According to previously unreported tax disclosures, shipping magnate Dick Uihlein’s non-profit foundation “poured millions of dollars in 2020 into a sprawling number of groups connected to efforts to challenge Joe Biden’s victory and reimagine election law, as well as other right-wing extremist organizations, including ones designated as hate groups,” the Daily Beast reports.
The Hill: “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Friday that it had raised $39.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 — the best off-year quarter in committee history — and $146 million total for the entire year. The DCCC also finished 2021 with $82.5 million in the bank.”
“The National Republican Congressional Committee, meanwhile, raised about $35 million in the final quarter of 2021 and $140 million for the whole year. The NRCC also finished 2021 with $78.2 million cash on hand.”
“The campaign of former Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) reported paying $11,000 for ‘website design’ to the technology firm that created a personal website for him, in a move that could violate campaign-finance rules,” Forbes reports.
“More than a year after stepping down from his role in Congress to serve as Donald Trump’s director of national intelligence, Ratcliffe still had access to a pile of money originally raised to support his congressional bids. He dipped into that stash to pay a company named Telegraph Creative. But Forbes found no evidence that Telegraph Creative did work on behalf of Ratcliffe’s old campaign. Instead, it seems more likely that the money went toward the cost of creating a personal website for Ratcliffe.”
“After the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, dozens of major corporations publicly pledged to pause their financial contributions to 147 Republican lawmakers who had voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election,” CBS News reports.
“A year later, most — but not all — of those companies have kept their word, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.”
Roll Call: “More than 20 sitting lawmakers who have said they’re leaving after the 117th Congress — or in Nunes’ case, in the middle of it — will hit the exits with nearly $53 million in combined leftover political cash, including in their campaign accounts and separate leadership PACs.”
“Some departing members give refunds. Most often, they donate the money to political committees and charities, or they hang on to the funds to dole out after they’ve left office. Some may keep their political money around in case they make another run for office in the future.”
“Sara Gideon (D) has donated $3.5 million of leftover campaign funds from her unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid to help low-income parents earn degrees and professional certifications,” the Portland Press Herald reports.
“A spokesperson for Gideon said she was not available for an interview Wednesday. The former speaker of the Maine House of Representatives has kept a low-profile since the election loss in 2020 and had not spoken publicly about her plans for about $10 million in remaining campaign donations.”
“Efforts to overturn the election. Jan. 6 organizers. White supremacist groups. And more than a dozen private and public universities,” the Daily Beast reports.
“They all have one thing in common: They received anonymous funding funneled through a single conservative dark money behemoth.”
“That’s the news in the latest IRS filing from Donors Trust—a conservative, Koch-aligned nonprofit which does not need to reveal the names of its donors and has been called the ‘dark money ATM of the right.’”
Lawyers for indicted Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) acknowledged that “the government made at least two recordings of the sitting congressman over the course of its investigation surrounding illicit campaign contributions from a Nigerian-Lebanese billionaire,” the Daily Beast reports.
“The prosecution said in a filing that the recordings in question—a 2018 conversation with a government informant, and a 2019 interview with an agent in Fortenberry’s Nebraska home—are only two among more than 50 audio and video recordings they have turned over to the defense team. And those dozens of recordings are supplemented by more than 11,600 pages of ‘written communications, reports, transcripts, articles, and other records,’ the federal attorneys said.”
“A left-leaning, secret-money group doled out a whopping $410 million in 2020, aiding Democratic efforts to unseat then-President Donald Trump and win back control of the Senate,” Politico reports.
“The group, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, financed attack ads against Trump and vulnerable Republican senators and funded massive get-out-the-vote and issue advocacy campaigns amid the coronavirus pandemic, as detailed in a new tax filing… It exploded in size during the Trump administration, going from a few tens of millions of dollars per year to raising and spending hundreds of millions.”
Daily Beast: “A Republican senator faces serious allegations that he illegally loaned his campaign millions of dollars from his company. But the senator in question—Republican Mike Braun of Indiana—says he can’t fully answer the government’s questions because one of his key staffers ‘vanished.’”
“The Daily Beast found him within minutes.”
“The Justice Department on Wednesday accused three political operatives of running a scheme to mislead donors and enrich themselves, charging the men with defrauding people of $3.5 million in 2016 and 2017,” the New York Times reports.
“It was the latest indictment against operatives who raise money for what are known as scam PACs, which direct much of the proceeds back to the people who run them.”
Tennessee state Sen. Brian Kelsey (R) has been indicted in a campaign finance conspiracy, the Tennessean reports.
He is charged with conspiring to illegally transfer “soft money” — contributions that are made to political parties and political action committees — from his state campaign committee to his federal campaign committee.
“Private equity and hedge funds accounted for over $625 million in political spending during the cycle leading up to the 2020 election, with the lion’s share going to campaign contributions,” CNBC reports.
“It was the most this segment of the financial industry spent on lobbying and campaign contributions in a two-year election cycle.”
“Lev Parnas, a Florida businessman who is an associate of Rudy Giuliani, was found guilty on Friday of using funds from a foreign investor to try to influence political candidates through campaign donations,” the Washington Post reports.
“It took the federal jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan less than a day to find that Parnas committed fraud through donations to several state and federal candidates that were bankrolled by a Russian financier.”
CNN: “Parnas faces up to five years in prison for each of five counts and a sixth count for falsifying records to the FEC carries a 20-year maximum prison sentence.”
“A pro-Trump political group has agreed to pay $25,000 to settle allegations it illegally solicited $2 million from reporters posing as intermediaries for a Chinese national,” Axios reports.
“A key player in the scheme, a veteran Republican operative, is facing criminal charges over allegedly funneling tens of thousands of dollars in foreign cash to Trump’s re-election effort, making news of the fine the latest in an emerging pattern of conduct.”
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) — who scratched out a 109-vote recount win earlier this year in one of the tightest House races in the nation — has spent tens of thousands of campaign dollars on businesses where she held an ownership stake or an executive job, and from which she reported $130,120 in income in 2020, the Daily Beast reports.
“The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by Sen. Ted Cruz challenging federal campaign finance rules that restrict a campaign’s ability to raise money after an election to repay a candidate’s personal loan,” USA Today reports.
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