Anna Githens
McAuliffe and Abedin: crony capitalism and shady politics run amuck
By Anna Githens
August 5, 2013

The tangled web of crony capitalism, a phrase that has been thrown around quite a bit lately, is currently weaving its tentacles far and wide throughout our branches of government. While those on the left believe that pure capitalism uncontrolled and left on its own will inevitably result in crony capitalism, those on the right believe crony capitalism arises from the need of big government, or more precisely socialist government, to control the state.

Regardless of which catalyst one may ascribe to, both sides can most likely agree on what crony capitalism is not, that is, bona fide entrepreneurship functioning as a free market system based on free enterprise in a free republic. Authentic capitalism plays no favoritism, greases no hands, and gives no tax breaks. It follows the letter of the law and thrives on honesty in genuine free market competition. However, the pure and unfettered capitalist system quickly sullies once cronyism begins to infiltrate the free market, thus effectively transforming it into something defective and untrustworthy.

Capitalism has gotten a bad rap lately, and undeservedly so. Simply the chosen economic and political system of our country's trade and industry, it has no face or conscience; it is at the mercy of persons who use private business practices as a means of generating income. It may be said that its demise comes from a breakdown in the morale of its players who, lured by the quest for money and power, use their accumulated wealth and influence to garner tax breaks, loopholes, favor trading, and political positions. This includes both individuals and lobbyist groups.

And while some believe that crony capitalism necessitates more government control, the converse is actually true. It is the cronies in government along with their corporate counterparts that are simultaneously controlling businesses and corporations through their positions of power that cause this malfunction in capitalism to take place. While we look to the government to regulate businesses, it is precisely their "regulation" that causes the malfunction. The more the government controls the free market the more statist it becomes. What is vehemently clear is our present administration's participation in this fraudulent modus operandi.

Let us examine a couple of present day crony capitalists and influence peddlers who have been effectively sabotaging our once ideal system:

Example #1: Terry McAuliffe. This former chairman of the Democratic Party has used his political career and fundraising ventures to make a personal fortune. He has "earned millions as a banker, real estate developer, home builder, hotel owner, Internet venture capitalist and credit card marketer," according to The Washington Post. "McAuliffe is, at his core, a salesman – and even called himself a 'hustler' in his autobiography," the Post reported.

McAuliffe is skilled at lending money he doesn't have and leveraging dollars that don't exist at the expense of employees. While in 1985 he helped found the Federal City National Bank, by 1991 federal regulators declared the bank's business practices unsound, due to $125,000 loan to Richard Gephardt's presidential campaign, along with loans to Tony Coelho, former U.S. Representative (who McAuliffe later worked with at the Boland Group, a Washington real estate brokerage firm) and Jim Wright, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

While McAuliffe claims American Heritage Homes as "one of his proudest success stories," accolades ought to be given to a union pension fund controlled by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. According to The Post, the pension fund provided $40 million compared with McAuliffe's $100, despite McAuliffe's 50 percent share in the partnership. McAuliffe had asked his crony Jack Moore, treasurer of the union's political action committee, to invest in the deal, the Post said. Additionally, Moore supervised donations of nearly $2.5 million to Democrats in 1996.

The Department of Labor, which regulates the management of pension funds, filed a lawsuit against the fund trustees claiming it was a poor investment for the electrical workers, explained the Post. The case was settled in a U.S. District Court in 2001, after two years of litigation. McAuliffe bought the pension fund's share and made out big on the deal after he sold the apartments, renovated the commercial strip, and then sold it for $39.7 million, ironically almost the same amount the pension fund put up in the first place.

One of McAuliffe's most profitable endeavors was an investment of $100,000 in Global Crossing Holdings, in which he wound up earning $8 million. Gary Winnick, the company's chief, was added to McAuliffe's crony Rolodex once he secured a golf date for him with his own golf regular, Bill Clinton. Winnick later went on to invest $40 million in Telergy, an Internet startup firm in Syracuse, N.Y., McAuliffe's hometown, in which McAuliffe profited $1.2 million. By the way, Global Crossing Holdings went bankrupt in 2002 and then remerged from bankruptcy in 2003 to face a four-year investigation in which no wrongdoing could be proven.

Wheeling, dealing, hustling, whatever one may call it, McAuliffe knows how to work people, pensions, and partners to his advantage. He has mastered the art of using his corporate clout to influence business deals and finance his political campaigns.

Never one to miss an opportunity, McAuliffe made sure to take advantage of the time he spent fundraising for Bill Clinton to fundraise for his personal enterprises.

New York Times author Jeff Gerth wrote that McAuliffe has "transformed the art of raising money for public figures into the art of raising money for himself, leveraging a personal fortune from his political fund-raising contacts." In 1999 McAuliffe told The Times, "I've met all of my business contacts through politics. It's all interrelated." As Hillary Clinton once said "Terry's more wired than your local electric plant."

Even an executive of a Chinese telecommunications firm accused of spying is not off-limits to McAuliffe. Senator Chuck Grassley recently brought information forward that ties a top official at Huawii Technologies to Terry McAuliffe. According to the Washington Times, a businessman at Huawii is looking to invest in the sister firm of McAuliffe's former green car company, GreenTech Automotive Inc., in exchange for legal status in the U.S. McAuliffe "quietly stepped down as chairman" from the company in December 2012, the Times stated.

Senator Grassley's disclosure spells out the federal EB-5 program, in which people can invest $500,000 to $1 million in certain U.S. companies in exchange for visas and potential citizenship. It just so happens that Anthony Rodham, brother of Hillary Clinton, owns the company accused of "ramming through" a Chinese investor's visa application, reported the Times, and Alejandro Mayorkas, head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and President Obama's nominee for the No. 2 post at the Department of Homeland Security, is the person accused of servicing it.

