Tag: Campaign Finance

It’s Runoff Election Night in Georgia

Right now, the Republicans are up by about 2% but the folks at the New York Times are calling a slight advantage the the Democrats, because Atlanta is coming in late, and the mail in ballots largely come from Democratic leaning counties.

Of note, Warnock is out-performing Ossoff on the Democratic side by about 1%, despite the fact that Ossoff spent a lot more money, and the fact that Warnock is a Black man running in Georgia.

But Ossoff still is under-performing Warnock despite having raised and spent more money.

Ossoff has run the most expensive House AND the most expensive Senate race in history, but has failed to deliver.

Still, the consultants get their vigorish, so even if he comes up short again, he’ll still be the golden boy, because he pays the bills of the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment).

I do hope that they both win though, if just to own Mitch McConnell.

This Is Why So Many People Think That Accusations of Bigotry Are Bogus

Political, aka Tiger Beat on the Potomac, published an article about the fairly substantial payouts recieved by Biden cabinet nominees Janet Yellen (Treasury) and Antony Blinken (State) titled, “Janet Yellen made millions in Wall Street, corporate speeches.”

First, let’s state the obvious: If Yellen, or Blinken (or Nod) were joining a Republican administration, there would be no story, but because it’s a Democratic administration that is coming in, TBOTP finds this to be essential and important news.

Second, the hed, which mentions only Yellen, is complete pants.

However, as Glenn Greenwald notes, against the thunderous roar of the usual suspects, this is not sexism, this is corruption.

For the people asserting claims of sexism, it may be a useful line of attack, but it makes future accusations of sexism less credible.

Even if Yellen and Blinken (and Nod) subscribe to the aphorism of first put forward by Jesse Unruh, “If you can’t take their money, drink their booze, eat their food, screw their women and vote against them, you don’t belong here,” this is corrupt on a societal level, because it sends a corrupt message to other people,”Play along, play the game, and this could be yours.”

People don’t get 6 figure honoraria talking to Wall Streeters because they are fascinating speakers.

People get 6 figure honoraria talking to Wall Streeters either as a down-payment for future actions, or as a final payment on past actions.

Hunter Sentenced to Jail

That is Former US Representative Duncan Hunter, who now faces almost a year in jail. Not that other Hunter.

Former Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., was sentenced to 11 months in prison Tuesday for misusing campaign funds.

Hunter pleaded guilty in December to a corruption charge after prosecutors said he and his wife “converted and stole” more than a quarter million dollars in campaign funds for their own use over a period of several years.

When initially charged, Hunter tried to throw his wife under the bus

Republican family values.

Definitely Getting a Pardon

It turns out that Jared Kushner skimmed campaign funds which went to insiders.

I rather expect to see Trump pardon him, and Ivanka, and Don, Jr., and Eric, on his way out of the door.

In fact, my guess is that Melania and Baron will be the only ones not getting pardons:

President Donald Trump’s most powerful advisor, Jared Kushner, approved the creation of a campaign shell company that secretly paid the president’s family members and spent almost half of the campaign’s $1.26 billion war chest, a person familiar with the operation told Insider.

The operation acted almost like a campaign within a campaign. It paid some of Trump’s top advisors and family members, while shielding financial and operational details from public scrutiny.

When Kushner and others created the company in April 2018, they picked Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump to become its president, Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew John Pence as its vice president, and Trump campaign Chief Financial Officer Sean Dollman as its treasurer and secretary, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations about the shell company.


The shell company — incorporated as American Made Media Consultants Corp. and American Made Media Consultants LLC — allowed Trump’s campaign to skirt federally mandated disclosures. The tactic could attract scrutiny from federal election regulators.

Campaign-finance records showed Trump’s reelection effort and its affiliated committee with the Republican National Committee spent more than $600 million through American Made Consultants since its formation.


From January 2019 through the middle of November, the Trump campaign and an affiliated political committee together spent $617 million through American Made Media Consultants.

It was almost half of everything they spent in the failed effort to reelect Trump, according to an Insider review of Federal Election Commission records and analysis provided by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. 


Campaign-law experts have long accused the Trump team of using a corporate pass-through to hide payments.


If the federal government suspects a “knowing and willful” violation of election law has occurred, the Department of Justice has the power to open a criminal investigation into a political actor.

While such investigations are relatively uncommon, several former Justice Department and FEC officials previously told Insider that Justice Department officials may already be discreetly investigating Trump’s reelection activity.

Some of Trump’s campaign leaders even seemed stumped by the AMMC arrangement. Generally, they knew that AMMC was being used to buy pro-Trump TV, radio, and digital advertising and pay for other media.

But they couldn’t discern precisely how much each AMMC vendor was keeping for itself.

The person familiar with AMMC said the rates its vendors charged the Trump campaign were often cheaper than what an outside political firm would have demanded. Using the shell company also allowed Parscale to keep Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle [As an interesting aside, Guilfoyle is the ex-wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, and got fired from Fox for sexual harassment] — the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. — on his payroll, the person familiar said.


Nothing was done without Jared’s approval,” the former Trump campaign advisor said. “What [Trump campaign manager Stephen] Stepien doesn’t know is because Jared doesn’t want him to know.”

