A Fox News analysis of political donations by the 50 individuals charged in the college admissions scandal shows that alleged corruption appears to know no political ideology.
Some of the alleged scammers made occasional contributions to individual candidates. Others, though, like Robert Flaxman, a real estate magnate who is charged in the scandal, gave small fortunes to both Republican and Democratic campaigns.
In 2012, Flaxman gave $50,000 to the Romney Victory Fund in support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Four years later, in 2016, the 62-year-old founder of Crown Realty and Development supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton with a donation of the same amount to the Hillary Victory Fund.
Felicity Huffman, a star of the show Desperate Housewives, has consistently donated to Democratic campaigns. Since 2003, she’s given over $11,000, according to Political Money Line and FEC records.
Her donation history shows a notable level of support for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) over the past couple of years. Starting in 2016, Huffman gave the Kamala Harris for Senate organization over $2,000 in contributions.
While Huffman’s donations are indicative of her politics, others ensnared in the scandal gave tens of thousands of dollars to both Democrat and Republican candidates.
FEC records show that Flaxman began donating in 2007 with a bevy of contributions to Republican campaigns, including $19,600 to support John McCain. That year, he also gave $10,000 to the California Republican Party.
Most of Flaxman’s donations are small dollar amounts made to individual campaigns in 2016, but several top $2,000 – including $30,800 he gave to the Republican National Committee in 2012.
In 2016, he made at least 43 contributions to various candidates and party organizations. Again, his donations were bipartisan. The real estate magnate gave $2,700 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president and $33,400 to the Democratic National Convention. He also donated $2,700 to the Indiana Republican State Committee and the same amount to the campaign of Sen. Todd Young, an Indiana Republican.
Others had similarly bipartisan patterns of political donations. Manuel Henriquez, the founder of Hercules Capital who has been charged in the scandal, has given thousands of dollars to Democrat and Republican causes. In 2017, he donated $2,000 to Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and in 2012 he gave $10,000 to the Obama Victory Fund.
Outside of his donation to Stivers, Henriquez, who began donating between 2003 and 2004, has largely supported Democratic causes. In 2004, he made a pair of $5,000 donations to the Democratic National Committee.
The reasons for bipartisan donations are myriad, according to Brendan Quinn, a spokesperson at the Center for Responsive Politics. He said a donor supporting both Democrat and Republican candidates could be a simple as them having a personal connection or preference for the candidates.
Although Quinn couldn’t speak to the specific motivations of the Flaxman and others, he said it’s not uncommon for business owners and others to curry political favor with their donations.
A notable presence in the records of many of the donors is ActBlue, a PAC that aims to “democratize power and help small-dollar donors make their voices heard,” according to its website. Since its founding in 2004, the organization has raised more than $1 billion for Democratic candidates.
Although the majority of the 50 indicted individuals have no history of donating to political causes, several of the ones that do have given small fortunes to politicians. Although California voter registrations are not readily available, the pattern of donations for several of the people shows strong democratic inclinations. Others, it appears, follow less stringent ideological lines with their political philanthropy.
Source: Fox News National
The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus says that Democrats still support Israel despite numerous Democratic presidential candidates declining to appear at next week’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy conference.
“I can’t speak for the presidential candidates, but what I can speak for is the House Democratic Caucus who clearly are strongly pro-Israel,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., told “America’s Newsroom” Friday.
“I’ve been to Israel three times, I recognize that there’s shared values, shared strategic interests that are important. And I think that is the perspective of the overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives.”
Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and many others have said they won’t be attending the AIPAC conference.
MoveOn.org called on the 2020 Democratic candidates to skip the conference, even though in the past all presidential candidates viewed the AIPAC conference as a crucial campaign stop.
Jeffries, who will speak at AIPAC said that a two-state solution supported by AIPAC was also in the best interest of Israel, Palestine and the United States.
“As far as I’m concerned, AIPAC’s position as I understand it remains to robustly support a two-state solution. I think that’s the right approach,” Jeffries said. “That’s in Israel’s best interest, that’s in the best interest of the democratic aspirations of the Palestinian people, that’s in the best interest for America.”
The Democratic congressman also commented on the importance of the Mueller report and said any talk of President Trump’s impeachment was “premature.”
“Whether the report exonerates the president, implicates the president or somewhere in between, the American people deserve transparency,” Jeffries said.
“The case should be compelling, the evidence should be overwhelming and the consensus in terms of public sentiment around impeachment should be bipartisan in nature. That’s a strong standard, that’s the right standard, that’s the standard that I agree with.”
