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“Cruz Sugar Daddy Funds A Fake Black GOP Group”: “Black Americans For A Better Future”, Has Just One Member

One of the GOP’s leading billionaire donors is also funding 96 percent of a super PAC named “Black Americans for a Better Future.”

Funny thing is, that donor, eccentric billionaire Robert Mercer, is white.

Two eagle-eyed watchdogs, Derek Willis of ProPublica and Dave Levinthal of Public Integrity, spotted the funding in a recent set of FEC filings, and The Intercept first reported the news. As the filings showed, Mercer has provided $400,000 of the group’s $417,250 donations so far.

Is it odd that an organization that says it’s made up of “Black Americans” is in fact bankrolled by a white billionaire? Sure, but that’s just the beginning.

The organization, “Black Americans for a Better Future,” essentially a one-person shop run by longtime GOP political operative Raynard Jackson.

Jackson is an unusual character. This is clear even on the surface: his slapdash website looks like a bad parody of 1998, and is littered with typos and grammatical mistakes. (“Is homosexual entitlements the new civil rights?” “I am also available for speaking engagements also.”)

But the weirdness goes deeper than that.

So far, the only expenditures for “Black Americans for a Better Future” are Jackson’s own salary of $155,000, travel costs (including, as The Intercept reporting, $5,000 at Morton’s Steakhouse in New York), and the $13,000 cost of its only activity thus far, a November 17 luncheon at the National Press Club.

Jackson himself is a profilic blogger who often takes fellow African Americans to task. His favorite target, unsurprisingly, is President Obama, of whom Jackson says, “He is light skinned, has no connection with the Black community, Ivy League educated, and seems very uncomfortable around Blacks who are not part of the bourgeoisie.”

Jackson is also not fond of Spike Lee, describing Lee’s newest film, Chi-Raq, as a “profanity laced, liberally biased, finger pointing diatribe that blames Republicans and Whites for all the murders taking place in Chicago.”

It’s an odd critique, given that Chi-Raq, a retelling of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, is about black women demanding that black men stop killing each other (and withholding sex until they do), clearly placing responsibility, for the most part, on black men.

Maybe that’s because Jackson’s “review” is actually a pitch for one of his pet projects.

“It is extremely imperative that Republicans have an active surrogates program,” Jackson writes. “Black Republicans are constantly ridiculed in movies, TV sit-coms, and in pop culture. I have constantly expressed to party leaders the necessity of having a vibrant surrogates program where Black Republicans are seen on TV, heard on the radio, and interviewed in newspapers.”

Who does Jackson like? “Black men need more white women like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham,” Jackson wrote in a 2014 post. Even though they are conservative media personalities, they have done more to promote the well-being of black males than many of the very women who stridently complain about the lack of ‘eligible’ black men.”

Wait, what?

Jackson explains that Coulter’s anti-immigration stance helps black people, quoting her statement that “We owe black people something… We have a legacy of slavery. Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.” As for Ingraham, Jackson quotes her statement that Democrats “turn their heads away from the millions upon millions of black babies slaughtered in the womb over 10 years.… Is that racist?”

Jackson concludes, “We black men need more white women like Coulter and Ingraham, not back [sic] women who will give a pass to a failing black president.”

Of course, it’s not just black women; President Obama received 96 percent of the African American vote in 2012. But Jackson says they are deluded by Black leaders who refuse to criticize the president else they “jeopardize their invitations to the White House’s Christmas party.”

So, Jackson continued, “it’s ok to do specific things for the Black bourgeoisie—private invitations to the White House, rides on Air Force One, private movie screenings at the White House, but [Obama] can’t do things specifically to address the high unemployment rate in the Black community?”

(The black unemployment rate when Obama took office was 12.7 percent; as of June, 2015, it was 9.5 percent. Obama also started the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in 2014 to focus on improving the lives of young African American men.)

