He’s done.

fattah

A Federal jury finally got to hear testimony from Greg Naylor, the key person and the tightest individual in the inner circle surrounding teacher-endorsed Congressman Chaka Fattah.

Testimony on the witness stand against Fattah paints a picture of one of Philadelphia’s most powerful politicians as a perpetual money-deadbeat, taking on obligations left and right, then reaching into the campaign fund to cover those obligations when his Congressional salary and his wife’s as a (former) anchor at NBC10 wasn’t enough.

Naylor admitted cooking up false tax returns for Fattah’s son to sign, listing him as a political employee in order to cover back tuition owed to Drexel University.   That tax return was part of the charges Chaka “Chip” Fattah, Jr. was convicted and sentenced to prison for.   More importantly: Fattah directed Naylor to do it, linking the congressman.

The problem for Fattah began when he ran for mayor.  Campaign finance rules were established in Philadelphia to limit outside money after a Republican candidate for Mayor Sam Katz came dangerously close to defeating incumbent mayor John Street after it was revealed that the FBI had bugged Street’s office.  Fattah was one of the key architects of John Street’s comeback campaign to paint the City Hall FBI probe as a D.C.-fueled campaign to eliminate black Philly politicians.   The spin-doctoring worked and Street was re-elected.   Soon after it was revealed that the FBI wasn’t targeting Street but was listening in to learn how a West Philly imam connected to the drug trade was able to secure City contracts, leading to the infamous “Pay-to-Play” scandal which ruined Street’s legacy forever.

Those campaign finance rules set by City Council after the 2003 election stuck and Fattah was adamant to get around them.   Instead of grassroots fundraising, Fattah already had access to one donor who could lend him $1,000,000 right away and could swamp the election.   Fattah fought in court to get the City’s campaign finance rules removed–it failed.   He proceeded with the loan scheme anyway.

Repaying that loan after his humiliating defeat at the polls set in motion the events which haunt him now.  Fattah has been in a perpetual cycle of owing creditors.   Keeping up appearances, he still maintained his multiple homes and his lifestyle appeared undamaged.  Beneath that veneer his finances had exploded.

In a way, Fattah is somewhat a farce of the traditional 1970s-style liberal-Democratic ethos:  get the money now, spend the money now, worry about the consequences later.

Fattah won’t be a Congressman anymore by next year.   As the trial continues at a pace faster than most of us care to admit there’s a real possibility we could actually see Fattah convicted within the next two weeks and sentencing delivered before Fattah’s term officially ends.    He literally could be sentenced to prison while still a sitting member of Congress.

Naturally, most of Fattah’s most ardent supporters who have papered-over his avarice all these years are staying silent and keeping their heads in the sand.

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Well, almost all.

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Today’s bombshell about Congressman Chaka Fattah needs some ‘splainin.  Of course, you can get lost in the pages of detail in the plea deal describing how an illegal $1MM loan was laundered through Fattah non-profits and two companies to get “Person D” repaid.  I don’t want to burden you with that, so here’s the TL;DR version of what Fattah is alleged to have done:

Fattah Allegation Diagram

 

We are very interested in who Person D is, as this loan was repaid with stolen tax money.

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A quick scour of the Internet reveals that Councilman Kenyatta Johnson‘s fake non-profit “Peace Not Guns” collects cold card cash.  We found all sorts of announcements for fundraising activity by the “non-profit” the Councilman runs.

But what about Peace Not Guns‘s mission?  Well… over at GunCrisis we found this rally.    And we also found this GoodDay Philadelphia bit which likely cost the “non-profit” nothing.

knockout
Source: Scoop Newspaper

PEACENOTGUNS

So, what was the money the “non-profit” collected actually used for?

We’ll probably never know, since… well… nobody kept records.

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This is just one of those things that makes me laugh and grin while rolling my eyes.

