Thursday, July 23, 2020

Video: Walberg Fails to Explain His Own Legislation


This video above, shows two occasions when constituents asked Walberg to explain basic things about bills that he had authored and introduced, and Walberg failed to explain those basic things.
  • The Social Security and Medicare Lock-Box Act, was a bill that Walberg first introduced in 2007, and campaigned on it in 2010, and reintroduced the bill with its current text in 2013. Walberg has reintroduced it with identical text each term since. Walberg refers to the bill in vague terms usually only when people challenge him on protecting Social Security and Medicare, because the bill sounds like it will protect those things. Walberg has never worked hard in Congress to gather any support for the bill. During most terms, the bill has had zero cosponsors. The most support it ever got was in 2007, with three cosponsors.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Video: Parade of Walberg's Plagiarism


Introduction:

This video compiles a pattern of US congress member, Tim Walberg lying to the public about the sources of his information. Two of the examples show constituents directly asking Walberg what his source was, while the information was still in Walberg’s hand, and he lied directly to those constituents’ faces. One of those constituents was me, and it wasn’t the first time Walberg had done that to me, and I refuse to get used to it, which is why I make these reports.

Video Time Stamps:

(00:36) - April 10, 2013 – Floor speech, U.S. Capitol
·      Recited lengthy passages from books by The President of The Heritage Foundation, and Pat Buchanan, and failed to attribute the books as sources

(05:52) - September 29, 2015 – Oversight Committee, Washington, DC
·      Questioned President of Planned Parenthood using a list produced by the hate group, Alliance Defending Freedom, and attributed it to sources that did not contain such a list

(07:56) - March 31, 2017 – Coffee Hour, Eaton Rapids, MI
·      Recited a printout of a Politico news article, and when constituents questioned about the source, Walberg lied that it was from, “Congressional Research Service, and they got it from the law”

(10:20) - August 7, 2017 – Coffee Hour, Jackson, MI
·      Showed constituents a Flow Chart of the ACA system produced by the GOP, and lied that the CBO created the chart

(11:55) - August 8, 2017 – Coffee Hour, Delta Township, MI
·      Showed constituents a Flow Chart of the ACA system produced by the GOP, and lied that the CBO created the chart

(13:28) - March 11, 2019 – Coffee Hour, Dexter, MI
·      Read through a list of inflammatory, hyperbolic House GOP talking points, and when I questioned about the source, Walberg claimed that the, “list comes from my own experience”, and “from actual legislative action”

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Video & Report: Walberg's White Nationalist Rant


On June 25, 2020, our congress member, Tim Walberg delivered a racist, white nationalism rallying cry from the floor of the US Capitol (see video above). The objective of Walberg’s speech was to delegitimize the ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism, and to smear the protesters as un-American. At first, Walberg did contend that there was, “a bad cop” - singular, who murdered George Floyd, though failed mention the other three cops holding Floyd down and standing guard against the pleas of citizen eyewitnesses. Walberg also failed to acknowledge any of the other recent brutality from police against unarmed, vulnerable black citizens, such as Breonna Taylor, an emergency medic who was shot to death while asleep in her bed at home on March 13, after police barged in unannounced, and then lied in their filing about the incident. Walberg certainly did not acknowledge any systemic problem. Rather, Walberg spent the rest of the speech referring to protesters as, “evil”, “punks”, and “warlords”.

Walberg’s speech established an “Us” and “Them” dynamic, between himself and the protesters. Walberg claims an in-group ownership over the history of George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ulysses Grant. Walberg denies the protesters any claim, as fellow Americans with regard to those historical figures. Essentially it is, Our History – Not Theirs. As Walberg said verbatim:

Their goal is to literally tear down and destroy our history and freedoms.”

Walberg exhibited much more concern about the vandalism of statues in the protests, than the purpose behind the protests. The damage of statues by protesters is not as Walberg said, “an attack on America”, or our freedoms, and it does not “destroy” history. Statues are subjective artworks, and certainly have value but not as histories of their subjects. History is based on primary historical sources. As subjective works of art, statues inform us more about the artist and the time of their crafting. Most statues are not contemporaneous to their subjects. 

The bingo card featured in the video is comprised of racist “dog whistle” quotes from Walberg’s speech, and terms that he has used elsewhere over the years, as well as related White Nationalist phrases. The term “dog whistle” refers to the veneer of decorum that white supremacists such as David Duke and Stephen Miller use to soften their racist messages, in order to blend in with mainstream social circles that would typically reject such messages in a more explicitly racist form. Walberg’s use of these racist dog whistle terms sends a message of solidarity that is heard clearly by white nationalists, whether Walberg accepts the affiliation, or not. That is why the Proud Boys gang stood outside of Walberg’s office flashing ‘white power’ hand signals while holding a sign saying, “THANKS TIM AND TRUMP” (exhibit below).


