How Democrats use ‘dark money’

Has someone asked Senator Whitehouse his thoughts on ‘dark money’ by his own party?

Or this? Big Labor is among the most prolific political spenders in U.S. politics: From 2012 to 2014, America’s largest unions sent nearly $420 million to the Democratic Party and closely aligned special interest groups. The Democratic Governors Association raked in almost $8 million during that time, while Catalist—a premier Democratic data firm—made off with more than $5 million. (And that $420 million number doesn’t even include millions of dollars in candidate contributions from PAC money.)

Unions sent member dues money to an array of “dark money” liberal advocacy groups including the 501(c)(4) arms of the Center for American Progress, National Employment Law Project, and Partnership for Working Families—which aren’t required to report who funds them. George Soros’ Democracy Alliance—a secretive network of liberal donors—received more than $2 million during those years. And who are these donors? It’s not clear: According to The Washington Post, the group “does not disclose its members.”

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*** Public Integrity did some amazing research found below with an extraordinary summary.

How Democrats use ‘dark money’ — and win elections

Alabama’s special election is a case study in liberals’ furtive affair with secret cash


Democrats love decrying “dark money” — political contributions for which the source of funds is a mystery. But that isn’t stopping them from accepting “dark money” themselves or making it difficult to determine the original underwriter of a political donation, as a recent Southern contest vividly illustrates.

Alabama’s special U.S. Senate election in December is a case study in the lengths national Democrats, who this year are racing to win back Congress from Republicans, are willing to go to hide their cash in the name of political expediency.

Here’s what happened: When it seemed as if Democrat Doug Jones could actually beat embattled Republican Roy Moore, a new super PAC supposedly based in Birmingham, Alabama, appeared just one month before Election Day. The super PAC, called Highway 31 after a route that bisects Alabama, spent $5.1 million to boost Jones, more than any other group active in the general election.

Using a little-known legal loophole that allows political committees to do business on credit, the super PAC didn’t disclose the identities of its bankrollers until a month after voters chose Jones as their senator. And when Highway 31 did disclose, most of its funders turned out to be organizations who in turn receive some of their funding from sources that are difficult, if not impossible, to comprehensively trace to flesh-and-blood humans.

Highway 31 wasn’t exactly a homegrown group, either. All but about $10,000 of the $4.4 million the super PAC raised came from three national-level, Democratic-aligned entities: $3.2 million from super PAC Senate Majority PAC, $910,000 from the super PAC Priorities USA Action and $250,000 from the nonprofit League of Conservation Voters Inc.

Those millions allowed Highway 31 to relentlessly skewer Moore over accusations he molested children and helped propel Jones to an improbable victory in one of the nation’s most conservative states. Adam Muhlendorf, an Alabama communications consultant who led Highway 31, did not respond to requests for comment. Back in December, he told the Center for Public Integrity that the super PAC followed “every appropriate rule and regulation.”

Donors to the donors of the donors

So who funds Highway 31’s funders?

Senate Majority PAC’s biggest donations come from a handful of active billionaires: Newsweb Corp.’s Fred Eychaner with $2 million, Paloma Partners’ Donald Sussman with $1.5 million and billionaire businessman George Soros with $1 million. The super PAC’s donor list also includes pages and pages of comparatively small donations, and it boasts of how unambiguous its operations are.

“Running transparent, low-overhead, take-no-prisoners independent campaigns, we defend Democrats from Republican attacks, aggressively contest open Senate seats, and go after Republicans on their own turf,” reads the website of the super PAC, which former aides to then-Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., created in 2011 to compete with a network of Republican groups engineered by Republican political consultant Karl Rove.

But in 2017, at least $7.5 million of Senate Majority PAC’s funds came from labor unions, other super PACs and “social welfare” nonprofit groups. The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission allowed such entities to spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for and against politicians and gave rise to super PACs, which in turn may accept unlimited contributions from them.

5 Former Venezuelan Officials Charged, Money Laundering/Bribery

5 former government officials from Venezuela charged in Houston federal court with money laundering scheme involving foreign bribery

Criminal complaint is here.

Some of the vendors lived in the United States, the DOJ said, or owned and controlled businesses incorporated and based in the United States.

The defendants allegedly laundered some of the bribe money through real estate transactions and other investments in the U.S.

The indictment alleges two PDVSA vendors sent over $27 million in bribe payments to an account in Switzerland.

De Leon and Villalobos controlled the account.

Some of the money went to another “foreign official” who wasn’t named in the indictment. That’s the basis for the FCPA conspiracy charges against De Leon and Villalobos.

