Today’s big news is an eye-popping $1.6 billion donation to a right-wing nonprofit organized in May 2020. This is the largest known single donation made to a political influence organization. The money came from Barre Seid, a 90-year-old electronics company executive, and the new organization, Marble Freedom Trust, is controlled by Leonard A. Leo, the co-chair of the Federalist Society, who has been behind the right-wing takeover of the Supreme Court. Leo has also been prominent in challenges to abortion rights, voting rights, climate change action, and so on. He announced in early 2020 that he was stepping back from the Federalist Society to remake politics at every level, but information about the massive grant and the new organization was broken today by Kenneth P. Vogel and Shane Goldmacher of the
Just FYI Leo also has time for local small time corruption.
This evening I participated in a protest in NorthEast Harbor outside the estate of Leonard Leo. I painted graffiti in chalk paint on the public road. It read "google Leonard Leo = Corrupt Courts and a drawing imagined how Leo turns dark money into corrupt courts. Pretty tame stuff.
I just (9pm) got off the phone with the NEH Police. Who gave me the option of going out to NEH now and removing the chalk painting or being served to appear before the court on charges of Criminal Mischief Title 17A sub. 806 of the Maine Criminal Code He informed me that he had already consulted with the ADA and they are ready to serve me. I said that was interesting. And it might be interesting to have Leo put me in jail for chalk paint graffiti.
Well we got Leo's attention. And he moves fast. As you may know, Leo has already had a local 21 year old arrested on charges of Disorderly Conduct for shouting an obscenity out of a moving car. But I am surprised that between 6pm and 9:00pm he already had the police and the DA on this. I told the sergeant that saddling a 21 year old with an arrest record at the start of his adult life is very different from threatening a 73 year old with less at stake.
Part of the background. Before protesting and 'tagging' I consulted with the Bar Harbor Police (who are a joint force with NEH) to find out the rules. I was told that using chalk paint on public property is allowed. They got a complaint one day, found me in the act. And agreed I was in compliance with the law. So there we are.
And an interesting point. The officer said he had hosed the road and it did not remove the chalk paint. He said he did that because it is part of the police's job to protect public property. I explained the composition of the chalk paint, and while it is not permanent, it may be water resistant for a while. Although other graffiti with it has washed away with rain and worn away with foot traffic. In my opinion, my chalk paint graffiti did not damage the tarmac materially or hinder normal use of the road. But Sgt. Sundberg told me my opinion does not matter. So there we are.
To be cont'd ; )
It saddens me that Dr. Fauci has to see comments like Scalise made. Decisions were made as we all learned more about COVID-19. We’re still learning about this “novel” virus. Mr. Trump said it would “just disappear”, remember? I will be forever grateful for all Dr. Fauci has done.
Say hello to plutocracy and oligarchy, folks. There it is in all its glory. And now we know why the GOP has been so incensed about $80 billion going to the IRS. Yet another blow to democracy. All the more reason to vote the bastards out.
Thank you, Heather, for leading with the story I thought was one of the most frightening things I've heard in a long time. Chris Hayes of MSNBC talked about Leonard Leo, head of the Federalist Society, as the person who most threatens democracy perhaps excepting DT. This $1.6B campaign fund for his ultra conservative beliefs could be catastrophic. It is now time to assure the Senate is as blue as possible so the Voting Rights Act can be restored along with campaign finance reform overturning Citizens United. Citizens United has made corruption of our politicians legal. WolfPAC is a nonpartisan organization that is working on getting money out of politics through an amendment to the Constitution through a Convention of States which works for each state to pass the same resolution in order to call a limited Convention of States to address this one issue. It is time to fulfill John Lewis's Dream of equal voting rights and equal rights. We, the People, all of us with equal rights this time.
Leonard Leo, one of the key architects in trying to impose a Christofascist government on us. He basically gave us the SCOTUS we are stuck with.
We are going to find out how much Fascism costs to buy.
They are going to find out there’s no amount of money that will keep it in place for long in America.
Kevin Priola must be on some damned strong hallucinogens. Maybe he'll climb a 14er and fall off. In re the latest 1.6B cash infusion into the R machine - I can't even begin to address - my head will explode.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting not one but two nut cases living in Mérida who are doing the chlorine dioxide cure for what ails ya. I excused myself from the conversation because I just knew that they were going to extol the virtues of TFG any minute. There are "unreachables" everywhere. Best wishes to Dr Fauci...he will be missed.
Thanks for this! There is a meme suggesting that if they want to find more documents, they should dig up Ivana. A grim and gruesome thought, but when it comes to Trump, nothing seems off limits. As for the political spending, it is grotesque in its own right. It is time to reinstate some limits so that that the playing field can be levelled, or at least shaved down a bit to allow some justice and even-handedness to re-enter the political arena.
Read Tim Miller's Why We Did It: The Republican Road to Hell. As a former Republican operative he reveals just how bad things have gotten. Truth doesn't matter. He worked closely with Steve Bannon of Breitbart and got sucked into the idea that "they will really think I am smart if I say this--not that." Democratic values do not matter at all. It is all about promoting whatever lies will result in an anti-immigration, white supremacy, grievance-filled mindset that was bolstered perfectly in the person of Donald Trump.
Thank you, Heather. You nailed and concisely explained the important breaking news stories of the day. It is so comforting to see the walls closing in on Trump at last.
Thanks for this excellent summary. Citizens United has to be the worst blow to democracy! We will never recover from its damage.
This type of ‘donation’ destabilizes the entire world. We must rescind Crooks United, oops meant Citizens United, and god help us we need to retain and increase the control of the House and Senate by the Democrats!
Absolute corruption: end Citizens United!
Wow. Just wow. Incredible that these things come to light day after day. Thank you Heather for keeping us informed and helping me understand what's going on.
thanks, Heather. I emailed you last May 1st about the nonprofit I founded called Capitalists for Shared Income, or C4SI. C4SI was founded to consolidate wealth from successful capitalists, create an endowment (like Alaska Permanent Fund, or Norway Oil Fund) and use the earnings/income to pay out cash supplements to those living in poverty via pre-funded debit cards. The endowment would be a legacy to the capitalist system, and show that Capitalism can self-regulate its inequities. We distribute these cards to other charities working with people living in poverty. Today's news is just more proof that too much money exists in too few hands. We are hopeful that some of that money exists in hands that want to give back, and help people -- that is why C4SI was founded.
You can learn more about C4SI @ https://www.capitalists4si.org/
As always, a plethora of fascinating information ranging from dark money to Dr. Fauci’s retirement! Thank you, Heather!