other lawmakers received contributions from the tanning PAC, including one other perpetually suntanned Republican, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, The Daily Caller reports.

The Indoor Tanning Association protested a 10 percent sales tax on tanning bed services that came as part of Obamacare, complaining the tax causes problems for tanning services or companies that offer tanning beds as part of gym memberships.

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