The Republican Dilemma of the Stingy Billionaire

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

With the release of Donald Trump’s FEC filing on his holdings claiming his net worth above $10 billion, the question arises once again: why won’t Donald Trump self-fund his campaign?

Does Trump — a self-proclaimed elite businessman used to making investment judgments — know deep in his heart that he is likely to lose and thus doesn’t want to spend more of his own money even to become President — or is he in fact so illiquid that he can’t even come up with a paltry $500 million (less than 5 percent of his reported net worth) to help his own campaign?

The filing document is what the FEC terms a PFD or “Personal Financial Disclosure.” It is a projection by the filer of what they assert their worth to be. But facts are stubborn things, which is why, absent a tax return as proof of his PFD assertions, we’ll never really know for sure if he’s a financial genius or a charlatan. Are Trump’s unwillingness to self-fund and his unwillingness to reveal his tax returns two strands from the same cord? Without financial transparency, Trump’s claim that “this is the kind of thinking we need for this country,” remains spurious at best and a downright fraud at worst.

Mr. Trump’s PFD contains some other surprising information. For instance, he reported that his revenue increased $190 million during his run for the White House. Isn’t this, by extension, the kind of scandalous pocket-lining that voters — perhaps especially Trump voters — should find so upsetting about politics today? Continue Reading

The Gary Johnson Effect: Could the Libertarian Hurt Trump?

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The Daily Caller reported this week that a source within Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign suggested the former New Mexico governor could be in line for a fundraising boon should he sew up the Libertarian Party nomination as expected:

Billionaire businessman and philanthropist David Koch has pledged “tens of millions of dollars” to help bankroll the campaign of Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, according to a source within Johnson’s campaign.

[…]

A Koch spokesman initially declined to comment on the record.

But after publication, the spokesman told TheDC: “Reports that David Koch has pledged his support to Gary Johnson – or any candidate running for president for that matter – are untrue.”

Despite that denial, a source with a leadership position in the Libertarian Party told The Daily Caller Thursday afternoon that Johnson’s on track to receive the billionaire’s support.

“In the event that a Johnson/[Bill] Weld ticket emerges from the convention, a pathway is in place for significant funding from Koch, [Steve] Wynn and other large donors,” the source said.

If the story is true, the Johnson campaign could be poised to have a significant impact on the 2016 presidential election — certainly a far bigger impact than Libertarians have had in recent years — especially given the relative unpopularity of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the likely Republican and Democratic nominees, respectively.

In fact, although very few polls have including Johnson in their polling this early on, the polls that have show him registering a much larger share of the vote than the .99 percent he won in 2012. Continue Reading

Why Did Kasich Take $700,000 From Soros and Friends?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

LifeSiteNews points out:

A simple search of Governor Kasich’s 2016 Presidential campaign donations lists the Soros Fund Management as the sixth highest individual donor with $202,700. The seventh largest donor is the Duquesne Family Office with $150,000.  On the Super PAC side, Kasich’s New Day for America received $150,000 from Stanley Drukenmiller (who operates the Duquesne Family Office) and $200,000 from Scott Beset, who is employed by the Soros Fund Management.

Scott Bessent served as George Soros’ chief investment manager until late 2015, while Stanley Druckenmiller currently manages $2 billion of Soros’ hedge funds. Clearly, these three names, George Soros, Scott Bessent, and Stanly Drukenmiller represent George Soros just as New Day for America and Kasich for America represent Governor John Kasich.

In total therefore, George Soros, personally and through surrogates, has donated over $700,000 to Governor John Kasich’s campaign.

Soros is one of the largest donors to Planned Parenthood, has funded a campaign to repeal abortion laws in Ireland, and has given Hillary Clinton $8 million.

So LifeSiteNews asks the key question: “So why would this leading international advocate for a culture of death donate so much money to a GOP candidate who has been mathematically eliminated from the contest?”

Soros wrote an op-ed in a British newspaper lumping Donald Trump with Ted Cruz as a threat to the principles of an open society.

