WTF Community

🗳 2020 Primary Election


#917

Complaint Says Trump Campaign Payments Broke Rules

WASHINGTON—President Trump’s re-election effort is alleged to have paid more than $170 million to companies affiliated with former campaign manager Brad Parscale without disclosing the ultimate recipients of the money, a campaign-finance oversight group says in a new complaint.

The Campaign Legal Center says in the complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission that other records show the campaign has used an external firm to buy TV and radio advertising, but that company isn’t named in disclosure filings, nor were some other vendors that have been publicly connected to the campaign.

The Washington oversight group—which has sued Republicans and Democrats in the past over disclosure issues—said that violates the Federal Election Campaign Act requirement that campaigns clearly document their vendors.

“The campaign’s failure to itemize disbursements to its ultimate vendors means that the public is left in the dark about the entities working for the Trump campaign, the nature of their services, and the full amount they are paid,” the complaint says.

The Trump campaign said the complaint was without merit. “The campaign complies with all campaign finance laws and FEC regulations,” spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.

FEC complaints generally take years to resolve, and currently the election-monitoring body doesn’t have enough commissioners to take any action.

Mr. Trump removed Mr. Parscale as campaign manager late last month, tapping former White House political director Bill Stepien to take his place. Mr. Parscale is now the campaign’s senior adviser for data and digital operations.

Most of the payments documented in the complaint were made to American Made Media, a company Mr. Parscale created in 2018 but has said he has no financial ties to. Other campaign payments in question were made to Mr. Parscale’s consulting firm, Parscale Strategy.

Mr. Parscale and other campaign aides told The Wall Street Journal when American Made Media was established that it would directly buy digital, television and radio advertising, saving the campaign money because it would cut out the need for an external media-buying firm that would charge a steep commission rate.

But advertising forms filed with the Federal Communications Commission show that the campaign has used an external firm, Harris Sikes Media, throughout the re-election campaign for all of its $250 million worth of TV and radio buys.

Mr. Murtaugh said in response to the complaint that American Made Media “builds efficiencies and saves the campaign money by providing these in-house services that otherwise would be done by outside vendors.” He didn’t respond to questions about the campaign’s use of an external media buyer.

That Alexandria, Va.-based media buyer, Harris Sikes Media, doesn’t appear in Trump campaign FEC reports, suggesting it is a vendor paid by American Made Media or Parscale Strategy, the Campaign Legal Center’s complaint says.

The group also said campaign-related salaries and expenses for Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., and Lara Trump, Eric Trump’s wife, don’t appear in FEC documents. Both women are working alongside the president’s sons to help re-elect him.

“We can only speculate about what might be being hidden,” Brendan Fischer, Campaign Legal Center’s director of federal reform. He said it is important to have full disclosure to ensure the campaign isn’t violating rules about overpaying relatives and sharing vendors with super PACs, for example.


(David Bythewood) #918

So… do you think that story is connected to this one from not long ago?

Jared Kushner has more say than RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel over funding & is completely ignoring desperate pleas from Senior House Republicans to provide financial help as Democrats vastly outraise the GOP.


#919

An amalgamation of polls taken by FiveThirtyEight and looks likes Dems are leading. So far so good.


(David Bythewood) #920

Meidas Touch with another video, this one to be airing nationally on TV using Reagan’s famous “are you better off than you were four years ago” speech.

It’s only 30 seconds, but it packs a punch.

https://twitter.com/DemWrite/status/1288637537292914690


(David Bythewood) #921

Here’s how to prepare for Trump rejecting the election results in November

President Trump is laying the groundwork to do something that no previous president has ever done: falsely claim that an election was fixed against him in order to discredit the vote. Trump has repeatedly — and incorrectly — claimed the election will be “rigged” against him. By promoting a series of wacky, debunked conspiracy theories, he has primed his supporters to wrongly believe he is the victim of some unknown, shadowy “deep state” plot. In an interview that aired last week, he refused to commit to accepting the results in November.

His actions challenge the flagship event of our republic: the peaceful transfer of power after an election, accepted by all candidates. (It’s worth noting that in 2016, Hillary Clinton quickly accepted the results and congratulated her opponent, while also criticizing the election’s integrity based on verified instances of Russian information warfare — a far cry from Trump peddling the debunked myth of widespread voter fraud.) With about 100 days to go, we are careening toward an extraordinarily dangerous crisis of American democracy.

