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Join our campaign to hold Karl Rove, Tom Donohue and their friends accountable for corrupting the 2010 election with tens of millions in secret money in violation of federal law.  You can help! Sign the letter to the Department of Justice.  Sign the petition to Congress. Write a letter to your local US Attorney demanding prosecution.  When 5,000 people sign on, we will write and call each of the local US Attorneys too and tell them that thousands of citizens want these violators held accountable now.  Let’s stop the abuses of the Citizens United decision by prosecuting the worst violators so 2012 will not be a repeat.  We can do it!  Tom Delay was prosecuted by a state district prosecutor, and  Christine O’Donnell and John Edwards are  being investigated by local U.S. Attorneys, all for campaign finance violations. Now it's time for federal prosecutors around the country to empanel grand juries and subpoena documents and witnesses to expose the worst violators of campaign finance laws.

Michele Bachmann won't pay campaign staff, so campaign staff spills the dirt

-Blogged by Kaili Joy Gray on Daily Kos

January 15, 2013- Today in why you shouldn't treat your staff badly, then refuse to pay them when they refuse to retroactively agree to aid and abet your potentially criminal activities, we have this juicy little nugget from Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed:

Michelle [sic] Bachmann's high-profile debate coach, Brett O'Donnell, developed an "unnatural" and "Rasputin-like" relationship with his candidate during her failed 2012 presidential campaign, another former aide told BuzzFeed, a charge O'Donnell denies.

The former aide who's keeping us entertained with the trash-talking is Peter Waldron—the same Peter Waldron who's had an awful lot to say lately about his former employer:

Press Release: Menendez Introduces Shareholder Protection Act in Wake of Supreme Court’s Gutting of Campaign Finance Law

July 13, 2011

WASHINGTON – U.S Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) held a press conference today to introduce The Shareholder Protection Act, which requires a shareholder vote before corporate treasury funds are spent on political campaigns. The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC declared corporations to be citizens, giving them the right to spend unlimited funds on elections and calling that spending an expression of their free speech rights. This legislation would give shareholders a say in that political spending. Original co-sponsors of the bill include Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).  Representative Michael Capuano (D-MA) is also introducing an identical bill in the House of Representatives today.

“The Supreme Court made its decision, but Congress can and should take immediate steps to make sure that the new free speech rights created by this decision are extended to everyone,” said Menendez. “A corporation’s money really belongs to the shareholders, not the executives, and those shareholders deserve a voice if their money is going to be spent on politics.”

Press Release: Campaign Finance Watchdog Spearheads Battle Against Anonymous Donations

Applauds IRS Initiative to Enforce Gift Tax of Fraudulent Non-Profits

Announcement Comes Months After Campaign Accountability Watch Sends Letter on Issue to AG Holder

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Campaign Accountability Watch (CAW), a watchdog at the forefront in the battle against secret campaign contributions, today applauded the IRS for announcing it will seek payment of a gift tax of 35% for donations made to non-profit organizations involved in electoral campaigns. CAW called it a good "first step" to reigning in these organizations.

CAW sent a letter on October 25, 2010 to Attorney General Holder seeking a special prosecutor for the misuse of non-profit organizations to hide the source of electoral donations.

The letter specifically highlighted the provision in the law that the IRS is now addressing:
…press reports indicate that these same 501c(4) organizations are not advising their donors that their donations are taxable as a 'federal gift tax' at a rate of 35%, thereby both misleading the donors and depriving the federal government of potentially hundreds of millions in tax revenue. 

CREW Sends Letter to President Obama Supporting Executive Order Requiring Transparancy of Campaign Finance

If you've been following the news, you've probably heard about the President's executive order drafted April 13, which would require full disclosure of campaign donations made by business entities seeking government contracts. Needless to say the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove are highly agitated over this. On May 4th, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) -with the support of over 30 other progressive organizations- sent a letter to President Obama endorsing the executive order.