"I have obtained e-mails which indicate that one of the investors in Gulf Coast is a vice president of Huawei Technologies Co., whose connections to Chinese intelligence have been documented by the House Intelligence Committee," Mr. Grassley wrote.

Due to fraudulence and national security concerns, the SEC is now investigating Mr. Rodham's company, Gulf Coast Funds Management LLC, the fundraising arm of GreenTech Automotive Inc., for allegedly guaranteeing returns for its investors, the Times recently reported.

Despite all of this, McAuliffe has the audacity to run for governor of Virginia. "Terry McAuliffe is the definition of crony capitalism," said David Bossie, president of Citizens United. Do we want another Corzine in Virginia?

Example #2: Huma Abedin. Yes that's right, not Anthony Weiner, but his wife. Turns out that Weiner's sexting has become a distraction from the real issue at hand. While forgiveness is a noble virtue, this is not about forgiveness; it is about honesty and integrity, traits Weiner is clearly lacking. Abedin can say what she wants about her marriage, but in what way has she exhibited trustworthiness?

Ms. Abedin's web of crony connections is woven throughout the U.S. State Department intertwining right through the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim World League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), and Al Qaeda. Evidently, crony capitalism can take on other forms, such as power broking. One has to wonder if their marriage may even be a crony construct. After all, Anthony Weiner doesn't seem to be very satisfied.

Andrew McCarthy, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, has spoken at length about how five members of Congress noticed the infiltration of Muslim Brotherhood in our government. What is most concerning is that these five seem to be acting alone, which he believes is primarily due to the fear of being labeled an "Islamophobe," a term manufactured by the Muslim Brotherhood precisely for the purpose of "brow beating people into silence," he said.

"The Muslim World League," McCarthy explains, "is one of Al Qaeda's three top funding sources" in which Abedin's parents co-founded. Abdullah Omar Naseef, a major Muslim Brotherhood figure involved in the financing of Al Qaeda, recruited them to head the organization. Three of Abedin's family members, her late father, her mother, and her brother are connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations. Huma's mother, Saleha Abedin, "an ardent champion of Sharia Law," is also closely tied to Egypt's new first lady.

"Huma worked for many years (1996-2008) at the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs as an assistant editor of its journal," said McCarthy. Naseef founded the Institute and remained active in it for decades, overlapping seven years with Huma. "Naseef was also the Secretary General of the Muslim World League in Saudi Arabia, one of the most significant Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the world. Naseef's Rabida Trust (an arm of MWL) is designated by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization," McCarthy went on to say.

According to Sen. Charles Grassley, Abedin is facing questions about dual jobs earning her an income of $355,000 as a consultant at Teneo, where Bill Clinton is on the board, and also $135,000 as a government employee at the State Department. She holds a high-ranking position as Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State John Kerry, formerly Hillary Clinton. And if her husband wins the mayoral race it would give his wife yet another strategic posturing for the Muslim Brotherhood in New York City.

McCarthy explained that there is serious protocol involved in determining a candidate's fitness for U.S. office. "The public would be better served to have someone who is unconflicted fill the position. When the government acts it needs to avoid impropriety," he said. We should not be hiring someone who is "burdened by conflict of interest."

America is at risk, but this is nothing new. We have been and always will be perpetually combating two forces: Communism and Islamic Supremacy. This should come as no surprise to anyone especially at this point in time. So why are so many in this country – on both sides of the political divide – in denial?

The writing is on the wall. Back in 1991 the FBI seized an internal Muslim Brotherhood document, McCarthy explained, that details an "Explanatory Memorandum Mission: Civilization Jihad." It explains that they will destroy us from within by sabotaging our institutions, the policy bodies in our government. It states, "The Ikhwan (a Muslim Brotherhood term) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying western civilization from within. And sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

This is what happens to a nation that forgets its roots. We have abandoned our Judeo-Christian principles and thus consequently permitted the invasion of imposters working to bring forth America's demise. If you are not convinced then listen for yourself to Abu Imran, the leader of Sharia for Belgium, openly explain their current success and future intentions in Belgium. He says, "We believe that the Sharia will dominate. The Sharia will be implemented worldwide. Democracy is the opposite of Sharia and Islam."

Hillary Clinton has called Abedin her "second daughter," and Valerie Jarrett has been referred to as Obama's "godmother" and "the other side of [his] brain." We have a Secretary of State beholden to an imposter from Saudi Arabia and a president complying with a native Iranian in the White House, yet we wonder why they are running around apologizing for America.

It is clear that we have allowed seriously conflicted individuals to infiltrate our government and capitalize on our already weakened economy. Why is this happening and how do we prevent them from doing so? One solution is to impose term limits and another is to stop voting for people with dishonest track records who have major conflicts of interest and would be tempted to act on those interests at the risk of compromising our national security.

At this point in time it is crucial for us to critically discern which leaders possess the bravery and integrity to fight for the best interests of the United States. We need leaders who will resist cowering to Islamophobia and who will promote our once esteemed Judeo-Christian principles, for without them our system of government doesn't work. In the words of John Adam, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

In the end, we won't be able to say we were not warned.

"We're at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. And it's been said if we lose that war and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening." Ronald Reagan

© Anna Githens


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Anna Githens

Anna Githens is a freelance writer who is passionate about promoting Christian ideals and tried and true American values. With an M.A. in Theology from Seton Hall University’s Immaculate Conception Seminary and a B.A in Economics from Providence College, she has diverse career experience in bond trading, teaching, and journalism. She is a mother of three wonderful sons and resides in New Jersey with her family.


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