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Senate Democrats blast GOP for voting against transparency, begin ‘midnight vigil’

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Senate Democrats on Monday blasted their Republican colleagues for voting against the DISCLOSE Act and plan to give speeches late into the night during a “midnight vigil.

“Democrats sought to require large political donors to disclose their identities so voters could judge their motivations for themselves,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. “This wasn’t a new concept. In fact, many Republicans who blocked this bill today once supported it. But today those same Republicans chose to side with powerful, anonymous donors, who like their nominee Mitt Romney appear to believe they get to play by their own set of rules.”

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“Judging by Republicans’ vote today and Governor Romney’s refusal to release more tax returns, Republicans have clearly decided that secrecy is more important to them than being straight with the American people,” he added.

The DISCLOSE Act would prevent outside campaign groups from hiding their donors. The bill would require organizations that spend $10,000 or more during an election cycle to file a report with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours and identify any donors who gave $10,000 or more.

It would also require the head of any organization that puts out a political ad on TV or radio to publicly state that he or she approves the message, similar to what candidates must do now.

The legislation would prevent partisan “social welfare” organizations like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS from being able to hide wealthy donors. The IRS requires that nonprofit “social welfare” organizations “operate primarily to further the common good.” The organizations are prohibited from running ads in support of or opposition to candidates for public office. But groups like Crossroads GPS have attempted to circumvent the ban on partisan activities by attacking Democratic candidates in ads without explicitly urging people to vote against them.

The DISCLOSE Act was killed in a 51 to 44 party-line vote on a procedural motion. The bill needed at least 60 votes to move forward.

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Republicans said the legislation was an attempt to intimidate wealthy donors and an attack on free speech rights.

“As a result of this legislation, advocacy groups ranging from the NAACP to the Sierra Club to the Chamber of Commerce — all of whom already disclose their donors to the IRS — would now be forced to subject their members to public intimidation and harassment,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said.

Democrats hope to force a second vote on the bill on Tuesday.

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“We recognize that you don’t win every fight in round one, and this is a fight worth continuing,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the lead sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act.

“Putting an end to secret election spending by special interests is an essential step in protecting middle class priorities. For that reason, we are committed to continuing the debate on the DISCLOSE Act late into the night and asking for a second vote tomorrow if need be. We can’t let the special interests off the hook after just one round.”

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‘Beg to be tried as a white man’: Disgust follows Roger Stone’s light sentence — while people of color sit in jail for less

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Judge Amy Berman Jackson was the target of serious attacks by President Donald Trump's supporters and Roger Stone himself. When the Justice Department encouraged seven to nine years in prison for Stone, Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr freaked out, rewriting the sentencing memo that was ultimately ignored by the new prosecutors.

But Stone wasn't given the hefty sentence that Trump and his followers assumed Stone would get. Instead, he got a fairly light sentence of just over three years.

Leading up to the sentence, Berman Jackson was blasted on Twitter. So, it's unclear how Trump and his followers will manage to attack the judge for the sentence. Some still managed to do it, saying Stone shouldn't have been sentenced to any time at all.

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Trump supporter made death threat to whistleblower’s lawyer one day after president targeted him at rally: feds

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A Trump supporter has been charged with making death threats to Mark Zaid, an attorney who represents the whistleblower who filed a complaint against President Donald Trump over his efforts to extort the Ukrainian government.

Politico reports that Michigan resident Brittan J. Atkinson emailed a violent threat to Zaid just one day after the president held up the attorney's photo at one of his rallies and read some of his tweets.

“All traitors must die miserable deaths,” Atkinson allegedly wrote in the email, which was sent on November 7th. “Those that represent traitors shall meet the same fate. We will hunt you down and bleed you out like the pigs you are. We have nothing but time, and you are running out of it. Keep looking over your shoulder. We know who you are, where you live, and who you associate with. We are all strangers in a crowd to you.”

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‘Um — he threatened to kill a dog’: Twitter reacts to Roger Stone’s trial judge mentioning that he ‘rescued countless dogs’

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As observers anxiously awaited news on the sentencing of longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone, reporters have been tweeting live updates on the developments in the courtroom, one of whom was Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff Swan.

"Jackson notes Stone's support for friends and relatives going through hard times," she tweeted, referring to U.S. District lawyer Amy Berman Jackson. "Adds: 'He’s rescued countless dogs and listened and came to the aid of many friends.'"

https://twitter.com/woodruffbets/status/1230539586083938304

The claim of the Stone's affinity for dogs prompted one Twitter user to point out that Stone apparently hasn't always applied that affinity evenly.

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