National Review Editor Equates Akin's "Legitimate Rape" Stance With Grimes' Defense Of Secret Ballots
National Review editor Rich Lowry equated Kentucky senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes’ refusal to disclose which presidential candidate she voted for in 2012 with former Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s (MO) stunning claim that it is “really rare” for a woman to become pregnant as a result of “a legitimate rape.” Lowry suggested the two positions were politically equivalent “gaffes,” whitewashing the fact that Akin’s statement was not only absurdly disconnected from scientific reality — it also happened to reflect actual policy priorities of the Republican Party.
During an October 10 interview with the editorial board of The Louisville Courier-Journal, Grimes said she “respect[ed] the sanctity of the ballot box” when asked if she voted for President Obama in past elections. During an October 13 candidate debate, Grimes reiterated her stance on voter privacy:
GRIMES: This is a matter of principle. Our constitution grants, here in Kentucky, the constitutional right to privacy at the ballot box, for a secret ballot. You have that right, Senator McConnell has that right, every Kentuckian has that right.
GRIMES: I am not going to compromise a constitutional right provided here in Kentucky in order to curry favor on one or other side or for members of the media.
In an October 15 column published by Politico Magazine, Lowry exclaimed that “Alison Lundergan Grimes is the Todd Akin of 2014,” and argued that Grimes’ stated position defending the secret ballot was “a defining political gaffe” for this election. He likened her comments to then-Rep. Todd Akin’s infamous statements about rape and pregnancy, in which Akin stated that pregnancies resulting from rape are rare because, “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Lowry argued that the two candidates represented similar levels of political ineptitude, writing that each was “telegenic, mockable and universally condemned.”
Grimes’ decision to stand on principle with regard to voter privacy has been labeled a “gaffe” by some, but, as MSNBC’s Steve Benen pointed out, it is “an issue the media has deemed extremely important, but which actually affects no one.”
By comparison, Akin’s alarming comments on rape and pregnancy were reflected to varying degrees in actual policy decisions favored by Republican elected officials and candidates. Akin would later attempt to clarify his remarks amid a “firestorm” of controversy, but maintained his opposition to legal abortion access for women — a constitutional right codified by the Supreme Court in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. In 2012, many prominent Republican candidates and conservative media figures supported banning safe and legal abortion, making the issue a central part of campaign rhetoric.
In October 2012, Indiana Republican senate candidate Richard Mourdock voiced his opposition to abortion"even when life begins in that terrible situation of rape," stating that "it is something that God intended to happen." Around the same time, Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois supported a ban on all abortion, including cases that would threaten the life of the mother. Walsh falsley claimed that “modern technology and science” had solved the problem of potentially life-threatening pregnancies. During a 2007 Republican presidential debate, Mitt Romney said “we don’t want to have abortion in this country at all, period.” He went on to state that it would be “terrific” if Congress passed a bill outlawing abortion, which he would be “delighted” to sign. Romney dodged abortion questions throughout his 2012 campaign, but promised to eliminate federal funding for women’s health organizations like Planned Parenthood and vowed to be “a pro-life president.”
Outlawing access to abortion remains a lightning rod for conservative media, with some right-wing outlets going so far as to tie debates about legal abortion to the crimes of convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell. Right-wing media figures like Karl Rove have pushed the myth that some forms of contraception are actually forms of abortion, while others such as Bill O’Reilly advanced extremist views on fetal “personhood” that would criminalize most abortions.
There is no appropriate comparison between Akin’s extreme rhetoric and false scientific claims, and Grimes’ personal defense of privacy at the ballot box.
If anything, the Todd Akin of 2014 is Joni Ernst, NOT ALG.
h/t: Craig Harrington at MMFA
Yesterday, Todd Akin insisted that he is not into trying to play the victim…he just wants to make it clear that the “jerks” in the media “assassinated” him during his campaign for the U.S. Senate. Akin, who has been promoting his new book by explaining that he was the target of an evil conspiracy to censor and destroy him because of his patriotic and Christian values, appeared on Tuesday’s “The Steve Deace Show” to retell the tale.
