Tom Corbett Continues Attacks On Transparency

It recently came to light that Pennsylvania’s wildly unpopular Governor, Tom Corbett, has gone to remarkable lengths in order to avoid transparency laws and conduct his business behind closed doors. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “The governor said he rarely uses email because he knows reporters would file Right-To-Know requests to get them. Instead, he said, he uses the telephone.”

Well if Governor Corbett is going to conduct all his business on the phone to skirt transparency laws, then American Bridge is going to FOIA for his phone records — which is exactly what we did.

Well the results are in. And surprise, surprise, Corbett‘s office did as little as humanly possible to comply with the request. They disclosed only partial mobile phone logs, no land-line logs, denied our request for notes related to the phone calls, and redacted the origin and destination of every call.

If Governor Corbett has nothing [...]

Dishonesty Personified: Bruce Rauner’s New Minimum Wage Lie

Bruce Rauner is out with a new ad that makes a laughable claim. The ad, “Screwed Up,” claims that Rauner’s plan will responsibly raise the minimum wage. Seriously.

Bruce Rauner will raise the minimum wage? That seems pretty unlikely considering his complete and utter distaste for the minimum wage. Rauner made his views perfectly clear, as caught by an American Bridge trackers, when he said he was “adamantly, adamantly against raising the minimum wage.

Moreover, Rauner has actually advocated for LOWERING the Illinois minimum wage, or doing away with the minimum wage altogether!

If you believe Bruce Rauner will raise the minimum wage, then I’ve got a $140,000 wine club membership and a $100,000 extra parking spot and a couple cattle ranches to sell you…

Ain’t No Party Like A Shutdown Party: Your 2014 GOP

A year ago today was a dark day for Washington. Like, literally dark — the Republican Party turned off the lights to the federal government, holding the economy hostage to try to score political points. It didn’t work.

In fact, all the government shutdown did was suck $24 billion out of the US economy, while leaving the Republican Party deeply damaged. It’s easy to associate the shutdown with the likes of Ted Cruz, the man who drives the GOP strategy. But it’s not just Ted Cruz who supported the shutdown. It’s nearly every Republican Senate candidate in key races and a slew of 2016 frontrunners.

Their support manifested itself in different ways. Cory Gardner voted for the shutdown, risked default by voting against raising the debt ceiling, voted to prolong the shutdown, and then hobnobbed with Karl Rove and his big-money donor friends while America paid the price for his actions.

David Perdue wasn’t lucky enough to cast an actual vote for the shutdown, so he just championed it from the sidelines — he even bemoaned that it didn’t go further, saying, “Shutting this government down doesn’t bother me a minute. But if you want to shut it down, shut it down.”

Bill Cassidy signed a letter urging Leadership to force a shutdown. Tom Cotton made clear in the aftermath that he had no regrets about voting to shut down the government. Thom Tillis apparently wanted the shutdown to go on longer, stating that he “could not have supported” the legislation that finally put it to an end. The list goes on and on.

The Republican Party has become more and more extreme in recent years, moving way to the right as they became one with the Tea Party. Today’s candidates embody that stark reality. This slate of candidates will stop at nothing to assert their ideological purity.

The shutdown may be a year behind us, but the Shutdown Party lives on.

The Ongoing Reinvention Of Rand Paul: Lying About Birth Control

Rand Paul’s ultra-right wing bona fides cannot be questioned when it comes to women’s health. After all, Rand Paul introduced the Senate personhood bill that could ban common forms of birth control. He’s even bragged about his crusade to restrict women’s health options, including his support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade. Clearly this was all a point of pride for Senator Paul.

But in case you haven’t heard, now he wants to be president. And it turns out that denying women access to birth control isn’t particularly popular. So just like he’s done on Israel, and on ISIS, and on civil rights, and so on and so on, he’s doing what he does best: simply lying to voters.

Paul was asked today in South Carolina about his position on the morning-after pill, and he affirmed his support for it. Which is all good and well, except that he brags about introducing personhood legislation that could make it illegal. He’s consistently been one of the most extreme politicians in Washington when it comes to women’s issues. Just check out this video that he recently scrubbed from his YouTube account.

Now Rand Paul thinks he can lie his way to the middle and twist himself into a candidate with broad appeal. It seems every week, you wake up and Rand Paul is selling a new version of Rand Paul.

