Thursday, June 23, 2016

In DC and in Madison, WisGOPs think public should be kept in dark

You likely have heard about how Democrats in the House of Representatives had a sit-in on the House floor yesterday to demand that Speaker Paul Ryan hold votes on gun issues. But what caught my eye was the fact that not only did Ryan and his fellow House Republicans lack the guts to bring up the topic for debate, they also tried to keep people from seeing it on TV. Here's the Washington Post's Chris Cilizza's breakdown from yesterday.
…House Democrats, led by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), seized the floor and demanded a vote on gun-control measures. They literally sat down on the carpeted floor to demand a vote and said they’d stay there as long as it took to negotiate one.

D.C. perked up. We turned to C-SPAN. And C-SPAN had nothing to offer us.

That’s because House Republicans presiding over the floor at the time gaveled the Congress on a break as the sit-in started. There was clearly a disruption going on, and they weren’t sure what to do. (The House isn’t like the Senate, where one lawmaker can force it to stay in session for hours and hours.) So the House went on recess, and per the rules, the C-SPAN cameras shut off.
That didn’t keep House Democrats from using social media and other tech apps to broadcasted the sit-ins themselves, continuing to draw attention to the issue, and making Ryan look even more cowardly, and making the "bury the bill" gambit backfire.

I find it noteworthy that Purty Mouth Pau-LIE’s decision to avoid a vote and attempt to keep the American people from having the gun issue be brought to their attention happened in the same month when he worked to hide other information from the public. Just last week, Ryan and his fellow House Republicans voted in favor of keeping people from knowing who the people in these big-money "independent groups" really are.
The House approved a bill Tuesday that would bar the IRS from collecting the names of donors to tax-exempt groups, prompting warnings from campaign-finance watchdogs that it could lead to foreign interests illegally infiltrating American elections.

The measure, which has the support of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also pits the Obama administration against one of the most powerful figures in Republican politics, billionaire industrialist Charles Koch. Koch’s donor network channels hundreds of millions of dollars each year into groups that largely use anonymous donations to shape policies on everything from health care to tax subsidies. Its leaders have urged the Republican-controlled Congress to clamp down on the IRS, citing free-speech concerns.

The names of donors to politically active non-profit groups aren't public information now, but the organizations still have to disclose donor information to the IRS on annual tax returns. The bill, written by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., would prohibit the tax agency from collecting names, addresses or any “identifying information” about donors.
Remember, these organizations are given tax-exempt status because their main purpose is supposed to be non-political. The IRS making sure that these groups were worthy of that status is what led to the GOP screaming that they were being singled out (a fake “scandal” if there ever was one). And not ONE House Republican voted against the bill that would give a shield to these groups.

You thought Walker was the biggest Koch whore in this state?

What the GOP and their Koch puppetmasters are really scared of isn’t abuse of power by the IRS, but that their money train will be revealed. It helps explain why right-wing oligarch groups have gone through such an effort to block the John Doe investigation here in Wisconsin. Because these fake charities and social welfare organizations are front groups that are being used to dodge taxes and launder money, allowing the rich a-holes who pull such shenanigans from being exposed to the public.

Mary Bottari of Madison’s Center for Media and Democracy has an excellent example in today’s Capital Times of how the CMD and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) discovered how this type of deception and money=laundering works. It involves Brad Schimel, and how dirty oligarch money got him elected Attorney General in 2014, under the guise of something called the “Rule of Law Project” (ROLP).
The Madison-based Center for Media and Democracy was first to link the ROLP to the Washington, D.C., law firm of Boyden Gray and Associates. A founder of the Federalist Society and former White House counsel, Gray is the chief architect of the 40-year attack on regulations protecting public health and the environment. Gray's firm represents dirty power companies in the fight against the president’s plan, which if implemented would reduce greenhouse gas pollution by up to 32 percent in 2030.

CREW alleges that ROLP violated the law when it spent nearly $200,000 on political ads but later told the IRS that it did not engage in any political activity in 2014….

CREW was not able nail down the ultimate source of the funds, but followed the fingerprints on various IRS tax filings to [Federalist Society VP Leonard] Leo’s Judicial Crisis Network and the Wellspring Committee. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wellspring is "little more than (a) UPS mailbox” created to hide the identity of donors, which, experience tells us, are discredited industries that want to cloak their agenda in anonymity.

The filings have other fingerprints. If dark money groups have a dark arts leader, it is Sean Noble of the Center to Protect Patient Rights. Noble was implicated in a multimillion-dollar campaign money laundering operation in California. CPPR was fined and ordered to disgorge the $15 million that was spent in the state. It was only later revealed that CPPR was largely bankrolled by the Koch brothers' Freedom Partners operation. DCI Group is a PR firm that has dirty coal and Koch’s Americans for Prosperity as clients. It was recently subpoenaed in the Exxon Mobile climate denial investigation.
And now you can see why Paul Ryan and his GOP buddies in the House wanted to keep the IRS from finding information about who donates to these “charities.” Because following the money leads to some ugly findings and inconvenient truths.

Hiding from the public seems to be quite the Wisconsin GOP habit these days, isn’t it? From Governor Walker trying every avenue possible to go around open records laws, to going through great lengths to conceal which businesses are funding their campaigns, this crew has no interest in letting the public know what’s really going on in their taxpayer-funded jobs. And they especially don’t want you to know who are giving the orders to the puppets politicians who “work” in those places.

No comments:

Post a Comment