In fact, the predominant theme in Jackson’s many online screeds seems to be his own resentment at being excluded from such elite circles. In a 2015 blog post, he complained that GOP chairman Rience Priebus stole his idea of giving out a “Black Republican Trailblazer Award” each February.

Most curiously, he complained in 2012 that “My Republican Party Has Abandoned Me” and rebuffed his efforts to attract more black voters. And yet, he wrote in 2012, “twice this year some of these same people have approached me about funding for some election year tricks that they (White Republicans) have conjured up and simply need a Black face to execute the plan. On these two separate occasions, these funders were willing to spend upwards of $20 million to have me organize a national campaign to identify Blacks who would be critical of President Obama.”

But wait, isn’t that exactly what Robert Mercer is paying him $400,000 to do in 2016?

The funding is not out of character for Mercer, part of a small cadre of .01-percenters who have bankrolled Cruz, upended the Republican Party, and mainstreamed formerly fringe ideas like abolishing the EPA and returning America to the gold standard. Last year, cluster of pro-Cruz super PACs called “Keep the Promise” raised over $38 million, chiefly from four extremely wealthy individuals: $11 million from Mercer, $15 million came from Farris and Dan Wilks, two brothers who made their fortune in the fracking industry, and $10 million from Toby Neugebauer, founder of the private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners.

Even that is just a small piece of the pie. Since 2012, Mercer has given $15 million in support of a wide range of ultra-conservative causes, candidates, and think tanks, including the tobacco-denier-turned-climate-change-denier Heartland institute ($4 million). That’s in addition to $10 million he invested in the far-right news site Breitbart.com back in 2011.

Moreover, as my colleague Mike Daly described last week, and Bloomberg Politics’ Zachary Mider reported in an excellent long-form profile, Mercer is an odd duck. A former computer programmer, Mercer is co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, a fabulously successful hedge fund based on sophisticated computer modeling and algorithms. One of its funds earned an astonishing 39 percent average annual return from 1989 to 2006. (Mercer joined the firm in 1993 and became co-CEO in 2009.)

Renaissance has also been investigated by Congress and the IRS for using accounting tricks to dodge $6.8 billion in taxes. The IRS investigation is still underway. (Cruz, of course, has promised to abolish the IRS.)

In his spare time, Mercer has funded quack scientists and fringe political candidates (or both: one Mercer-funded candidate is also stockpiling a huge collection of human urine), played at the world series of poker, and installed a model train set in his mansion at a price tag of $2.7 million.

Now, it’s too much of a stretch to impute Jackson’s quixotic ideas, via Mercer, to Ted Cruz himself. True, both Cruz and Jackson are beneficiaries of the same idiosyncratic billionaire donor. True, they share a certain dislike of the currently sitting president. But Cruz is no more responsible for BAFBF than he is for Mercer’s $2 million dollar train set.

And Jackson gets around: his website features pictures of him with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, and even segregationist fanboy Senator Trent Lott.

But this is the world in which Cruz travels. The same donor who has underwritten nearly one-third of his “independent” super PAC is also funding a wingnut shill to be the black face of faceless white billionaires.

 

By: Jay Michaelson, The Daily Beast, February 26, 2016

February 28, 2016 Posted by | Black Americans for a Better Future, GOP Campaign Donors, Robert Mercer | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Dishonest And Dishonorable”: Service Record; Trump, McCain, And Republican Contempt For Veterans

As soon as Donald Trump brayed that John McCain is “not a war hero” and went on to mock his suffering in North Vietnamese captivity, the righteous reaction of Republicans was entirely predictable. Nearly every would-be presidential candidate in the GOP, humiliated and worried by Trump’s sudden rise in the polls, immediately sought to wrap the loud-mouthed celebrity’s gaffe around his neck. No doubt some of them, like Senator Lindsey Graham, a close friend of his Arizona colleague, were truly incensed by Trump’s slur. But either way, the incident presented an irresistible opportunity to stoke public indignation against an opponent whose taunting has become unbearable, even as his rise appears inexorable.

