Like they love PAC

I am not anxious to tar any liberal PACs, but (via OW)….

Accountability Now collected $113,695 in donations during 2009, as it reported to the FEC, and spent $169,992 that year on nine consultants. Six of those people managed the committee: The PAC paid Hamsher $24,000, another $24,000 to PAC cofounder Glenn Greenwald of Salon.Com, $65,710 to two executive directors and $38,047 to two management consultants.

The PAC also paid $4,000 to Firedoglake for “rent,” according to its FEC filings. This expenditure is difficult to understand. Hamsher has operated her web site out of post office boxes at UPS Stores in Los Angeles and Falls Church, Va., and the Accountability Now web site states that “we have purposely avoided hiring a large staff or incurring the type of unnecessary expenses typically incurred by PACs (including even office rentals) in order to make our donors’ contributions last as long as possible.”

Out of the $234,920 raised by FDL Action PAC in 2009, $44,192 was paid to Firedoglake and other business entities affiliated with Hamsher, according to FEC filings. The PAC paid $16,411 to Firedoglake for “shared general administrative expenses,” $14,111 to the site for “list purchase,” $9,920 to CommonSense Media for “online advertising” and $3,750 to KMP Research for “strategic consulting.”

No one’s getting rich or chartering private planes here. But, at the very least, this PAC (EDIT: I mean Accountability Now) is a big financial failure did not bank or disburse money to candidates last year.

468 replies
  1. 1

    Expecting Hamsherbot/Glennbot flame war in 3 … 2 … 1 …

  2. 2
    freelancer says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Like this one wouldn’t be well-earned? (Freakin’ Jane Hamshers of the Left)

  3. 3
    slackjawedgawker says:

    are these expenses different than those commonly incurred in ventures like these?

  4. 4
    ruemara says:

    hm. I seriously need to form a pac, present very liberal yet implausible to pass things and then, profit.

    And an addendum, each PAC spent approximately 50% on administrative expenses. Very FAIL

  5. 5
    tamied says:

    If these things don’t prove a fool and his money are soon parted, I don’t know what is.

  6. 6
    Arkon DougJ says:

    @slackjawedgawker:

    I suspect they are on the low side if anything.

    But PACs are supposed to make money (to give to candidates), not spend it all on expenses. If you can’t raise enough to pay expenses and have something left over, you shouldn’t be in the PAC game.

  7. 7
    Malron says:

    Yeah, ?I’m sure their responses will be brilliant.

  8. 8
    Xantar says:

    Well, those buses aren’t going to drive over hippies by themselves you know.

  9. 9
    dr. bloor says:

    How soon after a PAC is formed is it expected to be devoting the majority of its resources to its stated mission? I’m no Hamsher fan, but most businesses/foundations look like shit on paper early on (and I mean years, not weeks or months) because they’re getting things up and running.

  10. 10
    Arkon DougJ says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Good point.

  11. 11
    r€nato says:

    No strip club expenses?

  12. 12
    tim says:

    Arkon, seems to me you’ve made NO effort to dig into this and actually try to find out if there are legitimacy issues involved. Rather, you’re just throwing mud out there with t he usual BJ anti-FDL innuendo because it feels good, cause you know, it’s cool at BJ to hate FDL, Hillary Clinton, and all that noise…

    Maybe these expenses are legit, and maybe they are bogus. Your post does nothing to help me determine which is which. But hey, you’ll get a good flame war going and John will notice, so good on you.

  13. 13
    slackjawedgawker says:

    @dr. bloor:
    this is what i’m wondering, too. they haven’t even been around for a real election season yet. my main concern would be that they keep their expenses low when, likely, money for 2010 candidates starts coming in.

    when is the primary against blanche lincoln anyway?

  14. 14
    Foxhunter says:

    Two things:

    1) This is an example of why I don’t contribute to PACs. Justified expenses, maybe. ROI? Probably not much.

    2) My popcorn is in the microwave.

  15. 15
    gbear says:

    I’m popping popcorn right now. It would be irresponsible not to..

    edit: damn. too slow.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    @tim: Who hates Hillary Clinton?

  17. 17
    starfleet dude says:

    Whatevs, but this does illustrate how you can get more bang for the buck by donating directly to candidates.

  18. 18
    gwangung says:

    Maybe these expenses are legit, and maybe they are bogus.

    Maybe someone can find out, or someone can explain. Got no problems if they’re legitimate.

  19. 19
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Accountability Now collected $113,695 in donations during 2009, as it reported to the FEC, and spent $169,992

    I wonder what is the size of the endowment supporting this project and how long it will last at this pace. With expenses running at 150% of donations, it sounds like they may have a pretty good burn-thru rate.

  20. 20
    mistermix says:

    From reading the linked articles, it looks like the mistake Jane made was to start two PACs. Each PAC will have FEC reporting requirements, management needs, etc. Some of that is fixed cost (e.g., buying software, directors, etc.) As Dr Bloor points out, it may take a while to get the PACs running, but why two when that’s just going to increase your nut?

    And, if you think about it, with the existence of ActBlue, why does she need a PAC at all? Why not just organize ActBlue campaigns via FDL?

  21. 21
    unabogie says:

    @tim:

    One commenter here named Mary was the first person I read who pointed out how Accountability Now seemed fishy. It was at the same time that Greenwald was here swearing he never had financial ties with FDL.

    What seems obvious to me is that this wasn’t true, since he’s taking money from this PAC.

    The fact that they’ve spent virtually all of their donations as “salary” and virtually none of it on candidates just stinks, IMO.

  22. 22
    r€nato says:

    @mistermix:

    Why not just organize ActBlue campaigns via FDL?

    Because it’s all about Jane, not actually helping candidates.

  23. 23
    r€nato says:

    @unabogie:

    well at least they aren’t using our troops as fundraising props to line their pockets, like Hannity and Ollie North.

  24. 24
    Cain says:

    We do not hate hillary clinton. we love her. She is an awesome Secretary of State. She might even make a great president after Obama.

    cain

  25. 25
    Peter J says:

    The FEC reports show that Hamsher’s PACs are a significant source of income for Firedoglake, but my experience trying to question her about them suggests that she’s not big on transparency.

  26. 26
    A Mom Anon says:

    I must be an idiot,but how hard is it to give the money that you bring in to candidates you endorse? Why all the middle man and assorted other expenses?

  27. 27
    Foxhunter says:

    @unabogie:

    What seems obvious to me is that this wasn’t true, since he’s taking money from this PAC.

    I think there have been several of us that showed skepticism about the FDL ‘projects’ and Greenwald’s involvment. The whole effect just put off a weird vibe; not that the two are unlikely partners, but something changed mid-season of the primary.

    I recall seeing video of some Repulican ambush (probably warranted) that was taken by JH and GG. Can’t recall the event nor locale, but they were the leads.

    I’m sure that we will get some 7,500 word essay from Greenwald as to why this is not a big deal, authored in his condescending tone from high perch in Brazil or wherever he is based today.

    If this turns out to be a sham, kind of sad. Never cared much for Jane’s over-the-top mentalilty, but Greenwald was a good read. And this has nothing to do with my dislike of PUMA’s or my feelings about HRC.

  28. 28
    slackjawedgawker says:

    @starfleet dude:

    yes, I’d only donate to this PAC if I thought that Hamsher/Greenwald would use it more to my liking than the candidate him/herself would. I don’t see that happening anytime in the near or distant future (and I’m a big fan of Glenn).

  29. 29
    MikeJ says:

    @slackjawedgawker: If you’ve already maxed out to a candidate, PACs are an easy way to to continue to support your favoured candidates. It’s hard to believe that anybody would give to a PAC *before* giving to a candidate.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    I guess the relative lack of flame wars around here has been getting on your nerves.

    “It’s quiet. Too quiet.”

  31. 31
    Mary says:

    But PACs are supposed to make money (to give to candidates), not spend it all on expenses. If you can’t raise enough to pay expenses and have something left over, you shouldn’t be in the PAC game.

    I’m not a Hamsher fan and I’ve never read FDL, but it is not necessarily the case that the money is supposed to be given directly to candidates. If her stated purpose is to recruit primary challengers, I can easily envision spending a couple hundred thousand dollars on research and analysis and travel to figure out which incumbents are vulnerable and which districts have viable primary candidates. Darcy Burner’s point is a good one. (from the article)

    “I think the key question would be more one of whether people giving the money understand what it will be used for. … There’s a trust relationship with donors that requires some truth and transparency about how money is going to be used.”

    The issue is whether the people giving to FDL have a problem with her methods. And I imagine that not a lot of overlap between BJ readers and Accountability Now donors. ;)

  32. 32
    Martin says:

    @Arkon DougJ:

    But PACs are supposed to make money (to give to candidates)

    Not necessarily. Some PACs only exist to advance causes. If your PAC was to “challenge corporate-controlled incumbents and hold them accountable for their actions” then, yes, putting up money for candidates would be part of that mission, but also would be using money to investigate and report on the relationship between incumbents and corporations, question their actions, and so on.

    This isn’t a defense of Accountability Now, but PACs can take many forms.

  33. 33
    Nylund says:

    Apparently the Underpants Gnome business plan actually works!

    1. Form PAC
    2. ???
    3. Profit!

  34. 34
    mistermix says:

    @MikeJ: This is a good point.

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    @unabogie:

    It was at the same time that Greenwald was here swearing he never had financial ties with FDL.

    He was extremely careful to say that he had no financial ties directly with FDL, but IIRC he never said he had no financial ties to Jane Hamsher. There’s just enough separation for a lawyer to make a case that having financial ties with Hamsher isn’t the same thing since it’s the PAC that pays Greenwald, not FDL itself.

    I know that we think of Hamsher and FDL as inextricable entities, but the PAC left enough legal space between the two that Greenwald can plausibly claim he has no financial ties with FDL as its own entity.

  36. 36

    Everyone misses the other big moneyshot wtf line from that article:

    Two people who Firedoglake paid to work towards passage of health care reform in 2009 don’t show up in FDL Action’s FEC filings for the year. FDL raised funds in July 2009 for Eve Gittelson and Noelle Cigarroa Bell to “work full time on this until a bill passes.” Gittelson and Bell, who write online as Nyceve and Slinkerwink, announced six months later that they “no longer work with, or receive funds” from Firedoglake. None of their political activity is reflected in the PAC’s filings, which raises the question of where donations were sent and how the women were paid.

    So either the “disclosures” to the Dkos community were untrue as well or Hamsher didn’t pay them on the books. Fascinating.

  37. 37
    Corpsicle says:

    It’s a shame Greenwald is involved, he seems like a decent guy. But you lay down with dogs, you get fleas. Hamsher really needs to be exposed as the scam artist and shameless self promoter that she is. It’s particularly frustrating to see her on tv speaking for liberals. Reminds me of Aravosis getting on the news shows a lot a few years ago, a man who was in the running for “Biggest Douchebag of the Liberal Blogosphere”.

  38. 38
    mr. whipple says:

    “One commenter here named Mary was the first person I read who pointed out how Accountability Now seemed fishy. It was at the same time that Greenwald was here swearing he never had financial ties with FDL.”

    LOL. Oh, boy.

    Looks like nice ‘work’, if you can get it.

  39. 39
    starfleet dude says:

    MikeJ, as most donors aren’t maxed out, they could avoid the pass-thru cost of a PAC versus making a direct donation to a candidate.

    Mary, I’m pretty sure that candidate recruitment is best done at the level of the actual district being represented by those who know the lay of their own political landscape. What a PAC does is represent a particular interest, not recruit candidates from afar.

  40. 40
    geg6 says:

    @Arkon DougJ:

    But PACs are supposed to make money (to give to candidates), not spend it all on expenses. If you can’t raise enough to pay expenses and have something left over, you shouldn’t be in the PAC game.

    This. If I had given money to either of these ventures, I’d be wondering what the hell I was giving to. The point is supposed to be finding good progressive candidates and helping them to run. I don’t see anything about any money given to anyone. I don’t see anything about which candidates all this money was supposed to be helping or who it pulled from obscurity. This is all salary or going to one or another of Jane’s ventures, which is what we call administrative costs. If a charity put every penny it raised into administrative costs, that charity would be in front of a judge in no time flat, having to explain what the hell it’s doing with donors’ money.

    I admit that I don’t understand all the arcane rules of PACs, so possibly this is totally legal and ethical. And, yes, the sums are not huge. But as someone who is literally in economic pain when I contribute to a political cause or charity, it sure doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

  41. 41
    El Tiburon says:

    @tim:

    This.

    I am not anxious to tar any liberal PACs,

    Then why did you do just that? Without context those numbers are meaningless. Why not spend a few minutes and do just one iota of research on this before posting. I guess we will have to wait for Greenwald and Hamsher to respond so we can get some, you know, facts on the matter.

    Sure, I’d like to think that 100% of all collected money went to candidates and that Hamsher/Greenwald donated their time out of the goodness of their progressive hearts.

    Also, I guess to get qualified candidates is as easy as throwing a piece of shit against the wall and seeing what sticks. Perhaps it takes paying a few professionals to help decide who is and who is not a good candidate.

    Seriously.

  42. 42
    Pooh says:

    no comment beyond amazing post title

  43. 43
    rootless-e says:

    not one of you suckers has pointed to Rahm’s involvement – this thing has his fingerprints all over it. And what about Tim Geithner? Huh? Eleventy dimensional ninja chess – ring a bell? Sheesh, see if I save you a place under the bus or part of the shit sandwich.

  44. 44
    Osprey says:

    Capitalism at its finest!

    I’m sure you could find it if you dug, but I’d really like to know where the start-up capital came from for Accountability Now. Hmm, off their website it says 2008 donations were used…so far they’ve used 2 years of donations for…paying themselves?

    They only collected about 114k but paid out 170k to 9 people in 2009? Literally, people donated 114k because they wanted to see their money go towards helping progressive candidates primary shitty Dems and win general elections, and all their money, PLUS whatever money they donated in 2008 went to ‘consultants’?

    From OW

    The list purchase is presumably the sale of a mailing list from the Firedoglake web site to its own PAC.

    It seems pretty fishy to me, though give it a few years before we can completely condemn it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be like Hannity’s scam. Everything going to ‘administrative costs’, and barely anything toward the actual goals…you know, those things people contribute for.

    I’ll stick with direct candidate donations TYVFM. The middle-men in this country can go eat a dick.

  45. 45
    Joseph Nobles says:

    This isn’t as much a scandal as it is handy information to have. When you donate to Accountability Now, you are in large measure providing a paycheck to Hamsher and others. If you agree with what Hamsher’s doing, by and large, then go ahead and donate, I’d say.

    But when St. Jude’s, say, shows us pictures of the kids fighting cancer and asks us to contribute, we expect the cash to be going to saving kids from cancer. And, of course, part of that worthy battle is paying the salaries of the people who work at St. Jude’s. Each individual donor has to decide if contributing to Accountability Now is doing what they think it’s doing.

  46. 46
    slackjawedgawker says:

    @Corpsicle:

    It’s particularly frustrating to see her on tv speaking for liberals.

    Still beats seeing Harold Ford. Baby steps. Sorta.

  47. 47

    FYI, this link to Accountability Now has been floating around the backchannels (email and DM) for weeks. A lot of people have been poking around Jane’s domains and found them very strange, but given the high chance of her using her very public platform to attack anyone going public, people have been keeping quiet.

    And this has been another episode of “Inside Progressive Blogging”

  48. 48
    eemom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You mean Greenwald isn’t ABOVE that kind of slippery lawyerish read-the-fine-print loopholery?? Say it ain’t so, Joe…..

  49. 49
    rootless-e says:

    UPDATE IV: Even if it says, I took money, that doesn’t mean anything.
    UPDATE V: That part in paragraph 34 above, just disregard it.
    UPDATE VI: Let’s have none of this distract us from the real issue: Obama’s Nuremberg defense and his “swapped at birth” similarity to Goering.
    /Glenn G.

  50. 50
    Jody says:

    Unless I’m missing something (which is quite possible) I’m not seeing a scandal here. Unless the scandal is “ha ha, FDL’s PAC is a failure”. Which is also quite possible, but hardly worth posting over.

    Edit: Oh. I guess the Greenwald thing is something to pay attention to.

  51. 51
    mr. whipple says:

    When you donate to Accountability Now, you are in large measure providing a paycheck to Hamsher and others. If you agree with what Hamsher’s doing, by and large, then go ahead and donate, I’d say.

    Why not just have online fund raisers/tip jars?

  52. 52
    El Tiburon says:

    Another thing, Greenwald has written two NYT bestsellers with more on the way I’m sure. The notion that he would operate outside the lines on the PAC he created and stands behind is ridiculous.

    So the assumption is that for the relatively paltry sum of $24,000 Greenwald would risk his entire reputation especially in an endeavor that is so public is, again, ridiculous.

  53. 53
    scav says:

    @El Tiburon: he didn’t tar anything, he brought it up and some analysis is going on in the thread below. Similar to what I loved about Marcy’s threads at FDL. Jesus, the times I’ve heard about sunlight and disinfectant. Chill. This seems a moderate thread.

  54. 54
    MikeJ says:

    @El Tiburon: Risk his reputation with what? Nobody has accused anybody of any wrongdoing. There’s nothing wrong with working for a PAC. Even a PAC that hasn’t yet made much money.

  55. 55
    rootless-e says:

    @El Tiburon: that is not how people work. Free money is inordinately attractive.

  56. 56
    eemom says:

    and btw all this “benefit of the doubt” stuff is horseshit.

    A 100% expenditure of donations on administrative expenses of the specific type described here — including purchase of her own mailing list and “rent” for nonexistent space, not to mention paying herself for what, exactly? — accompanied by a 0% expenditure on advancing the mission to which people thought they were donating, does not pass the stink test under any version of reality, “start up” or not.

  57. 57
    rootless-e says:

    @MikeJ: what’s wrong is failure to disclose a business arrangement.

  58. 58

    @Jody: The “scandal” isn’t a scandal so much as confirmation of everyone’s suspicions that Hamsher whips people into a frenzy to donate to organizations that do very little except pay out to her and (a bit of editorializing here) her cronies. It does walk and quack remarkably like a duck named Delay’s network of PACs and nonprofits designed to support his cronies after all…

    Except when the funding fails to match up with statements that she was employing particular people but who aren’t on the books here as being employees, which is a whole different duck.

  59. 59
    Paul in KY says:

    mnemosyne, good point about Glenn. He parses his words very carefully. I know from experience that you’d better have all your ducks in a row (and then glue them there) before you start arguing with him.

    As for Hillary, I love her! Great SOS. Great Democrat. We just thought Pres. Obama was a better candidate & more able to retire McLame’s feverish delusions of getting his claws on the button.

  60. 60
    fourlegsgood says:

    IOKIYJH

    (it’s okay if you’re Jane Hamsher)

    She’s got a nice little gig going over there- each PAC pays her, and I assume the blog pays her. Oh, and don’t forget the appearance fees for her cable appearances where she claims to speak for “liberals.”

  61. 61
    geg6 says:

    @tim:

    it’s cool at BJ to hate FDL, Hillary Clinton, and all that noise…

    I think you better speak for yourself instead of insinuating what you think you know about BJers. I don’t know of anyone here who does any Hilary hating (in fact, we praise her quite a bit here) and I have no problems with FDL per se and I read Tbogg every single day and Marcy Wheeler’s outstanding blogging of Scooter Libby’s trial was the only reason I ever found FDL.

    Just because we aren’t pawns of Jane Hamsher and question her commitment to the left of the political spectrum because of her intemperate and irrational slurs against people like Bernie Sanders and her cozying up to Grover Norquist and FOX News doesn’t mean we live to bash FDL. No, we like to bash Jane, who has earned it. And just because the majority here voted for Obama and not Hilary does not mean we hate Hilary.

    Some of us don’t live in a world of black and white, friends or enemies. Some of us can see grays or prefer to look at the actual situation before we decide who is and who isn’t an enemy. I would never have voted for Hilary in the primary, but I can’t imagine a better Secretary of State. It’s not a black and white situation, you see.

    Well, probably you don’t. I have noticed that the FDLers that come over here don’t understand anything other than you’re with us or you’re against us. My question for them is, with that kind of attitude, what is it you think makes you any different from a Teabagger or Republican?

  62. 62
    Dee Loralei says:

    @mistermix: Internet gossip is that Howie and John Amato wrestled control of ACTBlue from Jane. So therefore she needed to start her new PAC.

    Honestly, I kinda admire Jane’s business acumen. She looked at all the Republican PACs and how they operate, how each operative controls or sit on the boards of other PACs and replicated it from the left. Watch any of Maddow’s shoews when she’s talking about the astro-turf groups on the right. How many share billing/mailing addresses? Do they do that to proportionately lower overhead, or do they do it to double/triple charge?
    And therefore to double/triple profit off of a fixed cost?

    As a business model it’s not bad. Does the PAC do what it’s mission statement says? I don’t know. Would I donate to it knowing how little actually goes to the cause? Hell no!

    Thoug, if I ever decide I need a bunch of money I’m either going to start a religious movement or about 10 PACs.

  63. 63
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @r€nato:

    Ding ding ding ding. I said this in the comments in the extensive piece this came from over at Teh Orange.