Seeing that Akin has been trotting out the usual right-wing talking points about persecution from the media and the left, we thought Deace was being ironic when he said during the interview: “We’re conservatives here, so we’re not into victimology.”
“Right,” Akin replied … before blaming his notorious remark about “legitimate rape” and women’s bodies on “gotcha questions” and a left-wing media plot to “victimize any Republican they could.”
Akin, still insisting that he is not into victimology, went on to allege that the politicians who called on him to drop out of the race “basically threatened me” and painted himself as the victim of a media “assassination.”
“The media wants to roll another Republican and do this assassination thing, but when is someone just going to stand up to these jerks and tell them what they are and say they are manipulating the news for their own agenda,” he said.
The interview also veered into the realm of absurdity when Akin insisted that he is actually a very “electable” candidate because he consistently won re-election to the U.S. House and described Republicans as “stupid” for thinking that right-wing candidates can’t win elections.
“That was the only race I’ve ever lost,” he said of his landslide defeat in 2012.
Akin did in fact win successfully win re-election in his congressional district. Of course, the Missouri congressional district he represented is not exactly a swing district representative of the rest of the country, as it is heavily Republican and 90.5 percent white.
H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW
Failed Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) has recently re-emerged in the public sphere to defend his claim in 2012 that women who were victims of “legitimate rape” could not get pregnant. In a phone interview with St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the former congressman compared himself sympathetically to Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI), who spearheaded an infamous Communist witch hunt in the 1950s. Akin argued that McCarthy was another victim “assassinated by the media.”
“I use McCarthy as an example of someone who was assassinated by the media, so he had no credibility,” Akin told the Post-Dispatch, drawing parallels to his own experience with waht he believes were “intentional and dishonest” misreadings of his statement. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down,” Akin said in 2012 in response to a question about allowing abortions in the case of rape or incest.
McCarthy has become synonymous with anti-Communist hysteria after he led a series of hearings targeting government workers and artists considered to be left-leaning or suspected of homosexuality. Because of his crusade, hundreds were jailed under suspicion of Communist ties with no evidence. Many more lost their jobs.
Akin rescinds his apology for the offensive and inaccurate remarks in his new book, “Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom,” insisting that the liberal media and certain conservatives ganged up on him to sink his campaign. Akin reiterated this belief to the Dispatch, saying, “It wasn’t that the Republican Party left me wounded on the battlefield. They came out on the battlefield and tried to dispatch me.”
The Republican establishment did try to publicly distance itself from Akin as his campaign floundered, though a sizable number of right-wing groups kept funding him. In an attempt to prevent another debacle this campaign cycle, the GOP has tried to train candidates to stop talking about rape and start being more conscious of female and non-white voters. Despite these efforts, the GOP’s 2014 candidates have already opined on what counts as legitimate rape and argued that marital rape should be legal.
Florida’s congressional districts are some of the most GOP-friendly in the country. Although President Obama won a narrow victory over Mitt Romney in Florida during the 2012 presidential election, Republicans control 17 of the state’s 27 congressional districts. That means that, even though Obama won a majority of the votes cast by Floridians in 2012, Romney’s Republican Party controls nearly two-thirds of Florida’s U.S. House delegation.
On Thursday, a Florida trial court held that the congressional maps that produced this lopsided result violate the state’s constitution. Under an amendment added to the Florida Constitution in 2010, “[n]o apportionment plan or district shall be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent.” The amendment also provides protection against certain kinds of racial gerrymanders, and it establishes a preference for districts that are compact and “utilize existing political and geographical boundaries.”