Something clearly corrupt was going on here, but Trump cheating his investors/campaign/contractors/wives/etc is pretty much par for the course.

That being said, I would expect an investigation, which is why I also expect a very broadly worded pardon before January 20.

The Problem with the Democratic Party Establishment (There Is No Democratic Party Establishment)

A good post mortem of how the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) made it impossible for Sara Gideon to beat Susan Collins.

Basically, it comes down to the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) selecting an uninspiring candidate, and then flooding the zone with so much money in negative ads, mailers, etc. that Gideon still has $14 million in campaign funds left over, (over $10 unspent for every man, woman, and child in Maine) that any she might have beyond the, “Collins is a Republican,” message was obscured.

The Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) needs to be dismantled root and branch:

Democrat Sara Gideon’s bid to unseat Sen. Susan Collins was doomed the day after she announced she was running.

Gideon, a state legislator from Freeport who was then Maine’s Speaker of the House, formally announced her candidacy on Monday, June 24, 2019. The next day, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), a powerful political organization controlled by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other top members of the party establishment, announced it was backing her campaign.

At the time, the DSCC’s endorsement was perceived as a huge boost for Gideon. It would ensure her campaign would be well funded and guided by the brightest political minds in the business.

In retrospect, it was the kiss of death — a guarantee her campaign would be ugly, uninspiring, obscenely expensive, and out of touch with local concerns. Despite spending nearly $60 million, twice as much as Collins’ campaign did, Gideon lost by over 8 percentage points, more than 70,000 votes, in a state where Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by over 74,000.


Incessant negative advertising by outside groups helped make this race the most expensive in Maine’s history. It also made a mockery of Gideon’s oft-repeated pledge to “limit the influence of big money in politics.” Republicans were quick to call the DSCC’s endorsement proof that Gideon was a puppet of Beltway powerbrokers, and her two Democratic primary challengers were equally critical. “The DC elite is trying to tell Mainers who our candidate should be,” Betsy Sweet, one of those challengers, tweeted that summer.

But, crucially, the DSCC’s endorsement also limited the impact of Gideon’s positive messages, the campaign promises she made to improve the lives of everyday Mainers.


In the aftermath of Election Day, some top Democrats sought to blame progressives for the party’s poor showing in Senate and House races, but the DSCC’s record speaks for itself. Of the 18 Senate candidates endorsed by the committee, only four were victorious last month (two contenders, both in Georgia, failed to win on Nov. 3 but qualified for runoff elections next month).

As the campaign gained speed, the pandemic and the national uprising against police brutality gave Gideon two big opportunities to break from the moderate pack and distinguish herself from Collins, who denied that “systemic racism” is a “problem” in Maine, and whose Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was a fraud-riddled failure. But Gideon’s position on racial justice was limited to training-manual adjustments like banning chokeholds and racial profiling, as well as further study of the problems that have plagued Black Americans since Reconstruction. Her credibility to criticize the PPP was compromised by the million or more dollars her husband’s law firm got from the program. And Republican critics took to social media daily to point out that, as far as anyone could tell, the House Speaker was doing practically nothing to help Mainers crushed by COVID-19.

While her constituents worried about keeping their jobs and homes, Gideon’s campaign bombarded them with tens of millions of dollars’ worth of ads, including pleas for them to give her money. The fundraising juggernaut engineered by her highly paid political consultants badgered Mainers for more cash till the bitter end.


Lisa Savage, a longtime Green Party activist and educator who ran as an independent in this ranked-choice Senate race and finished third, said a member of her team calculated how much each candidate spent per vote received. Savage spent $4.69 per vote, Collins about $65, and Gideon over $200.


“The model this cycle — and the model I am certain we’ll see repeated as Chuck Schumer continues on as Minority Leader — is that the party chooses a candidate they expect to bring in money, a candidate who will go along with corporate interests that fund the legions of Democratic campaign professionals that keep the machine running,” [Bre] Kidman [One of Gideon’s primary opponents] continued. “Mainers could smell the disingenuousness a mile away and, frankly, I don’t think the top-dollar, out-of-state consultants who worked on the campaign did anything at all to mask it.”

Gideon “didn’t have a single Maine person on her [communications] team,” said Savage. “Not one. They just don’t understand Maine.”

A review of the Gideon campaign’s finance filings reveals page after page of big payments to out-of-state consulting firms and media companies. DSCC executive director Mindy Myers personally received over $100,000 from Gideon’s campaign for consulting services. Bully Pulpit Interactive, a Democratic ad agency that also worked for Biden this year, was paid over $8 million. Aisle 518 Strategies, a D.C. digital fundraising outfit, raked in over $6 million.

This is not political consulting, this is looting.


A key race for a Maine Senate seat this year illustrates how Gideon’s result may have been different had she run a less toxic and more responsive campaign. Democrat Chloe Maxmin, a progressive state lawmaker from the midcoast town of Nobleboro, challenged Republican Dana Dow, then the Minority Leader of the Maine Senate, and won. Maxmin ran a “100% positive” campaign “grounded in community values, not Party or ideology,” her website declared.

