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Oct 142010

“What I believe Is irrelevant” is a direct quote from Christine “I’m Not A Witch” O’Donnell when asked last night in the first Coons-O’Donnell debate whether or not she still believes that “evolution is a myth,” something she proudly proclaimed on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect” a dozen or so years ago.

On that one statement Christine, you are correct. I’ll take it a step further… YOU are irrelevant.

I know, you’re asking “so why all the media attention?”  The woman is in the neighborhood of 20 points behind Chris Coons, the man who showed last night that he will be a great, progressive voice in the US Senate.  I guess it’s like the proverbial train wreck, we just can’t look away.

On today’s show, we’ll play some of the best moments of last night’s debate which, yes, I did watch.

But we’ll start the show today with a candidate who actually does have a chance to win and, in the process, unseat one of the more despicable members of the House of Representatives. Tarryl Clark is a Minnesota State Senator, and is waging a tough campaign against the self-proclaimed chief tea bagger, Michele Bachmann.

The truly scary thing is how much money the insane Bachman has raised this quarter. Most of the $5 million she’s accumulated this quarter seems to have come from out of state.

In light of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that opened the floodgates for corporate campaign contributions, questions are being asked about the US Chamber of Commerce and foreign funds.

In fact, watchdog groups Public Citizen and Protect our Elections have joined forces to file an FEC complaint against Karl Rove’s Crossroads Grassroots Political Strategies (in case you were wondering what “GPS” stood for… Grassroots my ass!)

Kevin Zeese, attorney and spokesperson for Protect our Elections, will join me this morning to talk about the ramifications of what Rove & Co. are up to, and what this FEC complaint can accomplish.  Here’s the press release they issued:

For Immediate Release:             Contact: Barbara Holzer, Public Citizen
Oct. 13, 2010                     Kevin Zeese, Protect Our Elections

FEC Should Investigate Crossroads GPS for Campaign Finance Law Violations, Watchdogs Say in Complaint to FEC

Rove Group Appears to Operate As a Political Committee But Is Not Registered As One, Says Public Citizen and Protect Our Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Crossroads Grassroots Political Strategies, an organization created by Republican strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie to influence the midterm elections with huge expenditures of money, appears to be violating federal campaign law, Public Citizen and Protect Our Elections told the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in a complaint filed today.

The complaint explains that there is ample reason to believe that Crossroads GPS, which is registered as a nonprofit 501c(4) organization, is in fact a political committee and should be subject to the restrictions and disclosure rules for political committees, the groups say.
Crossroads GPS was formed in July 2010 by Rove and Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman. It shares offices with American Crossroads, a registered political committee created this year that also is the brainchild of Rove and Gillespie, according to published reports.
Rove has boasted on Fox News that American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS were avenues for donors who have “maxed out” contributions to federal Republican political committees to funnel money into the 2010 elections. So far, both groups have spent about $18 million to influence key Senate races. American Crossroads’ board chairman told one newspaper that both groups planned to spend nearly $50 million on the U.S. Senate races. Crossroads GPS, by its own admission, has made several million dollars in expenditures for express campaign advocacy.  The threshold for registration as a political committee is only $1,000.  A group that meets that threshold must register if its major purpose is to influence elections, which by all accounts seems to be Crossroads GPS’ raison d’etre.
Crossroads GPS appears to be violating numerous provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act by failing to register as a political committee, failing to file political committee financial disclosure reports and failing to comply with the political committee organizational requirements, the complaint says.

“American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are this year’s poster children for everything wrong with our campaign finance system in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “The decision paved the way for unlimited corporate spending on elections, and more generally signaled that Wild West rules now prevail for elections. Yet Crossroads GPS manages to transgress the modest rules still in place, failing to register with the Federal Election Commission as a political committee. We need the FEC to act to redress this apparently wrongful activity. More than that, we need Congress to pass the DISCLOSE Act, so we know which corporations and billionaires are behind the attack ads now polluting our airwaves. We need Congress to pass the Fair Elections Now Act, to replace the private election financing system now poisoning our democracy. And we need a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision and get corporate money out of elections.”

Added Kevin Zeese, attorney and spokesperson for Protect Our Elections, “This is the first election since Citizens United allowed unlimited spending by corporations on elections. They have abused this already too broad power by misusing the tax laws and avoiding campaign finance laws. It is a violation of federal election laws to launder anonymous donations for electioneering activity through nonprofit groups that are allowed to receive anonymous contributions only if their primary purpose is non-electoral activity.”

But that’s not all!  We’ll start hour two with a news update from TRNS. And we’ll finish our week of live shows with a visit from the always funny John Fugelsang!
Apr 012010

I’ve often said we’d be much better off if we could just get the politics out of government. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen any time soon…

In recent years, Republicans have been better at political theater than the Dems, but some on the left are catching up. The Yes Men have been doing great political theater, mostly in the climate change arena. (Their latest film “The Yes Men Fix The World” is out today on DVD.)

The women of Code Pink have been active in this arena too, but recently seem to have learned a thing or two about the theater aspect of activism.

Earlier this week, Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans attempted a citizens arrest of Karl Rove, as he began his book tour in Los Angeles:

Code Pink & After Downing Street offer War Criminals Playing Cards for sale. Karl Rove is the Jack of Spades.

And just last week, Code Pink issued a very real looking fake press release from AIPAC saying that they had reversed their policy and called on Israel to freeze all future settlements.

Jodie Evans joined me last night on the program to talk about those actions, and the other work Code Pink is doing.

I was also joined by Gotta Laff who, along with her partner Paddy, writes the great blog The Political Carnival.  We discussed a few of the stories she covered yesterday, including the new Faux News TV show with Sarah Palin and their attempted hijacking of LL Cool J and Toby Keith interviews, the craziness that is Michelle Bachmann, Eric Cantor’s lies, and a lot more.

And in hour two, we talked about the Obama administration’s latest triangulation measures, this time lifting the three decades long ban on offshore oil drilling. Yesterday’s announcement came just a month after the president announced he’d free up over $8 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of new nuclear power plants.

Last weekend was the 31st anniversary of Three Mile Island.  Harvey Wasserman, one of the founders of the No Nukes movement who is now a senior advisor to the Nuclear Information & Resource Service and Greenpeace USA, penned “YOU are Now Paying for the Next Three Mile Island,” joined me to talk about the latest flip in energy policy.


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