Conviction of Trump in ‘Hush Money’ Case by New York Jury Marks Ominous Turning Point for the Rule of Law in America

Donald Trump

A New York jury unanimously convicted Donald Trump on all 34 counts in the criminal case against him on Thursday for falsifying business records to disguise a $130,000 hush money payment from Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels.

New York Judge Juan Merchan set a sentencing date for July 11.

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Rep. Andy Ogles Says $320k Personal Pledge ‘Mistakenly Included’ in FEC Filings Which Overstated June 2022 Cash-On-Hand by $292k

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN-05)

U.S. Representative Andy Ogles (R-TN-05) submitted a total of 11 amended campaign filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Wednesday. The new details provided by Ogles reveal his campaign originally misstated its cash-on-hand in June 2022 by more than $290,000.

Ogles’ 11 amended reports are for reporting periods between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2024. The first amended filing, which includes the $290,000 discrepancy, covers the period when Ogles previously reported a $320,000 personal loan to his campaign.

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While Condemning ‘Dark Money,’ Democrats Funnel Huge Amounts of Anonymous Cash into 2024 Election, Outpacing Republicans

A new review of financial documents shows Democrats are pouring more money than ever into 2024 political campaigns, especially in close races.

Since 2018, that amount has steadily increased in comparison to Republican spending. By 2020, the parts of the country that supported Joe Biden for president constituted 71 percent of the country’s GDP.

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Kari Lake Campaign Declares Sen. Sinema Has ‘No Path to Victory’ as Schumer-Sinema Border Bill Unveiled

The U.S. Senate campaign for Kari Lake told The Arizona Sun Times that Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) “has no path to victory” just before the former Democrat unveiled her Senate bill to address the border crisis with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Sinema, who has still not declared whether she will seek reelection this November, unveiled a $118 billion border bill alongside Senators Schumer, James Lankford (R-OK), and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

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Disgraced Former Minnesota DFL Legislator Sued by Campaign Finance Board

The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board (CFB) filed a lawsuit in September against former Rep. John Thompson, a Democrat, claiming he is liable to pay $4,250 to the CFB for a series of campaign finance violations. As such, the lawsuit seeks $4,250 in damages.

According to the CFB, former Rep. Thompson committed multiple violations of campaign finance law. Among the violations listed by the CFB, Thompson failed to file various campaign finance reports that are required by law. Additionally, CFB claims that Thompson accepted political donations that exceeded statutory limits. The Center of the American Experiment first reported on the lawsuit Saturday, noting that Thompson also has several unpaid fines in other court cases.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Daniel Kelly Makes Statewide ‘Save the Court’ Tour in Closing Days of Campaign

As he lags in campaign donations and — sources say — in internal polls, conservative Supreme Court candidate Daniel Kelly is making a final campaign blitz before Tuesday’s crucial election.

Kelly’s  four-day “Save the Court” statewide tour begins Friday in Watertown and wraps up Monday in Waukesha. In between, he’ll be making some two-dozen stops across the Badger State. 

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Ohio Elections Commission To Look Into Evidence Against Blystone Instead of Settling

The Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) announced last week it will hold a hearing on Thursday, January 5, 2023 to review evidence against former gubernatorial candidate Joe Blystone concerning alleged campaign-finance violations. 

Charges against the Republican former hopeful include failure to report contributions from small-dollar backers and breach of rules regarding corporate donations. The onetime candidate was engaged in negotiations with Commission Executive Director Philip Richter, but some GOP members of the commission, including D. Michael Crites and Christina Hagan, reportedly insisted on continuing the probe to achieve full accountability. 

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FEC Pre-Primary Report Shows Three-Way Money Race in TN-5

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) pre-primary reports were due on July 23 and three candidates, which include retired National Guard General Kurt Winstead, former speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Beth Harwell, and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, continue to show a massive financial lead over the rest of the nine candidate field in the August 4 Republican primary for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat.

Eight of the nine candidates filed the required report by July 23, which covered the reporting period dates of July 1 through July 15.

