There’s only one trustworthy source for information on political financing, where it comes from, the amounts, and what it’s spent on by candidates and officeholders, and it’s the same source that investigative journalists and even the Federal Elections Commission has been turning to for years: OpenSecrets. It’s non-profit and non-partisan.
That is, of course, just the name it’s come to be known by; the actual name of the organization behind the OpenSecrets website is the Center for Responsive Politics. So-called “dark money,” SuperPACs, campaign spending limits, and some pretty basic money laundering by shadowy groups and the candidates they boost all come across the OpenSecrets front page every single day, listing dollar amounts, dates, and other data that the average voter wouldn’t normally get a chance to look at.
But perhaps the most important service they provide, other than learning tools to understand campaign financing, is that the site literally allows you to look into every single facet of both a candidate’s profile and those of their donors.
The latest report produced by the Center, in fact, is an example of something that might make you as a voter say, “I never would have even thought of looking at that.” That’s what the majority of their press releases do for me, anyway. Occasionally I will see something that makes sense and already have mostly come to that conclusion before reading it on OpenSecrets, but the vast majority of what I find there is staggering.
How, for example, do we tie what you or I would call bribe money from Donald Trump to the Republicans in the Senate who are voting on whether or not to remove him from office? After all, Trump has plenty of channels to funnel money through, aliases to sign checks with, and lawyers to bury people with if they start asking questions.
Why not those lawyers?
The CRP report details direct money contributions from Trump’s legal defense team directly to the campaigns of key players in the GOP-led Senate — the Majority Leader got funds from both Ken Starr and Robert Ray prior to the outset of the Senate trial, and just prior to an unbelievable public statement from Leader McConnell:
There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.”
That is, as we say, hinky.
Starr also maxed out a donation to Lindsey Graham, the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a sycophant of Trump’s so committed to defending him that he’s been nicknamed “Lapdog Lindsey.”
You’ll forgive me for getting a little late-night-TV on you when I say But wait, there’s more.
Trump’s other lawyers, Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone, are also implicated in the OpenSecrets report, sending money to Ted Cruz and John Thune, two Republican defenders of Trump who have been more than slightly vocal in their efforts.
And of course, ALL of this comes just before the report that Trump issued a warning to GOP Senators overseeing the trial, telling them to acquit him or find their heads “on a pike.”
This looks, for all intents and purposes, exactly like the payoffs to Trump’s former flings Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. But this is much, much bigger.
Featured image via screen capture
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