Anti-corruption candidate challenges opponent's billionaire backer to a debate

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Zephyr Teachout (previously) is the anti-corruption candidate in New York's Hudson Valley who raised more than $500K from small-money, Bernie-Sanders-style donors (I was one of them); then vulture fund billionaire Paul Singer gave $500K to the PAC for John Faso, her Republican opponent, catapulting him into contendership. Read the rest

Cards Against Humanity launches a PAC to "drive Trump nuts"

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There are two new CAH decks being marketed by the organization's new PAC: one bearing Trump's likeness, the other with Hillary's. At the end of the sales period, Cards Against Humanity PAC will add up the total sales of each of the America Votes With Cards decks and "depending on the sales" give all the proceeds to the Hillary campaign. Read the rest

Foreign influence: how a Chinese businessman funneled $1.3M to Jeb Bush's campaign

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Gordon Tang and Huaidan Chen -- Chinese nationals who live in Singapore -- own a global property speculation and development empire whose US branch is called American Pacific International Capital Inc. They followed a recipe set out in a memo by Charlie Spies, a top Republican lawyer, in order to funnel $1.3M to Jeb Bush's PAC, then Tang offered a reporter for the Intercept $200,000 not to mention that he had been investigated for smuggling, tax evasion and bribery by the Chinese government. Read the rest

GOP platform: repeal campaign finance laws, allow unlimited dark/offshore money in US politics

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The newly adopted campaign finance reform section of the GOP platform for the 2016 election calls for "raising or repealing contribution limits" for private individuals and demands an end to "requiring private organizations to publicly disclose their donors to the government," which means that the identity of PAC financiers will be completely secret, opening up offshore financing of US political candidates; finally, the platform condemns "forced funding of political candidates," meaning public election financing. Read the rest

Misconfigured database exposes sensitive data for 154 million US voters

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A new US voter database leak has exposed the addresses, estimated income, ethnicity, phone numbers, political affiliation, and voting history of 154 million Americans.

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GOP officials won't let the FEC stop bosses from forcing employees to give to PACs

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The Federal Election Commission has deadlocked on a complaint about an employer who coerced his salaried employees into donating to a PAC he had started; the three Democratic commissioners voted to take action, the three GOP commissioners voted against, and that means that nothing will happen. Read the rest

Barack Obama: Taking money from 1 percenters compromised my politics

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In last night's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton defended her enormous super PAC fundraising machine by saying, "President Obama had a Super PAC when he ran. President Obama took tens of millions of dollars from contributors. And President Obama was not at all influenced when he made the decision to pass and sign Dodd-Frank, the toughest regulations on Wall Street in many a year."

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Congresscritters spend 4 hours/day on the phone, begging for money

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John Oliver is, as always, a flamethrower crisping the Shield of Boringness that protects a corrupt, terrible system: this time, it's Congressional fundraising, which sends our elected reps off-site for four hours a day to a cubicle-filled call-center where they strap on a headset and wheedle strangers for money, and, on every third day, sends them to DC restaurants to host rubber-chicken fundraiser dinners. Read the rest

33 state Democratic parties launder $26M from millionaires for Hillary

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The Supreme Court's 2014 McCutcheon v FEC ruling eliminated aggregate caps on individual campaign donations, and this paved the way for the DNC and the Hillary Victory Fund to collaborate with 33 state-level Democratic parties to accept $10,000 donations from the millionaires and billionaires who back Clinton, kicking them back up to Hillary, allowing each couple to donate up to $1.32M to the Clinton campaign. Read the rest

Disney offers to deduct contributions to its PAC from employees' paychecks, to lobby for TPP

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In a mass mailing to employees, CEO Bob Iger asked Disney people to make a regular contribution to Disney PAC to help the company lobby for expanded copyright laws, and the Trans Pacific Partnership. Read the rest

Republican Congressmen backed by airline money kill research on legroom and passenger safety

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Rep. Rodney Davis [R-IL]'s campaign was backed by American, Continental, Delta, Jetblue, and Southwest as well as airline PACs; airlines were the largest donor to Rep. Bill Shuster [R-PA]'s campaign, together, the two led a House Transportation Committee vote against a government study on the effects of passenger legroom on aviation safety, laughing at the idea that close-packed seats might make it hard to evacuate a plane. Read the rest

Who funds the "Millennials Rising" Super PAC? Rich old men.

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They started as "Millennials for Jeb" and now they're called "Millennials Rising," but since the beginning, the dark-money-spouting Super PAC has been 95% funded by rich white guys over the age of 60. Read the rest

Guess who donated all the money to Black Americans for a Better Future Super PAC? Rich white men.

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The Super PAC has $417,250 to spend on the upcoming election. $400K of that came from Robert Mercer, a white billionaire hedge-fund titan who is the major funder of the Ted Cruz campaign. Read the rest

Billionaire GOP superdonors aren't getting what they paid for

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The billionaires who bankrolled Mitt Romney and other Republican establishment candidates are becoming disillusioned with the political classes, who give them the mushroom treatment: keep 'em in the dark and shovel shit all over them. Read the rest

If the Kochs want criminal justice reform, why do they fund tough-on-crime GOP candidates?

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The Koch brothers have done a lot to rehabilitate their reputation as Immortan Joe climate-destroyer/plutocrats by talking about criminal justice reform, a cause dear to the hearts of the libertarian right as well as the left. But when push comes to shove, the Brothers Koch would rather fund get-tough-on-crime politicians if it means attacking judges who give big awards to class action suits against giant corporations. Read the rest

Saudi PR machine goes bigtime, hires top US muscle for charm offensive

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The Saudi royals -- you know, the charming people who exported intolerant, extremist Wahabiism and whose scions get to rape their US-based servants with impunity -- have hired the biggest, most ruthless PR firms in America to run their PR machine. Read the rest

Democratic machine won't let Larry Lessig into the debates; will Sanders stand up for him?

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Lessig raised $1M for his amazing, unprecedented presidential bid, where he promises that, if he wins, he'll immediately pass campaign finance reform and then resign, handing over the presidency to his running-mate. Read the rest

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