Tag Archives: dark money

House Democrats have won an historic mandate

FiveThirtyEight now projects The Last Unresolved House Race Of 2018, the California 21st is likely to be the 40th Democratic pickup. Democrat TJ Cox will turn out Republican Rep. David Valadao.

NBC News reports, Democrats smash Watergate record for House popular vote in midterms:

Democrats won the House with the largest margin of victory in a midterms election for either party, according to NBC News election data.

While votes are still being tallied, Democratic House candidates currently hold an 8,805,130 vote lead over Republicans as of Monday morning. The Democrats’ national margin of victory in House contests smashes the previous midterms record of 8.7 million votes in 1974, won just months after President Richard Nixon resigned from office in disgrace amid the Watergate scandal.

Of the more than 111 million votes cast in House races nationwide, Democrats took 53.1 percent — retaking control of the House of Representatives by flipping nearly 40 seats — while Republicans received 45.2 percent of the vote.

Brent Budowsky writes at The Hill, House Dems won a historic mandate (excerpt):

In the most important midterm election in a century, after voter turnout of epic and historic proportions, House Democrats won a popular vote majority of more than 9 million votes. By contrast, Donald Trump lost the 2016 popular vote by some 3 million votes, and is now viewed as a great divider and dangerous pariah by peoples and leaders of democratic nations throughout the world.

Politics is about power. Effective January 2019, no bill will be enacted into law, and no dollar will be authorized or appropriated, without the support of the Democratic House. House Democrats have won a dramatic mandate to propose — and ultimately pass — legislation to lift the health, wages and lives of Americans, as well as to set the stage to elect the next Democratic president and Democratic Senate in 2020, when most senators running for reelection will be Republicans.

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The Arizona Republic: No on Prop. 127 (vote yes)

The Arizona Republic recommends a “no” vote on the Clean Energy For A Healthy Arizona initiative, Prop. 127. Prop. 127, Arizona’s renewable energy initiative, comes down to just 4 words:

One day Arizona will be powered by the sun.

We enjoy such abundant natural light that we seem destined to throw a harness around the sun and use it to pull the greater share of our state economy.

But that day is not here. Not yet.

For now we are moving in the direction of the sun with new knowledge and new technology.

Crusaders for clean power have put on this year’s ballot a proposal to massively accelerate Arizona’s ascension to virtually 100-percent clean energy. But there are reasons to doubt it.

Because there is an entrenched carbon monopoly and special interest “dark money” from APS, its parent company Pinnacle West, and the “Kochtopus” organizations which have bought GOP candidates and captured the Arizona Corporation Commission.

What would Proposition 127 do?

Utilities are now under Arizona Corporation Commission mandate to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Proposition 127 would bump up those requirements to 50 percent by 2030, an increase the utilities say would greatly increase costs that would then be passed on to ratepayers.

Note: California law already requires at least 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from noncarbon-producing sources by 2030. California took a giant step this past May, by becoming the first state to require all new homes to be fitted for solar power. California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes. The Clean Energy For A Healthy Arizona initiative is not nearly as ambitious.

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Martha McSally and the Vulture Capitalist: not a bedtime story

Vulture capitalist Paul Singer

Vulture capitalist Paul Singer made huge profits attacking miners dying of asbestos exposure. He donated heavily to Martha McSally’s campaign.

“Follow the Money” a phrase popularized after Watergate, has never been more true than today.  Some are blatant about it, as Trump on Saudi Arabia: “They spend $40 million, $50 million….Am I supposed to dislike them?”

Martha McSally would probably prefer to keep her big money connections quiet. When she first ran for Congress in 2016, she received over $100,000 from an innocent-sounding PAC called Winning Women.  This was over one-third of her entire budget during that critical quarter.  As reported on this blog, Winning Women is funded largely by vulture capitalist Paul Singer.

