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In Senate races in Missouri and Montana in 2018 and North Carolina in 2016, the gun group’s advertising blitzes on behalf of GOP candidates Josh Hawley, Matt Rosendale, and Richard Burr were authorized by the very same media consultant that the candidates themselves used—an apparent violation of laws designed to prevent independent groups from synchronizing their efforts with political campaigns.
I always took it for granted that the pacs and politicians are colluding regardless and that they've just found clever ways to circumvent the laws to avoid being caught. The fact that these goons didn't even bother with a subterfuge shows how unconcerned they were about any legal or political ramifications. One can only hope they were wrong.
Looks like their tax-exempt 501(c)(4) status should be revoked.
wait....the NRA is tax exempt??
The income tax exemption for 501(c)(4) organizations applies to most of their operations, but income spent on political activities—generally the advocacy of a particular candidate in an election—is taxable.
Yeah I had no idea either. It's like giving a tax break to rich peop---oh wait
The funny thing is that the NRA was not always this kind of organization and were a hair's breadth away from getting out of politics entirely. The More Perfect Podcast (same folks who do Radiolab) did an episode on it. I would highly recommend a listen. It was enlightening as to how the NRA became what it is today.
I'm a big
guy gun guy but hate what the NRA is. There are much better gun rights groups out there, but sadly none have the influence the NRA has. Mostly because they don't make a ton of profit and spend their money helping gun owners.
2A foundation, G.O.A., and locally (MA) G.O.A.L. come to mind right away.
My question is how far Dana Loesch can go without being literally arrested for inciting terrorism, in videos that prime people for an existential struggle against liberals that they can solve with their guns.
Prison. Someone needs to go to prison.
Honestly though, that is really the only deterrent that's going to have any effect. Illegal activity will always go on, but when you start throwing high-level people in prison, it goes on a lot less.
I say we fine them the equivalent of pennies to their millions! That always stops them! Right?
Maybe that's a but much. Tenths of pennies sounds more fair!
Revoking tax exempt status would probably be a very huge deal. Look at the lengths Scientology went to in order to get it in the first place. Removing this status wouldn’t be hitting them in their wallet once, it would be hitting them forever (or until they qualify for it again).
Plus if anyone does serve time it would probably be very short and they’d be seen as a martyr or a fall guy or something.
You could definitely run on a republican ticket with that slogan
Yeah..there has to be some prison. Listening to the story in NC where someone blatantly cheated for a GOP candidate, and the candidate is getting off scot-free (is that a term anymore?) because he didn't know what was going on. The guy who did all the nasty stuff? Nothing as of yet, and he is being vilified by no one.
Sick to my stomach to hear the NC candidate by the way use God over and over and over again during and after his campaign. He actually said "I want to behave in a way that God is working through me." I don't know who believes this medieval shit!
Harris has to be held accountable. Dowless has been a GOP operative for 25 years, there is no way this is the first time he’s pulled this crap, and there is no way local Republicans didn’t know.
I don't know who believes this medieval shit!
People who are too far in to admit they're wrong.
It's actually a huge way evangelicals are using theopolitical notions of people working through god, rather than being godly.
"I want to behave in a way that God is working through me."
Sounds like possesion or something. Maybe it's not god, but demons working through them. Hmmm...
We also need to hit them with fines that are actually damaging to their brand. Every time a corporation does something illegal we give them whats equivalent to a $5 speeding ticket.
The "someone" needs to be the candidate, if they had or reasonably should have had any knowledge of the activity, the firm buying the ads, if they had or reasonably should have had any knowledge of the activity, and the PR firm employees as well, because the absolutely knew what was going on.
As we peons have always been taught, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. The candidates and the organizations should know where their money is going and what is it being used for.
These rich, corrupt fucks should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, just like we would be.
LOL. Consequences and laws are only for the little people. Corporations and those with money are immune to such trifling things.
Exactly. If your company can save $1 million per year by, say, illegally dumping waste, and the fine, if caught, is $100,000, then the fine isn’t a deterrent, it’s a cost of doing business. Especially if the chance of getting caught is 10%, in which case probability states that it’s effectively a $10,000 cost of doing business, netting $990,000 in savings.
Richard Burr is an interesting name. He's been in charge of the senate investigation wrt russia. I always thought he was one of the "decent" ones on the r side. Really makes one wonder. Having said that, the dem members of that committee have not accused Burr of playing politics. Still leaves me with doubts.
