De Blasio ‘Glad’ City Agreed to Settle RNC Arrest Lawsuit

An NYPD officer. (Photo: Getty)
An NYPD officer. (Photo: Getty)

Mayor Bill de Blasio is pleased that his new law department has agreed to pay out $18 million to settle various lawsuits stemming from the 2004 Republican National Convention, where many alleged they were illegally arrested by the NYPD.

“I’ll simply say I’m glad the case is settled,” Mr.  de Blasio told reporters this afternoon, speaking at a press conference outlining his plan to reduce traffic fatalities. “I have spoken before about my concerns about how that situation was handled at the time and I’m glad we’re moving forward.” Continue reading “De Blasio ‘Glad’ City Agreed to Settle RNC Arrest Lawsuit”

Wisconsin Dems Ask for Investigation Into Paul Ryan’s Campaign Finances

ryan campaign finance Wisconsin Dems Ask for Investigation Into Paul Ryans Campaign Finances
Paul Ryan on the campaign trail in Ohio last weekend. (Photo: Getty)

Based on a Politicker investigation, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate is asking the Federal Election Commission to open an investigation into Paul Ryan’s congressional campaign committee. Last Thursday, we published a report detailing how Paul Ryan, who is simultaneously running for re-election in Wisconsin’s First Congressional District and on the GOP presidential ticket with Mitt Romney, may have improperly used funds from his congressional campaign for about $60,000 in expenses at the Republican National Convention. Mr. Tate’s letter to the FEC said this story shows Mr. Ryan’s congressional campaign committee “co-mingled expenditures between the Committee and the Romney Committee” in violation of federal regulations. Politicker has obtained a copy of Mr. Tate’s letter, which he is sending this week.

“As disclosed in an article published on October 25, 2012 in Politicker.com, a political website operated by The New York Observer, the Committee reported ‘$59,603.41 that was specifically identified as [Republican National] convention-related expenses between July 26 and October 17.’ A copy of the article is attached to this letter,” Mr. Tate wrote. “A spokesperson for the Committee is quoted as stating that the bulk of such expenses were for the purchase of twenty hotel rooms for use at the Republican National Convention, although the Committee had only five staff members.”

Continue reading “Wisconsin Dems Ask for Investigation Into Paul Ryan’s Campaign Finances”

Paul Ryan’s ‘Problematic’ RNC Spending Spree

154241489 Paul Ryans Problematic RNC Spending Spree
Paul Ryan campaigning in Virginia earlier this month. (Photo: Getty)

A Politicker examination of federal campaign finance disclosure reports submitted by Paul Ryan’s congressional campaign has uncovered indications Mr. Ryan may have improperly used funds raised for his re-election effort in Wisconsin for presidential campaign activities at the Republican National Convention in August. Mr. Ryan is simultaneously running for re-election in Wisconsin’s First Congressional District and on the GOP presidential ticket with Mitt Romney. At the RNC in Tampa, Mr. Ryan’s House campaign spent about $60,000. However, these convention expenses seem to go far beyond the scope of the activities and staff he had at the RNC for his bid to reclaim his House seat.

One prominent election law expert told us this is a “highly problematic” potential violation of Federal Election Commission regulations regarding candidates running for multiple federal offices. A spokesperson for Mr. Ryan’s opponent in Wisconsin’s First Congressional District described it as a possibly “troubling” element of “Paul Ryan’s overarching pattern of dishonesty in this race.” When we reached out to Mr. Ryan’s congressional campaign manager, we received a shifting series of explanations including at least one statement that was clearly untrue. Continue reading “Paul Ryan’s ‘Problematic’ RNC Spending Spree”

Which Convention Was More Diverse?

dnc convention1 Which Convention Was More Diverse?
Attendees at the Democratic National Convention (Photo: Getty)

CHARLOTTE, NC — Though the GOP made sure to showcase a diverse group of speakers at the Republican National Convention last week, Democrats have boasted their confab in Charlotte was far more diverse than the Republicans’ confab. Rather than take those claims at face value, we reached out to both parties to see how many minority delegates attended each of the conventions.  Continue reading “Which Convention Was More Diverse?”

Watch the Throne: While Eastwood Talks to an Empty Chair, the Lords of the GOP Angle for a Seat at the Table

151022593 Watch the Throne: While Eastwood Talks to an Empty Chair, the Lords of the GOP Angle for a Seat at the Table
Mitt Romney on stage at the RNC. (Photo: Getty)

TAMPA, FL — It’s fitting that one of the most enduring images of the 2012 Republican National Convention was Clint Eastwood’s empty chair, since the main purpose of the confab was crowning Mitt Romney as the titular leader of the party, finally filling the seat of GOP power that has remained more or less vacant since John McCain was vanquished by President Barack Obama four years ago.

As the saying goes, when you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die. After his defeat in 2008, Mr. McCain didn’t even bother joining the primary combatants vying to lead the elephant herd into battle against President Obama in this year’s race. His second, Sarah Palin, didn’t have a place in the primaries or at the convention in Tampa. Instead, she was banished to her Facebook page, where she railed against her overlords at Fox News for canceling all of her scheduled appearances, in which she’d hoped to take to the airwaves in praise of Mr. McCain on the night of his RNC cameo.

Like any coronation, last week’s convention was supposed to be a time for Mr. Romney’s fellow Republicans to rally around him and march into combat by his side. However, the ascent of the House of Romney was accomplished without the blessing of the conservative and libertarian factions of the party. As a result, Tampa became a theater for the sorts of behind-the-scenes drama, intrigue and power plays that so often accompany these matters of dynastic succession. Though ostensibly acting as standard bearers for Mr. Romney, the other lords of the GOP seemed to be more interested in plotting their own ascendancies four years from now than in following Mitt into battle against President Obama. Continue reading “Watch the Throne: While Eastwood Talks to an Empty Chair, the Lords of the GOP Angle for a Seat at the Table”

Protesters Briefly Interrupt Mitt Romney’s RNC Speech

151020397 Protesters Briefly Interrupt Mitt Romneys RNC Speech
Mitt Romney on stage at the RNC (Photo: Getty)

TAMPA, FL — Mitt Romney is currently on stage at the Republican National Convention. During his speech, a group of protesters attempted to interrupt the proceedings by shouting from the seats above the convention floor. Audience members drowned them out with chants of, “USA! USA! USA!”

Politicker was unable to hear the protesters from our spot on the convention floor, but, according to journalist Andrew Coyne, they were waving pink banners and shouting, “People over profits!” The protesters were quickly removed by security personnel. Dan Libit of the Daily said the protesters were affiliated with the activist group Code Pink, which staged a similar interruption during Paul Ryan’s speech yesterday. Continue reading “Protesters Briefly Interrupt Mitt Romney’s RNC Speech”

David Koch Discusses the Influence of Money in Politics

112791710 David Koch Discusses the Influence of Money in Politics
David Koch (Photo: Getty)

TAMPA, FL — Billionaire Republican megadonor David Koch, who, along with his brother, Charles, is pumping an estimated $400 million into this presidential campaign, talked to Politicker about the controversial level of influence major contributors have on American elections in an interview on the floor of the Republican National Convention a few moments ago.

“We have a free society and people are free to do what they want, you know, as long as they don’t hurt others and they obey the law,” Mr. Koch said. “So, I believe in free speech and if people want to spend money in politics or something else, it’s their right, nothing wrong with that. So, I endorse that.” Continue reading “David Koch Discusses the Influence of Money in Politics”