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Friday, October 21, 2016

WATCH: Joe Conason Discusses Anonymous Corporate Donations On ‘Morning Joe’

National Memo Editor-in-Chief Joe Conason joined host Mika Brzezinski, reporter Nicholas Confessore, and MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today to discuss how corporations are donating millions of dollars secretly to tax-exempt groups — as highlighted by Confessore  in a front-page New York Times report on Sunday. 

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According to Confessore and his co-author Mike McIntire, major corporations such as American Electric Power, Aetna, Prudential Financial, and Dow Chemical are choosing to donate to tax-exempt “social welfare” groups that face no disclosure requirements, in order to hide their donations. They release political ads supposedly for the purpose of “educating the public,”  but critics see their real intention as seeking to influence elections.

In the video clip, Conason refers to Republican Karl Rove’s definition of “social welfare” as “attacking President Obama over taxes on TV” —  alluding to Rove’s Crossroads GPS group, a tax-exempt nonprofit that launched a $25 million ad campaign to attack President Obama over taxes and deficits

Conason notes that the Citizens United case, in which Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy ‘s decision dismissed the notion that corruption will arise from unlimited corporation political campaign contributions because all such money will be disclosed. “Citizens can see whether elected officials are ‘in the pocket’ of so-called moneyed interests …and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way,” the majority opinion reads. “This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.”

But the “transparency” promised in the court’s majority opinion has been thwarted by Republicans in the Senate and House, who have refused to pass legislation mandating disclosure.

“Now, ” Conason points out, “they [corporate donors] don’t want full disclosure, and maybe we should worry about corruption when you see the kind of corporate money that is flowing into these campaigns.” 

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  • The best and noblest moment of battle I have ever heard in the media occurred years ago on Al Franken’s Air America program. Al was interviewing a “biographer” who had made things up about Hillary Clinton. Joe Conason stepped in and was not only thrillingly, honestly furious, but had also done such excellent research that he could immediately and witheringly block every attempt by that author to lie.

    Bravo. We need more of that. Anger backed by truth, truth backed by anger.

    • onedonewong

      Of course your not upset that Franstein won his seat in Senate because of fraudulent votes from felons

      • William Deutschlander


        • onedonewong

          The election was decided by write in ballots by felons. Minnesota is the worst state in the union for obtaining absentee ballots. A person can go the election office and pick up MULTIPLE absentee ballots with any ID. Under cover footage has shown this time and time again

          • alumahead

            Thank you, Fox News Reporter.

          • onedonewong

            Guess facts don’t matter in your world

          • cabadas

            They do matter idiot, you just don’t have them.

        • onedonewong

          Really?? apparently you never read a newspaper. Or watched the under cover video’s of people getting MULTIPLE absentee ballots without even showing an ID.
          Time for you to stop watching the State run Media and try an see what the Dem’s are trying to do to this country by stealing elections

      • highpckts

        prove it with facts!! Don’t just mouth what you have “heard”!!

        • onedonewong

          Do you read a paper ??? The data was readily available about felons voting in the Minnesota and there have been numerous expose about non residents walking into the election office and being able to get as many absentee ballots as they want no questions asked or ID required

          • cabadas


          • onedonewong

            another childish comment form the great unwashed

          • James70094

            Well, you would know about childish comments and being unwashed.

          • cabadas

            it was your side that started it from day 1. Such disrespect.

  • highpckts

    We the people will pay the price for a “bought and paid for” government!!!

    • Ed

      That’s the idea!

    • onedonewong

      as to we the people who don’t pay any federal taxes living off the producers??

  • Impeach the RATS (Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia) on the SCOTUS! They are DECIDEDLY UN-American!

  • William Deutschlander


  • Nancy, I hope that your definition of the new RATS (pack) goes viral as it should. How anyone could seriously entertain the notion that the ruling in Citizens United could be anything more than a bought and paided for judgement is beyond my level of incredulity. I read a lot of science fiction but I can’t suspend my level of disbelief that far. These people live and work inside of the beltway, they are immersed in the politics, it would seem to be impossible for them to not be aware of the venal quality of some of the politicians or behind the scene operatives.