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From launch of coverage through Aug. 20th, Mayday PAC independent expenditures have favored Republicans. See below the fold for data details. This gauge is updated weekly on Thursday mornings.
Source: FEC data

8/14 UPDATE: Beginning this week, DocDawg will publish weekly updates to the Advantage Gauge every Thursday morning as separate diaries entitled Mayday PAC moves the needle: Campaign spending update for week of [mm/dd]. Please look for 'em!
Weekly diaries in this series: 8/13, 8/20.

From now through the November elections, this diary and its extremely brief weekly updates will serve the communities of Mayday supporters, opponents, and innocent bystanders alike as an easy one-stop-shop for timely insight into how Mayday is spending its money in support of its endorsees (or, what is the same thing, in opposition to its endorsees' opponents).

Background:
Mayday PAC is the "ironic" $12 million (and counting) campaign finance reform SuperPAC that seeks to put all SuperPACs (including itself) out of business through independent support of candidates who in turn support campaign finance reform legislation.

Conceived by Lawrence Lessig and dedicated to the proposition that campaigns for federal office should be publicly funded rather than, as they are today, dominated by Big Dark Money, Mayday intends to endorse five reform-minded candidates for Congress this year, as a warmup exercise for what it hopes will be its irresistible push in the 2016 cycle. It announced its first two endorsements in late July (Staci Appel [D; IA-03], and Jim Rubens [R; NH-Sen]), and at the time of this diary's publication its remaining endorsements are thought to be imminent.

Methodology:
Our source for all data appearing below, through this November, will be the U.S. Federal Election Commission's (FEC) independent expenditure database. By law, independent committees such as PACs must file notice with the FEC of every single independent expenditure they make in support of or in opposition to a declared candidate. These declarations must be filed with FEC within 48 hours of each expenditure, and are usually posted to FEC's online database quite rapidly (your tax dollars at work!). This database thus provides a great near-real-time window onto PACs' activities on the ground. Unfortunately, you need to be something of a nerd to tease such insights out of the great undigested mass of FEC data. So I'm your huckleberry.

Motivation:
An important feature of this diary will be the Advantage Gauge you see above, updated weekly to tote up net Mayday spending in favor of Democratic versus Republican candidates. Mayday goes to great lengths to try to look and sound non-partisan (with board directors and large matching donors alike who represent both the Democratic and Republican (and the liberal and conservative) ends of the political spectrum. At the grassroots donor level, however, I have previously documented that Mayday money comes predominantly from liberal states and that grassroots Republican donors appear to be scarcer'n hens' teeth. These conclusions have been largely confirmed by Mayday's Lessig himself, who recently announced that grassroots donors who restrict their donations to be spent in support of 'Democrats Only' outnumber those specifying 'Republicans Only' by nearly 50-to-1. Thus, I think, it is an interesting and important question to ask precisely how a nominally non-partisan PAC divides its largely partisan small donors' money between D and R candidate support.

Now join me below the fold for a very brief summary of this week's (and the next's, and the next's...) data.

Feel free to bookmark this page and check in every Thursday afternoon for freshly-updated data.

Endorsee Staci Appel [D; IA-03] (oppo D. Young [R])
For the period July 1 - Aug 13:
Last week's spending pro-Appel: $0
Last week's spending anti-Young: $0
Total to date pro-Appel: $0
Total to date anti-Young: $0

Endorsee Jim Rubens [R; NH-Sen] (oppo S. Brown [R])
For the period July 1 - Aug 13:
Last week's spending pro-Rubens: $143,420
Last week's spending anti-Brown: $0
Total to date pro-Rubens: $143,420
Total to date anti-Brown: $0

(Republican New Hampshire primary to be held on Sept. 9. Through that date, all spending either pro-Rubens or anti-Brown will accrue to 'Advantage Republicans' on the Advantage Gauge)

Originally posted to DocDawg on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (23+ / 0-)

    Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Wait...what?

    by DocDawg on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:44:37 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for taking this on (7+ / 0-)

    I'll be looking forward to seeing results as you track them.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:46:10 PM PDT

  •  Hello Doc Dawg (0+ / 0-)

    Hope you didn't think I wouldn't notice! LOL You're 50 to 1 ratio of progressive to conservative donor specification's  fails to mention that 74% of all donors  did NOT specify a political party, but to use their donations where MayDayPac saw best. That 74% is obviously a bipartisan group, and comprise the vast majority of MayDay Members. How many are progressive and how many conservative?  That is impossible to tell, so the FACT of the matter is the MAJORITY of MayDay Members could conceivably be equally divided, or even be majority conservative! Again, there's no way to tell, so there's no conclusion to be made. I know, you can't help yourself. You love the spin!  You wouldn't be you without injecting your partiality. No offense is given here, so I hope none is taken.
    Cheers!

