The hacker known as "Guccifer 2.0" is the source of an intriguing new article in the online publication The Intercept. The article purports to reproduce notes taken by the staff of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (the Democratic Party's arm dedicated to electing Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives) following DCCC meetings with various corporations, labor unions and industry and interest groups.
In one respect the document is unremarkable, as meetings like the one chronicled in the notes go on every day in Washington. On the other hand, it is remarkable that meetings go on like this every day in Washington.
The notes for the DCCC's meeting with General Electric, for example, appear to show that GE is supportive of the DCCC's efforts ("GE wants to know how they can be helpful with the business community, messaging about what we are doing"). The notes say GE is pleased that Congressional Democrats have helped to reinstate and re-fund the Export-Import Bank, but GE isn't entirely happy. There are "headwinds" against more contributions because GE is not pleased with some of what Congressional Democrats have done (on federal budget issues) and not done (repeal ObamaCare's medical device tax).
ObamaCare's medical device tax raises health care costs
We express our views on these by expressing our views on these, not by making or pledging donations. We also talked with General Electric, Stryker and Johnson & Johnson, and others, about possible ways to move forward -- without any money changing hands.
People outside of Congress should be able to present their thoughts about policy to elected officials and their staff members without promising them money.
Democrat Members of Congress are ardent backers of funding Planned Parenthood.
In these memos, the head of Planned Parenthood offers to be a surrogate speaker for DCCC-backed candidates "if that would be helpful." The notes show Planned Parenthood reminding the DCCC that it helped with $15 million in campaign contributions during the 2014 election cycle and asking the DCCC who "they should be helping early" with contributions in this cycle.
People have gone to prison for giving lawmakers gifts. When was it determined that campaign contributions and support are not gifts?
The Ex-Im Bank was on the brink of death not long ago, but is clawing its way back to lending out your tax dollars so people overseas can buy expensive products from large American corporations such as GE and Boeing.
If it does claw its way back, will it be because lawmakers decided, with deep sincerity, that the Ex-Im Bank is good for America?
Or will it be because of campaign donations hinted about in meetings such as these?