Maxmin and her local team created all their ads and adjusted content based on voter feedback. They knocked on over 13,000 doors in her rural, Republican-leaning district. The voters they encountered had no interest in the type of who-took-money-from-who sniping that characterized the U.S. Senate race. “The things I hear from people are, ‘We want good jobs here, we want to live in a rural place and make a good living,’” Maxmin said. “‘We want to know our children will have the same opportunity.’”

The goal of the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) is not to win elections, it is to profit from Democratic Party campaigns.

They are parasites.

I’ve Called This Out for a While

A study has shown that The Lincoln Project’s ads actually had a negative impact, something which I noted on my blog a month ago and at least 6 months ago on the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

As long as I’ve known of the Lincoln Project, I have maintained that it has two purposes:

  • Enriching its principals.
  • To embrace and extend the Neoliberal capture of the Democratic Party.

It comes as no surprise then that this enterprise actually had negative utility on the matter of delivering votes to the Democratic Party.  That was never its purpose:

At various junctures during the 2020 campaign an attack ad would pop online that had observers on Twitter buzzing about how devastating for Donald Trump it would be. Except, more often than not, the ads weren’t effective, at least not for the nominal point of the election: persuading on-the-fence voters to back Joe Biden.

That’s the conclusion the Democratic Party’s top super PAC reached after doing analytical research into a handful of spots that went viral on Twitter.

The PAC, Priorities USA, spent a good chunk of the cycle testing the effectiveness of ads, some 500 in all. And, along the way, they decided to conduct an experiment that could have potentially saved them tons of money. They took five ads produced by a fellow occupant in the Super PAC domain—the Lincoln Project—and attempted to measure their persuasiveness among persuadable swing state voters; i.e. the ability of an ad to move Trump voters towards Joe Biden. A control group saw no ad at all. Five different treatment groups, each made up of 683 respondents, saw one of the five ads. Afterwards they were asked the same post-treatment questions measuring the likelihood that they would vote and who they would vote for.

The idea wasn’t to be petty or adversarial towards the Lincoln Project, which drew both fans and detractors for the scorched-earth spots it ran imploring fellow Republicans to abandon Trump. It was, instead, to see if Twitter virality could be used as a substitute for actual ad testing, which took funds and time. If it turned out that what the Lincoln Project was doing was proving persuasive, the thinking went, then Priorities USA could use Twitter as a quasi-barometer for seeing how strong their own ads were.

But that didn’t turn out to be the case. According to Nick Ahamed, Priorities’ analytics director, the correlation of Twitter metrics—likes and retweets—and persuasion was -0.3, “meaning that the better the ad did on Twitter, the less it persuaded battleground state voters.” The most viral of the Lincoln Project’s ads—a spot called Bounty, which was RTed 116,000 times and liked more than 210,000 times—turned out to be the least persuasive of those Priorities tested.

The  Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) and the useful idiots at MSNBC who were so enamored of of these ad campaigns were suckers for a group of con men.

The lesson to be learned here is beware of Republicans bearing gifts.

Na Ga Na Happen

A candidate for new head of the DCCC, Sean Patrick Maloney, is promising a major overhaul of the House Demococratic campaign apparatus

He is claiming that it is inefficient, ineffective, and technologically moribund.

He may be sincere, but inefficiency is money in the pockets on the consultants, who cycle through the Democratic Party establishment’s (There is no Democratic Party establishment) functionary positions, so anything that he tries will be fought tooth and nail by the staff:

The polling is antiquated. Money is being frittered. Diversity is lacking. And digital outreach lags far behind the times.

These are the warnings from Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a four-term New York Democrat who’s vying to lead the party’s campaign arm in the next Congress.

Democrats are expecting a tough environment in the 2022 midterms, and Maloney’s message is a foreboding one: Modernize the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), he says, or President-elect Joe Biden will be battling a House under Republican control come 2023.


To move the party into the future, Maloney is vowing to listen to younger progressives when it comes to social media and digital outreach; to shift away from “stuffy old traditional crappy polling” and adopt community-based focus groups; and to reject the idea that big fundraising hauls are synonymous with election success — a formula that didn’t play out this year, when Democrats raised historic amounts of campaign cash but still lost House seats.

“When I look at the amount of money that the major committees on both sides and independent groups deployed this cycle, I think there must be a big room in Washington somewhere where they bring big bags of money and burn it. Because I don’t know what the hell anybody got out of it,” Maloney said.

The consultants get their kid’s tuition to tony private schools out of it.

“We have been seduced by this notion that big money and big TV wins elections, and I just don’t see the evidence for that,” he added.

The consultants get a proportion of the ad buy, so the consultants go for the most expensive media buys possible.  KA-CHING!!!

Maloney will square off with Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) in an internal, secret-ballot election that will decide who becomes the next DCCC chairman. That vote is scheduled after Thanksgiving.

Cárdenas, 57, who’s run the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s (CHC) campaign arm Bold PAC for the past six years, has pitched himself as a proven fundraiser and someone who can help Democrats make up lost ground with the tens of thousands of Hispanic voters who backed President Trump this year in places like Texas and Florida.

Well, we know who the consultants will support.

I Do Not Approve

I do not approve of Wall Street rich pigs trying to dictate political outcomes, even if it is put a boot into Donald J. Trump’s flabby white ass.