Bingo Card comprised of Walberg’s quotes, and similar White Nationalist phrases

Tim Walberg will object to being publicly identified as a White Nationalist, but his entire political career is built around White Nationalist tenets. During his first term in Michigan state legislature, Walberg was one of only three legislators that opposed enacting Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as a public holiday (SB 528, January 17, 1984). Walberg supports mandating English as the one official language of the U.S. despite the inherent First Amendment violation. Walberg consistently receives among the lowest legislator ratings from civil rights justice groups, including ACLU and NAACP. On August 14, 2017, I called Walberg’s office to ask why the Congressman was being silent throughout the weekend about the horrors we saw from white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Walberg’s staff replied that just that moment, he had issued a Tweet about it. So, I replied, “Is that it?” Well, take that racists! You sure don’t want Congressman Walberg to exercise the power of his office to tweet out another long-delayed, generalized condemnation about racism, and thereafter brush his hands of the whole matter! On August 7, 2019, I asked Walberg if it bothered him to see all of the Confederate flags on display throughout our District. Walberg called that, “a total loaded question” and didn’t answer it, but Walberg did tell me that Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee were, “great Americans” (link to video in the Appendix), so based on that, the inference would be that Walberg is quite proud to see at all of Confederate Flags displayed throughout our District, in tribute the traitors he calls, “great Americans”. Tim Walberg has never done anything to distance himself from the most extreme, explicitly racist White Nationalists in federal office, such as Steve King and Donald Trump. 

If Tim Walberg objects to being identified as a white nationalist, then he should affirm so through deed and legislation to distance himself from the affiliation. I would happily support Walberg if he ever decided reject the affiliation through legislative action. In the meantime, Walberg voted against the House’s, George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120), and Walberg’s July 25 speech affirms his continued solidarity with white nationalists.

Steven Meyer
Monroe, MI
July 12, 2020


APPENDIX: Background on Some of the other Terms used on the Bingo Card

·      “They Want to Replace US”: My October 28, 2018 report cited Walberg’s nativist-extremist conspiracy about immigrants, “replacing” people like him. That report also has an example of Walberg using the slur, “illegals” for migrants.

Link to report from 2018:

·      “Globalist”: is not necessarily an anti-Semitic dog whistle term. Depending on the context, its intent becomes clear. Walberg did not say, “globalists” in his June 25th speech, but his descriptions of powerful, “shadowy” anti-American influencers, is a signature of anti-Semitic narratives for white nationalists to distinguish themselves from, “globalists”.

·      “George Soros”: Is a target for White Nationalists and anti-Semites, and Walberg constantly maligns him as some kind of supervillain who has stealthy occult powers to hide his maneuverings from apparently everyone but Walberg, and other bigots. The innuendo of “shadowy, anti-American organizations and individuals”, were placeholders where Walberg usually names Antifa and George Soros, as he did in the July 5 call in the following paragraph. The narrative that Walberg grafted on Soros is essentially from the vile anti-Semitic pamphlet, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The pamphlet was created as a hoax in Russia in 1903, and has been used to smear Jewish people for the past century all around the world. 

During a June 5 call-in to the Delaney in the Morning radio show, Walberg explicitly named George Soros, and accused him on the basis of nothing, of funding Antifa.


Walberg: “This is not America, so it has to be dealt with, but it’s not America to tear down our cities, to go in and loot indiscriminately, to bust up stores and windows, to steal and rob, and those people, I’m not sure they even know what they’re doing that for except this is a chance for mayhem. And I’m sure Antifa is in on it, and there’s no way to corroborate that, unless you’re an FBI agent. But knowing what’s gone on in the past, Antifa’s involved with it as well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if George Soros is paying for a lot of what’s going on. Nonetheless, America’s too strong to continue to let this happen.”

·      Confederate Flags: Full video from August 7, 2019 at Walberg’s town hall in Northfield Township, Michigan, where Walberg praised Confederate Generals and defended waving the Confederate flag throughout our District. See 53:00 mark in Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7HlVyrkgRI


Coda/Reminder: Tim Walberg has a lot of power to make enormously consequential decisions that directly affect millions of real people’s lives in our country and around the world. In a few months, we have the power to vote him out.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Video: Walberg's Speeches in Ukraine, with New Findings


This video is an introduction and overview of my report from December 8, 2019 about US Congress member, Tim Walberg’s speeches in Ukraine. Link to original report:

The video contains two significant new findings about Walberg’s Trips to Ukraine, which are discussed further in this follow-up report.