Judge Terry P. Lewis’s opinion reaches several significant conclusions. He strikes down two congressional districts — Districts 5 & 10 — as violations of the state constitution. He also holds that “[i]f one or more districts do not meet constitutional muster, then the entire [redistricting] act is unconstitutional.” Thus, if his decision is ultimately upheld, the legislature will need to consider an entirely new map — although Judge Lewis adds that this holding does not mean that “portions of the map not affected by those individual districts found to be improperly drawn would need to be changed in a redrawn map.” He also relies upon a prior Florida Supreme Court decision holding that districts typically “should not have an unusual shape, a bizarre design, or an unnecessary appendage” and that districts containing “finger-like extensions, narrow and bizarrely shaped tentacles, and hook like shapes … are constitutionally suspect and often indicative of racial and partisan gerrymandering.”
Which brings us to the shape of the districts at issue in this case. Here is the relevant portion of Florida’s congressional map:
CREDIT: FLORIDA DIVISION OF ELECTIONS
That purple, worm-like thing that starts near the northeast corner of the state and then twists almost all the way down to its midpoint, that’s District 5. District 10 is the one directly below District 5. Though more compact in shape than a purple worm, District 10 has what Judge Lewis describes as “an odd-shaped appendage which wraps under and around District 5, running between District 5 and 9.” As Lewis notes, Districts 5, 7, 9 and 10 are shaped the way they are in part because a Republican political consultant suggested that they be redrawn in a way that transformed them “from being four Democratic performing or leaning seats in early maps … to two Democratic and two Republican performing seats in the enacted map.” So Republicans likely picked up two congressional seats because of the odd design of these districts.
Indeed, Lewis discusses significant evidence that Republican lawmakers colluded with Republican operatives regarding the maps. Early in the process, Republican legislative leaders met with a group of GOP political operatives and a top Republican lawyer to discuss redistricting. The deputy chief of staff to Florida’s then-house speaker shared draft maps with a particular Republican consultant at least 24 times. In some cases, he provided this GOP consultant “with draft maps that were never released to the public.”
Yet, while Judge Lewis’s opinion reaches some damning conclusions about the current congressional maps, Thursday’s decision is far from a total victory for the plaintiffs in this case. Those plaintiffs challenged nine of Florida’s congressional districts, but Lewis only struck down two.
Nevertheless, his opinion is a significant victory over one of the most gerrymandered maps in the nation, and it also an important proof of concept. The United States Supreme Court, or, at least, its conservative members, have thus far refused to allow federal courts to consider partisan redistrict cases because they claim they are unable to identify a “manageable standard” that judges can use to decide these cases. Yet Judge Lewis was able to uncover and apply a standard he could use to judge Florida’s maps. His decision on Thursday casts a cloud of doubt over the conservative justices’ decisions regarding partisan gerrymandering.
Should the Supreme Court permit the federal judiciary to examine unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders, it is likely that Florida will not be the only state whose maps will fail judicial scrutiny. Florida is one of several states with maps that are heavily gerrymandered to benefit Republicans:
Former Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) sunk his 2012 campaign with the line that went down in infamy: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Now, in his forthcoming book, Akin says he regrets apologizing for suggesting that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” cannot get pregnant. “By asking the public at large for forgiveness, I was validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said,” Akin wrote, according to Politico.
Akin apologized for the legitimate rape comments soon after the firestorm began. “I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize,” he said in avideo. “The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold.”
Yet two years later, Akin is claiming he was right all along about his thoroughly debunked junk science. “My comment about a woman’s body shutting the pregnancy down was directed to the impact of stress of fertilization. This is something fertility doctors debate and discuss,” he wrote. “Doubt me? Google ‘stress and infertility,’ and you will find a library of research on the subject.”
The Missouri congressman became a symbol of tone deaf, anti-woman Republicans in the 2012 election. Polls suggest the GOP’s support of restricting contraception and abortion likely cost them the White House. Women all but abandoned Republicans in 2012, and they continue to leave in droves.
While Akin may be defiant, GOP leaders have been trying to clean up the reputation he helped spread ever since 2012. Republicans have even held training sessions to teach candidates to stop talking about rape on the campaign trail. Efforts to dispel the anti-woman, anti-minority image, however, haven’t been going so well.