Whether this episode will cost Trump the admiration of the Tea Party horde remains uncertain. Many of them already dislike McCain and may hear Trump’s insults as brutal candor.  But in denigrating a war hero to advance himself, the casino mogul did nothing more or less than what other “conservatives” have done for political expediency in elections past. Nobody should be shocked to hear a right-wing chicken-hawk disparaging a worthy veteran at this late date. In the Republican Party, it is standard operating procedure — and for any Republican to pretend otherwise now is risibly hypocritical.

Need we recall every example of this profoundly distasteful and unpatriotic conduct? One of the most poisonous occurred in 2002, when a Georgia Republican named Saxby Chambliss ran ads suggesting that Senator Max Cleland, a Vietnam War hero who had lost both legs and one arm in an accidental grenade explosion, lacked the guts to face down Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Cleland, a Democrat who had served in the Veterans Administration under President Carter, had cast a vote protecting the rights of civil service workers in the new Department of Homeland Security, thus earning him a smear at the hands of Chambliss — one of those smooth favorite sons who had nimbly avoided the Vietnam draft.

When Cleland spoke up against President George W. Bush two years later, Ann Coulter sniped at him with an even nastier shot:

“Max Cleland should stop allowing Democrats to portray him as a war hero who lost his limbs taking enemy fire on the battlefields of Vietnam,” she wrote, describing his misfortune as “an accident during a routine non-combat mission where he was about to drink beer with friends. He saw a grenade on the ground and picked it up. He could have done that at Fort Dix. In fact, Cleland could have dropped a grenade on his foot as a National Guardsman …. Luckily for Cleland’s political career and current pomposity about Bush, he happened to do it while in Vietnam.” Ugly and appalling, even from her reliably foul mouth — and replete with lying insinuation. Although he lost his limbs in an accident — when a young infantryman dropped a live grenade that Cleland picked up — he is an authentic war hero who won a Silver Star for “exceptionally valorous action” at the Battle of Khe Sanh.

According to the official citation:

When the battalion command post came under a heavy enemy rocket and mortar attack, Capt. Cleland, disregarding his own safety, exposed himself to the rocket barrage as he left his covered position to administer first aid to his wounded comrades. He then assisted in moving the injured personnel to covered positions. Continuing to expose himself, Capt. Cleland organized his men into a work party to repair the battalion communications equipment which had been damaged by enemy fire. His gallant action is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

That action took place four days before the accident that maimed Cleland and sent him into years of depression from which he emerged, with great courage, to lead a life of service to his fellow veterans and his country. He possesses a kind of nobility and grace that the likes of Coulter and Chambliss could not even comprehend.

The Cleland episode served as a prelude to the infamous “Swift Boat Veterans For Truth” assault on John Kerry, another heroic veteran who returned home to testify and organize against the same terrible war in which he had served with such distinction. Kerry’s brave dissent brought him the lasting enmity of the Republican right — and, when he ran for president in 2004, a litany of outlandish claims about his own highly decorated service, for which he had earned a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts.

Those false charges were concocted and publicized, as I reported at the time, with money provided by Texas millionaires allied with the Bush family and their political boss Karl Rove. The Republicans led by Rove went so far as to mock Kerry’s Purple Hearts on the floor of their convention. Their aim was not only to ruin Kerry’s reputation, but to deflect attention from the highly questionable service record of George W. Bush — a subject about which he had lied shamelessly in his own 1999 campaign autobiography, A Charge To Keep.

Ultimately, Kerry and the Navy vets who had actually served with him refuted all of the bogus Swift Boat accusations. By then, however, the political damage was done. He had lost a close election to a man whose presidential candidacy was originally rejected by most voters, and whose presidency came to be seen as a tragic mistake by most Americans.

