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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?      Home login  
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 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 51
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?Page 3 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants you to "Stand With Rand," but for all the work he has done to revise his record lately, it's getting a little hard to figure out where to place one's feet.

The Kentucky Republican raised eyebrows on Monday by denying that he supported ending all U.S. aid to Israel -- despite the fact that he authored a budget in 2011 that did just that. “We’ve never had a legislative proposal to do that. You can mistake my position, but then I’ll answer the question. That has not been a position — a legislative position — we have introduced to phase out or get rid of Israel’s aid," he said.

Democrats immediately pounced on the remarks, accusing the libertarian-leaning senator of trying to rewrite history ahead of what is widely seen as a campaign for the White House in 2016.


A politician attempting to iron out his position as he seeks higher office isn't new or remarkable. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, another possible presidential contender, has been doing the same as she blitzes the country on her new book tour. Ditto for Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. What is remarkable, however, is the effort Rand Paul has put into clarifying where he stands on the issues just this past year, which, if anything, is a testament to his provocative political history.

In an MSNBC interview last week, Paul denied ever objecting to parts of the Civil Rights Act, even though fact checkers concluded he was trying to "essentially erase what he said in 2010" about the landmark civil rights legislation.

The junior senator from Kentucky regularly criticizes President Obama for waging a "war on coal," as he did this weekend at the state's annual Fancy Farm political picnic, by proposing new rules that would reduce carbon output from power plants. But in 2008, Paul committed the cardinal sin of calling coal a "very dirty form of energy” that “is probably one of the least favorable forms of energy.”

Before Russia annexed Crimea earlier this year, Paul chided Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for issuing a preemptive warning to Vladimir Putin to keep his hands to himself. “Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era that they want to tweak Russia all the time and I don’t think that is a good idea,” he told The Washington Post at the time. But a few months later, the isolationism he and his father, Ron Paul, preached went out the window. The younger Paul urged the president "stand up to Putin" by reinstituting missile-defense shields in former Soviet republics like Poland. The entire transformation was thoroughly captured on Red State.

Or take Syria, where Paul staked out four different positions with respect to the U.S. effort to remove chemical weapons from the regime of Bashar Assad in 2013.

Also, in 2013, Paul appeared to endorse comprehensive immigration reform before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But aides immediately flipped the script, assuring reporters that he didn't support a pathway to citizenship for millions of the nation's undocumented immigrants. That jujitsu move came after a proposed constitutional amendment Paul sponsored in 2011 that would have eliminated birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

And then there's his outspoken effort against government use of drones, which he promoted by using the "Stand With Rand" slogan in a 13 hour filibuster on the Senate floor last year. His base went ballistic after he said that, "If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash. I don't care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him." Once his remarks were splashed across the top of the conservative Drudge Report, Paul was forced to set the record straight.

“It’s exactly the same position I expressed during the 13-hour filibuster," he told Fox News' Sean Hannity. “In the famous words of George W. Bush, I think I was ‘misunderestimated.’”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/05/rand-paul-rewriting-history_n_5651629.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
 etourdi65
Joined: 1/23/2014
Msg: 52
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/6/2014 8:35:40 AM
I thought Liberals were all for rewriting history?
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 53
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/6/2014 8:44:19 AM

I thought Liberals were all for rewriting history?


Great contribution to the thread.

And then there's former republican governor McDonnell:


RICHMOND — Just six minutes after then-Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell e-mailed a wealthy businessman about a $50,000 loan, he sent a note to a staffer asking to discuss state university studies of the man’s new dietary supplement.

The staffer, former chief policy adviser Jasen Eige, testified Tuesday that he didn’t know about the loan negotiations between his boss and Jonnie R. Williams Sr., then the chief executive of the supplement company. But he said that he was concerned about acting on the governor’s February 2012 e-mail.

[Follow our liveblog for the latest]


“This was just not something the governor’s office should be involved in,” Eige said. “It wasn’t our role, our place to get in the middle of something like this.”

Eige’s testimony came as federal prosecutors continued working to build their case that McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen, conspired to sell the influence of the governor’s office in exchange for more than $150,000 in luxury goods and large loans from Williams.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/former-va-governors-trial-mcdonnell-staffers-called-williams-the-tic-tac-man/2014/08/05/8853229a-1cb5-11e4-ae54-0cfe1f974f8a_story.html
 blartfast
Joined: 2/21/2014
Msg: 54
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/6/2014 9:37:23 AM

Eige’s testimony came as federal prosecutors continued working to build their case that McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen, conspired to sell the influence of the governor’s office in exchange for more than $150,000 in luxury goods and large loans from Williams.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/former-va-governors-trial-mcdonnell-staffers-called-williams-the-tic-tac-man/2014/08/05/8853229a-1cb5-11e4-ae54-0cfe1f974f8a_story.html

I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is what you get with people voting their selfish self-interest. They elect selfish, self-interested people and "OUR best interests", the interests of the people and the nation, immediately fall by the wayside.

The result is that we get issues like men voting for politicians who will oppose contraceptive and abortion access because they believe it is the duty of women to bear them the scion they cannot acquire through their own efforts and personalities, a "right" which they believe is being infringed by a woman's ability to prevent or end pregnancy. Or by voting for politicians who will support discrimination against homosexuals as a device to suppress the latent homosexual feelings they fear in themselves.

And the inevitable result is politicians elected for entirely selfish self-interested reasons who have no reason to act in any way other than selfish self-interest.
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 55
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/6/2014 1:57:18 PM

By Kim Barker, ProPublica

In February 2013, Move America Forward announced an ambitious fundraising goal. The charity, launched in part by one of the most prominent figures in the Tea Party movement, had adopted the 800 Marines in a battalion fighting in Afghanistan and wanted to send them all care packages.

