Day: August 28, 2012

This is how elections are bought…Putting the Mega in Mega-Donor

I’m a day late on this one, but it’s seriously worth posting, anyway.

The Progress Report

August 27, 2012

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is by far the GOP’s biggest donor. He has already plowed more than $35 MILLION into the presidential race and says he’ll spend a “limitless” amount to defeat President Obama, perhaps more than $100 MILLION.

Adelson also has his eye on the House of Representatives. He is almost single-handedly bankrolling a Super PAC associated with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), having given the group $5 MILLION. And just last week, Adelson is reported to have contributed $500,000 to a Super PAC backing a single House candidate. That’s right, half a million dollars to influence a single House race.

While these numbers are huge — and pose a huge threat to our democracy — they are actually small potatoes for right-wing billionaires like Adelson.

This handy infographic puts it all into perspective.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed

The GOP’s new women’s outreach strategy: free hair and make-up touch ups.

Pennsylvania GOP senate candidate: getting pregnant from rape is “similar” to having a baby out of wedlock.

Texas GOP senate candidate: Hurricane Isaac is a “blessing” that we should be “thankful” for.

Better know an anti-LGBT senate candidate: Scott Brown (R-MA).

Mitt Romney kicked the overt race-baiting of his campaign up a few notches.

Chris Matthews goes after the RNC Chairman for the GOP’s race-baiting on the campaign trail.

Men defining rape, a history.

GOP platform chair: rape is just a “detail” in the abortion debate.

Republicans held disaster relief funding hostage several times last year.

 

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien confronts director of Citizens United’s anti-Obama film

Soledad O'Brien screenshot

The movie is based on a book by Dinesh D’Suza called The Roots of Obama’s Rage.  It was debunked by several news organizations including Media Matters.

The director Steve Bannon, who was interviewed by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, feels no obligation to correct any of the dis-information associated with the movie.

The Raw Story

CNN host Soledad O’Brien on Monday questioned Steve Bannon of Breitbart.com over falsehoods in his new movie The Hope and The Change.

The film, a project of the conservative group Citizens United, highlights 40 Democrats and Independents who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 but no longer support him. One person in the film complains that taxes have gone up, while another complains about the bank bailout. However, tax rates have actually gone down and the bank bailout occurred under President Bush.

“Voters can be low information voters,” Bannon said. “They can be mid-information voters. We went and took a pool of voters, right, who voted for President Obama who are active in the voter pool, registered voters who are likely to vote. Some said they are not going to vote because they may not vote for President Obama. But we got their feelings. And some of them had information that’s not absolutely perfect. I mean, a lot of them don’t know a lot about Obamacare.”

“It sounds like it doesn’t matter to you if the information of the voter is accurate,” O’Brien replied.

“No, it matters but when they’re talking about their own personal beliefs, some of that is in there, absolutely,” Bannon said in defense.

“But taxes going up isn’t a personal belief, it’s a fact, right?” O’Brien shot back.

“It was a belief of hers,” Bannon answered.

Watch video on CNN.

Coal miners say they were forced to attend Romney event and donate

Mitt Romney speaks to coal miners

This sort of thing has gone on for years, so from that perspective, there’s no surprise there.

However, with the Citizens United decision to allow private donors to give any amount they want, why are employers (mostly in right to work states) asking/forcing their employees to give to the politician of the company’s choice?

The Raw Story

A group of coal miners in Ohio feel they would have been fired if they did not attend an Aug. 14 event with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and contribute to his campaign — and to make matters worse, they lost of day of pay for their trouble.

In phone calls and emails to WWVA radio host David Blomquist, employees at the Century Mine in Ohio said they feared retaliation if they did not attend the Romney event.

“Yes, we were in fact told that the Romney event was mandatory and would be without pay, that the hours spent there would need to be made up my non-salaried employees outside of regular working hours, with the only other option being to take a pay cut for the equivalent time,” the employees told Blomquist. “Yes, letters have gone around with lists of names of employees who have not attended or donated to political events.”

“I realize that many people in this area and elsewhere would love to have my job or my benefits,” one worker explained. “And our bosses do not hesitate in reminding us of this. However, I can not agree with these callers and my supervisors, who are saying that just because you have a good job, that you should have to work any day for free on almost no notice without your consent.”

“We do not appreciate being intimidated into exchanging our time for nothing. I heard one of your callers saying that Murray employees are well aware of what they are getting into upon hire, or that they are informed that a percentage of their income will go to political donations. I can not speak for that caller, but this is news for me. We merely find out how things work by experience.”

Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore told Blomquist that the charges were untrue.

“There were no workers that were forced to attend the event,” Moore said. “We had managers that communicated to our work force that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend the event. We had a pre-registration list. And employees were asked to put their names on a pre-registration list because they could not get into the event unless they were pre-registered and had a name tag to enter the premises.”

“What about not getting paid for an eight-hour day?” Blomquist wondered. “If the mine was shut down for the visit, I understand, but wouldn’t it be fair — let’s use the word ‘fair’ — to still pay these individuals for that day? I mean, it wasn’t their fault they weren’t working.”

“Our management people wanted to attend the event and we could not have people underground during Romney’s visit,” Moore insisted.

“But why not still pay then their wage for that day?” Blomquist pressed.

“By federal election law, we could not pay people to attend the event,” Moore replied. “And we did not want anyone to come back and see where anyone had been paid for that day.”

Continue here…