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has often needed to get “out there” among the peeps at various stages of his political career, particularly when he was running for his state representative seat and again for City Council.  To make it seem to the public like he’s a go-getter activist, he founded this:

K-Johnson-Peace-Not-Guns

And as AxisPhilly and also this morning’s DN has shown, a non-profit that Johnson launched to combat urban gun violence turns out to be completely fake.

After the AxisPhilly article, Team Kenyatta scrambled to get PeaceNotGuns.com off the Internet.   But you can cruise what used to be on that site on the Wayback Machine, because nothing on the Internet is truly ever deleted.

What does having a fake non-profit mean?  Well, if you were advertising yourself out as a 501(c)3 organization, it means if anyone donated to the non-profit and claimed the donation as a tax-exempt contribution, they are going to have to amend their tax returns to take off the deduction.

Will anyone do that?  It’s not clear.  Johnson is not saying how much money the fake non-profit generated and they don’t have any books or records.   But I’m sure if there was any money moving around, it’s certain to be found in bank statements.

Only an IRS audit will ever get at the truth.   Or, you can just take Kenyatta’s word for what it is.

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CityPaper reporter Ryan Briggs just broke the story of Carlos Matos, a former current Kensington Democratic City Committee ward leader, is the target of a PA whistleblower lawsuit over the Juniata Community Mental Health Clinic.

A Marriage of Convenience and Disgrace:  Carlos Matos and Renee Tartaglione
A Marriage of Convenience and Disgrace: Carlos Matos and Renee Tartaglione [Philly.com]
A quick briefer for those of you not familiar with Kensington politics:  Carlos Matos was for a long time a West Kensington ward leader over parts of Kensington’s Hispanic community.  He was convicted and sent to prison for his role in a pay-to-play scheme involving Atlantic City officials in an attempt to win contracts.  His wife Renee Tartaglione was a long-time city employee and temporarily stepped in for her husband when he was sent off to prison, violating the City’s ban on politicking by City employees and helped get her ass booted out of City Hall.

Renee Tartaglione herself is the daughter of Marge Tartaglione, the infamous crusty chain-smoking City Commissioner who was for 30-some-odd years lord chieftan over the City’s election system.  And to prove how deep these family ties go; Renee Tartaglione is sister to Christine Tartaglione, the PA State Senator over Kensington who is in a Democratic primary fight with Kensington political careerist Danny Savage and the husband of Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez, Tomas Sánchez.

Federal prosecutors actually insisted that Carlos Matos be prohibited from politics as a condition of his probation [Inky]:

A letter attached to the judge’s order detailed that the concern of federal probation authorities was sparked after a probation officer’s September visit to the Juniata Community Health Clinic, where Matos was working as a case manager while also receiving mental-health treatment. Renee Tartaglione is president of the clinic. [Emphasis ours]

During the visit, the probation officer saw Matos “wearing a Pennsylvania State Senate shirt and lunching with Jonathan Ramos.” In 2008, Matos supported Ramos in his bid to unseat State Rep. Angel Cruz, with whom Matos has long been battling with for control of Philadelphia’s Hispanic neighborhoods.

It is not clear yet whether the Pennsylvania Department of Health will actually investigate the claims of Sheree Brown, a former employee who says she was fired because she identified and raised complaints about erroneous and potentially fraudulent overbilling practices at the clinic.

Juniata Community Mental Health Clinic primarily bills PA Medicaid.

More troubling: there is no public record of Juniata Community Mental Health Clinic in the IRS Exempt Organization Master File, so it’s not clear if the clinic is actually a tax-exempt non-profit concern, or a for-profit.

Pennsylvania Department of State records indicate that the clinic presented itself as a non-profit tax-exempt organization when it registered with the Commonwealth.

Philadelinquency has been unable to obtain public financial records pertaining to the clinic or gauge the amount that it bills PA Medicaid and Medicare from IRS forms that non-profits are required to file and are supposed to be made available for public inspection.

We suspect there is a lot more to be uncovered if Federal and state investigators bother to look.

JCMHC

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