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Monday, December 29, 2014

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Mayor de Blasio ran NY state re-election campaign for 1996 Clinton-Gore

Elementary character formed in Cambridge, MA, advanced subversive studies @ NYU
Wild-haired: Bill de Blasio, pictured in NYU's Loeb Student Center in September 1980, was active in student politic


Early Life and Name ChangeBill de Blasio was born Warren Wilhelm Jr. on May 8, 1961 in New York City and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Shortly after graduating with a bachelor's degree from New York University in 1983, he legally changed his name to Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm, adding his mother's maiden name to his identity. In 2002 he changed his name for a second time and became Bill de Blasio.

Radical Parents

Historian Ron Radosh describes de Blasio as: (a) "a far left radical whose ancestors are the New Left and the Communists"; and (b) "a bona fide red diaper baby" who, "like many of his generation ... kept his parents' ... pro-Communist politics not far from his heart." Both of de Blasio’s parents were far leftists—most likely, members of the Communist Party USA or some of its numerous front groups. His mother, Maria de Blasio, worked in the early 1940s at the Office of War Information—a U.S. government agency staffed largely by pro-Soviet leftists who depicted the USSR in a positive light.


In 1983, while he was still at NYU, Bill de Blasio toured parts of the Communist Soviet Union. organizer with the anti-nuclear, anti-American organization Physicians for Social Responsibility.
de Blasio and Comrade Al Sharpton discuss strategy

This was a period of significant Cold War tension between the United States and the USSR, as the Soviets were attempting to permanently solidify their nuclear superiority over the U.S.  Notably, de Blasio at one time served as an

De Blasio took his first job in 1984 with the NYC Department of Juvenile Justice. Three years later, having recently earned a master's degree at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, he was hired to work as a political organizer by the Quixote Center (QC), a Maryland-based, Catholic social-justice organization with Marxist leanings.

In 1988 de Blasio, an ardent supporter of Nicaragua's Marxist Sandinista government—which was backed by the Soviet Union, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization—joined a number of his QC colleagues in a ten-day trip to Nicaragua to help distribute food and medicine to people who had been affected by the violent revolution that was raging there. (The Reagan administration, meanwhile, was giving financial and military aid to the Contras, who were seeking to overthrow the Sandinista regime.)

Upon returning home from Nicaragua, de Blasio began working for a New York-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care in Central America. Continuing, moreover, to support the Sandinistas in whatever way he could, he joined the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York, an organization that held meetings and fundraisers on their behalf. De Blasio also subscribed to the Sandinista party’s newspaper, Barricadda. He continues to speak admiringly of the Sandinistas to this day, lauding the “humble” and “really inspirational” blend of “youthful energy and idealism” that they brought to the task of “trying to figure out what would [make their society] work better.” “I’m very proud to have been deeply involved in a movement that rightfully thought U.S. policy toward Central America was wrong-headed and counter-productive and not in line with our values,” de Blasio said in September 2013. “I’m proud to have been involved in the effort that was challenging that.”


David Dinkins

In 1989 de Blasio served as a volunteer coordinator for the NYC mayoral campaign of Democrat David Dinkins. Following Dinkins' victory, de Blasio became an aide in City Hall.

The New Party

When asked in 1990 to describe his political views, de Blasio replied that he was an advocate of “democratic socialism.” In the mid-nineties, he served as executive director of the New York branch of the New Party, a pro-socialist, ACORN-affiliated entity to which Barack Obama likewise belonged.

Charles Rangel; Cuba

In 1994 de Blasio managed New York Congressman Charles Rangel's re-election campaign. When de Blasio married former lesbian activist Chirlane McCray that same year, the couple honeymooned in Fidel Castro's Cuba, in violation of the U.S. ban on travel to that country.

Bill Clinton & Al Gore

In 1996 de Blasio ran the New York state operation for the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign.
A younger Bill de Blasio poses for a photo with his wife, two children and Bill and Hillary Clinton. (Photo: Twitter/@BilldeBlasio)
Andrew Cuomo

From 1997-99 de Blasio served as the New York/New Jersey regional director of the Clinton administration's Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where he served under HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo. During that period, said HUD inspector general Susan Gaffney, de Blasio's region lost approximately $23 million to scams perpetrated by public-housing officials, mortgage companies, and nonprofit groups that received grants from HUD. The New York Times, meanwhile, reported that in 1998-99, several people had defrauded HUD of $70 million in federally insured loans on more than 250 New York properties.