There’s only one problem: people are watching.

Americans For Prosperity’s Troubling Record On Voting Rights And Voter Registration

2014: Americans for Prosperity Mailed Incorrect Information to North Carolina Voters

Americans for Prosperity Mailed Incorrect Voter Registration Information to Hundreds of Voters In North Carolina.  According to The News  & Observer:   “Hundreds of North Carolinians – and one cat – have received incorrect voter registration information, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections.  The information – an “official application form” – was sent by Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative group with a state chapter based in Raleigh.”  [News & Observer, 9/25/14]

AFP Under Investigation By North Carolina State Board Of Elections For Inaccurate Mailers. According to MSNBC, “A Koch brothers group is being investigated for sending mailers with incorrect information about how to register to vote to hundreds of North Carolina voters—and one cat. Joshua Lawson, a spokesman for the state board of elections, said his office opened the probe Monday after receiving a formal sworn complaint from the state Democratic Party about the mailers, which were sent recently by American for Prosperity (AFP). Lawson said state law requires the board to open an investigation if it receives a sworn complaint.” [MSNBC.com, 9/29/14]

This Is Not AFP’s First Time Sending Out Inaccurate Voting Information.  According to MSNBC, “AFP has said the mailers were an honest mistake, not an effort to mislead voters. But this isn’t the first time that the group, which came to prominence as part of the tea party movement, has sent out inaccurate voting information. And it’s also been involved in organized efforts to make voting harder.” [MSNBC.com, 9/29/14] 

In 2010, “AFP Discussed A ‘Voter Caging’ Scheme With The Wisconsin GOP And Tea Party Activists” Targeting Minority And Student Voters.  According to MSNBC, “AFP is also alleged to have played an active role in helping Republicans suppress the vote. According to a report by One Wisconsin Now, a liberal group, in 2010, AFP discussed a ‘voter caging’ scheme with the Wisconsin GOP and tea party activists, in which a mailer was to be sent to minority and student voters, telling them they had to confirm their voter registration. Any mailers returned as undeliverable were then to be used by tea party volunteers to challenge the eligibility of voters at the polls. AFP’s Wisconsin director said at the time the effort aimed to combat voter fraud. It’s not clear how much of it was put into practice.” [MSNBC.com, 9/29/14]

Ben Carson’s Greatest Hits

Carson: “Obamacare Is Really I Think The Worst Thing That Has Happened In This Nation Since Slavery. And It Is In A Way, It Is Slavery In A Way, Because It Is Making All Of Us Subservient To The Government.” According to the Washington Post, “Dr. Ben Carson, a rising star in conservative circles, on Friday compared President Obama’s health-care law to slavery. ‘You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,’ Carson, who is African American, said Friday in remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. ‘And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.’” [Washington Post, 10/11/13]

  • Carson Said Obama Was “The Worst Thing Since Slavery,” Including Jim Crow. According to Biz Pac Review, “‘I realize how horrible it was … I didn’t say this is ‘as bad’ as slavery, I said this is the worst thing since slavery.’ ‘Which includes Jim Crow,’ Martin interrupted. ‘Yes, absolutely,’ Carson answered. ‘This nation was founded on the principle that it would be a new type of nation, that was for, of, and by the people.’” [Biz Pac Review, 10/21/13]

Carson Called Cliven Bundy And Militia Members “Outstanding People.” In a Washington Times interview, Ben Carson said, “These citizens, for America, who really are pretty outstanding people, they become terrorists because you don’t like the fact that they are standing in your way, doing what they have been doing for over a hundred years.” [Washington Times Interview, 4/23/14]

Carson: “Kids Who Are Born Into Poverty, And Will Live In Poverty, And In Many Cases Will End Up Without A Father Figure In Their Life, And Don’t Know How To Respond To Authority, And End Up Being Killed, You Know, Like Michael Brown.” In a Washington Times radio interview, Carson said, “You look at teen pregnancy in Washington D.C., Detroit, and Philadelphia, and all of those kids who are born into poverty, and will live in poverty, and in many cases will end up without a father figure in their life, and don’t know how to respond to authority, and end up being killed, you know, like Michael Brown.” [Ben Carson Radio Interview – Washington Times, 8/21/14]