Among those who spoke up on Kerry’s behalf, unsurprisingly, was none other than his friend and fellow veteran McCain, who denounced the Swift Boat campaign as “dishonest and dishonorable.” Recalling how supporters of George W. Bush spread lies about his own service during the 2000 primaries, McCain told the Associated Press that the “independent” Swift Boat ads attacking Kerry were “the same kind of deal that was pulled on me,” and called on the Bush White House to repudiate them. Equally unsurprisingly, Bush rejected McCain’s plea for decency. The Bush family, including Jeb — who once considered posing as a conscientious objector to avoid the Vietnam draft — quietly let the dirty tricksters do their dirty work, as usual.

But that wasn’t quite the end, as blogger extraordinaire Oliver Willis reported over the weekend. On the day before his brother’s second inauguration in January 2005, Jeb Bush sent a groveling letter (on official Governor of Florida stationery) to George E. Day, one of the leaders of the Swift Boat campaign. “As someone who truly understands the risk of standing up for something.” he wrote pompously, “I simply cannot express in words how much I value the [Swift Boat Veterans’] willingness to stand up against John Kerry. Their efforts, like their service to their country, speak volumes about what matters most.”

On Saturday, Jeb quickly seized the chance to pose as a defender of those who have served, while bashing his rival Trump. “Enough with the slanderous attacks,” he tweeted. “@SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans – especially POWs – have earned our respect and admiration.”

For those who know the story behind Jeb’s feigned outrage, that tweet could evoke nausea, or laughter, or perhaps both. What it could not do is erase the stain on his character that this episode has revealed. Sure, Donald Trump is a demented, obnoxious character who lacks moral values. But somehow Jeb, a tough-talking weenie and sanctimonious fraud, seems even worse.

 

By; Joe Conason, Editor in Chief, Featured Post, Editors Blog, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015 Posted by | Donald Trump, Republicans, Veterans | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Have Only Themselves To Blame”: If The GOP Had Settled The Immigration Issue, It Wouldn’t Have A Donald Trump Problem

You cannot overstate how embarrassing Donald Trump has become for the GOP. The party of Lincoln and Eisenhower is getting pantsed by a tacky reality TV star and Clinton Foundation donor who tweeted that Jeb Bush likes “Mexican illegals because of his wife.” A man who has repeatedly made can’t-lose enterprises like casinos and New York real estate go bankrupt has the gall to get off the phone with his party’s chairman and tell the media, “We’re not dealing with a five-star Army general.” The Republican leadership even confesses that it is paralyzed by this crazy right-wing challenger whose last presidential run began by quitting the GOP for the Reform Party, with the explanation: “I really believe the Republicans are just too crazy right.”

But the truth is that Republicans have only themselves to blame. Trump’s success in the polls is not just a matter of spectacle. Republicans have let the issue of illegal immigration simmer for two decades. And rather than pick a course and stick to it, the party has done a series of head fakes. That has allowed Trump to ride this issue, more than any other, into the top tier of early polling.

During election season, Republicans typically campaign as get-tough, border-patrolling Minutemen. “Complete the danged fence,” John McCain growled in a 2010 campaign ad, while invoking the specters of drug smugglers and home invasions. After the election, however, Republicans draw close to The Wall Street Journal editorial board and try to come up with less damning euphemisms for amnesty. And ensconced in office, they lecture other Republicans, as John McCain did in Time magazine last year, saying that without comprehensive reform and a path to citizenship (read: amnesty) the party is doomed.

This is the party’s style on other issues as well. The drawl disappears on Election Day. George W. Bush won re-election in 2004 on a tide of Evangelical votes, then spent all of his political capital failing to pass a privatization of Social Security and a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Neither featured heavily in his campaign, and they both died.

No wonder, then, that a certain breed of Republican primary voter is taking a shine to Trump. Whatever can be said about the substance of Trump’s utterances, the tone of sneering populist contempt never varies. His political strategy is to go on permanent offense by being perpetually offensive. To voters accustomed to the Republican head-fake, the man with the fake-looking head has a certain kind of integrity. Yes, he’s an ass. But at least he’s always that way.

