Oil Industry Lobbying Group Funded “Dark Money” Ads for Conservative Democrats

This article was produced by Sludge, an independent, ad-free investigative news site covering money in politics. Click here to support Sludge. A “dark money” group that spent millions of dollars this year on ads supporting conservative Democrats, including Reps. Henry Cuellar and Kurt Schrader, was funded by oil and gas industry lobbying group the American Petroleum Institute, Sludge has discovered. The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) 990 tax form for 2021 shows it paid more than $3.5 million to the Better Jobs Together Campaign, an opaque Virginia corporation that was formed in April 2021, for advocacy services it performed as an…

Trump-Backed Right-Wing Group Received Over $45 Million in Donations in 2021

This article was produced by Sludge, an independent, ad-free investigative news site covering money in politics. Click here to support Sludge. A prominent right-wing group led by former Trump administration officials that is coordinating attacks on election integrity saw its revenue skyrocket last year, according to newly-obtained tax filings. The Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI) received more than $45 million in contributions and grants in 2021 — a more than sixfold increase over the previous year’s contributions of $7.1 million. The group and a constellation of partner organizations it launched last year have been influential in spreading conspiracies about stolen elections,…

Sanders: Democrats Must Curb Billionaires’ Grip on Elections to Save Democracy

As the midterm elections wrap up with a better-than-expected showing for Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is saying that the Democratic Party must make curbing the influence of deep-pocketed political donors one of its top priorities in order to save democracy from the far right. The right is posing a credible and concerning threat to democracy in the U.S. — and their attacks on democracy are aided by the fact that billionaires and corporations are exercising ever increasing influence over elections, as enabled by 2010’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Sanders said in a new interview with Rolling Stone.…

Ecuador: Militarization of public security poses a threat to human rights

On 12 September this year, President Guillermo Lasso presented Ecuadorian citizens with a series of eight questions on public security, strengthening democracy and the environment in order to promote a citizens’ consultation in 2023 that could lead to constitutional reforms. This week, Ecuador’s Constitutional Court will carry out a constitutional review of the questions, the […] The post Ecuador: Militarization of public security poses a threat to human rights appeared first on Amnesty International.

Dark Money School Groups Are Trying to Buy the Midterm Elections for the GOP

As the Florida primary election results rolled in, in late August, Gov. Ron DeSantis publicly celebrated big wins in posts that traditionally have flown well-below the radar of governors: those of local school boards. This year’s school board races in Florida have received national attention, as dozens of political action committees (PACs) linked to leaders of the Florida GOP, including DeSantis, funneled money to right-wing candidates. And they didn’t do it alone. Also celebrating the school board victories and claiming them as their own were anti-public education groups like Moms for Liberty, a 501(c)(4) group that worked closely with DeSantis…

The Far Right Is Taking Over Florida School Boards, Thanks in Part to Dark Money

Republicans are claiming a massive victory after a number of Florida school board candidates — who enjoyed unprecedented support from right-wing groups and politicians — won their races Tuesday. In total, five school boards in the state flipped to conservative control, including Sarasota County, which will now have a 4-1 conservative majority, and Miami-Dade, which will become the nation’s largest school district to be overseen by elected conservatives. Many of the candidates received endorsements and campaign support from right-wing activist groups like Moms for Liberty and the 1776 Project PAC — founded in 2021 explicitly to support right-wing school board…

Mysterious Right-Wing Donor Drops $1.6 Billion Gift on Federalist Society Boss

Some guy almost nobody has ever heard of before just dropped a $1.6 billion donation in pursuit of every breathless right-wing fantasy you can name. It is considered to be the largest single donation by an individual in U.S. political history, and nothing can be done about it, because them’s the rules. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: It’s all about the money. Why? Because money writes the rules. We sometimes allow ourselves to forget that foundational axiom as we seek our various truths or get caught up in the paper chase of advocacy and legislation. We lose…

Conservative Group Led By Man Behind Far Right Supreme Court Got $1.6B Donation

A little known conservative group headed by a leader in Republicans’ years-long campaign to pack the Supreme Court got an astonishing $1.6 billion donation last year, new reporting reveals. This is likely the largest-ever donation from a single donor to a political nonprofit. The New York Times reported on Monday that electronics mogul and billionaire Barre Seid donated 100 percent of his shares in his electronic device manufacturing company, Tripp Lite, to the group in 2021 — just before Tripp Lite was sold to a foreign company for $1.65 billion, tax records show. In all, the donation is worth more…

Wealthy Donors Bankroll Christian Nationalists to Sustain Unregulated Capitalism

“They’re just going to let me die?” Madison Anderson asked. Her doctor had decided it was too legally risky to perform an abortion. Anderson told The New York Times she’d been informed the fetus would not live after birth — and carrying it could kill her. Many in the United States now face multiple, life-wrenching crises due to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The first is how to access safe abortion. The next is a possible national abortion ban if Republicans take the House and Senate in the 2022 midterms. Justice Clarence Thomas even wrote that the court’s…

Dark Money Fuels the Anti-Abortion Movement’s Push to Control State Legislatures

The day before the Supreme Court handed down the devastating Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania, members of the extremist anti-abortion group Students for Life of America flooded into Washington, D.C. Their gathering was nominally for a national convention of high school and college students. But tucked into the now-secret schedule were four hours of private “training” for state legislators conducted by Students for Life staff while students were busy with other activities. Secret meetings funded by anonymous donors to push the outlawing of abortion at the…

Trump Allies Paid Millions to Jan. 6 Rally Organizers Since 2020

Former President Donald Trump’s political operation and Republican Party committees have paid over $12.6 million to individuals and firms that organized the Jan. 6, 2021, rally that preceded the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol since the start of the 2020 election, a new OpenSecrets analysis found. The full extent of the payments from the Trump campaign political operations to rally organizers during the 2020 election and around the rally in early 2021 remains a mystery because the campaign’s top vendor was American Made Media Consultants LLC, a firm created by Trump campaign aides to act as a clearinghouse for…

Right-Wing Dark Money Is Coming for Reproductive Rights in Your State

The current threat to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights — which is widely expected to be overturned by right-wing appointees to the Supreme Court this month — comes in the context of years of counter-majoritarian efforts by dark money groups to strike down the widely popular Roe precedent and then block abortion rights in the states. In this context, GOP Supreme Court appointee Samuel Alito’s effort to dress up his recently leaked draft decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson case as pro-democracy is riddled with deception. On page two of his draft decision, Alito falsely characterized…

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