Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 28, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

RUDY!....The money for that initiative to split up California's electoral votes may have been laundered through Missouri, but it originated in New York City. The LA Times identifies the initiative's main backer as Rudy Giuliani's biggest fundraiser:

He is New York hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer. He said he provided the $175,000 to initially finance the petition drive to get the measure on the June 2008 ballot....Singer oversees Elliott Associates, an $8 billion investment fund. He is also chairman of Giuliani's northeast fundraising operation that produced a third of the New Yorker's $33.5 million campaign war chest in the first six months of 2007. Singer and his employees have donated at least $182,000 to the Giuliani campaign so far this year.

"I made the contribution without any restrictions," Singer's statement said. Some Democrats have threatened legal action, complaining that federal campaign finance laws were violated if the Giuliani campaign was involved.

Tonight, Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, issued a statement demanding to know "the truth about Rudy's involvement in and knowledge about this shameful effort to disenfranchise voters."

I suspect that stonewalling will remain the name of the game at Giuliani HQ for as long as they can hold out.

Kevin Drum 11:47 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (41)

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The Republicans have devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to the business of winning elections by manipulating the process, as opposed to selling themselves to the electorate based on the merits of their policy positions. It's sad.

Posted by: global yokel on September 29, 2007 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

People who expect to win on the merits don't cheat.

Posted by: freelunch on September 29, 2007 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans CAN'T sell themselves to the electorate based on the merits of their policy positions.

The Republicans represent the wealthy elite. Their interests are opposed to those of the large majority of a democratic electorate. Insofar as their policies conform to the interests of their constituents, which ultimately they must, to a substantial degree, they are unfriendly to the majority of the electorate.

The ONLY way they can win is to use their advantages -- money and social position -- to manipulate the process, including so dominating certain communication channels that they convince segments of the electorate to believe things that are in fact false, and thereby to vote against their own interests.

Despite what their propagandists will say, and have said, there is no "natural Republican majority." Quite the contrary; insofar as democratic (small 'd') political power exists as a counter to economic power in the balance of social control, Republicans are and have for generations represented the privileged minority, and Democrats have represented the larger, less privileged populace.

They can certainly SELL themselves. But it ain't based on no merits.

Posted by: bleh on September 29, 2007 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Some compulsory reading, thoroughly documented, for the strident "Bush-Hitler" naysayers. Welcome to New Amerika!:

When America Went Fascist
by Chris Rowthorn

Posted by: Poilu on September 29, 2007 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

You are very naughty for removing the test thread. 10 Cub scout demerits for you buckaroo...

Posted by: Ipso facto on September 29, 2007 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Regarding aspiring future "Fuehrer" Giuliani:

John Dean: From Nixon to Bush to Giuliani -- "Much, Much Worse"
by Jon Wiener

' John Dean knows something about White House abuse of power. He wrote a bestseller in 2004 on the Bush White House called Worse Than Watergate. In a recent interview I asked him what he thinks of that title now. Now, he replied, a book comparing Bush and Nixon would have to be called Much, Much Worse.

' "Look at the so-called Watergate abuses of power," he said. "Nobody died. Nobody was tortured. Millions of Americans were not subject to electronic surveillance of their communications. We're playing now in a whole different league." And how does Bush compare with the Republicans seeking to succeed him? "If a Rudy Giuliani were to be elected," Dean said, "he would go even farther than Cheney and Bush in their worst moments." ...'

[It shouldn't be at all surprising to discover that Racketeering Rudy was directly involved in further Republikan schemes to rig the elections. That's just "par for the course" these days for NeoConNazi contenders.]

Posted by: Poilu on September 29, 2007 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like you finally found a campaign finance issue you're willing to notice.

Posted by: harry on September 29, 2007 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Check out how Elliot Associates makes its money: http://www.jubileeresearch.org/jubilee2000/news/vulture141000.html

Posted by: bidrec on September 29, 2007 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

yet another strawman downed by harry's sniping (scattered applause from the gallery)...

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 29, 2007 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

Rudi thinks he has 50-50 chance of winning Kalifornia !!! hehehe

Posted by: bob on September 29, 2007 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

Blow it out your ass, harry.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 29, 2007 at 3:13 AM | PERMALINK

I suspect that they'll be able to hold out indefinitely, because the media won't press it.

Posted by: Elvis Elvisberg on September 29, 2007 at 3:17 AM | PERMALINK

New York giveth and taketh - First, the NYT prints an article extolling the great new restaurtant scene in Portland, OR - Then, the ill wind of Rudy and his Nine One One Dog and Pony Show will hit town today - Going to the upscale Northwest District to schmooze with the few Repug holdouts at a Deli - Guess this is to not let us get too smug about our quality of life. But, as Rudy says, this is a time to fund raise, and not a time to darken one's surroundings.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 29, 2007 at 6:04 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, harry, please feel free to post tomes about Robert Lichfield and/or Alan Fabian. Do some special youth counseling for Lichfield's Utah operations, did ya?

