Auto task force leader reported under investigation

Steven Rattner, tapped by Barack Obama to head the auto industry task force, is reported to be under investigation over "payments now under scrutiny in a state and federal investigation into an alleged kickback scheme at New York state's pension fund, according to a person familiar with the matter," writes the Wall Street Journal.  The Journal continues:

A "senior executive" of Mr. Rattner's firm, Quadrangle Group, met with a politically connected consultant about a finder's fee, then the firm agreed to pay what became a $1.1 million fee after receiving an investment from the state pension fund, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint against two former New York political officials and others.

The person identified in the complaint as a "senior executive" is Mr. Rattner, who co-founded Quadrangle, according to the person familiar with the matter. Neither Mr. Rattner nor Quadrangle has been accused of any wrongdoing. Mr. Rattner did not return calls for comment.

Rattner is a former New York Times reporter, and a close friend of publisher Pinch Sulzberger, in addition to being a wealthy financier and major donor to Democrats.

Ed Lasky adds:

So a man with no previous experience administering any industrial company is appointed to run the auto industry. He just coincidentally happens to be guy who is friends with a man who can tilt the NY Times political coverage coverage, and lands a prestigious post in the administration of a man elected president with the help of that very same newspaper.

This "pay-to-play scandal" that he may be involved in was the same type of scandal that has plagued Illinois politics for the last few years: indictments, convictions, and sentencings of people associated with Mayor Daley. Of course, this also involved friend of BOH, Tony Rezko.

Yet, the administration-though it was informed of this pay-to-play scandal involving Rattner before his appointment as car czar, chose to go through with the appointment anyway?

Tax cheaters, immigration law violators, lobbyists players, and pay to players. Does this Team have any sense of morality? Or, are the normal rules suspended by them since Democrats are in the majority and the media sees it as their duty to promote Barack Obama and his agenda - as one famous media person admitted (MSNBC's Chris Matthews).

Rick Moran adds:

I wonder if Obama Administration officials sit around at lunch swapping war stories about their various legal troubles. And someone should look into the idea that the White House may have established a clearinghouse for criminal lawyers so that, in the future, when any of his people run afoul of the law, they'll know just which lawyer they should use to defend themselves.

At least Rattner probably feels right at home with the UAW goons he's fronting for in the auto talks.

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