The National Democratic Redistricting Committee announced in a Dec. 22 memo that it and its affiliated organizations raised $11 million last year. (release)
MONEY MANAGEMENT. “U.S. companies have found a loophole in state campaign-finance rules by funneling donations aimed at helping candidates through the RGA and its Democratic counterpart, according to multiple former officials. Donors can’t earmark money for a particular candidate. Instead, they can simply—and legally—tell the groups they have ‘an interest’ in a race or are making a donation ‘at the request’ of a gubernatorial candidate, these officials say. An internal tracking system, sometimes called the ‘tally,’ allows the DGA to keep tabs on how much individual governors raise for the association from companies and other donors, which later helps it figure out how to allocate the money, former DGA officials said. The RGA has a similar system, former RGA officials say.”
“Multiple former RGA and DGA officials described the practice of guiding donations as an open secret. The available public data hint at a pattern, too. Over the past decade, 42 S&P 500 index companies gave donations of $100,000 or more to the RGA or DGA. Donations by 19 of those companies were followed by an RGA or DGA expenditure of the same or greater amount within a month in a state where the company has operations.”
Case in point: “Mountaire sent $250,000 to the RGA on Oct. 31,” 2014, just as it “was facing tough new environmental regulations in Maryland, where it raises and processes millions of chickens every year. [Now-Gov. Larry] Hogan (R) had criticized the regulations.”
Another example: “At the RGA’s nondescript headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House, top staff met in the summer of 2014 where they discussed, among other things, helping Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker using money committed by casino magnate Steve Wynn. At the time, Wynn Resorts Ltd. was seeking to finalize plans to build a Massachusetts casino. In September 2014, it received preliminary approval under the then-Democratic administration. … On Oct. 1, 2014, Mr. Wynn’s company donated $2 million to the RGA, its largest-ever donation to the group. That same day, the RGA donated $1.1 million to help support … Baker. … Wynn, who is now finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, said he ‘didn’t know Charlie Baker was running’ for governor. He says he donated the money to benefit” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R). (Wall Street Journal)
What We're Following See More »
President Trump said that "unless the miracle of all miracles happens," that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead. Trump "expressed confidence in intelligence reports from multiple sources that strongly suggest a high-level Saudi role in Mr. Khashoggi’s assassination. [He] stopped short of saying the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s death."
“I’m not going back to Saudi Arabia as long as" Mohammed Bin Salman is in charge, Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News today. “I’ve been their biggest defender on the floor of the United States Senate. This guy is a wrecking ball. He had [Khashoggi] murdered in a consulate in Turkey and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused. The MBS figure is to me toxic, he can never be a world leader on the world stage.” Graham added that he intends to "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia.”