Wall Street executives are threatening not to drop money on the Georgia Senate runoffs unless Trump concedes.

I get that they want this.  I want Trump to die in flagrante delicto with Mike Pence, but that does not mean that I am entitled to this.  

Get over yourselves.  You are lucky and rich, and not better than anyone else.

You deserve no special favors:

Concerned that President Trump’s refusal to accept the election results is hurting the country, more than 160 top American executives asked the administration on Monday to immediately acknowledge Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the president-elect and begin the transition to a new administration.

Even one of Mr. Trump’s stalwart supporters, Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of Blackstone, the private equity firm, said in a statement that “the outcome is very certain today and the country should move on.” While he did not sign a letter sent to the administration by the other executives, he said he was “now ready to help President-elect Biden and his team.”

Signatories to the letter included the chief executives of Mastercard, Visa, MetLife, Accenture, the Carlyle Group, Condé Nast, McGraw-Hill, WeWork and American International Group, among others. They included some of the most important players in the financial industry: David M. Solomon, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs; Laurence D. Fink, chief executive of the asset management giant BlackRock; Jon Gray, Blackstone’s president; and Henry R. Kravis, a prominent Republican donor who is the co-chief executive of KKR, a private equity firm.

The letter was also signed by George H. Walker, the chief executive of the money manager Neuberger Berman and a second cousin to President George W. Bush, and Jeff T. Blau, the chief executive of one of New York City’s largest private developers, the Related Companies, who has been a major donor to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, filings show.


As a way of gaining leverage over the G.O.P., some of the corporate executives who signed on to the joint letter Monday have also discussed withholding campaign donations from the two Republican Senate candidates in Georgia unless party leaders agree to push for a presidential transition, according to four people who participated in a conference call Friday in which the notion was discussed. The two runoff elections in Georgia, which will take place in early January, will determine the balance of power in the United States Senate.


At least one participant, Rob Speyer, the chief executive of Tishman Speyer, suggested that some wealthy donors had already been considering withholding support, according to four people with knowledge of his comments.

Call me old fashioned, but I think that if you are going to chase a monster out town, it should be peasants with torches and pitch forks, not the princelings of finance.

Mr. Koch, Would You Please Dine on Excrement and Expire?

So now, Charles Koch is apologizing for funding the Tea Baggers and creating a hyperpartisan political atmosphere.

F%$# you.  Just f%$# you, and your fortune, which was made building refineries Stalin.

I get it:  Now you want to buy Democrats.

F%$# you:

The billionaire Charles Koch, who has funneled millions into the GOP and conservative movements, reportedly expressed misgivings over how that money had fueled excessive partisanship.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Douglas Belkin published Friday, Koch spoke about his new mission of unification across partisan lines.

He also shared with The Journal parts of his new book, “Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World,” in which he said he regretted his partisanship and the divisions it fostered.

“Boy, did we screw up!” he wrote, according to The Journal. “What a mess!”

Koch and his brother David, who died last year, were major players in the rise and shaping of the tea party. The brothers founded the conservative organization Americans for Prosperity in 2004.

In her 2015 book “Dark Money,” the New Yorker writer Jane Mayer tracked how they used their fortunes to amass political influence and further a libertarian agenda.

If there is any justice in the world, Charles Koch will be mauled to death by bears in Grafton, New Hampshire.

I Do Not Believe This

In a The New York Times OP/ED, Anand Giridharadas recounts a statement from Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer that I do not believe.

I don’t know whether Mr. Giridharadas is trying to blow smoke up our ass-holes, or if Schumer is trying to blow smoke up Mr. Giridharadas’ asshole, but this is quote is simply not credible:

On Election Day eve, I spoke with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York — the minority leader, who could, by a razor’s edge, become the majority leader in 2021 if the results of two presumptive runoffs for Senate seats in Georgia go the Democrats’ way. Because, like Mr. Biden, Mr. Schumer is an institutionalist and a moderate, I asked him about this idea of restoration versus transformation. Almost as soon as he heard me say the word “normalcy,” he began, for lack of a better term, to filibuster: “No, no, I don’t buy that.”

“My view,” he told me, “is if we don’t do bold change, we could end up with someone worse than Donald Trump in four years.” What passed for change in the past two decades (including during the Obama years) had not, he acknowledged, been “big enough or bold enough.” When I asked if Democrats bore some responsibility for that, he deflected: “There’s plenty of blame to go around.”

Charles Schumer is a creature of the status quo, a creature of our corrupt campaign finance system, and a creature of the special interests.

If you believe that he will be an agent of change, I want 15 grams of whatever you are smoking sent up to my room, because it is some intense sh%$.

So Not a Surprise

It turns out that the Lincoln Project, much beloved by the MSNBC crowd, appears to have been little more than a scam to separate money from limousine liberals:

A group of longtime Republican operatives depicting themselves as anti-Trump stalwarts convinced liberals to give them more money for ineffective television ads and stunts than was raised by the Democratic Party’s national campaign to win state legislatures.

The result: Donald Trump won more Republican votes than he did in 2016 as Democrats again lost state legislatures in advance of redistricting that could determine control of Congress for the next decade.