Related reading: Venezuela’s PDVSA: The World’s Worst Oil Company

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HOUSTON — Five former government officials from Venezuela were charged Monday for allegedly participating in an international money laundering scheme involving bribes made to corruptly secure energy contracts from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).

Two of the five defendants are also charged with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated this case.

In October 2017, Spanish authorities arrested four of the following defendants on arrest warrants based on a 20-count indictment returned Aug. 23, 2017, in the Southern District of Texas:  Luis Carlos De Leon Perez (De Leon), 41, Nervis Gerardo Villalobos Cardenas (Villalobos), 50, Cesar David Rincon Godoy (Cesar Rincon), 50, and Rafael Ernesto Reiter Muñoz (Reiter), 39.

On Feb. 9, Cesar Rincon was extradited from Spain and made his initial appearance Monday in federal court in the Southern District of Texas. De Leon, Villalobos and Reiter remain in Spanish custody pending extradition. A fifth defendant, Alejandro Isturiz Chiesa (Isturiz), 33, remains at large; a warrant remains outstanding for his arrest. All five defendants are citizens of Venezuela. De Leon is also a U.S. citizen.

De Leon, Villalobos, Reiter and Isturiz are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering; Cesar Rincon is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering. De Leon, Cesar Rincon and Reiter are charged with four counts of money laundering; Villalobos and Isturiz are charged with one and five counts of money laundering, respectively. De Leon and Villalobos are each also charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

“This case is an example of what can be accomplished when international law enforcement agencies work together to thwart complex cross-border crimes,” said Mark Dawson, special agent in charge of HSI Houston. “HSI is committed to upholding the rule of law and investigating those that would participate in illegal practices.”

The indictment alleges the five defendants, all of whom were officials of PDVSA and its subsidiaries or former officials of other Venezuelan government agencies or instrumentalities, were known as the “management team” and wielded significant influence within PDVSA.

According to the indictment, the management team conspired with each other and others to solicit several PDVSA vendors, including vendors who were U.S. residents and who owned and controlled businesses incorporated and based in the United States, for bribes and kickbacks in exchange for providing assistance to those vendors in connection with their PDVSA business.

The indictment further alleges the co-conspirators then laundered the proceeds of the bribery scheme through a series of complex international financial transactions including to, from or through U.S. bank accounts. In some instances, they allegedly laundered the bribe proceeds in the form of real estate transactions and other investments in the United States.

The indictment also reads that the following two PDVSA vendors sent more than $27 million in bribe payments to an account in Switzerland for which De Leon was a beneficial owner, and De Leon and Villalobos were authorized signers:  Roberto Enrique Rincon Fernandez (Roberto Rincon), 57, of The Woodlands, Texas, and Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas (Shiera), 54, of Coral Gables, Florida. The indictment alleges those funds were later transferred to other accounts in Switzerland. Both Roberto Rincon and Shiera previously pleaded guilty to FCPA charges in connection with a scheme to bribe PDVSA officials. According to admissions made in connection with their pleas, Roberto Rincon and Shiera paid bribes and provided other things of value to PDVSA officials to ensure that their companies were placed on PDVSA bidding panels and ensure that they were given payment priority so that they would get paid ahead of other PDVSA vendors with outstanding invoices. Roberto Rincon and Shiera are awaiting sentencing.

On Feb. 12, the indictment was unsealed. Fifteen individuals were charged, and 10 have pleaded guilty as part of a larger and ongoing investigation by the U.S. government into bribery at PDVSA.

HSI Houston is conducting the ongoing investigation with assistance from HSI Boston, HSI Madrid and the IRS Criminal Investigation.

The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice and the Spanish Guardia Civil also provided assistance.

Google Worked for Democrats Against Republicans

3. Throughout the Class Periods, and in violation of California law, Google employees
who expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects
raised in the workplace and relevant to Google’s employment policies and its business, such as “diversity” hiring policies, “bias sensitivity,” or “ social justice,” were/are singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated from Google, in violation of their legal rights.
4. Google’s open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious
discrimination on the basis of race and gender, barred by law. Google’s management goes to extreme—and illegal—lengths to encourage hiring managers to take protected categories such as race and /or gender into consideration as determinative hiring factors, to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees and potential employees at Google.
5. Damore, Gudeman, and other class members were most racized, belittled, and punished
for their heterodox political views, and for the added sin of their birth circumstances of being
Caucasians and/or males. This is the essence of discrimination —Google formed opinions about and
then treated Plaintiffs not based on their individual merits, but rather on their membership in groups
with assumed characteristics.
Sounds precisely like the Obama IRS when it did the same thing. It is yet another kind of cyber war.
If there is any doubt about Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Obama and Hillary –>

Clinton Status Memo Mentioning Google’s Eric Schmidt by Joe Schoffstall on Scribd

  More here.