    •  Hi T (4+ / 0-)

      Unlike your comment, I thought I'd restrict this diary to what we know.

      Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Wait...what?

      by DocDawg on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:16:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6ZONite

        We know 74% did not specify which party to utilize their donation for. Did I fail to mention that? LOL Cheers Doc

        •  Yes, and I wonder why 74% did not specify it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          As far as I remember, I donated twice, the first time the option to tell them to which party's candidates you wanted your donation money to go was not there. The second time it was.

          When I read that 74 % have not indicated to whom the money should go, I thought that the reason for this might be what I said above.

          Iffy.

          We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

          by mimi on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:45:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  which means also that now they have the freedom (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Words In Action

            to put 74% of the money to the candidates THEY want to give it to without having to bother about it being a Democrat or Republican.

            Anyhow, all they are asking their candidates to do, is making a pledge. Pledges are made to be broken. So, I don't see anything so far in the whole operation that would
            get my respect.

            We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

            by mimi on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:53:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Non-Sequitur alert. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DocDawg, Words In Action

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:13:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you very much, DD. I will certainly look (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DocDawg, kaliope

    forward to your weekly diaries on this topic.

    I'm hoping to come up with a donor list (of matching contributors) pretty soon.

    I very much appreciate the extensive work you've done on this topic.  

    It is such an important issue.

    Just sorry that I wasn't made aware of your efforts much sooner!

    Definitely, will see ya around!

    ;-)

    P.S.  And follow you on Twitter.

    Mollie

    "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


    hiddennplainsight-Welcome!-UID 35127

    by musiccitymollie on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:40:53 PM PDT

    •  You'll want to check (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musiccitymollie, ybruti, Terre, kaliope

      this page on the Mayday site. Just yesterday they released the names of all donors of $10,000 or more to date.

      Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Wait...what?

      by DocDawg on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:56:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks--will do. Have to wonder what the "hold (0+ / 0-)

        up" is on the other three candidates.

        Thought that I read somewhere that the deadline was August 5th.  Maybe I'm mixed up--dunno.

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight-Welcome!-UID 35127

        by musiccitymollie on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:25:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately you can't know who of the donors (0+ / 0-)

        are Republicans and who are not and what their ideological make-up is. So, to me that doesn't seem as helpful as it sounds.

        We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

        by mimi on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:47:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You may be right. But I found a one list, and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto

          later found a couple of the Party affiliations by checking Wikipedia.

          At least two of the donors are billionaires--and all but one had a Wikipedia entry.

          I'm pretty sure that many (if not most) are libertarians (or Republicans).  

          One is the founder of Pay Pal--a libertarian activist, IIRC.

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          hiddennplainsight-Welcome!-UID 35127

          by musiccitymollie on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:38:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't need a weatherman (4+ / 0-)

            to know which way a large political donor blows. All you need is FEC's excellent online data.

            Just go to the FEC's search page for Individual Contributors. Enter the individual's last and first names (and if the name is very common, also try including his/her home state to narrow it down). Click 'Send Query.' Hey presto, you are treated to a listing of every donation of $200 or more that the individual has ever made to a campaign or a political committee. Then draw your own conclusions.

            As an exercise (and a great introduction to the powerful insights contained in that database), try querying the donations made by PayPal founder and major Mayday supporter, Peter Thiel, who is usually described in the press as a libertarian -- an inadequate descriptor at best, as there are left-leaning and right-leaning 'libertarians.' The FEC search results will reveal to you Thiel's enormous donations to recipients the like of Club For Growth, Jim DeMint, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Eric Cantor, Every Republican Is Crucial PAC, the California Republican Party, Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, and many more. Perhaps you'll conclude, like me, that "teabertarian" might be a better descriptor for Thiel.

            Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Wait...what?

            by DocDawg on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 05:20:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks, DD--will do. In my book, since I've never (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mimi

              known of a Libertarian whose "fiscal" positions I could support, I personally will not cut any of the MayDay PAC donors any slack, even if they have a couple of left social positions.  (But that's just me.)

              That's what is wrong and/or why the Democratic Party has been hijacked by the DLC/Third Way.

              I've posted a Q&A here on several occasions--Pete Peterson and the Dem Party Leadership are on the same page for the most part, on fiscal matters.  

              (IOW, Peterson et al is relatively socially liberal--but he gets no points from me for that, considering his toxic neoliberal/economic policies, as they relate to slashing Social Security and Medicare benefits.)

              I'll check my stream for your next diary.  And thanks for the pointers!

              Mollie

              "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


              hiddennplainsight-Welcome!-UID 35127

              by musiccitymollie on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 11:57:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I really would like what it means to be a (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musiccitymollie

                left-leaning libertarian. Left-leaning for the most part is fair and equal social policy supporting, which by its nature are not libertarian.

                I can tell you that I hate libertarian's double speak.

                We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

                by mimi on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:09:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I really want to understand what a left-leaning (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musiccitymollie

                libertarian is. Left-leaning in my books would mean you support social policies that treat people fairly across socio-economic groups, support equality and social justice to the middle and lower class. Those policies are by their nature not libertarian, but have to be implemented often with more or less authoritarian methods. Real socialism is not liberal or libertarian, or not? Social Democrats are still socialist-oriented, but adhere more to democratic principles, so they would counter-balance the authoritarian features of pure socialists.

                Where does a left-leaning libertarian fits in?

                It annoys me to no end that I can't figure out what a left-leaning libertarian really means and what is double speak on their side.

                We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

                by mimi on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:16:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I know some libbers who come to their position (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  musiccitymollie

                  from a sincere belief that people are intrinsically good, while government is intrinsically evil, so if we just get government out of the way justice will naturally prevail. These I think of as "liberal-leaning." But, of course, these folks are a minority of libertarians. The rest just seem to feel that they want what they damn well want, could care less about nonsense such as 'justice,' and nobody better get in their way.

                  Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Wait...what?

                  by DocDawg on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:25:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Great that you've mentioned this, Mimi. Actually, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mimi

                  my understanding (or definition) is that "libertarian" is a ideology that does NOT promote progressive policies--hence the Liberatarian push for "flat taxes"--one of the most "regressive" forms of taxation.

                  I agree with DD, to some extent, as to the possible motives of some self-declared "left leaning" Libertarians.

                  However, unless they're just flat out clueless as to "ideology," I believe most of them are actually "fiscal conservatives," hiding behind a liberal stance or two on social issues--because maybe it "sounds better."

                  And, I think that this is probably (though I can't prove it) very much true of many of the Silicon Valley so-called Liberals, who are really just Libertarians.  

                  Partly, they are forced to do this because they pander to Dems, and they can't do that unless they come across as at least "Pseudo" Progressives (or Liberals).

                  Actually, many Democrats are confused as to the "definition" of progressive (or liberal) because the Third Way hijacked the Dem Party in the 1980's, so that many younger Democrats don't even know what "liberal" means, as it relates to social and economic policy.

                  It's shocking, really.

                  And sad . . .

                  Mollie

                  "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                  hiddennplainsight-Welcome!-UID 35127

                  by musiccitymollie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:39:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  uh, thanks mollie, very confusing, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    musiccitymollie

                    have to understand the Third Way hijacking of the Dem Party more. Will try to read up on it.

                    I believe most of them are actually "fiscal conservatives," hiding behind a liberal stance or two on social issues--because maybe it "sounds better."

                    And, I think that this is probably (though I can't prove it) very much true of many of the Silicon Valley so-called Liberals, who are really just Libertarians.  

                    Partly, they are forced to do this because they pander to Dems, and they can't do that unless they come across as at least "Pseudo" Progressives (or Liberals).

                    So, double-speak.

                    We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

                    by mimi on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:57:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  sorry for the double post - it looked like (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musiccitymollie

                the shorter one didn't get through at first. Now both are there. Sorry for that.

                We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

                by mimi on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:18:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you so much - I really need (0+ / 0-)

              remedial tutoring on this. It annoys me to no end that I can't figure out easily when a libertarian might be left-leaning (and with that I hope to be more acceptable) or not.

              We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

              by mimi on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:05:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  The Challenge of Bipartisan Support (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tommymac, Musial, WilliamSmillie

    It's rather difficult to support progressives and conservatives equally when so few Republicans have come out for reform. I have no doubt they exist. I've read/ seen many interviews with retired Republicans who bemoan the evolution of campaign finance. I can only assume that supporters are afraid to break with their party (or leave it). Likely, this conformity has been inspired by vocal moderates who have been pushed out.

    For example, look at Independent candidate Larry Pressler. Here we have an old school moderate Republican who is an advocate for reform. I can only hope that Mayday's efforts will improve the climate for the next election. For now, Mayday must play the hand it's been dealt.

    It will be difficult to achieve a 50/50 bipartisan split. This is especially true given the odd number of candidates. It seems likely that the fifth candidate will tilt support (and therefore expenditures) in favor of Democrats. Although, it's always possible that there could be a Third Party or Independent candidate in the mix. I'm certainly excited to find out.

    It's fair to assume that the majority of Mayday donors are Democrats. At the same time, 74% are willing to accept a bipartisan doctrine (if only for this issue). I don't think that support must be a 50/50 split to consider Mayday a bipartisan campaign. Republicans are more than welcome.

    It's good to see that someone with your credentials will be deciphering the data. Although you've been unhappy with Mayday, I am confident that your professionalism will win out and the results will be unbiased.You've already proved yourself to be fair with your astute analysis of Jim Mowrer.

    By the way, I'm still interested to know what you think of the newly published pledge list. I'm sure that, by now, you've seen the TIME article. There are some early adopters on it. You know who they are. But the rest of the candidates did pledge support during the campaign (and by the announced deadline). The RSS and twitter feeds didn't announce them immediately. I'm sure you've also noticed that several weren't announced at all. I won't say anything more but I assure you, my information is credible.  

    •  the Gingrich era was a response to Perot reformism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kaliope, DocDawg

      which had divided the GOP. Perot received 20% but such reform is blacked out and jammed by tea free speech propaganda developed by the movement activist leadership on the GOP Court. Each of the five royalists contributes to this big lie. The Lessig amicus brief written by Douglas Kendall in the McCutcheon case blows the lid off any pseudo-originalist fraud that money and speech were identical for the framers. Just the opposite the constitution was written to protect free speech from money.
      That Lessig's PAC supports public financing is not discussed in anything I've read on its website. Lessig himself seems to have a romantic notion that if the first convention guided by Madison was an anticorruption convention then his second one will be too, this is pure second-coming millenialism with no basis in reality. We have a system now, the point is to get it back on the road, here the example might be Gen. Grant, results-producing strategy, or FDR, people who break through the paralysis of fear. Lessig is afraid of Congress, when in fact Congress is the victim that needs defending from assaults from the Court and Executive. Restoring the House as a democratic institution that could abolish private election financing would be as decisive a victory for the republic as was Grant's at Vicksburg, and needs to happen with the same alacrity.  

    •  Thanks, Pucc. This isn't as much fun (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      puccinigirl

      as I make it look. Your kind words are greatly appreciated.

      Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Wait...what?

      by DocDawg on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 06:52:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now serving Mayday supporters (0+ / 0-)

    DocDawg has really changed his tune since I first started following him.

    ....this diary and its extremely brief weekly updates will serve the communities of Mayday supporters....
    I think TRussert might have broken him down.  
    •  I've always tried to make clear (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, Fredamae, ItsaMathJoke

      that I stand side-by-side with Mayday in its pursuit of its goal (getting Big Dark Money out of politics), but am deeply concerned regarding some of its means to that end (for example, endorsing right-wing extremist Jim Rubens, who -- among many other appalling things finds DREAMers a nightmare). So the desire to serve both Mayday supporters and detractors alike in encouraging Mayday to be all that it can be seems quite natural to me. HR'd trolls don't have much impact on this (or anything else).

      Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Wait...what?

      by DocDawg on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 05:32:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interestingly there's a difference (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DocDawg, HeyMikey

    between positive and negative ads. A positive ad in a primary will help that candidate in both the primary and the general (if they win the former), while a negative ad will hurt the opponent in both (if they win the primary, i.e. m'aider's candidate loses). Using the current Repub-a-dub-dub supportees as an example, a positive ad for Rubens would hurt the Dems more in the general election than a negative ad against Brown, no matter who wins the primary.

    reality based, not really biased

    by NE2 on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 03:10:06 AM PDT

  •  I think it will be very interesting to see if R... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6ZONite, DocDawg, catilinus

    I think it will be very interesting to see if Republicans react to this meter by using any tilt in direction toward Democratic candidates as a clear sign that MayDay is only interested in pushing some shadowy Democratic agenda or if they will see it as a wake up call to the reality that so few of their candidates are actively interested in campaign finance reform.

    •  Welcome to DKOS WilliamSmillie. (0+ / 0-)
      it will be very interesting to see if Republicans...
      I think they'll choose the option more in line with re-inforcing their own paranoia.
      Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
       ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

      It will never happen for the first time until it does.

      by catilinus on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 03:56:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's say (0+ / 0-)

        they (Republicans) do choose the option more in line with reinforcing their own paranoia.

        What will that entail?  What would be the fallout from that? I mean, there is nothing to be had from your prediction that I can run with, so far.

        All you have given us so far is that Republicans are paranoid, and because of Mayday, they will continue to be paranoid. And that means what?

        Is it good or bad for Democrats?

  •  100% of $ so far dispersed to Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    is deeply troubling, to say the least, for any NC progressives who may have been attracted to Mayday due to the "get the dark money out of politics" framing (see 1st update: http://goo.gl/...).

    Very glad you're going to the trouble to monitor this and share the weekly updates.

    Tipped, rec'd, tweeted, and FB'd, especially for my NC progressive relatives, their friends, their friends' friends, etc.

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