“For some troops, these care packages are the only mail they will receive all year,” the group said in one email solicitation.

The charity later described the fundraising drive as a rousing success: In less than five weeks, all 800 Marines in a 1st Marine Division battalion nicknamed Geronimo were sent care packages and notes in Afghanistan, it claimed.

But that couldn’t have been true. The Marines of Geronimo weren’t even in Afghanistan during Move America Forward’s fund drive. Instead, they were deployed more than 3,000 miles away, in Okinawa, Japan.

Move America Forward calls itself the nation’s “largest grassroots pro-troop organization,” and has recruited a bevy of Republican luminaries, including former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and former Vice President****Cheney, to support its efforts.

Video screenshot
Yet an examination of its fundraising appeals, tax records and other documents shows that Move America Forward has repeatedly misled donors and inflated its charitable accomplishments, while funneling millions of dollars in revenue to the men behind the group and their political consulting firms.

In several instances, the charity has taken images and stories from other groups and from veterans themselves without permission to use in fundraising appeals.

Last year, Move America Forward even solicited funds by claiming a partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the largest hospital for wounded service members in the country. No such partnership existed, Defense Department officials say.

The charity’s funds and other assets also appear to have been used to subsidize three conservative political action committees, records show.

Charity watchdogs have long criticized Move America Forward for spending too much on administrative fees and having little outside oversight. For instance, it earned zero stars out of a potential four from the rating organization Charity Navigator.

But experts on campaign finance and taxation say Move America Forward’s practices may trigger more than bad ratings. Its activities could violate tax rules, which prohibit charities from engaging in partisan politics or overly benefiting the people who run them.

Last year, Move America Forward even solicited funds by claiming a partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the largest hospital for wounded service members in the country. No such partnership existed, Defense Department officials say.
“They’re playing audit roulette,” said Marcus Owens, a lawyer who once ran the division on tax-exempt organizations in the Internal Revenue Service. Owens said Move America Forward reminded him of the Coalition for Freedom, a charity linked to then-Senator Jesse Helms that lost its tax-exempt status with the IRS largely because of its political activities in the mid-1980s. “They’re betting the IRS won’t find them, or won’t find them in time.”

The driving force behind Move America Forward is Sal Russo, 67, the longtime political consultant who is listed on the 10-year-old charity’s tax returns as chief strategist.

Russo is better known for helping to form the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, also known as the Tea Party Express, one of the largest Tea Party groups in the country. Consultants from his Sacramento-based firm, Russo, Marsh and Associates, also set up two other PACs, the Move America Forward Freedom PAC and the Conservative Campaign Committee, to aid conservative causes and candidates.

Russo and his associates have previously drawn attention for lavishing funds raised through the committees on themselves, using this money on an Alaskan cruise and fancy hotels as well as paying themselves huge consulting fees.

Russo didn’t respond to questions from ProPublica. Danny Gonzalez, a spokesman for Move America Forward, did not answer questions either, instead providing a four-paragraph defense of the charity. “We are proud of the fact that we always appropriate our donor’s (sic) funds ethically and in the spirit of our mission to support the troops,” he said, adding that Move America Forward was currently preparing 2,000 boxes of care packages for shipping.

It’s not clear who currently oversees Move America Forward’s day-to-day operations. The former executive director, Shawn Callahan, left in 2012 and does not seem to have been replaced. Callahan also didn’t respond to questions, although last year, he defended the group to ProPublica in an email and said Move America Forward had been audited recently by the IRS. (The IRS does not comment on individual taxpayers.)


“I personally oversaw the audit where I worked with the IRS as they went over every penny spent with a fine-tooth comb,” Callahan wrote in March 2013. “As expected, they reported that we were in full compliance and all our expenditures were appropriate.”

Bill Durdin, the family readiness program coordinator for the 1st Marine Division, said Move America Forward recently sent care packages to at least five units in the division, but said a “thank you” letter from him to the charity included in a March 2013 email praising donors for the Geronimo pledge drive had actually been written a year or two earlier. In an email to ProPublica, Durdin described the charity’s use of his letter as “a serious case of ‘Cut & Paste(ing)’!”

Move America Forward raises much of its money with its annual fundraiser, called Troopathon, held this year in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and broadcast live on the Internet.

Over the years, Troopathons have featured live and taped appearances by conservative stars from entertainment, media and politics, including actor Gary Sinise, rock idol Gene Simmons of KISS, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity. The charity counts all the money raised in the month of the broadcast as part of Troopathon.

“I’m hoping this will be the biggest and best event that we’ve had to let our troops know that we will not forget you,” spokeswoman Debbie Lee said during an appearance over Memorial Day weekend on the Breitbart News Sunday radio show that kicked off this year’s fundraiser. “We do recognize, even though, you know, there’s been changes over there, that you’re still there fighting.

“And we’re here for you. We’ve got your back.”

***

Move America Forward says on its tax returns that its mission is to “provide and promote support (for) our brave men and women in the armed forces.”

It raised $7.8 million from 2008 to 2012, about 44 percent of it from the month of Troopathon.

Much of the rest came from responses to the emailed appeals it sends out every day or two, emotional notes packed with exclamation points and capital letters. The emails often seize on a tragedy like the Boston bombing and then ask for help sending boxes filled with items like Jelly Belly jelly beans, Swiss Miss hot chocolate and Hoo-Ahhs field towels.

In press releases and articles, the charity boasts that over its lifespan it has delivered more than 315 tons of care packages to American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Tracking the truth of this assertion is difficult, however. Neither the Defense Department nor the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan monitors who sends care packages to military personnel.

Charities like Move America Forward, which can accept tax-deductible donations, are not allowed to engage in partisan politics. But an examination of the group’s tax returns shows that it is deeply intertwined with its founder’s political enterprises and businesses, paying millions of dollars to him and his consulting firm.
Each package for an individual service member is paid for with a $24.99 donation, the charity says, but it’s unclear what the $24.99 pays for. The items in each care package are donated, a former consultant who spoke on condition of anonymity said, and volunteers put them together. “Our volunteers pack each box to the brim,” the charity’s outreach coordinator, Scott Raab, told a radio show over Memorial Day weekend.

Other charities that send care packages to Afghanistan say they do so more cheaply. The group Operation Gratitude, for example, says it costs $15 to assemble and ship a care package. (The U.S. Postal Service charges $15.45 to mail a large box to a military base in Afghanistan.)

In soliciting funds for care packages, Move America Forward frequently uses testimonials from troops or their relatives. Some are legitimate, but in several cases, ProPublica found, the charity took photos and stories without permission and used them as its own.

One solicitation emailed on April 2, 2013, included a note from “Lacey,” Move America Forward’s contact in Afghanistan. “An update that I received the 60 [packages] you sent off on March 25 & 26th,” Lacey wrote. “We got them yesterday and already got them on our chinook today out [to] some dustoff guys who have been eating MREs for a month now.”

The note promised to send more pictures “like before,” and included a photograph of a Chinook helicopter unloading supplies.

But ProPublica traced the photograph back to a stock photo company called StockTrek Images. It was actually taken on Sept. 22, 2004, when soldiers were unloading supplies in Afghanistan for a combat resupply mission.

ProPublica traced other photographs employed in fundraising pleas by Move America Forward to media outlets such as Agence France Press, Reuters and the San Antonio Express-News, to photos posted by service members on Flickr, to random photos pinned on Pinterest. Move America Forward even used the photograph of a soldier hugging a woman found on Pinterest for a Valentine’s Day pitch, digitally removing the soldier’s name, Boyer, from his cap.

In February 2013, Move America Forward sent an email including a photograph of two grinning soldiers holding packages of Double Stuffed Oreos. “The easiest way to get chocolate that will not melt to our troops in Afghanistan is with the Oreo cookies in our care packages,” the charity wrote below the photo.

But the Oreo cookies in the photograph were actually sent by Operation Oreo, a project of Alpharetta Methodist Church in Georgia.

In a fundraising email sent earlier this year, the charity included a photograph of a smiling soldier holding up a care package, his uniform nametag smudged out.

But Move America Forward had taken the picture, which originally featured four other soldiers alongside the one in the email, from the website of the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs. The soldiers were in Iraq, and not, as Move America’s email suggested, in Afghanistan. And the package the soldier held was not from Move America Forward.

“The care packages in the photo are from the American Legion and the VFW posts in Watertown, WI,” Maj. Paul Rickert of the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs said in an email.

Move America Forward has also used images from the websites of AdoptAPlatoon and Operation Gratitude, two charities that send care packages regularly to troops, to solicit donations.

Carolyn Blashek, the founder of Operation Gratitude, confirmed to ProPublica that two photographs used in fundraising emails by Move America Forward actually depicted soldiers with packages sent by Operation Gratitude. Blashek emailed ProPublica originals of one of the photographs, as well as others of the same soldiers, to prove it.

“I’m livid, I’m so livid,” she said. “I’m shocked…It’s so beyond wrong.”

Ida Hagg, AdoptAPlatoon’s executive director, said she instantly recognized a photograph in which soldiers held up placards spelling out “Thank You,” because it was sent to AdoptAPlatoon. AdoptAPlatoon asked the soldiers’ permission to use the photograph on its website, Hagg said.
“I’m a little taken aback,” Hagg said after seeing the Move America Forward email using that photograph. “Oh my gosh. …That is definitely our photo, absolutely our photo.”

Hagg added that it was possible that the same soldiers also sent the same photograph to Move America Forward.

In at least one case, Move America Forward took the story of a Marine overcoming shattering war injuries and used it without permission in fundraising efforts.

“You’re Never Going to Believe What This Double Amputee Marine Did!” announced the subject line of an email sent Dec. 11. The message below outlined the heroics of Larry Draughn, a former Marine who lost his legs when a roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan but managed to help rescue stranded motorists during a snowstorm in Ohio.

“Troops like Larry serve as a perfect reminder of the kind of sacrifice and selflessness displayed by thousands of our soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors still serving in Afghanistan and other places around the globe, fighting to keep us safe and free!” the email said. “This Christmas remember those troops still serving overseas and send them a care package full of love and support—as well as a few delicious treats!”

Draughn told ProPublica he had never heard of the charity, which did not contact him before using his story.

“I’m gonna call and ream their butts,” he said. “I never gave them permission to use my name that way.”

After Draughn called, he said, the charity apologized and promised to send him a free gift. More than two months later, the gift still hasn’t arrived.

Gonzalez did not respond to questions asking about the charity’s use of veterans’ stories without their permission and why photographs from other charities and the military were used in its fundraising appeals.

In 2013, Move America Forward put out a press release announcing a partnership with Walter Reed to send special wounded warrior care packages to service members recovering in the hospital. About the same time, the charity announced a similar partnership with Veterans Affairs hospitals.

In an email that April, under the heading of “Move America Forward + Walter Reed,” the charity urged: “We need your help! We aren't receiving enough support for our wounded troops!”

But the Department of Defense, which oversees Walter Reed and the VA hospital system, doesn’t endorse—or partner with—charitable organizations. If a charity wants to be listed as a community resource on the Defense Department-managed website, OurMilitary.mil, it has to meet certain criteria, including being nonpartisan and being favorably vetted by at least two charity evaluators, such as Charity Navigator.

“You’ll note that Move America Forward is not listed on the site,” said Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson, a Defense Department spokeswoman.

After ProPublica contacted Walter Reed, the hospital asked Move America Forward to take down the press release announcing the partnership from its website. It did. (Here is a copy of the original announcement.)

Gonzalez did not respond to a question about the charity’s claims regarding Walter Reed and the VA system.

Walter Reed confirmed that Move America Forward did mail about 200 packages there in March 2013. “It was a one-time thing,” said Sandy Dean, Walter Reed’s spokeswoman.

Meagan Lutz, a spokeswoman for VA hospitals, said the VA system hadn’t officially worked with Move America Forward. “I’m hearing all negatives—we haven’t worked with this organization and many haven’t heard of it,” Lutz said.

Still, Move America Forward sent at least 16 emails in April and May 2013 seeking donations, often referring to its alleged partnerships.

At the end of 2013, the charity claimed in an email to have sent “thousands of bags full of necessary items to troops at military hospitals.” Move America Forward still advertises Wounded Warrior Care Packs for VA hospitals and Walter Reed, filled with things like grippy hospital socks, a dental kit, snacks, a notebook, a pen, and playing cards.

***

Charities like Move America Forward, which accept tax-deductible donations, are not allowed to engage in partisan politics like other nonprofits, such as trade associations and social-welfare groups. Charities are also not allowed to pay excessive fees or wages to staffers or consultants, according to federal tax rules.

But an examination of Move America Forward’s tax returns shows that it is deeply intertwined with Russo’s political enterprises and businesses, paying millions of dollars to him and his consulting firm.

According to its five most recent tax returns, Move America Forward paid out more than $2.3 million to Russo or Russo, Marsh and Associates for services including “program management and advertising.” That’s about 30 percent of the charity’s overall expenditures over that time.

“It was just so shady,” said Kelly S. Eustis, a former consultant for the Tea Party Express, also known as Our Country Deserves Better. “With PACs, I know it’s dirty money--it’s politics. But this is a charity that’s supposed to be helping the troops.”

Some of that money might have passed through Russo’s firm, paying for TV ads that the charity has claimed to run praising the troops. No major broadcaster in a top 10 TV market has reported an ad buy by Move America Forward since the Federal Communications Commission required such records be put online in 2012, however. Gonzalez, the Move America Forward spokesman, did not respond to a question asking whether the charity had run any TV ads on network affiliates in major markets since 2007.

Move America Forward also routes charitable donations through companies started in part by Russo and Callahan, the charity’s former executive director.

In May, one button on the charity’s website sent donors to the website of a company that processes credit card donations called DonationSafe, founded by Callahan. Move Forward America doesn’t reveal how much it pays DonationSafe to process donations, but the company has received substantial fees for similar work for Russo-affiliated PACs. The Conservative Campaign Committee, then known as the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, paid DonationSafe almost $267,000 for credit card processing in the 2012 election cycle, when the PAC brought in $3.9 million.

Callahan, who has also worked for Russo, Marsh, and consulted for the Tea Party Express, did not reply to ProPublica questions about processing work related to Move America Forward.

Another donation button on Move America Forward’s website allows donors to send money for individual care packages or packages for an entire battalion. When a ProPublica reporter donated $24.99 to send a single package in May, her credit card bill showed the money went to a limited liability company called The Campaign Store. So did another donation made to the Troopathon event.

Russo is the president of The Campaign Store, which described its business as “retail political products” in a 2007 filing with the California Secretary of State.

In its 2004 application for tax-exempt status, filed under penalty of perjury, Move America Forward told the IRS that it would not directly or indirectly share facilities, equipment, mailing lists or other assets with any political organization.

Yet Move America Forward shares its Sacramento office suite with at least two of the three PACs set up by Russo, Marsh, as well as The Campaign Store, DonationSafe and Frontline Strategies, a political consultant firm where Callahan is a partner.

According to the charity’s 2012 tax return, Move America Forward paid about $82,000 in rent that year. The PACs reported paying no rent for the same period, according to filings with the FEC. The office’s property manager confirmed to ProPublica that the rent for the office is now about $83,000 a year, plus fees for use of the common area, indicating that in 2012, the charity likely covered the rent for all of the suite’s occupants.

“That office rental arrangement is clearly inappropriate,” said Bruce Hopkins, a nonprofit lawyer in Kansas City, adding that the charity was subsidizing the PACs. “I can tell you right now, the IRS would be all over that.”

In his email in March 2013, Callahan said Frontline Strategies paid Russo, Marsh and Associates to sublease office space. Neither Russo nor Gonzalez responded to questions about the rent agreement.

There’s also evidence that Move America Forward has subsidized the PACs by allowing them to use its mailing list, a valuable asset that the IRS says charities are not supposed to just give away.

Eustis, the former Tea Party Express consultant, said Russo and others “basically used the Move America Forward email list to start online fundraising” back in 2008, when the charity list had about 50,000 names and the Tea Party Express was just starting. “It’s definitely intermingled,” he said.

A ProPublica reporter’s father created an email address and signed up for the charity’s mailing list on Nov. 21, using the address for nothing else.

At first, a few emails arrived from Move America Forward. Then, on March 20, an email arrived from one of the PACs, the Conservative Campaign Committee, with the subject line, “Sarah Palin Motivating Conservatives to Vote in 2014,” asking donors to give money for a “fantastic new TV ad in key swing states.” On March 21, an email came from the Tea Party Express.