Yup that commie phrase we have come to know well…white privilege…in the case of Google it was ‘white male privilege’.
Google Punished Gudeman for His Views on Racism and Discrimination
88. After being reported to Google, Google HR spoke with Gudeman in or around
September 2015 regarding his posts.
89. Google HR discussed Gudeman’s viewpoints on race and/or gender equality, and his
political viewpoints. Google HR chastised him for attempting to stand up for Caucasian males and his conservative views.
90. At the end of the HR meeting, Gudeman was issued a verbal warning.
91. Gudeman complained to his colleagues about the lack of fairness that conservatives
received at Google, and the leeway Google provided for liberals to express their thoughts and opinions without repercussions.
92. After the 2016 presidential election, many employees at Google began to panic, having
expected a different outcome fully in line with their political views.
The Corporate Internal Blacklist
131. Google’s management-sanctioned blacklists were directed at specific Google
employees who tactfully expressed conservative viewpoints in politically-
charged debates. In one case, Jay Gengelbach, a L6 SWE Manager, publicly bragged about blacklisting an intern for failing to change his conservative views.
133. Kim Burchett (“Burchett”), a L7 SWE Manager, proposed creating an online
companywide blacklist of political conservatives inside Google. She was kind enough to suggest to her readership that they might deserve “something resembling a trial” before being added.
134. On August 7, 2015, another manager, Collin Winter, posted threats directed at a Google employee as a result of raising concerns of harassment and discrimination
to Urs Holzle. Winter stated: “I keep a written blacklist of people whom I will never allow on or near my team, based on how they view and treat their coworkers. That blacklist got a little longer today.”
Also on August 7, 2015, another manager, Paul Cowan, reshared Collin Winter’s threat
to express his agreement with it and to indicate that he had also blacklisted Google employees with perceived conservative views. Cowan stated: “If you express a dunderheaded opinion about religion, about politics, or about ‘social justice’, it turns out I am allowed to think you’re a halfwit… I’m perfectly within my rights to mentally categorize you in my dickhead box… Yes, I maintain (mentally, and not (yet) publicly) [a blacklist]. If I had to work with people on this list, I would refuse, and try to get them removed; or I would change teams; or I would quit.”
Heck you can read the 161 page lawsuit here complete with screen captures of internal employee chats with each other. Swell place eh?

Why Not Release the Files on Historical Govt Scandals

We almost got ‘all’ the documents declassified and released on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Even so, many of the pages had redactions. The true reason as to why remains fleeting.

So, what other files of historical federal or political scandals should be released?

How about the ATF gunwalking scandal?

The IRS targeting scandal maybe?

The Obama/Blagojevich pay to play case?

What about all the details behind who invaded Sharyl Attkisson’s computer?

Do we know everything about Tony Rezko?

Oh, how about the Iran-Contra Affair?

Old enough to remember the Savings and Loan Scandal?

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Maybe the Abscam case perhaps?

Ah yes, after many books, what about Watergate and Deep Throat?

Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick?

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Each day brings us a little more detail on constant scandals or corruption within the Federal government. What is to be learned from declassification and full release is detail bringing American citizens closer to understanding the wider and deeper scale of lies, coverups and just where we can assume always we only get snippets of truth, where context is fleeting.

So, what about that pesky full release of Jeffrey Epstein and the Lolita Express? Do we even have a full understanding of cyber attacks?

No dynasty is more filled with scandal than the Clinton machine. Benghazi, the secret server Huma Abedin or the Clinton Foundation are just part of that list. You know there are many deaths associated with that name as well as corruption but remember the Whitewater scandal?

The nation’s second-most powerful court sided with the government Friday in its decision not to release draft indictments prepared against Hillary Clinton during the Whitewater scandal of the mid-1990s.

A unanimous three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the conservative group Judicial Watch failed to show “exception interests” that would warrant disclosure of the documents.

The watchdog group filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the National Archives and Records Administration in 2015 for two draft indictments that reportedly arose from the Office of Independent Counsel investigation into the Clinton’s real estate investments in Arkansas and contributions made to the real estate entity Whitewater Development Corporation.

Judicial Watch claims the indictments show Clinton’s involvement in alleged fraudulent transactions.

