FROM Kenneth Vogel
What do Republicans' big donors make of the health care mess? Republican senators are still debating various versions of the health care bill. Two years ago, Republican senators passed a complete repeal. The GOP’s continued inability to make good on its promise to repeal Obamacare is frustrating some of the party’s big financial donors.
Mike Pence is secretly courting top GOP donors During his campaign, candidate Donald Trump attacked his own party's "most generous political donors." Now Vice President Pence is hosting dinners with some of the same people Trump called "puppet masters who manipulate the political process to further their own interests at the expense of working people." That's according to Kenneth P. Vogel of the New York Times .
Some of Trump's 'angel moms' now feel exploited Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump embraces a member of The Remembrance Project at a campaign rally in Henderson, Nevada October 5, 2016 Photo by David Becker/Reuters Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda played a central role in his presidential campaign. He often relied on family members of people killed by undocumented immigrants, who spoke on his behalf at rallies and the Republican Convention itself. Now, those families say they feel abused and exploited and are speaking out against Trump. Kenneth Vogel, chief investigative reporter at Politico , has taken a close look at the story.
Trump Lags Far Behind Clinton's Money Machine In May, Donald Trump tweeted, "Good news is that my campaign has perhaps more cash than any campaign in the history of politics." The latest Federal Election Commission filings show that's more than a slight exaggeration, as we hear from Ken Vogel, chief investigative reporter at Politico .
Trump Focus Group A New York Times/CBS News poll that came out this week finds Americans are more concerned about terrorist attacks than at any time since 9/11. And, among Republican voters, Trump is the beneficiary of these concerns. The latest national polls have him at about 30 percent, twice his nearest competitors: Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Marco Rubio. That has the Republican establishment concerned. The Washington Post reported today that some leading Republicans met to discuss the serious possibility of a brokered convention next July.
The Party of the Koch Brothers Brothers David and Charles Koch are two of the biggest, most controversial players in conservative politics because of the massive amount of money and influence they wield. Now the Kochs have given Democrats a new reason to hate/fear them: they and their network of donors have announced they’ll be spending $889 million on the election in 2016. That figure more than doubles what the actual Republican National Committee spent in the last Presidential race.
'Dark Money' in the 2012 Presidential Campaign With billions of dollars flowing more freely than ever before into the nation's political process, has the US reached the point where money is all that matters when it comes to elections? The balance of power between big money, much of it anonymous, and the average voter is stretched more tightly than ever before thanks to recent court rulings that have chipped away at campaign finance reform and transparency.
Big Money and Secret Money in the 2012 Campaign It's a game-changing year in the election business. This is the first presidential campaign season operating under new rules about donations, which allow unlimited funds to flow in from corporations, unions and individuals. It's being called "dark" money, because much of it remains anonymous. Throw in all the costs related to this year's elections, both presidential and congressional, and some observers are putting the price tag at between six and twelve billion dollars. Whatever happened to campaign finance reform?
After Romney's Haul, Obama Steps Up Fundraising Efforts For the second month in a row, President Obama's campaign has raised less money than Mitt Romney's, and the President's attacks on Wall Street and Romney's wealth aren't helping him raise big money. Ken Vogel is chief investigative reporter for Politico .
Santorum and Romney Fight for Conservative Support at CPAC Two Republican presidential candidates addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington today. First Rick Santorum , who wants this week's wins in three states to make him the alternative to Mitt Romney , addressed the conference. Later Romney addressed CPAC. Ken Vogel is chief investigative reporter for Politico .
Congressman Weiner Steps Down Minority leader Nancy Pelosi called for New York Congressman Anthony Weiner to step down and avoid further embarrassment to his family, himself and the Democratic Party. She even threatened to strip him of his committee assignments. President Obama went public too, suggesting that Weiner resign. Today, from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, he did. We hear more from Steve Kornacki, news editor and political columnist for Salon , and Ken Vogel, chief investigative reporter for Politico .
Public-Employee Benefits and Republican Politics Both Democratic and Republican governors want to cut the pay or benefits of public employees to help reduce massive state deficits. But a poll released today by the New York Times and CBS News says Americans oppose that idea by a margin of 56 to 37 percent. Republican efforts to reduce bargaining rights are opposed by 60 to 33, with only a slim majority of GOP voters in favor. We talk further about those numbers and learn just how badly off state finances are.
Public-Employee Benefits and Republican Politics Between the amount states have promised their workers -- and the money they have to pay -- the gap totals no less than a trillion dollars. Both Democratic and Republican governors want to cut the pay or benefits of public employees to help reduce massive state deficits, but some Republicans are challenging public-sector unions and their right to bargain. While this is music to GOP strategists who've prepared for years to exploit the issue, a poll released today by the New York Times and CBS News says Americans oppose that idea by a margin of 56 to 37 percent. Republican efforts to reduce bargaining rights are opposed by 60 to 33, with only a slim majority of GOP voters in favor. Will there be a political backlash if private-sector voters identify police officers, firefighters and teachers as partners in the besieged middle-class?
Gold Replaces Greenbacks in Boca Raton ATM Machine For high rollers in Boca Raton, Florida, there's a new way to pick up gold. It's the Gold-to-Go vending machine like the one in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Made by the German company Ex Oriente Lux, shoppers insert cash or credit cards and use the touch-screen to choose coins or gold bars of appropriate weights. At current prices, a gram is about the size of a fingernail, an ounce slightly larger than a quarter. Your choice is dispensed in a black box with a tamper-proof seal. That makes for an interesting Christmas gift at a time when many people think gold is more valuable than paper money. Ken Vogel of Politico picks up the story.
Big Money and Stealth Campaigns Since the US Supreme Court declared that private spending is a form of free speech, political campaigns have been as much about money as anything else. Now, the Obama White House is attacking Republicans for hiding the sources of millions of dollars, suggesting they might be raised illegally overseas. Republican agents like Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie are striking back, accusing Democrats of a government-run smear to divert attention from the economy. Even some Democrats are worried about a backfire. Meantime, as the TV commercials multiply, is this the “year of the Missing Candidate?”
Getting a Cut of the Tea Party Rage The Tea Party Patriots scheduled some 600 tax protests around the country today, and the Tea Party Express bus was scheduled to be in Washington, DC. But, while the Patriots claim they're strictly nonpartisan, the Express is something else. The online publication Politico today headlined "GOP operatives crash the tea party." Kenneth Vogel wrote the story .
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.