Monday, February 27, 2017

Guess Who Wants To See Even More Unregulated Dark Money Pouring Into Elections


When I talk with candidates for Congress about why they want to run, about whether motivations are, one constant I hear from virtually every single candidate is about campaign finance reform. And if the number one issue for them is, say, healthcare or national security, the number 2 or 3 issue will always be repairing a broken system that allows Big Money to buy our democracy. This is also an issue that polls well among the voting public. When Bloomberg polled the issue a couple of years ago they found that 78% of Americans-- so not just normal people but even Republicans-- want to see the Citizens United decision overturned. In June of 2016 Ipsos found that "reducing the influence of money in politics is one of the top five most important issues facing the country."
The results suggest there is a disconnect between the public’s priorities and their elected officials’ agenda. Of the top five issues facing the country identified by respondents-- the economy, health care, terrorism, education and money in politics-- money in politics is the only issue elected leaders have not addressed with major legislation in more than a decade. As a result, more than 80 percent of respondents said the influence of money in politics is worse than at any other point in their lifetime, and 70 percent believe our democracy is at risk if we do not take immediate steps to fix the problem... This is one of the top five most important issues for Democrats and independents, and top six for Republicans, ahead of November... An overwhelming majority-- 78 percent of respondents-- say we need sweeping new laws to reduce the influence of money in politics. Eighty-five percent of individuals age 55 and older, who witnessed passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, believe sweeping changes are necessary."
Señor Trumpanzee doesn't agree. According to a report from this morning's Washington Examiner, he intends to replace the entire Federal Election Commission-- one of Washington's most dysfunctional entities-- with the intention of further deregulating campaign finance. Trump is likely to pick corrupted fake-Dems from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- a New Dem or Blue Dog type-- to fill the 3 Democratic seats.

All the commissioners but Democrat Ann Ravel, who recently announced she's resigning "are serving on expired six-year terms and can be replaced at any time by Trump. Typically, commissioner names are suggested by the sitting president and Senate leader on the other political side. By law, the commission is split, three Democrats and three Republicans. But experts said Trump could shake up the process, especially since his top White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, was a commissioner. McGahn pushed several issues that irked Democrats, including, of course, deregulating campaign finance. Trump can't pick a Republican for the Democratic seats, but he can go with an independent or moderate and is sure to look for a change from liberals like Ravel and fellow Commissioner Ellen Weintraub... "It is expected that Don McGahn will have significant input into who the Republican nominees are, and Chuck Schumer will likely have a leading role in picking the Democratic nominees. But because Republican leader Mitch McConnell cares about FEC issues, too, I wouldn't rule his input out," said one election law expert. Trump is expected to focus on potential commissioners with views more in tune with McGahn.

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At 4:05 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

The fascist takeover is happening way too fast. Trump has been getting a lot done - haven't you noticed, Nancy Pelosi? Please, please, move on to retirement. We need strong progressives taking the lead now. Whereas Bernie had huge appeal to the young, you do not and there are good reasons for this. Don't you see what most of the American people see right before their eyes or are you blind?

At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, don't waste your energy on Pelosi. As addled as she has become, she doesn't even know she's alive. But she does know she loves money.

"...there is a disconnect between the public’s priorities and their elected officials’ agenda."


If you want one single underlying reason for the shape of this clusterfuck, it is that this is true AND voters NEVER insist on our priorities being addressed. **NEVER**. After obamanation's perfect record of betryals, we re-elected him. After the same during Clinton, we re-elected him (and enabled the cornerstones of the 2008 crisis). After Reagan blew a hole in the debt to make the rich much richer, we re-elected him. After iran-contra we elected poppy bush. After the SC coup, torture and 2 arbitrary wars (and a laundry list of fuckups), we re-elected cheney.

Virtually all congresswhores... same notation.

Until voters actually, you know, demand that our issues be addressed and punish all who do not do so, nothing will ever change.

So... nothing will ever change. Get used to it.

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give it a rest already. The reason EVERYBODY wants more and more dark money is they want to WIN.

I think I wrote yesterday that nothing promotes principle malleability like winning.

Why do you think obamanation, $hillbillary, Pelosi/hoyer, scummer et al did diddly shit when the Citizens United ruling came down? Why do you think obamanation broke his vow to only take small donations once $hillbillary withdrew in 2008 and the bankers started knocking down HIS door?

Those on the D side haven't figured out yet that voters, as stupid as they truly are, WILL figure it out eventually. And at that point, won't matter how much money you have... you lose. Of course, your 7/8-figure per year lobbying career is still right in front of you... so there's that.


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