Progressive Democrats are using small-money donations to outraise establishment opponents with deep-pocketed millionaire backers

Progressive candidates, backed by the likes of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, Moveon, Our Revolution and Justice Democrats, are outraising Republicans (including Ted Cruz!) and establishment Democrats with the backing of the DNC and the Democratic Party establishment. Read the rest

For 40 years, American Conservatives have filed down the definition of "corruption," turning the Framers' spear into a blunt stub

Zephyr Teachout's (previously) 2014 book Corruption in America is an incredibly important, timely book about the way that American policy and politics have been distorted by money, something that's gotten steadily worse as it is supercharged by (and supercharges) wealth inequality. Read the rest

LA Times barred from press-screenings of Disney movies after reporting on corporate welfare in Anaheim

After running Daniel Miller's long, excellent features about the many ways in which Disney has manipulated the local politics of Anaheim (home of Disneyland) to extract huge subsidies from the cash-strapped city, the company retaliated by barring its film critic from future press screenings of its films, a move that the company confirmed, calling the coverage "unfair." Read the rest

Minneapolis bar shuts down after owner outed for giving cash to David Duke

Club Jäger was a popular Minneapolis night spot until Citypages revealed that its owner, Julius Jaeger De Roma, donated $500 to the senatorial campaign of David Duke, a former KKK Grand Wizard and ardent Donald Trump supporter. Read the rest

Three wealthy Americans are the major financial backers of Geert Wilders' Islamophobic election campaign

Virtually every cent raised by Geert Wilders, a notorious Islamophobic candidate in the upcoming Dutch elections, has come from a clutch of secretive American millionaires, led by David Horowitz, who calls Wilders "the Paul Revere of Europe." Read the rest

Australia's Goldman-Sachs Prime Minister quietly donated $1.75M to himself to secure his narrow win

Malcolm Turnbull, the Goldman-Sachs investment banker turned Australian Prime Minister, secretly donated AUD1.75m to his own 2016 re-election campaign, giving it the funds it needed to squeak into victory. Read the rest

South Dakota Republicans want to block anti-bribery measure that limits lobbyist "donations"

South Dakota voters approved a ballot measure that would limit the amount of money state politicians could receive from lobbyists and other donors, capping "gifts" at $100 annually; now, Republicans in the SD government are seeking to block it, with an emergency resolution, a court challenge and an appeal to the governor. Read the rest

Nebraska's billionaire governor couldn't preserve the death penalty through the law, so now he's buying a ballot initiative

Nebraska's hereditary billionaire GOP governor Pete Ricketts is furious that the state legislature keeps overriding his vetos -- that is, the elected lawmakers pass laws, he tries to block them, and they overturn him -- so he's made an election issue of the state's dormant death penalty, spending $400K to put it on the state ballot next week. Read the rest

Donald Trump's super PAC promised a Chinese millionaire access, influence in exchange for a secret $2 million donation

Reporters posing as representatives of a Chinese tycoon approached Trump and Clinton PACs and offered them $2 million; only the Giuliani and Trump, Junior-backed Great America PAC agreed, and moreover, assured the fake Chinese benefactor that the origin of the contribution would be covered up and that he would have influence with Trump after the election. Read the rest

The Nuisance Committee: Cards Against Humanity against Trump

Cards Against Humanity raised funds to create a Super-PAC devoted to "driving Trump nuts." Read the rest

Republican election officials block restrictions on foreign spending in US elections

Once I got my green card this year, I was allowed to make the same campaign contributions as any US citizen: $2700 per candidate. But thanks to the three Republican members of the Federal Election Commission, who refused to even allow an agenda item to begin discussions to commence planning for limits on wholly-foreign-owned corporations making unlimited donations to super PACs, offshore oligarchs living abroad can go on spending tens of millions to influence the outcome of US elections. Read the rest

Leaked: damning Scott Walker dark money docs that judge ordered destroyed

Again and again, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker flouted election laws to raise millions from some of the richest executives and biggest corporations in America, illegally laundering the money through the nominally independent, nonprofit Wisconsin Club for Growth -- and now we have all the details, thanks to an enormous leak of documents that a Wisconsin judge ordered destroyed. Read the rest

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

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"

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

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

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

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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