Category Archives: Election Integrity

DNC sues the Trump Campaign, Russia and Wikileaks

Donald Trump’s consigliere Michael Cohen proved to me that he is not a lawyer. If he was, he would have known that filing a civil lawsuit against Stormy Daniels and against Buzzfeed allowed them to conduct legal discovery. He learned a valuable lesson this week.

Now that he knows he is under criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, he cannot afford to have a parallel civil case where discovery is also being conducted. Cohen drops libel suits against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS.

Trump’s friend David Pecker at the trash rag National Enquirer took notice as well this week in its case with Trump’s former girlfriend, Karen McDougal. The first domino just fell after the Michael Cohen raid:

The former Playboy playmate reached a settlement Wednesday with American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer, in a deal that allows her to spill about her alleged months-long affair with President Trump. And importantly, the terms of the deal appear quite favorable to McDougal. One possible reason, according to reports and experts: The Cohen raid bolstered her case.

Experts say the combination of that and the favorable terms of the settlement — McDougal basically has to share only a small portion of the profits she might make from selling her story — suggest AMI was worried about what lay ahead.

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Arizona is #1 Worst State Where Dirty Money Infests Elections

Arizona at dark money epicenter“There is more dark money polluting the election process in Arizona than any other state in the US, according to the proponents of the Outlaw Dirty Money campaign.

Arizona is the worst state for elected officials owing their office to dirty money,” says former Attorney General Terry Goddard. “There is more dirty money spent in Arizona than in California. I can’t tell you who’s behind the dirty money because they won’t tell us and our laws don’t require it.”

Terry Goddard of the Outlaw Dirty Money campaign.

Terry Goddard of the Outlaw Dirty Money campaign.

Goddard spoke at a forum organized by The Arizona Ground Game civic group. He and many progressive organizations are advocating an amendment to the state constitution that will require anyone that spends more than $10,000 on an election to disclose the original source of the money.

Corporations like the APS utility, super-rich donors like the Koch Brothers and dangerous groups like the NRA have teamed up to spend millions in Arizona, secretly funding Republican legislators who obediently pass anti-student, anti-consumer and anti-gun safety laws.

A notorious dark money stooge is Gov. Doug Ducey, who has attended Koch brothers summit meetings since 2011 and has secretly taken millions in dark money. Ducey has raised $500,000 for his re-election campaign since the beginning of the year, leaving him with more than $3 million on hand to spend on getting re-elected. That is 10 times more money than anyone else in the race.

“The people of Arizona have the right to know all the contributors who influenced our elections, ” Goddard says. “But our legislature has tried to make the state a safe zone for people who want to hide what they’re doing.”
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Beg your pardon, but this is obstruction of justice hiding in plain sight

Last Friday, Donald Trump’s consigliere Michael Cohen was in court on a motion to suppress evidence seized in a raid by the FBI on his office, home, and hotel room, and a bank deposit box. (It did not go well for him on Monday).

Trump called Cohen on Friday to “check in,” according to two people briefed on the call. Depending on what else was discussed, the call could be problematic, as lawyers typically advise their clients against discussing investigations. Trump Sees Inquiry Into Cohen as Greater Threat Than Mueller.

This could be viewed as witness intimidation or tampering, or even suborning perjury. “Don’t say nothing, Mikey. You keep your mouth shut! You know whadda mean?

Federal prosecutors revealed Friday that Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months and that they have impaneled a grand jury to probe his business dealings.

Donald Trump sent another message to Michael Cohen on Friday to keep his mouth shut: he pardoned Scooter Libby, who was convicted of one count of obstruction, two counts of perjury and one count of lying to the FBI about how he learned of Valerie Plame’s identity and whom he told (leaking classified information, Valerie Plame was a nonofficial cover (NOC) CIA spy, putting her life and those of all her known associates and contacts at risk). Jurors Convict Libby on Four of Five Charges.

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Secretary Madelaine Albright warns of creeping fascism

Former Secretary of State Madelaine Albright has first-hand experience with fascism. She was born in 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her diplomatic father supported the country’s democratic leaders. After the signing of the Munich Agreement in September 1938, the disintegration of Czechoslovakia at the hands of Adolf Hitler forced the family into exile. Albright spent the war years in Britain, while her father worked for the Czechoslovak government-in-exile.

Albright and her family moved back to Prague after the end of World War II. But the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia took over the government in 1948, with support from the Soviet Union, and as an opponent of communism, her father was forced to resign from his position. The family emigrated to the United States in 1948, applying for political asylum.

This is a woman who knows of which she speaks from life experience. Over the weekend she wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times, Will We Stop Trump
Before It’s Too Late?

