Time Magazine- September 16, 2010: In recent days, Ohio voters have probably seen a TV spot ripping Democratic "stimulus and debt" policies, courtesy of a group calling itself Crossroads GPS. They may also have caught an ad by an outfit called the American Action Network praising Republican Congressmen Pat Tiberi and Dave Reichert for "standing up for fiscal responsibility." Meanwhile, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat, is under attack from the Republican Governors Association (RGA) for being a "bad governor," while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been touting the "pro-business" record of GOP Senate candidate Rob Portman. All of these groups are based in D.C., not Ohio. And only one of them, the RGA, is required to disclose its donors — and only a few times a year. Which makes Ohio look less like a boxing ring for the candidates than a chessboard for invisible well-funded operatives hundreds of miles away. Ohio is hardly unique. From Washington to Florida this election season, candidates risk being drowned out by a flood of advertising from a robust new network of little-known conservative political outfits. "Shadow Republican groups formed by longtime party officials and party operatives are raising and spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this election," says Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21, a nonpartisan campaign-finance-reform group, "most of which is going to come in the form of secret undisclosed contributions."
-By Jeff Reichert.
September 3, 2010- The issue of prison-based gerrymandering has gotten a lot of ink lately around the country, so to better explain it for a wider audience, I thought I'd open up this space to one of my favorite people I met during the making of Gerrymandering: Peter Wagner of the Prison Policy Initiative. Peter's been almost single-handedly beating the drum on this issue for a few years now, and has scored a number of significant legislative successes thus far in his fight. I won't be surprised if we look back a few years from now and find that he's fixed this problem in every state across the country. He's proof positive that individuals can still create major change in a dysfunctional political climate.
In response to their $150,000 donation to the anti-gay, anti-labor candidate for Minnesota governor, thousands of people have pledged to boycott Target. Agit Pop took that a step further with a surprise demonstration at a local target store. Learn more about the boycott at WWW.TARGETBOYCOTT.ORG
Aug 9, 2010- After years of deliberate neglect, the Justice Department is finally beginning to enforce the federal law requiring states to provide voter registration at welfare and food stamp offices. The effort not only promises to bring hundreds of thousands of hard-to-reach voters into the electorate, but it could also reduce the impact of advocacy organizations whose role in registering voters caused such a furor in 2008. Full Story HERE
Election fraud attorney Bob Fitrakis is sending letters today to attorneys representing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads requesting that they retain all documents, emails, accounting records and other records. This "document hold" is the first step toward legal action based on the groups' alleged laundering of illegal campaign contributions from large corporations. Fitrakis, in a telephone interview, explained, "We are planning on notifying the groups [as part of our] investigation and we're requesting that they hold all those documents pertaining to what we believe is an illegal money laundering scheme." Full Story Here
Paul J. Magliocchetti was one of the most powerful and influential lobbyists in Washington not too long ago, known for steering campaign contributions to favored lawmakers while securing millions of dollars in projects for his clients.
Magliocchetti, 64, the founder and owner of the now-closed PMA Group, was charged in U.S. District Court in Alexandria with eight counts of illegal campaign contributions and three counts of making false statements. He is accused of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to lawmakers to enhance his firm's stature and business prospects.
Chapter 8 in our Election Hacking For Beginners series, Big Data Is Watching You… Download the above here. Download the above here.