Yeah I had the same thought, he seems like less of an obstructionist traitor than the rest. Sad to see his name come up here.
You guys aren’t from North Carolina then. That guy has been double teaming us with good ole boy Tom Tillis for a while now.
Yeah, it's living in the South that makes you realize how far and deep the good ole boy network really is. NC politics is proof of that. People like Jeff Jackson calls them on their BS - we need more people like him in NC govt.
he seems like less of an obstructionist traitor than the rest
Operative word being "seems." I have to question everything he's done and will do with this new data in mind. The one saving grace he has going for him is he has said this will be his last term giving the impression he can't be bought. But if that was the case, why collude with the nra in the first place? You could be bought then but not now? gtfoh.
I completely agree with your every word.
Tangentially, I think we should alter our filter so that when we hear something akin to "I can't be bought" we should assume it's because someone already bought them and not some fantastical notion of self ownership.
Burr is purely looking out for Burr. So long as he doesn't have to do any real work and keeps getting elected and nothing puts his cushy post-congressional consulting fees in jeopardy he's going to keep his head down.
Which for a Republican is really the best you can hope for, if they're just a selfish prick apathetic to other people as opposed to malicious they're one of the"good ones".
Makes you wonder if, and total conspiracy theory ahead here so please don't crucify me over this I understand it's pretty paranoid, maybe the NRA/RNC made sure he was one of the people who had this kind of thing on record so the Republican party could use it as leverage to keep him in line in case he started to turn on the party.
They can blackmail him as an ace up their sleeve to keep him from doing anything they don't approve of.
OR, he's just as complicit as the rest and was just playing the token "less obstructionist wild card Republican"
That's not a crazy theory at all. Getting someone compromised and then leveraging that to get more out of them is like spycraft 101. It's been done for centuries. It is very likely to be there whole point of the operation.
Also a descendant of Aaron Burr. He gets mad when people quote Alexander Hamilton.
Please be true
The exchange for the lazy:
King recalls that in appreciation of the bipartisan and positive nature of the press conference, he said to Burr, "Richard, that was a great press conference. You and Mark did a terrific job. It's important for the American people to be together on this. Like they say in Hamilton, 'History has its eyes on you.'
And Richard took one step back, and said 'Angus, I don't know if you want to quote Hamilton to me, since my great-great-grandfather shot him.'"
I definitely wouldn't say he got mad - if anything he took it with good humor.
Meanwhile I had 'Obideant servant' come up on shuffle while reading this thread. Mysterious are the ways of Hamilton
One more thing to add to Josh Hawley's already slim resume. Between this and allegations that his campaign basically ran the MO AG office, he could be looking at a few years' prison time. And it's not like MO won't turn on him; Hawley himself finally turned on Greitens when it got bad enough.
MO is super weird. We passed basically all of the progressive amendments on the ballot back in November (medical marijuana, minimum wage increase to $12/hr, etc) and then voted in Josh Hawley.
Well we also once voted in a dead man for Governor. So...
Hawley himself finally turned on Greitens when it
got bad enough.
When it became professionally expedient
Hawley never turned on Greitens. He just did nothing. He ran a sham "investigation" where he asked no questions and sought no documents and then declared he found nothing. He pushed any prosecution off on others claiming he had no jurisdiction. Hawley took a $50k bribe from Greitens and then looked the other way as the blatant crimes of Greitens became public one by one. Fuck Josh Hawley. He's a piece of shit criminal and I hope his kids grow up with him in prison so maybe they won't also become piece of shit just like their dad.
Isn’t that illegal?
Especially since a huge amount of that money came from Russia.
ESPECIALLY. That's not just a foreign government, they are hostile towards us.
But Donnie says Putin and him get along, doesn't that make this very legal and very cool
I mean what have the cia and the fbi ever done for us ? Right guys ? Putin knows best.
Edit : no edits.
We really need to improve relations with Russia, also the Saudis... who else owns my balls?
What gets me is that the NRA's platform has been "Guns help protect you from tyranny".
The goddam irony of it all.
Precisely what makes me shudder as well. I'll also wager they have no cognitive dissonance whatsoever about their boundless hypocrisy. "Necessary to own the libs".
Exactly. These people don't see Russia as an enemy, in their eyes anyone who is left of them on the political spectrum is the enemy. These people claim to be patriotic and love America but they would welcome it if Trump declared himself King if it meant the end of the Democrats.