To guard against a recurrence [of fascism], the survivors of the war and the Holocaust joined forces to create the United Nations, forge global financial institutions and — through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — strengthen the rule of law. In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down and the honor roll of elected governments swelled not only in Central Europe, but also Latin America, Africa and Asia. Almost everywhere, it seemed, dictators were out and democrats were in. Freedom was ascendant.

Today, we are in a new era, testing whether the democratic banner can remain aloft amid terrorism, sectarian conflicts, vulnerable borders, rogue social media and the cynical schemes of ambitious men. The answer is not self-evident. We may be encouraged that most people in most countries still want to live freely and in peace, but there is no ignoring the storm clouds that have gathered. In fact, fascism — and the tendencies that lead toward fascism — pose a more serious threat now than at any time since the end of World War II.

Warning signs include the relentless grab for more authority by governing parties in Hungary, the Philippines, Poland and Turkey — all United States allies. The raw anger that feeds fascism is evident across the Atlantic in the growth of nativist movements opposed to the idea of a united Europe, including in Germany, where the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland has emerged as the principal opposition party. The danger of despotism is on display in the Russia of Vladimir Putin — invader of Ukraine, meddler in foreign democracies, accused political assassin, brazen liar and proud son of the K.G.B. Putin has just been re-elected to a new six-year term, while in Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, a ruthless ideologue, is poised to triumph in sham balloting next month. In China, Xi Jinping has persuaded a docile National People’s Congress to lift the constitutional limit on his tenure in power.

UPDATE: On Sunday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, who has set about transforming this former Soviet bloc member from a vibrant democracy into a semi-autocratic state under one political party’s control, won a sweeping victory in national elections on Sunday by securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament. He now has the power to change the Constitution and further bend the nation to his will. Hungary Election Gives Orban Big Majority, and Control of Constitution.

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In Arizona, the will of the voters is irrelevant, the ‘Kochtopus’ corporatocracy decides what is law

Last month, the City of Tempe voted by a margin of 9-to-1 in support of more transparency in political spending. Near unanimity is virtually unheard of, and yet on the issue of the corrupting influence of anonymous “dark money” on elections, it was achieved. (It would appear that only lobbyists and political operatives who live in Tempe voted against the measure).

The City of Phoenix was also considering a similar measure to curb “dark money” in city elections, but our anti-democratic Tea-Publican state legislators who are dependent on the “Kochtopus” network of “dark money” stepped in with H.B. 2153, which would bar local control by cities and counties, and even the state from requiring political non-profits to disclose their anonymous “dark money” donors.

These anti-democratic Tea-Publican legislators effectively said to Arizonans “What the people of Arizona want is irrelevant, this state is a corporatocracy run by the ‘Kochtopus.’ They decide what is the law, and you will obey!” 91% of Tempe voters saw a problem. Arizona just outlawed a fix:

Rep. Vince Leach, R-Tucson, the bill’s sponsor, said the landslide passage of the Tempe measure on March 13 didn’t deter him.

“Lots of people in my district want the right to remain anonymous [read my corporate campaign donors] and that’s who I’m here to represent,” Leach said after the Senate passed the bill in March.

“Charitable organizations shouldn’t have the privacy of their donors jeopardized simply because they weigh in on a political issue that may affect them,” Leach said in a statement Thursday.

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Martha McSally dodges the question

Last week I did a post on Martha McSally: The Bolton PAC, Mercer family, and Cambridge Analytica connection:

Question for Martha McSally: Did the Bolton PAC and/or Cambridge Analytica provide you with their psy-ops micro-targeting messaging data? Did either produce social media, direct mail, or television advertising content for your campaigns using their psy-ops micro-targeting messaging data?

If so, you were in receipt of stolen property, i.e., the intellectual property of Facebook (user profiles). This is a violation of the privacy rights of Facebook users.

Time to come clean, Martha. The Brits may already have your Cambridge Analytica client file in their possession. You probably want to get out in front of Scotland Yard’s investigation and come clean.

Martha did not respond to Blog for Arizona, she never does. But she did provide a dodgy response to Tim Steller at the Arizona Daily Star:

MCSALLY SAYS NO BIG-DATA LINK

Martha McSally’s campaign for U.S. Senate is denying one of its consultants — Axiom Strategies founder Jeff Roe — has ever used Cambridge Analytica data for its campaign.

Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign — where Roe served as campaign manager — paid an estimated $5.8 million to the company in order to access the data.

Roe touted the campaign’s heavy reliance on data and analysis to reach voters in 2015 interview with the Washington Post.

However, a spokesperson for the McSally campaign ruled out any possibility that McSally has ever used the data to reach voters in either Congressional District 2 or in her current race to replace Sen. Jeff Flake.

Notice that Martha McSally does not answer the question asked about her big campaign contributor John Bolton PAC and its use of data from Cambridge Analytica.

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