SEE THE LETTER HERE:

Press Release: Advocacy Orgs Urge Obama to Sign Disclosure Exec. Order This Week

Defy Chamber, McConnell and Others Working to Undermine Campaign Finance Reform

Powerful Tool to Make Political Spending by Corporations Public

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In light of reports that President Obama may sign an executive order, in the face of dogged opposition, requiring disclosure of donations by those who seek contracts with the federal government, Kevin Zeese, an attorney with CampaignAccountabilityWatch.org (CAW) released the following statement:

"President Obama has the opportunity to greatly minimize the impact of money on the corruption of politics by taking two actions. First, sign the executive order requiring disclosure of political donations by people who receive contracts from the federal government.  Second, enforce existing campaign finance and tax laws so that non-profit organizations are not illegally used to hide the identity of large individual and corporate donors. A tax and campaign finance enforcement investigation of the misuse of non-profits in the 2010 election will show donors they risk prosecution for evading federal campaign finance laws as do the people working with non-profits who do so. Transparency is a powerful antidote to corruption."

CAW Press Release: New Campaign Launches to Stop Karl Rove Corruption of the 2012 Election

CampaignAccountabilityWatch.org Urges DOJ To Stop Millions In Secret Money from Undermining Integrity of Election, Sends Letters to 40 US Attorneys Urging Prosecution of Violations

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Karl Rove is at it again and a new coalition has launched to hold Rove and his colleagues accountable in the upcoming election.

CampaignAccountabilityWatch.org, a new coalition of dozens of fair election non-profit organizations and advocates, is fighting back against Mr. Rove and others, such as the Chamber of Commerce and American Future Fund, to make sure that they do not violate campaign finance law in the upcoming election as they have done in the past.

Just last month Rove announced that his American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS groups are planning to spend $120 million in the 2012 electoral cycle to ensure more conservatives are elected to Congress and President Obama is defeated.

CampaignAccountabilityWatch.org has sent letters to 40 U.S. Attorneys along with more than 12 thousand signatures of citizens urging prosecution of these organizations for illegally using non-profit front groups to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) during the 2010 elections. None have been prosecuted for their violations to date.

CAW Gets The Ball Rolling

CAW sent letters to the 40 US Attorneys listed at http://campaignaccountabilitywatch.org/index.php?q=node/18 requesting that they empanel a grand jury to investigate the Chamber of Commerce, American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS and American Future Fund if those groups placed ads and spent money supporting or opposing candidates in the US Attorneys’ districts.  Some of the US Attorneys, such as Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago, have jurisdiction over all four groups.  Here are links to the letters we sent to US Attorneys in Illinois, Ohio, Washington and Pennsylvania.
http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/CAW_Ohio_Letter.pdf
http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/CAW_Patrick_Fitzgerald_Letter.pdf
http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/CAW_Pennsylvania_Letter.pdf
http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/CAW_Washington_State_Letter.pdf

2007 DOJ Book on Prosecuting Election Crimes Supports CAW Campaign Items

The section from pages 133 through 197 deals with campaign finance violations such as we have identified in this campaign.  We urge legislators, NGOs and prosecutors read this section to see just how many violations groups such as American Crossroads and the Chamber of Commerce have committed during the 2010 election.  For example, the Federal Election Campaign Act prohibits foreigners from contributing to federal elections in any capacity, and the Act defines foreigner as including foreign corporations.  The Chamber, however, has received hundreds of thousands in contributions from foreign corporations that have been used to target Democrats.  Also, the Act prohibits using conduits to circumvent contribution limits yet American Crossroads and the Chamber routinely solicited contributions from individuals and others to get around the contribution limits to the Republican National Committee and candidates, and they used their c(4) and c(6) status to shield those contributors from disclosure.    

Court Ruling Allows Federal Prosecution of Campaign Violations Before FEC Action

A federal appeals court says the U.S. Department of Justice does not need a referral from the Federal Election Commission before prosecuting campaign finance violations.

The ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit means federal prosecutors can investigate alleged criminal violations of federal campaign finance laws without waiting for the FEC to act.

The opinion is consistent with other rulings in cases where targets of campaign finance prosecutions claimed they should not be subject to criminal charges unless the FEC first considered their cases.

The FEC has authority to bring civil enforcement cases for campaign finance violations and to refer such cases to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. Courts have consistently held - as the Ninth Circuit just did - that Justice officials can still prosecute even if the FEC has not voted on the matter.

"We hold again today ... that the Attorney General need not obtain permission from the FEC before investigating or prosecuting possible violations of federal election law," reads the decision, which was written by U.S. Circuit Judge Barry Silverman and joined by Circuit Judges Richard Clifton and Milan Smith.

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