"Guns help protect you from tyranny of the left" is the obvious implication in their propaganda.
Libertarianism: protecting money from the tyranny of other people's civil rights.
...which many people, including myself, believe is a big part of why the Republicans will not-- actually CANNOT-- stand up to Trump. They themselves are in office only because they engaged in the same illegal campaign acts as Trump himself.
this. mitch mcconnell sucks the same teet that got the donald in office
How much do you want to bet the polling information Manafort provided to Konstantin Killimnik is involved in this as well?
The NRA’s use of National Media and its affiliates to coordinate with the Trump and Hawley campaigns is currently the focus of two complaints before the FEC by the Campaign Legal Center and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Although federal law prohibits such coordination, it’s rarely enforced as a practical matter. The FEC, which oversees elections, has been deadlocked along partisan lines for a decade. (FEC enforcement matters are confidential until resolved; it’s unclear if the NRA has formally responded to the complaints.)
They’re probably going to get away with it.
The NRA probably funneled $30 million from Russia to GOP, it's a big deal
Edited since I was jumping to conclusions
And Obama warned about this very issue when he "chastised" the SCOTUS rulings on campaign finance law. The right lost their mind, and Trump went on to say a judge couldn't be impartial because he was Mexican American; crickets.
Hey, don't worry!
[W]e now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. …
The fact that speakers [i.e., donors] may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that these officials are corrupt. …
The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy.
-Anthony Kennedy, Citizens United
What a duplicitous piece of shit Anthony Kennedy is.
Hopefully he and his son will be going to jail by the time this is all done.
This literally reads as satire to me.
Republicans are trash
Remember when a supreme court justice shook his head just shortly after and mouthed "wrong" during Obama's state of the union speech? It was a political decision.
Politifact is still defending an article from the time saying Obama was wrong that it would bring foreign spending into politics, even though it clearly has.
In other words, the picture painted by the legal experts we interviewed was one of significant uncertainty, in contrast to the dire situation Obama outlined. That -- combined with a focus on the "immediate" impact of the law, which Klain acknowledged -- suggests that our ruling was simply urging against jumping to conclusions.
Wow. They're really trying to weasel their way out of that one. 'What we meant when we said Obama was wrong was that we weren't sure.'
The DOJ and US attorneys can independently prosecute these crimes, so I wouldn't say they're completely safe.
One more takeaway from the Trump fiasco: depoliticize the FEC. Roll its mandate into the FBI and shield the investigators from political influence.
Definitely not the FBI. You don't want federal law enforcement directly involved in our elections. But the general idea is good.
Yes. That’s why they all fell behind Trump, even the ones that had previously criticized him. They realized how kompromized they were.
So much winning!
Exactly! McConnell definitely knows and I think he's using it for leverage with the others where need be.
What leverage exactly, though? We've known the NRA accepted quite a bit of money from shady Russian sources for a while now. If McConnell is running an operation to threaten other Republican senators, what's the ax he's threatening to swing at their necks? That he'd cut off the flow of cash if anyone comments on what's in the public sphere already?
Edit: We don't actually have much by way of hard numbers. But the NRA has had enough publicity over Russia to make them toxic, and it's not like McConnell could protect anyone from investigators if they do find improprieties. I just don't think it makes much sense to believe Mitch is holding the knife to anyone's throat when investigators are already on it.
It's easy to win when you cheat.
It's only illegal if you
get investigated without obstruction
don't get pardoned right away.
are a democrat
Oh how naive, when has the GOP ever cared about... ::chuckle:: legalities
Not for republicans. Laws only apply to democrats.
This isn't just some small campaign violation. The nra coordinated MILLIONS of dollars of ad buys
Also, isn't the NRA Russia compromised? Blatantly?
Hey is this the same NRA that was working with an undeclared Russian agent who was funneling Russian money into the NRA which then turned around and donated over twice as much as it has to any campaign before to the Trump 2016 campaign?
And didn't that same undeclared Russian agent, who is currently in the custody of United States authorities, also have a personal relationship with Paul Erickson who later joined Trump's White House transition team after contacting Jeff Sessions and Rick Dearborn, Trump's former campaign adviser, about setting up a back channel meeting between Trump and Putin at an NRA backed event?
If so this is a spicy development for sure.
Hey, are these the same senators who consistently protect Trump and Russian interests at the expense of the American people?