Hillary Clinton

De Blasio left HUD in 1999 to become campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's 2000 U.S. Senate bid.


From 2001-09 de Blasio served on the New York City Council, representing District 39 in Brooklyn.

Honoring Robert Mugabe

In 2002 de Blasio joined a number of fellow legislators—mostly from the City Council’s Black, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus—in a City Hall ceremony honoring Robert Mugabe, the openly anti-white, Marxist dictator of Zimbabwe.


In 2009 de Blasio was elected as New York City's third Public Advocate. His candidacy was supported by the SEIUUNITE HERE!, and the pro-socialist Working Families Party.

Supporter of ACORN

In September 2009, when the community organization ACORN was engulfed in several major scandals involving voter-registration-fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and racketeering, de Blasio wrote a letter to ACORN's leaders reaffirming his support for the organization, though noting that he was “troubled” by the recent revelations.

Opposed the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision

De Blasio was a vocal opponent of the January 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, which: (a) struck down a ban on corporations and labor unions using money from their general funds to produce and air campaign ads in races for congressional and presidential races, and (b) overturned a prohibition against corporations and unions airing campaign ads during the 30 days immediately preceding a primary or the 60 days preceding a general election.

Supporter of Occupy Wall Street

In the fall of 2011 de Blasio expressed solidarity with the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street movement.


Support from Prominent Leftists

In January 2013 de Blasio announced his candidacy for Mayor of New York City. His campaign received endorsements from such notables as Alec Baldwin, Harry Belafonte, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Jerrold Nadler, Barack Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Charles Schumer, George Soros, Kathleen Turner, and many others. After de Blasio won the Democratic primary that September, it was announced that he would also be the nominee on the Working Families Party line in the general election.

Patrick Gaspard, a former New Party staffer and Obama administration official with significant ties to ACORN, is a close friend of de Blasio and played a key role in shaping the latter's mayoral campaign.

In August 2013, de Blasio received the endorsement of the billionaire financier George Soros, who contributed the legal limit of $4,950 to the campaign. Soros’ relationship with de Blasio actually dated back to 2011, when Soros had given $400,000 to de Blasio’s Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending.

After de Blasio's primary victory in September 2013, longtime ACORN leader Bertha Lewis, who said that her political and ideological ties to de Blasio “go back a long time,” predicted a comeback for ACORN’s successor group in New York—New York Communities for Change—under a de Blasio administration. According to a Democratic insider, “ACORN’s long-range plan since 2001 was to elect de Blasio mayor. De Blasio was a big ACORN project.”

A Self-Described "Progressive" Influenced by Liberation Theology
"Just kidding.....just justifying the End by the Means"

As he pursued the office of NYC mayor, de Blasio was a self-described “progressive” whose political views represented a blend of European social democracy, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, and liberation theology. (The latter was a Soviet KGB creation in the late 1960s, designed to infiltrate Christianity with Marxist principles.) “I’m ... very deeply influenced by liberation theology, which I learned a lot about in the years I worked on Latin America,” said de Blasio.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Elizabeth Warren inches up, but Hillary Clinton still has commanding 2016 lead among Democrats: poll.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton leads in a new poll on the 2016 Democratic presidential contest with 61 percent of the vote, though her level of support is slightly down from half a year ago.
Mrs. Clinton leads among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. next at 14 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts third at 13 percent, according to a new ABC News-Washington Post poll.
 Clinton was at 69 percent in June, and support for Ms. Warren — who has fast become a hero among many corners of the left — is up 6 percent since then. Ms. Warren’s support among liberals is up 11 points since June, while Mrs. Clinton’s support from that group is down 14 points.
Of course, the changes are relative: Mrs. Clinton still has a 40-point lead, 59 percent to 19 percent, over Ms. Warren among liberals, with 12 percent for Mr. Biden.
Ms. Warren has said repeatedly she is not running for president, while both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Biden have said they’re weighing bids.
The survey of 1,000 adults, including 346 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who reported being registered to vote, was taken Dec. 11-14. The full sample has a margin of error of 3.5 points, and the smaller sample has a margin of error of 6 points.

