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Sherlock Google thanks for highlighting the Guam Connection. Using google, I found this interesting report from Jan 2003. It's a investigative report from rlenelive (which I've never heard of)a Guam TV station (I think).

The report focuses on Fred Black's replacement. Black, if you recall, was the US Atty investigating the Abramhoff stuff in Guam. Black was the acting US Atty General for 11 years prior to being demoted and replaced, by, as it turns out, a recommendation of Karl Rove.

A summary below the fold...

Two days after the 2002 election (November 8, 2002,) [Guam]governor-elect Felix Camacho sent a letter of endorsement for Black for United States Attorney for Guam and the Northern Marianas to the White House.
So the new Govornor of Guam seemed to think Black was the right person for the job at US Atty. (He had been "acting" US atty up to this point, for about 11 years.)

He was basically skipped over for a choice made by the the Repub. campaign heads.

In the spring of 2001, the titular head of the Republican Party, Speaker Antonio Unpingco, called the Assistant Attorney General of Guam and Head of Violent Crime Unit, Lenny Rapadas and asked him if he would be interested in the position of US Attorney. Rapadas met and spoke to Unpingco and accepted his offer and on the same day met and spoke to the Republican Party Chair, David Sablan. Sablan concurred with Unpingco's choice and directed Rapadas to submit his application on-line. Shortly after their meeting, Sablan informed and solicited the support of the co-chairs of the Bush for President campaign on Guam, members of the Republican National Committee on Guam and the Coalition of Pacific Islands Republican Parties for the Rapadas nomination. Rapadas was not a sole consideration of the Republican Party for the position.

I smell "crony." His name is "Leonardo M. Rapadas"

When Black was invited to speak at a Guam TV Station about not being nominated for US Atty. he said,

Black declined a studio interview but stated that he would support the President's nomination and is prepared to assure a smooth transition if Rapadas is the President's choice.

So what has the White House got on Black? 11 Years acting US Atty and they skip over him and Black goes down without a fight? No answers, just questions.

Now on to Rapadas.

At Talking Points Memo Joshua Micah picked up on an LA Times story that tells us Rapada's name came from Karl Rove. Surprise surpise. I guessed Crony, before I searched on Rapada. (self congratulatory pat on the back).

This is all I've got so far. Back to Google.


Originally posted to A Rational Being on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 07:15 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Let's get this up there with Sherlock's page (4.00)
    What a web we weave...

    When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.

    - Ethiopian proverb

  •  Also see John Conyers comment (none)
    ...etc. in this related diary.
  •  Duplicate diary? (none)
    There is currently a recommended diary on this titled Bush Shutdown of Abramoff Case! Obstruction UPDATE 1. You might want to consider deleting this diary.

    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.--Winston Churchill

    by Sunqueen212 on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 10:22:42 AM PST

  •  I added a "forced abortion" tag (2.50)
    I think it important. Abramoff's cronies cough up the bribes, and the Rethugs suddenly forget they are against abortion. Also, no problem with coerced sex.

    Also, DeLay tables Clinton's bill that would have stopped it. (TABLED? What? No up-or-down vote? Again the Rethugs and the memory problem.)

    SUGGESTION: Re-introduce Clinton's bill, and when it gets tabled, let NOW picket congress with signs:

    • Stop forced abortions
    • Stop Republican Sex Slavery
    • Rape-ublican Party
    • Get your immorality off my body
  •  I'm tossing Evan Cohen stuff on Guam threads (none)
    I have no real evidence that the GOP sent Evan Cohen into Air America Radio to destroy it before it really got off the ground. I just have a feeling that's what happened. For that reason, I'm going to keep tossing Evan Cohen stuff on these Guam threads and see if any connections develop.

    Evan Cohen's wikipedia bio...

    "Evan Montvel Cohen born in 1966 is a former resident of Guam who gained national notoriety as founder and the first Chairman of Air America Radio.

    Cohen was born and raised on Guam. Cohen attended but did not graduate from Beloit College in Wisconsin eventually returning back to Guam. During the 1990s, Cohen owned several advertising agencies and a market research company on Guam as well as advertising agencies in other Pacific Rim areas. Cohen was also an executive and shareholder at Latte Magazine, a Guam publication which featured articles on local culture. The Company also published an Asia- Pacific Golf Magazine and other speciality publications.

    Cohen acted as chief of staff for Republican Governor of Guam 1994 Candidate and Guam Senator Tommy Tanaka. Tanaka lost that election to Democrat Carl T.C. Gutierrez. Around 1998, Cohen testifed on behalf of Governor Gutierrez (and against the Republican challenging the election) in the contested Guam governor election case of Joseph Ada v. Carl T.C. Gutierrez.

