Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mittens would bring Mormon nepotism to DC

Federal departments and agencies that have experienced a steady influx of Mormon senior officials over the past few years and that can be expected from a Mitt Romney presidency.

 Rampant nepotism and cronyism already witnessed at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and CIA, would follow a Romney election but on a much wider scale.

Former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt served as EPA administrator from 2003 to 2005 and Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2009. 

While in both positions, Leavitt ensured that his Mormon friends and members of their families were appointed to high-level positions in both agencies. 

Leavitt's conflicts-of-interest at EPA and HHS were even more stark when considering that he inherited the Leavitt Group regional insurance company founded by his father and served on the board of Utah Power & Light.

One of Leavitt's first acts at EPA and HHS was to hire his good friend Charles Johnson. Johnson was Leavitt's chief financial officer for EPA and his Assistant Secretary for Budget, Technology, and Finance at HHS. Johnson, in turn, hired his niece as the director of the grants program at HHS. 

President Obama kept Johnson on at HHS and Johnson's niece managed to burrow down from a political appointment to a career civil service position before the Bush to Obama transition. 

As a further example of Mormon nepotism, Johnson served as President of Huntsman Cancer Foundation and as Vice President of Huntsman LLC in Utah. Jon Huntsman, Jr., a former Utah governor who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for president, served as Obama's ambassador to China.

Huntsman and Romney are cousins.

If Mormon nepotism in Washington is this bad under Obama, there is a question of how bad it would become under a President Romney?

A clue may come from the CIA and FBI, which have instituted hiring preferences for Mormons in the belief that they are squeaky-clean when it comes to alcohol and drug use. In addition, many Mormon recruits have proficiency in at least one foreign language, a result of their foreign Mormon missionary work.

But for those who believe that all Mormons are squeaky-clean and besides the fact that Romney has destroyed entire towns through the actions of his vulture capital company, Bain Capital, consider the close ties between the Mormon Church and organized crime in the Western states. 

For Arizona Republic investigative journalist Don Bolles, the links between the "Mormon Mafia" and western states' gambling interests -- connections he was investigating -- became all-too-real when he was killed by a car bomb on June 2, 1976 in Phoenix. 

Bolles was investigating horse and dog racing organized crime links in Arizona that were tied to the same Mormon Mafia connections. Bolles was investigating the mob connections of Emprise, which is now Delaware North Corporation, a large entertainment and gaming firm with locations around the world.

The Arizona Mormon Mafia was closely linked to the Nevada Mormon Mafia that surrounded billionaire recluse Howard Hughes and Las Vegas gambling interests. 

In fact, Hughes's inner circle of Las Vegas businessmen was known as the "Mormon Mafia."

A few weeks after Hughes died in April 1976 and a few months before Bolles's assassination in Phoenix, a will, purported to be that of Hughes, was found in the office of a Latter Day Saints official in Salt Lake City. 

In addition to a $625 million gift to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, $470 million was to go to Hughes's closest aides, including the members of the Mormon Mafia, headed by Bill Gay,who was also president of Hughes's Summa Corporation, which owned The Sands, Silver Slipper, Frontier, Landmark, Castaways, and Desert Inn hotel-casinos in Las Vegas. 

The so-called Mormon Will of Hughes was later ruled a forgery by a Nevada court, which concluded that Hughes died intestate.

Today, the traditional links between the Mormons and Western states organized crime is carried on by Mormon U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 

Reid is considered owned and operated by Las Vegas gambling interests and he earmarked federal funds for the building of a "Mob Museum" in Las Vegas.

Copy provided by Wayne Madsen Reports

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