Read more: 
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson
Political Cartoons by Dana Summers
Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Monday, December 22, 2014

#WhatDifferenceDoesItMake FOUR #AMERICANS DIED

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Jim Webb Wants to Be President. Too Bad He's Awful on global warming?

Hillary Clinton may be dominating every poll of potential Democratic hopefuls for the White House, but some progressives are desperate to find a candidate who will challenge her from the left. Groups have sprung up to encourage Elizabeth Warren to take a stab at the nomination, but with the Massachusetts senator repeatedly saying she isn't running, liberal activists will likely have to turn elsewhere—perhaps to socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) or Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley—if they aren't satisfied with Clinton. But so far, the only Democratic alternative officially in the race is former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who launched an exploratory committee in November.

A former Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan, Webb is being touted by some on the left as an Appalachian populist who could champion causes Clinton would rather ignore. The Nation's William Greider, for example, lauded Webb's

presidential ambitions in a column headlined "Why Jim Webb Could be Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare." Greider praised Webb's non-interventionist tendencies in foreign policy (Webb was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War). "I think of him as a vanguard politician—that rare type who is way out ahead of conventional wisdom and free to express big ideas the media herd regards as taboo," Greider wrote, while acknowledging that Webb was unlikely to win.

There's at least one key issue, however, on which Webb's record is far from progressive: global warming. That's a big deal. Unlike Obamacare and financial reform, much of the progress President Barack Obama has made on climate change rests on of execution actions that his successor could undo. At first glance, Webb might look like a typical Democrat when it comes to environmental policy. The League of Conservation Voters gives him a lifetime score of 81 percent—on par with Hillary Clinton's 82 percent rating, though far below Sanders at 95 percent. And unlike most of the Republican presidential hopefuls, he acknowledges that humans are causing climate change. He even supports solving the problem—at least in theory.
But when it came to actual legislation, Webb used his six years in the US Senate to stand in the way of Democratic efforts to combat climate change. Virginia, after all, is a coal state, and Webb regularly stood up for the coal industry, earning the ire of environmentalists. As Grist's Ben Adler succinctly summed it up, "Jim Webb sucks on climate change."

Perhaps Webb's biggest break with the standard Democratic position on climate is his vocal opposition to the use of EPA rules under the Clean Air Act to limit carbon emissions from coal power plants. Earlier this year, the Obama administration proposed regulations that could cut existing coal plant emissions by as much as 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Those new rules became a key factor in the historic climate deal Obama recently reached with China, and they will almost certainly figure prominently in next year's Paris climate negotiations. But back in 2011, Webb went to the floor of the Senate to denounce the idea that the federal government has the power to regulate carbon emissions under existing law. "I am not convinced the Clean Air Act was ever intended to regulate or classify as a dangerous pollutant something as basic and ubiquitous in our atmosphere as carbon dioxide," he said.

Webb also supported legislation from fellow coal-state Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) that would have delayed the EPA's authority to add new rules governing coal plant emissions. "This regulatory framework is so broad and potentially far reaching that it could eventually touch nearly every facet of this nation's economy, putting unnecessary burdens on our industries and driving many businesses overseas through policies that have been implemented purely at the discretion of the executive branch and absent the clearly stated intent of the Congress," he said in a release.
But Webb's opposition to major climate initiatives wasn't limited to executive action. In 2008, Democrats (and a few Republicans) in Congress tried to pass a cap-and-trade bill that was intended to slow global warming by putting a price on carbon emissions. The bill would have likely been vetoed by then-President George W. Bush, but it never got that far. Webb was part of a cohort of Senate Democrats who blocked the measure. "We need to be able to address a national energy strategy and then try to work on environmental efficiencies as part of that plan," Webb told Politico at the time. "We can't just start with things like emission standards at a time when we're at a crisis with the entire national energy policy."

When cap and trade came up again in 2009—this time with Barack Obama in the Oval Office—Webb again played a major role in preventing the bill from passing the Senate. "It's an enormously complex thing to implement," Webb said of the 2009 bill. "There are a lot of people in the middle between the 'cap' and the 'trade' that are going to make a lot of money." Webb also voted to prevent Senate Democrats from using budget reconciliation procedures to pass a cap and trade bill with simple majority, essentially dooming any hope for serious climate legislation during the first years of Obama's presidency.

"We can't just start with things like emission standards at a time when we're at a crisis with the entire national energy policy," said Webb in 2008.