The 2014 elections are expected to focus heavily on women’s health issues. Democrats and reproductive rights groups vowed after the Hobby Lobby ruling to hammer home the “war on women” attack. Planned Parenthood is launching a multi-million dollar campaign offensive this year, specifically to call out anti-woman policies. The GOP has also introduced several outreach initiatives and PACs to attract female and non-white voters this year. Unfortunately for the GOP, Todd Akin and others like him don’t seem to be shutting up any time soon.
Thank God it’s Claire McCaskill and NOT Todd Akin’s as one of the Senators from Missouri.
h/t: Aviva Shen at Think Progress Elections
The Republican National Committee recently launched a new outreach arm called GOP Faith to build “an army of activists to encourage pro-faith Americans to vote their values” and named South Carolina GOP chairman Chad Connelly as the party’s Director of Faith Engagement.
Connelly seems to be a good fit, as he peddles messages that are red meat for the Religious Right: Christian Nationalism and fears of a Communist takeover. In his book “Freedom Tide,” Connelly even reprinted the hoax document “Communist Rules for Revolution.”
In an appearance yesterday on Sandy Rios’ American Family Radio show, Connelly said he couldn’t understand how a person of faith could back Democratic candidates. “How does a believer vote that way?” he said, speaking of the Democratic party.
After encouraging more pastors like Jim Garlow to preach politics at the pulpit or run for office themselves, he waxed nostalgic about the days when simply being a Christian was all you needed to be a good candidate for office: “It used to be exalted, if you were a person of integrity, if you were a Christian, people said, ‘Hey I can count on them.’ And now we scratch our heads and wonder why we can’t count on more of these people.”
He also urged pastors to teach members of their congregations how to “vote their values.”
Connelly also told Rios that he was frustrated that in 2012, 22 percent of evangelical Christians “voted completely opposite to what they say they believe” — that is, for President Obama.
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Former Missouri congressman Todd Akin, who lost his bid for U.S. Senate following his notorious comments about “legitimate rape,” is out with a new book saying that his infamous remarks weren’t the real reason why he lost.
Instead, Akin maintains in his new book, “Firing Back,” he was the victim of a plot by Republican party bosses who didn’t like the fact that his “first allegiance was always to the Constitution.”
“Todd Akin is uniquely qualified to write about the problems in Washington and the Republican Party,” according to a press release announcing the book’s publication. “The American people are ready to read about how to stop the abusive cronyism in the Republican Party and the media bullies that promote ‘progressivism.’”
Who is publishing Akin’s book? WorldNetDaily, the extreme birther website where Akin offered his post-election advice on how to win elections.In “Firing Back,” six-term congressman Todd Akin describes in eye-opening detail what it is like to be an unapologetic conservative in a town dominated by media bullies, backroom bosses and liberals of either party.
Although he tried to be a loyal Republican, Akin’s first allegiance was always to the Constitution and his conservative principles. When the Bush administration lobbied him to approve its liberal legislative initiatives, No Child Left Behind and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, Akin refused. In the process, he made some serious enemies.
Those enemies got their revenge after Akin made an awkward comment about rape. Although he had just won a hard-fought Republican primary in Missouri for U.S. Senate, party bosses tried to coerce him to yield the nomination to their preferred candidate.
When Akin refused, the bosses turned their backs on him and let Democrat Claire McCaskill win.
In “Firing Back,” Akin tells the story of how the Republican leadership not only threw him under the bus but also ran over him a few times for good measure. Not one of them explained what it was about Akin’s remarks that so deeply offended them.
Akin names names and takes numbers in “Firing Back,” but this book is much more than a tell-all. It is a battle-tested guide for Republicans and conservatives to help them find their courage and reclaim their integrity and, by doing so, to help preserve America’s faith and freedom.
• Todd Akin is a Reagan conservative who served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri, where more than a million people voted for him despite bipartisan pressure not to.
• Although Akin lost his election bid, his treatment by the media and his fellow Republicans netted him supporters from across the country, especially in the pro-life movement.
