Tag Archives: FEC

Report: Feinstein Puts Pressure on Hillary Clinton

Apparently, Sen. Feinstein is asking Hillary Clinton for her primary “game plan”.

“I, as you know, have great fondness and great respect for Sen. Clinton and I’m very loyal to her,” Feinstein said. “Having said that, I’d like to talk with her and [get] her view on the rest of the race and what the strategy is.”

Clinton, who eked out a win in Indiana Tuesday night but lost big to front-runner Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in North Carolina, has not responded to Feinstein’s phone call, the California senator said.

“I think the race is reaching the point now where there are negative dividends from it, in terms of strife within the party,” Feinstein said. “I think we need to prevent that as much as we can.”

Interesting.  What I’d like to see is Feinstein show some leadership on the Rules Committee and block Hans von Spakovsky’s resurrected nomination to the FEC.  But I’d say DiFi is as good a bellweather as there is of the emerging CW on the Democratic nomination fight.

In other news, California superdelegate Inola Henry committed to Obama today.

CA-04: The GOP Primary Fight Gets Nastier

Now Doug Ose is alleging illegal coordination between Tom McClintock and a 501(c)(4) group headed by poster boy for Republican losers in the state:

A California-based group and other local officials filed a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint Monday regarding the alleged ties between an ex-aide to Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) and state Sen. Tom McClintock (R).

McClintock and former Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.) are in a bitter primary battle to face off against Democrat Charlie Brown this fall for retiring Rep. John Doolittle’s (R-Calif.) seat.

At issue is the role of Steve Ding – an ex-McClintock consultant and former chief of staff for Pombo – and The Partnership for America, a 501(c)4 advocacy group headed by Pombo.

McClatchy recently reported that Pombo’s group is organizing a $660,000 independent campaign in the 4th congressional district.

Whoever comes out of the primary is going to be tainted by multiple smears, and flat broke.  McClintock and Ose are both willing to risk that because they think the 4th District is automatically Republican, and they’re underestimating the strength of Charlie Brown.

At their peril.

You can read on for McClintock’s ties to Pombo and various Indian gaming groups.

California Hillary Backers Can’t Use The Google, Read FEC Law

The California Majority Report-infused “American Leadership Project,” the pro-Hillary Clinton 527 that apparently thinks they can take credit for the Texas primary victory because they ran one ad the day before the election, has a new ad up in Indiana aimed at no-information voters:

Really, we’re going down the “Obama has no substance” road?  REALLY?  

Come closer, Jason Kinney.  Here’s Barack Obama’s website.  There’s an entire section with his position on issues!  There are white papers galore!  And he’s even explained those proposals in speeches!  And in newspapers!  And leading economists preferred them!  Imagine that!  You don’t have to rely on opinion editorialists (that’s who the ad quotes) anymore!

(By the way, if you want to use David Ignatius’ boneheaded intellect as a selling point, go ahead.  Really makes you look smart.)

Oh yeah, the ALC is still potentially breaking the law.

The Obama campaign has just announced they’ve filed an FEC complaint against the American Leadership Project, the 527 group founded by some big Hillary Clinton donors and pro-Hillary unions, on the grounds that they have failed to properly register as a political committee and to obey spending and donation limits in their founding mission of spending on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

“The group isn’t making any bones about their purpose here,” said Obama campaign chief counsel Bob Bauer on a conference call with reporters, “which makes their legal position hopelessly defective.”

You’re all making California proud.  Go get ’em!

UPDATE: Superdelegate and Congresswoman Lois Capps, of CA-23, just endorsed Obama.  The Illinois Senator won CA-23 in the primary.

Dirty Tricks Initiative – Giuliani Campaign In Trouble?

A top official of the effort to steal up to 20 electoral votes in California sent out an email to supporters of the Rudy Giuliani campaign asking them to sign petitions to get the measure on the ballot.  This could be a violation of federal election law, which prohibits coordination between Presidential campaigns and separate ballot issues.  Top of the Ticket has the latest.

The missive, obtained by The Times’ Dan Morain, is addressed, “Hello Fellow Rudy Supporter!” Its author, Tony Andrade, is a Republican activist who helped draft the electoral college initiative. Previously, he was among those who helped place the ultimately successful recall of Gov. Gray Davis on the ballot in 2003 […]

Chris Lehane, a Democratic activist who is organizing the campaign to block the measure, said of the Andrade e-mail: “It sounds like something that the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice will be very interested in seeing.”

Maria Comella, spokeswoman for Giuliani’s White House bid, previously has stressed that neither he nor his campaign has had anything to do with pushing the ballot initiative.

It’s unclear how Andrade would have gotten a list of Giuliani supporters in California without some form of coordination.  The initiative’s new backers, most of them connected to Giuliani in one way or another, are running from this as fast as possible.

Veteran GOP strategist Ed Rollins, who is overseeing the attempt to put the initiative before voters, distanced himself from Andrade’s note.

“None of us has anything to do with any [presidential] campaign; we understand the law very, very well,” Rollins said. Pledging to try to “make sure that [the e-mail] gets stomped,” Rollins added, “We need to be very sensitive to the fact that people have speculated that this is part of the Giuliani campaign.”

The email included a link to the petition and asks signers to get 10 other people to sign it as well.  A campaign confident in their ability to get the necessary signatures wouldn’t rely on an email ask, and they certainly wouldn’t come this close to violating election law.

This is not the first time that a link has been uncovered between the Giuliani campaign and the dirty tricks initiative.  In fact, almost every connection we’ve seen has gone in this fashion.  You’ll remember that the first incarnation of the measure was derailed when a murky donation from a shell group in Missouri was eventually traced to Paul Singer, Giuliani’s northeast finance director.

These are serious charges, and the Federal Election Commission needs to address them immediately.  Steve Benen has more.

Giuliani Up To His Ears In Dirty Tricks

Frank Russo has so far had the best coverage of Rudy Giuliani’s involvement in the Dirty Tricks campaign to steal a bunch of California’s electoral votes.  It appears that practically everyone associated with this campaign had a tie to Rudy Giuliani in some form or another.  We already knew that the lone funder, laundered through a hastily assembled LLC in Missouri called “Take Initiative America,” was actually the chair of Giuliani’s northeast funding operation named Paul Singer.  What we didn’t know was that this laundering, crafted to skirt the strict election laws in California, was part of a pattern of interlocking front groups that would hide who was behind this whole thing – perhaps even the candidate himself.  This quote is from Chris Lehane, who was running the opposition to the Dirty Tricks campaign and was in a position to delve pretty deeply into what was going on here. (I know not everyone here’s a fan of Lehane, but this sounds genuine)

“Virtually everyone who was involved in this at every level had a Giuliani connection, and no real connection to the other Republican candidates. Two of the partners at the law firm at the law firm that was responsible for this were Giuliani contributors, including Charles Bell who contributed $1300 days before the initiative was filed and he’s the deputy treasurer. You have Charles V. Hurth III, who does not have a history of political giving–I believe he had given a hundred dollars to a state senator prior to this and he gave $2,000 to Giuliani. You have John Wilcox, who was the spokesperson for Hurth, who comes out of the Bill Simon organization. Bill Simon is a Co-Chair in California for the Giuliani campaign as well as a policy advisor. Kevin Eckerly, the spokesperson for the effort is someone who has been quoted in the press being supportive of Giuliani and the Giuliani campaign. And again, when you went through all of these folks, each and every time, virtually every road ultimately led back to Giuliani.

