With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.The Intercept: A series exploring how money from abroad has entered the 2016 presidential election thanks to Citizens United. [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)
"As a gambler, I’ve noticed that Americans might also be obsessed with predicting their presidential races, but they often rely on pundits whose name recognition far outstrips their accuracy. Gamblers can’t afford to be wrong that often: Political prediction is a genuine game of skill, with serious research going into the effort—and serious rewards for the gambler who gets it right." [more inside]
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 was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,'' - Jim Greer, former state party chair of the Florida G.O.P, in a deposition for his lawsuit against the party. Scott Horton at Harper's covers the NYT's pox-on-both-your-houses story on vote suppression
It's Election Day in America, and as is so often the case in this fickle land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside]
GOP 2.0 There's no doubt that the internet operation of President-Elect Obama was a key part of his success. While it appears that he is attempting to turn that success into an engine for keeping citizens and supporters engaged with the revolutionary Change.gov,(Previously), the other side also is looking to harness the wave of internet electioneering. [more inside]
Invest $50 million of a workers comp trust fund in rare coins and collectibles. Lose some of the coins in the mail. Havoc ensues. Prominent Ohio Republican fundraiser and Bush-Cheney 'pioneer' Thomas Noe is under state scrutiny for $10-12 million in missing funds and subject of a federal probe for potential illegal Bush campaign contributions. Oh, and did I mention his wife Bernadette was chair of the Lucas County Board of Elections during the 2004 election? Suddenly the once-popular donor finds himself a political pariah as heads begin to roll - could this be the tip of an iceberg that will unravel the red state infrastructure? Follow the Toledo Blade's stellar investigative journalism as this story unfolds. Maybe the national media can watch and learn.
Who Lost Ohio? As more evidence comes in disproving voting fraud in the 2004 Presidential election, perhaps the real lessons for Democrats can be gleaned from this NYT (Reg required, of course) feature on ACT, a Democratic 527. Lavishly funded by George Soros and unions, this high tech organization turned out a record number (2.66 million) of Democratic voters in Ohio, but were out-organized and beaten by a grass-roots Republican effort operating below their radar. [MI]
Big G.O.P. Bid to Challenge Voters at Polls in Key State Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots.
CNN's "Undecided" Voter Turns Out To Be A GOP Operative CNN gets duped by Edward Martos. They thought he was an "undecided" voter, but he turned out to be a GOP operative.
A political party urges Miami voters to use absentee ballots because electronic voting has no paper trail and cannot "verify your vote." The Democrats? Nope -- the Florida GOP.
Republicans for Dean... but not in the way you might think. An interesting op-ed piece by David Brooks on why a Dean candidacy might be good news for the Bush team. (NYTimes, but no registration required.)
'Come Out To Vote On November 6th' In Baltimore, Republicans are accusing Democrats of paying people to canvass African-American neighborhoods on Tuesday. Democrats are accusing Republicans of intimidating minority voters by planning to use members of the Fraternal Order of Police to serve as GOP poll workers. Meanwhile, a flyer being circulated in African-American communities 'reminds' readers to vote on November 6th - but only if all outstanding tickets, warrants, and outstanding rent payments have been paid.
Making Rehnquist Proud Just like Rehnquist and his earlier political service, Jim Crow is still hard at work. "Tim Hutchinson and the Republican Party have claimed that they want to reach out to African-American voters, but when election time comes they have nothing to offer but intimidation and harassment," Cook said. "We ask Tim Hutchinson and his party to stop disenfranchising African-American voters and obstructing the democratic process."
Clinton: "They thought the election was over, the Republicans did. By the time it was over, our candidate had won the popular vote, and the only way they could win the election was to stop the voting in Florida". Give 'em hell Bill!
What is a likely voter This morning, while listening to Democracy Now, I heard something very interesting. it seems that the Republicans lobbied Gallup to redefine a 'likely voter' for this election season's polling. It seems Gallup is now defining a 'likely voter' as someone who voted in the last three presidential elections ('88, '92, '96). This leads to voters who are older (at least 30) and to people who participated in the last election to elect a Republican. Furthermore this polling method would have shown Bob Dole winning the 1996 election. No wonder Shrub is in the lead. Savannah Now describes the pool of likely voters "tend to lean Republican."