• As the world-famous senatorial candidate who took so much heat from his own party, Todd Akin is uniquely qualified to write about the problems in Washington and the Republican Party.
• The American people are ready to read about how to stop the abusive cronyism in the Republican Party and the media bullies that promote “progressivism.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
A Wisconsin insurance executive and Republican donor was charged with voting illegally more than a dozen times in four elections.
The Journal-Sentinel reported that 50-year-old Robert Monroe was caught as a result of an investigation into a possible illegal voting by his son in Waukesha County. But after his son denied requesting an absentee ballot from his father’s address in Shorewood, suspicion turned to Monroe.
A complaint claimed that Monroe voted five times in Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) recalled election. He also was accused of voting illegally in a 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court election, a 2012 primary, and the 2012 presidential election.
Although the complaint did not state who Monroe voted for, WISN determined that he had donated money to Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling.
Prosecutors used Monroe’s cell phone records to prove that he traveled all the way to Indiana to cast a second vote in the 2012 presidential election. Prosecutors also tested some of the ballots for genetic material, and only found DNA belonging to Monroe.
In May of 2012, prosecutors said that Monroe begged his ex-wife, sons and brother to register to vote in a text message.
“You must go to city hall and register to vote,” the message said. “Every vote will be needed!… Please please please.”
According to the complaint, Monroe worked as an executive in the health care industry. His LinkedIn page indicated that he was an insurance executive, who said he loved “the thrill of the hunt, leading teams and developing new business.”
For his part, Monroe insisted to investigators that he did not remember voting in the elections because he takes drugs for Attention Deficit and Obsessive Compulsive disorders.
Monroe faces 13 felony election fraud charges in all, including voting more than once, voting as a disqualified person, registering in more than one place, and providing false information to election officials. He could spend up to 18 months in prison, and pay a $10,000 fine for each charge.
His next court date was set for July 17.
Watch the video below from WISN, broadcast June 23, 2014.
Newly unsealed legal documents filed by the State of Wisconsin last December allege that key aides to Republican Gov. Scott Walker illegally coordinated campaign money and programs between several different groups. We took the information in the filing and diagrammed the alleged relationship.
At the center of all of the allegations are two aides to Walker: R. J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl. “For all practical purposes,” the document states, the organization Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) “‘was’ R. J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl.” It was formed as a 501(c)(4) non-profit, as was a sister organization, Citizens for Strong America. Johnson and Jordahl created CFSA; Johnson’s wife was its treasurer.
Johnson and Jordahl also worked as consultants for “Friends of Scott Walker”, the campaign committee defending Walker against a 2012 effort to recall him. Wisconsin state law (and most election law) prohibits agents of a campaign from coordinating with outside groups. This is usually an effort to maintain campaign finance laws: If a campaign could send staff to go tell outside groups, who don’t have any limits on the size of contributions they can accept, then campaign limits wouldn’t serve any purpose.
State prosecutors allege that this is essentially what Johnson and Jordahl did. Fundraisers raised money for both WiCFG and the Walker campaign. WiCFG provided 99.99 percent of CFSA’s funding. CFSA gave money to groups doing work on absentee ballots. WiCFG also gave money to a trade group that ran ads on behalf of Walker (and against opponents).
Johnson was also allegedly involved in either trying to get other organizations involved in the campaign work or directly consulting with other groups on other campaigns, like the Republican Senate Leadership Committee (indicated by the dashed circle at the top of the chart). The documents note that the national Club for Growth organization “raised concerns about coordination or interaction between WiCFG and FOSW as early as 2009.”
Last month, the judge that unsealed the new documents ruled that the probe into the Walker coordination claims should be halted. That decision is being appealed.
Hopefully he gets his ass voted out of office in November. Vote for Mary Burke (D)!!!
h/t: :Philip Bump at WaPo’s The Fix
Republicans are outraged that President Barack Obama authorized a prisoner exchange with the Taliban for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — who has been held captive since 2009 — and that they plan to use the exchange against Democrats in the upcoming…
WASHINGTON – Sen. Claire McCaskill earned an extra $70,000 last year — an advance for her forthcoming tell-all book about Missouri’s 2012 Senate campaign.