    It’s all about making a living as some left wing, blogospheric pundit, nothing more. Wanting to be a playuh, something she tried hard to be in Hollywood and couldn’t. It’s deja vu all over again.

    Everybody seems to overlook that FDL’s “rep” was made by people other than Hamsher.

  64. 64
    fourlegsgood says:

    @slackjawedgawker:

    not by much.

  65. 65

    @El Tiburon:

    So the assumption is that for the relatively paltry sum of $24,000 Greenwald would risk his entire reputation especially in an endeavor that is so public is, again, ridiculous.

    You’re betting on Greenwald’s “reputation”? Which one? The one for honesty and fair-mindedness that does not exist outside firebag lake, or the one for inveigling and obfuscating in his blog posts, attacking people who disagree with him as “obots” and generally making an grand nuisance of himself?

  66. 66
    Libby says:

    For the record, the guy on twitter who calls himself notlarrysabato says he’s the exec director of Accountability Now and says no one contacted him prior to publishing the post. It’s interesting but I’m withholding judgment until more info arises, which it surely will.

    One thing only do I know to be true, when the news cycle gets slow, the blog wars begin.

  67. 67
    ricky says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Shorter version: The Hamsher PAC never bought Greenwald ties.

  68. 68
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @geg6:

    I have noticed that the FDLers that come over here don’t understand anything other than you’re with us or you’re against us. My question for them is, with that kind of attitude, what is it you think makes you any different from a Teabagger or Republican?

    Most aren’t collecting gubmint disbilty checks. And probably drink very different Tastee Adult Beverages. And don’t live in trailer parks (or insert any other Appalachian stereotype you can think of for effect).

    But aside from that, someday’s it’s hard to differentiate Hamsher from the right.

    SPLITTUH! Fucking Judean People’s Front.

  69. 69
    mcc says:

    but the PAC left enough legal space between the two that Greenwald can plausibly claim he has no financial ties with FDL as its own entity

    It seems like if we’re actually at the point where we’re having to ask whether Greenwald could technically be held to his statements in court instead of asking a more basic question like “Did Glenn mislead his readers or not”… that’s sort of a problem by itself.

    I haven’t been following Greenwald closely enough during FDL’s big flameout to feel like I can intelligently comment on his stance on that, or what he did or didn’t say about financial connections to FDL. But I’ll say this. When I read Glenn Greenwald it was because in a world where media seemed to be like a big game– with pundits and “journalists” surfing the waves of constructed CW, and reactively planning their every move to shape public opinion to their goal that day rather than looking at themselves as having an obligation to inform, and then constantly having to explain backtracks or the actions of favored elected officials with “well, but technically…” or “okay, but it wasn’t illegal…”– Greenwald was only interested in informing his readers and cutting to the truth. And when I stopped reading Glenn Greenwald, a big reason why was it didn’t seem like that was true anymore.

  70. 70
    MikeJ says:

    @rootless-e:

    what’s wrong is failure to disclose a business arrangement.

    Yeah, it seems like there was some failure to disclose that seemed trivial to the rest of the world but really got his knickers in a twist. Can’t even remember what it was now. Oh yeah, Gruber. That was it.

  71. 71
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Mike Kay will be in ecstasy for hours when he sees this one.

  72. 72
    fourlegsgood says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: I’m pretty sure that like Arianna, Hamsher doesn’t pay her contributors (or most of them anyway).

  73. 73
    eemom says:

    Honestly, someone has to call out Lady Jane publicly on this stuff. Shouldn’t such a tireless advocate for accountabililty and transparency WELCOME such an inquiry??

    And as for being afraid of her “bully pulpit”…….puh-leeze. For all her tigerish venom she’s never made a dent in any of her targets. Just ask Joe Lieberman.

  74. 74
    Pasquinade says:

    Jim Robinson, head FReeper, took in over $350,000 last year. Look at his site, and tell me what he does with the money.

    http://209.157.64.200/home.htm

    http://209.157.64.200/tag/*/index

    According to the Internet Archive, the current version was adopted around May 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/*/h.....public.com

    Dear Mr. Robinson,

    Please God will you shoot your servers and put them out of our misery. I’m not actually saying this because of ideological concerns, no, despite the vile nature of your content, I’m focusing on web design. Your website is perhaps one of the worst looking on the internet. I don’t know what it is about right wingers, but you all have no sense of taste, just look at your website and the Drudge Report. They look like my Geocities page circa 1998. Seriously, I feel embarrassed for you and Drudge both. Will you please update the design, that way when one of your members has gone off on a racist rant, we can link to it without the worry of permanent blindness.

    I’m not a fan of FDL, but I did follow their excellent coverage of the Scooter Libby trial.

  75. 75
    LT says:

    What the Fuck? here? This fucking shit here?

    Jesus. So disappointing.

  76. 76
    El Tiburon says:

    @MikeJ:

    Risk his reputation with what? Nobody has accused anybody of any wrongdoing.

    Then why write this:

    I am not anxious to tar any liberal PACs, but

    Instead of something like this innocuous and non-inflammatory? Let’s not play stupid.

    There’s nothing wrong with working for a PAC. Even a PAC that hasn’t yet made much money.

    Absolutely correct. This is not the issue. The accusation is very clear: Hamsher and Greenwald are (potentially, we report you decide) milking their PACs. To pretend otherwise is asinine.

  77. 77
    Mike Kay says:

    HOW DARE YOU!

    HOW DARE YOU!

    HOW DARE YOU!

    HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THE INTEGRITY OF Jane and Glenn!

  78. 78
    gwangung says:

    I have very little negative to say about Greenwald. $24K is consultant money and is very small potatoes (if anything).

  79. 79
    MikeJ says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He was extremely careful to say that he had no financial ties directly with FDL, but IIRC he never said he had no financial ties to Jane Hamsher. There’s just enough separation for a lawyer to make a case that having financial ties with Hamsher isn’t the same thing since it’s the PAC that pays Greenwald, not FDL itself.

    If I have to parse everything a person says to the standard of “could he get away with saying this in court” it’s really pointless to listen to anything that person has to say.

    I seem to recall the Brady Bunch had an episode focused on just such a dilemma when Bobby or Peter or somebody kept shading the truth and saying things that were technically true. Things didn’t turn out well for him (although better than they did for Tiger.)

  80. 80
    Jody says:

    Media Browski:

    Ah.

    I stayed apart from the Firebagger brouhaha when it went down, largely because of her work in the past, tho I have admittedly not read her site in some time because of the constant hysterical tone. Except for Tbogg, who is constantly hysterical in the good way, and for whom I shall brook no criticism of.

  81. 81
    ricky says:

    For the record, the guy on twitter who calls himself notlarrysabato says he’s the exec director of Accountability Now and says no one contacted him prior to publishing the post

    .

    Well EXCCCUUUUSE me! The guy on twitter who calls himself other than his own name was not contacted about his role in running something called the Accountability Now? How damned unaccountable of Mr. or Ms. No One to not contact Mr. Calls Himself Who He Is Not.

    (Full Disclosure…I spent no funds contacting Blanche Lincoln and had the same impact on her vote on HCR as Fiddldeydeedog PAC did. )

  82. 82
    LT says:

    @eemom:

    For all her tigerish venom she’s never made a dent in any of her targets. Just ask Joe Lieberman.

    If you’re going to be 100% stupid, could you at least disguise it better? FDL and Hamsher never made a dent in anything? Fuhhhhk. (And fuck you, especially Marcy Wheeler, you do-nothing.)

    I hate Balloon Juice as of right this minute. It won’t last long. But fuck.

  83. 83
    Politically Lost says:

    I seem to remember that accountability now has run television ads against a democratic representative about the rep’s stance on FISA. Does anyone remember that?

  84. 84
    El Tiburon says:

    Mike J,

    Also look at some of the replies here. Hamsher is, of course, guilty of milking her PAC. So the damage is done.

    This type of post here on Balloon Juice would make Fox News proud. Spout some numbers with with the qualifier, “…just sayin’…” and zero context and the damage is done.

  85. 85
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Pasquinade: That FReeper site design matches the ugly content.

    Also, Beck guest host says tanning bed tax is racism against light skinned Americans.

  86. 86
    LT says:

    @El Tiburon:

    The accusation is very clear: Hamsher and Greenwald are (potentially, we report you decide) milking their PACs. To pretend otherwise is asinine.

    Absolutely right. And Oliver Willis proves his fuckery n this in his very first comment. Horrible shitness fuckall.

  87. 87
    FlipYrWhig says:

    It doesn’t sound like a scandal. It sounds like they raise money to keep themselves evangelizing: i.e., they’re not raising money for candidates, they’re raising money for advocacy, and they’re the advocates. “Give us money so that we can continue to to what we do, which in the long run will change politics in ways you and we approve.” I guess there’s the implication that they were raising money for candidates, but, meh. It’s back-scratching, but it doesn’t seem untoward.

  88. 88
    Mike Kay says:

    @Politically Lost: they raised money for that separately through separate donations. That was mike ross in Arkansas.

  89. 89
    gwangung says:

    Also look at some of the replies here. Hamsher is, of course, guilty of milking her PAC. So the damage is done.

    This is a bullshit statement. Particularly from someone who hasn’t lifted a finger themselves to do any work clearing up these statements.

  90. 90
    slackjawedgawker says:

    @fourlegsgood:
    Just a few more months and they’ll let Evan Bayh be the guy speaking for us. Yippee!

  91. 91
    mcc says:

    @Dee Loralei: So, ActBlue. How’s ActBlue funded exactly? When I donate through ActBlue I see only a button for an optional “tip” for ActBlue’s underlying operations. There’s also a donate to actblue page elsewhere. Is this in fact the only source of funding to ActBlue itself? Looks like it.

    It seems like ActBlue very specifically is designed in such a way they keep none of the money themselves, so it isn’t really the same thing as a PAC like Accountability Now or PCCC or MoveOn or something, is it? In the case of a PAC like that you expect it to go out and do independent spending to support its ideas above and beyond just supporting candidates. If Hamsher’s goal is to go out and act as a political entity and influence things then ActBlue couldn’t have served that purpose anyway.

  92. 92
    Svensker says:

    Without context and real reporting, this is coming across like a smear to me. And the folks piling on and saying, “aha, Glenn IS a scam artist after all”, or “Jane is sure feathering her nest” belie the peeps who are saying it’s all just interesting info and not a smear at all.

    Very very unfair and not worthy of BJ.

  93. 93
    ricky says:

    @MikeJ:

    You youngsters who derive life lessons from the Brady Bunch are such elitists. At least June Cleaver did her own house.

  94. 94
    Ultra Command Master Chief Militia soonergrunt says:

    It sounds like Jane has learned well from Grover Fucking Norquist about managing donations. If only she had a sinecure from George Sorros as an analog to the Koch foundation, then the student will have surpassed the master.
    sent via mobile.

  95. 95
    rootless-e says:

    @LT: wow, what a lot of excuses. The facts are (a) Glenn and Jane have a business arrangement that they have not previously disclosed, (b) the PAC spends nearly all its money on administration, certainly not the impression it makes via its marketing materials and (c) Hamsher is being very cagey for someone who makes such a fuss over transparency.

  96. 96
    mistermix says:

    @El Tiburon: Is there any examination of Hamsher’s financial activities that’s acceptable to you? Or is the whole question completely out of bounds?

    Because the posts that AK DougJ linked to seem to be pretty level-headed examinations of the situation, not hit jobs.

  97. 97
    starfleet dude says:

    I’m curious to know what Greenwald did for the $24,000 he was paid to consult. At $100 an hour, that’s 30 eight-hour days of work, but maybe Greenwald charges more!

  98. 98
    Mike Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig: not true. the stated objective was to run candidates in primaries not to run their big mouths.

  99. 99
    LT says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    It’s all about making a living as some left wing, blogospheric pundit, nothing more. Wanting to be a playuh, something she tried hard to be in Hollywood and couldn’t. It’s deja vu all over again.

    You’re green slip is showing.

    P.S. Damn you, John Cole, for wanting to make a living as some right-then-left wing, blogospheric pundit. Playuh.

  100. 100
    someguy says:

    Too bad we can’t select font size here because frankly this is worthy of a really ostentatious, 72 pitch ‘whatever.’

  101. 101
    Mike Kay says:

    @rootless-e: Don’t bother LT is one of Grifter Glenn’s gimps.

  102. 102
    r€nato says:

    @fourlegsgood:

    I’m pretty sure you don’t get paid to appear on cable shows. The exposure itself is plenty of compensation.

  103. 103
    geg6 says:

    @LT:

    That was aimed at Jane, not Marcy, as I read it. And if Jane made a dent on anyone or anything in any of her petty and childish feuds, please provide evidence of it. I have yet see any at all.

    And don’t go dragging Marcy or Tbogg or anyone else into the argument. We’re talking Jane here.

  104. 104
    Libby says:

    Hmmm. Just looked at the Accountability site for the first time. Bit confused on the mission. I thought it was to advance progressive causes but it says that’s not the focus. It’s to “challenge corporatist Dems” which is fine but then says they’re exploring supporting Libertarian GOPers?

    Not really my idea of a good strategy. Also think they’re spending too much money on polls. So sick of polls. So many conflicting ones out there now they’re effectively meaningless AFAIC.

    But in their defense, I’m not seeing why the guy is saying they’re not being transparent. Cripes their expenses are on the front page.

  105. 105
    Mike Kay says:

    @someguy: poor baby. Don’t cry, I’m sure Hanoi Jane will still you suck her toes.

  106. 106
    LT says:

    @starfleet dude:

    I’m curious to know what Greenwald did for the $24,000 he was paid to consult.!

    Why?

  107. 107
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Question the integrity, but come with some facts to support this. Listing out of context financials does not question one’s integrity, except perhaps those who use the original article as a basis to (not) tar those liberal PACs.

  108. 108
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @slackjawedgawker: any chance that Bayh and Lincoln will destroy each other in their desperate quest to be the Village’s Favorite Disappointed Democrat?

    What am I saying? there’s plenty of territory for them each to make a fortune and never have to worry about going a week without being on TeeVee.

    (On topic: I don’t see a huge scandal here, but Hamsher and to some extent Greenwald do make themselves targets with their relentless sanctimony)

  109. 109
    Fern says:

    @dr. bloor: I don’t know – hardly seems that running a PAC is a particularly complex enterprise. And they don’t have a product to develop/produce/deliver, so that kinda reduces the expenses. Doesn’t really seem comparable to an ordinary business.

  110. 110
    starfleet dude says:

    LT, why not? Maybe I could underbid him.

  111. 111
    daryljfontaine says:

    @Dee Loralei: Well, if that’s the case, then they’re doing a better job getting money to the right people. From a comment which is awaiting moderation for some reason over at Oliver Willis:

    Actually I found it interesting to look at a different filing — ActBlue. Collectively ActBlue had total receipts of $24,752,901 and total disbursements of $24,741,856, of which $23,078,768 are “Contributions to Other Committees.” There’s a much better ROI on donating via one of the zillions of ActBlue widgets than donating directly to pet project PACs.

    D

  112. 112
    eemom says:

    OTOH, it is interesting that EVERY other time someone has whispered a word of criticism about Her Righteous Majesty anywhere in the blogosphere, Teh Lake has inflicted instant Massive Retaliation.

    And every time a front pager here contradicts a word of the Gospel according to Greenwald, Himself shows up to call us all Obots.

    This time…….crickets. Hmmmm.

  113. 113
    mcc says:

    This type of post here on Balloon Juice would make Fox News proud. Spout some numbers with with the qualifier, “…just sayin’…” and zero context and the damage is done.

    Seems like an amazing amount of ground you think Balloon Juice covered with two sentences, a nonsense title, and a link to a raw information dump.

    I think the information linked in this post is interesting and useful. It looks to me like DougJ was going out of his way to avoid affixing his own commentary on that information. It also looks to me like you actually consider it a problem people are researching and sharing information about how FDL runs its operations.

  114. 114
    El Tiburon says:

    @LT:

    Why?

    Because if whatever Greenwald did for that $24,000 doesn’t somehow measure up to whatever Starfleet Dude deems worthy, then Greenwald is a money-grubbing dirtbag.

  115. 115
    ricky says:

    @Pasquinade:

    So the fact that the freeper guy took in more and paid himself more is exculpatory? Or should we just pony up more?

  116. 116
    LT says:

    @geg6:

    @LT:

    That was aimed at Jane, not Marcy, as I read it. And if Jane made a dent on anyone or anything in any of her petty and childish feuds, please provide evidence of it. I have yet see any at all.

    And don’t go dragging Marcy or Tbogg or anyone else into the argument. We’re talking Jane here.

    Jane hired marcy and TBogg. Part of what she did for FDL. And what measuring stick would you like to use for the “dent”? Which one would you use for John Cole? Or someone else you like? Or Eerick Erickson?

    This innuendo-laden “inquiry” shows absolutely nothing wrong. Jane (and Greenwald) raised money to primarily be advocates, and they’ve done, by my measure, one hell of a job.

  117. 117
    rootless-e says:

    Now that Dougj is an Arkon, he has dropped all pretense and drunk with power, staggered up to the bar of Accountability PAC, and puked on the friendly bartenders, Jane and Glenn. It’s enough to make me want to send back my Senior Gunner badge, but I can’t remember where I left it.

  118. 118
    slackjawedgawker says:

    @rootless-e:

    The facts are (a) Glenn and Jane have a business arrangement that they have not previously disclosed,

    Not true. I remember Greenwald disclosing this arrangement when he announced the PAC in his column, when the PAC first started.

  119. 119
    geg6 says:

    Meh. I give up on the Jane-bots. There’s no talking to them, everything is an attack.

    I still love Tbogg, though. And most of Marcy’s work is stellar. I never clicked on the front page much anyway and now I never do.

    And I’ve never donated to any of her or Glenn’s PACs, so I really don’t care if this is just SOP for PACs or she is fleecing the rubes. It’s pretty obvious that they don’t care either. All I know is I would disdain a charity that was run like this. But, hey, if you have more money than brains or so much you can burn it in the fireplace every night, more power to you.

  120. 120
    LT says:

    @El Tiburon: Eggcukingzactly.

    DougJ: Did you have an unfavorable view of Jane Hamsher before this? I know the dude who made the report did. And I know OWillis did, too. And I think that’s all there is to this. The numbers here show absolutely nothing wrong.

  121. 121
    stuckinred says:

    @El Tiburon: I spent 5 years and a good bit of $$ over there and when I disagreed with some oh their bullshit I got these intense bitchslaps from her about “I hope you are being payed well to diss our efforts”. I hope she and that punk Eureka Springs were payed well too.

  122. 122
    Svensker says:

    @eemom:

    And every time a front pager here contradicts a word of the Gospel according to Greenwald, Himself shows up to call us all Obots.
    This time…….crickets. Hmmmm.

    Smear.

  123. 123
    Paula says:

    I’m not assuming anything illegal here either. Comparatively speaking, the overall sums of what AN deal with are dwarved by all the other PACs in the political landscape. Although the general incompetency of FDL has a financial context now. Seriously, if they did spend all their money on research and consulting rather than candidates, it must be some pretty shitty admin decisions that led to all that ridiculous (and wholly ineffective) “campaigns” that Hamsher has started up this year. Which in itself should be pretty dismaying.

    Re Greenwald, though: I’d love for the insinuations of wrongdoing to continue. Especially since that’s his MO when writing about other bloggers.

  124. 124
    starfleet dude says:

    El Tiburon, an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay is what I always say, and transparency applies to consultants too.

  125. 125
    gwangung says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Question the integrity, but come with some facts to support this.

    You realize that you have every opportunity to bring facts, yourself, right?

    A well backed explanation would have shut this thread down about a hundred comments ago.

  126. 126
    MikeJ says:

    @ricky: June Cleaver wore pearls while cleaning. Who’s the elitist now?

  127. 127
    LT says:

    @geg6: The fucking O-bot thing and the now Jane-bot thing just shows the failings of your argument. I think Hamsher was way wrong on a lot of the HCR work, and I supported passing the Senate bill for ages while she was doing her work. I’m a fan of FDL, not a huge fan of Jane.

    P.S. Fuck you. Don’t call me a fucking anything-bot, fucker.

  128. 128
    r€nato says:

    I guess we’ll know JC has made it big when BJ starts a PAC whose purpose is to raise money for JC to continue blogging.

    This episode shows the unseemly underbelly of blogging, and really when it gets right down to it, politics: it becomes more about the constant acquisition of more prestige and more power and more wealth, to the point that this quest becomes all-consuming and actually doing anything useful is an afterthought.

    Congress is already there. I remember not so long ago when you could at least count on the body to do some useful work in off-years, and even-numbered years were dedicated solely to posturing for re-election. Now it seems that the campaign never ends, and we are nearly at the point where we hardly rest a beat after a presidential election before the next campaign starts.

    I quit FDL not long after it started when it became obvious what a barely-controlled ragehead and narcissist Hamsher is, and I quit Americablog when it became obvious what a total dick Aravosis is.

    John, please keep keeping it real here!

  129. 129
    Mike Kay says:

    Let me see:

    1. the PAC was opened with the specific mission to RUN candidates.

    2. the grand total of candidates they’ve run = 0

    3. all the money they raised went to mostly Jane, but Glenn and their friends got a cut.

    4. money spent on candidates = 0

    How is this not a breach of promise with the PAC’s donors?

  130. 130
    stuckinred says:

    $14,111 to the site for “list purchase,”

    Is that why I keep getting email begging for money?

  131. 131
    r€nato says:

    @stuckinred: you have LOTS of company in that. Hamsher is pretty vicious when anyone strays from the FDL party line.

    If I wanted to march in mindless lockstep, I’d be a right-winger.

  132. 132
    Paris says:

    The sense of entitlement knows no political ideology.

  133. 133
    Svensker says:

    You realize that you have every opportunity to bring facts, yourself, right?
    A well backed explanation would have shut this thread down about a hundred comments ago.

    Welp, I’ve heard that you fuck goats every Thursday. If eemom doesn’t come and bring the facts showing that you don’t, that proves that you do. I win!

  134. 134
    stuckinred says:

    @r€nato: yea, it just took me longer to figure it out I guess. There are some really good folks over there but fuck it.

  135. 135
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @geg6:

    Meh. I give up on the Jane-bots. There’s no talking to them, everything is an attack.

    No different than trying to talk to teabaggers.

  136. 136
    LT says:

    @slackjawedgawker:

    Not true. I remember Greenwald disclosing this arrangement when he announced the PAC in his column, when the PAC first started.

    It doesn’t matter: someone said he didn’t.

  137. 137
    El Tiburon says:

    @mcc:

    Seems like an amazing amount of ground you think Balloon Juice covered with two sentences, a nonsense title, and a link to a raw information dump.

    Please. Again, if the title was something like, “Interesting Financial Numbers, wonder how they stack up against other similar PACs” then I would have no problem. But the opening (don’t want to tar) is inflammatory and don’t pretend it is not. Again, it is a similar technique that the right uses so often, “Some people say MCC is a goat-fucking pedophile…”

    It also looks to me like you actually consider it a problem people are researching and sharing information about how FDL runs its operations.

    No, but keep making shit up. I have a problem posting shit like this with NO CONTEXT and an inflammatory opening.

    This is how right-wingers operate. If Hamsher and Greenwald are milking their PACs, I most certainly want to know. I’ve donated money to Accountability Now. I have no desire to continue if an improper amount (whatever that might be, we certainly don’t know here) then I will cease giving to it.

  138. 138
    ricky says:

    @LT:

    Why? Because the PAC is called Accountability Now?

  139. 139
    Mike Kay says:

    @LT: exactly, you’re not a bot. No! you’re a toesucker. lick, lick, lick, lick

  140. 140
    eemom says:

    @LT:

    FDL and Hamsher never made a dent in anything?

    Fair ’nuff — she did get Lamont elected, Lieberman stripped of his committee chairmanships, Hillary elected President, Rahm Emmanuel fired, Lynn Woolsey booted from the progressive caucus, Bernie Sanders primaried, Joe Lieberman’s wife fired from her charity, HCR defeated……oh wait.

  141. 141
    rootless-e says:

    @LT: a link would be nice.

  142. 142
    Tom_23 says:

    This seems like a hit job on Jane H. I disagreed with her HCR methods (re collaborating with Grover Norquist,ect). I read FDL occassionally and as indicated above their site provides a lot of great coverage of things I care about. Marcy Wheeler continues to be a great resource for torture docs and shenanigans @ justice dept and TBogg, Ackerman, David Dayen and others present a lot of great material. In fact, Dayen was a great up to the minute resource for the status of the HCR debate.

    Now if there are $2000 receipts to a bondage-themed nightclub. Hey Now! (ala Howard!)

  143. 143
    Mike Kay says:

    @El Tiburon: why has all the money gone to them, and NOT A SINGLE CENT to the PAC’s stated purpose, of running candidates?

  144. 144
    maus says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Hamsherbot/Glennbot

    Hamster-fans I can see, but are Glenners really that bad? In his average column, I don’t see much that’s outlandish enough to draw the wingnut crowd.

  145. 145
    stuckinred says:

    @Tom_23: What goes around comes around.

  146. 146
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @eemom: You forgot she also exposed that Al Franken for the crypto-Republican he is!

  147. 147
    LT says:

    @starfleet dude:

    LT, why not? Maybe I could underbid him.

    I’m sorry, I thought you were implying something nefarious about Greenwald’s work. Please accept my apology.

  148. 148
    Mary says:

    @starfleet dude:

    Mary, I’m pretty sure that candidate recruitment is best done at the level of the actual district being represented by those who know the lay of their own political landscape. What a PAC does is represent a particular interest, not recruit candidates from afar.

    But the point is that Accountability Now’s stated mission is to recruit progressive primary candidates. So presumably if you’re donating to Accountability Now, then you expect your money to be spent by Jane to recruit candidates all over the country, and that presumably requires her to travel all over the country and do research and write about how X, Y, and Z incumbent is a corporate shill and how we all need to get agitated and do whatever it is she’s trying to get people to do.

    Like I said, I’m not a Hamsher fan, but in this case I just don’t see that she’s doing anything deceptive or dishonest. She’s running her PAC the way she thinks is best. We may disagree with her methods and think she’s wasting donors’ money, but that’s between her and her donors.

  149. 149

    It is difficult to see how those payments are a good use of the PAC’s resources. What did the $24,000 to Hamsher & Greenwald actually buy?

  150. 150
    Dee Loralei says:

    @mcc: Yikes, I must have horribly misstated what I meant. Jane is no longer a part of ACTBlue, as far as I know 95+% of all monies raised through various act blue widgets and pages goes directly to individual candidates or to future possible other candidates, or races that need a sudden influx of cash. I don’t think any of the folks who set it up or run it make any sort of money off it. ACTBlue is a great thing!

    I think it’s set up kinda like the RedCross where you can donate to a specific tragedy or to a general fund so they can be prepared for a future event.

    I was just trying to explain to mrmix that as far as I knew Jane was no longer involved in ACTBlue in any way.

  151. 151
    eemom says:

    @Svensker:

    That is inaccurate HOW?

  152. 152
    AhabTRuler says:

    Greenwal never denied a inanial reltionship with amsher through AN, IRC he’s a fucking founder. He did deny a direct financial rrelationship with FDL and JH, mostly in responce to Mary’s unsupported allegations.

  153. 153
    Mike Kay says:

    @Tom_23: why has all the money gone to them, and NOT A SINGLE CENT to the PAC’s stated purpose, of running candidates?

    don’t cut her slack, just cause cyber-geeks find her cute

  154. 154
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @r€nato:

    I quit FDL not long after it started when it became obvious what a barely-controlled ragehead and narcissist Hamsher is, and I quit Americablog when it became obvious what a total dick Aravosis is.
    John, please keep keeping it real here!

    Are we the same people here? That statement was picked directly from my brain although in a much more coherent manner.

    As said above, this isn’t about the talented people there, it’s about Hamsher and the authoritative mindset that inflicts the discourse.

  155. 155
    geg6 says:

    @LT:

    Jane hired marcy and TBogg. Part of what she did for FDL. And what measuring stick would you like to use for the “dent”? Which one would you use for John Cole? Or someone else you like? Or Eerick Erickson?

    What does that have to do with how effective Jane is with her jihads against people like Bernie Sanders? She wants to primary people like him. How’s that going for her? Her ongoing screamathon against Obama and HCR? How did that work out and what are Obama’s numbers among liberals and Dems?

    I don’t need one for John Cole because he doesn’t go on crusades against Dem pols claiming he will bring them down.

    And go fuck yourself with a rusty pitchfork, you fucking asshole small dicked git with your shithead Erick Erikson bullshit. Go back to your dominatrix at FDL.

  156. 156
    Mike Kay says:

    @AhabTRuler: Shorter Glenn: It depends on what the meaning of is, is.

  157. 157
    r€nato says:

    @LT: The purpose of a PAC is to raise money and donate it to candidates, causes and parties which accord with the purpose of the PAC, whether it’s to advance pro-choice candidates (e.g., Emily’s List) or health care reform or a specific party or progressivism in general.

    If the purpose of Jane’s PAC was to further enable Jane and her friends to blog/run FDL, then it should have been called “FDL PAC” or “Hamsher PAC”. That would have made it clear what would be done with the money.

    Of course, that would have required a modicum of honesty and transparency on the part of Hamsher. Some people spend so much of their lives deceiving and dissembling, they forget what it’s like to be straight with people or even how to be so.

  158. 158
    Mary says:

    @Mike Kay: because 2009 wasn’t an election year?

  159. 159

    Maybe Jane and Hannity are planning to take their dubious booty and to run off together, and live on a deserted island paradise. I’m not sure where Greenwald fits into this mental double axel wank I’m performing, but I’ll keep at it till it makes sense.

  160. 160
    MikeJ says:

    @Tom_23:

    Now if there are $2000 receipts to a bondage-themed nightclub.

    I don’t really have a problem with entertaining donors at places the donors like. What was amazing about that story was that they weren’t smart enough to do the FEC filing with whatever safe, generic name the club no doubt uses for credit card processing. It’s not the sleaze, it’s the stupidity.

  161. 161
    demo woman says:

    Arkon, This should have been posted closer to the cocktail hour. It is five somewhere though.

  162. 162
    Peter says:

    Jane Hamsher isn’t good at anything but shitstirring, news at eleven.

  163. 163
    stuckinred says:

    @Mike Kay: Have you heard them over there, “oh jane you are so pretty, oh jane you are so smart, oh jane you are the ONLY one who tells the truth”.

  164. 164
    r€nato says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: I’m not in your head; such thoughts come naturally to people who have integrity and respect for others.

  165. 165
    Dee Loralei says:

    @daryljfontaine: Daryl, yes that’s what I was trying to say. ACTBlue donates almost all of it’s monies to specifics candidate’s election committees. It’s an incredibly well run group. I know they spend a lot of time vetting people before they ever endorse and I don’t think they pay themselves anything for that. ACTBlue is a really great thing.

  166. 166
    Mike Kay says:

    @r€nato: exactly.

    Follow the money!

    Not a cent went to a single candidate.

    All if went to Jane, Glenn, and their friends.

    Oliver north and Sean Hannity would be proud of the Grift.

  167. 167
    Paula says:

    Hamsher and Greenwald are apparently “advocates”. So what have they done for your money lately? Have they affected policy? Have they set people free? Have they provided social services that you otherwise have not had?

  168. 168
    LT says:

    @rootless-e: Link to what?

  169. 169
    stuckinred says:

    @geg6: How do you really feel?

  170. 170
    starfleet dude says:

    Mary @147, I agree pretty much with what you say. Thanks!

  171. 171
    stuckinred says:

    @Dee Loralei: yea. like when they supported John Barrow.

  172. 172
    El Tiburon says:

    @gwangung:

    You realize that you have every opportunity to bring facts, yourself, right?

    Jesus, what a joke. No gwangung, I did not realize I could bring my own facts. But I guess according to you it’s okay Doug J didn’t bring any to the table, right? Hey, we report (a portion of the facts) and you decide, right?

    A well backed explanation would have shut this thread down about a hundred comments ago.

    Several well-backed explanations were made: where is the fucking context? What the fuck do these numbers mean? Are they out of line?

  173. 173
    Mike Kay says:

    @stuckinred: yeah, a million time.

    Even here, of all places, people have printed how much it hurt them to see Jane go nutx, because they had a crush on her.

    Hey, face it. If the wingers can have physical crushes on Palin, then cyber geeks can have same moon-eye starbursts for Jane.

  174. 174
    r€nato says:

    @Tom_23: It’s a hit job on Jane, in exactly the same way that noting Bush’s many failures is a hit job on Bush.

    Jane has some good people at FDL. Jane herself, however, is quite another story.

    Anyone who climbs into the figurative bed with Grover Norquist is no ally of ours.

  175. 175
    daryljfontaine says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Are we the same people here? That statement was picked directly from my brain although in a much more coherent manner.

    Same here but in reverse. AmericaBlog was one of my first liberal blog homes, but Aravosis does plenty of damage to his credibility with some of his ravings. And I really did appreciate the work done on the Scooter Libby trial over at FDL, but the redesign over there killed part of my interest and the ego killed the rest.

    D

  176. 176
    Mike Kay says:

    @El Tiburon: why didn’t she spend a single dime on a single candidate?

  177. 177
    stuckinred says:

    @Mike Kay: It was the chemo.

  178. 178
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    (On topic: I don’t see a huge scandal here, but Hamsher and to some extent Greenwald do make themselves targets with their relentless sanctimony)

    I think that’s really what’s happening. When you try to derail health insurance reform by claiming that one of the experts has not fully disclosed his financial ties with the government, you don’t then get to turn around and claim that any financial ties you have are private and cannot be examined.

    If you live by the precept that openness and accountability are vitally important, you don’t get to conceal your own financial ties.

  179. 179
    demo woman says:

    In defense of Hamsher, her shoes that she has to wear while appearing on network news are expensive.
    Glenn Greenwald lied to us though, so there is no excuse.
    It’s been an interesting few days, first I find out that Ricky Martin is gay and then Oliver North is a lying scum and now this.

  180. 180
    Jenn says:

    @LT:

    Yeah, and most people here are agreeing that there’s nothing wrong with this. What most people appear to be saying is, “huh, interesting.” And that if you want to support Glenn and Jane, then this PAC is a good place to send your money, but if you want your money to go towards candidates, then this isn’t the best place to donate. There are a few folks who are on the attack, granted, but they seem like the minority in this thread, at least so far.

  181. 181
    rootless-e says:

    @LT: link to Greenwalds explanation that he was getting money from Accountability Now.

  182. 182
    LT says:

    @r€nato:

    @LT: The purpose of a PAC is to raise money and donate it to candidates, causes and parties which accord with the purpose of the PAC, whether it’s to advance pro-choice candidates (e.g., Emily’s List) or health care reform or a specific party or progressivism in general.

    If the purpose of Jane’s PAC was to further enable Jane and her friends to blog/run FDL, then it should have been called “FDL PAC” or “Hamsher PAC”. That would have made it clear what would be done with the money.

    File a fucking complaint. We’ll be waiting wright here to see how far you get, alright? It is ILLEGAL to do what you say they did.

    And what – you get naming rights?

  183. 183
    mcc says:

    @El Tiburon: All I see is that there are people having a conversation here about the mechanics of FDL’s media/politics operation, and without actually saying anything whatsoever of substance you are angrily trying to shut the conversation down.

    No gwangung, I did not realize I could bring my own facts. But I guess according to you it’s okay Doug J didn’t bring any to the table, right?

    Looks to me like DougJ linked a 1300-word essay comprising information from FEC disclosures, and that is in fact the purpose of this thread.

  184. 184
    Libby says:

    @r€nato:

    This episode shows the unseemly underbelly of blogging, and really when it gets right down to it, politics: it becomes more about the constant acquisition of more prestige and more power and more wealth, to the point that this quest becomes all-consuming and actually doing anything useful is an afterthought.

    Without applying it specificially to anyone, but within the context of having been an active though unimportant blogger for over 7 years, I’d say this is a perfect assessment of what happened to Blogtopia in general over time.

    All I’d add is I’m grateful for places like BJ where this dynamic doesn’t apply.

  185. 185
    eemom says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Several well-backed explanations were made: where is the fucking context? What the fuck do these numbers mean? Are they out of line?

    Those are questions, not explanations. And they’ve been answered numerous times.

    What part of 100% compensation to yourself and your blog, 0% to the cause for which you solicited donations, do you not get? Because THAT is what the numbers mean.

  186. 186
    gbear says:

    Jane hired marcy and TBogg

    And I will never forgive her for the damage that did to TBogg’s comment threads. From LOL to lame in one day.

  187. 187
    Mike Kay says:

    @Mary: there were election in Virgina (Jane state of residency) and New Jersey, as well as New York.

  188. 188
    Tax Analyst says:

    @rootless-e:

    Now that Dougj is an Arkon, he has dropped all pretense and drunk with power, staggered up to the bar of Accountability PAC, and puked on the friendly bartenders, Jane and Glenn. It’s enough to make me want to send back my Senior Gunner badge, but I can’t remember where I left it.

    It’s true. Every Arkon I’ve ever known has been like this. They all think that because they are just a few notches down from the Radok that some day they will be in charge. Then when they get bogged down behind all the Boramanders, Toolis’s and Sorass’s it finally starts to sink in that being an Arkon is just one small step above being a Sphinctyloomak.

    Be happy you’re just a Senior Gunner. When everything eventually goes shit-pitis you are only looking at a very short fall.

  189. 189
    ricky says:

    @MikeJ:

    June Cleaver wore “fake” pearls, clutched them often,
    and became a Jive translator who volunteered her time in crisis management after the little ones left the nest.
    I will defend her with more fierce vigor than those here defending the Hamsher person. Be warned.

  190. 190
  191. 191
    r€nato says:

    @LT: I haven’t flamed you so there’s no need for the tone you’ve taken.

    Did or did not the PAC actually donate money to candidates? No, it did not. The money went primarily to Jane, Glenn, and various others who did ‘consulting work’, which is one of the oldest dodges EVAH for giving money to friends and cronies. I don’t know if these people did useful work or not; what I DO know that is if I had donated money to her PAC, I would have done so with the expectation that it was going to do USEFUL things, like help defeat Prop 8 (for instance), or get the right people elected.

    I can’t help but think about Tom Tomorrow’s ‘tap tap tap’ cartoon to which Atrios linked today. Blogging is well and good, but what really counts is electing good Democrats and defeating awful ideas like amending the Constitution to ban gay marriage. When blogging becomes a self-perpetuating cause, it reminds me a lot of warbloggers who were ‘doing their part’ for the Iraq war effort… by blogging. Hello, go enlist, you’ll do more in one day for the war than a year’s worth of blogging.

    Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with Occam’s Razor.

  192. 192
    Arkon DougJ says:

    @mcc:

    Yes, I am avoiding my own commentary on this for now, for the most part.

  193. 193
    Tim F. says:

    @LT:

    That would be a fascinating point, rather than stupid, if anyone at this blog made their living from blogging.

  194. 194
    Mike Kay says:

    @gbear: what damage did she do?

  195. 195
    geg6 says:

    @stuckinred:

    Sorry, but any asshole that insinuates that just because I am not some sort of minion of Jane Fucking Worthless Hamsher that I must be an Erick Erikson fan makes me so angry I can’t see straight.

    I wasn’t one who was all that upset about this and just thought it all sounded a bit odd but, hey, what do I know. But then, the minute you criticize in the slightest way the absolute shittiest blogger on FDL or her slavish admirers, this is what you get.

    Gotta say, I’ve been too tough on Mike Kay over this stuff. Not any more. My apologies, Mike Kay.

  196. 196
    Arkon DougJ says:

    If the purpose of Jane’s PAC was to further enable Jane and her friends to blog/run FDL, then it should have been called “FDL PAC” or “Hamsher PAC”. That would have made it clear what would be done with the money.

    That’s pretty much my take, too.

  197. 197
    Maude says:

    @LT:
    John Cole doesn’t make money with BJ. Get your facts straight before you insult someone we like and yes, even respect.

  198. 198
    Mike Kay says:

    @demo woman:

    In defense of Hamsher, her shoes that she has to wear while appearing on network news are expensive.

    LOL!

  199. 199
    gwangung says:

    Jesus, what a joke. No gwangung, I did not realize I could bring my own facts.

    I point this out because you continue to not do any research yourself and continue to indulge in blind, uninformed defense.

    You’re apparently not bright enough to figure out that you can still shut down the debate by bringing facts to the thread yourself. You’re also admitting you’re unable to bring any facts yourself to the debate.

    The financials are suggestive, though hardly conclusive. The questions they raise are quite legitimate, though any condemnation at this point is not. If there’s a good explanation (and I’m quite open to one), then it should get circulated out there.

    Shouting down any criticism, however, is rather reminiscent of wingnut behavior.

  200. 200
    stuckinred says:

    @geg6: I was being facetious, let er’ rip!

  201. 201
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @LT:

    If you’re going to be 100% stupid, could you at least disguise it better? FDL and Hamsher never made a dent in anything? Fuhhhhk.

    QFT.

    Why I myself have a desk with numerous forehead shaped dents in it, courtesy of St. Jane and FDL. If there is one thing they can do well, it is produce dents. A regular Center for Dentological Studies, it is…

  202. 202
    LT says:

    @Jenn:

    @LT:

    Yeah, and most people here are agreeing that there’s nothing wrong with this. What most people appear to be saying is, “huh, interesting.”

    That is fundamentally wrong. This sis about innuendo. It is ALL about innuendo. If you were right, I’d agree – it actually is interesting. But that was not the writer’s intent, clearly. If it had been, he might have, I don’t know, compared these PAC’s spending to other PACs, y’know? I mean honestly, why would you write a post like this titled “How Jane Hamsher Spends Her PAC Money”? And post it several places, including the den of Hamsher Hate, DKos?

    I’m sorry, I respectfully disagree.

  203. 203
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Perhaps you’d like to hear the other side of the story:

    http://www.accountabilitynowpac.com/

    We are very close to being able to unveil several exciting challengers who have been heavily recruited, supported and persuaded by Accountability Now. For obvious reasons, identifying our targeted recruits before they decide to run is unwise and counter-productive, but press reports have detailed some of our efforts in this regard. In conjunction with local activists, we have created innovative tools for exposing corrupt incumbents with an eye towards a possible challenge. As the first several months of this year is the key time period for primary challengers to commit to running for the 2010 midterms, we hope and expect to have concrete and exciting announcements soon.