Posted by: stupid git on September 29, 2007 at 7:06 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin,

But I'm sure no billionaires contibrute to the Hillary campaign. Right? RIGHT!?!?

Posted by: egbert on September 29, 2007 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

eggie, old chap, how was doing bed check at the dorms of Lichfield, or were you just involved with his money laundering - Little silence from the Romney camp, eh?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 29, 2007 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

The national politics of the move in California notwithstanding, the problem for my fellow liberals and myself is that the idea of proportional distribution of electoral votes is a good idea in general, and opposing the unilateral move in California strictly on the grounds that it would hurt Democrats in a specific election is similar to opposing their almost unilateral move to impose emissions controls ahead of a Federal statute. If they are good ideas, they should be pursued (although I'd like to see it done nationwide).

While I'm at it, and since Dr. Dean was mentioned specifically, I should mention that even if I had been a fan his in general (and supported his election to DNC Chairman specifically), I would be extraordinarily disappointed in his seeming failure to make any headway—or indeed offer any meaningful comments—on the coming train wreck which is the primary schedule and its implications for the convention (and let's not forget that insuring a well run convention is the DNC's only real job, not bloviating about partisan policy disputes ). My druthers would be to reinstate the 2/3 rule and let the states do what they want (I predict that trying to stop them will be utterly in vain) </rant>.

Posted by: jhm on September 29, 2007 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

shameful - utterly shameful!

Posted by: minion on September 29, 2007 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Well now that we know Rudy is trying to steal the election - I wonder if fellow Repugs canidates should not be fore-warned.

Is Rudy really more popular than Mitt Romney like the new polls say? How did Rudy manage that - by taking his wifes phone call? Does Diebold think so? Are they committed to helping Rudy now?

I have found that the "Rudy ties with Romney" is very doubtful but IF Murdock says so - well then I guess Romney should bow his head and go quietly - nothing about the Repug process is fair.

McCain learned how to kiss Bushie butt - now Romney better learn how to kiss Mr. Rudy's booty.

Nothing personal, it's just a Repug way of life.


Posted by: Me_again on September 29, 2007 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

jhm, agreed, but it needn't even be done nationally. Pass a law to have a proportional system in California kick in as soon as Florida and Texas adopt a similar system. You've killed the repugs ability to take only steps that benefit them while making arguments in the general and you've taken a step in the right direction. Course you could just choose to get rid of the electoral college.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 29, 2007 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

Stonewalling - maybe, more likely he will invoke 9/11 thought.

But don't kid yourself - if the folks that engineered 2 stolen presidential elections (an not, it wasn't chimpy, rove, or cheney), enabled 9/11 to happen in the first place, and lied this nation into a war of conquest based on lies want giuliani to be our next pResident, they CAN make it happen!

After all - he can be exploited to hide the REAL crimes behind the bush administation and 9/11. As we have seen - the mainstream media will be more than happy to do their part.

GREAT CRIMES DEMAND EVEN GREATER CRIMINALITY

Posted by: littlebear on September 29, 2007 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

manipulating the process, as opposed to selling themselves to the electorate based on the merits of their policy positions.

ummmmmmmmmmmmmm...

how do you "sell" stolen elections; raiding the federal treasury; creating an economic crises for low income, average, and middle-class Americans; fake terrorist attacks, wars of conquest based on lies; destruction of one of America's most historic cities-NOLA; eliminating the most effective federal program of all-time-Social Security; denying the nation a rational healthcare system-something Americans overwhelmingly support; creating a quagmire in Iraq to keep that oil off the market-increasing oil company profits exponentially to all-time records; deficit spending that exceeds EVERY OTHER PRESIDENT'S SPENDING COMBINED...

I could go on - not much to "sell" is there?

Posted by: littlebear on September 29, 2007 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

The national politics of the move in California notwithstanding, the problem for my fellow liberals and myself is that the idea of proportional distribution of electoral votes is a good idea in general, and opposing the unilateral move in California strictly on the grounds that it would hurt Democrats in a specific election is similar to opposing their almost unilateral move to impose emissions controls ahead of a Federal statute. If they are good ideas, they should be pursued (although I'd like to see it done nationwide).

Give me a break, please. Emissions controls aren't a partisan interest unless you are viewing the issue through the warped lens of Republicanism. This was a shameless move by Republicans to grab some of California's electoral votes while leaving the system intact in red states. It should have been recognized for what it was and promptly strangled (as it was), not naively embraced by obedient Democrats as a "first step" in enacting similar changes in other states.

If you want to work toward proportional distribution nationwide, be my guest, but this "if it's a good idea, it should always be pursued" business is GOP-enabling nonsense where the California petition is concerned.

Posted by: shortstop on September 29, 2007 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Well now that we know Rudy is trying to steal the election - I wonder if fellow Repugs canidates should not be fore-warned.

Forewarned, hell. This is Rudy showing his number one job qualification: He's the man who's ready to do the vote-stealing necessary to get a Republican into the WH. After six years of Bush, this is what "electability" now means for the GOP. After all, what other chance do they have?

