By Kody Fairfield
In politics, the word capitalism is often thrown around by politicians all the time in order to play on the heart string of patriotic Americans. There is a problem with this however. The issue being that politicians are typically the reason that capitalism has been misaligned with crony corporatism, or the lobbying, subsidizing, and protection of major corporations by government.
In every election we hear of quid pro quo schemes between corporations and political donors, or about funneling money into private charities in order for access to a politician. All explained by the media and leftists to be follies of capitalism, when in reality it is a malignant tumor of government overreach and manipulation.
Which brings us to a story that was reported on by many outlets including The Libertarian Republic, in regards to this very problem, between Donald Trump and a possible investigation into fraud claims against Trump University by Attorney General of Florida Pam Bondi. An investigation, which oddly was decided against after a $25,000 donation was made from Trump’s foundation to Bondi’s re-election campaign. To add more convolution to their already inappropriate political relationship, Trump held a fundraiser for Bondi after the dismissal of his case, and Bondi has since endorsed Trump for president, and has even stumped for him on the campaign trail.
It seems however that for AG Bondi, this is not the first time she has been involved in a scheme like this. Looking into Bondi’s past in fact, she seems riddled with numerous situations of fraud, pay for play scandals or other shady happenings, using her roles in government to benefit certain corporations and destroy others.
The investigation found Bondi flitting around the globe — at posh resorts in Hawaii, California and all sorts of places other than the state she was elected to serve.
Gift records examined by The Associated Press found that Bondi had taken more than $51,000 worth of free trips, meals and hotel stays — much of it thanks to corporations that funneled money through the Republican Attorneys General Association.
But the Times found that corporate lawyers did more than just stroke checks. They also stroked Bondi’s ego, with one helping arrange for her to be featured on the cover of Inside Counsel — a magazine whose target audience is corporate attorneys.
The Times article suggests that the lobbyists got their way.
One of the attorneys lobbying Bondi represented online travel companies that were trying to avoid paying certain taxes in Florida. Bondi’s predecessor, Bill McCollum, had sued the companies, trying to get the money. But Bondi dropped the matter, saying it wasn’t something her office needed to pursue.
The Times listed other examples of cases that Bondi decided not to prosecute, including a for-profit online school and nutritional-supplement company — both of which were probed by authorities in other states for shady sales practices.
More specifically, there is Bondi’s relationship with the law firm Dickstein Shapiro, out of Washington D.C., and her relationship with Millenium Labs in Florida.
Looking into the first relationship with Dickstein Shapiro and supported by an article from ProgressFlorida, which claims that:
On several occasions, it appears Dickstein Shapiro convinced Bondi’s office to drop cases against their clients while making significant contributions to the Republican Attorneys General Association, the Republican Party of Florida, and Bondi’s political committee.
- Accretive Health: The hospital bill collection company was shut down by Minnesota’s attorney general due to their abusive collection practices. Pam Bondi’s office took no action.
- Bridgepoint Education: Despite conducting what Iowa’s attorney general called “unconscionable sales practices,” Bondi’s office took no action against Bridgepoint despite complaints from Floridians.
- Priceline and Travelocity: Bondi’s Republican predecessor, Bill McCollum filed suit against the travel companies for tax dodging. After hearing from Dickstein Shapiro, Bondi’s office quietly dropped the suit.
The attorney general is Florida’s chief legal officer and Pam Bondi’s clear pattern of “pay to look away” is destructive to our state’s ability to enforce the law and protect everyday Floridians from powerful interests.
It is fairly easy to see that Bondi is either, conveniently in the wrong place all the time, or there is a bigger more sinister picture to be painted.
Continuing on and looking at Bondi’s involvement with Millenium Labs, run by a man named James Slattery. This relationship appears to be a major fraudulent situation against the Medicaid system of Florida. Explained in an article from MyPalmBeachPost,
Someone should be going to prison in the Millennium Laboratories fraud scandal that was aided and abetted by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office.
Public trust abuses is so egregious that one hardly knows where to begin. The Post’s investigative reporting led by Pat Beall was as exhaustive and succinct as Millennium’s fraud was infuriating in its gall.
In an all-too-typical example, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in October charged that Millennium garnered $15 million simply by persuading doctors to test Medicare patients for the street drug Angel Dust. It billed Medicare for 59 dead people, bribed doctors and rigged research results.
That helps explain why, not surprisingly, Millennium in October agreed to pay $256 million to settle federal kickback and civil fraud charges, while — again all too typically — not acknowledging any wrongdoing. The company has been forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy by its lenders. At the same time — yet again, all too typically — founder James Slattery and other insiders walked away with nearly $1 billion.
Despite Bondi’s routine dismissals — and sophomoric “I didn’t know it, staff did it” — attempt at plausible deniability, we know she urged Medicare to pay for unnecessary and exorbitantly priced drug screening tests by the nation’s largest drug testing company, even as the DOJ and her own office were pursuing civil charges against the company.
So to recap this far, the Attorney General of Florida Pam Bondi, who is the state’s chief enforcement official, has a litany of quid pro quo and mea culpa situations following her around. Even involving a presidential candidate that she has endorsed, and was once thought to be a potential vice presidential option for.
Evidently, if your company can afford to play the game with AG Bondi, you can find protection and favor to run as shady of a business as you would like. But this begs the question… What happens if you get caught up in a legal matter with the state of Florida, but chose not to roll over or give up your principles? Ask E-Racer Tech CEO, Nick Veser who has been caught up in bungled civil litigation with the AG for almost 2 years, because he chose to stand up to the government of Florida and its cronyism. A principled decision, which has placed his company and family under the big boot of government.
Veser and his small business, have been fighting this civil litigation against AG Bondi and the state of Florida since motions were filed publicly in 2014 and civil charges were filed in 2015. E-Racer, a company that as Veser put it, worked hard be ethical in an unethical area of business, had only ever had 2 complaints filed against the company. Veser also mentioned that they would never do business with anyone who did not need their services. He has produce every document asked for by the state, and was even deposed for six hours to explain his side of the story.
Worse yet, is the fact that the AG and state of Florida, failed to file pertinent paperwork required by law, like the determination of public interest, until after the fact. They even left the document undated. Yet the claim against E-Racer Tech went forward. The government’s major claim in the suit was that E-Racer was using spam-ware advertising to scare people into doing business with the company. The evidence to support this claim was a lot of un-validated hearsay, which according to Florida state statutes is allowed. The state has spent large amounts of tax payer money going after what appears to be an innocent company.
This needs to be talked about in light of the things that AG Pam Bondi has littered about her past. It exposes her blatant bias toward quid pro quo schemes, and shines a light on what she is willing to do to companies who either will not, or cannot afford play the game. Listen to Nick Veser tell his own story below, in an exclusive interview with Liberty Coast 2 Coast, as he is a real life example of the other side to corporate cronyism.
Beyond just exposing the lunacy of big government cronyism corporatism, we should be helping those whose voices are silenced because of the boot from that cronyism. When government works against the people it is supposed to work for, is it not time to take a principled stand and demand our liberty back? Help Nick out by sharing this story anywhere and everywhere. Shine the light liberty on cronyism.
In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.