Such crises never happen in other functioning democracies. But they happen all the time in broken countries around the world. In contentious elections from Africa to southeast Asia, incumbents who lose often refuse to accept defeat. Welcome to the club, America!

All the warning lights are blinking red. University of Birmingham professor Nic Cheeseman , an expert on contentious elections and political violence with whom I co-authored the book “How to Rig an Election,” normally worries when contested votes happen in Kenya or Zimbabwe. Now, he’s worried about the United States. “There are five warning I always look for,” he told me. “Organized militias, a leader who is not prepared to lose, distrust of the political system, disinformation, and a potentially close contest. Right now, the U.S. has all five.”

Consider ourselves warned. The question, then, is: What do we do about it? If Trump ends up trying to torch crucial norms of democracy in order to save face, how can we prepare? Other countries offer a series of lessons we should urgently learn from, so that if (or when) the worst happens, Trump’s matches don’t light.

First, we need a bipartisan pact endorsing the results. Incumbents who reject results solely because they lost tend to get more traction when their party backs them uniformly. When cracks show, the self-serving farce falls apart. Democrats and Republicans who believe in democracy should agree to immediately and publicly accept the election results (barring any major irregularities).

All living former presidents should be involved. It would also be particularly helpful to ensure that former members of the Trump administration — such as John Kelly, H.R. McMaster and Jim Mattis — are on board. The broader the coalition, the more Trump’s desperate ploy would be exposed for what it is.

Second, shore up public confidence with oversight. State election officials can conduct quick randomized audits and release results that demonstrate the integrity of the process. Many states do not automatically mandate such audits, but there is still time to expand them before November. And while some states have put up roadblocks to independent international election observers in the past, now would be a good time to welcome them with open arms. They might shine an embarrassing light on any state’s electoral failings, but can quickly debunk false claims of manipulation made by losers.

Third, the media should do more to educate voters about election administration. Trump’s lies about election procedures work when people don’t understand the process. For example, Trump tried to attack mail-in ballots while saying that he has no issue with absentee ballots, even though no-fault absentee ballots and mail-in voting are exactly the same thing. Just as it’s easier to scare people with the risks of dihydrogen monoxide until people realize that it is water, educating voters will make it harder for Trump to get away with lying about how elections are held.

Fourth, state and local election officials should do more contingency planning for a pandemic election. Things will go wrong. The more preparations are done now, the fewer examples Trump and his allies can cherry-pick to make false claims of being the victim of an unfair vote. Again, the media can help expose states that aren’t ready, to help kick them into gear.

Sign up for The Odds newsletter for election updates from data columnist David Byler

Finally, it would help if the margin was clear and court rulings were swift and decisive to uphold democracy. As professor Sarah Birch, author of “Electoral Violence, Corruption, and Political Order,” told me: “Malawi provides a good example of a country that recently weathered a contentious election more successfully than many observers had expected.” Even though the president tried to manipulate the vote — and even tried to cancel it — “the clear margin of victory of the winner together with the resoluteness of the courts in insisting on adhering to democratic electoral norms” blunted the damage done by the losing incumbent.

If Trump’s authoritarian populism wins in November, the United States faces an existential threat to its democracy. But if he loses, the period between Nov. 4 and Jan. 20, 2021, will be particularly dangerous, too. It’s not too late. But we must get ready.


#922

Another excerpt from Crooked Media newsletter

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=2a86d79dbf&view=lg&permmsgid=msg-f%3A1673773980657530686&ser=1

This one talks about what strategies that T and/or R’s might use to stifle the mail-in ballots

While they have all this leverage, Democrats should use it to save the election from President Trump’s ongoing efforts to sabotage it.

  • Under intense pressure from Republican leaders and prominent conservatives, Trump has (mostly) abandoned his insane “suggestion” that the election be delayed indefinitely. He has instead replaced it with a new demand that the election be called on November 3, even if millions of ballots remain uncounted. “I’ve been watching elections. And they say the ‘projected winner’ or the ‘winner of the election’—I don’t want to see that take place in a week after November 3 or a month or, frankly, with litigation and everything else that can happen, years.”

  • With an unprecedented number of people voting absentee thanks to the raging plague Trump failed to contain, it’s likely we won’t know who won the election on election night, and Trump’s doing everything in his power to make that impossible. Postal workers now say the loyalist Trump placed in charge of the Postal Service, Louis DeJoy, has instituted policies that “could undermine their ability to deliver ballots on time for the November election.”