The GOP knows that immigration is a powerful issue. But the party has avoided the chance to do something about it for two decades. A restrictionist position single-handedly saved the career of California’s Republican Gov. Pete Wilson in the 1990s. The issue fueled the Buchanan insurgency that nearly derailed Bob Dole’s nomination in 1996. At that time the issue even threatened to split off some Democrats. Former Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan’s commission on the issue called for reducing even legal immigration levels. “Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave,” she said.

Alternating between fear of current restrictionist voters and cowardice before future Latino voters, the GOP has never said anything so clear as Barbara Jordan. Instead the issue has been ceded to populist media figures like cable television’s Lou Dobbs, talk radio’s Michael Savage, and the one-woman anvil chorus, Ann Coulter. It has been transformed from a normal policy question that every nation faces to a hotheaded insult directed south of the border.

Donald Trump is just the latest of these media figures, but unlike the rest he has the money and the lack of self-awareness to run for office and unburden himself about it. But the GOP could have avoided this by settling the issue one way or the other.

Had the GOP taken the hint after Gov. Wilson’s re-election, and worked with Democrats like Barbara Jordan, they could have taken the issue off the field for a generation. A decade later, they had the chance to do the same again when George W. Bush pushed for comprehensive reform. The public’s fury over the war in Iraq and a stalling economy were coming to hit the party anyway, and anger from the conservative base over Bush’s reform would have made little difference in 2006 and 2008.

Instead the party did nothing. And now it reaps the whirlwind of Trump’s hot air.

 

By: Michael Brendan Dougherty, The Week, July 13, 2015

July 17, 2015 Posted by | Donald Trump, GOP, Immigration Reform | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Conservative Voters Are Going To Get Mighty Picky”: Marco Rubio’s Problem Isn’t Gotcha Stories. It’s Still Immigration

Conservatives have risen up in defense of Marco Rubio over two mini-scandals that appear to call his character into question. That’s a good sign for Rubio’s chances in the GOP primary. These little contretemps may help to create loyalty between the candidate and primary voters, who apparently aren’t going to let Rubio pay for these supposed mistakes or indiscretions.

But if Rubio thinks a spat with the mainstream media will cause Republican voters to forget his past positions on immigration, well, he may be in for a surprise.

First was a silly report in The New York Times about his traffic violations. He had earned four in nearly two decades of driving around Florida. Politicians tend to be late and in a hurry, so Rubio probably rates better than average on this score. And the fact that the same report didn’t uncover any uncouth workarounds that were made available to him because of his political life actually speaks well of him. His supporters tweeted jokingly about Rubio going on rampages of trivial offenses, with the hashtag #RubioCrimeSpree.

The second story, about his personal finances, is a bit more complicated. Rubio has made a campaign virtue of the fact that debt — including college debt — has occasionally crimped his family budget. He admitted forthrightly in his biography that he was a sloppy accountant. The Times reported on his missteps but dropped in some facts that would make you question Rubio’s judgment. He was unusually bad at saving from his income. He even liquidated a retirement account, presumably at huge expense, to cover expenses. He also, after receiving a huge contract for his book, bought an $80,000 boat.

Conservatives downplayed it as a #MarcoBoat, and pointed out that $80,000 is a tiny fraction of the six- and seven-figure conflicts of interest that populate stories about Hillary Clinton.

But I noticed that it was flogged a bit by immigration hawks like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin. It’s a reminder that Rubio’s problem may not be his character, but his position on immigration reform. The hardcore immigration hawks in the Republican Party have not bought into the image Rubio is trying to sell, of a politician who was chastened by his failure in securing comprehensive reform. And that can cost him.

