War by Other Means: Citizens United v. Hillary

    When the Supreme Court ruled for Citizens United in early 2010, it was largely seen as opening the floodgates for untracked money, including corporate gifts, into presidential races.

    The ruling was especially significant for Hillary Clinton, as the challenge to the FEC was over small non-profits being able to pool whatever money to create DIY attack ads on... (drum-roll please)... HILLARY!!!

    Of course the FEC still maintained some control over the process, as PAC money can't be directly coordinated with the candidate - an arm's length relationship must be maintained.


    Sorry, I'm back. Yes, that's what the law claims.

    Now check out the "arms length" relationships for just 1 such PAC, the eponymously named "Make America 1 Again", aka "Defeat Crooked Hillary" or "Keep the Promise I"...

    Robert Mercer - honorary Koch Brother - gave the PAC $16.5million - $11 million of that in April 2015. Where else does his money go? "It was $10m of Mercer’s money that enabled Bannon to fund Breitbart", $2 million (tax deductible) in 2012 into Citizen's United, plus he's a "major stakeholder" in Cambridge Analytica ($5 million, according to the New Yorker).

    OpenSecrets notes "a total of 66 single-candidate super PACs hired the same vendors or staff as the candidates they backed" - and indeed, both the Trump campaign and "Make America Number 1" PAC both paid Cambridge Analytica $5.5 million each. Of course we don't know if the value of services was *more* than listed - a billionaire's multi-year vanity project doesn't have to balance its books.

    Let's take a look at Wikpedia's notes on the leadership of Make America Number 1: "Rebekah Mercer (Robert's daughter) has been chairperson of the PAC since 2015. Its operations were headed by Kellyanne Conway from August 2015 until she was tapped to serve as the Campaign Manager of the Donald Trump campaign in mid-August 2016.[5] The PAC also employed Stephen Bannon, who joined the campaign as CEO.[6] After Conway's departure, David Bossie took leadership. He left in September to become Trump's Deputy Campaign Manager, and Rebekah Mercer took over leadership of day-to-day operations."

    Yes, David Bossie went from being head of Citizen's United (he was behind the Koch Brothers funded "Hillary: The Movie" that went on to win the Supreme Court case against the FEC) to head of Make America Number 1 (recruited by Kellyanne) to head of the Trump campaign. Better still, "Robert Mercer donated $15.5 million to the PAC during the 2016 campaign".

    Rebekah Mercer, a Heritage fund trustee,  "was a funder and board member of the Government Accountability Institute, a nonprofit group that produced the bestselling 2015 book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich; she also served as a co-executive producer of the “Clinton Cash” movie, which debuted in Cannes, France in May." Note that the NY Times largely used the poorly sourced Clinton Cash as an off-the-wall attack on Hillary in April 2015, and Talking Points Memo reports that the FBI used Clinton Cash as a justification to start investigating the Clinton Foundation, a major anti-Hillary PR success in the 2016 election cycle.

    Arm's length? This article describes the Mercers' hands-on role in shaking up the Trump campaign last August. And that's just addressing the people angle - the current collusion includes hacked & stolen emails, DNC database, DCCC database, the entire Clinton campaign opposition research, Clinton/DNC Vertica voter registration database for targeting undecideds & GOTV, the NGP/VAN database, along with questions about the Trump Tower/Alfa Bank communications doing data cleaning.

    But the Cambridge Analytica connection gets weirder: "Robert Murtfeld...was a legal assistant at [Julian] Assange’s law firm, Doughty Street Chambers, from June 2013 to August 2015...[and] left Doughty Street for Cambridge Analytica [in New York] in August 2015 and became head of commercial sales in September 2016".

    [While not much of a sales & marketing guy, the article notes that Murtfeld's stint at Doughty Street gave him acquaintance with the international high-level shady characters and modus operandi needed to run a complex corrupt operation, while Cambridge's parent company SCL excelled in international election overthrows, and Mercer's possibly illegal backing of Cambridge's involvement with Leave.EU for Brexit extends the franchise]

    Ah yes, a Tribeca Trifecta for the Trump campaign: Mercer's Cambridge Analytica, Bannon's Breitbart "news" & Facebook reality distortion, and Assange's Wikipedia hacking/dissemination team. All they'd need is a bit of Russian collusion to make this recipe work, and evidence for that piece of the puzzle is growing and growing. What has Citizens United wrought? Nothing short of the Constitutional crisis predicted, though they've certainly had a lot of help - how much is what we're finding out now.

    One curious detail is that the people most concerned about the influence of money in politics have been largely silent about the wave of secret dirty money used to derail Hillary's campaign, and only an act of "journalistic malfeasance", an early release by Buzzfeed of a respected analyst got us to the level of knowledge we're at today - otherwise, the news of collusion had been embargoed for month as "unconfirmed". Is our media failing yet? Is our politics? And how come Wikileaks & Assange still get more sympathy than Hillary?


    Kogan, founder of Cambridge, not only stole the algorithm from another company, he illegally misused data from Amazon's mTurk program and some original stolen Facebook data to create a Facebook database of 40 million Americans by 2014, undoubtedly extended through multiple data breaches and hacks/steals/misuse of data in time for the 2016 elections.

    It's true that Hillary's team likely didn't update their insight enough on use of social media between 2008 & 2016, but I guess she should be flailed for not stealing enough proprietary programs and data and colluding with foreign governments to get herself elected - that's how the big boys do it.

    Wow, if only the press could have reported all this in a timely manner. $7billion+ owed to the IRS is a tidy bit of change.

    Great piece!

    Given the Supreme Court´s  ¨Citizens´ United ¨ decision, unsubstantiated  ¨ attack ads¨ will be a feature of future political campaigns.

    Should an honest candidate

    o  just give up?

    o attack the Supreme Court  itself ?

    o issue  equally unsubstantiated attacks on her opponent?

    o copy  FDR´s speech to the  1944 Teamsters convention

    Not content with attacking me.....my wife Eleanor...........my son Elliot they even ....(catch in voice, suppressing sob).... attack my little dog Fala

    pause required for tumultous applause​  then the   conclusion was lame but that didn´t matter, 

    and Fala doesn´t like it



    So Nixon cribbed the Checkers speech, even that respectable conservative coat?

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