Meanwhile, the GOP operatives are reportedly positioned to go from lighting liberals’ money on fire during the 2020 election to now using liberals’ money to launch a media empire that could push a new Biden administration to the right.


While the Lincoln Project’s YouTube videos lampooning Trump received millions of views and endless promotion on MSNBC, the ads proved ineffective in the group’s stated goal: As the Daily Poster first reported, Trump actually increased his share of the Republican vote in 2020 as compared to 2016, when the Lincoln Project did not exist.


As Lincoln Project burned liberals’ money on unpersuasive videos and expensive stunts — including a Times Square billboard in the uncontested locale of Manhattan — the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee raised far less money in its battle for control of legislatures.

The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman noted last month that “direct messaging against Trump (@ProjectLincoln ads, etc.) is ineffective in swing states. Dem messages that actually move votes: talking about education & majoritarian economic policies.”


While the Lincoln Project failed to generate significant Republican defections, the effort has been a financial windfall for GOP operatives.

Earlier this year, the group was lampooned by Stephen Colbert’s cartoon show for spending so much money on overhead rather than on ads. By the end of September, the group had funneled $4.5 million through Summit Strategic Communications, run by the group’s cofounder Reed Galen. The group also reported paying $3.9 million to Tusk Digital, led by another Lincoln Project cofounder, Ron Steslow.

Never-Trump Republicans are still Republicans, which means that they cannot be trusted.  Ever.

Because the Consulting Get Their Vig

Not a great report card

Over at The Nation, they are wondering why so many of the super-PACs were spending their money so stupidly.

The answer is simple: The consultants are paid a percentage of the media buys, so the more that is spent, the more money they get.

Quoting Upton Sinclair YET AGAIN, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

If the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) managed to kick the looters and snake oil salesmen out of the party, they would get a lot more bang for their proverbial buck:

Why do we settle for mediocrity when we should be insisting on excellence? Having spent the past few weeks working on a report card grading the Democratic super PACs and the more than $600 million they’re planning to spend on the fall elections, my main takeaway is that we tolerate far too much mediocrity in progressive politics.

The grades given in the report cards span the spectrum from D+ and C- (American Bridge 21st Century and Senate Majority PAC) to A and A- (Fair Fight, Next Gen Climate Action, and the Progressive Turnout Project), and the underlying analysis clearly shows that tens of millions of dollars are being wasted on spending strategies that are unsupported by—if not directly contradictory to—what the empirical evidence says we should be doing. A summary chart is below, and you can read the full report here.

The consultants are paid a percentage of he spending, so it is no wonder that they try to maximize spending, and hence their pay.


This is Not a Surprise

It turns out that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy pressured his employees to make campaign donations to Republicans, and then used bonuses to reimburse them, which is a criminal violation of campaign finance law. (Just ask Dinesh D’Souza)

If Trump loses in November, I expect a flurry of pardons in January:

Louis DeJoy’s prolific campaign fundraising, which helped position him as a top Republican power broker in North Carolina and ultimately as head of the U.S. Postal Service, was bolstered for more than a decade by a practice that left many employees feeling pressured to make political contributions to GOP candidates — money DeJoy later reimbursed through bonuses, former employees say.

Five people who worked for DeJoy’s former business, New Breed Logistics, say they were urged by DeJoy’s aides or by the chief executive himself to write checks and attend fundraisers at his 15,000-square-foot gated mansion beside a Greensboro, N.C., country club. There, events for Republicans running for the White House and Congress routinely fetched $100,000 or more apiece.

Two other employees familiar with New Breed’s financial and payroll systems said DeJoy would instruct that bonus payments to staffers be boosted to help defray the cost of their contributions, an arrangement that would be unlawful.

“Louis was a national fundraiser for the Republican Party. He asked employees for money. We gave him the money, and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses,” said David Young, DeJoy’s longtime director of human resources, who had access to payroll records at New Breed from the late 1990s to 2013 and is now retired. “When we got our bonuses, let’s just say they were bigger, they exceeded expectations — and that covered the tax and everything else.”

Another former employee with knowledge of the process described a similar series of events, saying DeJoy orchestrated additional compensation for employees who had made political contributions, instructing managers to award bonuses to specific individuals.


Hagler said DeJoy “sought and received legal advice” from a former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission “to ensure that he, New Breed Logistics and any person affiliated with New Breed fully complied with any and all laws. Mr. DeJoy believes that all campaign fundraising laws and regulations should be complied with in all respects.”


A Washington Post analysis of federal and state campaign finance records found a pattern of extensive donations by New Breed employees to Republican candidates, with the same amount often given by multiple people on the same day. Between 2000 and 2014, 124 individuals who worked for the company together gave more than $1 million to federal and state GOP candidates. Many had not previously made political donations, and have not made any since leaving the company, public records show. During the same period, nine employees gave a combined $700 to Democrats.


Although it can be permissible to encourage employees to make donations, reimbursing them for those contributions is a violation of North Carolina and federal election laws. Known as a straw-donor scheme, the practice allows donors to evade individual contribution limits and obscures the true source of money used to influence elections.

Such federal violations carry a five-year statute of limitations. There is no statute of limitations in North Carolina for felonies, including campaign finance violations.

