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


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


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?


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

When Firms Become Persons and Persons Become Firms: outstanding lecture

UC Berkeley Political Scientist Wendy Brown came to the London School of Economics last week to discuss her book Undoing the Demos, and her lecture (MP3) is literally the best discussion of how and why human rights are being taken away from humans and given to corporations. Read the rest

Corporations influence politics, but not in the way you think you do

It's not that they buy politicians (there's some of that), it's that they order their workers donate to, write to, and vote for their preferred politicians, with reprisals for employees who don't toe the company line. Read the rest

Obama moots mandatory voting

I agree that mandatory voting is a powerful check against moneyed interests hijacking the government, but Australia, which has both mandatory voting and preferential ranked ballots, has still managed to elect some fucking awful politicians. Read the rest

Nuanced view of corruption: money doesn't buy elections, it buys influence

Jonathan Soros, son of George Soros and heavy donor to campaigns to get money out of politics, writes a nuanced account of what huge, open campaign contributions do to electoral politics. Read the rest

Money talks: policy with a business model

It must be Groundhog Day, because British politicians are making us debate their repeatedly-failed spying legislation -- how is it that some policy initiatives never die, while others can't get any traction at all? Read the rest

Koch brothers raise 2016 election warchest that's on par with either party's spend

The Kochs will raise $889M from conservative millionaires and billionaires to spend in the 2016 election, which, thanks to Citizens United, can be used to buy effectively unlimited political advertising to support policies that will make more money for the donors. Read the rest

GOP set up Twitter "numbers stations" to get around Super PAC rules

Super PACs are allowed to raise unlimited funds to support election campaigns, but can't coordinate with those campaigns; this especially means that campaigns can't share expensive private poll data with PACs to help fine tune their campaigns -- which is exactly what Republicans did with their cryptic, unlabelled Twitter accounts that acted as dead-drops with messages like "CA-40/43-44/49-44/44-50/36-44/49-10/16/14-52-->49/476-10s" to let affiliated PACs know what the polls had shown. Read the rest

Cheap dates: the pitiful sums that Big Cable used to buy off the politicians who oversee it

Even when you factor in dark money, Super PACs and the rest of it, politicians are willing to sell out the nervous system of the 21st century to the worst companies in America for less than $100K. Read the rest

Senate races were won by dump-trucks full of "dark money"

Ever since the Supreme Court told us that money was speech and corporations are people, it's been permissible for big corporations and plutocrats to make anonymous unlimited donations to political races -- but you can bet that the Senators who owe their seats to the dark cash know exactly who they're beholden to. Read the rest

Plutocrats' visual guide to rigging elections

From the Mayday.US super PAC (which backs candidates who promise to abolish super PACs). Read the rest

Plutocrats' visual guide to rigging elections

From the Mayday.US super PAC (which backs candidates who promise to abolish super PACs). Read the rest

42 rich white people account for 1/3 of Super PAC spending

35 of them are old white men, the rest are women. Read the rest

Millions in dark money via U.S. Chamber of Commerce influencing midterm elections


The Chamber has spent $32 million in dark money from undisclosed donors, 96% of which has gone to oppose Democratic congressional candidates, according to a new Public Citizen report. Average spending topped $900,000 per race. Read the rest

Mayday PAC will support indie for KS senate if supporters donate $200K by Monday

Brian writes, "The Mayday PAC is thinking of supporting the Independent candidate Greg Orman, who is running for Senate in Kansas against a lone Republican opponent. (The Democratic candidate withdrew); but we're only going to if we can raise $200k by midnight Monday." Read the rest

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