There’s no indication in regulatory or tax filings that Russo’s PACs bought or rented Move America Forward’s mailing list. The IRS would find almost any possible explanation for how the PACs are using the charity’s mailing list without paying for it problematic, nonprofit experts said.

“It’s certainly a warning sign,” said John Pomeranz, a Washington lawyer specializing in election activity by tax-exempt groups. “Charities must not give any resources to PACs. They can sell or rent those lists for fair market value. But if there’s not fair market value paid, there’s a problem.”

The line between Move America Forward and the Move America Forward Freedom PAC is even more blurry. The PAC’s website describes it as “a Political Action Committee organized and brought to you by Move America Forward.”

Move America Forward’s YouTube page features a campaign commercial from its sister Freedom PAC. The charity’s Facebook page links to the ad as well, and has asked people to donate to the PAC, saying “Please Help!” just days before the 2012 election.

“If the charity says, ‘Go visit our PAC and give it money’—that’s a problem,” said Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, a law professor and associate dean at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in nonprofits and campaign finance. “Any type of support from the charity to the PAC is problematic.…If you want to be a charity, if you want to be tax-exempt, you cannot be involved in political campaigns, you cannot support or oppose candidates for office. And Congress says so.”

Even as nonprofit experts, officials from other charities, and former insiders have raised questions about Move America Forward, this year’s Troopathon appears to have gone off without a hitch on June 25.

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and many others sent pre-taped endorsements that were shown at the seven-hour fundraiser.

Flanked by American flags, co-host Melanie Morgan, Move America Forward’s cofounder and board chairwoman, begged viewers to donate money. She said the charity wanted to send care packages to every service member in Afghanistan and Iraq, adding that the charity tried to keep its costs “very low” to maximize the resources going to service members. Dwindling resources in Afghanistan had left some troops hungry, making Move America Forward’s work more urgent than ever, she said.

“These care packages that we’re putting together are not just a luxury item anymore,” Morgan told one guest. “In some cases, they’re necessities.”

By the end of the broadcast, the charity announced Troopathon had raised almost $300,000. Among the donors was Gary Sinise, who spent an hour on stage asking for contributions and gave $5,000 while on the set. (Through his publicist, Sinise declined to respond to questions from ProPublica about Move America Forward.)

“I think we’d have a catastrophe on our hands quite frankly if some of the great military nonprofits weren’t out there right now,” he said at Troopathon. At the end of his appearance, he thanked Morgan and touched her arm. “You’re doing great,” he said.

Update: Staci Wolfe, a publicist for actor Gary Sinise, responded yesterday to questions from ProPublica about Sinise’s involvement with Move America Forward and its Troopathon fundraising event, but because of an email glitch the response did not reach us until today.

Wolfe said that, “Debbie Lee, the gold star mother of the first navy seal killed in Iraq, asked Gary to come to the fund-raiser, and he supports gold star families in any way he can, which is why he attended and donated. We haven’t heard anything negative about Move America Forward in the past, and if we find out that there is a reason for us to reconsider our support, we’ll address it at the time.”
Update: Move America Forward spokesman Danny Gonzalez responded to questions from the website Hot Air about issues raised by ProPublica, including whether the charity’s funds have been used to support businesses and PACs associated with men behind the group. He confirmed that the charity covers the rent for political consulting firms and PACs that share its office suite and uses for-profit firms operated by men linked to the group to process donations, but said Move America Forward has not violated tax rules barring charities from engaging in partisan politics or overly benefitting insiders.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/05/exclusive-pro-troop-charity-pays-off-tea-party-cronies-instead.html
 blartfast
Joined: 2/21/2014
Msg: 56
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/6/2014 2:44:20 PM

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/05/exclusive-pro-troop-charity-pays-off-tea-party-cronies-instead.html

Wow, just wow.

That has got to be one of the sleaziest bunch of slime-balls I've ever read about. It's like an undertaker secretly stripping the gold fillings from corpses and then charging the family for his effort as a "cosmetic procedure".

With these kind of people supporting politicians for office and actively working to put them there is it really any wonder that the best interests of the people and the nation are less than an afterthought for so many of them?
 John255317
Joined: 12/28/2012
Msg: 57
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/6/2014 10:08:06 PM
Wonder how many democrats are behind Senator Walsh? Now there is a man of his word....or someone elses....:p
Looks like he is planning his "gracious exit" very soon.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Also Obamas poll ratings are lowest ever. There is no one "driving the bus" and we still have over two years of a run away bus. Like I have said before, even in sports, just because someone was a good player or a great assistant, doesn't make him a leader, a head coach, a manager etc etc. Same thing when young kids rule the home when their parents can't parent We are seeing other countries scoff at this country's leadership.

Lots of blame to go around but some will never admit that so on and on it goes.
 DameWrite
Joined: 2/27/2010
Msg: 58
view profile
History
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/6/2014 10:09:07 PM
This is the kind of sh*t I'm talking about...

http://rt.com/news/178320-canada-mine-tailings-breach/

anyone think this is in our best interest? ARGGHHH!!
 Baffalobill
Joined: 6/18/2014
Msg: 59
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 1:44:53 AM
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?

Simple the average Man/Woman can't afford to take them out for one of those high class Politician lunches !!!! Unlike the wealthy lobbyists...

Its the old saying " We have the best Politicians money can buy "
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 60
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 2:49:54 AM


Also Obamas poll ratings are lowest ever.

Regardless of how one interprets that comment, whether it be Obama's lowest poll ever or a president's lowest poll ever, this comment is not sourced nor is it true.


Why is it that conservatives often say things that...well...just plain aren't true?