This story is going to enhance his support on the right. I bet he leaked it himself.

Posted by: DrBB on September 29, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Look, it's very simple. When most Americans see photos like these

http://ronpaul2008nyc.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/rudyrockette.jpg

in TV ads, it will be all over for Rudy. Maybe the Dems are waiting until he gets the nomination.

Posted by: Hacksaw on September 29, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm I would have thought that since California is such a democratic state it would have been a good place to start the process toward a more democratic process for electing our president.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on September 29, 2007 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK
… since California is such a democratic state it would …start the process toward a more democratic process for electing our president. LiePolitik at 10:41 AM
Sure, if all others states did, but that still would not be the best way to override the heinous Electoral College because congressional districts are gerrymandered. The better plan would be to give all a stated electoral votes to the person who won them in that state. Posted by: Mike on September 29, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm I would have thought that since California is such a democratic state it would have been a good place to start the process toward a more democratic process for electing our president.

... by guaranteeing that the next three or four losers of the popular vote be president.

Posted by: Meerkat on September 29, 2007 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

You really do have to love CA GOP petition mischief. Even when they think they are successful, they shoot themselves in the head. I've never quite understood why other GOP state parties, say Texas', are so much better at grabbing power that the Keystone Cops we have in CA, who are clearly their own worst enemies.

Posted by: Meerkat on September 29, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Uhm... When I rub my cat's belly I get bitten.
I am trained not to rub Chipper's belly.

Posted by: Budly on September 29, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously 9/11 changed fund raising laws. Rudy could tell you that!

Posted by: Rob on September 29, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

"Proportional distribution" isn't anything like what the Republicans are trying to do. The plan doesn't give proportional distribution - it still awards the two "senatorial" electoral votes based on the overall winner. This further enhances the power of small states at the expense of larger states. Since the larger states are where the people live, and since there is no valid reason for giving cows the vote, this is a bad plan. If you want to make every vote count then eliminate the Electoral College. Don't just find ways to decrease the popular vote total needed for Republicans to win the White House.

Posted by: heavy on September 29, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

I recognize a foofaraw when I encounter one. Hopefully the cantankerous hullabaloo and hoopla of the kerfuffle will be entertaining.

swanpoliticsblog.blogspot.com

Posted by: Swan on September 29, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy is so supplicant to big money that he reminds me of someone playing a didgeridoo.

Posted by: Swan on September 29, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

I do not know what median income individuals can do to harm Elliott Associates and ruin their business, but if there is a way it should be communicated and acted upon. We need to find a way to neutralize the kind of political power $8 billions in assets provides. For scum fuckers like Paul Singer, we need to find a way to punish and eliminate their influence.

Posted by: Brojo on September 29, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you for the link bidrec.

Now more than ever, vulture fund 'investors' need to be exposed, shut down and punished. They use finance to steal from very poor people in underdeveloped countries and then use their ill gotten gains to impoverish us. Peru, do to Paul Singer what you have done to Abimael Guzman. Paul Singer has probably done more to harm your nation.

Posted by: Brojo on September 29, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy is so supplicant to big money that he reminds me of someone playing a didgeridoo.

Because they both look like someone doing something Larry Craig is into...

Posted by: Swan on September 29, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

As others have noted, Paul Singer is a Vulture Fund capitalist - http://coolaqua.blogs.com/coolaqua/2007/02/guiliani_campai.html - and is the leading $$$ contributor to bush and rudy.

Per BBC: "Vulture funds - as defined by the International Monetary Fund and Gordon Brown amongst others - are companies which buy up the debt of poor nations cheaply when it is about to be written off and then sue for the full value of the debt plus interest - which might be ten times what they paid for it."

Posted by: Ed on September 29, 2007 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

What other sorts of things does this guy fund?

Posted by: slanted tom on September 29, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

As fine a comprehensive synthesis of what's REALLY been going on for the past nearly seven years as I've yet encountered. (And I've read many commendably scholarly dissections of this period.)

Behan tells it like it is, with copious citations, in a narrative particularly relevant to those who manifest a chronic inability to "see the forest for the trees":

The Mega-Lie Called the "War on Terror": A Masterpiece of Propaganda
By Richard W. Behan, AlterNet

' "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie ... The truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state." --Joseph Goebbels, minister of propaganda in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945

' Since Sept. 11, 2001, the administration of George W. Bush has told and repeated a lie that is "big enough" to confirm Joseph Goebbels' testimony. It is a mega-lie, and the American people have come to believe it. It is the "War on Terror." ...'

Posted by: Poilu on October 1, 2007 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

... not much to "sell" is there?

Littlebear: WELL said (in all of the above)!

Unless one is interested in latter-day Nazi memorabilia, the modern "Republican" Party has NOTHING to sell, nor anything to even remotely "commend" it.

(Of course, the Democratic Party is a supreme disappointment in its own fashion, a la Quisling.)

Posted by: Poilu on October 1, 2007 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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