Thursday, December 13, 2018

JPMorgan Chase and RAGA, who combined to steal our home of 25 years in Alabama, help dish out the cash that threatens democratic norms in Wisconsin


Jessica Medeiros Garrison and Luther Strange
What happens when JPMorgan Chase and the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) join forces? Recent events in Wisconsin indicate it could produce signs that your democracy is on its last gasps.

The issue has particular resonance here at Legal Schnauzer because we were the targets of a wrongful foreclosure -- launched by Chase Mortgage, likely in retaliation for my reporting on GOP corruption -- that cost us our home of 25 years in Birmingham, Alabama, and forced us to live like refugees in Missouri. Jessica Medeiros Garrison, a Republican operative and glorified thief/street tart in Alabama, clearly was involved via a defamation lawsuit where my reporting never was proven to be false, as a matter of law.

We recently presented evidence that Garrison, one-time campaign manager and paramour for former Alabama AG Luther Strange, had financial ties to JPMorgan Chase during her time as executive director at RAGA -- and those ties likely made it easy for her to help launch an attack on our mortgage. Garrison, it turns out, has a habit of bouncing from place to place when the heat starts turning up under her chair, as we reported:

Until January 2016, Garrison was senior advisor to RAGA and the affiliated Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF). Before that, she was executive director of RAGA and president of RLDF. Garrison started shifting away from those positions when The New York Times exposed RAGA as a glorified shakedown outfit.

Garrison also started lowering her profile when her extramarital affair with Strange -- which former Alabama Senate President Lowell Barron, among other sources, has confirmed -- became so widely known that it made her more of a liability than an asset.

As for Wisconsin, residents have seen the democracy-crushing influence of JPMorgan Chase and RAGA, both of which seem to operate without the slightest sign of a moral compass. Lame-duck Republicans have passed a series of measures designed to weaken Wisconsin's incoming Democratic governor (Tony Evers) and attorney general (Josh Kaul).

Vox.com, noting that Wisconsin-like chicanery also is under way in Michigan and North Carolina,  reports that "The Wisconsin power grab is part of a bigger Republican attack on democracy":

Michigan Republicans are currently weighing similar plans, and both are following in the footsteps of North Carolina Republicans, who passed a power-stripping bill after a Democratic victory in the 2016 governor’s race. State Republicans in three of the country’s most vital swing states are displaying open contempt for the most basic principle of democracy: that when you lose an election, you have to hand over power to your opponents. The national party hasn’t condemned these power grabs, giving the state legislatures tacit permission to rewrite the rules.

These power grabs highlight one of the most disturbing facts about American politics today: The Republican Party has become institutionally indifferent to the health of democracy. It prioritizes power over principle to such an extreme degree that it undermines the most basic functioning of democracy.

In the long run, the GOP’s turn against democracy could well be a greater threat to the American experiment than anything President Donald Trump has done.

Who is driving this train of GOP dysfunction? According to a report at The New York Times, that would be JPMorgan Chase and other corporations:

Walgreens portrays itself as the friendly neighborhood drugstore. It gives flu shots to children, helps communities after storms, donates to charity — and makes feel-good advertisements trumpeting its various good deeds. . . .

So you might think that an organization that claims to care about community values would speak up. But Walgreens has not. Neither have other corporate supporters of Wisconsin Republicans, like Microsoft, Dr Pepper Snapple, J.P. Morgan Chase or Humana. It’s yet another example — alongside soaring C.E.O. pay and stagnant worker wages — of corporations abdicating the leadership role they once played in America.

What about RAGA's role in the Wisconsin mess? It's been right there, with wallet wide open, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Train:

This Washington, D.C.-based group, which raises unlimited amounts from special interests to help elect state GOP attorneys general throughout the country, has been the biggest spender in the 2018 Wisconsin attorney general’s race.

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) made reported independent expenditures through the Wisconsin Freedom Political Action Committee (PAC), which doled out more than $2.8 million to support GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel’s reelection bid.

Most of RAGA’s spending was for three television ads which attacked Schimel’s Democratic opponent, Josh Kaul. The ads claimed Kaul had not prosecuted serious crimes in Wisconsin and had plea bargained for light sentences for drug dealers as a federal prosecutor in Maryland.

When RAGA's guy (Schimel) lost, JPMorgan Chase helped fund an effort to undermine democracy in Wisconsin. Can we say "sore losers"?

None of this surprises my wife, Carol, and me -- given our experiences with the same forces in the theft of our home. Is it a big step from stealing a mortgage to cheating he voters of Wisconsin?

For JPMorgan Chase and RAGA (with affiliated scum suckers like Jessica Garrison) the answer apparently is no.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Republicans who are pulling this crap in Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina need to have it bite them in the ass at the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

Who in the hell comes up with ideas like this? Whoever it is, they are living in the wrong country.

Anonymous said...

This takes pettiness to new lows.

Anonymous said...

Scott Walker is in the middle of this in Wisconsin, so that should tell you a lot.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is a good article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the GOP power grab:


https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2018/12/04/lame-duck-moves-gop-wisconsin-and-michigan-how-they-compare/2205348002/

Steve said...

Is what the GOP is doing legal?
Could a court ask if the GOP would pull the same stunt if they had won the offices they are now weakening?
Are there any constitutional laws that say that newly enacted rules have to apply to all with equal force?

Anonymous said...

The new Republican motto: "If we can't win, we'll change the rules of the game."

legalschnauzer said...

