-By Matt Parker
July 2, 2011- When the US Supreme Court obliterated most campaign finance regulations in its ruling on the “Citizens United” case in January of 2010, many observers warned that the decision could lead to foreign corporations pumping money into American elections, among other serious consequences.
Now, well over one year later, we find out such a scenario did come to pass; a foreign subsidiary of an American multinational corporation contributed tens of thousands of dollars to American candidates and political organizations — as many as five years before the Supreme Court’s controversial decision. And the corporation involved is none other than Koch Industries.
June 29, 2011- So what’s more shocking: Christine O’Donnell caught in (another) bold faced lie, or the FEC exposed (yet again) as a thoroughly worthless agency?
A couple of weeks ago, Ms. O’Donnell took to Twitter claiming the FEC had vindicated her in a “frivolous, politically motivated complaint.” In truth, it was three politically motivated FEC commissioners who let her off the hook.
Back in September, the Republican Party of Delaware filed a complaint with the FEC alleging Ms. O’Donnell and her campaign illegally coordinated with several supposedly independent PACs (including the Tea Party Express) as a way to dodge federal campaign finance limitations.
Based on information released today, contrary to what Ms. O’Donnell claims, the FEC’s nonpartisan general counsel found there was:
-By Evan McMorris-Santoro
June 23, 2011- Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), the DCCC official in charge of recruiting new Democrats to run for the House next year, isn't phased by warnings from former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) that Democrats bellying up to the Citizens United-created money trough next year could spell disaster for the party.
But at a breakfast meeting hosted by The Third Way think tank in Washington this morning, Schwartz suggested Democrats could take advantage of the fundraising afforded them by doing it a little differently.
"I would like to change some of the rules, we've tried to," she said. "I think disclosure is enormously important...it's very important I think for voters to understand Good For America PAC or whatever they call themselves. So that would be my preference."
"Maybe we can call on our own folks to do that," Schwarz added.
Shwartz said, "it's perfectly fine for there to be Democratic-leaning, independent expenditures" to counter the GOP-supporting cash.
-By Lisa Rosenberg
June 23, 2011- Representatives Quigley and Polis took a significant step toward improving what we know about Washington power players by introducing the Lobbyist Disclosure Enhancement Act today. The bill would require lobbyists to disclose the names of the covered executive branch officials or Members of Congress lobbied (or the name of the employer if the lobbyist meets with staff), the dates of the meetings and the issues discussed. If enacted, speculation about what lobbyists are doing would be replaced with facts contained in databases of lobbying information. The public would have access to answers to questions about lobbying including: Who was the target of the lobbying? What did the lobbyists discuss? When did the lobbying contact take place?
-By Jillian Rayfield
June 27, 2011- A Chicago jury has found former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of 17 of the 20 charges in his corruption trial.
Earlier Monday the jury announced that it had reached a decision in 18 of the 20 charges, but remained deadlocked on two.
In August Blagojevich was convicted on one count of making false statements to the FBI, just one of the 24 charges initially brought against him. He was re-tried after the jury deadlocked on the rest of the charges.
The charges were related to accusations that Blagojevich had tried to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat in 2008, after it was vacated by Obama when he was elected President. Blagojevich pleaded not guilty to all counts of wire fraud, racketeering, bribery, and attempted extortion.
Bachmann’s Congressional Spending Shows Close Links to Political Activity
-By Paul Singer
June 20, 2011- On Nov. 5, 2009, at the behest of Rep. Michele Bachmann, thousands of tea party activists descended on the Capitol to vent their rage over the health care overhaul bill pending before Congress.
The assembled activists chanted, "Kill the bill! Kill the bill!" and waved signs opposing a government takeover of health care — but they may not have known that the same government was paying for the event.
According to House expense reports, Bachmann and three conservative GOP colleagues — Reps. Tom Price (Ga.), Steve King (Iowa) and Todd Akin (Mo.) — each paid $3,407.50 that day, a total of $13,630, to a sound and stage company called National Events, apparently for the sound system used at the rally.
-By Chris Cillizza
June 21, 2011- Former House speaker Newt Gingrich had a second line of credit at the high-end jewelry store Tiffany and Co. for as much as $1 million dollars, his presidential campaign acknowledged Tuesday.
Joe DeSantis, a spokesman for Gingrich, said that the candidate’s personal financial disclosure filing, which is due within 30 days of his formal entrance into the presidential race, will “show that the Gingriches had a $500,000 to $1 million line of credit at Tiffany’s, that it has a zero balance, and it has been closed.”
DeSantis added that all debts to Tiffany had been paid in full. He offered no details about when the second line of credit was taken out, what it was used for or when it was closed.
This revelation comes roughly a month after personal financial disclosure forms for Gingrich’s wife, Callista, showed that the family had carried a line of credit ranging between $250,000 and $500,000 at Tiffany’s during 2005 and 2006.