Have you seen this video yet?
It’s John Boehner mocking Republicans in Congress who aren’t going along with his plan for comprehensive immigration reform happening pre-election.
It’s hard to fathom how Boehner thought this would help him with his colleagues. Maybe with the funders at the Chamber of Commerce, sure. But for the people he works with in the big building with the domed roof? his is an epic leadership fail.
And the Democrsats know.
Here’s Greg Sargent in WaPo, practically writing John a Thank You note:
Boehner has laid bare the real crux of the issue here, undoing in one stroke what months and months of spin from Republicans was designed to obscure. Boehner has repeatedly said Republicans won’t act because Obama’s refusal to enforce the law proves he can’t be trusted to honor his end of any immigration compromise. But the first and most important question Republicans face is this: What set of terms and conditions will it take for Republicans to embrace some form of legal status for the 11 million?
Boehner’s comments can be taken as an admission that this is the core issue here: Republicans don’t want to solve the basic policy problem we face, which will require accepting uncomfortable trade-offs, when doing nothing — allowing the status quo to fester — is politically easier.
From the GOP Congress? Probably less of a Thank You, more of #&*$ you.
I’ve written a number of pieces about the various groups trying to get your money who then turn around and pocket most of it. It’s a real problem for donors so I put together this quick list that helps you donate with confidence.
As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify.”
1) Research Them On Open Secrets
You want to get a sense of where they spend their money and it only takes a few minutes to check this out on Open Secrets.
Here’s a video I made that shows you how to do it: it’s easy! Do this and you’ll be ahead of 99% of the people who donate.
2) Do A Google or Bing Search On The Leadership
Figure out who is running the group; the President or treasurer, then do a quick search on their name,
In the case of the group Patriots for Economic Freedom that I’ve written about, a simple search shows that group treasurer Tyler Whitney doesn’t appear to be the conservative he purports to be, for example.
Hint: make sure you look a couple of pages into the search results. Sometimes, that’s where the interesting stuff is.
3) Ask Them!
Almost all these groups have email addresses or phone numbers listed, so why not reach out and ask them a question or two.
How much do you spend on candidates? What percentage of your money goes to fundraising and administation?
You’ve already searched them so you know the answer but you don’t need to tell them that.
You’ll find that the shadier groups won’t even return your phone call or email…people clamming up when asked simple questions is a good sign that they may be hiding something.
I’m exposing corruption and trying to keep people from wasting their money but I need your help : please hit my tip jar to support my reporting.
A quick reminder of the not so distant past : Patriots For Economic Freedom’s Allen West Scam
You may remember the recount drama back in the 2012 elections over Allen West’s congressional seat. Well, libertarian Tyler Whitney’s faux-conservative group Patriots For Economic Freedom was right there trying to cash in on it.
But as you’ll see in a moment, Tyler Whitney and his (Dan Backer connected) Patriots For Economic Freedom group were once again running a scam.
Here’s Tyler Whitney (using his pseudonym Andrew Whitney) posted about on their ‘Allen West Facing Recount!’ page:
But It Was A Scam, According To The West Campaign
A Politico story from 2012 tells the story:
There’s a new super PAC popping up in this year’s campaign: SCAM PAC.
In the presidential race, and tied to the coattails of Republican firebrand Rep. Allen West, a cottage industry has sprung up in which groups with such seemingly innocuous names as “Patriots for Economic Freedom” use high-profile campaigns and big names like West to raise money for themselves and build their email lists.
It’s the inevitable, if unsightly, convergence of the Internet, tea party, the post-Citizens United campaign-finance era and the presence of a Democrat in the White House who is despised by many conservatives. Political operatives can create a PAC and corresponding website on the cheap, drop some cash to rent an email list and, voilà— in come the small-dollar contributions from grass-roots Republicans eager to support any effort aiming to turn out President Barack Obama or reelect the fiery West.
Except those chunks of $25 and $50 don’t often find their way to any serious campaigns to beat Obama or boost West.
“The vast majority of the groups that we know are engaged in this have done nothing for West,” said Jill Holtzman Vogel, the congressman’s campaign attorney.
History Repeats & The Scams Keep Going
Tyler Whitney and group is still at and so is attorney Dan Backer; using the name and reputation of well-known conservative figures to raise cash in deceptive ways.
A quick pitch: I’ve been covering the story of how these people are ripping off conservative and Tea Party donors. Please hit my tip jar with a donation to support this work.
Two complaints filed this week by a Republican led group in Montana lay out a damning case against lobbying group National Right To Work Committee and affiliated groups and individuals for years of extensive illegal campaign activity.
Two complaints were filed on Monday, April 21st with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices. The first was filed against the National Right to Work Committee and people associated with it. The second complaint was against people and organizations including Western Tradition Partnership / American Tradition Partnership and the people behind those groups including Christian and Allison LeFer and Donny Ferguson. Ferguson is currently communications director for Texas Congressman Steve Stockman.
National Right To Work Committee Allegations
The allegations made against the National Right to Work committee are stark and consistent with the months of reporting I’ve done on the group — it claims that they operated secret printing presses, coordinated illegally with candidates and operated a number of deceptive front groups.