This is clearly criminal.

The only question is whether or not the next Democratic administration has the balls to enforce the laws.

American oligarchs thrive on impunity, and the impunity has to end.

Another Progressive Upset

What’s more, he came in 3rd, despite out fundraising all of his opponents.

It’s unlikely that Marquita Bradshaw will win the general, this is Tennessee, after all, but it is clear that status quo Democrats are in a place that is not resonating with the voters.

I think that a lot of this comes down to Bernie Sanders energizing the base.

I don’t think that Sanders will run in 2024, but I would like to see AOC run.

She will be 35 in October of 2024, and so she would be constitutionally qualified:

A political novice, Marquita Bradshaw pulled out a surprising victory on Thursday to secure the Democratic nomination for Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race, paving the way for her to take on Bill Hagerty, the winner of a bitter Republican primary battle.

“The progressive movement is undeniable,” Bradshaw tweeted to her followers. “Thank you all so much for your support and this victory. It’s time to put hardworking people first.”

The Memphis Democrat faced four challengers: Robin Kimbrough, James Mackler, Gary Davis and Mark Pickrell. Bradshaw won the race with 35.5% of the vote. Kimbrough had 26.6% and Mackler had 23.8%. Davis and Pickrell trailed with each winning less than 10% of the vote.


Still, Bradshaw beat out a better-known and better-funded challenger. Previously, Mackler ran briefly in 2018 for former U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s seat until former Gov. Phil Bredesen joined the race. He bowed out and endorsed Bredesen.

This time around, Mackler received Bredesen’s endorsement and had already been running a campaign aimed at the two leading Republican candidates. He had the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.


Bradshaw is an organizer for and involved with local and statewide efforts of the environmental group Sierra Club. Through those efforts she has focused much of her attention on environmental justice, and how, she said, people of color are disproportionately impacted by environmental policy. It’s something she would focus on in the Senate.

“We started this campaign by listening to voters and taking in empirical data in order to shape policy,” she said. “We included them in that process and we got feedback. Moving forward, we can do this together.”

Since she announced her campaign, Bradshaw raised $8,420, according to her most recent Federal Election Commission filing. Comparatively, Mackler raised $2.1 million to run in the race. In that time, he has spent $1.5 million.

Needless to say, I expect that Bradshaw will be “Ghosted” by the DSCC, because controlling the Democratic caucus in the Senate is more important to Chuck Schumer and his Evil Minions than it is to control the Senate.

Thanks, Andy

Cuomo’s sellout to negligent nursing homes was so egregious that Republicans copied and pasted it into their bill:

Senate Republicans copied key parts of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial corporate immunity law and pasted it word-for-word into their new coronavirus relief proposal released on Monday. The provision could shield health care industry CEOs, executives and corporate board members from COVID-related lawsuits in the event that their business decisions end up injuring or killing health care workers and patients.

Among all federal lawmakers running for reelection in 2020, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the top recipient of campaign cash from the hospital and nursing home industries. One of the biggest career donors to Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn — the author of the bill — is a private equity firm that owns one of the nation’s largest hospital staffing companies. Additionally, a super PAC defending Senate Republican incumbents also just received $10 million from a private equity billionaire whose firm owns another major medical staffing conglomerate.

Executives from those industries stand to benefit from the corporate immunity provision that Senate Republicans spliced into their legislation.



TMI previously reported that in April, Cuomo worked with a major health care industry lobby group to slip language into his state’s budget designed to block lawsuits against hospitals and nursing homes during the pandemic, as the casualty count exploded in New York. The provisions did not just cover frontline health care workers — it included language extending that protection to any ”health care facility administrator, executive, supervisor, board member, trustee,” or other corporate manager.

Cuomo pushed the provision after his political machine received more than $1 million from the Greater New York Hospital Association.


“Governor Cuomo brushes aside criticism for his mishandling of nursing homes as Republican partisan politics but as it turns out he has inspired Republicans to follow his policies,” said New York Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim, who has fought to repeal the immunity provision in New York. “Giving nursing home executives and health care corporations early blanket legal and criminal immunity was just wrong, plain and simple.”



Amid growing outrage over the corporate immunity law, Democratic lawmakers in Albany passed Kim’s bill to narrow their state’s liability shield.

But if Senate Republicans pass their legislation in Washington, the New York statute will effectively become the law of the land in every state in the country.

“Rat Faced Andy” Cuomo is a cancer on the Democratic party.

Republican Governance

Ohio State House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Perry County) has been arrested for bribery involving a massive state bailout for two nuclear power plants in the state:

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested Tuesday morning ahead of an announcement about a $60 million federal racketeering case related to Ohio’s new nuclear bailout law, according to sources and media reports.

FBI agents, who were assisted by the Perry County Sheriff’s Department, were deployed to Householder’s property in Glenford, the Dayton Daily News reported. The investigation centers on House Bill 6, the $1 billion-plus ratepayer bailout of two Ohio nuclear power plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions (now Energy Harbor) that Householder helped push through last year with the help of millions in dark money, according to the Toledo Blade.

