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Accused college admission scammers dig deep for bipartisan political donations

A Fox News analysis of political donations by the 50 individuals charged in the college admissions scandal shows that alleged corruption appears to know no political ideology. Others, though, like Robert Flaxman, a real estate magnate who is charged in the scandal, gave small fortunes to both Republican and Democratic campaigns. Four years later, in 2016, the 62-year-old founder of Crown Realty and Development supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton with a donation of the same amount to the Hillary Victory Fund. While Huffman’s donations are indicative of her politics, others ensnared in the scandal gave tens of thousands of dollars to both Democrat and Republican candidates. FEC records show that Flaxman began donating in 2007 with a bevy of contributions to Republican campaigns, including $19,600 to support John McCain. Most of Flaxman’s donations are small dollar amounts made to individual campaigns in 2016, but several top $2,000 – including $30,800 he gave to the Republican National Committee in 2012. In 2016, he made at least 43 contributions to various candidates and party organizations. Others had similarly bipartisan patterns of political donations. The reasons for bipartisan donations are myriad, according to Brendan Quinn, a spokesperson at the Center for Responsive Politics. He said a donor supporting both Democrat and Republican candidates could be a simple as them having a personal connection or preference for the candidates.

Fairness, nonpartisanship urged in process of redrawing Nebraska political districts

We don’t want to wait until 2020 when it is a political (election) year,” said State Sen. John McCollister of Omaha. The two were among four lawmakers who laid out redistricting proposals at a hearing before the Legislature’s Executive Board. Both said they want to create a process that is fair and nonpartisan and that provides for citizen involvement. >> Legislative Bill 253, introduced by McCollister, would create an independent citizen commission to draw up new district boundary proposals for U.S. Congress, the Legislature, the Public Service Commission, the Nebraska Supreme Court, the State Board of Education and the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. It requires the commission to ignore the political party of voters and previous election results and to avoid improperly diluting the voting rights of any group based on race or language. If lawmakers rejected the initial set of proposals, the commission would be required to draw up a second set of proposals. It would put the job of drawing new district boundaries in the hands of the director of legislative research. A special legislative Redistricting Committee would hold hearings in each of the three congressional districts on the initial boundary proposals. >> LB 467, introduced by Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha, would allow only population numbers, not other demographic factors such as race, language or household makeup to be considered in redistricting. The bill mirrors language used in the Legislature's 2011 redistricting resolution, he said.

Bipartisan bill would mandate donor disclosure in political ads

A small, bipartisan group of representatives introduced a bill Thursday that aims to greatly increase transparency of political spending. 7267), sponsored by U.S. Representatives Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), would require any organization that runs political ads to disclose its top donors and tighten rules preventing candidates from coordinating with super PACs on independent expenditures, among other changes. “For too long, we’ve allowed outside money to play an outsized and arcane role in our politics, blurring the lines between special interest groups and the candidates they support,” Rice said in a statement. It’s unclear whether the measure, if passed, would work as intended. More than $800 million in dark money has been spent on elections since the landmark Citizens United Supreme Court decision, 75 percent of which came from just 15 groups, according to an Issue One analysis of Center for Responsive Politics data. The bill would clarify that outside groups and campaigns cannot coordinate on communications that mention a candidate starting 120 days before a primary and through the general election. “Strengthening the law requiring independence of candidates from outside groups is critical to loosening the influence that megadonors who fund super PACs holdover candidates and officeholders,” said Trevor Potter, President of the Campaign Legal Center and former Republican Chairman of the Federal Election Commission. Liberal donors Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer each spent around $60 million toward independent expenditures supporting Democratic candidates. The bill also aims to end misuse of leadership PACs by clarifying that the “personal use” restriction on campaign funds applies to all committees, including leadership PACs.

Bipartisan politics takes center stage

Bipartisan politics takes center stage Two former Congressmen discussed opportunities for bipartisan leadership and how to build political consensus. David Jolly and Patrick Murphy, both former Congressman from each party representing districts in Florida, are working together and sharing their ideas on “Why Gridlock Rules Washington and How We Can Solve the Crisis.” “We’re here to pull the curtain back on some of the challenges to bipartisanship and opportunities to unwrap those challenges,” Jolly said at the panel sponsored by the Bedrosian Center on Governance of USC Price School of Public Policy. “At the end of the day, we’re really talking about how voters can create greater accountability for our elected officials.” Washington has fallen into a stalemate with hyperpartisan politics that stem from long-standing disagreements. And it starts at home where each party has made sure to gerrymander districts to guarantee election results, the two said. Each election official is beholden to their party, making “your pathway to reelection as simple as being a good partisan,” he said. Any compromise with the other side means you’ve failed your party and “your political future comes down a little,” Jolly said. “We had some very similar experiences,” Murphy said. So why are they separating us? This is crazy.” This is the main reason that Murphy and Jolly started their group, aiming at finding united solutions to common issues through bipartisanship. “This generation brings his energy,” Jolly said.
Greg Gutfeld on phony cries for civility