Steve:

All good questions, and I'm not sure about the answers. I think many rational people have to ask,"How in the hell could this be legal?"It might vary from state to state, but it shouldn't. It's another sign that Republicans don't support democracy; I've called them "New Confederates," and Wisconsin proves they range way outside the South. It seems a lot of GOPers live in an echo chamber, and they don't recognize how dumb their words and actions appear to those on the outside. If you listen to Rush Limbaugh and other blowhards all day at work and go home at night to Fox News, you lose your ability to think critically. And you lose touch with what it means to live in a democracy.

Perhaps someone will pursue a lawsuit to have these measures declared unconstitutional, but I assume that would have to be at the federal level -- and look who we have on our Supreme Court. Maybe Brett Kavanaugh can get Squee to help him decide these issues.

legalschnauzer said...

NYT says GOP risks backlash for Midwest power grabs:


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/us/politics/michigan-wisconsin-republicans-midwest.html

legalschnauzer said...

Steve:

Here is an MSNBC report about the possibility of lawsuits to stop the GOP power grab in Wisconsin:


https://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/josh-kaul-talks-possibility-of-lawsuits-to-stop-republican-power-grab-in-wisconsin-1390396995862

Steve said...

Although the Supreme Court now has a Republican bias they have to look to a possible future where the Democratic Party is in power. They could use the same acts and worse to flatten the GOP!
The Supreme Court would have to be very careful how they rule on this. Gander and Goose come to mind.

legalschnauzer said...

Steve:

Yes, definitely a gander-goose situation. It's like the modern GOP keeps pushing the boundaries beyond what anyone can contemplate. My impression is that the U.S., in terms of emotions and solid written law, was unprepared for the idea of a foreign power meddling in our election. Now, it's like we don't have a clear answer to the notion that one of our two major parties would thumb its nose at Democratic norms. I know I didn't see those things coming. Even with the Mueller investigation, Trump has been in power for almost two years, creating all kinds of damage and making all kinds of appointments that probably can't be undone.

On a personal level, I never dreamed I would be arrested, and Carol and I would have our home and almost all of our possessions swiped out from under us -- but it happened five years ago, fallout from conservative dysfunction. Now, that dysfunction has spread across the country, and we have a U.S. administration providing cover for the murder of a journalist in the Middle East.

Anonymous said...

Schnauzer:

Never fear, Steve Marshall is on duty in Alabama, bought and paid for by RAGA.

legalschnauzer said...

Interesting that we are reporting on Jessica Medeiros Garrison at the same time Maria Butina is in the news. The two remind me of each other, except Butina is loyal to her own country. Garrison sure as hell isn't.


https://www.salon.com/2018/12/12/maria-butinas-plea-is-the-worst-news-ever-for-trump/?fbclid=IwAR0v04XBKAqN8BGJ3HwoSFl23zVvpHmA0EygCLoiI94co4sLxqgjZuqLyNQ

nation of gandhis said...

Ohio too, no one is immune.https://www.google.com/search?q=raga+ohio&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS739US739&oq=raga+ohio&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.5217j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Anonymous said...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-inauguration-spending-under-criminal-investigation-by-federal-prosecutors-11544736455

"Mr. Mueller has also probed whether any foreign money flowed to the inaugural fund, which is prohibited from accepting foreign funds. In August, the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, on a referral from Mr. Mueller, obtained a guilty plea from a Washington consultant who admitted he used a U.S. citizen to serve as a “straw purchaser” so that a “prominent Ukraine oligarch” could attend the inauguration. The names were never disclosed.

Manhattan federal prosecutors in recent months asked Tennessee developer Franklin L. Haney for documents related to a $1 million donation he made to Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee in December 2016, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Haney in early April hired Mr. Cohen, at the time serving as Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, to help obtain a $5 billion loan from the Energy Department for a nuclear-power project, the Journal has previously reported. Mr. Haney was asked for documents related to his correspondence with members of the committee, meeting calendars and paperwork for the donation, the person said. A loan application by Mr. Haney’s company is still pending at the Energy Department.

A lawyer for Mr. Haney didn’t respond to requests for comment."


https://www.al.com/opinion/2018/11/nuke-developer-haney-shares-his-plan-and-it-could-cost-alabama-1-billion.html

https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/opinion/times/story/2018/aug/01/sohn-haney-or-not-were-still-paying-bellefont/476119/

"To complete the work, Haney, a multi-millionaire who has a membership at Mar-A-Lago and hosted former Trump fixer Michael Cohen on his yacht shortly before Cohen's law office was raided by the FBI, also has enlisted the help of the four Alabama congressmen and Fleischmann to seek that $6 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy through the DOE Advanced Nuclear Loan Guarantee program.

Our congressmen made the ask for President Donald Trump's support for the loan on May 14, 2018, and noted that Haney's company, Nuclear Development LLC, is investing in "excess of $1 billion of its own money" into the $11 billion total cost to complete construction.

A Wall Street Journal story in May reported that the Haney/Cohen meeting was to discuss the possibility of recruiting foreign investors from Qatar and the Qatari sovereign-wealth fund. Those additional investors apparently would make up for the shortfall between Haney's $1 billion and our tax dollars at work.

But that's not all. Assuming the plant eventually cranks up and begins producing electricity, Haney wins again. He'll be the one getting the $2.5 billion tax credits, meaning he won't pay taxes on his profit for a while."

legalschnauzer said...

@7:40 --


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