The Bera Files
With the Trump Era careening toward its inevitable corrupt end, the nation now must turn its thoughts toward “What’s next?” This means thinking how to fix a political system that has become so bereft of principles and corrupted by big-donor, pay-to-play politics that a blatantly unethical candidate like Trump could be seen by too many voters as worth a try.
Major work will be needed to restore trust, ethics and principles to our democratic system and institutions. This will require members of Congress of high ethics and principles like Jeff Burdick – as evidenced by his most principled finance pledge in the nation and running to create an Elections Reform Constitutional Amendment.
In contrast, Ami Bera’s 10 years as a candidate and office holder is filled with numerous examples of unethical, dodgy and even unlawful behavior to not merit public trust at this critical juncture in our nation's history. Some examples:
In 2016, Bera’s 83-year-old father is jailed for laundering more than a quarter million dollars to Bera’s first two campaigns – including Ami’s wining 2012 campaign.
Federal investigators cited more than 130 donations from “relatives, friends and acquaintances.” Bera claims his father and none of these friends and relatives ever said a thing to him.
The donations’ timing showed great political savviness. All came a year before the general election when candidates try to bank as many donations to prove their viability to party officials, interest potential allies, and scare off primary opponents.
Bera is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but when members of Congress let foreign countries subsidize their travel, this creates the appearance of a major conflict of interest.
This happened in December 2018 when Buzzfeed revealed Bera and several other members of Congress accepted secret, luxury trips paid for by the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar to attend the Doha Forum.
Like accepting donations from U.S. industries you have oversight over, it is ethically problematic to accept luxury trips from nations related to your committee work.
Blames Obama official for bad Syrian refugee vote
Blames Pelosi for
Federal law requires politicians to return any illegal donations within 30 days of becoming aware of their illegal nature. But Bera took six months to return the quarter of a million dollars in donations that jailed his father.
In the FEC’s complaint against Bera, they noted that by Bera not promptly refunding, he was able to hide the scandal for six months until revealed by his father’s indictment. Delaying refund also provided a cushion for paying legal fees until additional donors made up the shortfall.
Bera also lied to the public in media interviews claiming he immediately returned the donations.
When Bera made a major break from organized Labor, he not only did it by publishing an anti-Labor Op Ed in the Sacramento Bee on May 2, 2015.
But soon Bera was caught having lifted many passages straight from the talking points of corporate special interests. This was followed by additional allegations that he had the same on previous occasions.
Bera also could not bring himself to take full responsibility for his own OpEd without also placing all responsibility on his staff. In a prepared statement, Bera confusingly wrote, “I take full responsibility for this oversight and will be dealing with the responsible staff internally.”
This story was broken by Burdick for Congress. Since 2014, Bera has taken nearly $50,000 in donations from some of the largest opioid makers and distributors.
He accepted these donations after one despite Sacramento having an opioids death rate twice the state average. Plus all of my opioids-related donors are listed as defendants in Sacramento County's opioids lawsuit, which has been consolidated with other such lawsuits in the federal district court of Northern Ohio County. Just one of the many such inevitable instances of questionable groups funding our campaigns and politicians, which will continue until we change our campaign finance laws by Constitutional Amendment. Best of all for you, no media outlet has covered this issue yet.