Greg Gutfeld on phony cries for civility

While it's nice to hear about the good old days of bipartisanship, remember it's just code for losing. FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to delivering breaking news as well as political and business news.…

KARK 4’s Bob Clausen Talks Bi-Partisan Politics

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - It seems like just about everyday, no matter where you get your news, attacks and jabs come and go from politicians on both sides of the aisle. Is any of it accomplishing anything? Is any of it warranted? Or is it more self-serving than serving the needs of 'We the People.' "Have many of our elected governmental leaders, our branches of government...and many of us let our system down? But rather than taking defeat in stride, his opposition dug in and made their mission clear, stop him at every move, block appointments, attack members of his administration and their families and call for investigations. I can't speak for the founding fathers, but I do imagine most of us would have rather seen the seasoned elected leaders of this nation--on the loosing side--stand tall and agree, all be it, 'not their presidency' but, that the time arrived to help guide the relative new comer on his course. Members of the media criticized daily. In my estimation that was strike one for our form of government, for the people by the people.

Senators release election security recommendations to deter meddling

A bipartisan group of senators leading an inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election called on Tuesday for urgent action by Congress to help states protect their voting systems from future threats of foreign interference. With the 2018 congressional primaries already under way, members of the senate intelligence committee outlined a series of recommendations – the first public release from the panel’s yearlong investigation – that they say will help improve the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure. “We’re now at a point where we’ve wrapped up one piece of our investigation, which deals with election security,” said Republican senator Richard Burr, the chairman of the committee, who spoke alongside the Democratic vice-chair, Senator Mark Warner, and members of the committee. By and large, he said, “we need to be more effective at deterring our adversaries.” “The Russians were relentless in attempting to meddle in the 2016 elections and they will continue their efforts to undermine public confidence in western democracies and in the legitimacy of our elections,” Senator Susan Collins, another Republican member of the committee, added during the press conference. The election security recommendations were released a day ahead of full committee hearing to discuss the attempted hacks of several state voting systems in 2016 and federal and local response. Jeh Johnson, the former homeland security secretary and Kirstjen Nielsen, the current homeland security secretary, are scheduled to testify. The suggestions include more federal funding for states to replace outdated voting systems and improved information sharing between local and state agencies. There are currently 14 states that lack a paper trail of votes cast. The bipartisan nature of the Senate committee sharply contrasts with a parallel investigation in the House, which the Republicans recently ended after concluding that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Last month, in indictments handed down by a grand jury, Mueller alleged that 13 Russian citizens and three Russian organizations had sought to disrupt the 2016 election.

Senators introduce bipartisan gun background check bill

A bipartisan group of senators is trying to strengthen reporting to the national background check system in the wake of a mass shooting in Texas earlier this month. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced legislation on Thursday that would require states and agencies to produce plans for sending records to the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) that would show if an individual is prohibited from buying a gun and verifying that the information is accurate. The measure would also try to incentivize agencies and states to provide information by blocking bonus pay for political appointees in agencies that fail to upload records to the background check system and rewarding states that follow their implementation plans. The bill comes just 11 days after a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Devin Kelley, the identified gunman, received a “bad conduct” discharge from the Air Force in 2014 after being court-martialed on a domestic violence charge. Had it been, it may have made it more difficult for him to purchase a firearm legally. The new legislation would also create a "domestic abuse and violence prevention initiative" aimed at making sure states have the ability and incentive to share information with the NICS that would show a felon or someone convicted of domestic violence cannot purchase a gun. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced legislation earlier this month to close the "domestic violence loophole" by requiring that the military report domestic violence convictions to the national background check system.
Congressman On Why He's Against Bipartisan Deal | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Congressman On Why He’s Against Bipartisan Deal | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., discusses why he currently does not support the bipartisan Obamacare deal proposed by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray. » Subscribe to MSNBC: About: MSNBC is the premier destination for in-depth analysis of daily headlines,…

2 GOP heavyweights brawl over Obamacare bill

2 GOP heavyweights brawl over Obamacare bill. “The Finance Committee is free to deal with these same issues if it would like to. It’s unclear so far whether Democrats will go along with the changes — or whether Republicans like Hatch will agree the flexibility goes far enough to warrant continued funding of subsidies to shore up the Democrats’ health law. “If Congress doesn’t act by the end of the month, premiums go up 20 percent, 5 percent of the counties have no insurance companies selling and the federal debt goes up by nearly $200 billion to pay for increased subsidies,” Alexander said. A bill dealing with waiver funding would land in Finance. If it’s about insurance markets, it would go to HELP. For instance, the parliamentarian ruled that a Senate Obamacare repeal bill that changed waivers was in HELP’s jurisdiction. “We’re certainly not going to try to mark up a bill in our committee that doesn’t belong in our committee,” Alexander said. But the Affordable Care Act, including the state waivers, muddied the well-defined jurisdictional lanes a little bit. “We have shared jurisdiction on health care and it’s awkward but it’s no reason for inaction.” In fact, it may make his effort to pass a bipartisan bill to try to stabilize the markets an even heavier lift.