    Accountability Now, the Political Action Committee set up to challenge corporate-controlled incumbents and hold them accountable for their actions, today announces their first candidate in the 2010 election: Arkansas Lt. Governor Bill Halter, who will challenge Blanche Lincoln for her Senate seat.

  204. 204
    Nellcote says:

    Considering that there have been cyber-rumblings about the PAC(s) for a few weeks now, wouldn’t it behove Jane/Glenn to make some sort of public statement to clarify what’s going on? For the sake of transparency and accountability and all. It seems the least they could do for their donors.

  205. 205
    MikeJ says:

    @ricky: Fair enough. But we can surely both agree that somebody should have kept on eye on Mr. French. Show me on Mrs. Beasley where he touched you…

  206. 206
    John Cole says:

    Late to the game and I haven’t read the comments yet, but it doesn’t look like there is anything wrong here. The amounts they paid themselves seem very, very modest by PAC standards, and 140k for accountability now will be a bargain if Halter beats Lincoln.

    The problem, as always, will be Jane’s reaction. She’ll go absolutely fucking ballistic, go after whoever wrote this, accuse him of who knows what, claim it is a smear job and go after TRex for speaking on the record, and generally act guilty even though she hasn’t done anything wrong and refuse any questions and offer up no information except for what she wants to offer.

    She is her own worst enemy, and always has been.

  207. 207
    Svensker says:

    @eemom:

    That is inaccurate HOW?

    I read your “crickets….hmmmm” is an implication that because Glenn has not come here to defend himself, he is guilty of something.

    Is that a mischaracterization?

  208. 208
    gbear says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Did you every read TBoggs when he was independent? He didn’t require registration and his comment threads were an absolute free-for-all some days. Just hilarious.

    His archives are still out there for teh google to find.

  209. 209
    r€nato says:

    @John Cole:

    She is her own worst enemy, and always has been.

    ayup.

  210. 210
    Mary says:

    @Mike Kay: Those were gubernatorial elections. The PAC’s stated purpose relates to Congress. I guess you could make an argument for the Massachusetts Senatorial election, but even there there was an incumbent that she was trying to oust.

  211. 211
    Mike Kay says:

    @geg6: No apology necessary.

    You know the funniest part: it’s how Jane kept screaming Obama sold us out. Talk about projections.

  212. 212
    MikeMc says:

    They only raised $113,695 in a year? Isn’t that pretty low? I’ve been over to FDL and they seem to have a pretty healthy following. I have a friend who ran for mayor in a mid sized town in Iowa and I think he said he spent a little over 20K. I guess I thought they had more juice than that.

  213. 213
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I am definitely interested in what Glenn has to say.

    Hamsher is a fire-breathing ideologue who would rather have people die for the cause of her Pure Ideology (see Healthcare debate), so if any of this is true, call me unsurprised.

    But Glenn is a different story. I have always appreciated his thinking, if he I have not always agreed with it. Since he is also a bit of a Purist, I am ready to hear him reconcile this bit of business with the Purity he ascribes on his website.

  214. 214
    stuckinred says:

    @gbear: The registration at FDL didn’t diminish the conflict that I could tell. I was pretty much a pain in the ass for the last year and, while they got shitty with me, I was never banned.

  215. 215
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @geg6:

    I wasn’t one who was all that upset about this and just thought it all sounded a bit odd but, hey, what do I know. But then, the minute you criticize in the slightest way the absolute shittiest blogger on FDL or her slavish admirers, this is what you get.

    That’s what I find so fascinating. The spittle-flecked indignation by proxy of people who have been calling me a cultist since I picked Obama as my close-second-to-last choice in the Dem primaries.

  216. 216
    stuckinred says:

    @BombIranForChrist: Scarecrow is also really good, dude knows his shit.

  217. 217
    El Tiburon says:

    @gwangung:

    I was being sarcastic. Duh. See my above reply.

    Again, you continue to miss the point so I don’t know if you are this obtuse naturally or if you have to work at it.

    I am not bitching about the numbers goddamnit. I am bitching about, and now I’m typing very slowly for you, the following:

    1. How the numbers were presented w/out context
    2. Skewed out of the gate by the phrase, “…I don’t want to tar liberal PACs…”
    3. The inability for DougJ to spend a few minutes and try to give some context for his post.

  218. 218
    Mike Kay says:

    @Mary: we’re well into primary season, all across the country. Well into it. And not a single cent, not one, has been spent on a single candidate. And they have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, and nothing, nothing to show for it. It’s a scam.

  219. 219
    Svensker says:

    @demo woman:

    Glenn Greenwald lied to us though, so there is no excuse.

    Is that snark? If not, how did GG lie?

  220. 220

    This sort of thing is going to happen in the free wheeling world that is the internet and blogging, where individuals are making a living, or trying to, in an arena where outrage creates hits and hits create munny and facts take second seat to supposition and speculation that is the coin of the realm.

    And since supposition and speculation are always in abundant supply, and real substantiated fuel for the outrage ebbs and flows, the beast must still be fed ever increasing portions of red meat and when it runs low soylent burgers get used.

    And then we get a Hamsher and a Greenwald going off the reservation, which they clearly have, IMHO. And then we get people with genuine passion, which they both have, beginning to operate with increasingly suspect judgment.

  221. 221
    DanF says:

    Jesus this was a stoopid post. It starts with the premise that the purpose of a PAC is to funnel money to a candidate and because there is no money left after expenses, well, wink wink nudge nudge…

    There are issue PACs as well.

    The stated purpose of this PAC is to find candidates to primary conservative Democrats for federal races. Find – not fund. Judge it based upon the efficacy of it’s mission Apparently they played a role in recruiting Bill Halter to replace Blanche Lincoln. Is that worth $175K? I don’t know. I don’t know how significant a role they played.

    Smells like knee-jerk hippie punching, IMHO. BJ should be better than this.

  222. 222
    rootless-e says:

    @Tax Analyst: thanks very much for your deep analytical work. Maybe Accountability PAC should fund your research.

  223. 223
    Morbo says:

    Take a rage dump, mon.

  224. 224
    stuckinred says:

    @DanF: Dawg, I know hippies and Jane is no hippie!

  225. 225
    Mike Kay says:

    @BombIranForChrist: Glenn is a conspiracy theorist. He’s been smearing Obama on HCR all year long. He’s been pushing a conspiracy theory that Obama had a secret deal with insurance companies, but like all conspiracy theorists, he has yet to produce a single piece of evidence.

    But i understand, Glenn is cute, so could he be lying.

  226. 226
    Mary says:

    @Mary:
    @Mike Kay
    Crap…obviously NY was not a gubernatorial election. I missed that in your initial post. My overall point still stands

  227. 227
    ricky says:

    @John Cole:

    The amounts they paid themselves seem very, very modest by PAC standards, and 140k for accountability now will be a bargain if Halter beats Lincoln.

    You now join Hamsher and her paid confederates in claiming 100% credit for Halter’s candidacy? I would tend to think the AFL-CIO, which Jane recently attacked for selling out the student loan bill as part of a nefarious plot to block the tax on Cadillac health care plans, might have been more helpful in making up Halter’s mind to run. Ya think? They actually have members with votes in Arkansas and a whole lot more money left than Accountability Whenever.

  228. 228
    LT says:

    @Tim F.:

    Okay. My bad. Cole nor anyone here is trying to make a living blogging.

  229. 229
    Mike Kay says:

    @DanF: cry me a fucking river.

    you hamsters can dish it out, but ya can’t take it.

  230. 230
    r€nato says:

    @DanF: How do you recruit candidates without promising financial support if they decide to run? Having your commenters – most of whom cannot vote for the candidate because they reside out-of-state or out-of-district – say nice things about you, doesn’t get you elected. It doesn’t even get you a burger from the Value Menu at Mickey D’s.

  231. 231
    MikeJ says:

    @Mike Kay:

    we’re well into primary season, all across the country.

    Yep. 10 Primaries in May, 14 more in the first two weeks of June.

    If you ain’t running by now, you ain’t running. Even if your name is on the ballot, it’s waaaaaaay too late. Even if you’re shooting for one of the 13 primaries in September you should have been raising money for a year already.

  232. 232
    LT says:

    @DanF:

    The stated purpose of this PAC is to find candidates to primary conservative Democrats for federal races. Find – not fund. Judge it based upon the efficacy of it’s mission Apparently they played a role in recruiting Bill Halter to replace Blanche Lincoln. Is that worth $175K? I don’t know. I don’t know how significant a role they played.

    Thank you.

  233. 233

    @demo woman:

    then Oliver North is a lying scum

    Wait, you’re just *now* finding that out? or is my snarkometer broke?

  234. 234
    DanF says:

    @stuckinred: I mean “punching hippies” in that we’re punching leftward, and the only discernible reason I can see is because we had a serious disagreement with Hamsher over HCR.

  235. 235
    Mike Kay says:

    @Mary: not a single cent has been spent and we’re right in the middle of primary season, all across the country. For example, California’s primary is a mere 2 months away, and not a single cent has gone to any candidates.

  236. 236
    David in NY says:

    C’mon everybody. Put down the flamethrowers and watch this from an old-timey blogger, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.

    http://xnerg.blogspot.com/2010.....-true.html

  237. 237
    John Cole says:

    I think a lot of you are WAY off base- if anything, this report, in my mind, clears them of any wrongdoing (if any was ever even alleged). It shows they haven’t been very effective raising money, but they have apparently raised enough to get Bill Halter, and the FDL side has been quite active in polling and other stuff, so the money sums seem pretty reasonable. And $24k is not that much money for running an operation like that.

    This is just gonna be another Rhorshach test, I’m afraid. But I stand what I said earlier- Jane will fumble this issue by being aggressively nasty to anyone who questions her.

  238. 238
    gwangung says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Again, you continue to miss the point

    Um, no.

    But you continue to miss my point.

    Third time now.

    *sigh*

    I think Mr. Cole and the points he brings up is far more credible. All you do is prove you’re just as ill-informed as you say DougJ is, and show no willingness to remedy that.

    The instant recourse to blind defense without supplying context yourself shows that you have no argument.

  239. 239
    DanF says:

    @Mike Kay: Seriously dude. WTF? I’m not a firebagger by any stretch of the imagination. But you know, nice to see you tar with a broad brush. Show some intellectual flexibility.

  240. 240
    stuckinred says:

    @DanF: aw shucks, I knew that! It seems to me the disagreement is a bit deeper than that. The HRC stance was the nail in the coffin for me. . .but that’s just me.

  241. 241
    mcc says:

    El Tiburon: Okay, so I am confused. You are suggesting that Accountability Now hasn’t been donating to candidates, but is going to start soon? And they’re starting with Bill Halter? A really large number of groups are supporting Bill Halter, though. What was the money spent on up until this point? Surely not recruiting BIll Halter?

    So to be clear I think there’s certainly not anything illegal about how the FDL PACs are being run, and I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s anything unseemly about the PAC basically diverting all donations to consultants– I can think of a lot of PACs that have fundamental missions other than supporting candidates specifically. And I think anyone who donated to a PAC promoted by FDL would probably understand that their money is essentially going to further FDL operations. I do think the weirdly insular operations of the PAC seem to pretty strongly strengthen a number of criticisms of the FDL project in general– that it is more about trying to escalate its operators into being political players than it is about furthering any identifiable progressive goal. But if one agrees the FDL project is doing good stuff to begin with, then the PAC being used as a tool to further FDL shouldn’t be a problem. Right?

    This said, I think looking at how the money is being spent there are, for starters some serious questions about whether this PAC is particularly good at its job or a good target of activist money. Can you explain for us what productive end is being served by donating to that accountability now PAC, particularly as compared to simply donating to candidates?

    including the den of Hamsher Hate, DKos?

    Wait. What?

  242. 242
    gbear says:

    @stuckinred:

    I thought it flattened out the moment he went to registered comments. TBoggs comment sections got pretty wild before when anyone (including insane wingnuts) could chirp in. Now the only people who can comment are those who are willing to register at the site, so the opinion pool was immediately limited to people willing to do that. Now it’s more like going to a trendy coffee shop when it used to be a biker bar.

  243. 243
    Mike Kay says:

    @DanF: Jane punches people on the left, like Kucinich, and Bernie sanders, doesn’t that make her a ….gulp…. a hippie puncher (sniffle)

  244. 244
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @John Cole:

    This is just gonna be another Rhorshach test, I’m afraid. But I stand what I said earlier- Jane will fumble this issue by being aggressively nasty to anyone who questions her.

    Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of Pavlov…

  245. 245
    LT says:

    @Maude:

    @LT:
    John Cole doesn’t make money with BJ. Get your facts straight before you insult someone we like and yes, even respect.

    I’ve been corrected by TimF on the “make a living” thing, but I don’t know if it’s accurate to say that people here “don’t make money.” Sites like this that have fundraisers for site redesigns and such could be said to be “making money,” if only to pay for their expenses, and maybe time. (And good on ’em.)

  246. 246
    Paula says:

    That’s damning w/ faint praise, Cole.

  247. 247
    stuckinred says:

    @gbear: Hmm, maybe I was there for so long I didn’t notice the change.

    raven

  248. 248

    As someone who briefly worked with a PAC that didn’t last very long, based on the report I don’t see any reason to think there’s anything illegal going on (although that would depend on whether the things Accountability Now were buying from FDL were bought at a fair rate or whether they were paying exorbitant amounts for them), but it certainly does look like Jane went out of her way to funnel as much money as she could into her pockets, which is unethical as hell.

  249. 249
    Mary says:

    @Mike Kay: Well, yes. We’re well into it now. But these are FEC filings from 2009.

    Eh…I really don’t care one way or the other. I just don’t think this is such a big deal. In terms of political dollars, all of this is peanuts. But more importantly, I don’t think it’s necessary for the PAC to give a single dollar directly to candidates. It’s out in the open, her donors now know what she spends the money on, they can decide whether they think her efforts are worth supporting or not.

  250. 250
    MikeJ says:

    @gbear:

    Now the only people who can comment are those who are willing to register at the site,

    And of course many people weren’t willing to register because they didn’t want to become part of a list that would get sold.

  251. 251
    tim says:

    @geg6

    See this is the kind of horse shit I’m talking about, in general:

    I think you better speak for yourself instead of insinuating what you think you know about BJers. I don’t know of anyone here who does any Hilary hating (in fact, we praise her quite a bit here) and I have no problems with FDL per se and I read Tbogg every single day and Marcy Wheeler’s outstanding blogging of Scooter Libby’s trial was the only reason I ever found FDL.

    Well, probably you don’t. I have noticed that the FDLers that come over here don’t understand anything other than you’re with us or you’re against us. My question for them is, with that kind of attitude, what is it you think makes you any different from a Teabagger or Republican?

    Why would you imply that I’m an “FDLer?” I hardly ever read that blog. Is it simply that I ask questions which call into question BJ groupthink?

    I like BJ in general; check it several times a day. But you folks who buy into political blogs like this as more of a “community” and a source of self identity are doing BJ and Cole no favors. Your need for a sense of belonging quickly blocks our your healthy skepticism and you lose objectivity and credibility.

    Oh, and anyone at BJ who claims to not know what my “HRC hating” statement references are full of it. Are we so quickly pretending to forget the venemous anti-Hillary BJ rhetoric during the campaign during which she was all but denounced as a Democrat-hating, anti American antiChrist? Please.

  252. 252
    stuckinred says:

    @MikeJ: And you can’t un-register!

  253. 253
    Zifnab says:

    @John Cole:

    It shows they haven’t been very effective raising money

    That’s the thing. If they haven’t been effective in raising money then they haven’t been doing their jobs. Were the PAC bringing in $2 million rather than $200k, then a $24k admin fee to Greenwald would be reasonable, even stingy. But when you’re blowing $48k paying out the co-founders from the $116k you collected, why on earth would anyone give you money?

    If FDL and Greenwald want to solicate donations for their work, they should just license themselves as lobbyists. I’ll happily kick in a few bucks for either of these two to march up to Capital Hill and chew out a few Congresscritters.

    But if you’re raising barely over six figures and you tell me the money is going to candidates, paying our a quarter to each co-founder better mean they’re both running for elected office. Otherwise, I’d feel ripped off.

  254. 254
  255. 255
    dr. bloor says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    It is difficult to see how those payments are a good use of the PAC’s resources. What did the $24,000 to Hamsher & Greenwald actually buy?

    Beyond whatever time they may have logged answering phones, making coffee, filing, etc (I keed), they’re the public faces of the PAC and can presumably get access, recruit others and chase money, etc., that many others can’t do as effectively. It’s nice when someone won’t draw fees/salary when getting things going, but it’s not expected. Cost of doing business, etc.

    I don’t mean to be in the position of defending them, but I get the sense from a lot of these posts that many don’t have a clear idea of what political types bill on an hourly basis. This is chump change.

  256. 256
    Mike Kay says:

    @John Cole: their PAC hasn’t distributed/contributed a single cent to halter.

    The money halter raiser came from Move-on and the entire blogosphere, via act blue.

    The polling she’s done has been AGAINST dems who voted FOR HCR, not against Dems who voted AGAINST HCR. How was that helpful?

    The polling script used right wing frames, violating her precious Overton’s window.

    I mean, c’mon.

  257. 257
    terry chay says:

    @El Tiburon: You need to read the original thread before you rush to Glenn Greenwald’s defense.

    Basically, the way it went down was that Cole held Greenwald to the fire on a poorly written post (an typical (though in this case poorly researched and argued) attack on an anti-FDL screed), Glenzilla was his usual pompous self in the comments (something that gets especially irritating when he is commenting and not taking the time to organize his thoughts in his especially long articles).

    Mary mentioned that the reason that Glenn’s post was off-mark and he was defensive was because his financial ties to Jane Hamsher. Glenn dismissed such things as laughable (when he did get around to a response—well after a number of other commenters ask he address it even though Glenn was quite active in the comments—either because of the nature of the accusation or because the commenting that day was fast and furious).

    Commenters started looking into it and it was clear there were ties (Glenn and Hamsher co-created it).

    Glenn then claimed that he never received anything from AccountabilityNow and that he discloses his association from them in his homepage—a neat misdirection since the issue is he prefaces his ACLU-related stuff in every article, but never mentioned AccountabilityNow when clearly he’s shilling for Jane in the post in question. (The issue is the Glenn is quick to “disclose” his ties to the ACLU (because it builds his street cred with liberals), but distances itself from FDL and AccountabilityNow when a similar disclosure in this case is warranted.)

    His words were as follows:

    Sure – zero. I’ve never received a penny from Jane Hamsher, FDL or any of FDL’s “sources of funding”…But neither Jane Hamsher nor FDL provide me with a single cent and never have. The very suggestion is stupid.

    This is technically true, but many commenters noted the dodge (it’s about FDL not AccountabilityNow). Furthermore the way Glenn has received funds from AccountabilityNow is actually funneled through his company (the publisher of the bestselling books you mentioned—a legal entity wholly owned by Glenn Greenwald, DMDM Media). This made is especially hard to track down, since Glenn never mentioned any of this was was categorically denying it in a way that left legal cover but was clearly misleading.

    Again to the question: Do you hold any positions (steering committees, etc.) on any FDL fundraising groups?

    No, and I never have

    Technically also true. He is the co-founder and on the steering committee of AccountabilityNow (and a company wholly owned by him receives money from them). But AccountabilityNow pays FDL but is a PAC, not technically an FDL fundraising group. When you look into the finances, you see that Jane is paying herself through FDL and that FDL is paying itself partially through the money of AccountabilityNow.

    Believe me, I was deceived also. But if you read through the thread, you can see the deception is pretty obvious. While I don’t think Glenn needs the money ($20k after all, is a pretty paltry sum), the fact that he didn’t disclose, and the way he dismissed attempts to link him to that, and the argument that his previous disclosures he mentiones (ACLU) actually hold him in good stead, it starts to look pretty bad for Glenzilla.

    This was all the more amusing (and offensive) because the whole thesis of Glenn’s original article was the need for transparency in disclosure. His attack was founded on the fact that a social scientist didn’t disclose that he received money from the Obama administration (very indirectly, actually, and he also received the same funding from Bush) to do non-partisan modeling—the implication is that he allowed it to color his political leanings and possibly his results even though the model used is public and he’s one of only two people qualified to run the regressions in that field. (Glenn seemed to be unaware is extremely offensive to the academic community—the consequences for falsifying or manipulating such things are far more damaging than the $20k he’s getting from AccountabilityNow to shill for them.)

  258. 258
    mcc says:

    @DanF: Personally I disagree that FDL is to my left, or that they have much credibility to pursue left-wing causes at this point. But:

    The stated purpose of this PAC is to find candidates to primary conservative Democrats for federal races. Find – not fund. Judge it based upon the efficacy of it’s mission Apparently they played a role in recruiting Bill Halter to replace Blanche Lincoln. Is that worth $175K? I don’t know. I don’t know how significant a role they played.

    Okay. It seems like recruiting Bill Halter would have been an extremely positive, critical function for a PAC such as accountability now to have performed. Can you explain what Accountability Now’s role in recruiting Bill Halter was? I haven’t heard anything specifically to suggest why they might get credit for this.

  259. 259
    MikeMc says:

    @ DanF:

    So, people give pacs money to find people to run for office? How did they recruit Bill Halter? Did they use peer pressure? ‘Cause i don’t cotton to peer pressure! I’m not trying to break your balls, but the whole concept of a pac designed to find someone to run seems ridiculous. Give me 100k and I’ll call some people and try to get them to run for office. There’s this guy I tailgate with…he’s the tits!! Yahoo, I’m a king-maker!

  260. 260
    Tax Analyst says:

    @rootless-e:

    @Tax Analyst: thanks very much for your deep analytical work. Maybe Accountability PAC should fund your research.

    Well, it would seem to fall right in line with some of the other ventures they’ve been funding.

    My integrity has never been compromised for $$ before, but then I’ve never received a $$ offer either. I might be willing for the right $$. I promise not to spend any of the funding on hirings or promotional materials.

  261. 261
    Holly McLachlan says:

    @eemom and the general commentariat:
    What part of 100% compensation to yourself and your blog, 0% to the cause for which you solicited donations, do you not get? Because THAT is what the numbers mean.
    Cite them. The numbers that Arkon DougJ included in his post add up to ~38% spent on overhead. A rate that is too high and deserves scrutiny. However, as Svensker has pointed out, these kinds of Twitter-length, Twitter-minded, unsupported assertions are smears, not valid critiques.
    Like her, I’ve read Balloon Juice long enough to remember when John had control over his message and his commentariat reflected that. During the HRC fight, this changed. Excessive, uncritical reliance on the Democratic establishment has become normalized here. It’s enforced by smearing drive-by *soundbitery within most comments threads. (*Rhymes with Sodomy, but less amusing.)
    It’s unpleasant to see his excellent blog devolve this way.

  262. 262
    Mike Kay says:

    @Zifnab: but, but, but… Jane’s cute.

  263. 263
    John Cole says:

    Like her, I’ve read Balloon Juice long enough to remember when John had control over his message

    Lolwut?

  264. 264

    Jane will fumble this issue by being aggressively nasty to anyone who questions her.

    She will be aggressively short sighted, myopic, and just plain wrong. There is not a nice or constructive way to question her about that, except to say get a brain moran or just stfu already.

    And I am not commenting about this PAC stuff, as it is rather nebulous as to being on the level, or not. Contributing to hers, is not unlike the Actblue pages here to “primary” some dem pol folks are pissed at. Or, other than for therapeutic reasons, mostly waste of money. Which is partly what money is for, I suppose, especially for people who have enough to waste.

  265. 265
    stuckinred says:

    @mcc: If you are to the left of them you better hang on cuz you’re awfully close to the edge!

  266. 266
    someguy says:

    What did the $24,000 to Hamsher & Greenwald actually buy?

    Well, Greenwald would troll your blog as a sock puppet praising Glenn Greenwald for just $1000, and he’d deny doing it for another $550. For just $750, Hamsher would concern troll your progressive public policy initiative, and actually fight against it publicly on TV for just $2500.

    The way I see it, donors got plenty for their money.

  267. 267
    r€nato says:

    @LT: I could find candidates to primary conservative Democrats in ANY state, and I would do it for 10% of the $100K-ish that AN has raised and spent on itself and friends.

    (actually I could do it for a LOT less, but I figure if I save donors 90% of the money they donated, they wouldn’t mind if I stay at something better than Motel 6 while ‘recruiting’)

    It’s real simple. You go to the city/state/district in question, find out who’s active in the party, who has a solid background and if they have skeletons in their closet. You can talk to political reporters, business people, people who are politically active in the community. Figure out the incumbent’s weak points and find a candidate who can credibly attack them on those issues.

    Let’s say, for example, you have a conservative Dem in Congress who’s been in office for 40 years and brings home the bacon, but he’s definitely got the whiff of sleaze about him and he votes anti-choice way too much.

    Find a businessman – “someone who’s had to cover payroll, not on the government teat his whole life” – who belongs to the party. A woman would be ideal to primary this hypothetical incumbent. Preferably they’ve been active in the party, but it’s enough that they are on the Dem side of the aisle. Someone who has a reputation as successful and (hopefully) with a good name in business dealings. Someone who can take the time to run a campaign and can afford to do so. Someone who has the necessary connections to raise money for their campaign. Someone who can present themselves competently in the media. Ideally, they already have name recognition in the community. And of course, they need to have the vanity and ego to put up with the endless bullshit that comes with running for office.

    Once you locate this ideal primary candidate, you woo them with guarantees that you can give them seed money to start, that you can raise money from others for the primary and again for the general. Possibly you can also provide resources like tech support, hook them up with media strategists, and so on. You work with other PACs to guarantee financial support for the potential candidate.

    That’s how you ‘find’ candidates. Now, maybe AN has spent this ~$100K to set up infrastructure to do all that, and from now forward a lot more money will flow as actual donations to candidates. Perhaps. But, at least at this point, it smells.

  268. 268
    Mike Kay says:

    @Holly McLachlan: facts are facts. they haven’t spent a single dime on candidates. not a single dime.

  269. 269

    This is the worst part of it to me: “$14,111 to the site for “list purchase,”” The PAC is run by the same person who runs FDL, and she’s paying herself ($14,111!) for an e-mail list that’s probably on the same damned computer!

    It sounds a lot like a shell game.

  270. 270
    DanF says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Jane punches people on the left, like Kucinich, and Bernie sanders, doesn’t that make her a ….gulp…. a hippie puncher (sniffle)

    So because Hamsher punches left, we should too? That’s the standard you want to use? I’ll give you a mulligan on this if you want it.

  271. 271
    r€nato says:

    Find – not fund.

    if they are not funding any actual candidates… what’s the point? Are they buying copies of the local phone book and just going through it, calling up each person and asking if they’d like to run for the Senate?

  272. 272
    Mike Kay says:

    @someguy: of course the money was supposed to go to candidates not lobbying. That’s the crime. The money wasn’t used for the stated purpose.

  273. 273
    LT says:

    @geg6:

    And go fuck yourself with a rusty pitchfork, you fucking asshole small dicked git with your shithead Erick Erikson bullshit. Go back to your dominatrix at FDL.

    Sorry I took so long. Ow!

    I think you misunderstood me. I was asked how Hamsher the blogger-advocate has done. I was simply pointing to othe blogger-advocates and pointing out that it’s pretty hard to measure how anyone has done.

    Ow!

  274. 274
    mai naem says:

    I wonder how long it’ll be before TBogg jumps ship. Never understood why he did go to FDL in the first place.

  275. 275
    El Tiburon says:

    @mcc:

    Okay, so I am confused. You are suggesting that Accountability Now hasn’t been donating to candidates, but is going to start soon?

    No, I am not suggesting anything. I pasted what I thought might be some relevant information since it had been suggested that AN had not backed any candidates.

    And they’re starting with Bill Halter? A really large number of groups are supporting Bill Halter, though.

    This matters how? AN never said they are the ONLY ones who can back a candidate did they?

    What was the money spent on up until this point? Surely not recruiting BIll Halter?

    Did you not read the original entry in this post? The numbers are right there for you: hint, $24,000 for Hamsher/Greenwald…

    Otherwise the rest of your reply was nonsensical. AN is a relatively new organization. I guess some assume it should have raised a bagizillion dollars and backed candidates in every state including Puerto Rico.

  276. 276

    @John Cole:

    Like her, I’ve read Balloon Juice long enough to remember when John had control over his message

    LMAO. Cole, stop ramming your huge message down our throats!

  277. 277
    Mark S. says:

    This discussion is seriously lacking in lesbian bondage and horse bits. To remedy this:

    A CA GOP consultant, Erik Brown, was reimbursed for the expense after a Young Eagles event in Beverly Hills. A CA blog reported that an RNC staffer’s credit card was declined at the club, so Brown grudgingly put the expense on his own card.

    Yeah, I can see why Brown wanted to be reimbursed. On the other hand, I don’t see how this part of the story really affects Michael Steele. I don’t expect him to know where every dollar goes, and they seem to have fired the people involved.

  278. 278
    MikeJ says:

    @someguy:
    Ravelli: Now, for rehearsing we make special rate. Thatsa fifteen dollars an hour.

    Spaulding: That’s for rehearsing?

    Ravelli: Thatsa for rehearsing.

    Spaulding: And what do you get for not rehearsing?

    Ravelli: You couldn’t afford it…Heh…you see, if we don’t rehearse, we don’t play…And, if we don’t play…That runs into money.

  279. 279
    LT says:

    @Mike Kay:

    @someguy: of course the money was supposed to go to candidates not lobbying. That’s the crime. The money wasn’t used for the stated purpose.

    Show us where it says that.

  280. 280
    stuckinred says:

    @MikeJ:

    you canna no fool me

    there is no Sanity Clause!

  281. 281
    r€nato says:

    @MikeMc: LOL you said what I said, just with much more brevity.

  282. 282
    Emma says:

    I never read FDL except as a hit-or-miss kind of thing, and Ms. Hamsher’s turn to Mr. Norquist has made it very, very unlikely that I will ever read her again. But I do want to emphasize something several people have mentioned, and that is the requirement to register and therefore become part of a “list”. I will go out of my way to avoid doing that, as my name has already been “harvested” by people through charitable donations, etc.

    What attracted me to BJ was the free-for-all-who-cares-who-you-are-tell-me-something-interesting approach. I think the registration thing kills it quickly.

    As for the PAC — meh. I’m with Cole on this one. There may be nothing there, but the response will make it seem more than it is. And I give money directly to candidates. Saves on the aggro.

  283. 283
    Mike Kay says:

    @DanF: yeah. of course. what, if jane hits us, we’re just supposed to take it, for fear of being called a “hippie puncher”. Fuck that. If she can dish it out, she better be prepared to take. And if she can dish it out to the left, the last thing she should invoke is the :”hippie punching” defense.

  284. 284
    Zifnab says:

    @John Cole: Yeah, John. That’s why we’re all Pro-Bush Conservatives around here.

    Duh. What blog have you been writing?

  285. 285
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mike Kay:

    facts are facts. they haven’t spent a single dime on candidates. not a single dime.

    And they never ever ever never will in the entire history of mankind.

    What an awesome scam. Two influential and highly-respected bloggers (one a multiple NYT bestseller) collude to start a PAC so they can skim off the top, middle and bottom.

    Yep, Hamsher and Greenwald are so stupid they would risk their reputations for some dough.

  286. 286
    stuckinred says:

    @Emma: So, when I post and my email address is in that field, that is not tantamount to “registering”?

    ps

    I don’t care one way or the other

  287. 287

    @r€nato:

    Plus, if you don’t put 20% of the money your PAC has raised into your own pocket, you can dangle the possibility of using it to support their campaign. It’s hard to entice a serious candidate to run a difficult campaign if you can’t actually offer them any sort of meaningful support.

  288. 288
    Mike Kay says:

    @mai naem: because jane is cute. face it, cyber-geeks shut in their mom’s basement or who have little contact with women have a crush on her. it’s no different than the wingers who pine away after Palin.

  289. 289
    The Boramander You Know says:

    Wow, this post really yanked the Janehadis out of hiding. Hi guys!

    Truly amazing. Nowhere else in lefty blogistan have I seen an organization that monitors blogs for shit that might be uncomplimentary to their owners and then sends the troops in. Hell of an operation the firebaggers have going. Too bad all that effort goes into defending a washed up Hollywood wannabe and a psycho rageaholic.

  290. 290
    Osprey says:

    From what I’ve read at the Accountability now site, there’s nothing there stating they’re obligated in any way to directly donate to their candidates.

    A few things for those who don’t have the time (or lazy)

    We began the year by assembling a diverse and unprecedentedly broad-based network of organizations, activists, advocacy groups and prominent individuals to provide the potential base of initial support for our recruited candidates.

    Our recruiting efforts this year have encompassed multiple Congressional districts and, with an eye towards Senate incumbents, even entire states. We have sent our Executive Director to numerous districts around the country to survey the political landscape, meet with local political leaders and activists, interview potential recruits to determine suitability and credibility, and ascertain the receptiveness in that district to challenging the targeted incumbent. In the most promising districts, we have spent weeks physically in the district and months analyzing these races and speaking with potential challengers.

    This is all from their 2009 end-of-year report http://www.accountabilitynowpac.com/

    To me, it seems as if AN (for short) is all about finding potential candidates to primary shitty Dems. They do local polling and seemingly spend a lot of time in those districts.
    While I’m far from a Jane fan (used to inhabit FDL when Christy was still around), I think people need to get off the ‘they’re not donating directly to candidates so they’re a fraud’ bandwagon.

    As Cole said, they only thing they’ve done so far is recruit Bill Halter to primary Bleach Lincoln. Whether that’s worth the 175k they’ve spent (and all the money donated) considering I think you could run a wet towel against that twat and win the election…is subjective. It’d be nice to see a significant breakdown of all their expenses (they said they did polling yet nothing in their expense report indicates any money spent on it?) before I’d ever consider donating.

  291. 291
  292. 292
    Greg says:

    @gwangung: “$24K is consultant money and is very small potatoes (if anything).”

    Wow. I’m in the wrong business. I gotta get me one of these “consulting” jobs.

  293. 293
    MikeJ says:

    @stuckinred:

    So, when I post and my email address in in that field, that is not tantamount to “registering”?

    You put a real address in there? bad@example.com is pretty much the only thing I ever enter into any form asking for email.

  294. 294
    stuckinred says:

    @Emma: So, when I post and my email address iin that field, that is not tantamount to “registering”?

    ps

    I don’t care one way or the other@Brien Jackson: oh

  295. 295
    licensed to kill time says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Yeah, it’s bad enough trying to choke down that massive kitteh. Who needs a huge message too?

  296. 296
    Mike Kay says:

    @El Tiburon: what reputations? what have they ever accomplished in politics? nothing. Oh, well, I forgot, Jane did put Loserman in patently offensive Minstrel man black face. Yup, they really helped Lamont.

  297. 297

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I’m a little fuzzy on the rules, but it’s possible that it’s not legal for her to take FDL’s list and use it for AN without cost. I have a difficult time believing FDL’s list is actually worth $14,000 though.

  298. 298
    DanF says:

    @MikeMc: Look man, I don’t know if it was a good use of money. I don’t give to the PAC, I don’t know what role they played in recruiting Halter. But, as rule, it does cost money to recruit good candidates. This isn’t Bewitched where people wriggle there nose and shit happens. It takes money to put someone on the ground and meet with the prospective candidates. Research costs money. In the case of Halter, they would have been wise to commission polls to demonstrate Lincoln’s vulnerability. She has the DSCC in her corner as a given, so you need to convince the unions or any other organized progressive outfit to get on Halter’s side. You’ve got to convince the candidate that it’s worth their reputation/career to try. Time = Money. It’s really that simple.

  299. 299
    stuckinred says:

    @MikeJ: Like I said, I don’t care one way or the other. I assume Mr Cole has that there for a reason, one of which is to cover his ass in case someone posts something that could get his ass in a bind. Only makes sense to me.

  300. 300
    eemom says:

    @Holly McLachlan:

    “Control over his message?” WTF does that mean? Banning everyone who disagrees with the “message,” like Jane does?

    And “Excessive, uncritical reliance on the Democratic establishment”? Talk about a fucking sound-bite, straight from Jane’s Finest. Are we “corporatists” too?

  301. 301
    r€nato says:

    @LT:

    $170,000 spent, all of it for ‘strategic consulting’.

    I could get together with JC, buy him a few beers, talk shop a bit and write off the bar tab as ‘strategic consulting’. After all, nobody but who was there knows what was really said, so I could characterize it however I like.

    Look, maybe it’s on the up-and-up. But it smells. Badly. The fact that Jane cares more about who talked than about what work was done for donor money, says a lot.

    Occam’s Razor.

  302. 302
    Zifnab says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I guess some assume it should have raised a bagizillion dollars and backed candidates in every state including Puerto Rico.

    Well, frankly we have no clue. We’re all kinda new at this. And the blogger PACs being fairly de-localized, it’s not really clear whether they should just be rerouting money to candidates a la Act Blue or whether they should be doing boot work in hot spots or whether they should just be fountains of informed opinion.

    Maybe this is exactly how a grassroots PAC is supposed to operate, but given the rather sparse contents of the post mixed with personal inexperience, all I can do is crunch the numbers and agree that this looks really off.

    Jane Hampher is no Tom DeLay, so I’m not expecting tens of millions of corporate dollars to come rolling in so she can redistrict Texas. At the same time, I’d rather she not pay her wife $400k while passing out tchotck to her donors and calling it a day (also a la Tom DeLay).

    So… that.

  303. 303
    Mike Kay says:

    @The Boramander You Know: THIS!

    don’t underestimate the power of lonely cybergeeks and their submission to cute blogger-heads.

  304. 304
    mcc says:

    @LT: Thanks for the link; rec’d. (EDIT: Ah, too late. Alas.)

    Anyway, again here we find this idea that reporting facts about Hamsher’s media operations is “hate”. I think there is a good amount of “Hamsher hate” floating around the internet right now, and I think there are some pretty good reasons for it. This article isn’t it. And I really don’t think you’re really helping yourself here if you’re trying to cast DailyKos as the “den of Hamsher hate” (???). For one thing, I think most people who have been following this sort of thing would be aware DailyKos has had long-running editorial favorability toward FDL and Jane Hamsher; the people who run FDL and the people who run DKos know each other personally and worked together on many things. For another thing, if the right-wing conspiracy against FDL/Hamsher has grown so large and all-encompassing that DailyKos is in on it, shouldn’t this be a moment to stop and ask exactly how things got to this point? Might this be a sign of a problem by itself? How did the list of enemies get so long?

  305. 305
    stuckinred says:

    @eemom: I repeat, I was on the shit list at FDL for at least a year and no one EVER said anything about banning me.

  306. 306
    eemom says:

    @stuckinred:

    hey, are you really Raven? I was wondering when the hell you’d find your way over here….. : )

    They were bashing your ass over THERE, yesterday, as you probably know.

  307. 307
    Cat says:

    @r€nato:

    That’s how you ‘find’ candidates. Now, maybe AN has spent this ~$100K to set up infrastructure to do all that, and from now forward a lot more money will flow as actual donations to candidates. Perhaps. But, at least at this point, it smells.

    If you read their site this is what the last several posts have been about. I mean, I assume everyone who had some questions about what ANPAC was about, hit its not ActBlue, and what ANPAC was doing with their money went to their website and had a look for themselves.

    Right???

  308. 308
    gbear says:

    Just want to clarify my earlier posts:

    TBogg comment section: booo-ring.

    TBogg posts (especially the last week or so): Bitchin’!!

  309. 309
    Jenn says:

    @LT:

    I don’t know anything about the original blogger or their motivations, but I think this is an interesting post, regardless, not because I think Jane and Glenn did anything wrong, but because it clarifies where the donated money goes to. And that’s a Good Thing. Sunshine. And everyone who wants to support Jane and Glenn can send their money to this PAC and do so. And those who want to send their money to candidates, can send their money elsewhere. If you want to argue that there should be more exposure in the blogosphere about PAC finances in general, I’m in total agreement. But I don’t see how attacking this gets you there.

    I also have a difficult time figuring out why there’s an issue about DougJ’s intro — sure, you can argue whether he could’ve worded it better, but it seemed pretty clear to me that he was specifically trying NOT to make it a smear.

  310. 310
    eemom says:

    @stuckinred:

    I know, but you were the exception. You had too many highly placed friends.

  311. 311
    LT says:

    @The Boramander You Know:

    Nowhere else in lefty blogistan have I seen an organization that monitors blogs for shit that might be uncomplimentary to their owners and then sends the troops in. Hell of an operation the firebaggers have going.

    beyond comprehension. Next time anything says anything positive about someone I HATE WITH MY WHOLE SOUL I’ll use this genius-level retort: That person sent you here to say that!

    I’ll never lose an argument again.

  312. 312
    MikeJ says:

    @Brien Jackson: This is correct. It would be an in kind contribution, and if the market value is correct, well over the $5k limit.

  313. 313
    flukebucket says:

    Out! Out! Damn earworm

  314. 314
    Mike Kay says:

    @r€nato: THIS!

    Her true believers will cling to her photo as long as she remains marginally cute. Just like palin, the moment the looks fade, so to will the crowd.

  315. 315
    MikeJ says:

    @stuckinred:

    I assume Mr Cole has that there for a reason, one of which is to cover his ass in case someone posts something that could get his ass in a bind.

    I assume he has it because it’s the wordpress default and easy enough to ignore. I honestly didn’t know anybody actually used real email addys.

  316. 316
    mcc says:

    @Mike Kay: Wait. The article we’re discussing here is from 2009, correct? So obviously they couldn’t have donated a single cent to Halter that would show up on that report because Halter wasn’t running in 2009. Actually it would practically speaking be probably impossible to donate any money to primary challengers in the 2010 elections in 2009 at all, few primary challenges get started that early in a non-Presidential election year. Based on what do you say accountability now hasn’t donated a dime to Bill Halter?

  317. 317
    Osprey says:

    @gbear:
    You don’t fuck with TBogg. I care more about his Bassets now than I do about most people.

  318. 318
    r€nato says:

    We began the year by assembling a diverse and unprecedentedly broad-based network of organizations, activists, advocacy groups and prominent individuals to provide the potential base of initial support for our recruited candidates. Our recruiting efforts this year have encompassed multiple Congressional districts and, with an eye towards Senate incumbents, even entire states. We have sent our Executive Director to numerous districts around the country to survey the political landscape, meet with local political leaders and activists, interview potential recruits to determine suitability and credibility, and ascertain the receptiveness in that district to challenging the targeted incumbent. In the most promising districts, we have spent weeks physically in the district and months analyzing these races and speaking with potential challengers.

    I have to say, that’s some masterful wordsmithing there.

    It echoes a lot of what I posted above, and yet it is so vague that it could cover junkets (and funneling money to friends for ‘strategic consulting’) just as easily.

    If Jane could detail what exactly was done with the money – concrete details, not vague generalities – that would go a long way. It is certainly possible to do that without divulging confidential information which should stay that way.

  319. 319
    r€nato says:

    @Mike Kay: People think she’s cute?

  320. 320
    daryljfontaine says:

    @John Cole:

    The amounts they paid themselves seem very, very modest by PAC standards, and 140k for accountability now will be a bargain if Halter beats Lincoln.

    I dunno John, I’m still trying to figure out what exactly the value-added is.

    D

  321. 321
    LT says:

    @Jenn:

    I also have a difficult time figuring out why there’s an issue about DougJ’s intro—sure, you can argue whether he could’ve worded it better, but it seemed pretty clear to me that he was specifically trying NOT to make it a smear.

    I didn’t mention the intro, my problem was that it’s here at all, again, going back to my belief that this is an innuendo-laden smear job. But I’ll agree to disagree with you on that. (an I think I had the reaction I did because I had just gone to OWillis and saw this. I like Oliver, and read him regularly, but he regularly does bizarre posts, IMO. (His myopic takes on atheism drive me nuts.)

  322. 322
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I guess we will have to wait for Greenwald and Hamsher to respond so we can get some, you know, facts on the matter.

    Wow. I would never have guessed you were that naive.

  323. 323
    terry chay says:

    @Tom_23: I don’t think it’s a hit job on Jane or FDL. I think there are a lot of people pissed to find where their AccountabilityNow $’s went (that was the case with Mary back in January). The problem with getting a few bucks here and there from liberals is that unless it’s for Bitsy, a lot of them will be pretty pissed when they’re lied to.

    What’s more fun is the more you dive into their filings. Money is going to all manner of (right wing, borderline batshit) libertarians and libertarian websites—yet another thing a number of people were pissed to discover.

    Having said that. There is nothing illegal about the finances (and it’s certainly not on the scale of Hannity and North for some perspective), but it’s hard to argue that there isn’t something ironic about a PAC called AccountabilityNow which isn’t being less than accountable about how they have spent their money over the last year.

    :-)

  324. 324
    DanF says:

    @Mike Kay:

    yeah. of course. what, if jane hits us, we’re just supposed to take it, for fear of being called a “hippie puncher”. Fuck that. If she can dish it out, she better be prepared to take. And if she can dish it out to the left, the last thing she should invoke is the :”hippie punching” defense.

    Mike – That is flat out incoherent. In this instance, no one “punched us” and therefore there is nothing “to take”.

  325. 325
    rootless-e says:

    I’m just imagining how FDL would cover this

    Headline

    “Fucking RatBag DC Rip-offs hide slush fund”

    Sample prose

    While the details have not fully emerged, the documents are compatible with a range of financial wrong-doing extending from the merely sleazy to the felony level. It’s no wonder Hamsher and Greenwald tried so desperately to bury this information and to pro-actively smear anyone associated with its release.

    How’s that?

  326. 326
    r€nato says:

    @Cat: I have this sneaking suspicion that AN is set up to turn FDL into a political consultancy. Sure, we’ll help you primary a right-wing Democrat… just hire our friends strategic consultants.

  327. 327
    LT says:

    @r€nato:

    If Jane could detail what exactly was done with the money – concrete details, not vague generalities – that would go a long way. It is certainly possible to do that without divulging confidential information which should stay that way

    .

    And why does she owe you that? What right do you have to ask her that? Are you a donor? If not, could you please provide details about how you weren’t fucking horses all last year?

  328. 328
    gbear says:

    @Osprey:

    I kind of wish he would find a new favorite breed. They seem to be heartbreak machines.

  329. 329
    MikeMc says:

    @DanF:

    My fault. I didn’t need to point my comment at you. I was just being a goof-ball! I have no idea what a pac does.

  330. 330
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mike Kay:

    what reputations? what have they ever accomplished in politics? nothing.

    Are you being serious? Greenwald is one of the most respected and astute bloggers out there. To suggest otherwise shows your complete and total ignorance on this topic.

    Oh, well, I forgot, Jane did put Loserman in patently offensive Minstrel man black face. Yup, they really helped Lamont.

    Gotcha. Attention: Hamsher and Greenwald were the reason for Lamont’s defeat. I don’t know, perhaps I’m not picking up on your sarcasm.

  331. 331
    JGabriel says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m with Cole on this: nothing in this report looks very suspicious, it just looks like they didn’t raise much. And I agree that Jane will probably make it look worse than it is, through some combination of responding over-aggressively and cutely over-legalistic responses about costs and transparency.

    .

  332. 332
    Emma says:

    Stuckinred: I suppose John would harvest all of our emails and sell them to someone. But the registrations I got conned into before I caught on, required a lot more information than that!

  333. 333
    Mike Kay says:

    @r€nato: yeah, even here on this blog, people have said, it was hard for them to eventually break with Jane over HCR, because they had a crush on her.

  334. 334
    John Cole says:

    If Jane could detail what exactly was done with the money – concrete details, not vague generalities – that would go a long way. It is certainly possible to do that without divulging confidential information which should stay that way.

    That is just it- I don’t think the FEC documents show any wrongdoing at all. If anything, I think it clears them of any accusations that might have been out there.

    But I do know what is going to happen next- Jane will go after anyone who asks any questions and make it look like she has something to hide when she doesn’t. It will be half “How dare you question my integrity” combined with “go fuck yourself you are just out to destroy me who sent you here and what agenda are you pushing” and the end result will be her looking like a crazy person screaming at someone who just asked a question.

    And a lot of this will be brought on by people who are legitimately trying to destroy her. And she’ll, as always, help them.

  335. 335
    Cat says:

    @MikeJ:

    This is correct. It would be an in kind contribution, and if the market value is correct, well over the $5k limit.

    Please, no facts, that would ruin the narrative. Its not just Right wing political organizations that steal from their donors, the left do it too! Look at Jane Hamisher and Glenn Greenwald!

  336. 336
    mai naem says:

    @Mike Kay: Uhm, the last way I would describe Tbogg is a cybergeek shut-in. Also too, you may want to google the recent pics he posted of his wife with the new puppeh. I figure he moved because he didn’t have to worry about servers crashing etc.

  337. 337
    r€nato says:

    @LT:

    I guess since OJ Simpson didn’t kill my family members, I don’t have any right to expect that he receive justice.

    BTW, Jane’s not going to go out on a date with you so you can stop acting like I dissed your girlfriend.

  338. 338
    Mike Kay says:

    @John Cole:

    their PAC hasn’t distributed/contributed a single cent to halter.

    The money halter raiser came from Move-on and the entire blogosphere, via act blue.

    The polling she’s done has been AGAINST dems who voted FOR HCR, not against Dems who voted AGAINST HCR. How was that helpful?

    The polling script used right wing frames, violating her precious Overton’s window.

  339. 339
    John Cole says:

    So, when I post and my email address is in that field, that is not tantamount to “registering”?

    No. It is just the default wordpress thing. And I so value everyone’s privacy that when I put up the Change.org petition up there in the right, it took them several extra days to get me the code because they had to rewrite it so it would NOT collect email addresses. All the other folks that have that tool collect the email addresses.

    I do not.

  340. 340
    El Tiburon says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Wow. I would never have guessed you were that naive.

    So now the accepted CW by you is Hamsher and Greenwald are hacks with zero credibility, is this correct?

    So, everyone whom you disagree with is incapable of presenting their side with facts, is this correct?

    Perhaps you can point me somewhere to show where Greenwald has played loose with the facts?

  341. 341
    Mike Kay says:

    @r€nato: ahahahahhahahahahhahahahahhahahhahahahahahahhahahahhahahhahahah

  342. 342
    LT says:

    @r€nato:

    Attention, Walmart customers: All sane people, leave the store now.

    Christ, you are a piece of work. Jane Hamsher = O.J. Simpson. “Please think of the PAC donors! Who will think of the PAC donors!?!”

  343. 343
    burnspbesq says:

    @Svensker:

    Very very unfair

    Other than an abstract commitment to fairness, is there any reason for anyone to think they are obligated to treat either Jane or Glenn fairly? How fairly do they treat others?

  344. 344
    MikeJ says:

    @John Cole: Bless you. I love to see someone as curmudgeonly as I running a blog.

  345. 345
    ricky says:

    @terry chay:

    Greenwald:

    Sure – zero. I’ve never received a penny from Jane Hamsher, FDL or any of FDL’s “sources of funding”…But neither Jane Hamsher nor FDL provide me with a single cent and never have. The very suggestion is stupid.

    “Technically true….”
    “Again to the question: Do you hold any positions (steering committees, etc.) on any FDL fundraising groups?

    No, and I never have

    “Technically also true. He is the co-founder and on the steering committee of AccountabilityNow (and a company wholly owned by him receives money from them). But AccountabilityNow pays FDL but is a PAC, not technically an FDL fundraising group. When you look into the finances, you see that Jane is paying herself through FDL and that FDL is paying itself partially through the money of AccountabilityNow.”

    This is technically untrue. It is in fact false. He was paid $2,000 a month as a co-manager of a PAC. The treasurer of the PAC is Jane Hamsher. He took money from Jane Hamsher. Period.

  346. 346
    Mike Kay says:

    @El Tiburon: They are hacks with zero credibility.

    What have they ever accomplished in politics, besides put Loserman in patently racist Minstrel man black face?

  347. 347

    @JGabriel:

    Paying roughly 50% of your funds raised to your PAC founders when they’ve got other primary income sources, to say nothing of not working full-time for the PAC, is pretty shady.

  348. 348
    El Tiburon says:

    I know Greenwald reads this blog so I assume he will respond.

    IF so, I hope to see an update on this post which will allow me to smugly say, “I told you so.”

    Haters!

  349. 349
    DanF says:

    @Jenn: Exactly. Over all, this is much ado about nothing.

    The problem I had with the the lead-in was that there was an implication that something wrong was happening. “I’m not trying to tar, but …” “I’m not saying your breath stinks, but …” “I’m not saying you’re a Christ-o-fascist, but …” There is an implication that something is a-miss when there probably isn’t. Or if there is, this info doesn’t show it.

  350. 350
    Osprey says:

    @Mike Kay: There is not one fucking thing in their PAC’s statement that decrees they donate ANYTHING directly to the candidate. That’s not their purpose, and to keep harping on that isn’t arguing on a factual basis, it’s channeling your hatred through your keyboard.

    I’m no Jane fan, but you need to chill the fuck out.

  351. 351
    Art says:

    First time commenter, and the only blog I read at FDL is TBogg, and I just don’t get into GG.

    I see no problem with JH paying herself for the work she does at the PACs. If I was a donor, then I would be curious about the mailing list and rent payments. Why not just donate the space and mailing list as an “in kind contribution?”

    I’m just a substitute teacher on the verge of a full time position (2nd career at the age of 40; my former employer went belly up), but I also own a couple of commercial properties. A few years ago, a friend of mine was running for state senate (WV). When he asked for a contribution, I was seriously strapped for cashed, and he knew it. He also knew a prominent downtown storefront I owned was empty, and he requested an in kind donation of the storefront for the last two months of the campaign…if the property wasn’t filled.

    I was more than happy to donate. His new office in my property created more walk through traffic, and two weeks after the campaign (he lost), I earned a new tenant.

    For me, on the outside with no dog in this, it just doesn’t look good. Is JH right or wrong? That’s for her donors to decide.

  352. 352
    r€nato says:

    @LT: OK, fine, if I pick a different analogy, will that help you to focus on the actual point I was making?

    I didn’t give a dime to Ollie North and Sean Hannity’s bullshit ‘help the troops’ fundraising scheme, and I would never give a dime to anything that has their names attached to it.

    But I’m pretty sure I’m entitled to have an opinion about the matter and be offended that they spent most of the money on themselves and their sense of entitlement to private jets and limousines rather than helping any actual troops.

    I’m also offended by bible-thumpers who raise money from worshippers and spend it on their lavish lifestyles rather than doing God’s work. Even though I would never, ever in a million years be gullible enough to give a red cent to such a person.

    (As a matter of fact, North/Hannity have spent more money on actual troops than AN has sent to actual candidates.)

    Now, can you respond to the point or, like a teabagger, will you focus on trivial bullshit like spelling, or use of profanity, or the fact that I used Ollie North and Sean Hannity in my analogy in order to discredit anything I might have to say about your fantasy girlfriend?

  353. 353
    geg6 says:

    @mcc:

    Anyway, again here we find this idea that reporting facts about Hamsher’s media operations is “hate”. I think there is a good amount of “Hamsher hate” floating around the internet right now, and I think there are some pretty good reasons for it. This article isn’t it. And I really don’t think you’re really helping yourself here if you’re trying to cast DailyKos as the “den of Hamsher hate” (???). For one thing, I think most people who have been following this sort of thing would be aware DailyKos has had long-running editorial favorability toward FDL and Jane Hamsher; the people who run FDL and the people who run DKos know each other personally and worked together on many things. For another thing, if the right-wing conspiracy against FDL/Hamsher has grown so large and all-encompassing that DailyKos is in on it, shouldn’t this be a moment to stop and ask exactly how things got to this point? Might this be a sign of a problem by itself? How did the list of enemies get so long?

    This. Gawd, this.

  354. 354
    Mike Kay says:

    @El Tiburon: he’s too busy griffing left wing suckers like you

    face it, Glenster has sold you out!

  355. 355
    Cat says:

    @r€nato:

    I have this sneaking suspicion that AN is set up to turn FDL into a political consultancy. Sure, we’ll help you primary a right-wing Democrat… just hire our friends strategic consultants.

    I must be missing something. I can’t think of any of the dozen or so small business people I know have started where the founders were complete strangers.

  356. 356
    Mike Kay says:

    @Osprey: That was their purpose. You can put blinders on all you want. Their purpose was to run candidates, not run their mouths.

  357. 357
    Morbo says:

    I, for one, am more curious about the two bloggers who were supposed to be working full time but do not appear on the filings than about anything else. Slinkerwink’s special comment about no longer receiving funds from FDL isn’t exactly enlightening. Perhaps they didn’t meet their obligations or they were paid some other way, under some other name, etc, but that sticks out to me.

    ETA: I see now I’m not the first to notice, but I must have missed it amidst all the invective.

  358. 358
    Cat says:

    @John Cole:

    And I so value everyone’s privacy that when I put up the Change.org petition up there in the right, it took them several extra days to get me the code because they had to rewrite it so it would NOT collect email addresses.

    Kudos to you. Thats a very cool thing to do for your readers.

  359. 359

    @r€nato:

    We began the year by assembling a diverse and unprecedentedly broad-based network of organizations, activists, advocacy groups and prominent individuals to provide the potential base of initial support for our recruited candidates.

    I question the use of “unprecedentedly” here. Not only is it a poorly-constructed sentence, but it’s probably inaccurate.

  360. 360
    John Cole says:

    One more time- ACCOUNTABILITY NOW WAS NOT FORMED AS A REVENUE STREAM FOR CANDIDATES. IT WAS FORMED TO FIND CANDIDATES TO HOLD BAD ONES, GET THIS- ACCOUNTABLE NOW.

    I would seriously wish if everyone discussing this issue would understand that the mission statement of the PAC was not to fund candidates. It was to find them.

    Now if you want to know what they have done to find candidates or what role they had in Halter, that is a decent question. Declaring they gave no money to candidates just makes you look stoopid with two o’s.

  361. 361
    Mike Kay says:

    @Cat: the problem is, that wasn’t the stated purpose. They never said, we’re starting a consultancy agency, please contribute. They said they were gonna run candidates against corporatedems, the same way Club for Growth runs candidates against republicans who don’t hold the party line. It was that simple. They were gonna be a left version of the Club for growth, which to me, sounded great. But what do we have to show for it, for our contribution — zilch. They haven’t supported one candidate, not one. Instead they took the money themselves.

  362. 362
    Zifnab says:

    @John Cole:
    :-|
    :-S
    :’-(

  363. 363
    r€nato says:

    Anyway, again here we find this idea that reporting facts about Hamsher’s media operations is “hate”.

    I find it profoundly disappointing when lefties behave exactly like righties, all you have to do is swap out the objects of their affection.

    Righties regularly call it ‘hate’ when lefties speak the truth about Palin or Carrie Prejean or Tom DeLay or Bush. On any given day, you can find hundreds of commenters on right-wing blogs who describe the massive protests against Bush and the Iraq war as ‘hate’.

    Criticism != ‘hate’.

    Reciting inconvenient facts != ‘hate’.

    Perhaps I need to reconsider my notion that lefties are generally more open-minded and tolerant than righties.

  364. 364
    Mike Kay says:

    @John Cole:

    Q. how many candidates did they find?

    A. Zero.

  365. 365
    DanF says:

    @r€nato: Damn it r€nato, you’re smarter than this.

  366. 366
    burnspbesq says:

    @LT:

    Sites like this that have fundraisers for site redesigns and such could be said to be “making money,”

    Only if your favorite pastime is ignoring the commonly understood meaning of words and concepts. “Making money” is not the same thing as “covering expenses.”

    Good try, though.

  367. 367
    Osprey says:

    @Mike Kay:
    Not if you read their website, which I’m sure you haven’t, there’s nothing that says they must directly donate to the candidate’s campaign. There’s parts of their statement that can be contrived that way, but nothing that would ‘stand up in court’ so to speak.

    As for the legality of it all, I’m sure it’s squeaky fuckin’ clean.

    As for the morality and value of it (i.e. money they paid themselves and donations collected vs. results) is what the real question is. And some of the things they stated (like the polling in the 2009 statement) yet I see no exact expenses for it (unless it was included in payouts to themselves or the director…which would be fishy).

  368. 368
    r€nato says:

    @John Cole: John, I don’t know how one ‘finds’ candidates without arranging support for them; whether that support is financial, or expertise, or both.

    I think ‘find’ and ‘fund’ have much more in common than three letters.

  369. 369

    @El Tiburon:

    regarding

    I know Greenwald reads this blog so I assume he will respond.
    IF so, I hope to see an update on this post which will allow me to smugly say, “I told you so.”

    Last time I got into it with Glennster on Twitter I sent him the link to Accountability Now and got blocked. Seemed like he didn’t want to continue that conversation, but maybe Glennzilla just didn’t feel like arguing. Because you know how he hates to argue with people who challenge him.

  370. 370
    r€nato says:

    @DanF: I’m not a political consultant. Maybe someone can explain to me how one ‘finds’ candidates without the ability to provide them with some sort of resources that would encourage them to run, especially against an entrenched incumbent who will surely have the party machinery behind them.

    Again, I could ‘find’ potential candidates by just calling some local political reporters and asking them who would be some good Democratic candidates, provided that they had the resources and backing it takes to run a campaign.

    Campaigns aren’t run with positive blog comments.

  371. 371
    Cat says:

    @ricky:

    “He is the co-founder and on the steering committee of AccountabilityNow ”

    This is technically untrue. It is in fact false. He was paid $2,000 a month as a co-manager of a PAC. The treasurer of the PAC is Jane Hamsher. He took money from Jane Hamsher. Period.

    Seriously? WTF? Do you have any clue? The Treasurer of an organization doesn’t own it, they work for it. They checks aren’t from Jane Hamsher. The funds are from the PAC he co-founded and co-manages. Thats like saying I get paid by the head of Payroll and not the company whose name is on the check.

  372. 372
    Jenn says:

    @LT:

    Re. you not bringing up DougJ’s intro: yeah, I deleted a clause to that effect and then forgot to stick it back in.

    I get the final straw bit too — if you’re reading something using this as ammunition against Jane and Glenn (I haven’t read OWillis before, so don’t know anything about him), I think it’s easy to feel that others posting it are doing the same. I just don’t feel that this post was, or the majority of the commenters. But as you say — we can agree to disagree! :-)

    Cheers,
    Jenn

  373. 373
    LT says:

    @r€nato:

    Now, can you respond to the point or, like a teabagger, will you focus on trivial bullshit like spelling, or use of profanity, or the fact that I used Ollie North and Sean Hannity in my analogy in order to discredit anything I might have to say about your fantasy girlfriend?

    I never pointed to misspellings. And FUCK ME WITH TIGER PENISES – are you kidding profanity? And the “fantasy girlfriend” thing, is, what? on point? Or is it “like a teabagger”?

    And fine, I’ll accept your new and improved analogy: You have as much right as anyone to be angry about false charities and PACs and the like. And OJ Simpson. Could you please point to where these two PACs did anything wrong? Which would make your analogy make sense?