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Andy Ogles Files Financial Reports with FEC Showing $283k Cash-on-Hand; May Press Release Was Misleading

Tennessee 5th Congressional District candidate Andy Ogles filed his first campaign finance report for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) April 1 through June 30 reporting period on Saturday, eight days after the July 15  deadline. Ogles is one of nine candidates listed on the August 4 primary ballot who are seeking the Republican nomination in Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional district.

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TN-5 Candidates Winstead and Harwell Show Significant Cash on Hand in 2nd Quarter FEC Reports, Ogles and Two Others Miss Filing Deadline

The July 15 deadline for federal candidates to file their Federal Election Commission (FEC) second-quarter campaign finance reports has passed, and six of the nine candidates for the Republican nomination for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat have reports that are available for public viewing.

The FEC second-quarter reporting period covers April 1 through June 30.

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Boyle Proposes Public Financing of Pennsylvania Legislative Campaigns

Pennsylvania State Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Philadelphia) this week announced to colleagues his proposal for public funding of some state-legislative campaigns.

The measure would require a candidate to have raised at least $10,000 from “small-dollar donors,” meaning those who have contributed between $1 and $200. State Rep. Boyle would allocate payments to hopefuls amounting to six times the total small-dollar contributions they’ve amassed.

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Republicans Outraise Democrats by 75 Percent in Wisconsin Assembly Races

Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns.

While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum.

This article lists top fundraisers in the Wisconsin State Assembly, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for the Assembly submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. It includes activity between January 1, 2021, and January 31, 2022.

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Republicans Outraise Democrats by 130 Percent in Ohio House Races

Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns.

While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum.

This article lists top fundraisers in the Ohio House of Representatives, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for the House submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. It includes activity between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021.

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Michigan Senator Jim Runestad Questions Whitmer’s Donation to Democrat Causes with Excess Campaign Funds

Michigan Senator Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) questioned Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s gift to the Michigan Democratic Party.

The money was funded by excessive campaign donations from individuals collected by Whitmer through a campaign finance loophole, which allowed the governor to cite the threat of a recall to raise unlimited funds.

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Michigan Secretary of State Rules Whitmer Did Not Violate Law with Excessive Campaign Contributions

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Tuesday resolved a campaign finance complaint against Governor Gretchen Whitmer, ruling the governor did not violate campaign finance laws.

The original complaint, filed by the Michigan Freedom Fund, alleged that Whitmer used threat of a recall to collect campaign donations beyond the established individual limits. However, no recall attempt materialized into a credible challenge, making the donations illegal.

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Pennsylvania Senate Committee Passes Measure Aimed at Improving Transparency in the State’s Campaign Finance Laws

A measure to guarantee that all political campaigns report their fundraising and expenditures online passed the Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee on Tuesday, along with several other election reforms.

All Pennsylvania candidates who raise or spend more than nominal amounts of money for their campaigns must establish fundraising committees, and those that have done so must file campaign-finance reports periodically. At least 32 states presently demand that all candidates who fundraise must report their finances online. In Pennsylvania, candidates for state office must submit online filings but most local campaigners can legally avoid it.

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Michigan Nonprofit Alleges Gov. Whitmer’s Campaign Has Illegally Exploited Donation-Limit Loophole

A complaint filed by the nonprofit Michigan Freedom Fund (MFF) last week alleges that that state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has taken illegal advantage of a campaign-finance loophole to raise unlawful amounts of cash. 

Individuals may contribute up to $7,150 according to state law, though a 1984 administrative ruling by then Michigan Secretary of State Richard Austin (D) sought to negate that limit for candidates facing recalls. Whitmer has relied on that ruling in surpassing the contribution limit. 

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Scandal-Plagued Michigan Lawmaker Spent Campaign Funds at Strip Club

State Rep. Jewell Jones

Just after escaping headlines for a drunk driving arrest wherein he attempted to use Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s name to threaten police, state Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) is back in the news.