This complaint is being filed against National Right to Work Committee and its affiliates, agents, officers, and directors for violations of Montana campaign finance and practices laws. For many years, the National Right to Work Committee has operated a secret political mail operation. The National Right to Work Committee owns its own printing presses and has the ability to produce thousands of mailings
in less than a few weeks. During the 2008, 2010, and 2012 election cycles the National Right to Work Committee through its affiliates and agents mailed thousands of pieces of election material to Montana voters. The National Prolife Alliance, National League of Taxpayers, National Association of Gun Rights, National Gun Owners Alliance, and Western Tradition Partnership/American Tradition Partnership are nothing more than front groups/agents of the National Right to Work Committee and act under the direction of the National Right to Work Committee.
Although the National Right to Work Committee has taken various steps to conceal the connection of the front groups/affiliates, there is enough publically available information to suggest a connection between the National Right to Work Committee and entities identified above. The National Right to Work Committee is located at 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 500 in Springfield, VA 22160. The National Prolife Alliance is located at 5211 Port Royal Road, Suite 500, Springfield, VA 22151. It is believed these addresses are for the same office building. The office building where the National Right to Work Committee is located is at the intersection of Braddock Road and Port Royal Road in Springfield, Virginia. An analysis of Google Maps shows the same office building is used for both addresses.
The connection between these entities is more apparent when reviewing other publically available information. According to documents submitted to the Federal Elections Commission, the treasurer for the National Prolife Alliance PAC is Steve Antosh. Mr. Antosh’s personal residence is 3237 Fairfax, VA. (Fairfax County Treasurer Records). This is the same address as the National League of Taxpayers. The President of the National Gun Owners Alliance is Dennis Fusaro who was also a prominent member of the National Right to Work Committee. The National Gun Owners Alliance has also used the same mailing address as the National League of Taxpayers.
Christian Lefer is the officer of Montana Citizens for Right to Work. Montana Citizens for Right to Work is financed by the National Right to Work Committee. See National Right to Work IRS Tax Returns. Mr. Lefer has also acted as an agent of Western Tradition Partnership/American Tradition Partnership. On information and belief, the National Right to Work Committee contributed to and/or financed the political operation of Montana Citizens for Right to Work/Western TraditionPartnership/American Tradition Partnership. These entities have never filed any of the necessary paperwork required by Montana law and have never disclosed any contributions and/or expenditures. The complaint filed by Bruce Tutvedt shows a flyer paid for by the National Association for Gun Rights. The bulk mail postage stamp shows the flyer originated from the same mail house as the mailers sent by Western Tradition Partnership. It is believed the mailers were produced by Christian Lefer and/or Direct Mail and Communicati ons.
Lefers, Donny Ferguson May Face Multi-Million Dollar Fines
Both complaints is seeking remedies including hefty fines and other injunctions from the LeFers, Ferguson, National Right to Work President Mark Mix and others because it says they are personally liable under Montana law:
The agents, officers, and directors of WTP/ATP/TFL/AAF/MCRW are personally liable for all fines, penalties, and other sanctions resulting from the violations listed above under the following statutes:
1. Section 13-35-105, MCA. Under Montana law, a person who aids and abets the conduct of a person who violates a provision of Montana election law is also guilty of a violation of that provision.
2. Section 28-10-702, MCA. Under Montana law, a person who assumes to act as an agent is responsible to third persons when the agent’s acts are wrongful in their nature.
The complaint asks for:
A fine against each party in the amount of three times the amount spent by WTP/ATP/TFL/AAF/MCRW and the other associated entities in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles under § 13-37-128, MCA. It is my understanding WTP/ATP alone spent roughly $500,000 in the 2010 election cycle. Thus, for the 2010 election cycle, I would request a fine against each person or entity who committed violations in the 2010 election cycle for the amount of $1,500,000 just for the WTP/ATP expenditures. I would request other equivalent fines based upon the amount of spending by the other entities in 2010 and 2012;
An inspection of documents and reports under § 13-37-121, MCA and issuance of orders of noncompliance as authorized by law;
An injunction pursuant to § 13-35-108, MCA to prohibit WTP/ATP/TFL/AAF/MCRW and its entities, associates, affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, treasurers, and agents from spending any money or performing any election related activity until WTP/ATP/TFL/AAF/MCRW are in compliance with Montana law;
Complaints Filed By Republican Group
The complaints were filed by a Republican affiliated group called Business Advocates for Sensible Elections. As Montana TV station KXLH reported:
“Dark money” is the term commonly used to refer to money spent to influence an election that does not disclose the source of the funding.
After MT State Senator Ed Buttrey (R-Great Falls) didn’t vote in a way that satisfied so called “dark money” groups during the session, he says that he was threatened: “It was told to me, ‘You are dead in the next election…we are coming after you.'”
But despite fear of possible retaliation, Buttrey, along with several Republican lawmakers, are fighting back.
The group is called Montana Business Advocates for Sensible Elections – abbreviated Montana BASE – and their issue is with 501(c)4 organizations, also known as “dark money” groups.
An old friend of mine on Facebook posted the following quote attributed to Bob Newhart:
I don’t like country music, but I don’t mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means ‘put down’.
My friend is a liberal, by the way, and the joke was met with laughter and approval.
So, since so many people are talking about today’s Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, let me ask a very non-PC question…is the same joke acceptable if it’s phrased this way?
I don’t like rap music, but I don’t mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like rap music, denigrate means ‘put down’.
It’s exactly the same joke, except with a different style of music in the set-up.
I think we all know how the liberals would respond…to the second joke.
What do you think?
Here’s an answer from another Facebook friend of mine: