Campaign Finance

Plato Told Hillary


Hillary’s Nipponized bit of the Sixth Avenue el hasn’t come back to haunt us yet, but it surely will.

Originally posted, with great fanfare, at The Ancient & Noble Order of the Gormogons. You have no idea what we had to promise to get them to agree to let us use it. We don’t want to talk about it. ~ Ed.

Posted by — ‘Puter

‘Puter awoke this morning to the crew on Morning Joe announcing in Very Serious Voices ™ the New York Times broke another Clinton Family scandal.

‘Puter yawned, assuming this would be another quickly dismissed “the Clintons are on the take” disclosure, one of which the media would quickly tire. Hey, ‘Puter remembers the Clinton-Media Complex from way back in Bill’s White House days.

Not so fast, though. Sure, this scandal’s about the Clintons and their congenital lust for money and power, no matter how dirty the source. But it’s also more than that, and ‘Puter thinks this scandal just may have staying power.

Surprise, Surprise! Top 2014 political donors gave overwhelmingly to… Democrats

Obama, Reid, and Pelosi

Democrats took a thumping in the 2014 midterm elections. And though Harry Reid and many of his colleagues actually campaigned against the influence of money in politics, a POLITICO report reveals (not surprisingly) that Democrats were the recipients of millions in campaign contributions from wealthy businessmen.

Kenneth Vogel writes:

POLITICO’s analysis of top 2014 donors suggests that liberals have gotten over their big-money qualms.

Donors who gave exclusively or primarily to Democratic candidates and groups held down 52 of the top 100 spots — including by far the biggest donor of disclosed 2014 cash: retired San Francisco hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer.

He donated more than $74 million to Democratic candidates and supportive committees, but it was the way he gave that highlighted both the potential impact and the limitations of the new breed of mega-donor to shape elections.

SCOTUS Agrees to Hear McCutcheon v. FEC: Free Speech Update

James Earle Fraser's statue The Authority of Law, which sits on the west side of the United States Supreme Court building, on the south side of the main entrance stairs.

Our friends at Outside the Beltway clipped a Washington Post story that sets up a new look at decades-old campaign finance law by the nation’s high court, just three years after their landmark decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Washington’s paper of record reports:

The Supreme Court reentered the controversial field of campaign finance Tuesday, agreeing to consider a Republican challenge to decades-old limits on the total amount a person can contribute to candidates, political parties and political action committees.

It is the court’s first major campaign finance case since its 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed unlimited corporate and union spending in elections. By extension, the decision led to the creation of super PACs, whose multimillion-dollar donations transformed funding of the 2012 presidential contest.

Democrats: If It Wasn’t for Double Standards…

Double Standards

Several recent news stories brought to mind the old joke about liberal Democrats, that if it weren’t for double standards they would have no standards at all. Sometimes the hypocrisy is enough to stupefy any reasonable person. For your reading pleasure, I offer the following examples…

In his November 20 speech to the nation regarding his “executive amnesty” actions, Obama said, “Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we’re also a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable  – especially those who may be dangerous.” The hypocrisy of this statement coming from that man is glaring. Obama declares we are a nation of laws as a precursor to explaining how he is about to continue the violations of his oath of office by expanding the scope of his non-enforcement criteria, and beyond that, actually rewarding the lawbreakers.

America is indeed a nation of immigrants, yet Obama is not declaring amnesty for immigrants, he is declaring amnesty for millions of illegal aliens whose first actions in relation to America were violations of our immigration laws. He has for more than half a decade failed to faithfully enforce those laws, declaring entire categories of illegals exempt from prosecution and deportation under the law. He now seeks to reward them with legalization and work permits.

Second Amendment advocates sue in Colorado to protect First Amendment rights

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners

Increasingly, liberal groups — under the guise of “watchdog” or “ethics reform” organizations — are going after First Amendment protections; namely, freedom of speech and freedom of association.

Harry Reid and his Democratic colleagues attempted and failed to repeal a portion of the First Amendment in late summer that would allow Congress to heavily regulate protected political speech. The move was seen mostly as a campaign ploy in an attempt to hold the Senate and gained little traction in public discourse.

But liberals routinely explore other avenues when attempting to silence political opponents. One such effort is publishing donor lists of political enemies, which discourages some individuals from making contributions for fear of public retribution. Take, for instance, the firing of former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich based on his financial support for California’s Proposition 8, which codified marriage in the Golden State as a union between one man and one woman.

As UL noted in August, political dissent equals hatred as it pertains to the Left. You see, it wasn’t a decade ago that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama shared Eich’s position on marriage. And though polls suggest a gradual trend in support for gay marriage, it has become politically uncouth to oppose it publicly.

Pay to Play: Cronyism is what happens when corporations love big government too much

American Legislative Exchange Council

Radical environmental activists made news last week for complaining that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) opposes taxes and regulations those activists view as necessary to combat global warming. ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson appeared on NPR’s “The Diane Rehm Show” on Thursday to address those accusations, opposite Common Cause CEO Miles Rapoport and Washington Post reporter Tom Hamburger.

The program was replete with absurd, perfidious accusations that ALEC supported “corporate” interests. Ironic, considering it is progressive organizations like Common Cause – not ALEC – that support a powerful government capable of doling out favors to entrenched interests.

Hamburger even pointed out at the beginning of the program that “dysfunction” in Washington has been responsible for preventing elected officials from doling out favors to their friends in the business world. “Corporate lobbying has increasingly moved to the states, in part because of the dysfunction, which is – in Washington,” Hamburger said.

“Dysfunctional,” as NPR has explained in the past, is a term applied to Republicans when they oppose measures increasing the size of government.

The Cost of Incumbency: Eric Cantor is soliciting donations from Republican lawmakers to bailout his campaign account

Eric Cantor

Raising money for your campaign is difficult. A serious candidate for Congress must spend hours on the phone, prostrating him or herself before high-dollar donors for a few thousand dollars. It’s an incredibly humbling process.

It’s even more humbling if you’ve already lost the election for which you’re raising money. Candidates sometimes go into debt before an election, hedging their bets that they’ll make it across the finish line. Sometimes they do; sometimes they don’t.

Eric Cantor lost his Republican primary in early June to a long-shot, grassroots-backed economist. But not before he’d hedged his bets against Dave Brat. POLITICO reports:

Eric Cantor’s stunning primary defeat is leaving his campaign in a financial bind.

The Virginia Republican’s political operation has asked his House GOP colleagues to cut checks so he can wind down his once-powerful campaign committee, as well as pay his campaign staffers and cover any other related costs stemming from his stunning defeat last month.

Under federal law, Cantor would also have to repay any funds meant for the general election spent during his unsuccessful primary campaign battle against fellow Republican Dave Brat. Since he lost and has no general election in November, Cantor would be required to return those general-election contributions to the donors.

Several lawmakers and GOP aides said Cantor needs to raise upwards of $150,000 to shut down his campaign committee, perhaps far more.

Today in Liberty: Battle over Ex-Im Bank builds; MSNBC host thanks David Koch… really?!

“The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people.” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

— Lots of Ex-Im Bank news from Capitol Hill: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) demurred when asked about the future of the Export-Import Bank. “My job is to work with our members to get to a place where the members are comfortable,” Boehner told reporters. “Some people believe that we shouldn’t have it at all. Others believe that we should reauthorize it with significant reforms, and we’re going to work our way through this.” He’s not saying that the Bank is doomed, but he isn’t throwing his weight behind it either, which is significant. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, said that the upper chamber should vote on reauthorization. “I think we ought to take it up,” McConnell said. “That’s the whole point of what we’ve been talking about here. The fact that there are dissent and disagreement is not unusual. It’s a country of 315 million people, lot of different points of view. They expect us to debate these issues and vote on them here in the Senate.” House Democrats are making a push for reauthorization, introducing legislation that would extend the Export-Import Bank’s charter for seven years. Because cronyism.

Leave our freedoms alone: Senate Democrats are actually campaigning on repealing part of the First Amendment

For the first time in Senate Judiciary Committee history, the majority and minority leaders will testify before the Committee, according to Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont. The subject? A proposed constitutional amendment to regulate and restrict political speech.

Democrats are attempting to make the 2014 elections about the Koch brothers, and this legislation is their constitutional shot across the bow and what they consider an unfair campaign finance advantage for Republicans.

In reality, Democrats have wealthy allies who bankroll their campaigns and projects to the tune of billions of dollars annually. Nevertheless, they see this amendment as a winning issue for the midterm elections.

From the POLITICO report:

“The Court has repeatedly used the First Amendment – not to protect the voices of all Americans, but as an instrument to amplify the voices of billionaires and corporations,” Leahy said of the Tuesday showdown. “Those voices are not the only ones who the Founding Fathers intended the First Amendment to protect.”

Conservatives have argued that Democrats’ intended constitutional change amounts to a “repeal” of the First Amendment and McConnell called the proposal “the ultimate act of radicalism.”

Campaign finance transparency for thee but not for me, says the Left

One member of Democracy Alliance (DA), a group of wealthy liberals founded in 2005 who bankroll left-wing causes, left behind a confidential list of their new members at their meeting at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Chicago last week. As Lachlan Markay writes at the Washington Free Beacon, “The Democracy Alliance takes pains to ensure that its work disbursing millions of dollars to top left-wing organizations remains secretive and free from public scrutiny.”

Security was tight and attempts to interview attendees were met with force, according to an earlier report by the Free Beacon.

DA requires “partners” to pay $30,000 annually and funnel $200,000 into DA’s list of left-wing foundations and causes. The list of new partners from 2013 and 2014 include Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers; Noel Beasley, President of Workers United; and Philip Munger, son of Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charles Munger, and others, according to the Free Beacon’s report.

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