Tag Archives: campaign finance

Bought & Paid For, Part II

National and local unions have taken over the Minnesota legislature.

solidarity fistThe elections of 2012 saw an unprecedented $100 million dollars spent by large employee unions throughout the United States. More than $11 million of that money was spent in Minnesota. Bought and Paid For… Minnesota Legislature lists some of the powerful democrats who are pushing bills through legislative committees that are clearly inspired by various unions. Those same unions supported their campaigns through endorsements and financial contributions.

Expanding on the previous list, here is an investigation into the democrat members of the MN House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee who have also been bought and paid for by employee unions.

Representative Sheldon Johnson: Chair of the Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee

Endorsed by AFSCME, MAPE, Teamsters, Education MN, MNA, IBEW, and various police, firefighter, building, trades, and transportation unions.

Johnson was a Union Steward for Teamsters 320.

Johnson has received the following campaign donations: $8,400 from public employee unions, $4,100 from civil servants/public officials, $3,000 from building trade unions, and another $3,700 from miscellaneous unions.

Representative Mike Sundin: freshman legislator and Vice Chair of the Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, IBEW, MN Farmers Union, Teamsters, United Transportation Union, Education MN, and 11 other unions.

Sundin is a professional painter and was part of the Internation Union of Painters and Allied Tradees (IUPAT).

Representative Peter Fischer: freshman legislator

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, MNA, MAPE, Education MN, Teamsters.

In his final campaign finance report submitted in January 2013, Fischer reported donations in excess of $4,000 from unions including IBEW, Education MN, MAPE, Iron Workers and more.

Representative Carolyn Laine: Vice Chair of MN House Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy Committee which already passed the forced unionization bill

Endorsed by AFSCME, SEIU, IBEW, AFL-CIO, Teamsters, MAPE, United Transportation Union, various police, firefighters, nurses and farmers unions

Received 42% of campaign donations from out-of-state sources.
Received more than $8,000 in campaign contributions from unions.

Represenative Shannon Savick

Received the following donations for her 2012 campaign:
SEIU $250
Education MN $450
IBEW $700
Joint Council 32 (Teamsters) $500
MAPE $250
AFL-CIO $250
MNA $500
Laborers Council of MN & ND Pol Fund $500
United Food and Commercial Workers Union $500

Representative Michael Nelson: Professional carpenter for 22 years before working directly for a carpenters union in 2000

Representative Erik Simonson

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Firefighters unions, and building/construction trades unions.

Over $3500 in Simonson’s 2012 campaign contributions were from city and state employees.

15 employee unions donated more than $6,300, including $500 from AFSCME, $250 from AFL-CIO, $200 from Public Employee Services Association, and $250 from Education MN.

Representative Sandra Masin

Endorsed by AFSCME, Education MN, SEIU, AFL-CIO, Joint Council 32 DRIVE (Teamsters), MAPE, Police and Peace Officers Union, Council of Carpenters, United Transportation Union, St. Paul Building Construction Trades Council, MNA.

Campaign contributions from AFSCME, SEIU, MAPE, Education MN and others totaled $4,000 in Masin’s 2012 campaign.

Representative Jason Metsa: currently employeed as Field Coordinator for North East Area Labor Council

11 employee unions contributed to Metsa’s 2012 campaign. Northern Central States Carpenters union contributed $500 and Virginia Eveleth Carpenters Local #606 donated $300.

The MN House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee heard the introduction and testimony on the forced unionization of in-home child care business owners today and is expected to pass the bill onto the House floor later in the session. Both AFSCME and SEIU will see an influx of thousands of new members should the bill pass making private business owners employees of the State of Minnesota.

The information for this article was obtained via the MN Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board and individual candidate campaign websites. Some endorsement and other information was obtained from ProjectVoteSmart.org.
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Author of the MN Senate version of the child care provider unionization bill is Senator Sandy Pappas. What are her ties to unions? What happened in her committee: Read here: It’s Payback Time
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Reviewing the news: Benghazi, Bad polls, bad ads, Mitt-mentum and more

The last week has brought some incredible news to light about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, showed us that many of the battleground polls being cited are weighted wrong, saw Mitt Romney’s momentum accelerate and taught us that voting for the President is like sex.. or something.

Benghazi and the Obama Administration

The murder of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya has taken a startling turn ever since the Obama administration made the incorrect claim that their deaths were at the hands of protesters angry about a YouTube video.

It has since been shown that there was no protest and that terrorists tied to Al-Qaeda executed a well-planned attack, one that may have been intended to take the ambassador prisoner to use as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the White House.

Shortly after the attack, it was reported that former President Bill Clinton told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that she should resign. As Secretary Clinton has already stated that she won’t be staying long into President Obama’s second term if he wins re-election, perhaps she’s just riding it out. Of course, we also learned that she’s doing so with the help of a new legal defense team – just in case any of the Benghazi fall-out drops on her.

And then yesterday, Lt. Col Schaffer told Fox News that he had sources telling him that the President was watching the Benghazi attack as it happened. So exactly where did the idea of a protest and YouTube video come from? Why didn’t the President authorize back-up for the team trying to defend the consulate staff and ambassador when they asked three times?

Polls have too many Democrats in them

Gallup released a poll this week that demonstrated most election polling is using incorrect weightings. In the 2008 election, voters went with democrats 12% more than republicans, or D+12.  In the new Gallup poll, it suggests that likely voters are going Republican by a 4% margin (R+4), but pollsters are using weightings of D+3 to D+7 in many states. These mis-weighted polls show mis-leading figures in key states. As HotAir.com’s Ed Morrisey put it, the models being used in states like Virginia (D+4) are “rather laughable.”

