Issues ››› Elections
  • $168,228: More evidence Dick Morris lied about working for Republicans "without compensation"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    On Wednesday's O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Dick Morris said he is working hard for the Republican Party "without compensation."

    Morris' statement was a lie: During this election cycle, Morris has received payments from the Republican-aligned group Americans for New Leadership ($25,228), New York State Senate candidate Greg Ball ($5,000), the Alabama Republican Party ($15,000), Pennsylvania Republican Party ($10,000) and the Christy Mihos for Governor campaign (MA) ($80,000).

    Recent disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that four federal candidates also paid Morris' firm Triangulation Strategies $33,000:

    • Steve Pearce for Congress (NM) paid Morris $15,000 for "speaker fee" on October 12. The New Mexico Republican Party stated in an October 14 note about Morris: "Dick Morris will be in Hobbs supporting Steve Pearce. Mr. Morris will be at the Republican headquarters around 5:))PM for abook [sic] signing of his latest book "Take Back America 2010". A fundraiser will at X and X's home Call Steve's office at XXX-XXXX for further details."
    • Brad Zaun for Congress (IA) paid Morris $8,000 for "speaker fee" on October 6. Morris headlined a September 22 fundraiser for Zaun in West Des Moines.
    • Nan Hayworth for Congress (NY) paid Morris $5,000 for "speaker fee" on October 5. Morris was the headliner at a September 26 fundraiser.
    • Dan Debicella for Congress (CT) paid Morris $5,000 for "event expense" on August 6. Morris participated in an August 6 fundraiser.

    In total, Morris has received at least $168,228 this cycle. (And this is just from what we know from disclosure reports that have to be federally filed).

  • Full disclosure? Fox's All Star Panel neglects to mention its parent company's donation to RGA

    Blog ››› ››› KAREN FAMIGHETTI

    Tonight, the Special Report All Star Panel discussed upcoming gubernatorial elections in Florida, Ohio, and Maryland. But nowhere in the segment was there a mention of News Corp.'s $1.25 million contribution to the Republican Governors Association this year.

    As Media Matters reported, on July 14, News Corp. subsidiary News America made a $250,000 donation to the RGA, bringing their total contribution for 2010 up to $1.25 million as of October 16. Murdoch came under fire for the company's contributions to conservative groups -- including the RGA -- at a recent board meeting.

    From the October 21 edition of Fox News Channel's Special Report with Bret Baier:

  • Kelly targets SEIU's "foreign nationals," misses

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Last week, I pointed out that right-wing media had tried to push back against criticism of conservative political groups for funding GOP attack ads with money from undisclosed donors, possibly including foreign donors by baselessly claiming that the AFL-CIO is funded by foreign sources.

    With that charge debunked, they've moved on to their next target: long-time conservative target SEIU.

    Today on Fox News' America Live, Megyn Kelly accused Democrats of "hypocrisy," for not "taking aim" at SEIU, claiming that the union "has acknowledged that not only does it have these donors, but that says it cannot 'be certain that foreign nationals have not contributed to its $44 million political budget to support pro-labor Democrats.'" Watch:

    Kelly's criticism really doesn't add up.

  • Fox & Friends' continued aggressive GOP campaigning

    Blog ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

    Fox & Friends today continued its aggressive campaigning for GOP candidates, hosting Harold Johnson, candidate for North Carolina's 8th district; Chip Cravaack, candidate for Minnesota's 8th district; and Dino Rossi, who's running for Senate in Washington.

    Fox & Friends has relentlessly hosted almost exclusively Republican candidates in the weeks leading up to the election. But the issue with its election coverage is not only that the vast majority of its guests have been Republicans (in nearly every case, Fox & Friends' hosts claim their guests' opponents declined interviews), it's that Fox & Friends consistently provide them a platform to campaign with its cheerleading and softball interviews. Recently, the hosts have added a new tactic to their promotion of GOP candidates, claiming that even those trailing their Democratic counterparts by wide margins are "surging" or portraying the races as much closer than they are.

  • Added bonus of FoxPAC donations: Claiming lack of special interest money

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Fox News' William La Jeunesse touted Sharron Angle for what he portrayed as her relative lack of PAC donations. In doing so, he left out one big special interest donor: FoxPAC.

    In fact, Angle actually bragged about fundraising from "friendly" outlets like Fox News. That very fundraising has allowed her the small donors that La Jeunesse touts. In addition to allowing Angle to fundraise on Fox News, groups supported by Fox News and its contributors have spent over $3 million dollars on the race:

    • Fox News contributor Karl Rove's American Crossroads has been the single highest independent contributor for the Senate Race: $1,135,928, which in addition to the $904,285 that Crossroads GPS donated, totals over $2 million dollars.
    • Fox-backed Tea Party Express also spent over one million dollars on the race, in addition to its donation of $5,000 to Angle.
    • Fox News contributor Dick Morris sent a fundraising appeal to Newsmax.com readers asking them to donate to Americans for New Leadership to help defeat Sen. Harry Reid; Americans for New Leadership has spent $157,890 on the race.


  • The silly season cometh, Pingree edition

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    It's mid-October of an election year, and you know what that means: time for political operatives to empty their cupboards of every attack that could possibly stick to the opposing party, and hope the media is willing to credulously run with it.

    Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) is being subject to one such attack, which appears to revolve around two facts: 1) She is engaged to hedge fund manager Donald Sussman and 2) Donald Sussman is rich.

    Specifically, some in the media are attempting to suggest that she is a hypocrite for flying on her fiancé's private jet, contrasting those flights with out-of-context comments that don't quite show what they are suggesting. Here's Stu Rothenberg in a Roll Call column from last week:

    But Pingree won an open seat with only 55 percent two years ago, and GOP operatives see her as "a polarizer in a state that doesn't like polarizers." And Pingree has made herself the focus of controversy by flying around on a corporate jet owned by her fiancé, a wealthy hedge fund chairman.

    This is the same Pingree who testified before Congress by criticizing legislators who used private airplanes and said flying on corporate jets "contributes to the corrosive public perception that Members of Congress are more like the fat cats of Wall Street than they are like the rest of us."

    And here's the full context of Pingree's April 2006 testimony, back when she was president of Common Cause: Pingree was expressing opposition to a provision of a proposed bill that would ban registered lobbyists from traveling on corporate-chartered flights with members of Congress. The thrust of Pingree's argument is that the provision wouldn't go far enough, as the actual problem wasn't that lobbyists were on those flights, but that members of Congress were being flown around by corporations in the first place. According to Pingree, this was a special gift to lawmakers not available to most Americans, and "even if lobbyists are not on the flight, someone from the company, like the C.E.O., will be on board to discuss the company's legislative agenda in their place."

    Seems somewhat different from the issue of a member of Congress having access to her fiancé's private jet, doesn't it? That's probably why the House ethics panel has cleared Pingree's jet use -- a fact Rothenberg doesn't mention.

    Meanwhile, the Maine media is printing stories about how Pingree "would be in violation of federal campaign finance laws" if she used Sussman's jet for campaign purposes, an allegation for which there is no evidence, and which the Pingree campaign has denied.

    Yes, the silly season is here.