Besides Householder, four others have been arrested, according to sources and media reports: former Ohio Republican Party Chair-turned-consultant Matt Borges, prominent lobbyist Neil Clark, FirstEnergy Solutions lobbyist Juan Cespedes, and Householder aide Jeff Longstreth. All are currently in custody, according to a source.


The news comes as the FBI and U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers called a news conference in Columbus at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to announce charges related to $60 million bribe to a “state official” and “associates.”

The campaign to pass HB6 — as well as their brutally successful effort to stop opponents from hold a statewide referendum to overturn it — included a wave of campaign donations from FirstEnergy Corp., as well as a multi-million-dollar ad campaign paid for with dark money.

It’s not the first time the FBI has looked into Householder’s activities. In 2004, during the Republican’s first stint as speaker, the FBI opened an investigation into Householder after receiving an anonymous tip that the speaker and aides received kickbacks from vendors doing business with the Ohio House GOP’s campaign arm. That investigation closed in 2006 without any charges being filed.

The details seem to indicate that this was more of a shake-down by Householder and his Evil Minions rather than the graft naturally flowing from the utility:

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder’s political operation accepted more than $60 million in bribe money from FirstEnergy Corp. to secure the company a $1.3 billion public bailout, according to a federal complaint filed Thursday.


“(It) is likely the largest bribery, money-laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people in the state of Ohio,” said David DeVillers, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, during a news conference Tuesday.

In all, Householder received more than $500,000 for his personal benefit, according to DeVillers.

More than $100,000 of the bribe money from FirstEnergy Corp. was used to pay costs associated with Householder’s Florida home, and at least $97,000 was used to pay expenses for Householder’s 2018 House campaign, the complaint stated.


DeVillers said there’s a “strong inference” in the complaint that Householder and his allies approached FirstEnergy, rather than the other way around.

“This enterprise went looking for someone to bribe them,” DeVillers said.


Other money went to fight an (ultimately unsuccessfully) attempt by HB6 opponents last summer to organize a statewide referendum to repeal HB6, which Gov. Mike DeWine signed in late July 2019.

Between July and October of last year, FirstEnergy Solutions wired more than $38 million to Generation Now to help defeat the referendum effort, which the group did through a barrage of TV ads and schemes to prevent opponents from collecting the necessary signatures, including hiring people to intimidate petition canvassers.

When they say, “Hiring people to intimidate petition canvassers,” they mean paying money to get the canvassers to quit, and having people harass, and in some cases assault, petition gatherers.

Nothing the see here, just Republican Party governance in its purest form.

Oh, Now I Get It

I wondered why Andrew “Rat Face Andy” Cuomo sent all those Covid-19 patients to nursing homes.

It turns out that it may have been all about the proverbial Benjamins, send the patients to the nursing homes and the nursing homes make big bucks, and there is no downside for them, because Cuomo inserted immunity provisions into pandemic legislation, because their executives gave big donations to Cuomo’s primary challenge in 2018.

This is an awfully convenient turn of events:

As Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a spirited challenge in his bid to win New York’s 2018 Democratic primary, his political apparatus got a last-minute boost: a powerful health care industry group suddenly poured more than $1 million into a Democratic committee backing his campaign.

Less than two years after that flood of cash from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), Cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing-home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The provision, inserted into an annual budget bill by Cuomo’s aides, created one of the nation’s most explicit immunity protections for health care industry officials, according to legal experts.

Critics say Cuomo removed a key deterrent against nursing home and hospital corporations cutting corners in ways that jeopardize lives. As those critics now try to repeal the provision during this final week of Albany’s legislative session, they assert that data prove such immunity is correlating to higher nursing-home death rates during the pandemic — both in New York and in other states enacting similar immunity policies.


And then came Cuomo’s annual budget — which included a little-noticed passage shielding corporate officials who run New York hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities from liability for COVID-related deaths and injuries.


Prior to the budget language, Cuomo had already temporarily granted limited legal immunity to doctors and nurses serving on the medical front lines. But the carefully sculpted passage buried in the state’s annual spending bill expanded that by offering extensive immunity to any “health care facility administrator, executive, supervisor, board member, trustee or other person responsible for directing, supervising or managing a health care facility and its personnel or other individual in a comparable role.”

Every time you turn over a rock in New York state you find a trail of slime leading back to the Governor’s office.

Don’t Make Bernie Angry, You Wouldn’t Like It When He’s Angry

Some of staffers fro Bernie Sanders’ now suspended Presidential campaign set up a PAC.

Bernie Sanders HATES PACs, and so was unamused when they used one of his slogans to name it.

Bernie has gotten them to change the name, and reports that Sanders loudly expressed his displeasure to the people who set up the organization.

All things considered, I think that this is an attempt by those staffers to generate some consulting fees off of Bernie supporters, so I am not surprised that he was unamused:

When a bunch of Bernie staffers formed a super PAC name-checking his old slogan “Future to Believe In,” he was none too pleased given his well-known hatred of groups that skirt campaign finance limits. So, they changed the name.

The group will now be known as America’s Promise PAC. The change was filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

“We wanted to be as clear as possible that there is no association between the PAC and the senator,” super PAC head and Sanders adviser Jeff Weaver told VICE News.


But Sanders has also spent the better part of his career crusading against “the millionaires and billionaires” looking to buy political power — and had a particular ire for super PACs, which can accept unlimited sums from individuals and corporations. Sanders hammered his opponents for taking help from super PACs during the 2016 and 2020 primaries. And by all accounts, he was rather furious when he found out some of his top advisers had decided to move ahead with one.

“The senator was informed about the creation of the super PAC before the paperwork was filed, and he was not happy about it,” Sanders political spokesman Mike Casca told VICE News.

Numerous other Sanders staff used more colorful language to describe Sanders’ reaction to the group.


Weaver declined to discuss the details of his conversations with Sanders, but was quick to admit his old boss wasn’t thrilled that he was creating a super PAC.


Weaver dismissed grumblings from critics that he might be looking to cash in with the group, saying no one had taken salaries yet from the organization, and “we’ll probably make at or less than what we made before.”

That word, “Yet,” covers a whole lot of future mischief.


This isn’t the first time a Weaver group has gotten off to a rocky start, partly because he sought unlimited funds. When Weaver was named the head of the pro-Sanders Our Revolution after Sanders’ 2016 campaign, more than half the staff resigned in protest — partly over personal differences but also because he’d decided to push for a large independent expenditure effort to power the organization rather than focus on small-dollar donations. Both Our Revolution and this new group can take unlimited contributions, though the new super PAC America’s Promise will eventually be required to disclose its donors, unlike Our Revolution.

Yeah, this is going to be a remarkable success  ……… NOT.

This is F%$#ing Evil

It looks like a bipartisan group of lawmakers are lobbying to allow payday lenders to make bailout loans, because campaign donations don’t grow on trees, and predatory lenders are reliable campaign contributors:

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pressing the Trump administration to let payday lenders gain access to small business rescue money, going to bat for companies that have been accused of engaging in predatory behavior toward lower-income people.

The move comes as officials try to quell public criticism by stopping hedge funds and publicly traded companies from benefiting from the program, which is designed to avert massive job losses and resumes on Monday after running out of funds because of high demand.

In a letter signed by 24 House Republicans and four Democrats, lawmakers asked the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration to open up Paycheck Protection Program loan applications to “small-size nonbanks,” including installment lenders and so-called community development financial institutions, which focus their lending on underserved populations.

Payday lenders weren’t explicitly mentioned, but a spokesperson for Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), one of the lawmakers who led the letter, confirmed the intent was to include them in the request.

In the letter sent Thursday, the House members said the companies provide their constituents with access to financial services and have been deemed “essential” businesses allowed to stay open amid stay-at-home orders. They said that many have fewer than 500 employees and that they don’t plan to offer Paycheck Protection Program loans to their customers.

Included in this group are Democrats Henry Cuellar and Collin Peterson, plus 2 other Democrats not named in the article.

Cuellar and Peterson are some of the worst Democrats in Congress, and they should be hung out to dry over this.

They Really Are Contemptible

I can get why some people would want to primary Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

I disagree, but I understand why.

Still selecting a recently Republican wing nut who called Social Security a Ponzi scheme is an indication of just how detached from reality they are.

My guess is that they decided that no one would notice if one Hispanic woman was replaced with another when they chose Michelle Caruso-Cabrera as their “Great White Hope.”

Some advice for AOC:  Unless you become Joseph Crowley and sell out completely, they are going to continue coming after you, so go ahead and endorse primary challengers to corporatist DINOs:

Wall Street titans are financing a direct challenge to firebrand progressive lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the New York primary on June 23.

Disclosures show that at least two dozen finance industry professionals, including several prominent private equity executives and investment bankers, made early donations to Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC contributor who is challenging Ocasio-Cortez. Caruso-Cabrera was a registered Republican until a few years ago and authored a 2010 book advocating for several conservative positions, including an end to Medicare and Social Security, which she called “pyramid schemes.”

The donors include Glenn Hutchins, the billionaire co-founder of Silver Lake Partners; James Passin of Firebird Capital; Bruce Schnitzer of Wand Partners; Jeffrey Rosen of Lazard; and Bradley Seaman, managing partner of Parallel49 Equity.


But the candidate’s beliefs are explained in detail in a book she authored in 2010 titled, “You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government,” which included a forward by Larry Kudlow, who now serves as President Donald Trump’s director of the National Economic Council.

In the book, Caruso-Cabrera calls Medicare and Social Security “the country’s biggest pyramid schemes,” and wrote that she would end both programs in favor of a privatized voucher system. Medicare, Caruso-Cabrera wrote, “is another pay-as-you-go Ponzi scheme” that should be replaced with a health savings account that gives “seniors $1,000 or $2,000 a year to start.” Social Security, she notes, should be replaced with a private account system, in which Americans are incentivized to invest in the stock market.

In her book, she stated that tax evasion as essential to freedom, “Freedom and democracy are best secured when banking secrecy and tax havens exist.”

Making nice to these people will not get you more power in Congress, nor will it do anything to secure your position as the representative in New York’s 14th district.

In fact, given that Andrew Cuomo is governor and he hates progressives, you should be prepared for your district to be sliced and diced like Masaharu Morimoto making sushi by 2022.