Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Tea Party and RICO

The Tea Party and RICO

Having fulfilled their purpose of dumping the vulnerable US economy back into the toilet of recession, the Tea Party wing of the GOP has a final job: to flush it using the president as a commode handle. However, in bragging about it as some kind of ideological triumph, they admit ownership of creating a lucrative opportunity for profiteers to engage in short-selling the United States. As Republican sympathizers and media pundits attempt to divert public attention almost apologetically for this blatant racketeering, the Republican Tea Party members have breached their Congressional oath of office knowing that they cannot be impeached nor be recalled. But they are not above the law. It is called RICO. ...
... Put another way, the way to gain power is through extortion.

That may all look and sound merely political, but it is not. The behavior has less to do with proclamations about ideology and principal than it does about money. In this regard there is an argument that has not yet been made. That argument is that allegedly these Tea Party Representatives in Congress have deliberately conspired to devalue the US credit for political and/or personal benefit. Whether it has to do with preparation for an election or not, allegedly they have knowingly or otherwise been party to committing the following actions punishable under the RICO Act: securities fraud, obstruction of justice and extortion.

Originally written to go after the Mafia in 1970, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act [Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1961-1968]. However, RICO is almost never applied to the Mafia today. RICO is applied to individuals and businesses. In addition to criminal claims, Section 1964(c) of the RICO Act allows civil claims to be brought by any person injured by reason of a RICO violation. Tea Party members of Congress are not immune.

Their behavior looks like that of racketeers. As such they could be seen as an ongoing criminal organization subject to RICO that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action that focuses specifically on racketeering. RICO allows for the leaders of a syndicate, such as the Tea Party appears to be, to be tried for the alleged crimes which they ordered and assisted. Violations of the RICO laws can be alleged in civil lawsuit cases. It is important to bear in mind that a RICO-related charge focuses on patterns of behavior as opposed to criminal acts. Additionally, a civil RICO action can be filed in state or federal court. Both the federal and civil components allow for the recovery of triple the amount of actual and compensatory damages.

Look at the provision for private parties to sue. For example, stock holders whose stocks lost value can be considered as a "person damaged in his business or property." They can sue one or more "racketeers", Tea Party members. As plaintiffs, the stock holders, including people with 401(k)s must prove the existence of an "enterprise", that they are victims of the racketeers. What needs to be shown is that the defendants conducted or participated in the affairs of the enterprise "through" the pattern of racketeering activity.
The crimes punishable under the RICO Act alleged here are securities fraud, obstruction of justice and extortion.

Tea Party members committed securities fraud in several ways. They made and publicized misstatements on the financial report of United States and the US debt as elected public officials. That resulted in driving down stock prices. As a stock manipulation scheme, that allowed for insider trading. Those fraudulent schemes that have been perpetrated in the securities and commodities markets can ultimately have a devastating impact on the viability and operation of those markets at home and abroad, which is what Tea Party Representative Bachmann bragged about in Iowa.

Tea Party members have obstructed justice by interfering with the work of other government officials, such as the Secretary of the Treasury and members of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Obstruction can include crimes committed by elected officials. In this regard, they were aware that their actions could manipulate markets for the purpose of financial gain of others or themselves. It was obstruction of justice that the House used to impeach President Clinton and brought about President Nixon’s resignation from office.

ea Party members, as elected government officials, have practiced extortion under color of authority. That includes false pretenses, like Cantor’s charge to stick together and “demonstrate that we’re a team that will fight for and stand by our principles.” Their extortion has included promises and representations as well as the deprivation of the right of citizens to the honest services of their elected officials. While extortion is more commonly practiced by and associated with organized crime groups, it is defined as a criminal offense which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains money, property or services from a person(s), entity, or institution, through coercion.

There is no excuse for the Tea Party members of Congress deliberate effort to drive down the credit worthiness of the United States, let alone to do as elected public officials. There is no defense for participating in actions by which people can make money on the resultant market manipulation which is unfolding. That their pattern of behavior has hurt both investors and consumers in the false claim of principal is calumny. Seeking the political defeat of the president by purposely trashing the US economy is criminal.

The administration may feel its hands tied and not unleash the Justice Department to prosecute this alleged criminal activity, but that does not prevent the private sector from bringing these seeming racketeers to justice severally and jointly. The harm that has been perpetrated by the Tea Party cannot be justified. Both criminal and civil litigation under RICO can at least marginalize the Tea Party’s willful and destructive influence in Congress and defeat its members.

