Friday, March 31, 2023

Why independent spending is not really independent

Fred Wertheimer reviews the history of Supreme Court decisions and shows how the FEC has allowed unlimited money (including dark money) into campaigns.

Charlie Cooper

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Sheldon Whitehouse comments on Supreme Courts ethics reform

The Supreme Court has accepted the recommendation of the Judicial Conference of the United States that somewhat tightens gift-reporting requirements on the Justices. Still, dark money problems are only eased in a minor way.

Charlie Cooper with thanks to Carol Goldstein

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Wife of Justice Thomas raised dark money

"[Ginni Thomas] has allied with numerous people and groups that have interests before the court, and she has dedicated herself to causes involving some of the most polarizing issues in the country."

She says the group was founded to engage in culture wars with the left, which she says is defeating the right on cultural issues. It is not clear whether she was paid for her work.

Charlie Cooper


Supreme Court justices to follow tighter rules on disclosing travel perks

Advocates would still like to see Congress pass binding legislation to cover a wider range of ethics concerns.

Charlie Cooper with thanks to Nancy Soreng

Friday, March 24, 2023

Very basic explanation of Moore v. Harper from NC Common Cause

The plaintiff in the Moore v. Harper Supreme Court case gives a very basic explanation of what is at stake.

Charlie cooper

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Dark money group opposes Biden tax cut on the rich

This group says it represents middle-class families who own businesses, but the Biden plan would tax only people with wealth above $100 million. The group doesn't disclose its donors, but it seems very likely that very wealthy people are using the middle-class enterprises to divert attention from the real issue.

Charlie cooper

Saturday, March 18, 2023

2019 Expose of Leonard Leo's dark money network

"Even as Leo counseled Trump on judicial picks, he and his allies were raising money for nonprofits that under IRS rules do not have to disclose their donors. Between 2014 and 2017 alone, they collected more than $250 million in such donations, sometimes known as "dark money," according to a Post analysis of the most recent tax filings available. The money was used in part to support conservative policies and judges, through advertising and through funding for groups whose executives appeared as television pundits.

"The groups in Leo's network often work in concert and are linked to Leo and one another by finances, shared board members, phone numbers, addresses, back-office support and other operational details, according to tax filings, incorporation records, other documents and interviews."

The article chronicles the growth of conservative influence in judicial nominations during the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations.

Charlie Cooper