    In mid 2004, Cohen became involved in the Air America radio network concept through a meeting arranged by David Goodfriend, a former Clinton aide and Beloit College classmate of Cohen (Cohen never did graduate but tried to make up missing credits in 2003 by submitting a thesis called "Examining the role of government in economic development"). It has recently been learned that Cohen earned his needed science credit for graduation by taking a class at Brooklyn College but never had the credit transfered over. Goodfriend intoduced Cohen to Anita and Sheldon Drobny, a wealthy Chicago couple who had conceived the idea of starting a progressive talk radio network. Shortly thereafter Cohen and Rex Sorensen created Progress Media, Inc., which was the parent company for Air America Radio. Rex Sorensen is the founder of Sorensen Pacific Broadcasting Inc., a network of five radio stations in Guam and Saipan.

    Questions were raised about Cohen's previous ties to the Republican Party on Guam. Cohen dismissed concerns about his political past by saying he was a committed "progressive" and that Republicans on Guam were "left of Paul Wellstone." Although, later Cohen was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2001 only to make a recovery and that spurred him to focus on progressive causes. Mark Walsh, an co-investor and executive at Air America Radio, said he found Cohen's cancer recovery story impressive." Later, Al Franken was quoted as saying about Cohen that, "Brain cancer seemed to be his answer to everything." Eventually around May 7, 2004, both Cohen and Sorensen left Air America Radio. It was widely reported that Cohen and Sorensen were forced out, after disagreements over how much money was raised.

    Around May 2005, Multicultural Radio, a creditor seeking to enforce an earlier default judgment against Air America Radio, brought a complaint in New York Courts against some of the former and current officers and directors of Progress Media and Piquant LLC, the successor company to Progress Media. Evan Cohen and Rex Sorensen are named in that lawsuit. Cohen was very recently seen in New York and there is much speculation that a counter lawsuit will soon be filed. [1]

    Allegations were also raised that Cohen, on behalf of Air America, borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Brooklyn based charity, Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club. The Gloria Wise charity was heavily funded by the City of New York, so loans to a commercial start-up would be very unusual and many have questioned the legality of the loans. The City is no longer funding the charity and may soon be forced to stop operating.

    Al Franken told the New York Sun's David Lombino he only learned the details of the story around July 2005, but that Air America's new owner, Piquant LLC, discovered the fund transfer in a forensic investigation of the previous owner. Piquant has acknowledged the debt (while denying responsibility) but have also promised to voluntarily pay it back. It is unclear how much, if any, of the debt has been paid back. It has since been reported that Piquant knew of the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club loan and was required to pay the loan as part of the settlement agreement with Cohen and Sorensen. This is also stated in the lawsuit against Cohen, Sorensen, Piquant and all of the original Piquant Investors (all of whom were investors in the original company).

    The New York Post has reported that New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is going to investigate Gloria Wise and its board regarding these loans. Cohen has been rumored to be cooperating with the parties investigating Gloria Wise. The New York Sum Reported the investigation of questionable activities at Gloria Wise strated over 19 months ago and before the luanch of Air America Radio.

    After much speculation of Cohen's whereabouts Radar magazine reported that Cohen maintains residences in both New York and Hawaii and is listed in the phone book in both locations. Mr. Cohen was contacted in Hawaii around September 2005 by journalists. There are also documents signed by Franken during the Progress Media-Piquant handover which includes details of the loan between Progress Media and Gloria Wise. While Mr. Cohen confirmed that the Gloria Wise loans were a bad idea, he denied he was a crook and that he took any of the money personally. In response to Mr. Franken's allegations that Cohen was a crook, Cohen replied to bloggers Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney "that's like the pot calling the kettle black." [2]. The only other quote he gave was: "Was what I did stupid? Yes. Illegal? No."

    "Controversial entrepreneur Evan Cohen back on Guam
    by Sabrina Salas Matanane, KUAM News
    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    Evan Cohen, the controversial businessperson and former Guam resident whose association with several ventures has become the topic of scrutiny from the national media, is back on island. He appeared on a local newstalk radio program today, which aired largely without taking phone calls.

    He was also the central figure in the HBO documentary "Left of The Dial" that chronicled the trials and tribulations in starting up liberal radio network Air America. Cohen and Sorensen Pacific Broadcasting owner Rex Sorensen created progress Media, Inc., which was Air America's parent company. The two businessmen have received national media attention from publications like the New York Times to The Chicago Tribune, and even from pundit sources like The Drudge Report. The Wall Street Journal even wrote a lengthy expose entitled "Radio Daze - Inside Air America's Troubles: Optimism and Shaky Finances"...."


  •  More on Tommy Tanaka corruption case (none)

    By Katie Worth

    HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Oct. 27) - Gil Shinohara expressed no remorse yesterday as he was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison, US$160,000 in fines, and a requirement to give a speech beginning with "I am a convicted felon" to an audience of 200.

    The chief of staff for former Governor Carl Gutierrez plans to appeal his conviction of conspiring to commit money laundering and bank fraud. He will appeal on grounds that the evidence did not support the jury's guilty verdict.

