The NewDEAL: Dark Money, Democrat Style


Nick Ares/Flickr

Over at Vice, Lee Fang, an investigative fellow with The Nation Institute, looks at some of the "dark money" flowing around Democratic political circles. Turns out some secret sources of Democrat campaign funding are the very mega-companies many progressives rail against, especially when they're donating to Republican causes. 

From Fang: 

"While much of the talk about a progressive revival revolves around populist figures like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Elizabeth Warren, there are other, better funded efforts afoot. Corporate titans from finance to natural gas to big retail and telecom are attempting to steer the party, and as the midterms shape up, these interests are pushing to ensure they continue to have wide sway over America's only viable outlet for center-left expression at the polls. Which brings us to the latest venture in corporate-centered party-building and the group hosting a chat in (the America's Natural Gas Alliance's) headquarters: The NewDEAL."

The NewDEAL was created by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) to support pro-business progressives (DEAL stands for "Developing Exceptional American Leaders"). Led by Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, the NewDEAL is a 501(c)(4) issue advocacy non-profit, allowing for campaign activity without disclosure of donors. But Vice claims to have uncovered a NewDEAL donor list:

"VICE has obtained a 'supporter list' showing donors of the NewDEAL, which reads like a who's who of corporations seeking government access: Comcast, Fluor, Merck, Microsoft, New York Life, Pfizer, Qualcomm, Verizon, Wal-Mart, the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, among others, including, of course, the host of Tuesday's event, ANGA.

[…] the same corporate forces that Democrats are leaning on are propping up the far right tilt of the Republicans as well. On the local level, meaning state legislative races, there are two competing committees, the RSLC for the GOP and DLCC for Dems. A VICE review of recent campaign filings show that the two committees share many of the same top 25 donors: Wal-Mart, Pfizer, tobacco giant Reynolds America, PhRMA (a drug industry trade group), AT&T, and Comcast cut the biggest checks for both the RSLC and the DLCC."

Obviously, corporate-funded Democrat activists are nothing new. And I guess you could say this highlights the influence of corporations on the political process, but that's a point already pretty well illuminated. So, mostly, I just find this news delightful because the recent push from Democrats to paint the Republicans as somehow uniquely influenced by secret corporate money is so sickeningly disingenuous.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. Why anyone besides the naive socialists peopling the far left of the Democratic party would be surprised that corporations pay protection money to both arms of the American political racket is beyond me.

    1. The fact however is that anyone seeking favors and with money to pay for it will go to democrats for the favors, since they are both easier to buy favors from and better at getting those favors passed into law while pretending to do so to help the small guy. It’s one heck of a racket that the left has going, and the right just wishes it could do half as well at it.

  2. So, mostly, I just find this news delightful because the recent push from Democrats to paint the Republicans as somehow uniquely influenced by secret corporate money is so sickeningly disingenuous.

    It’s nice to have even more proof that TEAM RED and TEAM BLUE are just TEAM BE RULED, but the thing is this won’t matter in the slightest to the TEAM BLUE rank and file sheep. They’ll hand-waive it off or make excuses like “the Republicans do it, so we have to just to keep up!”

    I used to think that there was stuff, if exposed, that would turn people on their TEAMs because it would be proof that the party rulers were just lying to get support. I no longer think that. I don’t think there’s anything that could come out that would cause the more stringent partisans to even blink. They’re so utterly invested in partisanship and their TEAM that there’s no going back. Intellectual honesty and principle are as alien to them at this point as a Horta.

    1. “Yeah, of course our party takes donations from corporate sponsers. Unlike our rivals, we’re not influenced by it. And if we didn’t take their money, it would go to fill Republican warchests. We’re keeping money out of politics by accepting those donations.”

      1. Exactly.

  3. Democrats will just be praised as taking the evil corporations money and ultimately using it against them, or for the people, or something along those lines.

    1. Clinton did that in the 90s.

  4. I for one am glad for the NewDEAL group if it can steer the Democrats back to sanity-even sleazy sanity-and away from People’s Leaders like Obama and Warren.

    1. You’re an idiot. Obama has always been popular with mainstream business groups from Silicon Valley to Wall Street. Look at the campaign donations.

      Only RWNJs try to paint him as “anti-business”.

      Of course, Emo-Progs who hate Obama from the left are idiots too. THE TRANS PACIFIC FREE TRADE DEAL IS NEOLIBERAL TREASON! FUCK YOU OBAMA!

      Obama is getting it from both sides. It is amazing that Gallup has his approval at 47%

      1. Tell us how stalling Keystone XL and public land fracking is pro-business. Tell us why ‘getting money from’ = ‘popular with’ considering the protection money the mafia gets.

        It is amazing that Gallup has his approval at 47%

        That number is almost as prolific as the 8%.

        1. We will become energy independent in the US within a few years.

          We don’t want your shitty tar sludge. We don’t need it.

          You keep it.

          1. We don’t want your shitty tar sludge. We don’t need it.

            There’s that classical liberal collectivist retard we all know.

            Also John Arnold, the King of Natural Gas, is a big Obama donor and supporter.

            Proving…not much.

          2. Further proof you’re an idiot. We absolutely need Canadian oil.

            1. We absolutely won’t bet getting any of it as it’s getting old to China and India. NTTAWWT in itself but it won’t change US supply.

              Also, how much useful product can be refined from tar sands? I’ve looked around but I can’t find a really clear breakdown.

        2. Also John Arnold, the King of Natural Gas, is a big Obama donor and supporter.

          1. Of course he is. That’s how you get pipelines built… or not built.

          2. My hospital CEO is a huge Obamacare supporter. He’s coming to the slow realization that his organization is fucked.

      2. Obama is anti-business. He is pro-crony.

        1. ^^^THIS^^^

    2. Indeed. Obama and Warren make ’90s-style centrist “New Democrats” look like Reaganites.

  5. We’re going to have to rewrite the 1st amendment, per Reid:

    “Amending our Constitution is not something any of us should take lightly, but the flood of special interest money in our American democracy is one of the glaring threats our system of government has ever faced,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “Let’s keep our elections from becoming speculative ventures for the wealthy.”

    1. “Let’s keep our elections from becoming speculative ventures for the wealthy.”

      There’s really nothing speculative about it, Reid, as I’m certain you know well.

    2. That BLM thing must be more dangerous to Reid than I thought considering how FULL RETARD he’s going to divert attention to something else.

      1. It does make you wonder.

    3. Let’s keep our elections from becoming speculative ventures for the wealthy.

      Very important for Reid that the wealthy’s only outlet to speak to power is by giving his son a high paying job.

  6. As a reliable donor to Reason who wishes the ideas that are espoused here to reach a larger audience I have to ask:

    What is Reason doing to get its hands on some of that corporate dark money?

    1. They run those vaping-friendly stories.

    2. Nick screwed up and thought he was supposed to get corporate dork money, which is why he hired Matt. Oops!

  7. It’s so idiotic for the lefty rank and file to believe that the Democratic party does not receive as much and sometimes more “corporate” and “rich people” money than the Republicans. By the standards they espouse, they should absolutely loathe both parties.

    1. That is exactly why “the left” hates Obama. Go to any lefty blog and you will hear complaints about how OBAMA IS BEHOLDEN TO WALL STREET and other such bullshit.

      1. Oh, *now* they are – where was this due diligence in 2008?

        Its not like the man suddenly changed course, the only difference is the amount of money he can command now.

        1. Specifically 2008?

          The country was crashing and burning that year.

          Obama could have said anything vague and won just by not being a Republican.

          1. Not true. Republicans first voted against the bail out in the house. Which was pretty damn popular among voters.

            McCain in contrast made a fool of himself tripping over himself to get back to DC off his campaign in order to vote yes for the bail out.

            1. Oh God I remember that. You’re talking about McCain, the Maverick, right? The one that Democrats on NPR love, right?

          2. It was the same in 2012.

      2. I am calling bullshit Shrike.

        Link one lefty blog with complaints like that.


          Read at your own risk. These people are idiots.

        2. It is a con. Mr. Obama has come to bury Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, not to save them. This was clear from the outset of his administration when he appointed his Deficit Reduction Commission, headed by avowed enemies of Social Security Republican Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming, and President Clinton’s Rubinomics chief of staff Erskine Bowles. Mr. Obama’s more recent choice of Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats be delegated by Congress to rewrite the tax code on a bipartisan manner ? so that it cannot be challenged ? is a ploy to pass a tax “reform” that democratically elected representatives never could be expected to do.

          Did you know this?

          Can you believe some lefty idiot wrote this?

          1. I listen to Amy Goodman, believe me, I’ve heard the complaints about Obama. The problem is, Democrats don’t listen to those guys, because they vote Ralph Nader, Green Party and WSW. We’re talking about Democrats.

      3. hilarious

  8. Dark Money. Sounds kind of dog-whistley.

    1. Darkie money?

  9. “Sickeningly disingenuous” is pretty much the motto of the left these days. Currently on Derpbook, I am in conversation with a textbook example of this. He’s claiming that the Bushes are all Nazis because grandfather Prescott Bush did some business with Nazis beginning in circa 1930. When I pointed out that that sort of guilt by association worked even better with Obama, whose father and teenage mentor were both Communists, he doubled down and twisted himself into logical knots. On the one hand, P. Bush should have known what the Nazis were capable of in the future. The signs were there! On the other hand, Barack Sr. and Frank Marshall Davis merely believed that Communism didn’t necessarily involve mass murder, despite all the past evidence to the contrary.

    The cognitive dissonance is overwhelming.

    1. Goddamn. Seek professional medical help for your friend; he’s gonna need it after all that whiplashing.

    2. I have a solution. Every time you think about going to the Facebooks, go outside and/or do 10 pushups.

      1. No squatting?

        1. And/or squat, and/or lift a stone.

      2. 10 pushups? Make that 50.. How does anyone man up doing just 10 push ups.. And make sure you do them in under a minute.

  10. This column criticizes Dem money hypocrisy and is therefore Shriekbait. Can Reason please just ban this spastic retard already?

  11. Can gods be hypocrites?

  12. But KOCH brothers!

    1. Dirty Koch brothers always donating piles of money to scientific research, public broadcasting and a bunch of other dark causes! Why can’t they just bow and worship the Lead Donkey like everyone else??!!??

      1. I wish they would stop donating to public broadcasting. It is embarrassing.

    2. By the way, whatever happened to Haliburton? Did they relinquish their market share and government contracts when Jesus was elected in 2008?

      Remember how ‘Haliburton’ was the Tourette’s response to everything pre-2008?

      1. They went “dark” after they were implicated in the gulf oil spill.

      2. Just looked at their stock price…it is at an all time high….

        Thanks Obama!

  13. I had hoped for some good derp in the comments. We’ll have to make do with this.

    Joseph Hyde ? Top Commenter
    The democrats are as corrupt as repubs, the only difference is they have the common courtesy to bribe folks with welfare/social programs while they pick favorites through their legislation.
    Reply ? ? 2 ? 4 hours ago

    Snert Lee ? Top Commenter
    ALLLLL US political parties are awash in dark money. According to the Supreme Court, it’s the American Way. If you’re super rich, why lessen your chances of success by buying only one brand of politician?
    Reply ? ? 3 hours ago

    1. Well, if one were to greatly limit the power of the government and political offi–nah, what’s the point? They clearly crave political corruption.

      1. Yeah, now you’re just repeating yourself, old man. What say we head down to the senior center and get some tapioca?

        *shakes cane*

    2. I love the second one. Somehow, it’s rich people’s fault politicians can be bought, not the system, the politicians, or the fact they have too much power. These mongoloids’ hate for the rich is more important to them than anything else in the entire world. It’s amazing.

      1. Why not simply clear the shelf of goodies for the rich to buy? Take away the incentives to buy government goodies, then they’ll focus on yachts, sports teams, women, and rockets.

    3. Eh, neither of those comments is particularly retarded. The first one is right on the money (unlike the commenter, I don’t consider it a “courtesy”), and the second is more or less true (though marred by an idiotic allusion to Citizens United).

      1. That’s why it’s so disappointing. I want derp, goddammit.

  14. I have to admit, I don’t give a crap about this either way. So Democrats receive corporate money — so what? Anyone who can’t figure this out with a little bit of thought is far too stupid to persuade intelligibly, and quite frankly there is nothing unethical with a corporation donating funds to a political campaign, provided his shareholders feel it is a judicious use of funds. What is wrong is what Democrats (and for that matter, Republicans) do when in office, not the perfidy of (OMG!) some Dem or other getting money from an EEEEVUL corporation. Yeah, yeah, the Dems are hypocrites — this is a rather tedious and uninteresting charge in all honesty. Far more important than who is funding them are the questions of what they plan to do once in office.

    1. “Anyone who can’t figure this out with a little bit of thought is far too stupid to persuade intelligibly”

      Quit being a fucking contrarian klutz. The Democrats are the Jesus/Buddha/Jihadists of supposedly hating corporate donors and they spend inordinate time spraying their sickly and woefully inadequate mouth jizz all over the fucking earth stating they HATE corporate involvement so the point is worth noting. Christ, do you not engage the Democratic slop minds on this on the various progressive filth hives? They are bursting with insane-asylum-grade dissonance on this issue.

      1. Christ, do you not engage the Democratic slop minds on this on the various progressive filth hives?

        I stopped trying to engage long ago when I detect that type of stupidity. There are some rational leftists out there, but engaging progressives who really do believe that Dems are pure as the driven snow is absolute futility. Ridicule sort of works, but not straight-faced honesty, since the goal of such twits is not to pursue honesty.

        It’s like reasoning with Marcotte: pointless to the extreme and about as fun as pulling teeth. Far better to just point and laugh.

        1. They are not rational, and therefore cannot be engaged rationally. It’s pointless to even try. They only care about one thing: are you on their TEAM, or not?

          1. I thought they only cared about cake. Now you’ve got me confused.

            1. Hi. This is Wilford Brimley. Welcome to Retardation: A Celebration. Now, hopefully with this book, I’m gonna dispel a few myths, a few rumors. First off, the retarded don’t rule the night. They don’t rule it. Nobody does. And they don’t run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

  15. Happy Friday, bitches. I’ll soon be poolside, cordless.

    1. Enjoy, Paul. Let me know if you want some weed.

      1. My [racist term of art redacted]. You know you on speed dial.

        1. My [racist term of art redacted].

          I hereby nominate “cunt” as the word white people among themselves like the n-word is used among blacks.

          Scots use it like that, we should as well.

    2. I though you were employed until July.

      It’s in the 90s here, I have already hosed my kids down twice.

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