Fox News’ Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
As it attempts to hold and possibly expand upon its newly won congressional majority, the House Democrats’ campaign arm is planting an early marker in hopes of preventing primary challenges against sitting incumbents.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) – in a letter sent Friday to more than 100 political firms – clearly stated that it won’t work with, or recommend to House Democratic candidates, any vendors who help to oust incumbents.
“The core mission of the DCCC Is electing House Democrats, which includes supporting and protecting incumbents. To that end, the DCCC will not conduct business with, nor recommend to any of its targeted campaigns, any consultant that works with an opponent of a sitting Member of the House Democratic Caucus,” the committee spelled out in a memo obtained by Fox News.
It’s common practice for both the Democratic and Republican House and Senate re-election arms to protect incumbents running for re-election. But the DCCC’s memo, sent extremely early in the election cycle, is a clear signal to Democratic political firms that the millions in contracts dished out each election by the party committee’s independent-expenditure arm will be off limits to them if they work with insurgent candidates. And that could put a big dent in a primary challenger’s ability to take on an incumbent lawmaker.
The move could help moderate Democrats running for re-election in crucial swing districts, and even some controversial liberal lawmakers.
Among those behind the memo were moderate Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas and progressive firebrand Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, according to National Journal. Both lawmakers could face 2020 primary challenges.
In 2018 primaries, then-Rep. Michael Capuano of Massachusetts lost his bid for an 11th term in Congress to now-Rep. Ayanna Pressley. And socially conservative Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski nearly lost in his primary to progressive challenger Marie Newman. Both Newman and Pressley were helped in their bids by well-known political shops.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who’s become a nationally known progressive leader, defeated then-House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley running a low-budget campaign. She could face a primary challenge of her own in 2020. But she’s teaming up with a liberal group that helped her topple Crowley to now suggest a new round of primary challenges in 2020 against establishment House Democrats.
There’s a history of party committees warning political shops to stay away from primary challengers. Most recently, the House and Senate Republican re-election arms in 2014 cut off Jamestown Associates after the firm targeted GOP incumbents.
Source: Fox News Politics
She may have been a top supporter of firebrand Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, but Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is on the fence these days when it comes to a series of far-reaching and controversial proposals being embraced by her 2020 Democratic rivals.
The four-term Hawaii Democrat, national guard officer and Iraq War veteran appeared to push back both on calls to eliminate the Electoral College and scrap the Senate’s filibuster rule – two longstanding political traditions and institutions – in an interview Friday.
At the same time, Gabbard highlighted her support for reparations for descendants of slaves.
Asked about the Electoral College, Gabbard said “there are reforms that need to take place to make it so that our votes are being cast and counted and represented in the outcome of our elections. I think there are pro and cons to the existing Electoral College and to getting rid of it. What I would think would be important is for us to have a conversation about how we can best move forward.”
But Gabbard seemed to jab at fellow Democrats, saying, “I think it’s unfortunate that too often these calls for changes come about by the side that has lost or suffered as a result of the Electoral College.”
An increasing number of Gabbard’s rivals for the nomination have been supportive of scrapping the Electoral College and having the national popular vote determine the winner of presidential elections.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton topped then-Republican nominee Donald Trump by nearly 3 million votes in the 2016 election, but Trump won the presidency thanks to his convincing margin in the Electoral College.
Gabbard also is not sold on scrapping the filibuster, the longstanding Senate tradition requiring 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to advance a bill, effectively allowing the minority party to block legislation.
“This is a conversation I think that’s important for the American people to have,” she said.
Gabbard added that it’s “important for us to look at how we solve this or make changes that are not based on partisanship. Often it is the party that is in the minority that is calling for bringing about those changes and then once they get into the majority, they say ‘no, absolutely not. We’re not going to change this.’”
At the moment, the filibuster is actually helping Senate Democrats, enabling its members to slow or stall legislation that the GOP Senate majority and Trump White House might support. The president himself has called for an end to the filibuster, only to be met with opposition from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Democrats hoping to pass a sweeping progressive agenda if they win back the White House are concerned their proposals could get bottlenecked in the Senate, where the Democrats have a shot at winning back control — but have little chance of grabbing a 60-member, filibuster-proof majority.
While Gabbard has reservations about eliminating the Electoral College and the Senate’s filibuster, she’s on board with another controversial idea being pushed by some primary rivals – financial reparations for descendants of slaves.
“I’ve actually co-sponsored a bill – HR40 in the House of Representatives – that would put together a commission that would look at the damage that has occurred because of our country’s dark history with slavery and to figure out what is the best way to bring about those reparations,” she told Fox News. “I think we need to bring about reparations, it’s really a question of what is the right way and how.”
Gabbard was interviewed during a jam-packed three-day swing through New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.
The Granite State was Sanders country in the 2016 Democratic primary. The independent senator from neighboring Vermont crushed Hillary Clinton in the state’s primary, launching him into a marathon battle with the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.
Asked how she could compete in New Hampshire for Sanders supporters, Gabbard quickly answered that “this is about something … much bigger than just one person.”
Source: Fox News Politics
In some of his most revealing comments on why he decided against running for president, moderate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg cited his age — but also took aim at the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
"To start a four-year job, or maybe an eight-year job, at age 79 may not be the smartest thing to do. But if I think if I thought I could win, I would have,” the 77-year-old billionaire media mogul explained.
“I just couldn’t see a path to where I could get the nomination,” Bloomberg said Thursday while speaking at the Bermuda Executive Forum in New York City. “It’s just not going to happen on a national level for somebody like me starting where I am unless I was willing to change all my views and go on what CNN called ‘an apology tour.’”
While he’s poured millions of his own money into combating climate change and battling gun violence, the Democrat turned Republican turned independent who last year re-registered as a Democrat suggested that he was simply more moderate than the ever-growing field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, many of whom are increasingly moving to the left.
Pointing to 76-year-old former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s likely to jump into the White House race next month, Bloomberg said, "Joe Biden went out and apologized for being male, over 50, white.”
“He apologized for the one piece of legislation which is actually a pretty good anti-crime bill, which if the liberals ever read it, most of the things they like would be in that bill. They should have loved that. But they didn’t even bother to read it. You’re anti-crime, you must be anti-populist,” Bloomberg added as he took a shot at progressives.
And he also jabbed at former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, who last week declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination and quickly raised an eye-popping $6.1 million in his first 24 hours as a candidate.
"And so everybody else, Beto, whatever his name is, he’s apologized for being born,” said Bloomberg, which brought laughter from the audience. “I mean, I don’t mean to be unkind. And a lot of people love him and say he’s a smart guy, and some day if he wins I’d certainly support him."
Bloomberg seriously considered launching a presidential bid, and earlier this year he made campaign-style swings through the early voting primary and caucus states. But he announced on March 5 that he would not run for the White House.
Source: Fox News Politics
It’s the talk of the 2020 presidential campaign.
Joe Biden’s top political advisers reportedly are debating whether the former vice president should launch a White House bid by pledging to choose a running mate.
And that running mate, according to a report from Axios, could be Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Georgia. The former minority leader in the state’s House of Representatives nearly became the nation’s first black female governor and the first Democrat to win a gubernatorial election in Georgia in two decades, but lost the election.
The new speculation comes after Biden and Abrams had a private sit-down earlier this month, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Abrams has been weighing her own political future, which could include a 2020 Senate bid, a 2022 run for governor again, or even possibly her own White House bid. Abrams is considered a quickly rising star in the party and earlier this year gave the Democratic response to Republican President Trump’s State of the Union address.
Abrams would bring diversity to the ticket, and some of Biden’s advisers – according to Axios – feel the move would add excitement to the former vice president’s campaign. And they feel that pointing to the 45-year old Abrams as a running mate could blunt concerns over the 76-year old Biden’s age.
Sources close to Biden have told Fox News that the former vice president is likely next month to announce his campaign, which would be his third stab at trying to win the presidency. And the past two weeks, Biden’s publicly strongly hinted that he would be running.
While the former vice president has reportedly discussed naming a running mate early, it’s not known if he’s signed off on the suggestion of coming out of the gate with a pledge to name a number two on his ticket.
“It would certainly be something unique, something different. It would send a strong message,” said Mo Elleithee, the founding executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service and a Fox News contributor.
But there are downsides as well. The strategy could be seen as a gimmick that the former vice president needs to stand out in a large Democratic 2020 field, and Biden could be seen as having “an air of inevitability.” And it could raise the question of whether Biden feels out of step with the current political climate, concerned about decades-old political positions the longtime senator from Delaware held that now are unpopular among Democrats.
“I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think he should feel it’s something he has to do . At the end of the day he’ll go out there and make his own case,” explained Elleithee, a senior spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign who later served as communications director for the Democratic National Committee.
“He may choose to name a running mate before the end of the primary season but I don’t he needs to feel compelled to do it on day one. I think that could actually detract a bit from a bigger message,” Elleithee added.
Source: Fox News Politics
Add Beto O’Rourke to a growing list of Democratic presidential candidates who are considering scrapping long-standing Senate procedure in hopes of passing a sweeping progressive agenda should they make it to the White House.
Under siege is the filibuster, the longstanding Senate tradition requiring 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to advance a bill, effectively allowing the minority party to block legislation.
“I think that that’s something that we should seriously consider,” O’Rourke told reporters on the campaign trail in New Hampshire earlier this week.
“We have to look at some of these institutional reforms, whether it’s the Supreme Court, the Electoral College, the filibuster in the Senate, we’ve got to get democracy and our institutions working again,” explained the former three-term congressman from Texas.
On the same day that O’Rourke entertained the idea, a rival for the Democratic nomination also opened the door to the idea of dispatching with the filibuster.
“When you talk about changing the filibuster rule I understand that we are heading, right now, we are heading that way,” Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey said in an interview on "Pod Save America." “I’m going to tell you that for me that door is not closed.”
The comments mark an increasing appetite in the 2020 Democratic field for challenging longstanding political traditions and institutions — everything from the voting age to the Electoral College to the Senate filibuster. And for Booker, his comments mark a backtrack from previous statements.
Last month, Booker told NPR that he didn’t favor eliminating the filibuster. And in an interview with Politico in January – before he formally declared his candidacy – he said “we should not be doing anything to mess with the strength of the filibuster. It’s one of the distinguishing factors of this body. And I think it is good to have the power of the filibuster.”
The pro-Republican opposition research shop America Rising accused the senator of flip-flopping on the issue, saying in an email after the senator’s latest comments that “Booker has jumped on board with the latest liberal litmus test, abolishing the filibuster.”
At the moment, the filibuster is actually helping the Democratic Party, enabling its members to slow or stall legislation that the GOP Senate majority and Trump White House might support. Trump himself has called for an end to the filibuster, only to be met with opposition from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
But McConnell lowered the threshold to confirm Supreme Court nominees to a simple majority, and other federal judges and Cabinet nominees also are no longer subject to a 60-vote threshold. The filibuster on legislation is all that remains in terms of built-in brakes in the upper chamber that could slow the majority party.
And so Democrats hoping to pass a sweeping progressive agenda if they win back the White House are concerned their proposals could get bottlenecked in the Senate, where the Democrats have a shot at winning back control — but have little chance of grabbing a 60-member, filibuster-proof majority.
“Everything stays on the table. You keep it all on the table. Don’t take anything off the table,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said when recently asked on the presidential campaign trail about scrapping the filibuster.
Candidates proposing major changes to deal with climate change also see the filibuster as a major impediment.
"I don’t believe you can be serious about saying you can defeat climate change unless you realize we need to have the filibuster go the way of history because Mitch McConnell has weaponized the filibuster," Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters on Wednesday. "You can’t be serious about having major decarbonization legislation in any near-term without removing the filibuster."
But not all of the White House contenders are on board.
“Great question…Let’s change the subject!” joked Sen. Kamala Harris of California, when asked by a voter in Iowa about her stance on the issue.
The Harris campaign tells Fox News that their candidate has “said she’s genuinely conflicted on this issue but everything is on the table.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York told "Pod Save America" in January that “I think it’s useful to bring people together, and I don’t mind that you have to get 60 votes for cloture.”
“If you’re not able to get 60 votes on something, it just means you haven’t worked hard enough, talking to enough people and trying to listen to their concerns and then coming up with a solution that they can support. And so I’m not afraid of it one way or the other,” she added.
Sen. Bernie Sanders also opposes scrapping the filibuster.
"I’m not crazy about getting rid of the filibuster. I think the problem is, people often talk about the lack of comity and the anger. The real issue is that you have in Washington a system which is dominated in Washington by wealthy campaign contributors,” he said last month in an interview with CBS News.
Source: Fox News Politics
The mother of an American journalist whose execution was brutally broadcast says American Taliban militant John Walker Lindh should not be allowed to go free and further spread his deadly beliefs.
“I don’t think he should be released if he is going to continue to sow hate and terrorism around the world.” Diane Foley, the mother of murdered journalist James Foley said while appearing on “Fox & Friends First” Thursday morning.
Foley went on to say that anyone accused of "incredible human rights crimes" should be "put away for the rest of their lives" if found guilty.
Lindh, a former American Taliban militant convicted in 2002 for supporting the terrorist organization, is due to be freed in May.
According to a report by Foreign Policy magazine, as of May 2016 Lindh: "continues to advocate for global jihad and to write and translate violent extremist texts.”