New Findings:
·      Walberg Lied in Filing to House Ethics Committee
·      Walberg, Gohmert, & DeVos: Theocratic Shadow Diplomacy in Ukraine


Walberg Lied in Filing to the House Ethics Committee

Link to Walberg’s Ethics Filing for Ukraine Trip: http://clerk.house.gov/GTImages/MT/2019/500021482.pdf

When congress members accept privately-funded trips, in their official capacity, there is a standard approval process with the House Ethics committee:
·      Pre-Travel Form: Filed by the trip sponsor, which includes cost estimates, source of funding for the trip, and an agenda listing all planned activities on the trip. 
·      Review by the Committee on Ethics: accompanied by a letter approving, or disapproving of the trip. 
·      Post-Travel Forms: after the trip, both the trip sponsor, and the congress member must submit forms showing the actual costs of the trip, and disclose any changes in activities from the sponsor’s planned agenda

The Ethics filing for Walberg’s 2019 Ukraine trip contains contradictions, violations, and lies, some of which should have been caught and flagged in the review by the Ethics committee. The Three Problems that I have identified pertain to: 
1) Source of funding for the trip
2) Exorbitant airfare & VIP lounge expenses
3) Walberg lied about his activities from the sponsor’s agenda

1) Source of Funding for the Trip
Glaring Contradiction in Ethics Filing regarding Source of Funds for Walberg’s Trip

The most glaring contradiction in Walberg’s ethics filing pertains to the source of funding for his trip. In the very first line, the sponsor claimed that the trip was funded, “by the donations” to the organizing committee. The sponsor contradicted that below, by claiming to have, “not accepted from any other source, funds intended directly or indirectly to finance any aspect of the trip”

The sponsor should have chosen the other option, “sponsor has accepted funds from other source(s) intended directly or indirectly to finance all or part of the trip” That option then requires a listing of the names of each of those entities, with attached disclosure forms for each of the entities that funded the trip.

Ukraine is not a wealthy country. Yet, the photos of the event that Walberg attended show extravagance: VIP American guests in a large convention center, with surround sound systems, music, stage lighting, custom animated screen graphics, huge outdoor banners, table cloths, serving staff, etc. 

Furthermore, as discussed in the next section, the sponsor upgraded and paid for Walberg’s first-class travel and VIP airport lounge. And as discussed in the subsequent section, the sponsor also organized an entire second prayer breakfast event in another city, Zhytomyr: That event consisted of an outdoor stage in the city square with chairs, a slate of performing artists and stage crews, custom banners just for that one event, and none of that was even mentioned in the trip agenda. Walberg attended it though. – Who paid of all of that? Who were the deep-pocketed donors, who gave Walberg the first-class VIP treatment, ostensibly “in connection with” his official duties as a member of the US House of Representatives?

The space to disclose those answers is required on the Ethics form. The House Ethics Committee neglected to enforce it, and let the unaccounted funding sources, and glaring contradiction slip through under their watch in the filing.

2) Exorbitant Airfare & VIP Lounge Expenses

Walberg’s travel costs greatly exceeded estimates, & were unnecessary to official duties

Walberg’s post-travel form shows costs exceeded the pre-travel estimate by $13,508. That excess expense could pay-in-full for a nice used vehicle with low mileages at a local car dealership.

That excess expense was mostly due to Walberg’s airfare cost. Walberg claimed in the pre-travel filing that the airfare was business class, and according to the rules on the form, any first-class travel would require an explanation to the Ethics Committee. That excess airfare cost can only be explained by an advancement to first class, because business class ticket costs do not fluctuate by tens of thousands of dollars.

For Comparison, Walberg’s Gift Travel filing to a Baptist University Graduation in Romania in 2016, cost $4,365, which matched exactly with that trip’s estimated cost. When Walberg traveled to the Ukraine Prayer Breakfast in 2015, the airfare cost $2,000, it also matched exactly with its original estimated cost. Neither of those earlier trips included any Airport VIP lounge expenses.

Clearly, the sponsor decided to splurge on Walberg, and give him a first-class VIP treatment. For the Ethics committee to let that disparity slip through without any remark was negligence. According to the rules on the form, any first class travel required an explanation. Also, Walberg exhibited dishonesty and bad faith by claiming that the first class and VIP expenses were “necessary” to his official duties as a Congress member.

3) Walberg Lied About his Activities from the Sponsor’s Agenda

Walberg lied to Ethics Committee about activities that he did & did not participate in

For this third problem, I entirely blame Walberg for falsely certifying in his Ethics filing to having participated in activities that he did not actually participate in, as well neglecting to mention a lot of other significant activities from the trip. I don’t blame the Ethics committee for not knowing that Walberg lied to them about that.

