Quote of the Day

“The Federal Election Commission is failing to enforce the nation’s campaign finance laws.  I’m in a position to know.  I’m the vice chairwoman of the commission.

“The problem stems from three members who vote against pursuing investions into potentially significant fundraising and spending violations.  In effect, cases are being swept under the rug by the very agency charged with investigating them.”

Ann M. Ravel, “How Not to Enforce Campaign Laws,” NYT

If Sacco Had Threatened Grimm

We’ve all seen Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY) threaten to throw NY1 reporter Michael Scotto “off this f***ing balcony” for daring to ask a question about Grimm’s campaign finance investigation.  We also saw how high up they were at the U. S. Capitol, and what a looooong way down it was.  Grimm also said Scotto was “not man enough” and “I’ll break you in half.  Like a boy.”

If the situation were reversed, and Scotto had threatened Grimm in the exact same way, Scotto could be facing a federal criminal offense.

In December 2012, Grimm directed a “bizarre and scary” rant against two other NY1 employees, Bob Hardt and Errol Louis, for asking him about the same issue, and said they should “take it outside.”

Grimm clearly has a very poor relationship with the First Amendment.  Reporters should be able to ask legitimate questions without being physically threatened, and Grimm should resign.

Politico reports that Grimm is getting media advice from Anthony Weiner.  Hell, Michael, why don’t you call A-Rod while you’re at it?

Quote of the Day — And Maybe the Month

“Between you and me, I’m sort of holding my nose for two years cause what we’re doing here is gonna be a big benefit to Rand in ’16.”

Jesse Benton, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager (probably not for long) for his 2014 re-election, in a recorded telephone conversation with Republican activist Dennis Fusaro.

Fusaro leaked the conversation to the Economic Policy Journal as part of the scandal about Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign paying Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson to jump ship from Michele Bachmann to Paul.  Under Iowa law, Sorenson couldn’t be paid by a presidential campaign, but he was. We’re talking a couple of hundred thousand dollars here.

Jesse Benton, who married into the Paul family, was Ron Paul’s national campaign chairman in 2012 and Rand Paul’s campaign manager in 2010.

McConnell needs Rand Paul’s support in his fight against Tea Party primary challengers, and then of course McConnell would be heavily in Rand Paul’s debt come 2016.

This is getting nasty, and it isn’t just about Kentucky, it has national implications for the next presidential election.

They Can’t Just Take the Gift

You’d think the Tea Party folks would just take the gift-wrapped IRS bias scandal and exploit it for all it’s worth, which is a lot actually.

But noooooooo, because they’re crazy, they have to over-reach.

Michele Bachmann is running around saying that because the IRS is involved in Obamacare (they will administer the monetary penalties for those who choose not to buy health insurance), the IRS is going to delay or deny health care itself to conservatives.  So they’re not just giving your group a hard time about getting a tax exemption, they’re going to kill you!

And so the tide turns back against them because they can’t resist one-upping the IRS on being outrageous.

Feeding the Paranoia

So you have a bunch of people yelling and screaming that the government can’t be trusted and is coming after us.

What does the government do?  It feeds and justifies that narrative by the IRS specifically targeting these groups and subjecting them to extra scrutiny.

The IRS has admitted and “apologized” for the fact that tax-exempt groups with “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names were singled out for heightened review during the 2012 election cycle, including unlawfully demanding names of individual donors, that left-leaning groups didn’t receive.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.