Tag Archives: culture of corruption

The corrupting influence of dark money in the Arizona Governor race

Governor Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Arizona, is repeating the corrupting influence of dark money that he used to get elected in 2014 in his reelection bid in 2018.

This after Governor Ducey and his lickspittle lackeys in the GOP controlled Arizona legislature spent the last four years removing any remaining restrictions on “dark money” and blocking every citizen effort to force transparency and disclosure in campaign finances. The final insult to democracy was Ducey’s court packing scheme of the Arizona Supreme Court, which paid off with the court blocking the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative from this fall’s ballot for specious reasons enacted into law by his lickspittle lackeys in the GOP controlled Arizona legislature, the will of the voters be damned.

This is what GOP authoritarianism and its culture of corruption in Arizona looks like. It is grounds enough for you to vote them all out of office.

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Grifters gotta grift: the Trump swamp (updated)

Why has this crook not already resigned, or been fired? Oh that’s right, he works for America’s premier grifter, Donald Trump.

Dan Alexander at Forbes reports on Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross robbing his clients blind to build his fortune. New Details About Wilbur Ross’ Business Point To Pattern Of Grifting:

A multimillion-dollar lawsuit has been quietly making its way through the New York State court system over the last three years, pitting a private equity manager named David Storper against his former boss: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The pair worked side by side for more than a decade, eventually at the firm, WL Ross & Co.—where, Storper later alleged, Ross stole his interests in a private equity fund, transferred them to himself, then tried to cover it up with bogus paperwork. Two weeks ago, just before the start of a trial with $4 million on the line, Ross and Storper agreed to a confidential settlement, whose existence has never been reported and whose terms remain secret.

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There are bigger allegations. Over several months, in speaking with 21 people who know Ross, Forbes uncovered a pattern: Many of those who worked directly with him claim that Ross wrongly siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there, huge amounts for most but not necessarily for the commerce secretary. At least if you consider them individually. But all told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine—come to more than $120 million. If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history.

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Dark Money files challenge to Outlaw Dirty Money initiative to deny voters a say

The usual suspects from the “Kochtopus,” who have fostered Arizona’s culture of corruption for years, have filed a challenge to the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative to keep it from the ballot, and deny Arizona citizens their right to vote on regulating their corrosive dark money spending in our elections.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Suit filed to stop dark money ballot:

Officials of two organizations known for anonymous [dark money] spending on political campaigns filed suit late Thursday to keep Arizonans from voting on a measure that would make the practice illegal.

The lawsuit charges that some of the paid circulators for the “Outlaw Dirty Money” campaign did not register ahead of time with the Secretary of State’s office as required by law. GOP Attorney Kory Langhofer also said that out-of-state residents who were carrying petitions also failed to register.

Langhofer claimed several other violations of initiative requirements, including that some circulators were convicted felons who had not had their civil rights restored. That, he said, makes them ineligible to gather signatures.

Among the plaintiffs are Scot Mussi, executive director of the Free Enterprise Club, and Andrew Clark, state director of Americans for Prosperity. Both organizations have made repeated expenditures in Arizona elections both to support candidates of their choice and to oppose others.

More to the point, both say their groups do not have to disclose their donors. That is based on their status under the federal tax code as “social welfare organizations” which are permitted to spend up to half their revenues on elections without being considered campaign committees.

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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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