In case you were wondering about [a conspicuous lack of] the Koch Brothers' involvement in the 2016 US political elections, here is the inside scoop. [more inside]
Jane Mayer takes on the Koch Brothers [1,2,3] - "For decades, billionaire libertarians Charles and David Koch have spent millions trying to reduce the size of government and slash regulations, making the brothers a target of the political Left and campaign finance reformers. But few people have dug deeper into the Koch empire and family history than New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, author of the new book 'Dark Money'. Among other revelations, she alleges that the brothers hired private detectives to investigate her after she published articles critical of them. We talk to Mayer about the book and about what the rise of Donald Trump means for the Kochs and their allies." (previously)
Kochs Plan to Spend $900 Million on 2016 Campaign - "an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history... These donors represent the largest concentration of political money outside the party establishment, one that has achieved enormous power in Republican circles in recent years. Now the Kochs' network will embark on its largest drive ever to influence legislation and campaigns across the country, leveraging Republican control of Congress and the party's dominance of state capitols to push for deregulation, tax cuts and smaller government."
"I'm not here for the Iraqis. I'm here for George Bush." How the reconstruction of Iraq was bungled by inexperienced staffers and officials who passed the GOP's loyalty test -- including their views on Roe v. Wade. A WashPost excerpt from Rajiv Chandrasekaran's new exposé Imperial Life in the Emerald City. (Corruption in Iraq previously discussed here.)
Mexico's election: now being recounted, but some are saying it was stolen with our help. Many countries in Latin and South America have been moving to the left lately, following in the footsteps of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile. Argentina actually caught us messing with things during their election, too. Exit polls in Mexico (as in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004) showed a lead for the more leftist (relatively) candidate, and for those who scoff at using exit polls as evidence--in 2004, US Republican Senator Richard Lugar, in Kiev, cited the divergence of exit polls and official polls as solid evidence of “blatant fraud” in the vote count in Ukraine. As a result, the Bush Administration refused to recognize the Ukraine government’s official vote tally. So, honest election, or what?
Whooops! While making a required filing to the state ethics commission, Ohio Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Blackwell finds Diebold shares in his stock portfolio that he now claims to have bought "accidentally." Yes, that Diebold -- the e-voting company whose chairman promised to "deliver the vote" to George Bush. And yes, that Blackwell, whose state helped deliver the White House to the GOP. Blackwell insists that the humble amount of Diebold stock was in one of those "blind trust" type of arrangements that worked out so rewardingly for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. [newsfilter via RawStory.]
Great local investigative piece on the GOP's "point man on lobbying reform". (check out the video) Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)'s "charity" has spent almost half as much on "unexplained" T&E as it has given out to the needy. What's more, the treasurer of this organization is not only treasurer of his re-election campaign, but is also the the treasurer of Americans for a Republican Majority, the PAC run by Tom DeLay, who is no stranger to lobbyist scandals.
[Mugshot filter] The Hammer is tanned, rested, and ready... to kick some partisan-hack a**! But seriously folks, has Tom DeLay ever looked better in his life? Book 'im, Danno -- and don't muss that fabulous hair!
House and Senate GOP leaders announce the (Republican dominated) "Hurricane Katrina Joint Review Committee" which should ensure that no-one near the top of the (Republican Dominated) chain of command is in any danger of repercussions over the death of a great American city. In fact, it seems likely that incompetence will be richly rewarded: representative Waxman thinks that a Provision in Katrina Emergency Bill Leaves Government Open to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. But that's nothing! Despite near-universal opprobrium as a dysfunctional bureaucracy led by an unqualified political appointee, FEMA will receive nearly all of the funds approved on Thursday -- $50 billion... (all links via TPM)
Tom DeLay thinks of the children. The GOP House Leader is attempting to create a charity fund for abused and neglected children. Oh, the fund also pays for "late-night convention parties, a luxury suite during President Bush's speech at Madison Square Garden and yacht cruises" during the 2004 GOP convention. Unlike election funds now restricted by Campaign Finance law, donations to DeLay's semi-charity will be tax-exempt, and of course completely unreported to election officials. (NYT Link)