Monthly Archives: June 2013

Center For Public Integrity: Koch Industries PAC Bolts To Fast Start In 2013

Billionaire brothers' company PAC spending significantly more compared to recent election cycles

-By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

June 20, 2013- The political action committee of Koch Industries Inc. — the energy company run by conservative billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch — is off to its fastest start ever for a federal election cycle.

KOCHPAC donated $559,000 to federal-level political candidates and committees during the first five months of the year, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of Federal Election Commission disclosures released today.

That easily bests its output for the same time periods during previous election cycles: $387,500 in 2011, $274,500 in 2009 and $387,570 in 2007.

Huffington Post: Chris Van Hollen: IRS Rules To Be Challenged In Court

-By Paul Blumenthal

June 18, 2013- WASHINGTON — Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Tuesday that he and two campaign finance watchdog groups would sue the IRS, challenging regulations that allow nonprofit groups to be involved in politics if they're "primarily" devoted to a social welfare purpose.

Van Hollen said he and watchdog groups Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 would sue to clarify an IRS regulation that he said was at odds with the law, which requires certain groups to "exclusively" engage in social welfare to earn nonprofit status. The IRS regulation permitting groups “primarily” engaged in social welfare allows the organizations to participate in an undefined amount of political activity, said the congressman, a leading advocate of campaign finance reform and ranking member of the House Budget Committee.

Senator Jon Tester of Montana introduces his constitutional amendment to overturn “Citizens United”

Senator Jon Tester of Montana has just introduced our People’s Rights Amendment in the U.S Senate to reverse the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and to make it clear that corporations do not have constitutional rights, as if they were people.  This marks the first introduction in the US Senate of a constitutional amendment bill to overturn fully the fabricated doctrine of corporate constitutional rights and ensure that people, not corporations, shall govern in America.

Huffington Post: Supreme Court Strikes Down Arizona Voter Registration Citizenship Requirement

-By Jesse J. Holland

June 17, 2013- States can't demand proof of citizenship from people registering to vote in federal elections unless they get federal or court approval to do so, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in a decision complicating efforts in Arizona and other states to bar voting by people who are in the country illegally.

The justices' 7-2 ruling closes the door on states independently changing the requirements for those using the voter-registration form produced under the federal "motor voter" registration law. They would need permission from a federally created panel, the Election Assistance Commission, or a federal court ruling overturning the commission's decision, to make tougher requirements stick.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the court's majority opinion, said federal law "precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself."

Huffington Post: Ben Cohen’s Stamp Stampede: Ben & Jerry’s Founder Rallies At Union Station To Get Money Out Of Politics

-By Erin Ruberry

June 17, 2013- Welcome to Washington, where frozen treats and political activism meet.

On Tuesday, the Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop in Union Station will dish out more than just cones of Half Baked. From noon to 5:00 p.m., co-founder Ben Cohen and his crew will hand out dollar bills stamped with phrases like "Stamp Money Out Of Politics" in an attempt to raise awareness of money's influence on the electoral process.

The Stamp Stampede's ultimate goal: A Constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United and declaring "1) money is not speech; and, 2) corporations are not people."

Is it legal to deface American currency? According to the Stamp Stampede's lawyers, yes:

Huffington Post: Sheldon Adelson’s Woes Mount With Grand Jury In Las Vegas Sands Money-Laundering Probe

 

-By Peter H Stone

June 5, 2013- The legal headaches besetting billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. now include a grand jury in Los Angeles, part of a federal money-laundering probe of his Nevada-based casinos, The Huffington Post has learned.

The involvement of a federal grand jury, not previously reported, suggests an escalation of the money-laundering investigation into Sands and one of its executives, being led by the U.S. attorney for Los Angeles, according to a person with direct knowledge of the inquiry. The person requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the grand jury’s work, which is not public.

Freakout Nation: Caught On Audio: Texas Tea Party Leader, “The Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote”

-By Anomaly

June 4, 2013- At a Dallas event featuring Steve Munisteri, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, Ken Emanuelson, a leader in the Tea Party, said: “I’m going to be real honest with you. The Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they are going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.” No kidding? What gave it away? Thank you Captain Obvious.

So much for that GOP reachy outy thingy.

To hear Emanuelson’s side, Battleground Texas, who published the audio on their website, did a ‘hit piece.’

Emanuelson explains on his Facebook wall, “What I meant, and should have said, is that it is not, in my personal opinion, in the interests of the Republican Party to spend its own time and energy working to generally increase the number of Democratic voters at the polls, and at this point in time, nine of every ten African American voters cast their votes for the Democratic Party.”

The Daily Beast: Karl Rove’s “Liberal Group” Complaint and the Crossroads GPS Scheme

When it comes to dark money groups, what really separates Crossroads GPS from its liberal counterparts is tens of millions of dollars in FEC-reported political spending, writes Robert Maguire of the Center for Responsive Politics.

-by Robert Maguire

June 2, 2013- Karl Rove, the co-founder of Crossroads GPS, has taken of late to asking why his 501(c)(4) social welfare group has been scrutinized, while “liberal groups have operated for decades in the same way GPS does without Democrats complaining.” He singled out the League of Conservation Voters, NARAL Pro-Choice America, unions and the NAACP.

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