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Today's top new stories about money in politics and democracy.
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NEWS & ANALYSIS
Tuesday

March 24, 2020

Top Money in Politics News

Before Trump called for reevaluating lockdowns, they shuttered six of his top-earning clubs and resorts (The Washington Post) “President Trump’s private business has shut down six of its top seven revenue-producing clubs and hotels because of restrictions meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, potentially depriving Trump’s company of millions of dollars in revenue.

Those closures come as Trump is considering easing restrictions on movement sooner than federal public health experts recommend, in the name of reducing the virus’s economic damage.

In a tweet late Sunday, Trump said the measures could be lifted as soon as March 30. “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” he wrote on Twitter.”

Burr insider trading scandal reveals need for stronger anti-corruption measures (NBC News) “Before the Trump administration finally acknowledged the true threat posed by the coronavirus known as COVID-19 to America’s health and well-being and before the stock market began to crash at the end of February, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., was publicly downplaying the gravity of the threat. “Thankfully, the United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus, in large part due to the work of the Senate Health Committee, Congress, and the Trump Administration,” Burr assured Americans in a Fox News op-ed co-authored with Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.”

Supreme Court Rejects Keeping Republican Super PAC Donor Secret (Bloomberg Government) “The Supreme Court rejected a bid to keep secret a “John Doe” donor who gave $1.7 million to a Republican super PAC in a move that could make it harder for political “dark money” groups to shield the identities of their biggest contributors in the 2020 elections and beyond.

The court let stand a lower court decision allowing a trust fund used by the donor to be named by the Federal Election Commission. The trust and a trustee sued to keep their identities secret, and were identified in court papers as John Doe.

Once the lower court follows up on the Supreme Court’s order, FEC commissioner Ellen Weintraub said she would release a statement with the names of the trust and trustee used to funnel money to the super PAC.”

With democracy reform stalled on Capitol Hill, local and state solutions needed (The Fulcrum) “While important democratic reforms continue to stall in the Senate, activists in some states and municipalities are showing there's another way.

In Washington state, we've created a blueprint to rein in money in politics that can work elsewhere.

We've shown that a combination of public financing of elections, increasing access to the ballot, requiring nonprofits to disclose their top donors and coming up with creative ways to restrict the flow of corporate cash into politics can go a long way in returning government to the people.”

SOCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

ON TRUMP
RT Noah Bookbinder President Trump's company shut down six top hotels and resorts because of restrictions to stop the spread of corona virus. Now he's thinking of reversing those restrictions. As long as he profits from his businesses, we'll have to doubt his motivations. https://t.co/rGMRwr86kS

ON INSIDER TRADING
RT NBC News THINK The hypocrisy of members of Congress downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic in public, but cashing in on the stock market in private, troubling, write @CBHolman and @Lisa_PubCitizen.

Whether or not Senator Burr is prosecuted, he should resign: 
https://t.co/WYOlhOlQ71

ON DONOR DISCLOSURE
#DarkMoneyOut https://about.bgov.com/news/supreme-court-rejects-keeping-republican-super-pac-donor-secret

ON SEATTLE
It’s been one year since the House passed the #ForThePeople Act to end the dominance of big money in politics, strengthen voting rights, and improve government and judicial ethics. It’s time for @senatemajldr to stop stonewalling and allow a vote on this critical legislation. 


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