Mitt Romney neutralized Rick Perry on this exact issue four years ago, saying that Perry had created magnets for illegal immigrants by providing their children with in-state tuition. He baited Perry into repeating the liberal’s criticism of immigration hawks, with Perry claiming that they “don’t have a heart.” More than anything — even the “oops” moment — this is what brought down Perry’s campaign.

Ann Coulter’s book Adios America! contains blistering arguments against Rubio’s preferred immigration policies, including the numbers and rhetoric he has used to sell it. While lots of people claim that the polling on immigration is ambiguous, sometimes the results surprise. A 2007 California Field poll stated the question in the most provocative way possible: Would you prefer a policy of “having federal immigration agents round up, detain, and deport immigrants found to be living here illegally?” The “yes” camp scored 46 percent, and the “no” answer won 43 percent.

It should be said that no politician supports this policy for dealing with the country’s more than 10 million illegal immigrants.

Coulter’s arguments include shocking numbers that indicate those on a path to citizenship wouldn’t be net contributors on income taxes, but would become eligible for federal aid and assistance:

[A] more detailed breakdown of the costs and benefits shows that college-educated Americans pay an average of $29,000 more in taxes every year than they get back in government services, according to an analysis by the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector. By contrast, legal immigrants, on average, get back $4,344 more in government services than they pay in taxes. Those with only a high school degree net about $14,642 in government payments, and those without a high school degree collect a whopping $36,993.27. Contrary to the claims of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s press secretary, Marco Rubio, making illegal aliens citizens will not result in the U.S. Treasury being deluged with their tax payments. The vast majority of illegal aliens — about 75 percent — have only a high school diploma or less, so legalization means they will immediately begin collecting an average of $14,642–$36,993 per year from the U.S. taxpayer. [Adios, America!]

You may say, I don’t trust those numbers, because Ann Coulter is using them. But how would GOP voters feel about them? Do you think that if Ted Cruz’s campaign started flagging, he wouldn’t try to do to Rubio what Romney did to Perry?

In a primary race crowded with so many candidates, conservative voters are going to get mighty picky about their champion. And this is an issue that can cost deviationists a lot. If Cruz or any other candidate chooses to do so, they can make Rubio pay much more dearly for immigration than for four traffic tickets — or even a nice boat.

 

By: Michael Brendan Dougherty, The Week, June 11, 2015

June 17, 2015 Posted by | Conservatives, Immigration, Marco Rubio | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“How John Roberts Made Hillary Clinton President”: The Irony Is So Rich, Thank You Citizens United!

During Hillary Clinton’s first campaign event in Iowa, the (finally) announced presidential candidate laid out the four main goals of her campaign, including the need to fix our “dysfunctional” political system and to get “unaccountable” money out of politics, even if it requires a constitutional amendment. And thus we have the latest chapter in Clinton’s unique and evolving relationship with Citizens United v. Federal Exchange Commission.

It may be easy to forget that the basis for the claim that led to the controversial Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC was a barely watchable film titled Hillary: The Movie, featuring prominent conservatives such as Dick Morris and Ann Coulter that was trying to damage Hillary Clinton on eve of the January 2008 Democratic presidential primaries. The film was produced by Citizens United, a D.C.-based conservative nonprofit organization.

The film was supposed to be distributed on cable television and video on demand, but the federal government blocked the airing of the film because it violated the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 that prohibited corporate and nonprofit funded advocacy ads that mentioned a candidate’s name within 30 days of a primary or caucus, or 60 days of a general election.

At the time, no one could have predicted that Clinton would finish third in the Iowa caucuses behind Barack Obama and John Edwards, so many conservatives thought that more than just attack ads would be needed to defeat her eventual rise to the presidency: Attack movies were the new and necessary medium.

Well, roughly a year into President Obama’s first term, the Supreme Court made its decision on Citizens United v. FEC, saying that certain provisions in the McCain-Feingold BCRA were unconstitutional, and this brought us into the modern era of a nearly unrestricted and confusing flow of cash into our electoral process through various 501(c)(4)s, PACs, and Super PACs.

