By Katharine Rhodes HendersonThis election cycle Super PACs alone spent more than $500 million on campaign propaganda, from voter suppression tactics and fear mongering to outright fabrications. This spending was a perfectly legal effort to tilt local, state and federal elections and to buy special access at every level of our government. When people make large gifts of money to influence the behavior of a leader, the Bible calls that a bribe. The Bible reserves its strongest words for anonymous bribes, saying in Proverbs that “a wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice.” (Proverbs 17:23)
Candidates and parties
By Luke RosiakMitt Romney’s presidential campaign paid millions of dollars to companies led by top advisers and, by many measures, the campaign got less to show for it than in-house staffers performing a labor of love for President Obama’s campaign, expenditure records show.
By LIZETTE ALVAREZMIAMI — On Election Day, President Obama got 71 percent of the Latino vote nationally because, in the end, Latinos preferred his message over Mitt Romney’s.
Lobbying and ethics
By Kate Ackley“I’m here today because I want to tell my Members of Congress that I believe the wealthy should pay their fair share in taxes and that we can’t cut our way to prosperity,” said Mitch Azarcon, a member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota in a statement distributed to the press.
By Amanda BeckerThe holiday memo gently reminded lawmakers and staffers that the House gift rule applies “even during the holiday season” before describing procedures to accept certain presents, attend parties and the steps that should be taken if an “unacceptable” gift is received.
By Kevin BogardusHundreds of union members will be on Capitol Hill this week to lobby lawmakers to leave entitlements alone and let tax cuts for the wealthy expire.
By Kevin RobillardFederal investigators believe that former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was tipped off to the existence of a criminal probe into his financial activities before he took a leave of absence from Congress in June, according to a report.
By IAN LOVETTKinde Durkee, a former campaign treasurer for Democratic candidates across California, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty this year to five counts of mail fraud in a scheme that siphoned millions of dollars from candidates, including Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representatives Loretta Sanchez, Linda T. Sánchez and Susan A. Davis. The plea deal spared Ms. Durkee, 59, from a prison sentence that could have lasted decades. She will also be required to pay more than $10 million in restitution to the victims, although her lawyers acknowledged in court documents that she would be unable to repay all the stolen money.