While, President Obama's polling numbers are low, they don't come anywhere near the numbers of GOP congressmen or teaparty congressmen:


http://www.pollingreport.com/cong_rep.htm


Bloomberg puts the GOP congress favorable rating currently at 32%


http://www.gallup.com/poll/168917/four-years-gop-support-tea-party-down.aspx


Teaparty support has dropped to 22% according to Gallup
 blartfast
Joined: 2/21/2014
Msg: 61
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 2:53:06 AM
This is the kind of sh*t I'm talking about...

http://rt.com/news/178320-canada-mine-tailings-breach/

anyone think this is in our best interest? ARGGHHH!!

Does anyone think that this really has much of significance to do with politicians not acting in the peoples' best interests? Especially given the importance natural resource extraction has for the Canadian economy and what would happen if that extraction became so prohibitively expensive that no-one would buy the product? A positive balance of trade is almost always better for the "peoples' best interests" than a negative balance of trade.

Sometimes the "peoples' best interests" comes with trade offs.

Why is it that conservatives often say things that...well...just plain aren't true?

This would be part of that selfish self-interest thing I was talking about that leads to so many politicians with no interest in the best interests of the nation.
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 62
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 3:16:01 AM

Why is it that conservatives often say things that...well...just plain aren't true?


One other reason is ...they can just make shyte up:


Two threads of the same news cycle came together Monday when Republican Rep. Todd Rokita suggested some of the migrant kids might have Ebola. Before you read any further, please note: Ebola does not exist in Central America, as several doctors told NBC News.

Rokita, who will likely later tell us he's not a scientist, made his comments during an appearance on a local radio show. According to The Times of Northwest Indiana, Rokita was quoting a comment made by fellow G.O.P. lawmaker Rep. Larry Buschon, when he embellished a little and said:

He said, look, we need to know just from a public-health standpoint, with Ebola circulating and everything else — no, that's my addition to it, not necessarily his — but he said we need to know the condition of these kids.

Rokita isn't the first person to float this theory. Last month G.O.P. Rep. Phil Gingrey told MSNBC that Ebola was one of the diseases the border patrol is concerned about, adding “I can’t tell you specifically that there were any cases of Ebola, I don’t think there were, but of course Tuberculosis, Chagas disease, many – small pox, some of the infectious diseases of children, all of these are concerns.”

According to NBC, Tuberculosis is one disease migrants kids might have, but they are screened and vaccinated within days of being detained. Also, if anything kids from other countries should be worried about the preventable diseases they'll catch here — the U.S. has a 92 percent vaccination rate. Mexico has a 99 percent rate, while Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have 93 percent rates.

The reason for all the fear mongering is that treating unaccompanied migrant kids like little disease riddled epidemics waiting to happen is one of the last socially "acceptable" ways to express xenophobic opinions without saying something explicitly racist. “There is a long, sad and shameful tradition in the United States in using fear of disease, contagion and contamination to stigmatize immigrants and foreigners,” Arthur Caplan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center told NBC News. The countries of origin and deadly diseases may change, but the sentiments are the same.

http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/08/the-migrant-kids-carry-ebola-theory-reaches-house-republicans/375581/
 John255317
Joined: 12/28/2012
Msg: 63
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 5:40:50 AM
"One other reason is ...they can just make shyte up:"

John Walsh, a Democrat fits that quote precisely.
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 64
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 5:55:01 AM

"One other reason is ...they can just make shyte up:"


It's official! The latest faux scandal Benghazithon is over


(08-01) 11:42 PDT WASHINGTON -- The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, said Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, the second-ranking Democrat on the committee.

The panel voted Thursday to declassify the report, the result of two years of investigation by the committee. U.S. intelligence agencies will have to approve making the report public.

Thompson said the report "confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given."

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/House-panel-No-administration-wrongdoing-in-5663509.php

Mitch McConnell has trouble with his record on the Violence Against Women Act:


enate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) unveiled a new campaign ad on Tuesday that gives an incredibly misleading account of his record on the Violence Against Women Act, a bill he has voted against repeatedly -- most recently opposing it over its expanded protections for victims of domestic abuse.

In the ad, called "As If," McConnell's wife defends his record on women's issues against "desperate" attacks from his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes. A narrator's voice says McConnell co-sponsored the original VAWA and has "always supported its purpose." In fact, the narrator says, McConnell voted for "even stronger protections" than President Barack Obama advocated, though it's unclear which protections that refers to.

But the ad only tells a small piece of the story.

McConnell did co-sponsor the original bill in 1991, which never got a vote, but he pulled his sponsorship when it came up again in 1993 and voted against the version that became law in 1994. More recently, McConnell voted against reauthorizing VAWA in 2012 and then again in 2013. Instead, he pushed for a scaled-back GOP version of the legislation that left out protections for LGBT, Native American and undocumented immigrant victims of domestic abuse. Democrats ultimately prevailed, winning over other Republicans to back the broader bill.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/05/mitch-mcconnell-violence-against-women-act_n_5651334.html

And then there's that teapartier in Mississippi Chris McDaniel who just can't seem to let go of the primary race he lost:


Days after the primary, Pastor Stevie Fielder told a conservative blogger that he had been hired by Cochran’s campaign to “offer blacks $15 each” to vote for the incumbent and got thousands of them to do so. Soon after, he changed his story, saying he had been asked to participate in such a scheme, but had not done so. The Cochran campaign acknowledged paying $300 to Fielder to reimburse him for get-out-the-vote expenses, but denied any vote-buying efforts.
Now, after Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (D) began investigating Fielder’s original claims, he says he was paid to lie. According to a Hood spokeswoman, Fielder told state investigators that he received $2,000 to give the false interview — and that the money came from a McDaniel campaign spokesman.

http://thinkprogress.org/election/2014/08/06/3468244/mississippi-pastor-vote-buying-mcdaniel-cochran/

Let's see...plagiarize a research paper....pay someone off to lie to an election committee...hold countless faux scandal hearings on the American dime...forget a voting record???? Almost all horrible stuff :/
 John255317
Joined: 12/28/2012
Msg: 65
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 6:12:12 AM
Reports out now that millions of people may not have to pay a fine for not having obamacare. Just another drawing a "red line in the sand". Things that this President does just gets moved, changed. Nothing he does anymore is believable. OP, that definitely is a great example of all of us not having our leader doing things in our best interest.

