Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Oil Company That Made Suspect Contribution To Nixon Involved In New Probe

While the Watergate scandal of the Nixon Administration is well known, a far less well known potential scandal emerged at a later date among the records of Rosemary Woods, the personal secretary of Richard Nixon. Rosemary Woods was best known for her supposed mistake that caused an 18 minute erased gap in a vital evidence tape that could have implicated Nixon in approving illegal activity related to Watergate. According to the records of Rosemary Woods, Amerada Hess Corporation donated $250,000 to Nixon's campaign, and within two months a government investigation into an oil contract in the Virgin Islands was suddenly dropped. Normally the CREEP(Committee To ReElect The President) would retain records of normal political contributions, so why Nixon's own personal secretary kept a special list of donations is highly suspect. A "special" contribution, and the subsequent dropping of a government investigation raises questions of a possible scandal that could have brought criminal charges against Nixon. Had this blown into a scandal, Nixon may have become the first President to become a convicted felon.

Now a new situation involving Amerada Hess Corporation has developed. The SEC is investigating the possibility that some "special" payments through Riggs Bank were made to government officials in Equatorial Guinea. If such payments are proven by the SEC to have been made to seek some sort of favor among foreign government officials, they could be a possible violation of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act.

A role of a business should be to do business, not to get involved in scandals involving questionable contributions or payments to government officials, whether it be to influence the White House, or to influence foreign governments. The stockholders who invest in a corporation have a right to expect far better of some corporations who conduct themselves in a manner that could hurt the value of that investment. Mr. Bush may want the retired persons of America to invest part of their retirement in the private stock of corporations. But that stock value is fragile when some corporations are not always on the best of behavior.


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