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Tag: georgia senate runoff

Murdoch Son Funded Liberal Groups During 2020 Campaign

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

James Murdoch, son of billionaire media mogul and right-wing supporter Rupert Murdoch, quietly put approximately $100 million into his non-profit organization, Quadrivium, and used the funds to invest in a number of left-wing political groups prior to the 2020 election.

According to CNBC, a 2019 tax document offers a breakdown of how the funds were spent after the $100 million was donated to the foundation. The publication reports that Murdoch's organization committed to donating funds to a number of groups advocating for progress on climate change initiatives.

"Over $38 million, including $14 million in Quadrivium donations and $24 million in individual contributions from the couple, went toward election organizations, including those dedicated to protecting voting rights," the publication wrote, adding that the couple also "donated over $20 million to Biden's campaign, groups supporting him and opposing Trump, and organizations dedicated to disrupting online threats and extremism."

In the time leading up to the Georgia Senate runoff, James and Kathryn Murdoch also donated to "groups dedicated to getting out the vote during the Georgia Senate runoff elections in January," a race which both Democratic candidates won. As of 2019, Quadrivium reportedly had nearly $100 million in assets.

Per CNBC:

"The $100 million contribution to the foundation came in the form of Disney stock, and it was made the same day that the Fox-Disney deal was completed. James Murdoch made a reported $2.1 billion from the transaction."

The latest report about Murdoch's contributions come shortly after he verbalized his support for voting rights. As Murdoch's father and brother run their right-wing empire, James Murdoch has joined hundreds of other corporations and CEOs who publicly opposed "any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot."

The spokesperson for James and Kathryn Murdoch declined requests for comment on the matter.

Why The 2022 Midterms Just Might Surprise Us

Tradition tells us that, come the midterms, the president's party loses seats in the House. If this tradition holds in 2022, that could be bad news for Democrats, whose House majority now stands at only nine seats.

But history of late doesn't seem to be commandeering the driver's seat. Right after Joe Biden turned Georgia blue, Politico confidently stated that to win the state's two Senate runoffs on January 5, "the Democratic Party will have to defy a long track record of failure in overtime elections." So everyone believed, Democrats included. "Everyone" was wrong.

Special elections tend to produce low turnout, and former president Donald Trump wasn't on the ballot to motivate Democrats to show up. But while Trump wasn't on the ballot, he was in voters' heads. Democrats took both seats.

And that was the day before Trump sent his goons on a rampage at the Capitol. Rather than outrightly condemning that violent attack on the democracy, Republicans are trying to downplay a horror Americans saw with their own eyes. Rather than evict the man who incited it from party leadership, Republicans have doubled down in demanding servile obedience to the toxic figure now walking the corridors at Mar-a-Lago.

As a result, Trump will still be in the voters' heads come November 8, 2022. And the party-turned-personality cult seems to be ignoring how unlovable most voters find its object of adoration. Or perhaps it doesn't know.

The National Republican Congressional Committee recently withheld internal polling showing weak Trump support in key swing districts. His unfavorable ratings were 15 points higher in these districts than his favorable ones. (Recall also that Trump left office with an approval rating below 40 percent, the lowest for a first-term president since Jimmy Carter.)

One imagines that as the 2022 election approaches, Republicans in swingable districts will say the party has moved beyond Trump. The evidence so far says otherwise.

A Gallup poll from February found that Americans' favorable opinion of the Republican Party had fallen to 37 percent, while 48 percent saw the Democratic Party in a positive light. It also reported that a record-high 63 percent of Republicans supported a third party, as opposed to 46 percent of Democrats. And though 68 percent of Republicans wanted Trump to remain party leader, only 47 percent of Republican-leaning independents — less than half — felt that way.

Meanwhile, the midterm tradition isn't unbreakable. In 2002, the party of then-President George W. Bush took another eight seats in the House and two in the Senate. Those elections took place about a year after the trauma of 9/11. The next midterms are scheduled about a year after another national trauma, the COVID-19 pandemic, the end of which President Joe Biden will have presided over.

In 2022, Democrats will be defending only seven House seats in districts Trump won. No Senate seat in a state that voted for Trump will be up for grabs. And the economy is expected to continue booming.

Republicans had a way out with Liz Cheney, a rock-ribbed conservative from Wyoming willing to condemn Trump for his efforts to cancel the will of the voters and for stoking the insurrection. But no, the cult turned Cheney into the enemy rather than a path for renewed respectability.

Some Republican operatives may hope that the voters will have relegated the Jan. 6 outrage to "the past." Good luck with that. A leadership that, six months after the election — four months after the riot — still won't concede that Trump lost will have a hard time rewriting that vivid history by next year. In any case, Trump won't let them. And neither will Democrats.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com

GOP Feud Flares As McConnell Trolls Trump’s Fundraising Flub

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The only thing that's more triggering to Donald Trump than being mocked by his political enemies is being fleeced by them. That means Minority Leader Mitch McConnell scored a twofer in their latest tussle over whether Republican Party committees such as the Senate's campaign arm would be allowed to use Trump's likeness and name in fundraising solicitations.

McConnell apparently boasted in private to his GOP Senate colleagues that their fundraising efforts had amassed a bigger haul than Trump's had. The snub came after a closed-door presentation by Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), detailing the committee's work in preparation for the midterms, according to The New York Times.

But it's not like McConnell just threw a single barb at Trump. He printed out the tally on small cards and then distributed them to attendees so no one could possibly miss it—a little keepsake from the meeting, if you will. McConnell reportedly noted "several times" that the Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC that typically doles out cash to help reelect GOP incumbents, had surpassed the fundraising totals of Trump's super PAC.

In terms of Senate GOP fundraising for the Georgia Senate races, the card read: "Total: $612+ million," adding, "In 3 cycles: nearly $1 billion."

Below that were the statistics for Trump's PAC, America First: "Trump: $148+ million." Ouch.

McConnell was basically laying fault for the dual losses in Georgia at Trump's feet.

Naturally, that sniping prompted an exchange of pleasantries with Trump spokesperson Jason Miller, who implied that McConnell's weak stimulus package was at fault for the twin failures.

"A better side-by-side comparison would be the $2,000 stimulus checks that the Democrat candidates promised in Georgia versus the $600 stimulus checks that the Republicans offered, which led to us losing both seats," Miller told the Times. "Just think, if we had done that one thing differently, Republicans would be in control of the Senate right now."

But they're not in control right now. Democrats are, and President Biden just helped shepherd the giant relief package through Congress that Trump had dreamed of but wasn't a good enough dealmaker to deliver.

Now Republicans are caught in the endless loop of a circular firing squad born of sheer desperation. A party with any ideas would have pivoted by now to start executing their strategy for 2022. Instead, they're railing about Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head while Democrats just passed what is arguably the most transformational piece of legislation in a generation.

Georgia’s First Day Of Early Runoff Voting Breaks Record

Georgia voters are already smashing absentee ballot records as early voting begins for a pair of U.S. Senate runoff elections in the state.

Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told the Wall Street Journal on Monday, at the start of the early voting period, that it appeared the runoffs would be a "high-turnout election."

The outlet cited figures from the U.S. Elections Project, which tracks mail ballots using data from the Georgia secretary of state. The Journal reported 246,531 mail ballots had been accepted so far — a 20.1 percent return rate of requested ballots — and 1,227,285 mail ballots requested, which is a 16.1 percent request rate of registered voters, as of Monday.

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Georgia’s Right-Wing Feuding Jeopardizes Republican Senate Candidates

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

The lie that Georgia's presidential election was rigged through voter fraud is a right-wing fantasy — but these baseless claims could have a very real impact on the upcoming Senate runoffs. And that has some members of the state's right-wing media apparatus panicking.

Groundless allegations of voter fraud in Georgia's presidential election have pitted members of right-wing media, and the Republican Party as a whole, against one another ahead of two crucial January runoffs that will determine control of the Senate.

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