Wonder how many democrats are going to be lining up with Obama right up before the elections this year? You are going to see a lot of them not doing so but it won't matter since the Senate will be a republican majority after the election. Proof that the majority is tired of this administration having absolutely no leadership capabilities.

"I have a pen and a phone" and "what does it matter anyway". Those are two quotes that show how we all are insignificant.
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 66
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 6:36:43 AM

"what does it matter anyway".


Give it up already....The Benghazithon is over.


Wonder how many democrats are going to be lining up with Obama right up before the elections this year?


More than the republican's did with Bush...opps...I almost forgot...Bush wasn't asked to campaign for any republican's at the end of his administration.


Reports out now that millions of people may not have to pay a fine for not having obamacare


Yawn...two year old news isn't really news.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 67
view profile
History
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 8:00:24 AM

We are worse off thanks to the partisan witch hunt the republicans have been on only to come up with egg on their faces and feet in their mouths.
Hmmm ... witch hunts on a Democratic president? C'mon ... now who would do such a thing?

Well, I sure didn't vote to elect anyone to do that.

Ah well ... spend money on two illegal wars or fake investigations ... what difference does it make ... right?
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 68
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 10:03:38 AM
They don't represent OUR interests because most of US are not in a position to return the favor. We are only one vote apiece, but special interest lobbies are so much more. Quid pro quo corruption is very difficult to prove. To be realistic, sometimes OUR interests are conflicting as well...

As for Obama and congress, President Obama has often been criticized, even by nonpartisan observers, as being aloof and unfriendly with congress members. Sometimes what a politician does out of the office with coworkers is even more important than in. I watched a documentary that claimed our government is getting less and less "chummy" with each other. The mutual respect between opponents seems to be fading.

That said, I have never seen such obstinacy against a president's efforts in my life. It goes beyond opposing a "bad" idea; the goal is to oppose because Obama wants it. The goal is to oppose even decent ideas because they want to make the president fail. Mitch McConnell even admitted as much at the outset. Even when the Democrats had the majority until 2010, many of them (Blue Dogs) gave the president a lot of friction and showed a lack of unity-- specifically the provisions of the ACA. Even when the president does something spot on (Bin Laden), no one on the other side will give an utterance of support. When someone does dare give any support (Chris Christie), it is treated as political suicide. After all this, they wonder why the president then tries to act on his own. Yes, why indeed would someone try every means to break out of the box you trapped him in?

What is so markedly different about President Barrack Hussein Obama than any other president we have had? It is to ponder...
 DameWrite
Joined: 2/27/2010
Msg: 69
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History
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 10:46:46 AM
The Mair solution http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2014/08/04/BC-Day-Gift-To-Canada/

"There is a solution that doesn't require any change of system whatsoever and not a nickel spent. It is a very simple solution.

What if we made votes of confidence in the House of Commons secret ballots?

It is said that we can accomplish the same thing by having "free" votes, but that is nonsense. In a "free" vote, the prime minister and his whips see who votes how and the penalties are paid. In fact, no government MP dare oppose the government just because it is a "free" vote.

The only way to hold the prime minister to account is if he doesn't know in advance how the MPs, even his own, are going to vote.

Some lament that they want to know how their MP voted. Surely, this is ridiculous! We now know how our MPs vote -- exactly like they are instructed to by the party whips!

Would we rather see our MPs stand up and do as they are told or go to a ballot box and do what they think is right? All I ask is that the MP have the same protection when voting that we the public do.

Of course, care must be taken. The only secret votes would be ones of "confidence" or the budget, where, upon a loss, the government would fall. But I can assure you that all other debates and votes would open up considerably if this reform was adopted.

Minority parties would no longer be seen as dangerous to elect -- no longer could the "don't split the vote" bogeyman be pled by old line parties. The voter's only consideration would be to elect the best candidate.

Old line parties throw up their hands in horror! Do mean to say that a government couldn't even pass its budget without the danger that it would lose by a secret ballot?

Let me answer that question with another question. Why should a government automatically get its budget passed just because it has a majority that the prime minister can force to obey? Shouldn't the wisdom of how a government spends our money be the responsibility of every member of Parliament?

Parliament would very quickly get used to this idea. It would not be the huge danger traditionalists think it would be.

In fact, it would make a government careful as to how it proceeded and assure itself that it proposes policies that a majority of members of Parliament, including its own members, can support. What the devil is the matter with that?

There you have it -- the simple, cost free change that would make the prime minister responsive to a majority of members of Parliament, no matter of what political stripe, and would give to your member of Parliament -- the person you elect to represent you -- actual power.

Think about it"

For canada this may be the improvement.



does anyone think that this really has much of significance to do with politicians not acting in the peoples' best interests? Especially given the importance natural resource extraction has for the Canadian economy and what would happen if that extraction became so prohibitively expensive that no-one would buy the product? A positive balance of trade is almost always better for the "peoples' best interests" than a negative balance of trade.

Sometimes the "peoples' best interests" comes with trade offs.


I do, because they should have not be given the permits by our government as it is NOT in our best interest.

