Republican Party leaders are urging big donors to start writing checks, and the check-writers now include Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
NPR has confirmed a Politico report that Adelson is putting in $20 million, evenly divided between Crossroads GPS and American Action Network. Both are 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations that don’t disclose their donors — or nondonors, as an AAN spokesman put it.
Pro-Democratic superPACs have surprised conservatives by outadvertising them in key races.
The Crossroads GPS funds are aimed at Senate races, where Republicans need a gain of six seats to win control of the chamber. The Wesleyan Media Project reported this week that on broadcast television between Aug. 29 and Sept. 11, there were more than 34,000 pro-Democratic ads in Senate races, versus fewer than 30,000 pro-Republican spots.
Adelson money for American Action Network is targeting House contests, even though the House GOP majority is considered secure. Last week AAN said it is spending $5.3 million on ad campaigns against six Democratic incumbents. The Wesleyan Media Project report found that Democratic candidates in those races were benefiting from a 2-to-1 edge in advertising.
Adelson is CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which has casinos in Las Vegas, Pennsylvania, Singapore and Macau. His wife, Miriam, is a physician.
These two contributions mark his first high-dollar, high-profile spending this cycle. In 2012, the Adelsons gave $92.8 million to conservative superPACs and other organizations, far outpacing other donors of disclosed contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Federal Election Commission data show that the top two Adelson beneficiaries in 2012 were Winning Our Future, a superPAC promoting Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, with $25.5 million; and American Crossroads, the superPAC affiliate of Crossroads GPS, with $23 million.
Spokesmen for Crossroads GPS and American Action Network would neither confirm nor deny Adelson’s contributions.
Anti-Choice Activist Brian Clowes: "Gays Demand Acceptance Because They Feel Guilty About Their 'Horrible Lifestyle'"
Late last month, Molly Smith of Cleveland Right to Life and the National Personhood Alliance hosted Brian Clowes, the director of education and research at the Catholic group Human Life International, to discuss not their mutual opposition to abortion rights but the topic of LGBT rights, which Smith believes is inseparable from the anti-choice fight.
Over the course of 45 minutes, the two activists ran through an encyclopedia of anti-gay myths, including that gay men are prone to molest children, that people become gay because of abuse or neglect in their childhood, and that gay people have dramatically reduced lifespans.
Despite the fact that all of these claims have been thoroughly debunked, Clowes backed them up by saying, “The main principle to keep in mind is that every principle the Catholic Church teaches about sexual morality can be backed up by science, hard science and a lot of it.”
“Interestingly, you’ll find that if you get out of the homosexual lifestyle, you’ll be a lot happier,” he said. “If you’re living under God’s law, God wants us to be happy, so it’s going to be like that.”
The two went on to compare homosexuality to alcoholism, drug abuse and obesity.
“The term ‘gay’ certainly doesn’t apply here,” Clowes said. “It is a horrible lifestyle and it will kill you in the end. And those last few years of your life are not going to be happy because you’re going to be extremely sick, dying of cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, whatever.”
Earlier in the interview, Clowes claimed that LGBT people are demanding tolerance and acceptance because they are “involved in all kinds of sinful, but extremely unhealthy activities and their conscience is bothering them.”
“If they feel bad about themselves, it’s the church’s fault, it’s the homophobes’ fault,” he said. “You know what I’m talking about here? So the only way they can get rid of that nagging little voice of guilt is to have everybody say, ‘It’s all right that you’re gay, we support you in your choice.’ And they will never be satisfied until everybody who opposes them is simply shut up.”
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
#NCSen, #MNSen, #ARSen, #LASen, #IASen, #AKSen: Tea Partiers Swallow Their Pride To Defeat Democrats In November
On Wednesday the Tea Party Express sent out an email calling on supporters to help “Defeat Harry Reid’s Sinister Six.” Hagan was listed alongside Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Al Franken (D-MN), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), the Democratic Senate candidate in his state. The Republican primaries in those states have been relatively mild with comparatively less or even no fighting between establishment and tea-party aligned candidates. North Carolina, by contrast, was one of the most heated Republican primaries in the 2014 cycle.
A day earlier the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund sent out a similar fundraising email targeting just Hagan.
"Barack Obama and his liberal Democrat allies are pouring money and campaign resources into North Carolina like crazy," Tea Party Patriots Chairman Jenny Beth Martin wrote in the email. "They are desperate to save leftist Senator Kay Hagan. Tea Party volunteers in North Carolina need our help to win this critical Senate seat."
Establishment-backed Tillis defeated Dr. Greg Brannon, another candidate in the primary, who was actually the favorite of the insurgent tea party wing of the Republican party.
In the general election the race has managed to stay competitive. The TPM Polltracker average currently gives her a 4.7 point lead over Tillis.
Rooting for an establishment candidate isn’t ideal, but trying to get supporters to defeat Hagan is better than the alternative, Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund communications director Kevin Broughton told TPM.
"Obviously Thom Tillis isn’t our preferred candidate in North Carolina but he is the one non-Kay Hagan candidate and he’s the one candidate who will be a backstop," Broughton said. "If he takes that seat then the chances of our ultimate goal that I mentioned earlier and that’s preventing a runaway rubber stamp president for two years and our chances are better Thom Tillis than Kay Hagan."
Broughton said North Carolina is just one of the races where his group would be involved going forward in the 2014 election cycle, despite the fact that tea party-favored candidates didn’t win in those states. Broughton said Iowa, where state Sen. Joni Ernst, a favorite of both the establishment and the tea party, as well as North Carolina and possibly Georgia, would be priorities.
"At the end of the day, from a conservative perspective, these Republicans are closer to our agenda than the Democrats," a top policy advisor for a top tea party-aligned group told TPM. "However, conservatives will not give them any grace period once they are elected and will hold them accountable for the promises they make on the campaign trail. We will not wait several years to wake up and realize we’ve been duped."
True the Vote is one of the most influential groups working to make it harder to vote by pushing for restrictive voter ID laws and launching challenges against people it thinks might be ineligible to vote, tactics which are supposedly directed at preventing voter impersonation fraud and double voting — crimes that in reality are exceedingly rare.
In order to cover up the fact that voter ID laws keep many times more people from the polls than the miniscule number of voter impersonation cases that they might prevent, groups like TTV try to conflate in-person voter fraud — the only thing actually targeted by voter ID laws — with faulty voter registration and with rare but persistent kinds of small-scale voter fraud by elected officials that they have no intention of actually combating.
A great example of this happened yesterday, when TTV reprinted a short blog post by former Bush Justice Department official and conservative activist J. Christian Adams linking to a story about “Three PA Elected Officials Charged With Voter Fraud.”
Adams offers his commentary, implying that this story proves that the numerous studies discrediting the voter ID push are just wrong:
I am curious to see if this barely reported case of voter fraud ever makes it onto one of the ‘academic’ studies purporting to demonstrate very little voter fraud. Those studies are characterized by false negatives.
A quick look at the story in question, however, shows that what happened in Pennsylvania has nothing to do with voter ID or any so-called “voter integrity” laws that Adams and TTV are promoting.
Pennsylvania requires that people requesting an absentee ballot provide a reason, which can be “illness or physical disability” that makes the voter “unable to attend his/her polling place or to operate a voting machine.” Those voters must also provide a copy of their photo ID.
The case that Adams and TTV are touting is that of three township supervisors who were charged with violating election laws in 2011, two for helping 13 elderly voters to apply for and fill out absentee ballots , despite the fact that all were physically able to go to the polls on Election Day and were thus ineligible to obtain absentee ballots in Pennsylvania. One of the supervisors is charged with helping an eligible absentee voter fill out a ballot but failing to report that he had assisted the voter.
None of this would have been prevented by a voter ID requirement. Instead, this is an instance of, at best, a misunderstanding and at worst, public officials using their insider influence to tinker with ballots.
If it’s the latter, all sorts of laws are currently on the books to prevent such instances of election fraud. But it is not something that so-called “voter integrity” activists have shown any interest in addressing, perhaps because it’s already against the law and policed. As the Brennan Center wrote in a 2007 report, such conduct “has been an issue since Senators wore togas” and is a completely separate issue from the kind of supposed fraud that groups like True The Vote claim to be fixing with suppressive voting restrictions.