McCaskill’s most recent financial disclosure form, filed last week, shows that her publisher — Simon & Schuster — gave her $70,000 as part of its deal to publish her political tome.
The Missouri Democrat said most of the money she earns from the book will not go into her own pocket.
"The majority of all income I receive from this book will go to my co-writer and charity," McCaskill said. Freelance journalist Terry Ganey is helping her write the book.
McCaskill announced last spring that she was working on a behind-the-scenes account of her headline-grabbing Senate race against then-Rep. Todd Akin. She has promised to detail how she helped boost Akin in the Republican primary, because she believed he would be the easiest candidate for her to beat.
Her strategy worked. After winning a three-way GOP primary, Akin caused a national furor when he told a TV interviewer that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant because their bodies have a way of blocking that.
National Republicans scorned Akin and tried — unsuccessfully — to force him out of the race. McCaskill walloped the St. Louis County Republican on Election Day.
She has said her book will be out before the end of this year.
McCaskill probably doesn’t need the extra cash, since she is one of the Senate’s richest lawmakers. According to her financial disclosure form, McCaskill and her husband — Joseph Shepard — have assets worth at least $16.9 million and as much as $28.3 million.
Lawmakers only have to report their financial holdings in broad ranges, so determining exact net worth is impossible.
Most of the assets McCaskill reported are in Shepard’s name. He is a real estate investor.
Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative filmmaker and author charged this January with violating federal campaign finance laws, allegedly said that while he might eventually admit his guilt, he would initially plead innocent because it would give “him a window of opportunity to get his story out there.” Conservative media have been happy to lend him a hand in doing so.
In January, federal prosecutors announced that D’Souza was being charged with filtering excessive campaign donations through straw donors to Republican Wendy Long, a friend of his who lost her 2012 campaign to unseat Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. D’Souza pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to The New York Times, D’Souza’s lawyer is claiming that the conservative pundit is being “targeted…because of his consistently caustic and highly publicized criticism” of President Obama. (The prosecution has called these claims “entirely without merit.”) The Times alsoreports that prosecutors claim to have a recording made by the husband of a woman D’Souza was “involved with romantically” who was “one of the alleged straw donors.” According to the woman, D’Souza said that if he were eventually charged, he might plead not guilty to help “get his story out there”:
Prosecutors also said they had obtained a copy of a recording made surreptitiously last October by the husband of a woman Mr. D’Souza was involved with romantically around the time of the donations, when Mr. D’Souza was separated from his wife. In making the recording, the husband was not acting at the government’s direction, prosecutors said. The woman, Denise Joseph, was one of the alleged straw donors.
Ms. Joseph was recorded as saying that Mr. D’Souza had told her that if he were charged he might plead guilty, but would initially plead not guilty because that “gives him a window of opportunity to get his story out there,” the government said. Ms. Joseph had no comment, her lawyer said.
Conservative media have been crucial in helping D’Souza “get his story out there” — his allies on Fox News, talk radio, and right-wing online outlets have loudly and repeatedly claimed that D’Souza is a victim of persecution because of his political beliefs.
The day after the indictment was announced, Matt Drudge tweeted that the charges against D’Souza and a former Republican Virginia Governor were evidence of Attorney General Eric Holder “unleashing the dogs” on “Obama critics.” Rush Limbaugh saw the case as proof the Justice Department was “trying to criminalize as many Republicans and conservatives as they can.” ABC News contributor Laura Ingraham announced on her radio show, ”we are criminalizing political dissent in the United States of America. Welcome to the Brave New World of retribution justice.”
Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones, in an alarmed video posted on Youtube with the title “Emergency: Obama Launches Purge,” called the situation “like Nazi Germany.”