On October 1, 2019, at a coffee hour event, myself and several other constituents asked Walberg about that discrepancy in his schedule from the Ethics filing. [Exhibit Below]


Walberg was proud to say he passed the Ethics requirements, and that the financing, travel, and schedule were, “fine-tooth combed” by the committee. Then in the next breath, Walberg admitted to us that the schedule that he submitted to the Ethics committee was incorrect. Walberg falsely certified to the Ethics Committee that the Schedule was, “true, complete, and correct”. The Ethics form provided Walberg with space, and required him to explain any change in activity from the agenda, but Walberg left that space blank.

Several of us after that coffee hour continued to be concerned and frustrated by Walberg’s lack of candor and contradictions surrounding his Ukraine trip. The next week, one of the attendees outlined those concerns in a Letter to the Editor to the Monroe News. Link to letter: 

Seemingly, in an effort to undermine that constituent’s letter, the same day, The Monroe News hacked out a mess of a front-page story, uncritically echoing messages from Walberg’s Communications Director, without informing about what Walberg actually did on the trip to Ukraine, nor addressing any of the concerns from the constituent’s Letter. The one new piece of information to me from the Monroe News article was,“Walberg headed a delegation of U.S. diplomats” in Ukraine. It particularly struck me because there was nothing in the Ethics Filing about Walberg heading any such delegation. The article didn’t mention the size, or name any members of that delegation, or whether it was coordinated with any official US Agencies like the State Department. I marked up that front page with my criticisms that day, and highlighted that “delegation” part with particular interest. [Exhibit below]

Front page story seemed only to undercut a constituent’s letter from same day

As laid out in my earlier report, Walberg’s, “delegation of U.S. diplomats”, consisted of: Michele Bachmann, James Garlow, Rosemary Schindler Garlow, and Marc Nuttle. Now I further know that “delegation” took Walberg’s place in some of the activities from the sponsor’s agenda. They did that while Walberg went off on his own to do other activities, such as the prayer breakfast in Zhytomyr, which was not mentioned at all in the sponsor’s agenda.

Tim Walberg’s lies to the House Ethics Committee is a serious offense. There is a citation to the US Criminal Code, that willful and knowing misrepresentations on the Ethics form would be subject to criminal prosecution. It is certainly applicable in Walberg’s case.


Walberg, Gohmert, & DeVos: Theocratic Shadow Diplomacy in Ukraine

Ukrainian news articles referenced:

Former Chair of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (2014-2019), Oleksandr Turchynov wants Ukraine to be a conservative Christian state. He has been trying to gather support in that “project” from private and public interests in Ukraine, as well as internationally. In the United States, Turchynov has gotten support in his project from Tim Walberg, Louis Gohmert, and Betsy DeVos [See articles linked above].

When Zelensky won the Presidential election, he appointed a replacement for Turchynov at the NSDC. Zelensky is Jewish and politically secular, which is probably why he chose to not participate in the Prayer Breakfast activities or meet with Walberg. When the trip sponsor drafted the agenda, they likely expected that Poroshenko would win re-election.


Oleksandr Turchynov and Pavel Unguryan are very much leading partners in the conservative Christian politicization effort in Ukraine, and trying to build a coalition with like-minded politicians around the world.

In Ukraine, Turchynov was criticized and accused of misappropriating National Security funds and resources for his private religious projects. Turchynov didn’t really deny that. He seemed to embrace and bask in any controversy around his public religiosity. When Russian Propogandists pegged him with the nickname, “Bloody Pastor”, for said religiosity, and his fondness for posing next to missiles and large military weaponry, Turchynov embraced that nickname too, and didn’t consider it an insult.

Turchynov & Unguryan met in Walberg’s DC office this year & attended US Prayer Breakfast

This year, Pavel Unguryan and Oleksandr Turchynov attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. The two of them met with assorted Congress members in their offices. The photos on Turchynov’s website, show that in addition to meeting with Tim Walberg, they met in the offices of Robert Aderholt (AL-04), and Bill Huizenga (MI-02).

CONCLUSION

Among the many things wrong with what Walberg is doing: It’s shadow diplomacy. It’s not the official position of The United States to establish a coalition of Conservative Christian countries around the world, or to build a Conservative Christian political party in Ukraine. It is also wildly outside of the scope of Betsy DeVos’s duty as US Secretary of Education.

Walberg’s duty is to serve the 700,000 people in our Michigan District. Secret theocratic diplomacy projects don’t help us here. Lying on Ethics forms doesn’t help anyone. Walberg insults us by secretly delegating tasks to Michele Bachmann and Jim Garlow, while referring to them as “CODELs” and “Diplomats”, without any of the actual responsibility or accountability of such jobs. Walberg knows he’s not serving our District. That is evident by his choice to never post anything about his trips to Ukraine or about his meetings with Turchynov & Unguryan, and to deflect our questions about it in coffee hours. That is most explicitly evident by what Walberg told the Ukrainian crowd about where the concerns of constituents fall in his set of priorities [exhibit below].


Steven Meyer – Monroe, MI – June 28, 2020