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Next President of the United Fates of America
Even before the DNC Wikileaks scandal, we knew the NY Times distorted the Democratic primary with disdain for Bernie Sanders. But in alarming email exchanges, the DNC claimed they were able to get NY Times reporter Nick Confessore to change an article so as to bury mention of the controversial Hillary Victory Fund, a joint effort of the DNC and the Hillary for America campaign.

The DNC prepared talking points, excuses and legal defenses to respond to claims that the HVF was bundling campaign donations to skirt legal limits (a "money laundering conduit" according to Politico. Walmart's Alice Walton and Hillary's other billionaire donors could now give 33 times the max donation, all in one convenient envelope.

As George Clooney noted, the donation amounts were "obscene", but to make them legal, they were routed through the HVF to get around campaign finance law prohibiting the wealthy from giving exorbitant amounts to a single candidate. The DNC did not want this to get out.

MONEY MAN REVEALED: The same lawyer who wrote legislation gutting America's campaign finance limits in a last-minute amendment inserted into the 2014 "Cromnibus" bill intervened to prevent the NY Times from reporting on details of the $90+ million Victory Fund on behalf of his client, Hillary Clinton.
CONTROLLING THE NARRATIVE: The DNC claims the fund is nothing new, and the Bernie campaign also was offered the chance to take advantage of a 33-state fund of his own, to make state-based donations more "fungible" with his national campaign's war chest. Bernie declined. He wasn't yet concentrating on down-ballot fundraising, but it turns out Hillary wasn't so much either, taking 99% of HVF money to build "national infrastructure". When Politico reported this, the DNC circled the wagons, trying to prevent the public from learning more. DNC staff routinely recommended radio silence about Hillary's ties to Wall Street contributors to keep the public "ignorant".
Instead of playing the DNC's funding shell game, Sanders alerted the press that Hillary was using donations intended for local candidates to pay her national campaign staff. According to Luis Miranda, a high ranking DNC official who resigned this week, Confessore altered his story to downplay the "JVF" or joint victory fund. From the email:
"The Confessore story on Bernie's impact on the Party beyond his electoral prospects is out. Overall I think it's as good as we could hope for. We were able to keep him from including more on the JVF, it has a mention in there, but between us and a conversation he had with Marc Elias he finally backed off from focusing too much on that."

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INTIMIDATION TACTICS: How did the campaign get the Times to "back off"? On top of DNC pressure, there was also an off-the-record meeting planned between Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Confessore, and his superior, NYT Senior Political Editor Carolyn Ross. But there was more.

Confessore also "backed off" because of Marc Elias, the most influential election finance attorney in Washington, dubbed "the man behind the political cash grab" by Politico after being credited with single-handedly jacking up campaign contribution limits for the rich from $97,400 to $777,600.

HYPOCRISY ALL AROUND: Mr. Elias changed US elections by introducing new "allowable expenses" in the closing hours of a trillion dollar must-pass budget bill moments before the Democrats would lose control of the Senate. Confessore himself had reported on Mr. Elias in 2014 and 2015, noting he was seeking to "exploit the loopholes and legal gray areas".

The gut-wrenching last minute deal was struck by John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid who claimed to oppose large campaign donations. Obama was urged by good government groups to veto the budget bill because of the new loopholes, but had no wiggle room in the zero hour. Confessore reported at the time about this massive giveaway to the wealthy.
Besides sticks, there were carrots. Confessore also added a quote to his article from Mark Longabough, a Sanders-friendly strategist and DNC go-between who had genuinely good news for party unity. Luis Miranda wrote:
"Longabaugh also strikes a somewhat conciliatory tone described here as saying : he believed the campaign would ultimately be well represented on all the committees as more members are named."
So the Bernie contingent was going to get serious proportional representation in the standing committees. This as we know now, resulted in the most progressive DNC platform in history.
Seen from a different angle, this email also suggests Confessore engaged in something of a give-and-take, agreeing to whitewash the joint fundraising fund, but keeping in this vague allusion to something being wrong with Hillary's fundraising:
"The Democratic National Committee now relies on Mrs. Clinton's fund-raising to provide a fifth of its monthly income, an arrangement the Sanders campaign has criticized."
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RE: Next President of the United Fates of America - by Wook - 08-06-2016, 06:09 PM

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