Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Last Call For Follow The Money, Con't

Following the 2022 cash from corporate America and dark money donors finds that the bulk of political donations are going to the GOP, which has tens of millions on hand in 2022 more than they did in 2020, but it doesn't mean Dems are getting destroyed, either. Dems are having a record year in fact, especially at the national House and Senate fundraising levels, it just means Republicans have an even larger haul.

Major Republican organizations focused on winning back control of the House and the Senate ended last year with significantly more money than their Democratic counterparts, a reversal of past fortunes that suggests shifting momentum ahead of the midterm elections.

The new fundraising totals, revealed Monday in filings to the Federal Election Commission, showed both parties holding record amounts for the off-year of the congressional cycle. But the growth in the Republican cash hoard compared with the 2020 and 2018 cycles outstripped Democratic gains, as GOP donors, particularly those who give seven- and eight-figure checks, leaned into the effort to take back control of the House and the Senate this fall.

The Republican Party’s campaign committees for the House and the Senate, along with the super PACs affiliated with Republican House and Senate leadership, reported nearly $220 million in combined cash on hand on Dec. 31. By contrast, the corresponding Democratic organizations reported $176 million in cash reserves.

The same Democratic groups had nearly $161 million in cash on hand at this point in the 2020 cycle, about $50 million more than the corresponding Republican groups.

The disclosures come as Republican leaders have become increasingly confident about taking back control of the House and Democrats have begun to criticize each other publicly about the strategy for winning over voters. Some Democratic leaders say worries about the election environment and the sidelining of former president Donald Trump as a unifying target have diminished donor enthusiasm on their side.

“When you are a Democrat, you are raising money for a very-likely loss, so that is hard to get around,” said David Brock, the founder of American Bridge 21st Century, a super PAC that supports Democratic candidates. “And in 2018 and 2020, there was a good chunk of anti-Trump money that is not coming back unless he is the nominee again.”

But several other Democrats said the relative drop-off is less important than the eye-popping amounts of money that both parties have been able to harness. President Biden’s party, they say, will have enough money down the stretch. They also noted that cash-on-hand figures for the end of the year are just a single snapshot of time, which does not take into account spending last year or fundraising that is in the pipeline for later this year.

“House Democrats’ record-breaking fundraising shows we’re ready to compete across the battleground and make sure voters know just how dangerous Republicans’ extremist agenda is,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Chris Taylor said in a statement.

A clear bright spot for Democrats came at the national party level, which funds field operations in the states that can benefit House and Senate campaigns. With Biden in the White House, the Democratic National Committee ended last year with $65 million in cash, compared with just $10 million at the start of 2020 and $6.6 million at the start of 2018.

The Republican National Committee reported $56 million in cash at the end of 2021.

Democrats also took solace in the strong fundraising for some of their 2022 candidates, which does not show up in the filings for party committees and their corresponding outside groups. Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) reported collecting $9.8 million in the last three months of the year, compared with $5.4 million for former football star Herschel Walker, who has been endorsed by Trump as the Republican candidate for his seat.

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) raised about $9 million in the same period, compared with $1.4 million for finance executive Blake Masters and $800,000 for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who are competing for the Republican nomination.

“While Republicans put forward flawed candidates that are locked in vicious primaries, this record-breaking fundraising quarter for Democrats shows the power of our grass roots support,” said Jazmin Vargas, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The DSCC ended the year with $23.7 million in cash on hand, compared with $32.8 million for its counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
In other words, DNC chair Jaime Harrison, DCCC head Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, and DSCC head Sen. Gary Peters are all pulling in record hauls. They are raising hundreds of millions, which is what the Dems need. They are getting the job done.
The issue of course is that the GOP has even more cash on hand. Raising the cash is one thing, making it work, well, Dems have had issues with that in the past (look at Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who raised tens of millions and got destroyed in 2014.)  Money? Dems can do that. Win with that money? We will see.

Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

Black History Month here in America begins with an awful reminder that violent racism is the default for the country and that it has been for centuries.

A growing number of historically black colleges and universities have had to lock down or postpone classes due to bomb threats on the first day of Black History Month. 
At least 13 HBCUs reported bomb threats Tuesday. At least one of them, Howard University, also received a bomb threat Monday
Coppin State University 
Someone called the Baltimore university and said there was a bomb on campus, Coppin State University spokesperson Angela Galeano told CNN. 
The threat was immediately reported to campus police, Galeano said. 
A message on the university's website said all classes would be online Tuesday. 
"If you are on campus, please, shelter in place, and wait for further instructions," the message said. "Emergency officials are evaluating the campus and we will provide updates, as soon as possible."