“And, you know, I’ve said before, I’m originally from the state of Maine. You to bed at night, there’s no snow on the ground, you wake up and there’s snow on the ground. You can pretty safely conclude that it snowed. In an effort like this if everyone who is involved are connected to one Presidential campaign and they continue to gather signatures and you wake up the next day and find out that the person who in fact was funding it was indeed from the Giuliani campaign, I think one conclusion that one can safely draw is that it was the Giuliani campaign that was ultimately behind this.

“When you have a series of shadowy Nixonian front groups that are created to directly impact who the next President of the United States is going to be, then that’s something that is a cause for concern, not only of voters here in California, but all across the country.

I think it’s safe to say that the string-pullers in the Republican Party would be happy with Giuliani as a nominee, mainly because of his faux-moderate stances that play well outside the base, and his willingness to play as dirty as anybody this side of Karl Rove.  “Nixonian” is the key word.  This decade has been filled with ratfucking and voter suppression and all sorts of attempts to influence state and national elections.  The Republicans have time and again seized on the creakiness of the election systems, which vary from state to state, and used everything at their disposal to turn the system against Democrats and toward their own candidates. 

You can absolutely see that Giuliani’s core message that he wants played in the media is that he’s electable.  His strategy memo specifically lists California as one of the states which would suddenly become competitive were he the nominee:

More importantly, the Mayor puts blue states like Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, California, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington in play. Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth, states that “If Giuliani wins the nomination, he would be a fascinating candidate in that he really re-draws the map.” Toomey points out that Giuliani could carry New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania ‘”so he changes the political calculus of the Electoral College dramatically.”9 And Mayor Giuliani may be the only Republican candidate that can now compete and win in Ohio against Hillary Clinton.

If that were the case, he wouldn’t need to finance a dirty trick from behind the scenes that would deliver 20-odd electoral votes to him.  If the states were truly in play, he would play by the rules.  No, this is an attempt to put this map-changing bug in the ear of the media so they’re not surprised by a victory in some blue state, whether it came about legally or not.  It’s the classic strategy of an ultra-confidence public veneer, combined with manipulating results behind the scenes.

There’s already an FEC complaint filed, along with a request to refer the matter to the US Justice Department.  But those investigations will go nowhere, even in the off chance that they are initiated.  This is something that will have to be investigated and dug up.  Take Initiative America was created in one day and suddenly received a $175,000 infusion of cash from a Giuliani fundraiser (and the date of this transaction was – and this is precious – September 11).  Considering that this initiative would impact the Presidential election, no agent of a campaign could contribute more than $2,300.  Furthermore, he violated disclosure requirements.  Here’s some highlights from the press conference following the formal FEC complaint.

So we would very much like the FEC to look into this, to determine what Mr. Giuliani knew, when he knew it, what conversations he and Mr. Singer had about the contribution, about Take Initiative America; how Take Initiative America was created, whose idea was it? Did Mr. Hurth talk to Mr. Singer? How did it come about that $175,000 was transferred the day that the corporation was established? There had to be some coordination there and we’d like the FEC to into it.

The other thing we’d like the FEC to ask is: Where did the $175,000 come from? Did it come from Mr. Singer personally” Or did it come from a corporation that he controls?

If it came from a corporation that he controls, then that too would be impermissible because Federal candidates prohibited under Federal law from soliciting or accepting a contribution from a corporation.

We’re also concerned that there may have been coordination between the Giuliani campaign and Californians for Equal Representation. In fact, Marty Wilson, the chief fundraiser for Equal Representation, who resigned just last week, was quoted in the press as saying that he had “heard” that the Giuliani people were interested in the effort in California, and that they were praying that it would commit–it obviously refers to the money.

This feels like one of those things that starts small and just balloons.  Paul Singer has a colorful past; he’s known as a “vulture,” someone who buys up debt from poor countries and demands payment at a substantial markup.  I’m certain more can be gleaned about this guy, his connection to the Giuliani campaign, and what Rudy himself may have known about his involvement with the Dirty Tricks campaign in California.  These are the kind of things that take down political careers.