They are not above the law.

Special Report -Rapid growth of U.S. militias feeds off politics

... The militia movement has no single national leader and it contains wildly divergent strains of thought, according to militia members and experts. These include white supremacists and neo-Nazis; "Millenarians," who say major social transformation is imminent; and believers in "Christian Identity," a pro-white version of Christianity.

But the vast majority seem to be "constitutional" militias, fans of low taxes and small government -- values similar to those of many conservatives and the Tea Party movement. ...

... One leading light is Robert Schulz, founder and chairman of We The People Foundation, a non-profit that organized two national gatherings last year. The meetings popularized a check list of alleged constitutional violations cited by elements of the conservative Tea Party movement and militias, according to "Midwifing the Militias", a report by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, a non-profit which tracks hate groups.
Such violations included undeclared foreign wars, gifting and lending money and credit to private corporations, unconstitutional tax levying and unenforced immigration laws. ...

... In the early 1990s the militias were politically isolated. Today, they appear to be an armed point along a much bigger popular continuum that includes the Tea Party and the Oath Keepers, both gaining momentum fast.

Lackomar and other militia members, while certainly sympathetic to the Tea Party's goals, insist the two groups are unconnected -- even informally. "What we've tried to do is to make it so our group does not take political positions, except for constitutional versus unconstitutional, and the necessary focus on the Second Amendment," Lackomar said.

Still, in conversations with Reuters, SMVM members expressed admiration for the Tea Party's rapid growth in the past year and its ability to draw big crowds and mainstream politicians like Sarah Palin.

The online invitation to the SMVM's picnic this year encouraged guests to "show, shoot, shout then sip some tea with us." Lackomar says the reference was designed to appeal "to people who might be put off by the pure militia aspect."

 The picnic culminated with a shooting competition. Among the promised targets: Copies of the U.S. tax form known as the 1040.

The Tea Party movement has sought to distance itself from the militia phenomenon, but the Oath Keeper movement seems closer to it in many ways while also sharing some common ground with the Tea Party.

Idaho GOP Leader, Tea Party Organizer Arrested For Assault With A Deadly Weapon (a gun)

Idaho GOP Leader, Tea Party Organizer Arrested For Assault With A Deadly Weapon (a gun)
By Logan Murphy Friday Aug 21, 2009 7:00am

The Republican Party has a huge problem on their hands. They are quickly being taken over by the most extreme, paranoid, fringe elements in our society and this case is just another glaring example of the path they are on:

BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho Republican Party leader who helped oust the state GOP chairman in 2008 faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after an altercation escalated while he photographed a home with a delinquent mortgage.

Challis McAffee, 33, the GOP chairman from the Boise suburb of Garden City and one of 231 voting members of the Idaho Republican Central Committee, was in Ada County jail after being accused of pointing a gun at the homeowner.

McAffee, a backer of libertarian-leaning former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul and an activist in this year's anti-big-government "Tea Party" protests, helped organize Paul backers who aligned at last June's Idaho State Republican Convention in Sandpoint with other foes of then-state GOP Chairman Kirk Sullivan. Sullivan was voted from office in favor of Norm Semanko.

According to police in the Boise suburb of Meridian, resident Robert Lutes called officers just before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to report McAffee had pointed a .357 Magnum handgun at him during a verbal confrontation. McAffee acknowledged he pointed the gun at Lutes, according to the police account.

"I'm unarmed, I'm an old man," Lutes, 51, told The Associated Press on Thursday. "I'm trying to find out why he's taking pictures of my house. I said, 'Knock on my door, let me know what you want.' Then, I think he's reaching for his business card and he pulls out a concealed weapon and I think he's going to blow my head off." Read on...

Treasure Valley Tea Party

Challis McAffee Assistant Organizer

Location: Boise, ID 

Idaho GOP Leader, Tea Party Organizer, Charged With Assault

Friday, August 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm
The goings-on of red state Republican officials aren’t usually national news, but this story from Boise is a fitting postscript to a week that started with Second Amendment activists bringing guns to a presidential speech and muttering about “forcefully resisting” the government.

Challis McAffee, a Ron Paul-supporting Republican Party leader from a suburb of Idaho’s capital city, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for pointing a gun at a homeowner. Why was he confronting the homeowner? Well, he was hired “to document the condition of homes where mortgages are past due or in foreclosure.”

Violent tea partier arrested at Democratic rally in Houston

Tea Party Violence: Teabagger Tries To Kill Man With Obama Bumper Sticker