Tag: no labels
'No Labels' Wants Justice Department To Investigate Its Critics

'No Labels' Wants Justice Department To Investigate Its Critics

Critics of the No Labels movement have been warning that if a Joe Biden/Donald Trump rematch is really close in the 2024 presidential election, a No Labels candidate could act as a spoiler and put Trump back in the White House. Many of No Labels' critics are Democrats, although some are Never Trump conservatives like Amanda Carpenter and The Lincoln Project's Rick Wilson — a former GOP strategist who is supporting Biden and believes that a second Trump term would be disastrous for the United States.

No Labels, meanwhile, is arguing that pro-Democrat groups are going too far in their efforts to discourage them from running a presidential candidate in 2024.

According to the Washington Post's Michael Scherer, No Labels leaders are asking the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch a criminal investigation of Democrat-leaning groups it claims are harassing and bullying them.

Scherer reports, "The group, in a January 11 letter signed by former Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT.), former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and others, argues that a public and private pressure campaign to discourage donations to No Labels and support for the ticket goes beyond legally protected political speech…. The Justice Department has not responded to the letter, according to No Labels leaders."

In their letter, No Labels told the DOJ, "It's one thing to oppose candidates who are running; it's another to use intimidation tactics to prevent them from even getting in front of the voters."

Scherer notes that No Labels' opponents "have publicly declared their intent to put pressure on donors and potential candidates to steer clear of the group."

Former Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO) has maintained that No Labels opponents aren't try to intimidate or bully the group but rather, are merely trying to let voters know what is at stake in the 2024 election.

In December, Gephardt told reporters, "We are worried about any third party. We realize it is a free country. Anybody can run for president who wants to run for president. But we have a right to tell citizens the danger they will face if they vote for any of these third-party candidates.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

'No Labels' Now Seems To Mean 'No Democrats'

'No Labels' Now Seems To Mean 'No Democrats'

In a Zoom call last month, Ryan Clancy, chief strategist for the supposedly centrist political group No Labels, admitted that their potential “bipartisan” “unity” presidential ticket doesn’t need to have a Democrat on it.

“And what if it’s a Republican and an independent? I think that’s certainly possible,” he told participants in the December 20 “Common Sense Talks With Ryan Clancy” event, according to a recording obtained by HuffPost. Common sense, you see, means excluding Democrats unless they are “Democrats” like former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (who turned independent to hang on to his seat after losing the Democratic primary in 2006) or West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, perennial spoiler of Democratic policies.

This isn’t entirely new for the group. After all, they indicated last June that if the Republican nominee ended up being Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, they’d probably back down and not field a spoiler candidate. They’re okay with fascism, you see, unless it’s coming from Donald Trump. That’s just common sense, No Labels-style.

One of their prominent spokespeople, former GOP Rep. Fred Upton admitted in an interview with CBS News last July that if it ends up being President Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump on November’s ballot, No Labels is aiming “to actually have a Republican presidential candidate and a Democrat [sic] vice presidential” candidate.

Most of the group’s funding is kept in the dark. It’s one of those political “charities” that have flourished since the Supreme Court decided Citizens United v. FEC. As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, No Labels doesn’t have to disclose donors. But digging by investigative reporters has revealed at least some of them.

One of their “whale” donors is none other than Harlan Crow, the New Republic found. You know, Supreme Court Clarence Thomas’ billionaire benefactor. The New Republic discovered that Crow gave more than $130,000 to No Labels between 2019 and 2021. In addition to his donations, Crow has participated in fundraisers for the group and has hooked No Labels up with about two dozen of his millionaire and billionaire friends, according to the documentation TNR found.

By the way, 501(c)(4) organizations are supposed to—by law—limit activities to the “promotion of social welfare” or lobbying. These groups are legally not allowed direct political involvement, like fielding candidates, as a primary activity. If trying to secure a slot on the presidential ballot for their third-party ticket in all 50 states is not their primary activity, it would be good to know what is. Beyond the grift, that is, because some people are making an awful lot of money out of this venture.

There’s some good news coming out of that December event, however. The rank-and-file membership of the group seems to be pretty concerned that No Labels will help elect Trump. One attendee said she’d “been a long supporter of No Labels” but was “having trouble trying to figure out how this is going to not reelect Trump.” That sentiment was reinforced by another attendee, who said that for him it was “absolutely the number one priority in 2024” that Trump lose.

