Tag Archives: campaign finance

Democracy Spring: Over 400 Arrested at U.S. Capitol Protesting Corruption & Money in Politics

Democracy Now!, 4/12/16

More than 400 people were arrested Monday in a massive sit-in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to protest the influence of big money and corporate lobbying in politics. The protest, organized under the name Democracy Spring, brought together activists from about 140 organizations who marched from Philadelphia to Washington last week. Similar acts of civil disobedience are scheduled throughout the week in Washington. We speak to Kai Newkirk, campaign director of Democracy Spring and co-founder and an organizer with 99Rise. He was arrested yesterday in the action at the U.S. Capitol….

continue reading at Democracy Now!

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Koch Brothers’ Budget of $889 Million for 2016 Is on Par With Both Parties’ Spending

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE, New York Times, JAN. 26, 2015

The political network overseen by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaign, an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history.

The spending goal, revealed Monday at the Kochs’ annual winter donor retreat near Palm Springs, Calif., would allow their political organization to operate at the same financial scale as the Democratic and Republican Parties. It would require a significant financial commitment from the Kochs and roughly 300 other donors they have recruited over the years, and covers both the presidential and congressional races. In the last presidential election, the Republican National Committee and the party’s two congressional campaign committees spent a total of $657 million….

continue reading at New York Times

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From the Climate March…

Couldn't afford politician

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by | September 29, 2014 · 5:13 pm

Political Donors Chase Funding Alternative

excerpted from “On the Money: The Koch Brothers’ Dark Money Network Keeps Growing” by Gail Ablow, Moyers and Company, January 7, 2014

Political Donors Chase Funding Alternative: Thomas Catan at The Wall Street Journal reports that the possibility of new IRS rules to limit the campaign activity of nonprofit social-welfare groups, known as 501(c)(4)s, is sending lawyers scurrying. Catan writes: “Lawyers are scouring the tax code for other financial vehicles that would allow political donors to continue to spend money on elections while remaining anonymous.” Several new strategies are emerging; one is to create taxable, for-profit businesses that will keep donors hidden. Catan quotes Robert Kellner at Covington & Burling, LLP: “It’s a trend that is accelerating, and the new proposals are going to put more steam behind the train.” Another strategy is to create trade associations, known as 501(c)(6) groups. The Koch brothers already have a trade association in place that they call Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce. During the 2012 election it poured more than $235 million into conservative causes. Andy Kroll at Mother Jones tweets: “IMPORTANT: Political operatives could use Chamber-style trade associations or for-profit LLCs to keep donors hidden.”

[note: the WSJ article linked above is access-limited; for detailed information on the pending IRS rules on 501(c)(4) ortanizations, such as the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, see “Treasury, IRS Will Issue Proposed Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations, IRS, Nov. 26, 2013]. As that document notes, “there has been considerable public focus regarding the proportion of a section 501(c)(4) organization’s activities that must promote social welfare.” You can bet that the lobbyists are at work to get that proportion as low as possible.]

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