Stephen Colbert may have actually best explained how this absurd network of constantly flowing political money works when he announced on his show that he was officially forming an exploratory committee for his potential candidacy for President of the United States of South Carolina, and therefore could no longer run his Super PAC. See the videos here and here.

And here we are today. Less than a week into Clinton’s second official presidential bid, she has already done two things that may completely alter Citizens United v. FEC and our electoral process. Her support of a constitutional amendment limiting or regulating campaign finance is a smart and popular decision among liberal voters, but her campaign’s announcement that it intends to raise a staggering $2.5 billion combined by the official campaign, Hillary for America, and various unaffiliated 501(c)(4)s, PACs, and Super PACs has completely altered our political landscape.

Roughly eight months before the Iowa caucuses, the fundraising machine that will drive or greatly influence Clinton’s campaign has set goals that dwarf those of Obama’s in 2012, and may scare away potential Democratic challengers.

The 2012 presidential election between President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney was the most expensive campaign in history, with each candidate’s election team and supporting groups raising $1.123 and $1.019 billion respectively. Clinton’s campaign intends to surpass that entire amount on its own, and she is allowed to do so because of a case brought to the Supreme Court because a conservative group wanted to have a larger impact on hopefully preventing her from winning the presidency in 2008. The irony is so rich.

Who knows if Clinton will be able to defeat the GOP and Republicans at the game they insisted on creating, but she most likely will at least be able to match them dollar-for-dollar in the general election.

The brilliance surrounding all of this is the fact that Clinton has steadfastly been against this sort of external influence into politics. She articulated her objections on her first day of campaigning in Iowa, and the main reason why campaign finance laws have changed in recent years was due to her objection to the previously unlawful attempt to disseminate a campaign attack video denouncing her in 2008.

Clearly, her campaign’s $2.5 billion fundraising estimate may point to the contrary, but the fundraising strategy of her campaign is actually based around small donations. Additionally, she has not named a finance chair for her campaign.

According to an internal campaign memo obtained by Politico, Hillary for America intends to have a “flat fundraising structure” and a “grassroots donor base and a merit-based finance organization.”

“The campaign will have the resources needed to compete,” continued the memo. “Initially fundraising will be a challenge—with lower limits and a smaller list than Obama in 2011.”

The campaign has moved away from her 2008 strategy of seeking mega-donors, but it also knows that it has the support of unaffiliated organizations such as Ready PAC, formerly Ready for Hillary, that desperately want a Hillary Clinton presidency. (According to FEC regulations, Ready for Hillary was forced to change its name once Clinton officially announced her candidacy.)

Arguably against the wishes of many Clinton supporters, two Clinton 2008 volunteers launched Ready for Hillary in 2013 and have raised more than $15 million for Clinton’s campaign and amassed a 4 million strong grassroots fundraising list that will be given to Hillary for America. Clinton’s campaign has already hired six Ready for Hillary staffers, including co-founder Adam Parkhomenko. These former staffers can no longer coordinate with remaining staffers, and Ready PAC intend to shut down completely in the coming days.

Essentially, Hillary Clinton’s campaign can develop only the fundraising strategy that the candidate supports, but the numerous other political groups that independently support her can fundraise how they see fit. Independent of each other they all collectively believe that these various efforts should enhance candidate Clinton’s chances of moving back into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

All told these fundraising efforts may make her the unstoppable, inevitable candidate that she wanted to be in 2008. The big difference now is that she did not have Citizens United v. FEC to support her campaign.

If Hillary Clinton becomes the 45th president of the United States, the GOP may want to give themselves a nice pat on the back for all the hard work they indirectly have done to fund her presidential campaign.

 

By: Barrett Holmes Pitner, The Daily Beast, April 16, 2015

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Campaign Financing, Citizens United, Hillary Clinton | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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