It is extremely rare for individuals to vote multiple times, vote as someone else, or vote despite knowing that they are ineligible. These rare occurrences, however, are often conflated with other forms of election irregularities or misconduct, under the misleading and overbroad label of “voter fraud.” Some of these other irregularities result from honest mistakes by election officials or voters, such as confusion as to whether a particular person is actually eligible to vote. Some irregularities result from technological glitches, whether sinister or benign: for example, voting machines may record inaccurate tallies. And some involve fraud or intentional misconduct perpetrated by actors other than individual voters: for example, flyers may spread misinformation about the proper locations or procedures for voting; thugs may be dispatched to intimidate voters at the polls; missing ballot boxes may mysteriously reappear. These more common forms of misconduct are simply not addressed by the supposed “anti-fraud” measures generally proposed.
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
Another great hard-hitting ad by the DCCC that attacks Mike Bost’s temper issues. He’s NOT who should represent us in DC, so vote Bill Enyart in!
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (12:54AM CDT/6:54AM GMT): NO vote in Fife (home to former PM Gordon Brown) puts the NO to independence side officially over the top. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
The 30th council to report is Fife. Fife votes 55.0% for No, 45.0% for Yes. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Moray declaration in: Moray votes “no” in Scotland #IndyRef— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
The No campaign has now clinched 50% of the total vote. Their magic number is now 0. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Salmond: “Scotland has, by majority, decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country. I accept that verdict of the people.”— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
Salmond calls “Yes” votes “substantial” for future independence of country— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
Darling: “Today is a momentus result for Scotland, but also for the United Kingdom as a whole.”— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (12:04AM CDT/6:04AM GMT): Argyll and Bute, Aberdeenshire, and Edinburgh vote NO; 3 left to go. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
BBC is officially projecting that No will win. Good for them for waiting & being cautious—I wish our election forecasters would. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
#BREAKING: Scotland has voted against independence: BBC forecast— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) September 19, 2014
Aberdeenshire, home of Alex Salmond, is the 27th council to report. It votes No by a 60–40 margin. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Edinburgh also goes heavily No, 61% to 39%. It’s the 28th council to report. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Argyll & Bute becomes the 29th council reporting. There, Yes wins 41.5% and No wins 58.5%. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Yes got demolished in two big councils, Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire. That’ll make it go down in history as less close. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
BREAKING: The Scotland Independence Referendum has failed, will remain in the United Kingdom. #Scotland #IndyRef #ScotlandReferendum #ScotlandDecides
— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem)September 19, 2014
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking)September 19, 2014
Scotland will stay in the UK, likely with more devolved powers.
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (11:12PM CDT/5:12AM GMT): South Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross, West Lothian, Scottish Borders, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire vote NO; North Lanarkshire, Glasgow vote YES. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
West Lothian has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 53,342 NO - 65,682— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
North Ayrshire has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 47,072 NO - 49,016— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
East Ayrshire has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 39,762 NO - 44,442— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (10:40PM CDT/4:40AM GMT): Midlothian, East Lothian, Stirling, Falkirk, Angus, Dumfries, E. Renfrewshire, E. Dunbartonshire, Aberdeen City vote NO; West Dunbartonshire votes YES. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
East Dunbartonshire has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 30,624 NO - 48,214— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (9:59PM CDT/3:59AM GMT): Inverclyde, Renfrewshire vote NO; Dundee votes YES. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
Inverclyde is the 5th council to report. It votes 49.9% yes, 50.1% no. Only about 100 votes separating! #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
East Renfrewshire opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 55,466 NO - 62,067— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
The Nationalists’ failure to win the Western Isles does not bode well for the Yes cause. This was nationalist homeland once.— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (9:05PM CDT/3:05AM GMT): Shetland Islands, Eilean Siar vote NO to independence. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (8:30PM CDT/2:30AM GMT): Orkney votes NO to independence. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
Orkney Islands, expected to be a No stronghold, goes way in: 67% for No. Still just a small number of total votes there, though. #indyref— Eric Kleefeld (@EricKleefeld) September 19, 2014
Orkney is the smallest council; Clackmannanshire the 4th-smallest. Equivalent to 1% of precincts reporting. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Anything above 45% for Yes would be a “good result” according to the Yes campaign. #indyref— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (8:00PM CDT/2:00AM GMT): Clackmannanshire votes NO to Scottish Independence 53.8-46.2. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem)September 19, 2014
— Guardian news (@guardiannews)September 19, 2014
Glasgow at 75% turnout — lower than the rest of Scotland. Bad news for Yes? #indyref— Eric Kleefeld (@EricKleefeld)September 19, 2014
Where do Republicans find these people, and why won’t they stop? The latest candidate to sign up for the hard-fought America’s Dumbest Congressman competition is…