Carson: “I Will Be Glad When There Isn’t Any Black History Month.” According to the Washington Times, “‘I will be glad when there isn’t any Black History Month,’ he says. ‘Each of us should be interested in each other’s history.’ Another hot-button issue Dr. Carson addresses is affirmative action, which he says was necessary at one time but has now become divisive. He proposes ‘compassionate action,’ an alternative to affirmative action that’s based on need, not race.” [Washington Times, 2/17/99]

BREAKING VIDEO: Dan Sullivan Returns Home Sweet Home To Ohio

Northeast Ohio native Dan Sullivan skipped a forum in Anchorage yesterday that was attended by Mark Begich and Libertarian Mark Fish. Why would Sullivan skip a candidate forum so late in the election? Turns out, he was just feeling a little homesick.

While the other Alaska senate candidates were answering questions about Alaska, Dan Sullivan was prepping for his big homecoming, a secret fundraising trip to Cleveland. Sullivan continues to raise more money from Ohio donors than from any other state, including hefty sums from his wealthy family and friends.

It’s not surprising that Dan Sullivan tried to keep this fundraising swing back home under wraps as he continues to try to convince Alaskans that he is one of them. But he’s not fooling anyone.

His primary opponent, Mead Treadwell, put it best: “I’ve got a jar of mayonnaise in my refrigerator that’s been there longer than Dan Sullivan’s been in Alaska.”

We hope Dan Sullivan enjoyed his quick trip back to Ohio — he’ll have plenty of free time to spend there after November 4th.

Watch the video:

Misery Loves Company

Chris Christie is coming to Wisconsin today to campaign for Scott Walker, and the two have much in common. Both governors were once considered Republican frontrunners for 2016, but have since been tainted by ongoing investigations and a record of fiscal failures.

A new business survey released last week showed that Wisconsin and New Jersey rank pathetically as the 46th and 47th best states for businesses. The pair of governors present themselves as business-friendly policymakers, but the facts show otherwise. Moreover, each faces looming budget shortfalls thanks to budget overhauls that gave tax cuts to the wealthy while gutting education.

Christie has presided over an astonishing eight credit downgrades in his tenure in the Garden State, while Walker’s Wisconsin is last in the Midwest in job growth. Walker is now statistically tied with his challenger in a race he hoped would only be a formality on his path to running for President in 2016, while Christie is struggling to remain relevant on the national stage.

Scott Walker and Chris Christie are long on topics for commiseration, and short on good ideas for their constituents.

Corroding the Classroom: Republican Gubernatorial Candidates’ Devastating Cuts to Education

In key gubernatorial races across the country, education funding has become a major issue — and that’s bad news for Republicans.

In 2010, a slew of GOP candidates rode a tea party wave to governorships, promising massive budget overhauls that would hand tax cuts to the wealthy and cut other programs to pay for them. Well they delivered on those promises, and one after the next gutted education funding as they reshaped their states in the tea party mold. Now they’re reaping what they’ve sown.

From Rick Scott and Scott Walker to Sam Brownback, Tom Corbett and more, Republican governors are getting slammed for slashing funds for schools, dealing a blow to their respective reelection bids, while prospective governors like Doug Ducey have promised to do the same. Locked in tight races, these Tea Party governors are floundering to explain their draconian cuts to concerned constituents by twisting numbers and distorting their records.

But there is no explaining away the truth: these governors put tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations ahead of children’s education, and families in their states are paying the price.

Shady Rick, Part Infinity: Donor Intimidation (VIDEO)

Shady Rick Scott and the Republican Party of Florida continue to show that there is simply no length they won’t go to in order to win this election.

For the past week, Scott and the Florida GOP have been subject to ridicule and disgust over a pants-on-fire that ran thousands of times across the state, and neither Scott nor the state party would disavow it.

Well they’re certainly not changing their shady ways. Now, the Republican Party of Florida has gone as far as to film guests attending Crist events, photograph their license plates, and send protesters in prison uniforms to a private home all to try to intimidate donors.

Scott, unsurprisingly, was dismissive when reporters asked about the outrageous tactics. But they’re not fooling anyone. Local news was all over their latest objectionable ploy, and voters are growing tired of Shady Rick and his shameless campaign.

Watch: