It is a near certainty that all parents, school teachers, members of the clergy, and members of the criminal justice system would agree that the one thing that deters any kind of rule or law violations is not conscience, but the threat of punishment. Obviously, just the threat of punishment does not deter some people from violating rules and laws, but actually being punished more-than-likely does the trick. For over three years Republicans have investigated fabricated scandals, and alleged law violations, in their incessant crusade to punish the Obama Administration, or at least to deter the President from breaking the law. However, they have ignored, by design, a serial ethics violator in their own midst because he is serving their cherished money machine and personally profiting which in Republican ideology is heroic.
On Tuesday prior to the Senate vote to, unconstitutionally, subvert the Executive branch’s authority, “official” Speaker of the House John A. Boehner said that the idea of President Obama “Vetoing an overwhelmingly popular bill (KeystoneXL pipeline approval) would be a clear indication that he doesn’t care about the American peoples’ priorities.” There are fallacies in Boehner’s remark, but none more mendacious than the President “doesn’t care about the peoples’ priorities.” Boehner has told all manner of lies about a foreign corporation’s money-making pipeline, but it is time to get one thing clear; the so-called priorities to subvert the President’s Constitutional authority in approving the Keystone pipeline are not “the peoples.” They are a foreign corporation’s, the oil export industry’s, the Koch brothers’, and Speaker of the House John A. Boehner’s; the cabal that stands to profit from the environmental disaster waiting to happen.
This was not the first, and likely not the last, time Boehner lied about the KeystoneXL project, but if he had been punished three-and-a-half years ago for lying profusely about the KeystoneXL pipeline to profit his stock portfolio, likely through share manipulation, and his masters the Koch brothers, he would at least stop lying for profit. At best, the cretin would be expelled from Congress, face a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, be tried in a court of law, convicted, and sent to prison. In fact, if Boehner had been punished, and evicted from Congress, in 1995 for handing out tobacco industry bribes for favorable votes on the floor of the House, the nation may be unaware Boehner even exists. However, he was not punished and it is why he continues lying for profit, taking oil bribes for KeystoneXL votes, and likely violating SEC rules.
Throughout 2011 after becoming Speaker of the House, Boehner began ardently promoting a virtually unheard of Canadian company’s oil pipeline across America’s agricultural heartland. By early 2012, Boehner started threatening to tie approval of the KeystoneXL pipeline to various pieces of crucial legislation to force President Obama into approving TransCanada’s international permit to build their rupture-prone KeystoneXL pipeline across America. Canadians forbade TransCanada from building the pipeline on Canadian soil due to its repeated ruptures and breakdowns that threatened Canada’s sovereign land. Since becoming Speaker in January 2011, Boehner promised (the Koch brothers) he would “do everything we can to make sure this Keystone pipeline project is approved,” and he was not exaggerating or bluffing. Boehner has told Americans myriad debunked lies about the benefits of building the pipeline, but he has never admitted that besides the foreign corporation TransCanada, the Koch brothers, and the foreign export industry, another beneficiary of constructing the Keystone pipeline is John A. Boehner.
Boehner has a history of unethical, behavior as a congressman, so it is curious why there was no investigation, or at least probing questions, into why in less than a year a project few knew existed was suddenly paramount to Boehner; or why within a year he suddenly was heavily invested in Canada’s tar sand. According to Boehner’s 2010 financial disclosure, he invested in seven different Canadian tar sand companies to the tune of between $15,001 to $50,000 in each of the foreign entities. All of the companies are in the tar sand oil industry that Boehner stands to profit handsomely from if KeystoneXL is built.
The timing of Boehner’s sudden advocacy for a Canadian company’s project also garnered little, if any, attention; particularly since his 2009 disclosure shows that he held zero stock or interest in Canadian tar sand. That revelation should have informed any semi-intelligent person, and government regulators, that Boehner bought stock in Canada’s tar sands just in time to reap financial benefits if and when the pipeline was completed and carrying Canadian oil to Koch Industries refineries before going Texas for sale on the foreign export market. Boehner’s push, as Speaker of the House, to build the pipeline is beyond simple conflict of interest; he is performing official acts for favors (campaign contributions) and money in the form of dividends from his oil sands stocks. Boehner’s gifts in exchange for performing official acts for the oil industry were $144,150 in campaign contributions in 2010 alone.
In the 1990s when Boehner was confronted and questioned about why he was blatantly violating House ethics rules by handing out tobacco industry checks before an important vote to discontinue subsidies to the cigarette industry, his excuse for using the House to buy Republican votes was that the tobacco company told him to do it; “so I complied.” Unknown to most Americans, the Koch brothers control 1.1 million acres in the northern Alberta oil sands, an area nearly the size of Delaware; so when the Kochs told Boehner to lie and push construction of KeystoneXL, “he complied.”
Boehner needs to be thoroughly investigated by a House Ethics Committee and the Securities and Exchange Commission, thrown out of Congress, and sent straight to prison. There is precedent to expel Boehner from Congress that involves another Ohio representative, James A. Traficant. Traficant was expelled in July 2002 after he was convicted of receiving favors, gifts and money in return for performing official acts on behalf of campaign donors. Boehner is doing precisely the same thing in performing official acts on behalf of the Koch brothers, oil export industry, a foreign corporation (TransCanada), and seven Canadian tar sands companies he will profit from if the Keystone XL pipeline is built.
To show the level of Boehner’s arrogance due to never being punished for, at least, ethics violations, less than ten years after confessing he assisted big tobacco by bribing other Republicans to vote as ordered, Boehner had the temerity to tell his Republican colleagues that “when it comes to institutional ethics, I’ve got some experience.” Boehner is at least truthful about one thing; he does have a lot of experience when it comes “institutional ethics;” how to violate them with impunity. It is why he must be investigated for House ethics violations and the SEC must go forward with its investigation; because every one of Boehner’s sleazy lies are to profit his stock portfolio and Koch Industries.
An active petition demanding an investigation to force Boehner’s resignation or expulsion can be found here.