Fundraising

Grit Tv’s The Loaded Chamber Pts 1, 2 & 3

Grit TV is doing an expose’ series on the Chamber of Commerce and why they decided to manipulate this year’s midterm elections with anonymous donor money which may or may not include money from foreign sources.

Grit TV

“The chamber’s increasingly aggressive role — including record spending in the midterm elections that supports Republicans more than 90 percent of the time — has made it a target of critics, including a few local chamber affiliates who fear it has become too partisan and hard-nosed in its fund-raising.”

So reports a headline story in the New York Times today about the Chamber of Commerce’s increasingly secretive and partisan fundraising and lobbying efforts. The Chamber, once an institution that supported small and family businesses, increasingly does the bidding of a few large corporations, and in the first part of our GRITtv Digs investigation, Harry Hanbury starts to open up the Chamber’s secrets for you.

Part 1

 

Part 2

 

Part 3

 

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Tim Kaine: Anonymous Conservative Fundraising Could Be Biggest Scandal Since Watergate

I don’t think Tim Kaine’s prediction are too far-fetched.  The entire campaign finance fiasco with The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the subsequent cover-up of its political donations appear to be very suspicious.

Huffington Post

DNC Chair Tim Kaine raised the rhetorical stakes surrounding the debate over anonymous political donors, saying that the funding revenues driving conservative groups in the 2010 elections could be the biggest scandal since Watergate.

“I think this is a huge story, it might end up being — I’m not in the [journalism] business — one of the biggest political process stories since Watergate,” said Kaine. “As we see this trend toward funding campaigns through non-reportable entities, the Democrats stand squarely for requiring disclosure of who is funding campaigns…. And I don’t think it is an accident that you are seeing this happen, happening in a major way now.”

Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Thursday, Kaine’s argument echoed a fear, expressed most often by good government groups, that the dismantling of 30 years of campaign finance regulations had created a Wild West-like electoral landscape, ripe for conflicts of interest and corruption. He predicted that at the end of the election, “non-reportable spending” would dwarf “the reportable spending” on the Republican side of the aisle. And he even went so far as to claim that Republicans were fostering a non-disclosure climate to lure in big donors.

Not every development since Watergate in American politics has been salutatory,” said Kaine. “But if you were to pick one with no downside and it’s all been good I think the move towards transparency in campaign financing has been an enormously positive and a concerted decision by the other side to try and end-run that and frankly, try and use secrecy as a marketing tool – ‘Hey if you are going to give, why not give to us, no limits and we can keep it secret’ – I think that poses some very significant challenges to the institutions of democracy we have.”

And yet, by raising the specter of Nixonian political tricks Kaine was offering clear bait for the political reporters in attendance. At one point, in fact, he recalled how few journalists, save Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, originally thought that the Watergate scandal was of any real significance – enticing those in attendance to dig in deeper on the funding debate currently being waged.

“There is this battered file cabinet [at the DNC] and you pass by it a million times a day and never know what it is,” said Kaine. “It is the file cabinet that was broken into at the Watergate hotel in 1974 we just keep it around as a little memento. And we think about that recently because Watergate, you know, was a scandal that had a lot of tentacles to it. It was a break-in story that most thought was unimportant, but a couple of enterprising reporters thought it was important. But by the time it expanded it had its tentacles on a whole lot of areas including the financing of campaigns.”

First lady raises cash, enthusiasm

Politico

Michelle Obama’s East Wing staff suggested she would take it slow once she started campaigning, emphasizing her nonpolitical “mom-in-chief” role and her noncontroversial fight against childhood obesity.

Instead, the first lady made her political presence felt immediately Wednesday, delivering an impassioned and overtly religious pitch for Democrats to defend her husband’s legacy in the midterm elections.

“We got this man in office; we’re all proud of Barack and his accomplishments,” Obama told syndicated radio host Tom Joyner before embarking on a week of campaign events that will take her to Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado, Washington and California on behalf of endangered Democrats.

“Everybody I know in our communities [is] praying for us,” she said, adopting a religious theme seldom used by her husband — and landing her on top of The Drudge Report, a space she occupied with some regularity two years ago.

“Every day we feel that, and let me just tell your listeners, it means the world to us to know that there are prayer circles out there and people who want to keep the spirits clean around us,” she added.

It remains to be seen if the first lady can offer endangered candidates any real boost with less than three weeks to go — or if her help is too late. But she is raising spirits — as well as cash — with her presence.

After a fundraiser here for Sen. Russ Feingold, Obama traveled to a Chicago fundraiser for Illinois Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias, for which tickets started at $750. When her husband hosted his own cocktail reception for the candidate in Chicago, tickets started at $500.       Continue reading…