Today's top new stories about money in politics and democracy.
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February 10, 2020

Top Money in Politics News

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Sheldon Adelson to donate $100m to Trump and Republicans, fundraisers say (The Guardian) “The billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson, an ardent pro-Israel conservative, is expected to donate at least $100m to boost Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election efforts and Republican congressional candidates this fall, say three Republican fundraisers familiar with Adelson’s initial plans.

Adelson’s hefty checks are expected to be written to several Super Pacs – political groups that have to disclose their donors – as well as “dark money” not-for-profit organizations that can keep their donors secret, say the fundraisers.

One source predicted that Adelson, who in tandem with his Israeli-born wife, Miriam, donated more than $100m to Super Pacs and dark money groups in each of the last two presidential cycles, could wind up contributing close to $200m in 2020 given their recent spending patterns and appreciation for Trump’s policies.”

Also see: Foreign interference in elections is unacceptable. Congress must make it illegal. (The Washington Post) “The Senate, by a nearly straight party-line vote, has now acquitted President Trump of the charges in the articles of impeachment brought by the House. The president had insisted that his dealings with Ukraine over military aid and a possible investigation of Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president Joe Biden, were “perfect.” However, even as Republican senators acquitted him, several disagreed, saying his actions were wrong but did not break any law.”

Campaign finance: Inmates running the asylum? (The Hill) “Do politicians have free rein to run amok with campaign financing? In the last week the nation’s news media has been consumed with drama of the presidential impeachment, the spectacle of the Super Bowl, the point and counterpoint of the State of the Union Address, the latest numbers on the Coronavirus and the politician’s debacle surrounding the Iowa caucus.

Distracted by these events diverting the public’s attention — and largely ignored by the main stream media — the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Feb. 3, 2020 issued GAO-26-66P “Campaign Finance: Federal Framework, Agency Roles and Responsibilities, and Perspectives,”a distressing report on Campaign Finance enforcement.”

Sanders calls out Buttigieg for raking in billionaire donations (Common Dreams) “With just four days to go before the New Hampshire Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday sought to contrast his small dollar-fueled campaign with Pete Buttigieg's reliance on big money by highlighting the former South Bend, Indiana mayor's dozens of billionaire campaign contributors.

At a breakfast event at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire hours ahead of the sixth Democratic presidential debate Friday night, Sanders — who has rejected all billionaire campaign cash — rattled off the headlines of several recent news stories on Buttigieg's billionaire donors.”

Also see: Individual members of Congress barred from suing President Trump over business dealings (The Washington Post) “Individual members of Congress cannot sue President Trump to stop his private businesses from accepting payments from foreign governments, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled Friday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously dismissed a lawsuit filed by more than 200 Democrats in Congress seeking to enforce the Constitution’s anti-corruption emoluments provision.”

Congress can enact effective reforms to ensure government is ‘for the people’ | Opinion (Miami Herald) “With the Senate’s acquittal of President Trump on Wednesday, the impeachment saga came to an end. So, what next?

It’s likely we will hear recriminations and accusations, see finger-pointing and even name-calling. More evidence related to the president’s phone call with the Ukrainian president may surface as court cases unfold, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman go to trial and we finally see John Bolton’s book.

Any additional information should be shared with voters as they move forward to make decisions in this next and pivotal election. But we also must look forward and use the events of the past year to strengthen our democracy. We can enact long-lasting reforms that will help guard against future abuse of power and election interference by any president, no matter which party he or she is affiliated with.”



The Senate’s refusal to hold the President accountable for his actions signals to big corporations, wealthy special interests & foreign leaders that for the right price, they too can be above the law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should allow a vote on #HR1 ASAP.

It’s time to restore and fix the FEC.

ON 2020
Dark money and corporate interests have had too much power over our elections for too long. We need to hear how the 2020 candidates will put voters first and get money out of politics! #AskAboutDemocracy #DemDebate 

Our elected leaders should serve the public’s interest, not their own self-interest.

ON H.R.1 
As the Senate impeachment trial comes to a close, we have a unique opportunity to enact reforms to restore faith in our democracy. The Senate must take up and pass #HR1 immediately. #democracyreform | facebook | twitter

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