  374. 374
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So, everyone whom you disagree with is incapable of presenting their side with facts, is this correct?

    Nope. Didn’t say that, and nothing I said supports your ridiculous inference.

    I don’t trust those two as far as I can throw them, and their historic MO is to smear rather than rebut with facts. As you well know.

  375. 375
    JGabriel says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Paying roughly 50% of your funds raised to your PAC founders …

    Brien, none of the numbers involved are huge amounts of money. They just look large on a percentage basis, because not much money was raised to begin with.

    It’s like giving someone $1 for a charity, then bitching because they spent roughly 50% on postage to mail it out.

    .

  376. 376

    @John Cole:

    That’s fine, but their mission statement is certainly presented in a way to imply that they’re out to support progressive primary candidates. And as a general rule, PAC’s that don’t support candidates should explicitly disclose that. They don’t have to, of course, but any that don’t are blatantly trying to raise money off of misconceptions.

  377. 377
    Mike Kay says:

    @r€nato: EXACTLY! 1000 times.

    They sold themselves as a left version of the Club for Growth.

    What does the Club for Growth do: a) they find candidates AND b) they financial support candidates (even ones they didn’t originally find).

    case in point. The Club for Growth didn’t push Pat Toomey to primay Spector. But the did support him financial once he entered the race.

    Put it this way, why hasn’t “Accountability Now” lent any support to Marcy Winograd, who is desperately trying to hold conservadem Jane Harman “accountable”???

  378. 378
    Zifnab says:

    @r€nato: I believe they commissioned polls and focus groups. That comprised several of the other expenses.

    $14,111 to the site for “list purchase,” $9,920 to CommonSense Media for “online advertising” and $3,750 to KMP Research for “strategic consulting.”

    Of course, again, this is all speculation. For all I know, they spent the money on themselves and then paid out of pocket for a whole host of services – financially dumb, but well intentioned.

    Encouraging the candidate to run doesn’t necessarily mean direct donations. You could fund a “Draft Halter” movement that Halter himself never sees a dime of. Or you could run anti-incumbent ads as a third party to whip up dissent, at which point you’d absolutely have to be separate from the candidate per McCain-Feingold rules.

  379. 379
    r€nato says:

    @Brien Jackson: exactly.

    I’m outta here (for today). Peace be with all of you, even you LT. It’s been interesting.

  380. 380
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @r€nato:

    Perhaps I need to reconsider my notion that lefties are generally more open-minded and tolerant than righties.

    Authoritarian personalities gravitate towards power. The last time anything remotely resembling a “left” held a serious amount of power in this country, it was so long ago as to only just barely be within living memory. Now the pragmatic and moderate center-right (which is about as much of a left as we had any realistic chance of voting into office) is back in power after a decade long hiatus, creating hopes that something mildly leftish might actually get a hold of a few scraps from the table. And coincidentally authoritarian personalities are now starting to come out of the woodwork on the left, amongst other places. Quelle surprise!

  381. 381
    DanF says:

    @r€nato: No. Just because you don’t understand the difference, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. No one on the left has been working very hard to even find viable, progressive candidates to run against entrenched conservadem incumbents. It takes time and money to find a viable candidate. It takes time and money to evaluate an incumbents vulnerability. It takes time and money to help align forces against the incumbent. It’s a lot of phone calls, a lot of meetings, a lot of hand shaking, and knocking on doors. What is Accountability Now doing in this regard? I have no god-damned idea and the truth is, neither do you. I hope to god the PAC is successful in it’s goal. I LIKE their goal. But I’m not going to give to the PAC until they can produce results. Chicken meet egg meet the problem most PACs have getting off the ground.

    Once a viable candidate is found, funding mechanisms are already in place.

  382. 382
    Mike Kay says:

    @media browski: THIS!

    Glenster is a fraud and fake. Like all bullys, when he gets popped in the face, he runs home and cries to mommie.

  383. 383
    r€nato says:

    @Mike Kay:

    yes they SOLD themselves as that… but you have to read the fine print to find out what they sold you, was not what they actually plan to do.

    Very Hollywood, wouldn’t you say?

  384. 384
    starfleet dude says:

    John Cole @360 – Thanks for the clarification on the matter of said PAC not passing thru donations as contributions to candidates. But was Halter really “found” given the fact he was the Lt. Gov. of Arkansas and had been courted for weeks as a challenger to Blanche Lincoln? I mean, I could even find Halter from Dick Cheney’s secure undisclosed location.

  385. 385
    AB says:

    I think a lot of people are kind of overreacting. DougJ didn’t really do anything wrong by posting this, and frankly most of the people just went “huh, wonder where the money went”, rather than accuse Glenn or Jane of doing anything wrong.

    The folks coming in here accusing DougJ of having some sort of anti-Jane/Glenn agenda look insane.

    That said, I didn’t give money to the PAC, don’t have enough money to give to PACs, and generally don’t care. It’s between Jane/Glenn/Affiliated and the people who donate. If you donated money and don’t like this, ask for a refund. If you like this, then it’s no big deal.

  386. 386
    Cat says:

    @Mike Kay:

    They never said, we’re starting a consultancy agency, please contribute.

    Please show where they are running the PAC as a consultancy? Other then Renalto’s suspicions?

    My post was probably confusing in that it seemed to agree to his point and thats probably my fault. I only addressed the fact the innuendo that the people working for the PAC were people with close ties to JH or GG. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone whose been involved in small just getting off the ground ventures since thats the norm not the exception.

    You seem to be quibbling over the meaning of ‘run candidates’. I get the impression it means ‘give cash to candidates’ when it can take on a whole other range of activities.

  387. 387
    r€nato says:

    @DanF:

    I hope to god the PAC is successful in it’s goal. I LIKE their goal. But I’m not going to give to the PAC until they can produce results. Chicken meet egg meet the problem most PACs have getting off the ground.

    I don’t think our opinions are all that far apart. I don’t at all wish for AN to fail. I hope they succeed.

    I especially hope they succeed in keeping a muzzle on Hamsher when she flies off the handle.

  388. 388
    Zifnab says:

    @JGabriel:

    It’s like giving someone $1 for a charity, then bitching because they spent roughly 50% on postage to mail it out.

    But that’s just it. Why on earth would I give $1 to a charity that’s going to blow $.50 on postage just to deliver the cash to the bank. It’s horribly inefficient.

    Why aren’t they using ActBlue or simply spotlighting candidates and encouraging activism? What’s the value-add of the PAC? This still hasn’t been adequately explained.

  389. 389
    Mike Kay says:

    @r€nato:

    Perhaps I need to reconsider my notion that lefties are generally more open-minded and tolerant than righties.

    lefties are no different than righties, in the sense that they get lonely and isolated too, and for the lonely they reach out for a pin-up posters, as well, whether it’s a cute blogger like Jane or Glenster or a cute half-term governor with rocks in her head. I mean really, would anyone bought palin’s book if she looked like Bella Abzug.

  390. 390
    r€nato says:

    @Cat: I think my point was, are they really trying to help the cause? Or is it make-work/glorification/career advancement for Friends Of Jane?

    It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference. And yes, good things can come from selfish motives. I’m simply asking the question because it seems that it’s begging to be asked.

  391. 391
    LT says:

    @r€nato: Interesting indeed. One little thread ain’t gonna hurt nobody.

    Best

  392. 392
    Mike Kay says:

    @Zifnab: oh, just stop with the hippie bashing. Jane and Glenn are saints.

  393. 393
    r€nato says:

    @Mike Kay: I hope you’re wrong, because I find the right-wing tendency for cult of personality to be disgusting and, well, idiotic.

    I mean, look at all the right-wing bimbos out there in the right-wing media. Nobody among their followers truly cares about their ideas so long as they evoke primitive impulses – lust and hatred of The Other.

  394. 394
    LT says:

    @Zifnab:

    Why aren’t they using ActBlue or simply spotlighting candidates and encouraging activism? What’s the value-add of the PAC? This still hasn’t been adequately explained.

    Part of the problem in this thread, and Cole has pointed this out, is that people are making up entire arguments with falsehoods. They do use ActBlue. And they do spotlight candidates and encourage activism.

  395. 395
    Holly McLachlan says:

    Lolwhuts????
    Yeah. No doubt you feel it’s always been slings and arrows of outrageous bullshitters.
    I’ve read you semi-regularly for at least 2 years. (It’s all a blur now…) Your commenters were never polite, but the high-bustedness is far worse than before the HRC debate and passage.
    Critiques of inadequate comments = blind support of Jane Hamsher and Firedoglake???? Please.
    It’s clear that both her PACs are operating within the norms of the business. The problem is…. the norms of the business. Her overarching spiel at the outset was that they were designing a funding tool that would take on and change “business as usual” within the Beltway. That sensibility is at odds with what has actually gone on during the past fiscal year.
    However, your commentariat is freakish in it’s motivations. It’s dominated by people who are dying to Twitter their favorite ad hominems into the thread. Not because of legitimate, specific disgust at Hamsher over this matter. But because they’re still furious that she attempted to push the health bill further Left than the Dem leadership wanted.
    Devotees of a Dear Leader are pitiful….. whether they favor the Right or the (center) Left.

  396. 396
    Greg says:

    @JGabriel: “none of the numbers involved are huge amounts of money. They just look large on a percentage basis, because not much money was raised to begin with.”

    This defense of Hamsher et. al. makes little sense to me. I live in overcrowded, expensive Southern California and $24,000 is a nice chunk of change. In most other parts of the country, that’s enough for a down payment on a really nice house. So whether or not Glenn and Jane’s “consulting” fees were deserved, it’s ridiculous to pretend that they were paid an insignificant sum that most people wouldn’t think twice about.

  397. 397
    eemom says:

    @Holly McLachlan:

    Glenn? That you?

  398. 398
    Svensker says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Other than an abstract commitment to fairness, is there any reason for anyone to think they are obligated to treat either Jane or Glenn fairly? How fairly do they treat others?

    Um, wut?

    As a parent I never accepted “He did it FIRST!” as a valid defense either.

  399. 399
    Mike Kay says:

    @r€nato: BINGO!

    you hit the nail on the head. It’s a cult of personality.

    The left isn’t immune. I’m sure you remember Maryscott O’ Connor. She was a good writer, but more importantly she was also cute, and had a whole cult of personality thing going. She totally played the guys on GOS with her sexploitation angle. Someone who worked in hollywood, like Jane, plays this to the hilt. That’s how she got away with the racist Loserman black face crap. It would have been lights out for a homely blogger.

  400. 400
    MikeJ says:

    @Svensker: Agreed. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly.

    Now as to who deserves the benefit of any doubt, that’s a different question.

  401. 401
    mcc says:

    @AB: Personally I’m just happy to see the exact financial relationship between Glenn Greenwald and FDL clarified. I think it’s relevant to evaluating the writing of both and it’s been a little frustrating to have not had an unambiguous answer on that.

    Incidentally, as long as we are on an FDL flamewar. I think a couple of people upthread said FDL wanted to primary Bernie Sanders. Did they ever actually say that? I thought the “primary Bernie Sanders” meme came from a user diary.

  402. 402
    Mike Kay says:

    @Svensker: are you comparing Jane to a child! how dare! knock off the hippie punching!

  403. 403
    ReggieH says:

    @John Cole:

    You say accountable now was designed to find candidates. Sure.

    However, they have not found any. And they cannot take credit for Halter. Dkos and netroots have been funding primary candidates for years.

  404. 404

    @Holly McLachlan: Teehee, yea, good ole sensible Jane just trying to get a better bill by wanting Bernie Sanders primaried and too thick to know he can’t be, and then the Norquist hobknobbing.

  405. 405

    @eemom: Sounds more like Grover in his ratfucking hat.

  406. 406
    eemom says:

    @Svensker:

    to answer your question from above, I observed that neither Glenn nor Jane has so far responded to the questions raised on this post and on other blogs re AN, and that such reticence is uncharacteristic of both of them.

    That’s not saying or implying that they did anything wrong. It is a fair implication, however, that their preoccupation with “transparency” and “accountability” is hypocritical bullshit when it evidently doesn’t apply to themselves.

    /”SMEAR”

  407. 407
    Mike Kay says:

    They actual said, if Bernie is the 60th vote for HCR, then they would work to unseat him.

  408. 408
    Cat says:

    @r€nato:

    I think my point was, are they really trying to help the cause? Or is it make-work/glorification/career advancement for Friends Of Jane?

    It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference. And yes, good things can come from selfish motives. I’m simply asking the question because it seems that it’s begging to be asked.

    This seems so reasonable and innocuous, but no matter how well intentioned someone is ANPAC’s 2009 FEC numbers and a simple “it would be irresponsible not to ask” will make ANPAC look guilty.

    I bet this goes big time and the fact it made its way onto the front page left/democratic blogs with no critique will be used as proof its true by the right.

    It will get orders of magnitude more media play then the Hannity/North fraud even though the ANPAC is probably being run legally and ethically.

  409. 409
    Nellcote says:

    @gbear:

    TBogg comment section: booo-ring.
    TBogg posts (especially the last week or so): Bitchin’!!

    When TBogg had his own site, you didn’t need to click through to read the whole post. I think changing that had a big influence on the quantity/quality of the commentariat.

  410. 410
    Emma says:

    Holly: Devotees of a Dear Leader are pitiful….. whether they favor the Right or the (center) Left.

    Oh dear. And you had me on your corner until that last sentence. Because if you really, really had read this blog throughout the whole past year, you would have seen just as many people screaming about what Obama was doing as you would have seen people supporting him. The discussion tended to get downright heated, in fact.

  411. 411
    The Raven says:

    Roger Cadenhead, who posted this, is someone who has churned out a large number of computing books, many with titles like Sams Teach Yourself Java 2 in 24 Hours or Sams Teach Yourself Java 2 in 21 Days. As a software engineer, these titles make me doubt Cadenhead’s credibility. It might–just–be possible to learn a substantial amount of Java in 21 days (it is a very large language once one counts the libraries), but I don’t know any non-trivial computer language in which most people can be fluent in less than six months.

    The actual FEC page can be found here. There are a lot of transactions in the FEC reports; Cadenhead has been selective in his reporting and summarizing. Doug, how would you feel if some looked over your research grants and budgets, pulled out some numbers that made you look bad, and posted them? That’s what this looks like to me.

    These hints of corruption don’t make any sense. Seriously, if Jane Hamsher wanted to make money from corruption, why isn’t she a high-paid lobbyist? That’s where the money is, not this this penny-ante stuff.

    Finally, why the hell didn’t anyone ask these questions, before posting this damn troll-magnet?

    Croak!

  412. 412
    Cat says:

    @MikeJ:

    Now as to who deserves the benefit of any doubt, that’s a different question.

    Give me a break, this isn’t Ollie North being accused of misdirecting millions of dollars, again.

    I’m reasonably sure this would be the first time GG been accused of fraud and embezzlement. I can’t say anything about JH, but I’m sure it would have been brought up by now if she had been.

  413. 413
    rootless-e says:

    The idea that Grover ally and libertarian/winger business partner Hamsher is “to the left” of anything is not supported by any facts.

  414. 414
    Francis says:

    FTR, this links to the FEC’s info. booklet on “nonconnected committees” (what appears to be govspeak for “issue PACs”).

    The very purpose of an issue PAC is NOT to support individual candidates, but instead to advocate for a particular issue (in Jane and Glen’s case, candidates who are more accountable to their voters).

    Now, it beats the hell out of me why anyone would want to pay Glen and Jane to do that work. If their recruiting is anything like their writing their candidate is bound to get a solid 5% of the vote.

    But let’s be clear what donors are paying for — they are paying for the expertise of Glen, Jane and the employees of the PAC in finding and recruiting qualified individuals to run against incumbent Democrats. That’s what the PAC is for and that’s what the finances show.

  415. 415
    lol says:

    @mcc:

    Challengers should’ve been announced and raising money for almost a year now, whether they’re primarying a Blue Dog, challenging a Republican in the general or running for an open seat.

    Halter’s something of a perfect storm since he’s an already popular statewide figure running against an incumbent who has pissed off institutional organizations with the near undivided attention of national blogs funneling money into his campaign. I doubt you’re going to see that anywhere else this year.

    And even with all that, announcing two and a half months before the election puts him at a severe disadvantage. Don’t kid yourself.

    Basically, if AN’s goal was to recruit primary challengers, they’re not doing a very good job because they’re either not finding anyone or the candidates are not announcing until it’s too late.

  416. 416
    ondioline says:

    I’m a regular reader of both FDL and Glenn but not particularly interested in left interblog politics.

    That said, I think these numbers demand an explanation of some sort, including describing what exactly they did to earn the money.

    Also, it’d be helpful for someone to go back and collect their descriptions over time of what the PAC was supposed to do to see if they were intentionally or unintentionally misleading.

    If paying their salaries wasn’t the intention of the PAC’s donors, something’s wrong here.

    I expect some transparency.

    And I’m disappointed.

  417. 417

    @Cat:

    When someone is paying $14k for an e-mail list from another company they run, it would be irresponsible not to ask if there was some impropriety going on.

  418. 418
    Cat says:

    @eemom:

    I observed that neither Glenn nor Jane has so far responded to the questions raised on this post and on other blogs re AN, and that such reticence is uncharacteristic of both of them.

    OMG, Three freaking hours. Yes that’s proof positive they are hiding something. They are probably with their $2000 hour consultants, paid for by the PAC!, figuring out how to respond to bloggosphere finding their public FEC statements in some smoke filled backroom.

    /facepalm

  419. 419
    ondioline says:

    They should take their time and make their answer clear and thorough.

    This is a big deal.

  420. 420
    Cat says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    When someone is paying $14k for an e-mail list from another company they run, it would be irresponsible not to ask if there was some impropriety going on.

    Your question was answered by two people. You can continue to ignore why they had to pay for it and make yourself look foolish.

  421. 421
    Paula says:

    Are you being serious? Greenwald is one of the most respected and astute bloggers out there. To suggest otherwise shows your complete and total ignorance on this topic.

    @ El Tiburon:

    I think the point might be that he’s using his reputation as a “trustworthy guy” as a bulwark while riling up his readers using questionable tactics (like accusing other bloggers of sundry bad faith arguments when its most likely just a difference in interpretation). The traffic he gets ultimately supports his continued existence as a highly promoted blogger on private advertiser supported Salon.com. And now as a paid consultant to AN despite the fact that they have very little to show for it.

    Of course, this interpretation only works if you’re not particularly impressed with Glenn’s method, style, or (complete lack of) nuance. YMMV.

  422. 422
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Holly McLachlan:

    However, your commentariat is freakish in it’s motivations. It’s dominated by people who are dying to Twitter their favorite ad hominems into the thread. Not because of legitimate, specific disgust at Hamsher over this matter. But because they’re still furious that she attempted to push the health bill further Left than the Dem leadership wanted.
    Devotees of a Dear Leader are pitiful….. whether they favor the Right or the (center) Left.

    Is there a class that I can take to develop such impressive mind reading powers, or is it something that you have to be born with, like having lots of midichlorians?

  423. 423
    rootless-e says:

    @Cat: The Dkos diary was published yesterday. As far as I know that’s more than 3 hours.

  424. 424
    ondioline says:

    @Cat: I’d like that question, and others, to be answered by the principals, please.

    It’s not much to ask.

    And I think it’s inappropriate to draw conclusions until we hear from them.

  425. 425
    Little Dreamer says:

    @media browski:

    Good catch!

  426. 426
    Svensker says:

    @eemom:

    to answer your question from above, I observed that neither Glenn nor Jane has so far responded to the questions raised on this post and on other blogs re AN, and that such reticence is uncharacteristic of both of them.
    That’s not saying or implying that they did anything wrong. It is a fair implication, however, that their preoccupation with “transparency” and “accountability” is hypocritical bullshit when it evidently doesn’t apply to themselves.

    Because they haven’t come over to defend themselves, all the bad things people said about them are true? Is that what you’re saying? GREAT argument. Seriously.

    Far as I know, Jane never comes here, so that argument is moot even before it dissolves in a fit of giggling over its own stupidity. Glenn does sometimes come over when he’s being criticized, so your argument is not moot, just dim. Perhaps he’s busy? He hasn’t updated his own blog recently, so perhaps he’s busy working on his PAC business and doesn’t have time to counter your innuendos?

    Whatever. Time to move on.

  427. 427

    Gaia slay me, this thread is like The Knights Who Say “Ni!” versus the Peoples Judean Liberation Front.

    Oh, look, outta popcorn. Time for a martini …

  428. 428

    @Holly McLachlan:

    However, your commentariat is freakish in it’s motivations. It’s dominated by people who are dying to Twitter their favorite ad hominems into the thread. Not because of legitimate, specific disgust at Hamsher over this matter. But because they’re still furious that she attempted to push the health bill further Left than the Dem leadership wanted.

    Grover fucking Norquist. Apostrophe fail, also.

  429. 429
    ondioline says:

    @terry chay: People new to the thread, or skipping around, should read terry chay’s post, linked here.

  430. 430
    ricky says:

    @Cat:

    Do you have any clue? The Treasurer of an organization doesn’t own it, they work for it. They checks aren’t from Jane Hamsher. The funds are from the PAC he co-founded and co-manages. Thats like saying I get paid by the head of Payroll and not the company whose name is on the check.