Mitt Romney’s surge accelerating

Ever since the first Presidential debate showed that Mitt Romney is not the monster Obama has portrayed him to be, Romney started surging in key polls and fund raising.

That momentum has accelerated with Romney raising $21 million more than Obama in the first half of October leaving the Obama campaign so desperate to raise cash they went to Bank of America for a $15 million loan.

Spinning Jeeps and Cliffs

In the Presidential debates and on the campaign trail, Obama and company mentioned several times that sequestration (aka “the fiscal cliff”) came from congress, not his administration. In fact, the White House pushed sequestration on Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. John Boehner even though neither wanted it.

Left-leaning news outlets, the Obama campaign and liberal blogs have been attempting to paint Mitt Romney’s citing of a Bloomberg.com article as an attempt to scare Ohio voters. Although the article clearly shows that company officials had been considering moving some or all Jeep production to China, the liberal slant is that Romney lied.

Voting for the President is like sex for virgins .. or something

The Obama campaign elicited the help of actress, writer, director Lena Dunham to be featured in an advertisement for the President’s re-election bid. In poor taste, Dunham compares voting for Obama for the first time to having sex for the first time.

 

Obama Campaign Desperate for Cash

Forget about “Frankenstorm”. You want to know who is really panicking now? Jim Messina and Julianna Smoot are shaking in their boots. Why? Because Mitt Romney’s campaign managed to collect $21 million more than Obama’s campaign so far this month!

aresauburn™ (CC)

First, from Jim Messina at around 6pm EDT today:

I’m asking you to dig deep, because I have some bad news:

We just found out that Mitt Romney and the Republicans outraised us in the first half of this month, putting us $45 million behind during these crucial final days.

The math here is pretty simple: With that cash advantage, they can outspend us by $4 million per day, every day, for the final 11 days.

Then Julianna Smoot chiming in after 11pm EDT:

Friend —

We just found out how much more money Mitt Romney and the Republicans have in the bank: $45 million.

I hope that sounds like a lot to you, because it is. And it doesn’t even include outside groups.

That is a massive advantage to have with such a short time left. We have the power to decide whether that will be the determining factor in this election — but only if everyone gets on board and does their part.

It’s no secret that the Obama campaign has been begging for cash several times daily, but now their pleas are getting downright desperate. So what does that mean to conservatives? This is no time to coast. If you haven’t given to the Romney campaign yet, now’s a great time. Getting Messina and Smoot desperate is one thing. Beating them on election day is the real goal, though.

Romney out-raises Obama in October

In the first half of October, Mitt Romney raised $21 million more than the President according to Federal Election Commission filings covering the period from October 1st to the 17th.

For the first 17 days of October, Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee said they pulled in just over $90 million while Romney and the RNC brought in almost $112 million during that same time period. Obama’s campaign has outspent the former governor by almost $117 million over the course of the campaign leaving the president with $125 million while Romney has almost $170 million to spend between now and election day.

This campaign marks the first where both candidates have raised almost a billion dollars each and both may well best Obama’s record from the 2008 campaign. Romney has raised $975 million and Obama has brought in $981 since the beginning of their fund raising efforts. Voter’s in battleground states will be on the receiving end of the deluge of advertising likely to be purchased in the final week and a half of the campaign.

The candidates were allowed to pull in these massive totals as this is the first election where both candidates waived public matching funds in order to remove fund raising limits. The sharply-divided electorate has also energized donors on both sides to open their wallets in the hopes of giving their candidate a better chance.

Super PACs and unions have also played a major roll in election financing. Both bundle money from donors, but because of recent campaign finance changes, Republicans can use Super PACs to raise money on an even footing with democrat-friendly unions – something the left has fought vehemently to prevent.

Obama’s fund raising efforts have been called into question lately as, according to web researchers, the majority of his web traffic appears to have originated overseas. The President’s fund raising website does not verify address information as strongly as Romney’s and allows foreign addressed credit cards to be used to donate to the campaign. Considering the strong support Obama gets from Russia, China and Iran, there is some concern of foreign influence on the election.

Piers Morgan Confronts Justice Scalia on Citizens United

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a rare media appearance yesterday when he sat down for an interview on Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN.

During the interview, Scalia dismissed recent reports that he and Chief Justice John Roberts are feuding over the contentious health care ruling. Scalia also commented on Bush v. Gore, saying he doesn’t regret the decision and told those still upset over the issue to ‘get over it’.

And what rare interview of conservative favorite Antonin Scalia would be complete without an insinuatingly insulting discussion of the Court’s reaffirmation of Citizens United?

Piers Morgan expressed his incomprehension at Scalia’s ‘interpretation of the Constitution’. He believes the decision, which doesn’t put limits on the First Amendment, allows super PAC’s led by millionaires to buy elections. (He conveniently forgets this allows unions to spend enormous amounts of money as well.) He also stated that he doesn’t believe money is speech.

“That cannot be what the Founding Fathers intended. Thomas Jefferson didn’t sit there constructing something that was going to be abused,” Morgan stated. Of course, Thomas Jefferson did not construct the Constitution. (he was serving as the U.S. ambassador to France during the time of the framing)

Scalia, of course, did not back down. “I think Thomas Jefferson would have said the more speech the better. That’s what the First Amendment is all about,”

As for money not being speech, Scalia dismissed the idea, making the point that newspapers frequently endorse candidates, and no one regulates what they spend. “Could you tell newspaper publishers you can only spend so much money in the publication of their newspaper? Would they not say this is abridging my speech?”