Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dem Congressman Gets Donors’ Puerto Rican Bank $935 Million Bailout

El aliado de los PPD y del Colegio de Abogados.. Veamos que le interesa a Gutierrez en PR.... Quizas asistencia legal?

Written by JudicialWatch.org   
FRIDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2009 13:01
A veteran Illinois congressman embroiled in a big-city corruption scandal last year unscrupulously pressed the federal government to bail out a Puerto Rican bank operated by his wife and several major political donors.
Eight-term Democrat Luis Gutierrez conveniently omitted his longtime close ties to the failing Banco Popular when he directed the Treasury Department to save it, claiming it was a special case in need of an urgent rescue.
Luis_V_GutierrezIn a letter to the nation's Treasury Secretary Gutierrez said it's in the best interest of the U.S. government and Puerto Rico that the failing bank continues providing services to maintain a safe and sound financial system.
He actually tells the Treasury Secretary that helping Banco Popular is of "utmost importance" to 4 million American citizens in Puerto Rico and minority communities across the country. The once-secret correspondence was obtained, under the Freedom of Information Act, by a news publication dedicated to covering Capitol Hill. 
Thanks to Gutierrez's intervention, the government gave the Puerto Rican bank $935 million although it continues to struggle, losing $361 million in the last nine months, according to the newspaper that broke the story. In ardently advocating for the taxpayer bailout, Gutierrez never mentions his close association with Banco Popular or that his wife, Soraida, was a senior vice president at the problematic financial institution. He also leaves out that bank executives have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to his political campaigns.
Last year Gutierrez was embroiled in another scandal involving a political donor who benefitted from his influence in obtaining suspicious zoning changes in Chicago. Gutierrez heavily lobbied the city's mayor to back a controversial multi million-dollar development for a campaign donor who had just given him $200,000.
Earlier this week the popular legislator, who chairs a key congressional immigration task force, offered a sneak preview of the "compassionate" and "comprehensive" law the Obama Administration is having him craft to legalize the nation's estimated 12 million undocumented aliens. Long an advocate of illegal immigrants, Gutierrez wants them to have a pathway to citizenship, guaranteed humane treatment in U.S. prisons and discounted tuition at public colleges and universities.

U.S. Rep. Gutiérrez in media spotlight

Reporter’s Notebook
May 10, 2010
Stateside Puerto Rican Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill., has been all over the national media recently — sometimes with a vengeance.
His recent actions, statements and possible legal problems have been widely reported in newspapers and on the Internet and he has appeared on TV pushing for immigration reform, railing against the new Arizona “show-me-your-papers” law, battling on the House floor against the island status bill, and being handcuffed in front of the White House.
In the most recent news, which may not be very good for the congressman, reports have noted his involvement in an ongoing FBI investigation into — are we ready? — corrupt Chicago politics.
The nine-term, Chicago-born U.S. House lawmaker of Puerto Rican parents was featured prominently in stories in a Chicago newspaper about renewed FBI inquiries as to his possible ties to a corrupt developer in the Windy City.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the FBI last week questioned Chicago City Hall employees and aldermen about Gutiérrez’s ties to convicted developer Calvin Boender. The developer reportedly lent the congressman $200,000 to purchase a home and Gutiérrez wrote Chicago Mayor Richard Daley on U.S. House stationary and conferred with the mayor to get his backing on a zoning change that Boender needed for a project in the city.
The FBI reportedly spoke to Gutiérrez about the matter in February.
Boender, one of Gutiérrez’s major contributors, was convicted in March of accepting bribes through City Hall in connection with the project.
Gutiérrez’s office insisted that the congressman’s only involvement in the development “was to express his support for a project that he believed would be good for the community.”
The hometown media also reported on the role Gutiérrez may have played in arranging for his daughter to get a supposed “sweet deal” on buying — then after a year selling, at a five-figure profit — a so-called “affordable housing” apartment meant for people with modest resources.
A day before the May 4 story in the Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times had at the lawmaker, who will run for a 10th term in November, with a story about how his daughter, Omaira Figueroa, 30, may have gotten preferential city and state government treatment in getting the apartment.
The Sun-Times noted that despite a relatively healthy salary in a government position, Figueroa was allowed to buy the unit — supposedly reserved for residents of more modest means — from the project owner — who happened to be a donor to Gutiérrez’s campaign — with the blessing of Billy Occasio, who at the time happened to be the alderman in the district where the housing was located. Occasio happened to have been mentored in his political career by Gutiérrez
Gutiérrez, who owns a home in Puerto Rico, denied any wrongdoing, saying neither he nor his daughter violated any law or that she got any special treatment.
After owning the $155,000 apartment for one year, she sold it for a profit of almost $85,000.
On what an observer could call the brighter, more noble side, the congressman, continued to go to bat for both a new immigration law and against the Arizona law that could make illegal immigration suspects of all Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans and other Latinos living in the state — until they prove their innocence.
He appeared last Sunday on the Face the Nation program and seems to becoming a regular on the Countdown With Keith Olbermann show, arguing against the racial profiling law.
Last Saturday, Gutiérrez appeared in front of the White House with other immigration protestors. He wore a tee shirt which read, in Spanish: “Arrest me, not my friends.” Police complied with the first part of the sentence.
The congressman was also a main attraction for several hours over C-Span arguing on the House floor against the island status bill that eventually got approved.
Among his more frequently reported quotes during the debate was the following on why statehood had not won any of the island’s three earlier status plebiscites:
“Maybe these 4 million Americans don’t want to become a state because they love their language; because they love their culture; because they love their idiosyncrasies; because they love applauding their Olympic team … because so many Miss Universes come from Puerto Rico."