Porn star lawyer Michael Avenatti is in the news for losing a case to President Trump and the subsequent Twitter war, but his use of our “wild west” campaign finance laws to siphon money intended for Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke is the latest case of a “scam PAC” that includes victims such as Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Republicans may be happy to have Avenatti driving Democratic donors to give to the group that enables him to keep half the money for himself in the name of O’Rourke. Even the half of the money he collects in O’Rourke’s name that is passed along is driving money away from the four Senate races where Democrats have fallen only slightly behind, post-Kavanaugh (Missouri, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida), to one of the races that seem to have become unwinnable since Kavanaugh (see polling in Tennessee, North Dakota, and Texas). Before Republicans get too happy, they should recall that the same thing happened to Republican Ken … [Read more...] about Campaign Rules Needed to Stop Unscrupulous Fundraising Like Avenatti’s
With the public waiting for the release of Robert Mueller’s report, it is worth noting the hypocrisy of many progressive campaign reform advocates who ignore much more obvious pay-for-play politics on the left, a major point when the nation debates whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Progressives lose credibility if they fail to applaud President Trump’s company for returning the $191,538 in total profits it received from foreign officials using Trump properties, or fail to criticize Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, for not returning the $1.5 billion equity deal that Hunter reportedly arranged with China’s state-owned bank as a joint investment fund. Hunter, who runs Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, secured the deal in 2013 at the same time that President Xi Jinping was in Washington meeting with his father. Imagine the attacks from the left if Ivanka Trump played a role in securing a $1.5 billion … [Read more...] about OPINION: Will Watchdogs Take An Interest In Hunter Biden’s Chinese Financial Ties?
Nancy Pelosi’s decision to try to remove President Trump through an actual election instead of impeachment turns the focus to the billions of dollars that will be spent on a combination of three-dozen potential presidential candidates. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s net worth of $3.5 billion provides the prospect of a credible candidate who can self-fund, while traditional donor calls by candidates will compete with a combination of Republicans mailing small checks, billions in credit or gift card contributions through Act Blue to Democrats, outside Super PACs, and secret money LLCs to determine the next president. For the first time ever, the Democrats held a huge advantage in secret money in the 2018 midterms that will likely give them another huge money advantage in 2020, though President Trump did withstand Hillary Clinton’s billion-dollar campaign just four years after President Obama withstood Mitt Romney’s billion dollar effort. HR1 just passed the House, … [Read more...] about 2020 Challengers Face Campaign Finance Questions as They Push Reform
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told Fox News Wednesday that new claims of campaign finance violations by her and her campaign manager were "bogus." According to a complaint filed earlier Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Ocasio-Cortez and her then-campaign manager Saikat Chakrabarti created a "shadowy web" of political action committees (PACs) allowing them to raise more money than they otherwise could have mustered. "I mean, it’s conservative interest groups just filing bogus proposals," Ocasio-Cortez said while heading to a meeting of the House Financial Services Committee. OCASIO-CORTEZ HIT WITH ETHICS COMPLAINT OVER BOYFRIEND'S EMAIL ACCOUNT The complaint also alleges that Chakrabarti, now Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff, established a limited liability company (LLC) that offered Ocasio-Cortez and other Democratic candidates political consulting services at below-market rates, something the complaints says is in … [Read more...] about AOC calls new campaign finance complaint ‘bogus’
WASHINGTON — President Trump's choice to be the top U.S. health official bought and sold health care company stocks often enough as a member of Congress to warrant probes by both federal securities regulators and the House ethics committee, former government ethics lawyers say.A USA TODAY analysis of stock trade reports by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., also shows he often misstated the timing of stock purchases or failed to report them altogether.These include disclosures related to his much-publicized investment in the Australian biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics, which gave him preferential treatment for a private stock offering he learned of through another member of Congress who is the company's biggest shareholder.Price also invested in more health care companies that could benefit from legislation he introduced than previously reported.When asked about Price's stock trades, the Department of Health and Human Services released an unsigned … [Read more...] about New stock questions plague HHS nominee Tom Price as confirmation vote nears