Is dividing the anti-Trump vote so Cruz cannot emerge as the nominee and beat Hillary Clinton the real goal here? Continue Reading

Why Did Kasich Suddenly Pledge Amnesty?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Richard Viguerie’s newsletter just published this hard-hitting attack on John Kasich’s sudden immigration conversion:

Ohio Governor John Kasich is, on the other hand, a late public convert to the cause of amnesty for illegal aliens, but he’s doing his best to surpass Rubio as he aims to be the replacement establishment candidate now that Rubio is faltering in his own home state.

Over the course of the campaign Governor Kasich has made a series of increasingly extreme statements on immigration that place him to the furthest leftward reaches of not just the GOP Presidential field, but the Democratic Presidential field as well.

In a desperate attempt to sweep up the support of the tech barons and oligarchs who are pulling out of Rubio’s failing campaign Kasich has gone even further than Rubio did at the height of the effort to force the hated Gang of Eight bill through Congress.

For instance, Kasich has said that enforcing our immigration laws and deporting the illegal immigrants is not “humane.” Kasich likened deportations to the Japanese internment camps of World War II.

Kasich has also pledged that he will enact amnesty within the first 100 days of his hoped-for Presidency– so instead of the Gang of Eight’s arcane decade-long process for “legalizing” illegal aliens Governor Kasich would legalize them in the first 100 days of a Kasich administration.

Meaning that those who support John Kasich’s presidential campaign are voting to enact the largest amnesty in U.S.

Continue Reading

Trump Gets $2 Billion in Free Media

ABC News’ George Stephanopolous interviews Donald Trump (photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Wondering why money for campaign ads — the lack of which sunk Rick Santorum in 2012 — doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference this year?

The New York Times helpfully measures the value of the “earned media” Donald Trump gets (i.e. free television appearances): $1.9 billion.

That’s $1.6 billion dollars more than the next GOP candidate, Ted Cruz.

Why spend money on campaign ads when the networks will give you an hour of free coverage of your press conference on election night, to give just one example.

It draws more ratings, as Trump points out, and they are in business to make money.

If you added in the value of Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and all the other radio hosts who have focused primarily on lauding and covering Trump, it’s priceless.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

Is Soros Funding Kasich to Help Nominate Trump?

George Soros (photo credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

News just broke from the Center for Responsible Politics that George Soros’ organization Soros Fund Management has given over $200,000 to help John Kasich (h/t Breitbart).

This may explain why Kasich just announced he is straight up for amnesty for illegal immigrants and also Kasich’s continued reluctance to defend victims of the Left’s campaign to treat gay marriage dissenters like racists.

Will the Left keep propping Kasich up to divide the anti-Trump vote?

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

Memo to Paul Singer: Let Rubio Step Aside

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Donald Trump had a ‘yuge’ night last night — winning three out of four states. Ted Cruz cemented his position as number two — the only Trump alternative in the race. And the Marco Rubio dream died a little more.

Trump used his Mississippi and Michigan victories to brilliantly command a solid hour of free television time. All three cable news networks could not look away as the winning candidate sold steaks, talked about unifying the party, thanked “little Marco” for helping him beat back “lying Ted,” shamed a male reporter who rebuked his language, and announced he, Donald J. Trump, could be more presidential than anybody — except Abraham Lincoln.

Three Florida polls have Trump trouncing Rubio in Florida, and that was before humiliating losses last night. Rubio earned only single digits in Mississippi and Michigan and picked up zero delegates.

It is a shame to watch such a talented communicator be lead down this walk of shame by his donors’ unwillingness to acknowledge that Cruz is the only guy who could unite the non-Trump majority in the GOP.

Politico reported on the megadonors, including Paul Singer, who are funding an anti-Trump ad campaign centered mostly in Florida (as I pointed out yesterday):

What’s more, Ted Cruz’s emergence as the best-placed alternative has complicated the anti-Trump movement’s push to find financiers. Many top Republicans, especially those in Washington, see Cruz as just as objectionable as Trump.