“Love everybody at No Labels,” said John Leonard, the treasurer for the Raleigh, North Carolina, chapter of No Labels. “But I support what [the attendees] were saying earlier. ... I really worry about the prospect of Biden losing support and Donald Trump being inadvertently elected in the Electoral College.”

Even No Labels members seem to be cottoning on to the fact that this really isn’t about bipartisanship and unity as it is spoiling 2024 for Joe Biden.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Harris Poll Isn't What It Used To Be -- Now That It's The 'No Labels' Pollster

Harris Poll Isn't What It Used To Be -- Now That It's The 'No Labels' Pollster

No sooner did four new national polls show President Joe Biden edging past Donald Trump -- reversing the results of recent weeks -- than a fifth survey emerged that purported to show the opposite. In that poll, released by Harris X, Trump was still ahead of Biden by a few points.

But on closer inspection, that fifth poll raises some suspicions – and some questions about how news organizations should treat polling by Harris X. Billed as an “exclusive” on The Messenger website, it brandishes the name Harris, once a polling outfit with a respected pedigree. Yet that name is no longer what it was – because Harris X, as the firm now calls itself, is actually a subsidiary of Stagwell, Inc. And Stagwell is owned and controlled by one Mark Penn.

That name may be familiar from Penn’s days as a political consultant to Bill and Hillary Clinton, with whom he has long since broken. He is better known now for his connections to No Labels, the dubiously “independent” pseudo-party that is threatening to nominate a presidential ticket on a third line – thus potentially swinging the election to Trump. No Labels is run by Penn’s wife Nancy Jacobson, and No Labels has a cozy arrangement with Penn and Stagwell for polling by Harris X.

As Thomas Byrne Edsall recently noted in the New York Times, most elected Democrats and more than a few Republicans now suspect that Jacobson and Penn – who has cultivated Trump assiduously – are operating No Labels as a covert effort to re-elect the former president.

So whenever Harris X polls the presidential race, it confronts a glaring conflict of interest, or perhaps several. Its polls need to show that Biden is weaker than Trump to justify entering the race with a third-line candidate. Never mind that No Labels refuses to disclose its donors – many of whom have been exposed as pro-Trump Republicans – or its candidate selection process.

But these sore points may not faze The Messenger, whose founder and CEO is one James Finkelstein, a close associate of Trump and Rudy Giuliani since New York days whose brother Andrew Stein, a failed New York Democratic politician and convicted tax evader, was a longtime Trump confidant and adviser. The masthead of The Messenger is littered with political editors who formerly worked for such Trumpist outfits as the New York Post and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review..

Maybe their poll was conducted according to best practices and is on the level. Maybe Mark Penn and Nancy Jacobson and No Labels are on the level too. And maybe not.

Sen. Joe Manchin

In Leaked Tape, Manchin Says What He Really Thinks About Filibuster

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

In a private call on Monday that was obtained by The Intercept, Joe Manchin (D-WV) talked to major political donors during a meeting organized by the group No Labels, which The Intercept describes as a big money operation co-founded by former Sen. Joe Lieberman "that funnels high-net-worth donor money to conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans."

Interestingly, Manchin seemed open to filibuster reform -- a private stance that contradicts his public one.

"The call included several billionaire investors and corporate executives, among them Louis Bacon, chief executive of Moore Capital Management; Kenneth D. Tuchman, founder of global outsourcing company TeleTech; and Howard Marks, the head of Oaktree Capital, one of the largest private equity firms in the country," write The Intercept's Lee Fang and Ryan Grim. "The Zoom participant log included a dial-in from Tudor Investment Corporation, the hedge fund founded by billionaire Paul Tudor Jones. Also present was a roster of heavy-hitting political influencers, including Republican consultant Ron Christie and Lieberman, who serves as a representative of No Labels and now advises corporate interests."

Manchin told the meeting's attendees that he needed help getting Republicans to vote in favor of a January 6 commission in order to strip the "far left" of their best argument against the filibuster.

With regard to Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blunt, Manchin said, "Roy Blunt is a great, just a good friend of mine, a great guy."

"Roy is retiring. If some of you all who might be working with Roy in his next life could tell him, that'd be nice and it'd help our country," Manchin continued. "That would be very good to get him to change his vote. And we're going to have another vote on this thing. That'll give me one more shot at it."

Read the full report over at The Intercept.