Happy FEC filing day to you and yours! Subscribe to my Twitter list of people who care about such things, if you care about such things. And here's my question: will today be the day Donald Trump finally meets Hillary Clinton's level of transparency by releasing his bundlers?
Speaking of FEC day, CNN reports that Sheldon Adelson will be off the sidelines today: "Conservative megadonor Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, have committed roughly $45 million so far to Donald Trump's presidential campaign and downballot Republicans' attempt to control Congress, according to a person familiar with Adelson's thinking."
Five million of that is expected to go to a pro-Trump super PAC. Does that make Trump a "puppet" now like he said it did Rubio? Donald Jr. recently talked about the "ongoing relationship" between his family and the Adelsons and Trump met with him at least twice in recent weeks. Judd Apatow liked this tweet of mine on Trump's big money evolution.
And the Wall Street Journal notes that the Ricketts family, which spent $5 million to defeat Trump in the primary, will also make a donation to help him. It seems like only yesterday Trump sort of threatened them, twice. Politics!
Topics for next week's debate were announced yesterday, and they remind me of themes for the Sarah Rose Cosmetics Mount Rose American Teen Princess Pageant. But, "America's Direction" and "Achieving Prosperity" both involve strengthening our democracy, so questions about that could easily be asked, as called for in recent op-eds by FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel, Patriotic Millionaire Morris Pearl and Urban League's Marc Morial, and Every Voice's Rahna Epting with Democracy Alliance's Austin Belaly.
CREW: CREW Wins Major Lawsuit Against FEC
Welp: "A federal judge ruled today that the FEC’s dismissal of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)’s complaints against American Action Network (AAN) and Americans for Job Security (AJS) was 'arbitrary and capricious' and 'contrary to law' and directed the FEC to reconsider the cases using a greatly expanded standard of what counts as a political ad."
NBC Bay Area: Dysfunction at the Federal Elections Commission
Wow, look at this local coverage of FEC dysfunction: "They are charged with protecting our nation’s democracy, but a joint investigation between NBC Bay Area and WRC (NBC4) in Washington uncovered extensive evidence the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) often does nothing to enforce elections laws. Ranking members of the (FEC) tell NBC that political gridlock prevents the agency from enforcing those laws that regulate campaign spending and keep elections honest and fair."
Chicago Tribune: State Farm policyholders get class-action status in $1 billion RICO lawsuit
State Farm had a $1 billion suit pending several years ago, so it bankrolled the election of a judge. That judge ruled in State Farm's favor. Now: "A federal racketeering lawsuit involving State Farm and allegations of funneling money into the election of a state judge has been granted class-action status, potentially benefiting more than 4 million policyholders."
George Bush's former ethics czar Richard Painter weighs in in support of South Dakota's ballot initiative to give everyday people a bigger voice in politics: "South Dakota voters planning to back the Republican presidential nominee should also check the 'Yes' box on Initiated Measure 22, three conservative national ethics and campaign reform leaders said Monday." LTE in support.
Post-Gazette: In wake of lawsuit, voter registrations up at Pennsylvania’s county assistance sites
Congrats to our friends at Demos for their work to put the NVRA to use: "Since 2012, when a lawsuit was settled over voter registration issues, county assistance offices have submitted voter registration applications or change of address updates for more than 160,000 Pennsylvanians, according to a tally of statistics from the state."
New York Times: The Success of the Voter Fraud Myth
Editorial: "The truth is that those who created the specter of voter fraud don’t care about the integrity of the voting system; they want to undermine the rights of legitimate voters because that helps them win elections."
Washington Post: An inside look at how politicians beg for big checks
Matea Gold goes in on the Scott Walker/John Doe leaks and finds, "Walker approached elite contributors as a supplicant, the emails show, counseled by aides on how to ingratiate himself. "
Last night, Samantha Bee talked to a Democratic superdelegate who's also a lobbyist for payday and title lenders.
Center for Public Integrity: Pro-painkiller echo chamber shaped policy amid drug epidemic
Don't miss part two of this AP/CPI investigation: "Hundreds of internal documents shed new light on how drugmakers and their allies shaped the national response to the ongoing wave of prescription opioid abuse, which has claimed the lives of roughly 165,000 Americans since 2000, according to federal estimates."
On Saturday, Oklahoma billionaire Harold Hamm chaired a fundraiser for Donald Trump. On Friday, his ex-wife Sue Ann Arnall, will host Tim Kaine at her home for a reception.
Washington Post: Bill Clinton begins to bid farewell to his foundation’s signature event
"For heads of states from countries all across the world, chief executives and leaders of non-governmental organizations, to have their names recognized — albeit haltingly — from the lectern by Clinton has become an annual tradition and a succinct distillation of the role CGI serves."
The NRA is giving Trump some air cover.
New York Times: Trump Campaign Vows to Fund Florida Push, Official Says, but Cash Is in Limbo
"The campaign of Donald J. Trump, whose grass-roots organizing in Florida is far behind that of conventional presidential nominees, promised $1.9 million for a ground game in the state but has yet to come through with the money, less than five weeks before early voting begins."
AP: Gold cards and red hats: A Trumpian approach to fundraising
"Donald Trump is underwriting his presidential bid by selling the Donald Trump lifestyle — and campaign finance records show it is working."
In her Mic op-ed yesterday, Clinton wrote, "Of course, to do any of these things, we can't have secret unaccountable money poisoning our politics. So I'll appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Citizens United and even propose a constitutional amendment to do the same. And by doing that, we'll make sure that no special interests can get in the way of protecting and expanding civil rights, LGBT rights and all human rights."
Politico: Schumer transfers millions to Dems in bid for Senate takeover
"Chuck Schumer is sitting on a mountain of cash. And now he’s starting to dole it out to fellow Democrats who might make him majority leader. The New York senator is transferring $1 million to the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm on Tuesday. He’s also given $3.2 million to state parties over the past week, Democratic sources said."
Politico: Freedom Caucus stiffs GOP on campaign cash
Freedom Caucus is just another word nothing left for dues: "House Republicans already struggling to protect their historic majority this fall are confronting a multimillion-dollar shortfall in their campaign budget — driven partly by Freedom Caucus members and other hard-line conservatives who are boycotting the GOP’s campaign arm."
Buzzfeed: Pro-Trump PAC “Liberty Action Group” Responds To FEC Inquiry Amid Lawsuit
"A pro-Donald Trump political action committee that has raised almost $800,000 responded last week to an inquiry from the Federal Election Commission asking why the group’s filings lack basic information about its spending and contributions."
OpenSecrets: MLB a little late to the game with FEC filings
"The professional baseball organization's PAC, the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball PAC, is now correcting past errors, reporting at least $19,000 worth of political contributions it had failed to share with the FEC over the past eight years"
Courier-Journal: Here are Frankfort's biggest lobbying interests
"Nearly 700 groups have reported spending more than $14.3 million to influence the Kentucky General Assembly this year, the vast majority of that was in fees paid to lobbyists."