Top Democrat's wife may have gained 'illegal private benefit' from his committee activities

  
Via:  1stwarrior  •  4 months ago  •  13 comments

Top Democrat's wife may have gained 'illegal private benefit' from his committee activities
A charity run by the wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings received millions from special interest groups and corporations that had business before her husband’s committee and could have been used illegally, according to an IRS complaint filed by an ethics watchdog group.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Cummings, 68, a Maryland Democrat, is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. His wife, Maya Rockeymoore, 48, is the chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party and briefly ran in the state's gubernatorial race last year. The couple married in 2008. Cummings was once heavily in debt — in part due to hefty child support payments to his first wife and two other women he had children with — but his financial situation has improved considerably over the past decade.

Rockeymoore runs two entities, a nonprofit group called the Center for Global Policy Solutions and a for-profit consulting firm called Global Policy Solutions, LLC, whose operations appear to have overlapped, according to the IRS complaint filed by watchdog group the National Legal and Policy Center on Monday. The complaint states that the arrangement may have been used to derive "illegal private benefit."

Global Policy Solutions received more than $6.2 million in grants between 2013 and 2016, according to tax records. Several of the nonprofit group’s financial backers — which included Google, J.P Morgan, and Prudential — have business interests before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cummings has served as Democratic chairman of the committee since January and previously served as ranking member.

The largest contributor to the nonprofit organization was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a company that is regulated by Cummings’ committee. The foundation, which gave a total of $5.5 million to Rockeymoore’s consulting firm and $5.2 million to her nonprofit group, ceased supporting her groups in 2017.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was established by Johnson & Johnson founder Robert Wood Johnson but is not officially affiliated with the pharmaceutical company. The foundation owns 13 million shares of Johnson & Johnson stock worth over $1.7 billion, making it one of the company’s largest shareholders. Currently, five board members of the foundation are former senior executives at the pharmaceutical giant, including the foundation’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees Roger Fine, who previously served as corporate vice president and as general counsel of Johnson & Johnson.

In recent months, Cummings has been a vocal opponent of Johnson & Johnson, targeting the company as part of the House Oversight Committee’s probe of drug price inflation.

Under Cummings, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has wide authority to regulate business industries, including pharmaceuticals, banking, mortgage brokers, and technology. In recent years, Prudential, JP Morgan, and Johnson & Johnson have had business interests before the committee.

Tom Anderson, director of the National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project, which has been investigating the nonprofit arrangement and provided research to the Washington Examiner, said the potential for corruption is “off the charts.” He said Rockeymoore declined to let his organization view her nonprofit organization’s most recent public financial records as required by the IRS.

“When a powerful chairman of a committee of the House of Representatives has a wife that is bringing in money from entities with interests before his Committee and she is not providing the transparency mandated by the IRS, there's a serious problem,” said Anderson. “The potential for corruption in this situation is simply off the charts and can't be understated. We hope Chairman Cummings works with his wife to end the stonewalling and provide the public with what's legally mandated all charities provide.”

Both Cummings and Rockeymoore refused to discuss the allegations with the Washington Examiner. Cummings did not answer questions about the overlap between companies with interests before his committee and donors to his wife’s foundation. Rockeymoore did not respond to request for comment.

The complaint asked the IRS to investigate the “shared leadership,” “integrated operations,” and “shared address and physical facilities” of her two companies. Rockeymoore’s nonprofit and the LLC have mutual clients, donors and projects, and were located at the same address and share a phone number.

According to its website, the Center for Global Policy Solutions is a nonprofit group that seeks to “create healthier communities, strengthen Social Security, and close racial wealth disparities." The for-profit consulting firm, Global Policy Solutions LLC, describes itself as “a social change strategy firm dedicated to making policy work for people and their environments.” The complaint states that they “appear to operate almost as a single entity, allowing for an illegal private benefit for Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and her husband."

Rockeymoore’s consulting firm was selected for a $1 million federal contract with the General Services Administration in 2017 for work on the “Leadership for Healthy Communities” project to combat childhood obesity, according to federal records. At the same time, Rockeymoore’s nonprofit group “served as the national program office for Leadership for Healthy Communities,” according to its website.

If both groups were involved in managing the project, “the arrangement is ‘self-dealing’ and cannot be ‘arms length’” as required by IRS law and “prompt the question of whether its organizers are getting fat off the grants,” according to the watchdog group’s complaint. Rockeymoore did not respond to multiple requests from the Washington Examiner for her nonprofit group’s most recent public financial records. Peter Flaherty, the chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, said she hung up the phone on him when he asked her for a copy.

When the Washington Examiner visited the listed business address for Rockeymoore’s consulting firm and nonprofit, a doorman said she had moved out of the office building over a year ago, did not leave a forwarding address, and the building has continued to get her companies’ mail. As committee chairman, Cummings, is embroiled in a legal battle to obtain President Trump’s tax returns.

Cummings recently subpoenaed Trump’s financial records, prompting the president to sue him in an effort to block the subpoena. Cummings struggled with serious financial problems after joining Congress over 20 years ago. His house was placed in foreclosure, at one point; he owed $30,000 in unpaid taxes to the IRS; and he was taken to court multiple times for thousands in unpaid debts. Cummings said his financial difficulties were due to his hefty child support payments.

Since marrying Rockeymoore 11 years ago, Cummings’ financial outlook has improved considerably, according to financial disclosure reports and property records. The couple currently owns two rental properties in Baltimore worth between $250,000 and $500,000 each, and last year, they sold their three-bedroom Victorian row house in northwest Washington, D.C. for $896,000.

Cummings disclosed in his financial reports that his wife earns an unspecified salary from Global Policy Solutions LLC; he did not disclose that she receives a salary from her nonprofit organization, which was $152,000 in 2016, according to the group’s tax records from that year.

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1stwarrior
1  seeder  1stwarrior    4 months ago

So Elijah - what's good for the goose is good for the gander, eh?

Cummings, 68, a Maryland Democrat, is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. His wife, Maya Rockeymoore, 48, is the chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party and briefly ran in the state's gubernatorial race last year. The couple married in 2008. Cummings was once heavily in debt — in part due to hefty child support payments to his first wife and two other women he had children with — but his financial situation has improved considerably over the past decade.

the potential for corruption is “off the charts.”

He said Rockeymoore declined to let his organization view her nonprofit organization’s most recent public financial records as required by the IRS.

How 'bout we investigate that???

 
 
 
bugsy
1.1  bugsy  replied to  1stwarrior @1    4 months ago

the-democratic-party-the-look-of-pure-st

Take a good look at who should be doing the investigating...Bunch of dumb asses

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1.1  XDm9mm  replied to  bugsy @1.1    4 months ago
Bunch of dumb asses

bugsy....   your're being cruel to asses.  They can't help it, unlike the five you pictured.

1200px-Przewalski_26-9-2004-2.jpg

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.1.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  bugsy @1.1    4 months ago

Hmmm - Maxine Waters - Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee.

According to Chuck Neubauer and Ted Rohrlich writing in the Los Angeles Times in 2004, Maxine Waters' relatives had made more than $1 million during the preceding eight years by doing business with companies, candidates and causes that Waters had helped. They claimed she and her husband helped a company get government bond business, and her daughter Karen Waters and son Edward Waters have profited from her connections. Waters replied that "They do their business and I do mine."  Liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington n amed Waters to its list of corrupt members of Congress in its 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011 reports.  Citizens Against Government Waste named her the June 2009 Porker of the Month due to her intention to obtain an earmark for the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center.

Waters came under investigation for ethics violations and was accused by a House panel of at least one ethics violation related to her efforts to help OneUnited Bank receive federal aid.  Waters' husband is a stockholder and former director of OneUnited Bank and the bank's executives were major contributors to her campaigns. In September 2008, Waters arranged meetings between U.S. Treasury Department officials and OneUnited Bank, so that the bank could plead for federal cash. It had been heavily invested in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and its capital was "all but wiped out" after the U.S. government took them over. T he bank received $12 million in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money.  The matter was investigated by the House Ethics Committee,  which charged her with violations of the House's ethics rules in 2010.   On September 21, 2012, the House Ethics Committee completed a report clearing Waters of all ethics charges after nearly three years of investigation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxine_Waters

Oh, she also doesn't live in her own district - but, hey, it's Cali.

 
 
 
bugsy
1.1.3  bugsy  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.1    4 months ago

Those five....and many, many more.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  1stwarrior @1    4 months ago

Bunch of damn hypocrtites.

The Republicans should demand to see the tax returns of all those very rich Democrats in Congress.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.2.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    4 months ago

Saw a meme somewhere that said, in essence, "I don't wanna hear from politicians who want to become millionaires - I'll rather listen to billionaires who want to be politicians." - or something like that.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    4 months ago

No. Tax returns are private for individuals. 

And should remain that way for Democrats, Republicans, and any others.

 
 
 
JBB
1.2.3  JBB  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.2    4 months ago

If that were true our prisons would not be bursting with tax cheaters...

When you sign a return you swear the info is true under penalty of law.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.2.4  XDm9mm  replied to  JBB @1.2.3    4 months ago
If that were true our prisons would not be bursting with tax cheaters...

Would you care to cite the source of that insanity and supply the actual numbers currently in prison for tax fraud?

PS:  I already know the actual numbers so please at least make an attempt at being truthful as painful as that might be for you.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.5  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @1.2.3    4 months ago
If that were true our prisons would not be bursting with tax cheaters...

That is freaking hilarious. Very few actually go to prison for tax fraud. Most get fined and audited.

When you sign a return you swear the info is true under penalty of law.

While that is technically true, it isn't applied very often. Why bother with small potatoes when you can get someone for tax evasion or fraud?

Also, there are sometimes gray areas despite the signature. If one truly believes that they were allowed to take a deduction, gets audited, and the deduction is disallowed, I doubt sincerely any prosecutor is going after them for perjury.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.2.6  XDm9mm  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.5    4 months ago
When you sign a return you swear the info is true under penalty of law.
While that is technically true

Actually, not all the time.   Some that work for the CIA for instance have to lie on their tax returns.  The ONLY place they technically can't lie is in court.  That's why they always got out of jury duty as they would need to lie about their place of employment.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
2  Sean Treacy    4 months ago

Clinton like.

 
 
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