Campaign finance reform PAC End Citizens United has filed a complaint against Florida governor Rick Scott for violating campaign finance law during his 2018 Senate bid.
Rick Scott is no stranger to accusations of corruption: In the 1990’s he was CEO of a healthcare group that faced similar financial fraud allegations as the End Citizens United complaint. Scott’s company was found guilty and forced to pay a record fine. Scott resigned in disgrace and never worked in healthcare again, though he was successful at becoming governor of Florida.
At the time of his case for healthcare fraud Scott claimed he was personally innocent and blamed numerous subordinates for the illegal activity. He is doing the same thing in response to the End Citizens United complaint: Claiming innocence while blaming those who work for him.
Scott, as governor, was the chair of the right-wing PAC New Republican. This was legal as he was not running for any office at the time. But the day he announced his bid for the Senate he was required to quit and have no contact with the PAC. He claims this is the case even though the PAC listed him as CEO for a month after he supposedly left, his campaign address and the PAC’s address were the same for months and both organizations used the same fundraiser for their events and strategy.
If, as seems likely, these accusations have any merit then New Republican donated millions to the Scott campaign illegally. End Citizens United has a fairly solid case, supported by independent reporting from the Tampa Bay Times, which has reported on Scott in the past.
.@GovernorBullock just filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s new dark money rule which would allow special interests to no longer have to disclose their bankrollers. https://t.co/PCnMLetH3T
The world of politics is confusing and clouded with misdirection, intentional and otherwise. That is why it can be so hard to get to the bottom of any given topic. When looking at the issue of dark money in politics almost every American can agree that this is no good. The reason? Money in politics subverts the will of the people, putting power into the hands of those with the largest stack of cash. Money in politics wasn’t always as bad as it is today and the reason for the change can be traced back to an unassuming lawyer making his case before the Federal Election Commission in 2008. Let’s introduce you to James Bopp, the leader of Citizens United, the man responsible for ruining our government.
Campaign finance reform wasn’t always a buzzword in the political zeitgeist. In fact, for the most part the problem of dark money in politics was not a huge issue. That is until James Bopp came around. Bopp is a lawyer who fought the FEC in 2008 for the right to air a film, “Hillary: The Movie”, during the 2008 Primary Debates between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The film itself was pure propaganda, filled to the brim with lies, misrepresentations, and wild accusations — including that Hillary Clinton tried to assassinate a cat. It was bizarre stuff and almost immediately thrown out. James Bopp had been trying to circumvent FEC rules by airing the film on demand during the election cycle and he wouldn’t get his way this time.
However, things changed in a bad way when Bopp appeared once more before a court nearly two years later — the Supreme Court. Bopp’s argument was that campaign spending was considered an extension of free speech and that corporations, who were already considered legally as ‘people’, have the right to pay as much as they want to support whatever candidate they want. Essentially Bopp was arguing for taking the lid off of any government regulations in order to allow corporations free sway within Washington D.C. The Citizens United Decision, as it would become known, was one of the most prolific decisions in the de-regulation and de-construction of the pragmatic laws that make up our federal election system. It has also become the rallying call for progressives seeking to repair the government. That brings us to Tiffany Muller and the team at End Citizens United.
Venezuela’s opposition party slammed president Nicolas Maduro’s emergency over the weekend, and said it would press forward with its efforts to have a recall vote this year, according to Reuters.
Venezuela is in the midst of a great economic crisis brought on by falling oil prices, but opposition leaders blame Maduro’s socialist policies. Maduro as reported by local news station El Venezolano, declared a 60 day state of emergency and accused the United States and the opposition party of trying to subvert him and his nation. There are long lines waiting to shop in stores for food, and there is not much food available.
The opposition party won control of the legislature last December, but so far the supreme court of that nation has stymied their efforts to oust Maduro. The law allows for a referendm after three years in office, which is this year for Maduro. He and his allies say there will be no referendum this year. Opposition leaders including David Osio are busy gathering signatures but have faced hurdles in the system.
If the referendum is held this year and Maduro loses, there would be another election immediately. However, if the referendum is held in 2017, and Maduro lost, the vice president would take over. That would defeat the purpose of the opposition as the vice president is also a socialist and ally of Maduro. The opposition believes it can get control with a new election, and polls show Maduro’s popularity is at a very low state.