What does it mean to be a Vulture Capitalist?  In the case of Paul Singer, it meant that he made huge profits attacking miners dying of asbestos exposure and seizing money meant to address a cholera epidemic in the Congo.  You can’t make this stuff up.  Investigative journalist Greg Palast, author of Vulture’s Picnic, has researched this deeply.  He explains:

Singer’s modus operandi is to find some forgotten tiny debt owed by a very poor nation (Peru and Congo were on his menu). He waits for the United States and European taxpayers to forgive the poor nations’ debts, then waits at bit longer for offers of food aid, medicine and investment loans. Then Singer pounces, legally grabbing at every resource and all the money going to the desperate country. Trade stops, funds freeze and an entire economy is effectively held hostage.

Singer then demands aid-giving nations pay monstrous ransoms to let trade resume. At BBC TV’s Newsnight, we learned that Singer demanded $400 million dollars from the Congo for a debt he picked up for less than $10 million. If he doesn’t get his 4,000 percent profit, he can effectively starve the nation. I don’t mean that figuratively – I mean starve as in no food. In Congo-Brazzaville last year, one-fourth of all deaths of children under five were caused by malnutrition. (as of Oct 2011)

Recently, former United Nations envoy Winston Tubman suggested I ask Singer or his business associates, “Do you know you’re causing babies to die?”

 

The key is, that Singer depends on finding a jurisdiction that will allow his legal maneuvers to put his claims before those of the population, so having lawmakers on his side is important to his business model.

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The Arizona Republic inexplicably endorses Mark Brnovich for Attorney General

Some of the nastiest campaign ads running on television have been those airing against Democratic candidate January Contreras for Attorney General. Arizona’s attorney general race has drawn national attention. Here’s why:

January Contreras

Spending on attorney-general races nationally could top $100 million this year, according to the Washington Post, with the Republican Attorney General Association investing heavily in defending its incumbents.

“The Democratic Attorney General Association is involved, too, but DAGA just does not have as much money,” said Bernie Nash, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General practice.

The firm analyzes attorney-general races and has rated Arizona’s contest as “Leans Republican.”

* * *

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has taken heat for involving Arizona in divisive national fights, such as the 20-state effort to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act. Here is the Complaint (.pdf). January Contreras argues that what Brnovich calls an issue of constitutionality is a dangerous move that would hurt vulnerable Arizonans with pre-existing health conditions.

Keep in mind that the Attorney General cannot join this lawsuit without the tacit approval of the Governor. So both Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich have signed off on the Texas lawsuit that seeks to hold the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, which would invalidate all of its patient  protections including those prohibiting discrimination against persons with preexisting conditions. Polling suggests that this is the top political issue for voters in this election. They are both on the wrong side of this issue.

January Contreras “said that ‘on Day One,’ she would remove Arizona from that lawsuit and join a concurrent one [by Democratic Attorneys General] that aims to keep protections for people with pre-existing conditions in place.”

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‘Don’t be fooled by legislative flimflam’ – vote no on Prop. 306

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry opposed the citizens initiative to create the Citizens Clean Elections Commissions. They lost.  They have used their lickspittle lackeys in Arizona’s GOP-controlled legislature ever since to undermine the commission – with some success – with the goal to eventually destroy it.

Their latest effort is Prop. 306 which misleading claims to reform some clean elections rules. Don’t be fooled by the language of the ballot measure.

Mark Kimble, former editor of the now defunct Tucson Citizen, has an op-ed at the Arizona Daily Star which explains Prop 306 imperils nonpartisan Citizens Clean Elections Commission:

Twenty years ago, Arizona voters approved formation of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, to “improve the integrity of Arizona state government and promote public confidence in the Arizona political process.”

But on the November ballot, the Arizona Legislature, using Prop. 306, is trying to trick you into doing away with the nonpartisan Clean Elections Commission. They want you to turn the entire process over to a shadow group of political appointees, all of whom would represent only the party of the governor.

Legislators want to do all they can to make sure the sources of dark money in political campaigns remain secret. And they want your help.

Take a close look at Prop. 306 and understand what the real goal is.

The majority in the Legislature knew that if they put on the ballot a clearly worded proposition to do away with clean elections, it would be soundly rejected. So they resorted to obfuscation and misdirection.

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