Money in Politics

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Thad
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Money in Politics

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:15 pm

Next best thing to making politicians wear their corporate sponsors' logos like Nascar drivers: Greenhouse, a browser plugin that scans articles for elected officials' names and pulls up a list of campaign donors.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:32 pm

MEANWHILE: Larry Lessig's anti-superPAC superPAC, Mayday, is trying to raise $5M to help elect people who oppose superPACs.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby sei » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:00 pm

Did anything come of Rootstrikers's efforts?
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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:47 pm

I gather they're pretty closely affiliated; the MayDay FAQ explicitly cites Rootstrikers' reform.to in its platform.

I'm not sure what impact Rootstrikers has had beyond general, nebulous "raising awareness", but even 3 years in I think it's fair to say it's still early days.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Thad » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:18 pm

The 4th is the last day to donate to Mayday. It's way off its goal but seems to be picking up.

There's a checkbox that says "Take my money even if you don't meet your goal." So that's good, just in case. I'm sure Lessig's got a backup plan for what to do next if he doesn't hit $5M.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Mothra » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:18 pm

Nice, looks like the Mayday KS reached about 7 Mil by the time it finished.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Thad » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:23 pm

Yeah, it's over $12M with matching.

Last I checked they hadn't given names of the matching donors yet but said they were working on it.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Thad » Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:21 pm

LA Times: Donors gave a super PAC $6 million. Candidates actually got about $140,000.

I guess if I wanted to be especially cynical, I could say that it's better that these fuckers just pocketed the money than if they'd used it to actually try and influence any elections. (No, setting Ben Carson up to run for President does not count.)

But there's really no positive way to look at scammers whipping up people's fears, taking their money, and then not doing what they said they were going to do with it.

I sincerely hope that this information gets through to the folks who donated to this SuperPAC (and, subsequently, supported Ben Carson's campaign). But I doubt it'll make much difference.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:17 pm

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:54 am

Seems like a good idea but I'm not sure how the implementation is going to work. Relying on voluntary disclosure of extramarital affairs is pretty clearly a no-go, which raises the question of how the legislature will discover and punish incidents of unreported affairs.

I think the public has a right to know about relationships between legislators and lobbyists (unlike relationships between legislators and private individuals), but this feels like something that's either going to be toothless or lead to witch hunts.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby zaratustra » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:15 pm


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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:09 pm

Yeah, pretty sure we discussed that article a few months ago but I can't find the conversation now (search function is blinkered and can't find any match for "SuperPAC" even though I'm pretty confident we have discussed SuperPACs at some point in the last two years). I think what I said was something along the lines of "On the one hand, I'd rather see conservatives' money go to waste trying to elect Ben Carson than being spent on anything that might actually have an impact; on the other, it DOES bother me that this is a racket that's cheating low-information, probably mostly elderly, voters out of their money."

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Mothra » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:56 pm

Look, if low-information, elderly donors want to throw hundreds upon thousands of dollars at repealing the Affordable Care Act, I am A-OK with 98% of that money going to swindlers.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Cait » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:34 pm

Thad wrote:Seems like a good idea but I'm not sure how the implementation is going to work. Relying on voluntary disclosure of extramarital affairs is pretty clearly a no-go, which raises the question of how the legislature will discover and punish incidents of unreported affairs.

I think the public has a right to know about relationships between legislators and lobbyists (unlike relationships between legislators and private individuals), but this feels like something that's either going to be toothless or lead to witch hunts.


This sort of thing, it's not so much about proactive discovery, it's about having something on the record they can use when an incident surfaces. It's a Capone clause.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby TA » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:48 pm

I feel like treating sex between a lobbyist and a lawmaker as a gift to be disclosed, rather than proof positive of corruption and grounds for immediate impeachment and prosecution, is kind of wrongheaded to begin with.
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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Thad » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:07 pm

I don't really see it as worse than taking money from them.

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:43 am

Doctorow had a good piece a few weeks back titled Pollster explains how Chamber of Commerce can steamroller empathetic execs into opposing progressive policies.

The US Chamber of Commerce is a business lobbying group that fights against paid family leave, increases in the minimum wage, rules protecting sick time and guaranteeing predictable work-times and hours.

There's only one problem: according to its own polls, 80% of its members disagree with the organization and want to bring these humane policies to their employees and workplaces.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz conducted a survey of 1,000 business-owners and found overwhelming support for progressive policies. In a webinar leaked to the Center for Media and Democracy, Luntz addresses a group of state chamber execs about how to convince their members to support the policies the lobbying organization favors, rather than being responsive to the views of those members.

His analysis starts with the obvious truth: these policies are grounded in empathy. Employers want these policies for their workers, because if they were in those workers' shoes, their lives would be intolerable without them.

So he advises the chamber to trick their members into deflecting their support for these policies into support for other policies: instead of supporting state minimum wage increases, get them to put the blame on the federal government's lack of coordinated labor policies across the country (something the Chamber of Commerce also lobbies against).

The big lie of late-stage capitalism is that we're all Homo Economicus, guided by our "rational" greed and untouched by our empathy and fellow feeling. The reality is that it's just a handful of powerful, manipulative shkrelic sociopaths who feel this way, and they manipulate and suppress the rest of us to make their views seem like "human nature," rather than a pathological condition that would have excluded them from civilized company in virtually every time and place in human history.

* Increasing the minimum wage: 80% support, 8% oppose

* Increasing maternity leave time: 72% support, 9% oppose

* Increasing or mandating paternity leave: 82% support, 7% oppose

* Increasing paid sick time: 73% support, 16% oppose

* Ending “on-call” scheduling practices and giving workers sufficient advance notice about their schedules: 78% support, 11% oppose


That's...actually heartening, in a way. It's reassuring to hear that the vast majority of business owners are not actually sociopaths, and have to be tricked into supporting policies that run against their own empathetic instincts.

Of course, it brings us back to the same old problem: soulless fucks like Frank Luntz are, on the whole, way way better at communicating their beliefs in a convincing, gut-check way than the Democrats are. (Even Obama, great communicator though he is, really blew it on making the case for healthcare. Now that the policy's actually in place the results are speaking for themselves, but that's my go-to example of a case where the Democrats had the simple, gut-check emotional appeal and the Republicans had abstract wonkery, and the Republicans still won in the court of public opinion.)

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Re: Money in Politics

Postby Hardly Ideal » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:02 pm

Y'know what they say: I'm not a member of an organized party. I'm a Democrat.

The reality is that it's just a handful of powerful, manipulative shkrelic sociopaths who feel this way,
"Shkrelic?" As in "behaving like one Martin Shkreli?" Whatever, I'm shoehorning this into posts from now on.
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Re: Money in Politics

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:32 pm

Thad wrote:That's...actually heartening, in a way. It's reassuring to hear that the vast majority of business owners are not actually sociopaths, and have to be tricked into supporting policies that run against their own empathetic instincts.


"Oh, actually we completely support increasing the minimum wage so our workers can survive on what they make here."
*doesn't go so far as to pay workers above federal minimum wage*


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