    Do I have any clue? Years of running campaigns tells me that if I co-found a PAC along with another person, make myself treasurer and therefore in charge of who gets the checks, pay my other companies I own for rent, lists, and research, then pay myself and my co-founder a monthly salary, I not only own the PAC I am paying my co-founder as yet another employee or subsidary.

    So has anybody seen an expense for taxes to the IRS?

    Call me clueless all you want to.

  431. 431
    Kazanir says:

    @Holly McLachlan:

    However, your commentariat is freakish in it’s motivations. It’s dominated by people who are dying to Twitter their favorite ad hominems into the thread. Not because of legitimate, specific disgust at Hamsher over this matter. But because they’re still furious that she attempted to push the health bill further Left than the Dem leadership wanted.

    No.

    Jane went beyond, “attempted to push the health bill further Left than the Dem leadership wanted.” Once the health bill was evidently going to be not as far Left as she wanted, she actively opposed the bill, campaigned against its passage, raised money for left-wing politicians who pledged to oppose it (Kucinich) and parroted wingnut talking points about the bill while doing all of these things.

    By the standards of the commentariat on this site, such behavior is fairly vile, especially from someone allegedly on the side of the good guys.

    Any fury directed at the Jane Hamshers of the Left (on this site) is inspired by this kind of misbehavior, and that construing her actions as a simple attempt to move legislation to the left is a gross misrepresentation of reality.

  432. 432
    ArchPundit says:

    ==This is the worst part of it to me: “$14,111 to the site for “list purchase,”” The PAC is run by the same person who runs FDL, and she’s paying herself ($14,111!) for an e-mail list that’s probably on the same damned computer!

    ===It sounds a lot like a shell game.

    Actually, this may be required by law. I fully admit to not knowing the details, but a donation of a list is an in-kind contribution to a political committee and if it’s true value is over the legal donation limit, paying FDL for the list is probably the safest legal strategy. While the two entities are controlled largely by the same person, they are different legal entities and an officer of both doesn’t change that.

    I can’t tell you the value of the FDL list, but off the top of my head, it doesn’t look that unreasonable.

  433. 433

    @ArchPundit:

    Actually, this may be required by law. I fully admit to not knowing the details, but a donation of a list is an in-kind contribution to a political committee and if it’s true value is over the legal donation limit, paying FDL for the list is probably the safest legal strategy. While the two entities are controlled largely by the same person, they are different legal entities and an officer of both doesn’t change that.
    __
    I can’t tell you the value of the FDL list, but off the top of my head, it doesn’t look that unreasonable.

    I get that it may be required by law to pay *something* for a list, but a) $14,000? Really? and b) Did all those people on that list *agree* to have their e-mails sold?

    I have a huge problem with anyone selling my e-mail, which is why I get pissed at OFA and the DNC, among others, for polluting my inbox with crap I didn’t sign up for.

    ETA: Who determines the “true value” of an e-mail list, anyway? That’s pulling a number out of an orifice if I’ve ever heard of it.

  434. 434

    Let’s just start out somewhere – like what PACs are. The name is what they are. They’ve made a lot of news as money conduits to candidates and that is not just what they are. They may well, in very legitimate pursuit of their ends, not contribute a dime to a particular candidate. Political action involves a lot more than forking over money. Sometimes people can afford to do some of those things on their own dime and time, but not a lot.

    I don’t know nor do I care what AN did with the money reflected in its ’09 FEC. If you want to talk about candidate contributions, about the only place it could have gone would be incumbents – in virtually all of ’09. If you are not filed for the office there is a very small limit that an exploratory committee can take in and spend.

    A PAC may have as its goals something entirely different than raising money for candidates, it is supposed to have its own ends. That doesn’t mean it can’t be Elect John Doe, but they certainly don’t have to have any such thing as a goal to be effective. A PAC may do nothing more than research policy and provide those results and they would be serving an admirable end.

    I write none of this to defend or attack AN, I give a rat’s ass about it – but stupidity on the subject of PACs is not a good thing. If you think the FEC is a walk over, you are seriously in error and the consequences of fucking around with them are actually serious. And yes, as a candidate for federal office I have had to know something about it and deal with the FEC.

  435. 435
  436. 436
    Jenn says:

    @Holly McLachlan:

    OK, now this is the shit that really pisses me off. Do NOT dismiss my disagreements with Jane and Glenn with the “Devotee of a Dear Leader” crap. I’ve never really read much of Jane, though I certainly didn’t appreciate her teaming up with Grover. I have read and greatly appreciated many of Glenn’s posts, even when I disagreed. However, his stock with me plummeted when he came on here and dismissed all disagreement with his positions on the President and his administration as the unthinking responses of a cult of personality. That is one of the biggest insults I can think of, and I really don’t appreciate it at all whatsoever, whether it’s coming from Glenn or from you or anyone else. Defend Jane and Glenn all you want, there are certainly a few posters who are going overboard IMO, but the second you bring up the Dear Leader crap, you lose legitimacy.

  437. 437
    lol says:

    @ArchPundit:

    You’re right about payment being required but then the question is: What is Accountability Now doing with the list that FDL couldn’t do on its own? Fundraising, I guess.

    So then, what are they fundraising for? If they’re paying Jane and Glenn to recruit candidates, they’re not doing a very good job of it because these candidates should’ve announced months ago, especially if they’re challenging an incumbent.

    We’re 3 months into 2010 and taking credit for a candidate recruited by substantially larger fish in the pond is all they have to show for their efforts?

    Is there something we’re missing here?

  438. 438
    Cat says:

    @rootless-e:

    The Dkos diary was published yesterday. As far as I know that’s more than 3 hours.

    Based on eemom’s other posts I had assumed she meant responded to BJ.

    Either way its a trap. A person’s silence speaks nothing about their guilt regardless of how it maybe interpreted.

  439. 439

    @cat:

    Um, I was one of those people.

  440. 440
    ArchPundit says:

    ===I get that it may be required by law to pay something for a list, but a) $14,000? Really? and b) Did all those people on that list agree to have their e-mails sold?

    A) Since FDL is a private company, we don’t know for sure, but if FDL sold the list another time for $14,000 and then didn’t charge the PAC the same or a comparable rate, it’s very possible the PAC could face FEC problems. There are a ton of ins and outs to the law, but the safe legal strategy is probably to do what we see above *assuming FDL had sold the list other times or other similar lists had been sold for that much.*

    Ultimately, the only way to look at it is would the list be worth $14,000 to someone else purchasing it and I tend to think it probably would. It might be overpriced, but welcome to the world of campaign vendors.

    B) That entirely depends on her terms of service.

    I’m not really taking a position on anything here, other than to point out the possible legal reasons for doing what was done. I wouldn’t donate for a whole bunch of reasons having little to do with the expenses of the PAC.

  441. 441
    tammanycall says:

    1.) I wasn’t around for the launch of AN, so I don’t know how it was initially sold. Reading the “mission statement” from the about section of its website, I see no indication that the PAC will directly fund any candidate:

    Accountability Now PAC will recruit, coordinate, and support primary challenges against vulnerable Congressional incumbents who have become more responsive to corporate America than to their constituents.

    The sticky word here is “support”, but support could mean campaign volunteers, letters to the editor, polling, favorable coverage on influential political websites, etc.

    2.) The numbers cited don’t look unusual to me, either, particularly for a young business. 24K is not a lot of money for consulting, and it’s important the Hamsher be consistent about the value of her mailing list. Candidates and issue groups pay her for those names, too, and she doesn’t want to risk devaluing her biggest asset. It pains me to type this as I believe Hamsher is a crazyperson. Glenzilla’s usually okay, though.

    3.) Doug J’s post is fine. If your only objection is the word “tar”, remember that the words “I don’t want to” proceed it.

    4.) However, when the comments get into “the only reason she’s successful is because she’s CUTE” territory…we’ve got a problem. I don’t like Jane. I think she is the opposite of correct almost 90% of the time. But you’re reducing a woman to her appearance and that’s sexist. So, STOP. Perhaps part of the reason she’s on television so often is because she’s more photogenic than many of her peers. But the same argument could be made for Ezra Klein or Chris Hayes, couldn’t it? (And don’t give me but Chris and Ezra are brilliant and Jane’s a dope. If any of these people were 70 lbs heavier with bad skin, you’d never see them on tv.)

  442. 442
    El Tiburon says:

    @media browski:

    #369

    Last time I got into it with Glennster on Twitter I sent him the link to Accountability Now and got blocked. Seemed like he didn’t want to continue that conversation, but maybe Glennzilla just didn’t feel like arguing. Because you know how he hates to argue with people who challenge him.

    Yeah, I’m sure Glenn has all the time to argue w/ every tom dick and hairy that comes his way.

    You obviously don’t read Greenwald. I would venture that he is more involved with rebutting comments than any other blogger out there, especially with the length of his posts.

  443. 443
    ondioline says:

    It’s really pretty simple:

    If paying their salaries wasn’t the intention of the PAC’s donors, something’s wrong here.

    That’s it. Boom.

  444. 444

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    pay something for a list

    Then it is a damn good thing that nobody is counting on you to keep them out of jail or fines.

    If you do not pay fair market value for something – anything, the difference is an “in kind contribution.” If you don’t get what an “in kind contribution” is, your opinion is pointless, it is considered to have monetary value and it counts toward any total and is also or has been subject to rules concerning businesses and contributions.

  445. 445
    El Tiburon says:

    @Paula:

    #420

    I wish I had some idea of what the hell you are talking about.

  446. 446
    Cat says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    ETA: Who determines the “true value” of an e-mail list, anyway? That’s pulling a number out of an orifice if I’ve ever heard of it.


    sigh. There are several things that value an email list, how fresh the emails are, how big it is, how often the list has been sold, etc. You have NONE of this information and yet continue to rail on and on about how its a huge rip off when it could have been a good bargain.

    Given if they charge to little or to much to the PAC for the list I hope they did some research on its real value or they could be in legal trouble.

    You do yourself a great disservice by making these statements.

  447. 447

    @Chuck Butcher:

    If you do not pay fair market value for something – anything, the difference is an “in kind contribution.” If you don’t get what an “in kind contribution” is, your opinion is pointless, it is considered to have monetary value and it counts toward any total and is also or has been subject to rules concerning businesses and contributions.

    Did you read my comment? I get that you have to pay something (ignoring for a moment the fact that FDL should be *selling* an e-mail list to begin with), but who determines “fair market value” for an e-mail list? That’s my question. Is it really worth $14,000?

  448. 448
    Greg says:

    @ArchPundit:

    Re: Firedoglake’s terms of service :

    http://firedoglake.com/privacy/

    “Information you share with this site in the course of your registration will remain confidential and unavailable to the public or to any entity other than Firedoglake, with the exception of any content you explicitly designate in your user profile for public view. This will be in your explicit control as you manage your profile.”

    So why are they selling their user’s contact information in direct violation of their stated privacy policy?

  449. 449

    @Cat:

    sigh. There are several things that value an email list, how fresh the emails are, how big it is, how often the list has been sold, etc. You have NONE of this information and yet continue to rail on and on about how its a huge rip off when it could have been a good bargain.
    __
    Given if they charge to little or to much to the PAC for the list I hope they did some research on its real value or they could be in legal trouble.
    __
    You do yourself a great disservice by making these statements.

    It’s “too little or too much.” I hate people who can’t use the English language lecturing me about how much of a disservice I’m doing to myself.

    And again, I have to ask if any of the people on this list asked to have their e-mails sold. Did FDL send them a note asking them if they wanted that to happen? If not, then I don’t care how much they thought the list was worth. They can DIAF.

    Yes, I realize this shit happens all the time, and it’s crap, no matter who’s doing it.

  450. 450

    The incestuous nature of PACs and other political money activities looks strange – right up until you start to look at how small a world it is. In the case of a PAC what you are looking at in officership is people who have a common generally fairly narrow end in mind and that cuts the numbers – a lot. If their business happens to have some similarity in thrust it will look even more incestuous. The FEC and various state boards have rules concerning firewalls and you need to be pretty scrupulous about observing them and that will always mean the creation of an entity that is outside the other interests to engage in politics and money. (caveate – SCOTUS decision ?)

    What salaries have be paid for gets into questions of the form of the organization and duties and … and … and. PACs are a pain in the ass to run in relationship to the FEC and States and grassroots activists are generally farther ahead to stay away from those requirements.

  451. 451
    les says:

    Why aren’t they using ActBlue or simply spotlighting candidates and encouraging activism? What’s the value-add of the PAC? This still hasn’t been adequately explained.

    The value–add is pretty clear; obviously your mileage may vary on the actual value. The PAC adds (or intends to):

    1. the political acuity of the founders and consultants (Jane, Glenn, pollsters, etc.) in identifying corporatist dems who need to be primaried;
    2. the political savvy, “insider cred” and technical competence to identify, vet, recruit and support (which can as well mean getting funding sources as much as providing funding) viable alternative candidates, with a chance to win.

    Whether they have what it takes, whether you or I would agree with their judgment calls, whether the product is worth the donation, etc. will be determined. Taking credit for Ark. seems a stretch, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t involved. The expenditures for the PACs seems pretty incestuous–and unless the principals pay for travel, etc. out of pocket, you could thing they are getting paid for sitting around thinking, primarily.

  452. 452

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I have to ask if any of the people on this list asked to have their e-mails sold

    You start out with a lot of assumptions, that could easily be a list FDL bought or one with the caveates you want. You don’t know and I don’t and nobody has been asked and that report wouldn’t include that information. But … you’re
    mad.

    A title for this thread would appropriately be:
    It’s irresponsible not to speculate…

    And I don’t give a half a rat’s ass about FDL or Hamsher.

    Oh yeah, FYWp moderation for “insestuous”

  453. 453
    Cat says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    It’s “too little or too much.” I hate people who can’t use the English language lecturing me about how much of a disservice I’m doing to myself.

    I’m pretty sure you got my point so that means I used it. You just object to how I used it.

  454. 454
    Comrade Luke says:

    450 freaking comments?

    Man, you sure can tell what pushes BJ’s hot buttons.

  455. 455
    indubitably says:

    You mean, Grover didn’t get a cut?

  456. 456

    @les:

    they are getting paid for sitting around thinking, primarily.

    Jayzuse on a crutch…

    Let us say that I and some others really want to do something about coal mining deaths in the political arena. We could spend all our resources researching causes and corrective measures and writing papers covering this to distribute to elected reps. I haven’t contributed any money to them but I have provided value in producing something they do NOT have the resources for and coal mining associations do. You will now propose that my PAC is ethically challenged since none of us is independently wealthy enough to do it out of our own pocket or give Sen Rockefeller money?

  457. 457
    EthylEster says:

    My take: this is really stupid.
    tim @ 12 got it exactly right.

    Can’t we all just buy a tunch T-shirt and then get along?

  458. 458
    Paula says:

    Well, I really liked this nice sideways swipe he took @ unnamed “online political and “news” outlets — including some liberal political blogs [who] discovered that the most reliable way to massively increase traffic was to capitalize on the pro-Obama fervor by turning themselves into pro-Obama cheerleading squads.”

    Nice stuff from a guy a who gets to be a site paid for and by advertising and which he probably doesn’t have to worry about maintaining. [Incidentally, he plugs AN in that post so it might be worth skimming.]

    There’s also the attitude that necessitates 2 posts in order to trash Ezra Klein on something that Klein himself admitted was poorly worded.

    There’s also the way he qualifies blog posts he doesn’t like (including links to Cole’s blog) as “Obama cheerleading” like a defacto debunking of whatever argument it contains.

    Of course, those are less annoying that his tendency to drown you in verbiage when he gets called on sloppy arguments. (Remember how he used an anonymous source in a post on how the Obama admin denigrated blogs and protesters as the “fringe”, only to realize it came from an untrustworthy source who couldn’t confirm it? Well, conveniently for Glenn, “[His argument] has nothing to do with whether some anonymous Obama aide disparaged bloggers. That’s irrelevant.”)

  459. 459
    Paula says:

    dup — please release my comment from mod.

  460. 460
    Cat says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    You will now propose that my PAC is ethically challenged since none of us is independently wealthy enough to do it out of our own pocket or give Sen Rockefeller money?

    Only if you bad mouth any of the frontpagers or don’t post cute photos of pets on your PAC’s website.

  461. 461

    @Cat:
    Nooooooo. I will not form a PAC. I am one of the charter members, former officers, and active member in a political organization that could use money but we know better. (I sure do) As a part of another political organization that one is already under enough constraints that we avoid money.

  462. 462
    Paula says:

    dup

  463. 463
    Paula says:

    @ ETib:

    Well, I really liked this nice sideways swipe he took @ unnamed “online political and “news” outlets—including some liberal political blogs [who] discovered that the most reliable way to massively increase traffic was to capitalize on the pro-Obama fervor by turning themselves into pro-Obama cheerleading squads.”

    Nice stuff from a guy a who gets to be a site paid for and by advertising and which he probably doesn’t have to worry about maintaining. [Incidentally, he plugs AN in that post so it might be worth skimming.]

    There’s also the attitude that necessitates 2 posts in order to trash Ezra Klein on something that Klein himself admitted was poorly worded.

    There’s also the way he qualifies blog posts he doesn’t like (including links to Cole’s blog) as “Obama cheerleading” like a defacto debunking of whatever argument it contains.

    Of course, those are less annoying that his tendency to drown you in verbiage when he gets called on sloppy arguments. (Remember how he used an anonymous source in a post on how the Obama admin denigrated blogs and protesters as the “fringe”, only to realize it came from an untrustworthy source who couldn’t confirm it? Well, conveniently for Glenn, “[His argument] has nothing to do with whether some anonymous Obama aide disparaged bloggers. That’s irrelevant.”)

  464. 464
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    I am going off the diary by rcade over at the GoS so here it goes…

    Jane was approached by rcade, who was researching Jane’s PAC financial disclosure statements for the diary they later posted at the GoS. Jane would not answer any questions put to her but she sure was interested in asking rcade what her ex-associates had to say and which ex-associate said it. While her financial statements are now online at her site, rcade did tell her that he would be posting a diary about what he was able to find out. From what was said in that diary I gather that Jane posted her financial data four hours after rcade posted their diary at the GoS.

    In the diary they wrote over at the GoS, rcade stated that they did not use any information obtained from ex-associates of Jane. Jane could have answered the questions posed to her but she decided she would rather do an end run around the story and post her data online instead of answering questions. Hamsterites at the GoS were attacking rcade for “attacking” Jane when ol’ Honest Jane already had the information up online for all to read. rcade had to wade in and point out that the info was posted AFTER their diary was.

    Two employees of Jane’s were presumably paid for their advocacy efforts yet there is nothing in her PAC statements that details their pay or amounts paid, if any, to them. Jane is claiming that she helped make Halter a candidate who will run against Lincoln yet there is no way to show that based on her financial statements for her PACs. Jane could be perfectly legal in what she is doing but that doesn’t mean that it is right or effective. Her claim that her PACs are doing the right thing because over 75% of the money she collected went to the ’cause’ is the exact same argument that Hannity and North are using in their defense.

    The AN PAC of hers states that one of their goals is to “support” primary candidates yet I see none of that in her statements. Maybe Jane should define what that “support” actually means to her. I have a funny feeling that her definition of the word isn’t one that I would agree with. IMO I am only seeing money move from her left hand into her right hand with some of it spilling over onto a few others she works with. Then there was the observation that some of the money went to a Ron Paul supporter. Jane has some strange comrades in arms, to say the very least. Add to that GG defending Jane and being paid $24,000 for ‘consulting’ really made me laugh.

    IMO anyone who throws money her way gets exactly what they deserve. Nothing much.

  465. 465
    Ann says:

    Y’all gotta get lives.

  466. 466
    amorphous says:

    I hate having a real job. I missed all of this. And for what? A non-grad student’s salary?

    I’M NOT IMPLYING THAT YOU DON’T HAVE REAL JOBS. I KNOW YOU DO.

  467. 467

    @media browski:

    C’mon, spit it out. If you’re going to slander someone, man up and be specific. Oh, that’s right, you have nothing — just like Rogers Cadenhead.

    For people who actually are interested in reality, go to http://www.fdlaction.com and click on the 2009 Statement. All the questions Cadenhead said he couldn’t find answers for are, amazingly enough, answered there.

    Geez, it’s all straight out of the Rick Berman playbook: Use scary-sounding words to try and pretend that a liberal group is doing something naughty.

  468. 468

    In the diary they wrote over at the GoS, rcade stated that they did not use any information obtained from ex-associates of Jane. Jane could have answered the questions posed to her but she decided she would rather do an end run around the story and post her data online instead of answering questions. Hamsterites at the GoS were attacking rcade for “attacking” Jane when ol’ Honest Jane already had the information up online for all to read. rcade had to wade in and point out that the info was posted AFTER their diary was.

    What color is the sky in your world? Really?

    It wasn’t just “Hamsterites” smacking down Cadenhead for his bizarre misrepresentations of innocuous balance sheets. Unless you think Kossacks like Inland” and Adam B are “Hamsterites”.

    In fact, the people most fervently defending Cadenhead are also the ones who were part of the Facebook groups set up to game the DKos rec system to stifle anything and anyone critical of Obama.

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