Hypocrisy and the First Amendment

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is scheduled to testify (and plug his new book) on Wednesday before the Senate Rules Committee. The topic is a favorite of Democrats: How “dark money” in politics is destroying America, and will only get worse after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling to strike down some limits on individual campaign contributions.

Stevens is expected to criticize anonymous political donations; he’s already described the Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC as “grossly incorrect.” He’s also criticized the expansion of First Amendment rights in his latest book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, which calls for stricter regulations on political donations. (In the book, Stevens also criticizes the widespread availability of “automatic weapons” in the United States, even though such weapons have been banned for decades. Oops.)

Democrats don’t like the fact that people are allowed to contribute to political causes anonymously, and thus avoid the public shaming that recently led to the ousting of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich. Meanwhile, a shadowy network of left-wing donors is currently meeting at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago to discuss how to effectively use “dark money” to influence the political process.

Comcast is Buying Our Democracy (And Harry Reid Doesn’t Care Because He’s Already Been Bought)

Elderly millionaire Harry Reid thinks about money and smiles. (AP)

If you haven’t already, read Matthew Continetti’s column on how cable giant (and MSNBC parent company) Comcast has effectively bought the Democratic Party. This will likely prove a wise investment, as Comcast is currently seeking government approval for its $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable, a move that would create the largest cable conglomerate in the country.

If you were a giant corporation looking to purchase Democratic loyalty, you would naturally target the ones with the most powerful, such as Barack Obama. So it’s no surprise that Obama is by far the largest recipient of donations from Comcast employees (and their family members) and political action committees.

Then there are the campaign committees. Comcast donations to the Democratic National Committee, and Democratic House and Senate committees total more than $1.8 million. And Comcast would certainly be short-changing its shareholders if it hadn’t bought off Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) as well. Don’t worry, they have.

Democrats Demand Higher Pay for Trial Lawyers (Most of Whom Are Men)

Harry Reid pockets another huge check from trial lawyers seeking #higherpay / AP

Democrats have begun their annual push for “paycheck fairness” legislation, which is less about achieving an actual policy result than it is about teeing up an issue for Democrats to run on in the midterms.

However, if passed, this legislation would be a financial boon to some of the Democratic Party’s largest and most loyal donors—trial lawyers—by making it easier for employers to sue their employers for discrimination, facilitating the filing of large class-action lawsuits, and making it harder for employers to defend themselves in court.

You Won’t Believe What This Super-Rich, Self-Financed, Carpetbagging Democrat Has to Say About Campaign Finance Laws

Facebook spouse Sean Eldridge holds an award (via Twitter)

Sean Eldridge is a Democrat running for Congress in New York’s 19th congressional district. He hasn’t lived there for very long; Eldridge and his husband, Facebook multi-millionaire/poke-button pioneer and New Republic editor-in-chief Chris Hughes, have had to shop around to find a suitable district for Eldridge to run in.

But now that’s he’s there in NY-19, Eldridge has pledged to run a “different kind of campaign.” He touts himself as “a leader in the fight to reform our broken campaign finance system and reduce the power of money and special interests in politics.” Naturally, he blasted the Supreme Court’s ruling Wednesday that lifts restrictions on political donations:

Harry Reid v. FEC Update: More Campaign Payments to Granddaughter Revealed, Total Rises to $31,000

Ouch. (AP)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) reacted swiftly to revelations that his campaign had purchased $16,786 worth of “holiday gifts” (for donors) from his own granddaughter, announcing that he would personally reimburse his campaign for the cost of the trinkets. Reid also angrily rebuffed a reporter’s question about the questionable campaign activity, chiding him for describing the amount as $17,000. “Sixteen [thousand dollars], but whatever,” Reid snarked.