The report also noted that Lindh told: “a television news producer that he would continue to spread violent extremist Islam upon his release.”
Lindh is expected to move to Ireland.
I don’t think he should be released if he is going to continue to sow hate and terrorism around the world.
Foley’s son, James, was beheaded by ISIS in 2014, nearly two years after he had been abducted in Syria.
She then commented on the type of justice she’s like to see for those who commit acts of terror against Americans.
“I would like them brought back to the United States and tried in federal criminal court so all their crimes can be brought out in the open, and they can be, if convicted, they can be held in prison for the rest of their lives,” Foley said. “That’s what I would like.”
Fox News’ Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News National
New Yorkers apparently don’t think too much of a native daughter who’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination and a native son who’s also mulling a White House bid.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday indicated that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is the least popular among New Yorkers of all the Democrats who’ve either launched presidential campaigns or are flirting with White House runs.
Only 24 percent of registered voters in the Empire State said they had a favorable opinion of the progressive two-term mayor, with 49 percent viewing him unfavorably.
De Blasio was also unpopular among New York City voters, at 36 percent favorable and 48 percent unfavorable. And he was slightly underwater (36-38 percent favorable/unfavorable) among Democrats statewide.
De Blasio recently made campaign-style stops in the early primary and caucus voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina, as he seriously considers a presidential bid.
“For New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll run, his statewide net favorability rating is at an all-time low since taking office in 2014,” Quinnipiac polling analyst Mary Snow highlighted.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – who formally declared her candidacy for president last weekend – also couldn’t break even in the poll. She stood at 29 percent favorable and 35 percent unfavorable among registered voters statewide.
“New Yorkers aren’t cutting any slack to their own elected officials,” Snow said. “As Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand makes her presidential bid official, her net favorability score is her worst ever.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden – who’s likely to launch a presidential campaign next month – had the strongest numbers among the declared or potential White House hopefuls. Biden stood at 62 percent favorable and 24 percent unfavorable.
Not too far behind Biden stood Sen. Bernie Sanders, who’s making his second straight run for the Democratic presidential nomination. The independent senator from Vermont stood at 51-38 percent favorable/unfavorable.
The person they’re all trying to oust from the White House, Republican President Trump, came in way underwater among New York state voters, at 28-68 percent.
The poll also indicated that freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City – the progressive firebrand who keeps making national headlines – stood at 31 percent favorable and 38 percent unfavorable.
The Quinnipiac University Poll was conducted March 13-18, with 1,216 New York state voters questioned via telephone by live operators. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
Source: Fox News Politics
Members of America’s largest autoworkers union are paying too much in dues, President Trump said Wednesday during a speech at an Ohio tank plant.
The president criticized the leadership of United Automobile Workers (UAW) and called on them to lower the membership fees for the organization’s 400,000 members.
Trump’s remarks at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, known as the Lima Army Tank Plant, also referred to the idling of a General Motors plant in Lordstown last year. Lordstown is in eastern Ohio, about 193 miles east of Lima.
“They could’ve kept that gorgeous plant,” Trump said, according to Cleveland.com. “Lower your dues. Lower your dues.”
But employees pay dues to the union, not to General Motors, the report noted.
Just days ago, Trump criticized President Dave Green of UAW Local 1112, the chapter that represents the Lordstown workers.
"Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce. G.M. let our Country down, but other much better car companies are coming into the U.S. in droves. I want action on Lordstown fast. Stop complaining and get the job done!" the president wrote.
Green had criticized Trump’s tax cut during an interview Sunday with Fox News, saying it "incentivized corporations like (GM) to pay less taxes on profits when they bring products in from outside our borders."
On Wednesday, Green told Fox News’ Dana Perino that he hasn’t "taken any of this personally," and that he wants legislators to work together. He said his union "just wants to better policy," and that he is trying to "stay out of the feud" between Trump and GM CEO Mary Barra.
Ohio Democrats defended Green and the union, with 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke personally meeting with Green on Monday in Lordstown, the paper reported.
On his Wednesday speech, Trump also leveled larger criticism at union leaders.
“I want to deal with the people in the union, not the heads of the union, because the heads of the union are not honest people,” Trump said, according to the Washington Examiner. “They’re not honest. They’re not honest and they ought to lower your dues, by the way. They ought to stop with the dues. You’re paying too much dues.”
The union responded by saying it has already put in place a plan for members’ dues to be lowered to their pre-2011 level as soon as the strike fund reaches $850 million, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Source: Fox News Politics