It's almost like they are compromised or something.
Yeah so Richard Burr is one of these guys implicated, and he heads up the Senate Intelligence Committee...not a good development.
I really wish the media would put these news stories into context like this. But they never seem to do it, other than Rachel Maddow I guess, and report them independently of each other.
Maddow is the only one keeping me sane right now.
If it takes more than three words to explain it a lot of people just lose interest and stop listening.
Trump was able to rile up his base with simple three word mantras.
"Lock her up"
"Build the wall"
"Drain the swamp"
Even later he admitted to their faces that at least two of those were BS that he used to manipulate them into voting for him. They didn't care.
Please don't be shocked, I have no doubt the NRA has been working under the table and out of the day-light for the last 2 or three decades with the Republican party. They just finally got caught. It's time to start putting people in jail.
'Election fraud'?..thy name is GOP
Well, Strategic Campaign Group was raided, they apparently did R senate work?
Were they involved in all this or were they raided becxause they were just flat out laundering Russian oligarch money into the RNC?
Or maybe both?
that raid was so tantalizing, it was the first time something seemed to happen, justice-wise, and we've never found out what it was for.
Investigate the entirety of the GOP, their financial networks, who they took foreign funds from or laundered funds for.
Indict the perpetrators and the complicit.
Lock them up.
Lock them all up.
Micheal Cohn was the RNC financial chair until recently.
And he's been singing like Gaga
You could be in a room with a hundred traitors and all you need is one Russian FSB agent to believe in you!!
Let's start with freezing their funds until an investigation can be completed. We have zero assurances they will act lawfully.
People keep being like BuT wHaT aBoUt tHe dEmoCrAts? Fine- investigate their funding too. Let’s fucking kill Citizens United once and for all.
I’m convinced that most of the republicans not running for another term were being blackmailed or had a file on them held by Russian intelligence that made it possible/likely and Mueller found the information and told them that they could sign an agreement not to hold future public office or be investigated and that they faced extra scrutiny while serving out their terms. The ones who quit right after being elected and didn’t serve out their terms really didn’t want to risk exposure.
At this point, the GOP is so dirty, they'll never be ligitimate, again. They'll have a new wave of fresh faced candidates with talk of cleaning up [their] corruption, just like every other wave of the party and it just keeps getting worse.
Everyone remember this when you vote...and vote every chance you get.
They believe they are fighting for survival. Cheating to win is ok. They will never admit they are corrupt.
Unfortunately this is the case. Believing that God gave them the right to be leaders of this country, they use that excuse as a bludgeon to do whatever they want.
"The ends justify the means"
Such a toxic outlook to have
At this point, the GOP is so dirty, they'll never be ligitimate, again.
When was the last time they were legitimate? Nixon was a crook, Reagan committed treason in the Iran/Contra affair, GHWBush covered up the crimes, GWBush lied us into two endless wars, the list goes on.
Eisenhower was the last republican elected president that was clean.
GHWBush obstructed justice for Agnew too
Eisenhower's presidency is also when the right wing took over the party. Eisenhower fought it, but lost. After losing to Kennedy in '60, they turned around and devised the Southern Strategy. It's been all downhill from there.
Of course Eisenhower was just a blip.
The Hayes was a republican who lost the popular vote and sold out African Americans by ending reconstruction to get the white house. Harding was probably the most corrupt president we’ve ever had.
Harding was probably the most corrupt president we’ve ever had.
Not for long
This is why the GOP is so scared. This is why they are complicit. They know that most of them wouldn't have been elected had it not been for cheating.
The million dollar question is what does Mueller do with all of this?
"No leaks right? I know we're a real family here" - GOP Rep Paul Ryan
Probably what Mueller has. Russia infiltrated NRA to fund Republicans. That, plus Cohen implicating the President could mean Mueller has enough to say 'these Republicans received Russian money/help, Dems, fuck 'em up'.
Butina (and thus likely the rest of the NRA case) isn't even Mueller, that's just DC FBI rooting out criminals.
I'm sure Cohen already gave him what he wanted, which is to prove whether Trump colluded with Russia. The answer is: yes.
Russia didn’t need to infiltrate the NRA. That organization has been insane since their internal coup in the 70s. All Russia had to do was funnel unusually large heaps of money at them.
I read somewhere the NRA used to be for safe gun usage. Now it's just a vessel used to make money. How American.
Serious question: If the Republicans are revealed to be complicit and are charged with crimes, what would happen if 1/3 of elected Republicans were to be jailed/ imprisoned?
Snap election? I really don't know too.
I think each governor of the state of those representatives or senators would have to immediately select interims, and then follow the laws of each state (some require special elections, some don’t)
Let's not forget that the Trump campaign has also been found to have illegally coordinated with the NRA. Seems like it was just standard operating procedure at the NRA.
So tell me, why isn't the NRA and Trump being procecuted? Or is the FBI still building a case? Didn't Trump's lawyer turn himself in or something like that?
I say this without hyperbole: if the GOP doesn't burn, our democracy will.
They will never self correct. They are fighting for their survival in a world that is leaving them behind. Removing this tick is going to get ugly before it gets better.
GOP: "We want to go back to 1950s values! A time when America was great!"
US: "Do you mean affordable college and healthcare, good wages, healthy industry, and a good standing on the world stage?"
GOP: "What? No. Fuck that! We mean when minorities and women knew their place, being gay was literally illegal, and the only people that mattered were white guys."
GOP: We just don't want to become minorities in our own country!
The rest of us: Why? Are they treated badly or something?
Haha this one is great. Saving for future use.
Sad, but true.
If you cant win the vote, suppress the vote. If you still cant win, cheat the election too.
I hope they take everything from these peoples families. No more letting people off the hook.
So the Russians, the NRA and Republican candidates were walking in lockstep? Go figure. Traitorous bastards.
On one hand it's nice to see the NRA collapse.
On the other, I wish it was more because of their incredibly regressive rhetoric rather than corruption on a massive scale. The people who have bought into the NRA's messaging the last several years are going to have a hard time unplugging, if they ever do, so even if the rot in the NRA is expelled the damage is done.
I don't see how the NRA survives as an organization after this.
Is this really surprising? Take a look at the November issue of Rifleman magazine. It gives you a checklist of everyone who the NRA sponsors, with grades based on their voting history.
Not only do they make it clear who they want their base to vote for to retain power, they also saturate the rest of the magazine with horseshit like "where was so and so on the anniversary of D-Day, we were paying respects to the Normandy memorial".
The blue wave of voting being represented by a Tsunami wiping out the statue of liberty being the cover, too...
It's infuriating that these shitheads are able to brainwash generations of Americans with impunity.
Why am I not shocked that these two evil anti-American institutions broke the law?
If you scroll to the bottom of this thread you will see Trump supports commenting exactly what everyone thought they would: “I bet democrats do the same probably worse so what it the big deal?” Those people are pathetic
Shut them down like ACORN.
That because they’re all Russian stooges
With Russian money. RICO the whole damn party.
Like a rabid animal, it's about time we took the NRA out behind the woodshed and put it down.
Fuck you, Hawley.
Getting pretty obvious that Russia was using the Internet Research Agency as a digital messaging and distribution system targeting key races with insights from Republican pollsters and campaign staff.
Which would be a perfectly natural agency client relationship - if the ‘agency’ in question wasn’t a hostile foreign power. Because that makes it a conspiracy against the people of the United States.
The Republican Crime Syndicate thinks they do not have to adhere to the laws of the land.
Let's fucking change that, shall we?
The NRA did not respond to a request for comment.
They always have something to say. Silence is guilt in this case.
Looks like the NRA committed a felony. Time to take away their guns.
A lot of people say that even a really damning Mueller report wouldn't lead to impeachment since it would die in the Republican held Senate. However, it might turn out that a really damning Mueller report might take down some Republican senators as well, flipping that majority.
Thanks Citizen's United, for promoting a culture of corruption both from foreign and domestic entities.
This is why Mitch and the other Republicans didn’t want Muller or anyone looking into stuff.
The Republican Party is Kompromat.
We still have laws against this behavior; let’s enforce them or get rid of them.
Noam Chomsky said the GOP was the greatest threat to mankind, and people lost their minds. But, with the military power the US has, the sustained effort to deny climate change, and now their hard ties to sociopath millionaires who are financially motivated in keeping the world under strife and division, well.. do the math.
'All terrorists, foreign and domestic'
Now describes the GOP, or maybe it always has and we're just realizing it now.
As always, the problem is the Republicans broke the agency that governs this. The FEC has equal Democratic and Republican members. Republicans have made sure to vote down every case in front of them because...well because Republicans habitually and casually violate campaign finance law.