The Peltzman model: a way to understand the kind of regulation Facebook might face from Congress

Sam Peltzman proposed a model of regulation where the profitability of firms is in tension with their customers' desire for low prices and politicians' desire to get votes. Read the rest

The Congressjerks who will grill Zuckerberg this week are a rogue's gallery of Facebook donation recipients

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to give Mark Zuckerberg a public drubbing on Wednesday morning, sticking up for America and sticking it to the reckless, feckless CEO of a giant digital monopolist who has distorted our discourse to sell us soap and only grudgingly feigned surprise when he was informed that his machine had also been used in an attempt to win an election by trickery. Read the rest

Don't give a dime to the DCCC, they'll just use to front DINOs and smear Justice Democrats

I donated to Democrats in 2016, so that means that the DCCC calls me about once a week to ask for money. I always tell them no, because I support Democratic candidates through organizations like Our Revolution -- the kinds of Democrats who stand up for working people, universal health care, a $15 minimum wage, investment in renewables and curbs on the finance industry. Read the rest

Blue Cross employees are instructed to donate to the boss's daughter, a "Democrat" who opposes single-payer

Gretchen Whitmer wants to be the Democratic governor of Michigan, and she has distinguished herself from her opponents Abdul El-Sayed, and Shri Thanedar by opposing single-payer healthcare and endorsing the broken, expensive, murderous private system, a subject she has deep expertise in thanks to being raised by Richard Whitmer, who built the family fortune during his 18-year tenure as president of Blue Cross of Michigan. Read the rest

Taking one cent, ever, from the NRA should disqualify you from ever running for office as a Democrat

New Jersey State Senator Jeff Van Drew wants to run for Congress as a Democrat; he visited 17-year-old Emily McGrath's school, Egg Harbor Township High, where McGrath questioned him about whether he'd taken money from the NRA; Van Drew said he hadn't, and he was lying. Read the rest

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

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