Just 15 groups were responsible for more than 75 percent of dark money political spending from 2010 to 2016, and together poured more than $600 million – out of a total of $800+ million – into campaigns in the wake of the landmark Citizens United case, according to a new analysis from Issue One, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for stricter campaign finance rules.
“Dark money groups hold enormous sway over what issues are, and are not, debated in Congress and on the campaign trail,” the report explains. “But the donors behind these groups rarely discuss their motivations for bankrolling these efforts, leaving the public in the dark about who funds these increasingly prominent and potent organizations.”
After pleading guilty to discharging a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, causing the death of another person, former East Chicago Councilman Robert Battle was recently sentenced to 20 years in federal prison followed by 2 years of supervised release. While serving as a Council member, Battle participated in dealing cocaine and marijuana before fatally shooting his supplier in the back.
In April 2015, law enforcement agents began investigating Battle in relation to drug trafficking activities and later received information that Reimundo Camarillo was supplying the sitting East Chicago Councilman with large quantities of drugs. On September 23, 2015, agents conducted a traffic stop as Battle was returning from a drug delivery to Michigan.
The photos, first reported by CBS Wednesday after going viral on social media the day before, show potentially millions of water bottles sitting on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico nearly a year after the storm.
BREAKING: What may be millions of water bottles. meant for victims of Hurricane Maria, have been sitting on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, since last year, according to @FEMA, which confirmed the news to me, late tonight, after pictures, posted today on social media, went viral. pic.twitter.com/jidGJAvCyJ
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) September 12, 2018
President Trump on Thursday morning accused the Puerto Rican government of lying about the death toll from Hurricane Maria, attributing the recently increased death toll to a conspiracy orchestrated by his political opponents.
“3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump tweeted. “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…”
3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2018
After the Trump administration postponed a student borrower protection rule, two students and Democratic attorneys general from 19 states and the District of Columbia challenged the government and won. U.S. District Court Judge Randolph D. Moss ruled in favor of the plaintiffs claiming the delaying the “student borrower protection rule was improper and unlawful,” NPR reported.
“This is such an important win for student borrowers and anyone who cares about a government that operates under the rule of law,” Toby Merrill, Harvard Law School’s Project On Predatory Student Lending, said.
The “borrower defense” allows a student attending a college who was misled, or if the school engaged in misconduct, to apply to student loan relief. The rule was put in place in the mid-1990s, but produced very few claims because of its obscurity until the collapse of for-profit Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech when the Obama administration clarified and updated the rule.
More than a year after he requested proposals from the general public for philanthropic initiatives that he could put a portion of his $163 billion fortune toward, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos – the world’s wealthiest person – unveiled the idea he’d come up with: a $2 billion fund to help the homeless and establish a network of schools for low-income communities.
The tech founder’s plan was slammed as amounting to far less than what he could easily afford to do for communities that are struggling, especially after Amazon pressured the city of Seattle out of passing a corporate tax that would have funded affordable housing for the city where the company’s headquarters has contributed to its sky-rocketing home prices – a tax that could have alleviated some of the need for the homeless shelters Bezos’s initiative will help.
Amazon didn't trust Seattle to spend head tax $ wisely on homeless services, affordable housing. Bezos clearly feels like he can identify nonprofits that do better. Meanwhile, this HUD list is a reminder of what he sees driving into work everyday pic.twitter.com/zYYAMKisVF
— Nick Wingfield (@nickwingfield) September 13, 2018
Massachusetts State Police have confirmed officials are responding to 70 house fires, explosions or reports of gas odors – possibly caused by gas leaks – around the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover on Thursday evening.
Officials urged all residents in the area who are Columbia Gas customers to evacuate, “as should anyone else who smells gas.”
MSP Fusion Center has current updated tally of responses to fires/explosions/investigations of gas odor at 70. Spread over wide swath of south #Lawrence and northern part of #NorthAndover with several others across Merrimack River in north Lawrence. pic.twitter.com/a7kBYaWFrJ
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) September 13, 2018