That same year, Obama attended a United Nations summit in Copenhagen in a failed bid to hammer out an international climate accord. Obama sought a limited, nonbinding agreement in which the US and other countries would pledge to reduce their CO2 output. Webb wasn't having it. Before Obama went abroad, Webb sent the president a letter asserting that he lacked the "unilateral power" to make such a deal.

Coal wasn't the only polluting industry that found an ally in Webb. After the BP oil spill in 2010, the Obama administration put a hold on new offshore oil drilling, which provoked Webb. "In placing such a broad moratorium on offshore drilling, the Obama Administration has over-reacted to the circumstances surrounding the Deepwater Horizon disaster," Webb said in a press release. At other times, Webb championed drilling projects off Virginia's coasts and voted regularly for bills that would expand the territory in which oil companies could plant rigs offshore. "Unbelievable," the Sierra Club once remarked of Webb's support for offshore drilling. In 2012, Webb was one of just four Democrats in the Senate who voted to keep tax loopholes for oil companies.
But it's Webb's support for coal that most concerns environmentalists. "Jim Webb is an apologist for the coal industry," says Brad Johnson, a climate activist who runs the website Hill Heat. "Unfortunately he doesn't seem to realize that greenhouse pollution is the greatest threat we face to economic justice in this nation."

Hillary gushed with her phony self-deprecating tale of poverty that she and Bill came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt Who Will Be Suckered By Hillary's Glider Kit?

If Hillary Rodham Clinton effuses that “new car smell” (for which voters yearn in their next president according to Barack Obama) it could only come from a cosmetic transplant, a heavy-duty truck Glider Kit.

A Glider Kit, costing thousands of dollars less than a brand new semi truck-tractor, is a new cab and front end lifted onto the original chassis, engine, transmission, and driveline.  Pretty clever…looks show-room fresh, but a quick walk around and peek under the hood will reveal a high mileage oil-stained diesel engine with worn out tandem axles, sloppy transmission, and rust-infested frame. 

Hillary’s Glider Kit appeals to the Tweedle-Dumb species found in Jonathan Gruber’s Looking-Glass -- succumbing to her scent of an irresistible woman destined for the Oval Office…as president. 
No, olfactory nerves aroused by Hillary should evoke a musty horse-ball aroma of a back-woods buggy with cracked leather oiled down with her own brand of logorrhea.

A few months ago during her underwhelming book tour, Hillary gushed with her phony self-deprecating tale of poverty that she and Bill  “came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt.”
It’s not enough that Hillary still enjoys the glow as identity politics’ heir apparent, although Sen. Elizabeth Warren just might out-populist Hillary’s reinvented disdain for privilege.

Hillary seemed delighted to evoke the persona of William Henry Harrison, in 1840 the first presidential aspirant to extol his log cabin roots, a homespun bumpkin, just one of us. 

Hillary not only aligns herself with an oppressive dead white guy, but then likens her Republican opponents to Harrison’s predecessor old-timey Democrat Martin Van Buren, “elitist”, “lordly” and “uncaring”, indifferent about the economic calamities that beset the nation during his presidency while he luxuriated with fine dining and perfumed shaving powder. 

Of course Harrison’s commoner self-portrait was easily flaked patina. His father was none other than Benjamin the 5th, Virginia planter, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and governor of Virginia. William Henry’s only log cabin was occupied by the slaves owned by his family.  And he was well read in the classics, medicine, and military arts; and the accidental hero of the battle, (should read ethnic cleansing skirmish) of Tippecanoe when, as governor of the Indiana Territory, his forces defeated an Indian confederacy, and killed its leader Tecumseh.
Hillary, teller of tall tales extraordinaire, has the same rationed quota of self-promoting integrity, whether it be sensational stories of being under fire in Bosnia, or her claims of a right-wing conspiracy exposing her husband’s serial sexual decadence.

Far from an impoverished waif, Hillary was the privileged middle class daughter of a well-appointed Chicago textile merchant.  Hugh Rodham had enough connections and resources to dabble in Chicago politics in his spare time, while sending Hillary to Wellesley College to join the likes of Diane Sawyer, Cokie Roberts, and Elizabeth Drew. Hardscrabble indeed.

William Henry Harrison, up from the bootstraps Indian fighter. Hillary Rodham Clinton, up from obscure suburbia class warrior.

Of course the populist narrative is also a lie -- like so many Progressive fables -- spiked by Bill Clinton’s dalliance with Wall St in the 1990’s, then channeled by Hillary for several millions in campaign funds from Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, and JP Morgan while becoming a carpetbagger US Senator from New York.

Moreover the Democrats’ woebegone affinity with the downtrodden and penniless has evaporated since the waning days of George W Bush’s second term.  America’s wealth is concentrated in congressional districts held by Democrats, even as their ranks have been depleted in 2010 and 2014.  Michael Franc from the Heritage Foundation observed in 2007:
“Democrats now control the majority of the nation's wealthiest congressional jurisdictions.  More than half of the wealthiest households are concentrated in the 18 states where Democrats control both Senate seats”.
Leading the Democrats’ One-Percent Nation is the Clinton’s accumulation of riches exceeding $100 million, even inviting scorn from Aljazeera, suggesting most of Bill and Hillary’s stash, acquired from dubious sources, is most likely laundered through their Foundation, and is further tainted by outright conflicts with US foreign policy national security interests.

Look, there’s no shame in being a greedy One-Percenter, a grubby capital-gleaner. After all somebody had to pay for Chelsea’s Stanford undergrad tuition and that stunning wedding in Rhinebeck.

And who would pay Hillary’s prolific bar tab if she can’t have at least a Cabinet level wine sommelier on call or no longer has single-malt scotch on her speaking engagement fee bill-of-materials?

How to explain her bizarre economics lesson while campaigning in Massachusetts for the forgettable Martha Coakley, US Senatorial hopeful,  “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” 
Of course not, trickle down anything is verboten, except Hillary’s own trickles are torrential downpours of arrogance and condescension, barely camouflaged by her glib wavelet gestures, and dismissive chortles when pressed to explain her dissembling, and to describe any real accomplishments -- other than becoming a wealthy survivor.

And was it vodka sampling that led to her latest hypnic jerk from another otherwise hypersomnia pedestrian patter at Georgetown?  “Showing respect even for one's enemies. Trying to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view.”

So what is Hillary’s makeover Glider Kit? Populist, yet still beholden to crony capitalists and economic rent seekers. National security athlete, yet still a couch potato preferring synchronized swimming over boxing.
But I suppose Liz Warren, in relative terms, is the authentic populist in this contest.  She’s only worth a reported $10 - 12 million or more, from teaching bankruptcy statutes to Harvard Law students -- how to conveniently deploy chps 7 and 13 (or chp 11 for corporate deadbeats), to stiff honest creditors -- defending asbestos manufacturers in skirting mesothelioma claims from firemen, shipyard workers, and US Navy veterans, and flipping houses using subprime lending to find gullible successors to her bondo and particle board facelifts.

But give Senator Warren her due: her gains, however immoral and ill-gotten, came from real work; unlike Hillary’s meandering, purposeless, yet gilded windfalls from simply being the opportunistic wife of a disgraced former president, polished by an abundant meatless and egg whites-only resume.

Hillary’s Glider Kit can neither hide nor re-make her lifelong reputation as a shallow scheming, self-absorbed, vindictive conniver. Or worse: “Hillary Clinton Fired For Fraud and Ethics Violations From Watergate Committee.”
Meanwhile Hillary’s heart is stuck with her radical Alinsky-ite past. But her head knows that radical politics breed anarchy and poverty, and most importantly consign her to a diminished and marginalized personal life.  Thus her insatiable preoccupation with accumulating her own personal wealth, enabling corporate central-statist leeches while condemning their power and influence
Hillary’s Glider Kit isn’t fooling anybody except Clinton’s personal mechanic Lanny Davis.

Jeb Bush and Tenet Healthcare Corp

Jeb Bush left the Florida governor’s office in January of 2007, after eight years of service.  Three months later, he joined the board of a hospital company that had been pillaging government health programs and abusing patients, in Florida and around the country, for most of the years he sat in the governor’s office.

Apart from a very generous compensation package, why did Bush sign on with such a tarnished company?  And will whatever explanation he now offers hold up under the microscope of a presidential campaign?

Tenet Healthcare Corp. is a national for-profit hospital company with a sordid history.  In the middle 1990s, operating under a previous name, the company pled guilty to seven federal felonies, paid a record fine for health care fraud and kickbacks, and was placed under special government scrutiny for five years (in what is called a Corporate Integrity Agreement).  That deal was arranged by Eric Holder, then U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and by Charles Ruff, representing the company and later to become President Bill Clinton’s White House counsel.

As soon as that five-year review ended, the same company, now operating as Tenet Healthcare, launched a program to increase profits by gouging Medicare.  It took a while for everyone to catch on to the new schemes, but starting in 2002 and running on into 2007, the company faced allegations of fraud, Medicare false claims, patient abuse, overcharging federal health care programs, kickback violations, falsely inflating hospital charges, unnecessary heart operations, unnecessary patient deaths, and SEC violations.  Again, the company bought its way out of these charges, paying around $1.7 billion to settle government investigations, government lawsuits, and private lawsuits.  And the government signed Tenet up for another five years of special scrutiny, another Corporate Integrity Agreement.

Bush was a catch for Tenet.  Of Bush’s addition to the Board the company wrote, “The Governor's knowledge of Florida, our second largest region (in terms of number of hospitals), has already proven to be very valuable.”  That value went both ways.  For his first year on the Board, Tenet paid Bush, $451,581.  That amount was $216,000 more than the average paid to the seven other directors and $61,000 more than paid to the chairman of the board.  From 2007 through 2013, Tenet has paid Bush $2.3 million.  A large part of the compensation is in the form of stock awards.  In 2013, Bush sold Tenet shares in three transactions worth $1 million.  And the most recent proxy statement shows that Bush still holds another $3 million in stock at the current market value.

Allegations against Tenet erupt like an unpredictable geyser.  Since Bush has been on Tenet’s board, several new reckonings for old charges (pre-Bush) have come due, and new scandals have surfaced.

In 2009, Tenet paid $85 million to settle claims that the company had denied overtime for approximately 23,000 current and former employees.  The cases had been filed in 2003 and 2004.

In July of 2011, Tenet paid $25 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of patients trapped in a Tenet-owned hospital in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Forty-five bodies were recovered in the hospital, and some doctors acknowledged hastening the death of patients by injecting them with drugs.

In April of 2012, Tenet paid $43 million to settle government allegations that the company had improperly billed Medicare between May 2005 and December 2007 (a period including eight months of Bush’s time on the company board).

In February of 2014, the federal government joined a whistleblower lawsuit against Tenet and another hospital chain, alleging payment of kickbacks for patient referrals (DOJ press release, 2/19/14).  As alleged in the lawsuit, a company in Georgia (Hispanic Medical Management Inc., Clinica) recruited pregnant undocumented Hispanic women to the company’s prenatal clinics, using the well-advertised slogan “we care about your health, not your immigration status.”

As alleged, Tenet then paid Clinica to refer those women to Tenet hospitals.  Such payments or kickbacks are illegal.  The lawsuit alleges that the payments to Clinica were disguised as payments for interpreter services.  Tenet then submitted claims to Medicaid for services provided to these patients.  Specific cases cited as examples in the lawsuit cover the period from 2004 through 2012.

As explained in the lawsuit, undocumented aliens are not eligible for regular Medicaid coverage, but Medicaid does provide emergency medical assistance, and childbirth is considered an emergency condition under the Medicaid program.  As alleged, the increased volume of low-income patients, generated by the kickbacks, then triggered additional federal funds, paid to hospitals serving a large number of low-income patients.

Apart from any new allegations that pop up, Bush will also have to deal with Tenet’s affection for Obamacare.  Tenet is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, where the Dallas Business Journal (5/6/14) ran this headline: “Obamacare a boon to Tenet Healthcare, CEO Trevor Fetter says.”  Just before the midterms, the same CEO said he does not expect Obamacare to be repealed, regardless of the outcome of the elections, and that to do so would be “self-destructive” (Dallas Business Journal, 11/4/14).  Sitting on the board of a company benefiting from and defending Obamacare will not endear Bush to Republican primary voters
Perhaps Bush has a prepared list of things he did as governor to rein in this rogue company.  (The State of Florida did file a civil racketeering suit against Tenet in 2005, but that came from then Attorney General Charlie Crist, not Bush.)  And perhaps Bush has a list of actions he took on Tenet’s board to reform the company.  But regardless, with Tenet, Bush is dragging a land mine behind him as he prepares to enter the presidential campaign.