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LIT has Slated the Federalist Society and Leonard Leo Since Inception and We’ve Been Proven Correct, Again

Dark money group the Federalist Society holds itself out to be an educational org. Wrong. It’s the right-wing Judicial and Legal Cabal.

Right-Wing Influence Peddler Leonard Leo Hits the Dark Money Motherlode

One-point-six BILLION dollars.

AUG 22, 2022 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: AUG 23, 2022

There are times when I seek comfort in the words of our betters.

For example, there are the words of former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy who, in 2010, writing for the majority in Citizens United v. FEC, reassured us that, no, he had not opened the floodgates of dark money into the political system with that decision.

Oh, no—did he look like someone who would do something like that?

We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. …

The fact that speakers [i.e., donors] may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that these officials are corrupt[…]

The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy.

Of course not.

From CNN:

A new group led by a prominent conservative lawyer has received $1.6 billion from one donor — the largest single contribution to a politically focused nonprofit that’s ever been made public, and a fortune that could be used to fuel right-wing interests.

The nonprofit, Marble Freedom Trust, received the contribution in the form of stock and then funneled more than $200 million to other conservative organizations last year, a tax form CNN obtained from the IRS shows.

Marble Freedom is led by Leonard Leo, the co-chairman of the conservative Federalist Society, who advised former President Donald Trump on his Supreme Court picks and runs a sprawling network of other right-wing nonprofits that don’t disclose their donors, which are often referred to as dark money groups.

One donation from one donor.

Handed to Leonard Leo, who already has turned the Supreme Court into an ideological chop-shop.

One-point-six BILLION dollars.

Thanks to Anthony Kennedy and his running pals, we didn’t know the source of this derecho of a windfall until The New York Times and CNN sniffed him out.

A CNN review of financial documents connected the donation to Barre Seid, a low-profile, 90-year-old Chicago electronics company executive and philanthropist who has previously been tied to smaller anonymous contributions to other right-wing groups.

The New York Times, which first reported the contribution on Monday, also identified Seid as the donor.

And, of course:

The arrangement likely saved Seid a large amount of money in taxes, according to Marcus Owens, an attorney and former director of the IRS division on tax-exempt organizations, who reviewed the form for CNN.

If Seid had personally sold the stock in the company, he would likely have had to pay capital gains tax on the proceeds of the sale. By donating the stock to Marble Freedom, he avoided having to pay that tax, and the nonprofit would be exempt from paying it.

I am merely a humble blogger, but I think a group that just got a donation of one-point-six BILLION dollars loses some of its right to describe itself as a “nonprofit.”

And this Seid fellow certainly got around on the wingnut welfare circuit.

An internal 2015 document from the Bradley Foundation, a right-wing nonprofit, stated that the conservative think tank Foundation for Government Accountability had received support from “Barre Seid (anonymously).”

The document was part of a trove of records from Bradley that was hacked and released, and was later included as an exhibit in Senate testimony[…]

And publicly released emails suggest that Seid may also be the anonymous donor who pledged $20 million over five years to George Mason University’s law school in order to rename it for former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

The emails were obtained through a public records request and published by George Mason Law alum Allison Pienta in 2019.

The school has refused to identify the donor but has said that Leo coordinated the gift.

Even if you set aside the monkeyshines from Mar-A-Lago, and the ratfcking. And the voter suppression. And the gerrymandering—Even if you eliminated all of those, our elections still would be a farce because of how money power has been allowed to drown the process.

Anthony Kennedy was a fool.

One-point-six BILLION dollars.

The mind—and the republic—reels.

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LIT has Slated the Federalist Society and Leonard Leo Since Inception and We’ve Been Proven Correct, Again
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