Fox News, which has repeatedly hosted D’Souza since the indictment, reacted to the news by claiming ”the left are rediscovering their inner Stalin.” During an interview the week after the charges were announced, Hannity labeled D’Souza “the latest victim to be targeted by the Obama White House.” Fox Nation linked to Drudge’s conspiratorial tweet and a handful of other articles on conservative websites, asking their readers to “Sound Off” on whether there is a “COORDINATED, VAST LEFT-WING CONSPIRACY.”
This conservative media narrative about the case has now become central to D’Souza’s defense. Per the Times, the trial is “about a month away.”
h/t: Ben Dimiero at MMFA
Since 1995, 77 percent of the more than $500,000 she’s given has gone to Republican candidates and causes, federal and state records show. […]
But state campaign finance records show that since 2009, when Bruce Rauner first contemplated and then rejected making a 2010 bid for governor, Diana Rauner made $238,150 in political donations, with 91 percent going to GOP candidates or conservative groups.
Among federal donations during that time frame, Diana Rauner gave $158,800 to candidates and committees, with 98 percent to Republicans. Several of the donations occurred when Bruce Rauner gave similar-size contributions to the same candidates.
* The Rauner campaign’s response…
spokesman Mike Schrimpf said Diana Rauner “voted Democrat throughout the last decade and every time for Barack Obama” on the statewide ballot.
“If that doesn’t make you a Democrat, I don’t know what does,” Schrimpf said in a statement.
Except she didn’t vote in the 2012 primary, when Obama ran for reelection and she contributed to three GOP presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney. She also didn’t vote in the 2010 primary, the last time Gov. Pat Quinn faced voters.
Even more reasons that Bruce Rauner is NOT to be trusted or elected in November.
Following the announcement Thursday that conservative commentator and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza has been charged with violating federal campaign finance laws, his allies are claiming that the move is evidence of a conspiracy by the Obama administration to silence its critics.
D’Souza has been a fixture in conservative media circles for years, and his laughable 2012 documentary 2016: Obama’s America became a surprise critical success thanks in part to the support of his media allies. Reuters reports that D’Souza ”has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate,” allegedly reimbursing “people who he had directed to contribute $20,000” to the unnamed candidate (reportedly Wendy Long).
Matt Drudge tweeted that the indictments against D’Souza and former Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell are evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder is “unleashing the dogs” on “Obama critics.”
In a panicked video headlined “Emergency: Obama Launches Purge” posted on his YouTube channel last night, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones told viewers that “America is going over the edge,” adding, “I actually am scared.” According to Jones, the charges against former Gov. McDonnell are “trumped up garbage” (for what it’s worth, conservatives like Byron York disagree, labeling the details “ugly, sordid, damning”).
Pointing to the supposed persecution of D’Souza, Jones claimed that the administration is engaged in much worse behavior and warned, “The issue is here, they can find a mistake in your checking account and claim that it was fraud or wire fraud. They can do it to anybody.” According to Jones, “this is like Nazi Germany” and “once they’re done with these guys, they’re coming after you and I.”
The description posted on Jones’ YouTube channel explains that this is an “Emergency Alert!!!,” adding “This is it, we are in deep shit! If they get away with this they will come for all of us, that’s how it works!!!”
On her radio show this morning, Fox contributor Laura Ingraham claimed that “we are criminalizing political dissent in the United States of America. Welcome to the Brave New World of retribution justice.” Ingraham argued that D’Souza is one of the “most effective critics” of the Obama administration, and that the charges are “so transparent.” The indictment “is more about stifling political dissent and intimidating other people from speaking out than it is about any real serious allegation of wrongdoing,” per Ingraham. Ingraham is close friends with Wendy Long, and hosted a fundraiser for Long with D’Souza.
An article on FoxNews.com includes the suggestion from a “close colleague” of D’Souza’s that the indictment is “selective prosecution” in the first sentence. The story is currently featured as the top story on the network’s website:
Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich tweeted:
Radio host and former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh saw a pattern with McDonnell’s indictment and Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s recent troubles:
And conservative website Newsmax labeled the charges “Payback” in a banner headline on their homepage: