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Are union moguls, puppeteers, power-players and profiteers assaulting the Constitution and US election laws?
"Dark money groups," according to Open Secrets, a nonprofit that tracks political campaign financing and lobbying, "spends millions to shape our elections without revealing where their money comes from."
About lobbying, they wrote, "Companies, labor unions, trade associations and other influential organizations spend billions of dollars each year to lobby Congress and federal agencies. Some special interests retain lobbying firms, many of them located along Washington's legendary K Street; others have lobbyists working in-house."
The freedom to give unlimited amounts to elections began with the Supreme Court in 2010, with the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The justices decided that, according to the First Amendment, political spending is an extension of free speech, and that corporations and unions could therefore give unlimited amounts to political campaigns.
Regrettably, nine years later, the Brennan Center for Justice wrote:
"The justices who voted with the majority assumed that independent spending cannot be corrupt and that the spending would be transparent, but both assumptions have proven to be incorrect.
"A Brennan Center report by Daniel I. Weiner pointed out that a very small group of Americans now wield 'more power than at any time since Watergate, while many of the rest seem to be disengaging from politics.... the decision has helped reinforce the growing sense that our democracy primarily serves the interests of the wealthy few, and that democratic participation for the vast majority of citizens is of relatively little value.'
"An election system that is skewed heavily toward wealthy donors also sustains racial bias and reinforces the racial wealth gap. Citizens United also unleashed political spending from special interest groups."
Questions pile up. Are there currently reported "money-laundering" operations that do not disclose who the donors are -- and that then fund not-for-profit organizations to operate different aspects of election campaigns? Could these include, for instance, television and newspaper ads posing as straight news or launching attacks on judicial candidates?
According to Bloomberg News, "'Dark money' helped pave the way for the Biden campaign" – to the tune of $145 million.
Is there any way to know how much undisclosed funding, if any, comes from abroad -- possibly from people who might wish to dismantle the Constitution -- or if there is any requirement that donors be US citizens? Does the current system of undisclosed donations violate US election laws?
The surge of dark money for the 2020 presidential election campaign through Arabella Advisors -- which according to its website, "manages a suite of independent nonprofit organizations," "Freeing you to Focus on the Mission" -- reportedly reached $1.2 billion.
More questions pile up -- about dark money and other election irregularities: What, if any, is the role of private individuals, such as Mark Zuckerberg's "Zuck bucks":
"New discoveries reveal that Mark Zuckerberg funneled $328 million through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation [a 501c3 - Ed.] the largest community foundation in America and a notable donor to left-wing causes. Zuckerberg is perhaps the single largest donor to the foundation, dumping close to $2 billion into the pass-through since 2010." [Emphasis added]
More, extrapolated, questions, pile up: Has Big Tech been working as a surreptitious, "wink-wink," extension of the government or Washington's "alphabet soup" institutions, such as the FBI, the CIA, the EPA, the IRS and so on, to quash free speech, such as suppressing all information about Hunter Biden's laptop before the election, along with 50 retired intelligence officials falsely labelling the contents of the laptop "Russian disinformation"?
And still more questions arise about the integrity of US elections: Has high-tech agreed to suppress free speech at the quiet behest of the US government -- perhaps out of concern that if they do not, they might get unpleasantly regulated?
What is the role of mail-in ballots in elections? The Wall Street Journal reports that a "bipartisan 2005 report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker III," 17 years ago found "Intimidation and vote buying were key concerns of the commission"
"Citizens who vote at home, at nursing homes, at the workplace, or in church are more susceptible to pressure, overt and subtle, or to intimidation. Vote buying schemes are far more difficult to detect when citizens vote by mail."
The Commission, which included former President Jimmy Carter, who has not yet been accused of being "alt-right," noted that "Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud."
"...paying workers to collect absentee ballots from voters, to fraudulently sign them and then deliver them to election offices. Ballot collection by third parties is illegal in North Carolina. But several states allow operatives..., as well as campaign volunteers and other third party advocates to collect completed, authenticated ballots.
"In states where the practice is legal, volunteers or campaign workers can go directly to the homes of voters, collect the completed ballots, and drop them off en masse at polling places or election offices. In some states, ballot harvesters can be paid hourly for their work collecting ballots.
"Critics fear that in states without restrictions on who can return a ballot on someone else's behalf, a third party could take advantage of the system by tampering with or discarding the ballots."
How does it work? You knock on a door, someone answers. "You didn't get a ballot? Don't worry, I have extras. Here, let me help you. I can even mail it for you. Now, you don't really like Candidate X, do you? Not good for us! Perfect, thanks! Got a neighbor?"
If the result is wrong, you can always toss it out. Are ballot harvesters paid for each ballot they get? If so by whom? Does anyone ever "just merely suggest" to wage earners that if they do not vote "in their own best interest," they can forget about showing up for work the next day?
Where are the courts?
Where, except for Justices Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito, is the Supreme Court, who declined even to see the evidence of election irregularities?
Has the nation's highest office, then, been open to policies of repaying donors by furthering their businesses policies that favor donors to Biden's 2020 campaign rather than deciding what might be in the best interests of preserving the Constitution, or America's core values, such as freedom of expression (here and here), educating our children, ensuring that our borders are not breached, or protecting property rights, as we see now violated in America's largest cities?
Above all, would you hire the current man in charge as a bus-driver to drive your children to school? Yet people hired him to be commander in chief of the US Armed Forces and head of the Free World.
Lawrence Kadish serves on the Board of Governors of Gatestone Institute.