Obama’s Mexican Problem

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Pepe Rojas-Cardona (left) and Vernon McKinley on the University of Iowa campus in 1990.

As the race for President hits the home stretch more attention is going to be paid to the Obama administrations blunders and shady endeavors that have yet to garner much attention from the press or the ire of the candidates. This administrations true one true scandal isn’t health care. It involved running guns across the border to Mexico where thousands of firearms were sold to people and taken over the border while the ATF dropped the ball. The operation goes all the way to the top and the cover up has only just begun but now a new scandal looms.

Operation Fast and Furious in itself was doomed from the start. Anyone who has seen the movie knows that the car thieves end up getting all of the cars, grant it they beat up the Shelby 500, and that they all got away in the end. The same can be said for this operation. The cartels got thousands of assault rifles and some .50 caliber sniper rifles bought in American gun stores, walked them over the border and got away. The ATF thought that they could track the guns all the way back to the cartel leaders but it never materialized. The guns however did end up killing an American Border Patrol agent in a firefight along the border. The scandal is currently being pinned on the Attorney General but it screams Washington cover up to save the presidency and there is no doubt that the Republican candidates who are gun loving but not illegal gun loving will seize the opportunity to attack.

The next potential hiccup for the administration regards who is funding his re-election campaign. It isn’t a full blown scandal but it certainly has all of the ingredients to be explosive, it just needs the catalyst.  Two American brothers are pouring money into Obama’s campaign coffers and have dumped money into Iowa’s Democratic party. That all sounds pretty common in politics until you find out that the brothers are the sons of a Mexican casino mogul who fled the United States on fraud charges and now wants a pardon.

Juan Jose Rojas, Pepe, skipped bail in Iowa in 1994 and dropped off the grid. When he popped back up on the State Departments radar he was tied to corruption and, not surprisingly, fraud in Mexico. He was also suspected of assassinating a business rival and making illegal campaign donations to Mexican officials. A confidential State Department cable made public by Wikileaks detailed that he funneled $5 million to Mexican political campaigns in 2006 and is involved in organized crime. In January of 2011 Mr. Cardona’s brother in Chicago, Carlos Rojas Cardona, arranged for the former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party to seek a pardon from the governor for Pepe Cardona, according to prosecutors in that state.

While seeking said pardon the Cardona family with the exception of the fugitive donated a total of $56,400 with Ablerto in the top tier of donations with over $30,000. The pardon however hasn’t been signed nor do the hopes look good of ever getting one. Even though both brothers live and work in Chicago they still hold close ties to their father, Pepe Cardona, in Mexico. According to the New York Times Alberto Cardona operates an advertising agency in Mexico that has worked for political candidates backed by his brother, according to public records and Mexican news reports. Public records also show that the domain name for the Web site of a restaurant Pepe Cardona owns is registered to Alberto Cardona.

The Obama administration is doing the right thing and getting out in front of the scandal. They have been very forthright with information regarding the donations and have even begun refunding around $200,000 from the brothers and $100,000 in total from lesser individuals tied to the brothers.

 

“On the basis of the questions that have been raised, we will return the contributions from these individuals and from any other donors they brought to the campaign,” said Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the Obama campaign.

 
While Obama has jumped out in front of this problem one has to wonder if another scandal that lies South of the border will pop up to torpedo the Obama administration or if Fast and Furious will be the term used to describe how quickly Obama’s re-election hopes died?

Sources:

New York Times The Gazette

Author: James

I am the owner and main author of My Bloggity Blog. I started this blog on a whim and it grew faster than I ever imagined. I seriously enjoy debating politics and foreign policy as I'm sure you've noticed but I also enjoy a wide array of other things that I try to include here.

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