Mississippi Valley State University 
The university said a bomb threat was received through its guardhouse early Tuesday morning. 
"MVSU is currently on lockdown, and campus police are conducting a complete investigation," a university Facebook post reads. 
"School officials are working with local emergency personnel to investigate and determine the extent of the threat." 
Classes will be remote Tuesday, and the university is asking all on-campus students to stay in their residence halls. Only essential staff will be allowed on campus, MVSU said.

Alcorn State University 
The university in Lorman, Mississippi, received "an anonymous bomb threat," Alcorn State posted on its website Tuesday. 
"We are advising all students to shelter in place," the message said. "Faculty and staff should not report to work until further notice."


There were bomb threats at another dozen or more HBCU's today, and there were several yesterday as well. No devices have been found, but that's not the point. White supremacist terrorism directed at Black colleges and universities is the point and it's working.

There's no reason to believe these threats will stop, or that anyone will be punished for them. They can come from anywhere.

This is what Black History Month means to white supremacists: open season on Black terror, as America itself has been built on Black terror and blood for decades. 

Black Lives Still Matter.

The Big Lie, Con't

Yes, Donald Trump absolutely wanted to send in local and state police, Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and/or the US military to seize voting machines in several key states in order to declare the 2020 election fraudulent, and to then declare victory.

Six weeks after Election Day, with his hold on power slipping, President Donald J. Trump directed his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to make a remarkable call. Mr. Trump wanted him to ask the Department of Homeland Security if it could legally take control of voting machines in key swing states, three people familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Giuliani did so, calling the department’s deputy secretary, who said he lacked the authority to audit or impound the machines.

Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Giuliani to make that inquiry after rejecting a separate effort by his outside advisers to have the Pentagon take control of the machines. And the outreach to the Department of Homeland Security came not long after Mr. Trump, in an Oval Office meeting with Attorney General William P. Barr, raised the possibility of whether the Justice Department could seize the machines, a previously undisclosed suggestion that Mr. Barr immediately shot down.

The new accounts show that Mr. Trump was more directly involved than previously known in exploring proposals to use his national security agencies to seize voting machines as he grasped unsuccessfully for evidence of fraud that would help him reverse his defeat in the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the episodes.

The existence of proposals to use at least three federal departments to assist Mr. Trump’s attempt to stay in power has been publicly known. The proposals involving the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security were codified by advisers in the form of draft executive orders.

But the new accounts provide fresh insight into how the former president considered and to some degree pushed the plans, which would have taken the United States into uncharted territory by using federal authority to seize control of the voting systems run by states on baseless grounds of widespread voting fraud.

The people familiar with the matter were briefed on the events by participants or had firsthand knowledge of them.

The accounts about the voting machines emerged after a weekend when Mr. Trump declared at a rally in Texas that he might pardon people charged in connection with the storming of the Capitol last Jan. 6 if he were re-elected. In a statement issued after the rally, Mr. Trump also suggested that his vice president, Mike Pence, could have personally “overturned the election” by refusing to count delegates to the Electoral College who had vowed to cast their votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The new information helps to flesh out how the draft executive orders to seize voting machines came into existence and points in particular to the key role played by a retired Army colonel named Phil Waldron.

According to people familiar with the accounts, Mr. Waldron, shortly after the election, began telling associates that he had found irregularities in vote results that he felt were suggestive of fraud. He then came up with the idea of having a federal agency like the military or the Department of Homeland Security confiscate the machines to preserve evidence.

Mr. Waldron first proposed the notion of the Pentagon’s involvement to Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, whom he says he served with in the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The plans were among an array of options that were placed before Mr. Trump in the tumultuous days and weeks that followed the election, developed by an ad hoc group of lawyers like Sidney Powell and other allies including Mr. Flynn and Mr. Waldron. That group often found itself at odds with Mr. Giuliani and his longtime associate Bernard Kerik, as well as with Mr. Trump’s White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, and his team.

Around the same time that Mr. Trump brought up the possibility of having the Justice Department seize the voting machines, for example, he also tried to persuade state lawmakers in contested states like Michigan and Pennsylvania to use local law enforcement agencies to take control of them, people familiar with the matter said. The state lawmakers refused to go along with the plan.

Once again the only reason we're not in a Trump authoritarian regime right now is because his people got cold feet: Mike Pence huddling in his office, Rudy Giuliani screaming on the phones, Bill Barr being stonefaced at Justice, Chris Miller at the Pentagon, all of these folks too cowardly to pull the trigger.

We have a democracy still because Trump surrounded himself with spineless hacks. 

The next time America falls into the abyss.
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