Maybe the gov't should insist they do their research BEFORE they screw things up? Listen to SCIENTIFIC data? Be prepared? Have to pay ALL the bills for their fck ups? Including legal, clean up and medical?

The "trade offs" are not worth it when water is contaminated and we get stuck with the bill and toxins.

Why does canada's economy have to be based on unsustainable resources? It doesn't.

An equal balance of trade would be BEST for all.
 DameWrite
Joined: 2/27/2010
Msg: 70
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History
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 11:02:59 AM
one more thing blartfast, I think the ceo's and shareholders can give up some of their profits if it's prohibitively expensive.

If you fall for the lie that due diligence isn't worth it, maybe you should think beyond dollar signs.

Their "financial hardship" excuses are a crock of contaminated b.s.
 blartfast
Joined: 2/21/2014
Msg: 71
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 2:11:32 PM

I do, because they should have not be given the permits by our government as it is NOT in our best interest.

Really? And how do you determine that? Remember, this is about "OUR" best interests, not simply "YOUR" personal beliefs as to what "MY", "HIS"or "HER" interests should be.

Please, tell me how the issuing of the permit is not in my or my neighbour's best interests, specifically? How would the best interests of ALL have been served by refusing the mining permits? Let's see if this can be accomplished without dictating what everyone else's best interest should be.

Why does canada's economy have to be based on unsustainable resources? It doesn't.

Yes, it does. What, pray tell, would you replace them with?

Even if you were to wake up tomorrow in a "Star Trek Universe" there would still be a need for those non-renewable resources you seem to think we don't need (what is it you suppose things are made of even in that world).

What will you substitute for those metals and minerals, all of which must be extracted in fundamentally damaging ways (even the cleanest extraction methods still do some damage), which are necessary even for your utopia?

What will you use for energy (to run, say, your computer) and how will you generate it without engaging in this kind of resource extraction (hint: even solar, wind and hydro power require these extracted resources)?

An equal balance of trade would be BEST for all.

No, it isn't. It isn't even possible to achieve. Nothing has a set value except what we assign to it by our need and use and a valuable thing to you is trash to someone else. A chicken is worth the world to a starving man and worthless to the man who has no need for it.

Their "financial hardship" excuses are a crock of contaminated b.s.

And is it still "a crock" when all the major employers in a sector have shut down, putting thousands out of work with little means to sustain themselves?

Is it still "a crock" when those same unemployed can't even get welfare, public housing, medical care or even pensions because the loss of the revenue base from the shut down sectors tanks the federal coffers?

Is THAT still in everyone's best interests?
 John255317
Joined: 12/28/2012
Msg: 72
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 2:43:26 PM
Nancy Pelosi was labeled as mentally ill by actor James Woods. Now I have no idea whether that is true and I definitely would not say that type of thing without having facts. All I will say is when she thinks Hamas is a humanitarian group, she is on John Stewart telling us it is not "her job to know" and goes chasing and ranting after another politician on the floor speaking(no, she wasn't speaking, she was the "ranting one") and telling him he is insignificant(thus basically telling his constituents that they are also insignificant), Houston, we do have a problem!

Personally, I wouldn't call that being mentally ill. A person who is not in the best interest of republicans AND democrats>>>>now that would be a definite YES, she doesn't have American peoples best interest
 blartfast
Joined: 2/21/2014
Msg: 73
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 2:55:44 PM

It's official! The latest faux scandal Benghazithon is over

I'm still waiting for someone to explain how two years of meaningless, partisan bloviating over an invented scandal, at a cost of millions of dollars, rather than passing meaningful and needed legislation, as they are elected and paid to do, is in any way in "our best interests".

All I've ever gotten in reply is "Obama did this", "Obama did that" and "Obama hates America", none of which says even one word to explain all the years of congressional 'dead weight' wearing out the chair leather on 234 seats in Congress while accomplishing little of significance while burning through huge amounts of money to not do anything of significance.

Again, How is this in "our" best interests?

What is so markedly different about President Barrack Hussein Obama than any other president we have had? It is to ponder...

You are right. That IS a question of an entirely different colour.
 DameWrite
Joined: 2/27/2010
Msg: 74
view profile
History
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/7/2014 10:45:02 PM
The company was warned by it's employees that the dam couldn't handle more water. The company was investigated and they had to empty some water. They did. THEN...The company put in more water after the investigation was over, there wasn't a check up to make sure they didn't fill it again...and the dam blew.

They do not deserve to be in business and if our gov't was on top of it and revoked their permit until they re enforced the dam (like they were supposed to do), it would not have happened.

Now they are getting fined 1 000 000 for something that will cost 400 000 000 to clean up amd it will still not be clean for ages.


There are many sustainable ways to make a healthy living without poisoning our water supplies. We have the technology and know how. The salmon are on their way there to spawn. Do you care about the fishing industry? The fish?

We don't have is a government that listens to scientists and locals.

We are not represented properly. We are becoming a corporate controlled gov't that thinks money and power are what matters.

Clean water is what everyone and everything needs blartfast, including you. We can't keep screwing it up.

We have to learn what's under where we dig before we dig and make sure we are following best practices and are prepared for the worst. That info is out there. Our gov't isn't listening.
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 75
Why can't we get our politician's to act in OUR best interest?
Posted: 8/8/2014 6:06:25 AM

I'm still waiting for someone to explain how two years of meaningless, partisan bloviating over an invented scandal, at a cost of millions of dollars, rather than passing meaningful and needed legislation, as they are elected and paid to do, is in any way in "our best interests".


The answer is in the question the next quoted post poses....and it is not "in our best interests:"



What is so markedly different about President Barrack Hussein Obama than any other president we have had? It is to ponder...


You are right. That IS a question of an entirely different colour.
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