But the National Archives denied their request and said Clinton’s privacy interests outweigh the public’s interest in the matter.

In fighting the agency’s decision, Judicial Watch argued that Clinton’s privacy interests are minimal given her previous positions as first lady, United States senator and then secretary of State.

Judge Judith Rogers disagreed.

“As indicated during oral argument, it is difficult to imagine circumstances where a draft indictment could ever be disclosed without seriously infringing an individual’s privacy interest,” she wrote in affirming the lower court’s decision to keep the documents concealed.

“Having never been formally ‘accused of criminal conduct’ by the Independent Counsel, Mrs. Clinton, no less than an individual who has been charged but not convicted, is ‘entitled to move on with her life without having the public reminded of her alleged but never proven transgressions.’”


There are a mere 23 pages that are in dispute under the secret protection by the National Archives and Records Administration where a lawsuit was brought by Judicial Watch. Timing is everything, the lawsuit was filed in October of 2015….ah interesting, the early part of the presidential campaign season…hummm.

What Federal scandal files do you want to have access to without the redactions? There are always more explosive details that have remained secret on cases. We need to further understand all the players, the timelines and most especially the context.


Trump Names New IRS Comish, DoJ Settles Targeting Case

DC: President Trump made it official on Thursday that embattled IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will be out of a job next month.

Trump tapped David Kautter, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for tax policy, to serve as interim IRS commissioner, beginning Nov. 13.

Koskinen’s term ends on Nov. 12. He was eligible for reappointment, but Koskinen is fiercely opposed by congressional Republicans. Members of the House Freedom Caucus attempted but failed to impeach Koskinen last year, largely over his handling of the scandal involving former IRS official Lois Lerner.

Prior to Koskinen’s tenure, Lerner was accused targeting conservative groups who applied for non-profit status. Koskinen was accused of stonewalling congressional investigators looking into Lerner’s activities as well as of covering up for the Obama administration.

Trump had faced pressure from many Republicans to fire Koskinen, who was appointed to head the IRS by President Obama in 2013.

Kautter, Koskinen’s intended replacement, was appointed to his role at Treasury in August. He worked as a tax attorney at the firm Ernst & Young for more than three decades.

Kautter will still perform his Treasury Department duties while overseeing the IRS, according to Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin.

“David will provide important leadership while we wait to confirm a permanent commissioner,” Mnuchin said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.


In part:

There are still some parts to the cases outstanding.

Mr. Greim and his team managed to depose former senior IRS executive Lois G. Lerner during the four years his case ran, but those transcripts remain sealed along with records of the deposition of another employee, Holly Paz. The two women have told a judge they fear for their safety if their testimony is released.

But on Wednesday the Cincinnati Enquirer asked the court to make those records public, as well as unredacted court documents that refer to the testimony.

The settlements end two separate lawsuits covering more than 450 groups identified by the IRS as having been snared in the targeting.

The vast majority of them are conservative-leaning groups which began to see long delays, intrusive questioning and other illegal scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status as either 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations beginning in 2009.

In the new filings the singled out Ms. Lerner for particular blame in the scheme, saying she “failed” to stop the targeting going on by her employees, and further failed to alert higher-ups at headquarters in Washington — where she also worked — of the problems.

That’s a major shift from before, where the Justice Department — far from blaming Ms. Lerner — actually credited her with being a hero, saying she tried to stop the targeting when she became aware of it.

A lawyer for Ms. Lerner didn’t return an email for comment sent late Wednesday.

Tom Zawistowski, head of the Portage County TEA Party in Ohio, said Ms. Lerner should have faced criminal charges for her role, which court documents filed earlier in the case show involved her trying to shield the activity by changing names, but overall approving and in fact intensifying the scrutiny the conservative groups were given.

He said he still wants to see a special counsel appointed at the Justice Department to pursue the case and get to the bottom of the motive behind the targeting.

Despite initial claims by some Republicans, no evidence has ever traced the targeting back to Mr. Obama or his top political aides.

But emails released this year show the IRS was made aware by its own agents that it was singling out groups based on their politics, not on questions about their tax behavior.

“These cases are held back primarily because of their political party affiliation rather than specifically any political activities,” Elizabeth C. Kastenberg, an official in the agency’s Exempt Organizations division, wrote in an April 1, 2011, email to other IRS employees, including her supervisor.

That contradicts the IRS’s long-stated position that Ms. Lerner and others involved in the targeting were worried in the wake of a 2010 Supreme Court decision about a surge of groups going beyond the usual rules of politics. More here.