“A Michigan lawmaker reported spending $221 of his campaign money at a strip club in Dearborn for a March 8 ‘constituent meeting’ to discuss ‘potential economic projects,’ according to a disclosure filed Sunday,” The Detroit News reported.

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Ohio Representative Wants to End Political Dark Money

An Ohio lawmaker wants to shed more light on political contributions with proposed legislation that would force organizations to disclose funding sources for monies used for certain political purposes.
State Rep. Diane Grendell, R-Chesterland, announced her plan to introduce what she’s calling the “Light of Day” bill, which she said would shine light on campaign funding and eliminate dark money.

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Questions Arise About Rick Staples’ Campaign Spending

The media is raising questions about Tennessee State Rep. Rick Staples, D-Knoxville, and how he has spent his campaign finances.

This, according to a report The Tennessee Journal published Monday.

Staples did not respond to The Tennessee Star’s repeated requests for comment Monday, by email, at his office, and on his Facebook page.

According to The Tennessee Journal, “Staples spent $1,200 at a local restaurant just before his wedding last year, and on a rental car, hotel stays, and air travel coinciding with his honeymoon.”

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Amash Challenger Jim Lower Raises Over $200K for Congressional Race in 40 Days

  Michigan State Rep. Jim Lower (R-Greenville) announced Wednesday that he is filing a Federal Elections Commission report that shows he raised $200,506 from 3,161 contributors in just 40 days for his U.S. House race. Two highlights are that Ron Weiser, a former Michigan Republican Party Chair, former Republican National Committee Finance Chair and former United States Ambassador to Slovakia, and his wife Eileen, a former member of the State of Michigan Board of Education, both contributed $2,800 each, Lower said in a statement. That is the maximum contribution for the Primary Election. Lower tweeted: “Thanks to 3,161 individual contributors, our campaign raised just over $200,000 in the first 40 days! Hardworking grassroots voters support our Pro-@realDonaldTrump, Pro-Life, Pro-Jobs, Pro-2A, Pro-Family Values campaign!” Thanks to 3,161 individual contributors, our campaign raised just over $200,000 in the first 40 days! Hardworking grassroots voters support our Pro-@realDonaldTrump, Pro-Life, Pro-Jobs, Pro-2A, Pro-Family Values campaign! @GOPChairwoman @MIGOPChair @IngrahamAngle @FoxNews — Jim Lower (@RepJimLower) July 9, 2019 In terms of organizations, the United States Chamber of Commerce contributed $5,000 even before its formal endorsement process that will occur later in the campaign. The average contribution was $63.43. “Our campaign had an aggressive goal of raising $200,000…

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Ilhan Omar Filed Joint Tax Returns with Man She Wasn’t Married to, Media Ignores Bombshell

  An investigation by Minnesota’s Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board into Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) found she violated campaign finance laws dating back to when she served a single term in the State House of Representatives from 2016-2018. But conservative Twitter quickly uncovered a more shocking detail in the report: she filed joint tax returns with a man she wasn’t married to. The report states that Omar filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 with Ahmed Hirsi, even though she was married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi from 2009-2017. “One payment of $750 was made to De Leon & Nestor, LLC for obtaining immigration records and one payment of $1,500 was made to Frederick $ Rosen, Ltd. for services related to Mr. Hirsi’s and Rep. Omar’s filed joint tax returns of 2014 and 2015,” Thursday’s report states. The Star Tribune, Minnesota’s most popular media outlet, picked up the story, but made no mention of the fact that Omar filed joint tax returns with Hirsi. “Media has hid the truth about Ilhan Omar for three years. It’s about to ruin them all,” said PJ Media‘s David Steinberg, who explained the bombshell in a Twitter thread Thursday. BREAKING — Important Ilhan…

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Former North Carolina Statehouse Democrat Indicted in Campaign Finance Investigation