‘It is why it has been so difficult to get an anti-Trump campaign together,’ confided one top Republican strategist, who opposes both men.

Continue Reading

Why Does the GOP Establishment Hate Cruz?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

David Brooks has thoughtfully just published a piece in which he lays down the case that Ted Cruz is just as bad as Donald Trump for the GOP. It’s a thin case summed up in these two paragraphs:

Ted Cruz would be a terrible general election candidate, at least as unelectable as Donald Trump and maybe more so. He is the single most conservative Republican in Congress, far adrift from the American mainstream. He’s been doing well in primaries because of the support of “extremely conservative” voters in very conservative states, and he really hasn’t broken out of that lane. His political profile is a slightly enlarged Rick Santorum but without the heart.

On policy grounds, he would be unacceptable to a large majority in this country. But his policy disadvantages are overshadowed by his public image ones. His rhetorical style will come across to young and independent voters as smarmy and oleaginous. In Congress, he had two accomplishments: the disastrous government shutdown and persuading all his colleagues to dislike him.

These might be very good reasons for preferring and urging a different candidate than Cruz. But given the repeatedly stated idea that Trump would be a disaster for the country, and destroy the GOP, its a poor excuse for refusing to coalesce around the one candidate who has emerged as the non-Trump in this race.

Mitt Romney and his cohorts do not seem to understand that you cannot beat a horse unless you have another horse.  Continue Reading

How Donald Trump Outsmarted Ted Cruz

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump

The results from South Carolina and Nevada reaffirm what should have been clear after February 9th in New Hampshire: Donald Trump is highly likely to be the GOP presidential nominee, and there’s nothing that’s been tried by his rivals so far that is going to change that.

Trump’s electoral appeal, shrewd instincts, and skill in shaping the debate are already well documented. But consider three things from Trump’s approach that stand out from his competitors’:

  1. He has a campaign theme
  2. He tries to win in every state
  3. He’s relentless on TV with his message

It’s worth making these contrasts to learn how Trump’s rivals, particularly Ted Cruz, have underperformed against him. Of the group, Cruz comes closest to having a campaign theme, but it’s an internal message about the nominating contest rather than an argument to become president: “I’m the consistent conservative in the race.”

Marco Rubio’s argument is a derivative of what the Republican establishment always uses: “I’m as conservative as anybody in the race, and I can beat Hillary Clinton.”

Trump’s theme – the one printed on those red hats – is the only theme designed to win the White House, not just the Republican primaries.

It’s on the second point where Cruz has fallen out of contention with Trump.

[…]

Read the full article at The Daily Caller.

Rich Danker is the founder of the Lone Star Committee, a pro-Cruz 527 group. Continue Reading

Is South Carolina a Must-Win for Ted Cruz?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Must Ted Cruz win the February 20th South Carolina primary in order to have a clear path to the Republican nomination? In a word, no. While a distant second to Donald Trump could prove catastrophic, that is highly unlikely. Cruz need only place highly enough against the favored Trump and let the rest of field battle for elimination.

Here’s why:

1.) Cruz has the cash to compete. He invested little campaign cash or time in New Hampshire but came away with an unexpected third place finish, and surprised by finishing ahead of both Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. 

The entire week prior to the vote, Cruz’s polling numbers remained remarkably steady while others jockeyed for position. It is testament to a smart campaign strategy, knowing they wouldn’t win but working and investing just enough to make a good showing. And while final percentages of the top five finishers is all most people see, the numbers behind them tell a different story. NRO details the carnage to the other campaigns:

Even more important, Cruz spent very few resources on New Hampshire: less than $1 million combined between the campaign and super PACs. Compare that to Bush, whose combined efforts spent $35 million in New Hampshire, while Christie spent $18 million, Rubio $15 milllion and Kasich $12 million. All of them were beaten by Cruz in a state that was supposed to be a bad fit for him.

Chris Christie bet it all and lost, and he has suspended his campaign, as has Carly Fiorina. Continue Reading