Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dark Money Owns the Repubilican Party of Today

Republicans are the worst I have seen in all my years around politics for being willing to sell their souls for campaign donations and no primary challengers by supporting Dark Money donations.

There is one reason in my mind to support Russ Feingold if he decides to run for Senate in 2016 - Campaign Finance Reform (CFR).  McCain, his partner, has let the Country down on CFR preferring to mess in Syrian politics meeting with the rebels and promising them things he cannot deliver.  Someone tell him he does not speak for the President.  He was a Champion for CFR before running for President which brings into question some of the money he received.  That's nothing compared to what happened after the Citizens United ruling which was a travesty.

That travesty and the yelling by Tea Party groups they were targets is a farce as liberal groups were asked further questions 2/3 to 1/3 for the hard right Koch Bros Tea Party.  The hard right shouts the loudest after having Koch Bros and other major GOP hard right donor money funneled into their accounts.  The very idea these non-profits don't spend almost all their money on partisan races is a joke.  Why do you think some Republicans in Congress are afraid to vote against what the Tea Party wants?  GOP office holders are afraid of being primaried.  When the GOP played up to the Tea Party and the Libertarian Koch's they got more then they bargained for - they are owned lock, stock, and barrel and told what to do and how to vote.  They sold out the American people and now try to attack IRS for going after some of the groups that they know full well break the law.

Looks to me like when the hard right GOP owned by the Koch Bros breaks a law, it is okay but let a Democrat come close to doing the same thing, it is the end of the world as the hard right rushes to the microphones to give their narrative the lapdog media loves so they don't have to work to do a story -- they use GOP Talking Points never bothering to check if they are true.

Tom Edsall nails the non-profits  trying to fit the IRS rules in his editorial at the New York Times.  It is must reading:
Dark Money Politics 
By THOMAS B. EDSALL 12 June 2013 
In the world of nonprofit “dark money” groups, nothing is as it seems: political committees, through the magic of the internal revenue code, become tax-exempt “social welfare” organizations; a partisan campaign ad becomes principled “issue advocacy”; and federal election law that requires public disclosure of donors is rendered toothless by regulatory loopholes. 
The flow of cash through organizations asserting tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code has been rising exponentially, from just $5.2 million in 2006 to $310.8 million in 2012. 
There is one reason for this growth: 501(c)(4) groups do not have to reveal their donors. 
James Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus Association, and Selena Owens before a Tea Party Express press conference at the National Press Club in Washington on Aug. 4.
Brendan Smialowski/Getty ImagesJames Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus
Association,  and Selena Owens before a Tea Party Express press conference
at the National Press Club in Washington on Aug. 4.
Two pie charts — Figure 1 and Figure 2 — drawn up by the Center for Responsive Politics demonstrate the crucial role of conservative non-profits in driving this increase in spending.
Fig. 1
 Center for Responsive Politics, Fig. 1 

Fig. 2
Center for Responsive Politics, Fig. 2
The Center, which has dug deeply into this submerged area of American politics, has gathered a lot of the relevant data about the influence of money on American politics at It makes for instructive reading. 
The controversy over the revelation that organizations whose names include the words “Tea Party” were targeted by the I.R.S. for review has provided new cover for politically active conservative organizations, allowing them to charge that investigations of the legitimacy of their tax-exempt status are politically motivated. Many of these groups have, in fact, been explicitly involved in federal election campaigns, as reported upon by The New York Times and Politico.
Sheila Krumholz, the Center’s executive director, told me that despite the denials coming from conservative non-profits her organization has found increasing evidence of practices designed to evade I.R.S. rules governing tax-exempt status and donor disclosure
The actual I.R.S. rule is worth examining closely:
The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. However, any expenditure it makes for political activities may be subject to tax under section 527(f).
The phrase “not its primary activity” has been interpreted by campaign finance lawyers to mean that a 501(c)(4) organization can spend no more that 49.9% of its money on political activity, according to Krumholz. 
In a process she refers to as “money churning,” a hypothetical tax-exempt organization, let’s call it the Good Government Coalition, has $10 million in revenues. The G.G.C. fulfills its obligation to spend just over half its money on non-political activity by giving $5 million plus $1 to another tax-exempt social welfare organization with an ambiguous name, the Liberty Bell Alliance. G.G.C. can now spend what it has left, $4,999,999 on political activity. The Liberty Bell Alliance, which now has $5 million plus $1, can spend just under half, $2,499,999, on political activity. The net result is that of the original $10 million, instead of only $4,999,999 going to political activity, $7,499,998, or 75 percent of the original $10 million, can be spent on politics.

Excerpt:  Read more at the NY Times about these groups especially the the 60 Plus Association who seems to be laundering Koch money to do advertising that is anything but non-profit as they are the hard right's answer to AARP.
Anyone who tracks money is discovering that a lot of donor money is being hidden.  Time for all money to be accounted for - give $1 and have it revealed.  If the Republicans were not so archaic with their system, that could happen easily but then they would have to be honest which is not likely to happen.  Act Blue is so much farther ahead of the GOP on software for donors that it is getting funny.  Guess no one with skills wants to touch any Republican organization.  Romney has been trying to buy people with skills to duplicate Act Blue but so far they have not found people who can build a system that works.  Romney is sounding more and more like he wants to run again.  Mr. 47% with all his excuses why he lost doesn't even realize that he is the reason a lot of us dumped GOP candidates in 2012 and will do it again in 2014.

Let's get Russ Feingold reelected to the Senate and lead a campaign finance reform.  Most of us have had enough of the stench coming from the Koch Bros/GOP wealthy donors, Fox News, and Karl Rove.  Time to take the Country back and get all this dark money out of politics so honest people can win elections without having to bow at the knee of wealthy donors.  Republicans are the worst I have seen in all my years around politics for being willing to sell their souls for campaign donations and no primary challengers.  Yet, with being sell outs, they claim they are the party of values.  Give me a break!

1 comment:

  1. I think we should consider that part a very large chunk. Someone was telling me, today, about the race between Nikki Haley and Gresham Barrett for Governor in SC. Dark money, allegedly much of it illegal, poured into her campaign. A goodly percentage of that money came from off-shore, donated by people who were not US Citizens. Ergo, Nikki won and Gresham, who is a truly nice guy, and a decent one, lost. South Carolina was rewarded with perhaps the 3rd most corrupt governor in the history of the state. When one considers how badly corrupt past governors have been, this is truly a feat.

    The Pink Flamingo