Trump can’t cancel the election, but his new play is obvious: Trap as many mail ballots into a backlogged postal system as he can, then claim efforts to count them after Election Day are illegitimate. We know prominent Republicans will play along with this scam, because they did the same thing after the 2018 midterms (see: Rubio, Marco). Democrats can’t stop Republicans from lying and trying to cheat. But they can insist that this relief bill include ample funds for both the Post Office and election administration—and they must.


#923

More from The Lincoln Project

1)We will Vote - The Lincoln Project

  1. Nationalist Geographic - Impotus Americanus - The Lincoln Project

#924

@Windthin we need a lobbying intensifies gif for this one.


#925

:laughing:


(David Bythewood) #926

I suspect this is not the kind of lobby you meant, but it’s what came to mind.

Lobbying%20Intensifies


#927

Omg, this made my day! So funny, thank you! :rofl:


#928

Adding another layer of chaos to a pending election, the Quanon factor looms large.

https://twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/1289914464867950594?s=19

The Washington Post: How the Trump campaign came to court QAnon, the online conspiracy movement identified by the FBI as a violent threat

"Who is Q?” he replied, inquiring about the mysterious online figure behind the baseless theory. McEnany smiled and said, “Okay, well, I will pass all of this along.”

The little-noticed exchange — captured in a video posted to YouTube — illustrates how Trump and his campaign have courted and legitimized QAnon adherents.

The viral online movement, which took root on Internet message boards in the fall of 2017 with posts from a self-proclaimed government insider identified as “Q,” has triggered violent acts and occasional criminal cases.

Its effects were catalogued last year in an FBI intelligence bulletin listing QAnon among the “anti-government, identity based, and fringe political conspiracy theories” that “very likely motivate some domestic extremists to commit criminal, sometimes violent activity.”


#929

Trump campaign nears point of no return

Voters will begin receiving ballots in key swing states as early as next month. In North Carolina, elections officials will start sending ballots to voters on Sept. 4. Four more battleground states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Minnesota — will begin mailing ballots or start early voting by the end of September.

All of that will happen before the first presidential debate, on Sept. 29. Arizona, Ohio and Iowa will start early voting right after, in the first seven days of October.

“If I were running the Trump campaign, I would want to see a marked uptick by the beginning of October,” said Charlie Gerow, a Pennsylvania-based Republican strategist.

Early voting starts next month. :hugs:


#930

#931

As Trump leans into attacks on mail voting, GOP officials confront signs of Republican turnout crisis

Multiple public surveys show a growing divide between Democrats and Republicans about the security of voting by mail, with Republicans saying they are far less likely to trust it in November. In addition, party leaders in several states said they are encountering resistance among GOP voters who are being encouraged to vote absentee while also seeing the president describe mail voting as “rigged” and “fraudulent.”

As a result, state and local Republicans across the country fear they are falling dramatically behind in a practice that is expected to be key to voter turnout this year. Through mailers and Facebook ads, they are racing to promote absentee balloting among their own.

In the process, some Republican officials have tried to draw a distinction between “absentee ballots,” which Trump claims are secure, and “mail ballots,” which he has repeatedly attacked. The terms are typically used interchangeably.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, describing a recent meeting with a group of Republican voters in Fort Payne, said he felt compelled to explain that there is only one kind of mail-in voting in Alabama, and that it is safe and secure.

“They were confused about two different kinds of mail-in balloting,” he said, “where one is ‘good’ and one is not.”

Bless their little hearts


#932

“Cheating is a way of life.” - Mary Trump on Donald.

https://twitter.com/MaryLTrump/status/1290424996154806278?s=19


#933

Lincoln Project

Watch “Care” on YouTube


#934

https://twitter.com/greggiroux/status/1290839860232806400?s=21

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1X97S6hUby6PPHAMoEwvAxkAUo8EUwLk8xMosx4hVd8c/htmlview?pru=AAABc-DVJrI*qiN7TQEUFJJIcZVXlkFXbg#gid=638845180


#935

:eyes:


#936

PBS reporting that Dem nominee Biden will not go to Milwaukee to accept the nomination, and will instead be in Delaware.

https://twitter.com/LisaDNews/status/1291038309062455297?s=20