On Monday, March 18th, former Democratic state house Representative Rodney Moore was indicted by a Mecklenburg County Grand Jury on nine felony charges involving false campaign finance disclosure reports. Moore had turned himself in to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department sometime on Wednesday. According to a press release from the State Board of Elections, “Moore knowingly certified under oath that false campaign finance reports were true, a violation of N.C.G.S. § 163A-1449. Each count is a Class I felony.” Also charged is Tammy Neal, Moore’s campaign treasurer. Neal is charged with one felony count of common law obstruction of justice. “We are grateful to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office for its work on this case, as we are to all prosecutors who take election matters seriously,” State Board executive director Kim Westbrook Strach said in a statement. Strach said that audits like these help “detect those who try to use their campaign accounts as personal piggy banks.” “We hope these prosecutions highlight the importance of accurate campaign finance disclosure. Voters have a right to know how candidates are raising and spending campaign cash,” said Strach. The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement voted unanimously in October of 2018 to…

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House Democrats Derail Rep. Green’s Attempt to Protect Free Speech By Voting Down His Amendment to Bill That Would Give Feds Control of Elections

House Democrats on Thursday voted down an amendment by U.S. Rep. Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-07) to protect free speech in House Resolution 1, which seeks to change campaign finance, election and lobbying laws. Tracking information on H.R.1 is here. “Free speech should be protected,” Green said in a hearing at the Committee on Oversight and Reform. “House Resolution One is a misguided bill with many problems. One problem in particular has united everyone from the Heritage Foundation to the ACLU. It’s the bill’s assault on free speech.” Video of Green’s speech is available here from C-SPAN. Green pointed out a statement by the ACLU that the bill will “chill speech essential to our public discourse.” “When the ACLU admonishes a Democrat bill … everyone should take notice,” he said. Green said his amendment reaffirms the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” The congressman tweeted, “I offered an amendment on the House Floor today to H.R. 1 expressing the sense of Congress that free speech should be protected. Why are Democrats opposing an amendment simply reaffirming free speech?″ I offered an amendment on the House Floor today to H.R. 1 expressing the sense of…

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Harold Love Jr. Reportedly Used Campaign Money Illegally

Tennessee State Rep. Harold Love Jr., D-Nashville, used campaign money for illegal purposes, according to an audit the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance recently released. Love failed to report thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. He also spent more than $13,000 on food and beverage expenses, and otherwise did a shoddy job maintaining his financial records, auditors said. It is illegal to use campaign funds for personal purposes. “Rep. Love incurred and reported numerous food and beverage expenses during the two-year audit period (approximately 300 transactions totaling over $13,400),” auditors wrote. “The disbursements range from $2.50 to $1,223.94, with 8 of the transactions over $100 and 109 of the transactions being $20 or less. The volume of transactions and small dollar amounts of individual transactions appear to indicate individual meal purchases or snack type purchases instead of catering or food purchases for campaign events.” Based on the frequency and location of the transactions the expenditures were apparently not campaign related. Those expenditures occurred on 191 days throughout the election and non-election year, auditors said. Also in violation of Tennessee law, Love did not report $5,580 in campaign contributions during his 2016 election campaign, according to the audit. Auditors also said Love…

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Tennessee Registry of Election Finance Gives Speaker Beth Harwell a Pass on Alleged Ethics Violations

Facing three ethics violations before the Registry of Election Finance House Speaker Beth Harwell walked out with a 3-0 decision to not proceed against her in any way. Perhaps the most significant of the three violations was the complaint that she used her PAC to promote her record as House Speaker…using the exact same ad team that is promoting her campaign for Governor. “Clearly, the Tennessee Registry doesn’t believe that such overlap of creative, production and placement of ads constitutes ‘coordination.’ That certainly opens the door for every other PAC and campaign to operate under the same ‘rules’ that they now have established with this ruling,” said Sharon Ford, President of the Tennessee Republican Assembly who filed the ethics complaints. One member of the Registry raised a specific concern about the precedent that the decision would establish but was ignored. Registry Chairman Tom Lawless singled out the State Attorney General for criticism for failing to give the Registry direction on how to proceed from a legal standpoint.  “This body requested an attorney general’s opinion to assist us in evaluating the complaints,” Lawless said. “The opinion was respectfully declined by the AG’s office because it appears the questions posed in the…

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