Politics, Republican Freak Show

Jesse Benton Mitch McConnell Campaign Manager Resigns Bribery | Mediaite

The Kentucky Herald-Leader is reporting that Jesse Benton, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager has said he will resign over a bribery scandal that he fears could become too big of a distraction to the Kentucky Republican’s reelection bid.Benton acted as political director for former Rep. Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign and has since been accused of being personally involved in bribing former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson to move from Rep. Michele Bachmann’s campaign to his. Sorenson plead guilty to accepting at least $73,000 in concealed funds from the Paul campaign in 2012.

via Jesse Benton Mitch McConnell Campaign Manager Resigns Bribery | Mediaite.

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Politics, Republican Freak Show

At Koch Retreat, Top GOP Senate Candidates Credited Koch Network For Their Rise

WASHINGTON — Three top Republican Senate candidates heaped praise on the political network built by the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch during a secretive conference held by the brothers this past summer, according to audio of the event.Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst and Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton directly credited donors present at the June 16 retreat in Dana Point, California, for propelling them forward. Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner told attendees that his race would likely be decided by the presence of “third party” money — an obvious pitch for generosity from the well-heeled crowd.The presence of Gardner and Cotton was previously reported by The Nation magazine, though it is unclear if Cotton ever confirmed his appearance. Ernsts attendance had not previously been reported.For all three, the association with the Koch brothers network is likely to provide kindling for their opponents, who have already argued that the Republicans are steered by deep-pocketed conservatives.

via At Koch Retreat, Top GOP Senate Candidates Credited Koch Network For Their Rise.

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Politics, Republican Freak Show

Scott Walker still struggling in new poll | MSNBC

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is betting that his conservative credentials and his years as a purple-state governor can put him in the top tier of Republican presidential contenders. But could his struggles to win re-election in Wisconsin weaken him for 2016?A Marquette University poll released Wednesday showed Walker with just a 3.4% lead among registered voters over his Democratic challenger Mary Burke, a political neophyte. That’s well within the margin of error, and essentially unchanged from three months ago. Among likely voters, Walker actually trails by 2 points.Respondents were contacted last Thursday through Sunday — a bumpy few days for the governor. On Friday, newly released documents showed Walker’s campaign pushing donors to give money to a conservative group with close ties to his recall efforts. Two days later, news broke that Walker’s campaign received a $20,000 donation from the owners of a company a Walker-led board approved to receive millions of dollars in tax credits.

via Scott Walker still struggling in new poll | MSNBC.

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Politics, Republican Freak Show

AUDIO: McConnell Explains How Hed Force A Shutdown War With Obama

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell R-KY explained his plan to use a government shutdown as a bargaining chip against President Barack Obama to a room full of wealthy conservatives two months ago, according to audio obtained by The Nation magazine.”So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing whats called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. Were going to go after them on health care, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board. … All across the federal government, were going to go after it,” McConnell said at a private summit hosted by the Koch Brothers.

via AUDIO: McConnell Explains How Hed Force A Shutdown War With Obama.

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Politics, Republican Freak Show

McDonnell Living With Priest Who Pleaded Guilty To Sex Crime

Virginia ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell R revealed during testimony last week that he moved out of his family home and in with his parish priest the week before his federal corruption trial began.McDonnell explained on the stand that living separately from his wife Maureen would make it easier for him to prepare for trial each day and described their marriage as “on hold.” The priest he is staying with or the time being, Rev. Wayne Ball of St. Patricks Catholic Church in Richmond, Va., is a family friend who officiated his daughter Cailins wedding.Ball also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sex charge in late 2002.The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported at the time that Ball, then pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of frequenting a bawdy place. Other media reports defined that as a place used for “lewdness, assignation or prostitution.” Norfolk police had arrested Ball and another Richmond man the night before Thanksgiving when they were found together in a parked car in a local park.The charge was dismissed in 2003 after Ball fulfilled the terms of his plea agreement.

via McDonnell Living With Priest Who Pleaded Guilty To Sex Crime.

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Politics, Republican Freak Show

Minnesota Liberalism Trounces Wisconsin Conservatism

With the exception of major college sports in the upper-Midwest border-state battle, Minnesota is trouncing Wisconsin by every possible measure.In 2010, both states were suffering from the great Bush/Cheney recession. The similarly populated states – which historically have progressive traditions – chose distinctly different governors and legislative bodies to run their respective states.Trying to sober-up after eight years of Tim Wall Street Pawlenty as governor, Minnesota elected Mark Dayton, an old-fashioned liberal from the Hubert Humphrey mold. Wisconsin did the opposite. Wisconsin ousted a democrat and plucked Scott Walker from the new-republican Koch Brothers line-up.After four years, the results of the side-by-side political experiment is in. MN is kicking WI arse. The time held truths regarding the difference between red-states and blue-states has been validated and liberalism gets it done.According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Minnesotas unemployment rate is at 4.5 percent vs. 5.8 percent for Wisconsin. Moreover, Minnesota has created 147,100 jobs since Gov. Dayton took office in January of 2010. Walker the “job creator” who promised to deliver 250,000 jobs has added 115,100 jobs – 35,000 less than MN. Note: Wisconsin is larger than MN by about 400,000 people which should help them overall, but nope.While both states always rank high in K-12 education since 2009, research from the National Center for Education and Statistics shows significant improvements in 4th grade math and reading in the Yale graduates state while Wisconsin, under the college drop-outs leadership, has remained flat WI had a 20 year uptrend in math scores come to a halt. These are the first students to spend their entire education under the new administrationss policies.

via Minnesota Liberalism Trounces Wisconsin Conservatism.

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Politics, Republican Freak Show

Secret $700,000 Donation Has Scott Walker Scrambling to Address ‘Appearance of Corruption’ | The Nation

When Gogebic Taconite LLC began moving in November 2010—the same month Scott Walker was elected governor of Wisconsin—to develop an open-pit iron mine in one of the most environmentally sensitive regions of northern Wisconsin, the Florida-based mining firm got a lot of pushback. Residents of the region objected, along with Native American tribes. So, too, did citizens from across Wisconsin, a state that has long treasured the wild beauty of the Penokee Range. Environmental and conservation groups voiced their concerns, as did local and state officials from across the political spectrum.The outcry heightened as Gogebic Taconite and its allies promoted a radical rewrite of existing mining regulations in order to promote a project that could grow to be four miles long, more than a mile wide and 1,000 feet deep. Democratic and Republican legislators began to ask tough questions. Yet Governor Scott Walker remained “eager to advance a mining bill,” according to Wisconsin media that reported extensively on the governor’s determination to overrule objections to the grand schemes of an out-of-state corporation that newly released documents show secretly steered $700,000 to “independent” efforts to provide political cover for the embattled governor.

via Secret $700,000 Donation Has Scott Walker Scrambling to Address ‘Appearance of Corruption’ | The Nation.

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