From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:
From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:
Dear Friends and Supporters:
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JW <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns =
"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Sues L.A. County to Stop
Dipping Payments to Judges
Judicial Watch filed an important anti-corruption lawsuit this
week in Los Angeles. On Monday, Judicial Watch sued Los Angeles
County for allowing individual judges to amass more than $35,000
annually in cash allowances from the county to pay for benefits
and perks they are already receiving from the state. (Otherwise
known as, double dipping.) In fact, since 1997, the county has
paid judges more than $100 million in duplicate benefits.
How has this colossal waste of taxpayer funds continued for so
In 1997, the California State Legislature enacted a law providing
that the State of California would assume sole responsibility for
funding all court operations, including salaries and benefits
packages. The intent was to completely eliminate all county funding for
judges, and replace it with state funding. Seems simple enough.
The problem is, however, the LA County refuses to stop
providing benefits to the judges.
For example, even though judges receive a full benefits package
from the state, Los Angeles County also provides them $27,324
annually in cash allowances to purchase on a pre-tax basis
additional health, life, disability and other benefits. Given that
no requirements as to how the money must be spent, judges may
either purchase the benefits or keep the cash allowance as
taxable income. One county official told the Los Angeles Times,
If they wanted to go to Vegas on it they could.
The payment of local judicial benefits by the county serves no
useful, lawful purpose, provides no additional public benefit, and
otherwise constitutes an unconscionable waste of taxpayer funds,
Judicial Watch argued in its complaint filed with the Superior
Court for the State of California, County of Los Angeles.
Of course, given the obvious conflict of interest that would be
present should a Los Angeles County judge hear this lawsuit,
Judicial Watch has asked the court to transfer the case to
another jurisdiction. Stay tuned
JW Battles FDA Over Abortion Pill Docs
On Tuesday, Judicial Watch went before the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the D.C. Circuit in its lawsuit against the FDA over
documents related to the abortion pill, RU-486. Weve already
managed to force the release of 9,300 pages of records, but the
FDA continues to withhold an additional 4,000 documents. They
have also failed to abide by a court order to produce a thorough
list of the documents being withheld, along with clear reasons as
to why they refuse to release them.
Though we do not yet have all of the documents, here is what
weve already uncovered. First, Bill Clinton made the marketing of
RU-486 his first objective after taking office. His
administration strong-armed the companies that manufacture the drug to
them to make it available in the United States. Clinical tests
showed the drug to be dangerous to the women who take it, causing
blood clots and internal bleeding, yet the Clinton FDA decided to
bypass normal safeguards in order to rush the abortion pill to
market in the months leading up to the elections in 2000.
The results? At least six women and 560,000 unborn children are
dead. Countless others women have suffered physical problems
as a result of taking the drug.
Even though weve uncovered a great deal about Clintons reckless
drive to force the abortion pill on America, were still not
satisfied. If the 9,300 pages the government has released are
this incriminating, we have to wonder what is in the 4,000 documents
the government continues to withhold.
By the way, Judicial Watch lawyer Meredith DiLiberto did an
exemplary job arguing our case. We hope the court responds and
order the FDA to stop abusing the open records process. The
public has a right to know about the political motivations behind the
RU-486 approval process, as well as the inherent dangers of the
drug, and the FDA has an obligation to release the information
regardless of the potential for embarrassment to itself or the
pro-abortion movement. (Click here for more information on this
The Clintons and Influence Peddling ? Here They Go Again
The New York Times published an article this week about Bill
Clintons special relationship with billionaire businessman Ronald
Burkle. Clinton has served as an advisor to Burkles private
equity firm Yucaipa Companies. Apparently, the arrangement calls
for Clinton to potentially make tens of millions of dollars
without investing any money, taking any risks, or putting in much
This certainly sounds like a sweetheart deal, and one that
definitely merits investigation. Judicial Watch first raised questions
this business relationship back in 2002 (click here).
It seems to me, that any extraordinary profits or sweetheart
deals given to Bill Clinton, are also given to his wife, Senator Hillary
Clinton, assuming they have a joint bank account. The logical
question here is: What does Burkle expect in return for putting tens
of millions of dollars in Bill and Hillarys bank account?
Clinton supposedly advises Yucaipa on investment opportunities and
stumps for the firm with private investors. Investors must
realize that investing with Yuciapa means investing with Bill Clinton
Senator (and future presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton.
Unsurprisingly, Yucaipa is doing quite well as a result. And so will
The relationship between Burkle and the Clintons becomes even
more suspicious when you consider that, as the Times reports,
Burkle is a fundraising force for Senator Clinton. In fact,
last Friday night, he hosted a fundraiser for her in his Beverly Hills
But wait, theres more
Ronald Burkle has been linked to the many of the fundraising
scandals orchestrated by the Clintons. In 1993, Burkle attended a
trade mission to South Africa with the late Clinton Commerce
Secretary Ron Brown. As Judicial Watch has been able to prove
through government documents and sworn testimony, these trade
missions were nothing more than pay to play fundraising
programs for the Democratic Party. Trade mission participants
donated large sums of cash to the Democrats ? as much as
$100,000 ? to attend the taxpayer-financed trips.
Burkle also participated in an illegal Clinton White House coffee
fundraiser and participated in Clintons sleepover fundraising
program run mainly out of the Lincoln bedroom. He is also a
major donor to the Clinton Library..to the tune of $5 million to $10
million. As a result of all this largesse, Burkles request for
a pardon for Michael Milliken was given special consideration by
President Clinton. (Clinton never went through with the pardon
Judicial Watch will continue to investigate the Clintons curious
and corrupt relationship with Burkle.
Until next week
Judicial Watch is a non-partisan, educational foundation
organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Judicial
Watch is dedicated to fighting government and judicial corruption
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