    Shinohara was one of five prominent members of the community who were sentenced in federal court yesterday morning in a complex maze of charges ranging from conspiring to commit bank fraud to lying to the FBI.

    The other four men received reduced sentences because they cooperated in the investigation of Shinohara and other high-ranking officials in Gutierrez's administration. All five of the sentences were more lenient than the calculated sentences recommended for their crimes. Shinohara is one of almost 20 officials of the Carl Gutierrez administration who have been indicted in local and federal courts...."

    "...Of the five men, only Shinohara and former Senator Willy Flores will spend time in prison: Flores was sentenced to eight months. Both men will also spend three years of supervised release.

    Former senator and gubernatorial candidate Tommy Tanaka was sentenced to two years of supervised release, including six months of house arrest. Businessman Takahisa Goto received two years probation including three months of house arrest and businessman John Martinez received two years probation without house arrest.

    Shinohara faced two trials this year, the first in January and the second in April. Both trials were held in the federal district court in San Francisco.

    In the first trial, Shinohara faced allegations that he abused his powerful position in the government, including charges of bribery, money laundering and conspiring to defraud FEMA by backdating bids.

    In that trial, Flores, Tanaka and Martinez all testified against Shinohara. However, the San Francisco jury acquitted him of all charges.

    In the second trial, Shinohara faced charges involving transactions made when he, Flores, Goto and businessman Keun Yil Kim bought the seven-story Pedro's Plaza building in 1998. The government alleged the partners decided to borrow US$300,000 from the Bank of Guam under the guise that the money would go to renovating the building, but instead kept the money for themselves.

    The jury found Shinohara guilty of conspiring to commit money laundering and conspiring to commit bank fraud.

    Judge William Alsup sentenced Martinez, Goto and Tanaka first. All three apologized before the judge for the acts committed.

    Prosecutors had asked for the lightest sentence for Martinez, since he had cooperated in both of Shinohara's trials and also that of Austin "Sonny" Shelton, a high-ranking GovGuam official convicted on corruption charges.

    Tanaka's attorney argued to the judge that Tanaka, a former republican gubernatorial candidate, had not endorsed democrat Gutierrez in exchange for receiving the bus shelter contract a few months later. Rather, he argued, Tanaka had made the endorsement because he didn't support republican candidate Joe Ada.

    Alsup expressed skepticism that the endorsement and contract time line was a pure coincidence.

    The government had recommended at least 57 months of imprisonment for Shinohara.

    Shinohara's counsel, Michael Green, spent a half-hour arguing that his client was innocent, summarizing the points he made in his closing arguments to the San Francisco jury in April. He further argued that Shinohara was in poor health and had children still living at home.

    In his statement to the court, Shinohara admitted no guilt for the crimes he was convicted of. Rather, he said he'd found humility during his trials.

    Alsup said he'd made all of his sentencing decisions based on the concept of deterrence. He said very rarely do white-collar criminals repeat their crimes once caught. However, if they went unpunished, such crime would be rampant, he said.

    Alsup also said the government of Guam has a reputation of running "more like an organized crime organization than a government organization."

    Therefore, he said, it was important to set examples of people convicted of government corruption, however he did note Shinohara was acquitted of his government corruption case. He referred to both Flores and Shinohara as "good men who did bad things."

    After Shinohara's sentence was announced, Green asked the judge to place Shinohara in a new prison in Oregon, where he would get good medical treatment and be close to two of his sons, who live in Washington state. Alsup said he'd make the request but could not guarantee that it would be granted.

    Green also announced that his client would be appealing the verdict and asked Alsup to delay imprisonment until the appeal is decided, which could take two years, he said. Alsup said he'd consider the request.

    More detailed info on Tommy Tanaka corruption trial. Just getting more names on the thread to see if the names of corrupt officials in Guam start appearing in more than one place.

  •  If it came from Rove... (4.00)
    ...then the name probably originally came from Susan Ralston.  She's a Filipino-American, is familiar with the Phillipines and nearby Guam, and most importantly, used to work for Abramoff on the Guam and Marianas gambling interests stuff.

    Essentially, this is like Abramoff naming the guy who's going to investigate him.  This angle should be pursued, and I hope IG Fine is asking Rove and Ralston where Rapadas' name came from, and if Abramoff ever had any previous dealings with him.

    More importantly, I want to see a through investigation of what exactly is going on on Guam and the Marianas, and how Abramoff is connected.   There are a lot of offshore gaming interests over there due to the proximity to Japan and the Asian continent (figure a 3 hour flight to the Marianas from Shanghai vs. 12 hours or more to Las Vegas).  We know Abramoff knows the gambling biz pretty well (he grew up in Atlanatic City, of all places!).  He's been connected to the gaming interests over there, and he's got powerful connections to the US gov't too.  Gambling organizations are great fronts for money laundering....was anything of the sort going on in the Marianas?

    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

    by viget on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 11:14:31 AM PST

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