Super PAC to Billionaire: We Need More Money to Save a Republican Senate

To understand how Donald Trump's comments and alleged mistreatment of women are stoking the anxiety of other Republicans, look no further than the private appeal sent Wednesday to a billionaire from a super PAC backing Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey.


Without a last-minute infusion of money, Republicans could lose the Senate, the Prosperity for Pennsylvania PAC wrote to Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs and who last month pledged at least $1 million to Trump's presidential campaign after initially bankrolling his primary opponents.


"There are real concerns moving forward," read the memo sent to Ricketts by Joshua Novotney, a PAC representative. "Trump has taken a real hit this week and that could have an effect on down ballot races." Novotney inadvertently copied a reporter on the email.


To maintain Senate control, Republicans can likely afford to lose no more than three of the seats they hold in the six or seven races considered toss-ups, including Toomey's. Polls have indicated a tight race between Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, with the FiveThirtyEight website showing McGinty up by less than one percentage point.


"We need to keep spending parity with the Dems and focus on negative ads to give Sen. Toomey the victory," Novotney wrote to Ricketts' aides. "This is a very winnable race even with the presidential polls currently showing Trump down. Our internal poll that had Pat tied showed Trump down 10."


In Pennsylvania, where the last polls show Hillary Clinton with a solid lead, Toomey has remained on the fence about endorsing Trump, recently saying: "I had hoped that Donald Trump would persuade me to be an enthusiastic supporter, that had been what I'd hoped…But at this point, I remain unpersuaded."


Some big Republican donors yesterday called on the party to cut its ties to the presidential nominee given the revelations about his behavior around women. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he will focus on maintaining his GOP majority and no longer will campaign for Trump.


All that would seem to give congressional candidates an opportunity to seek donations that would otherwise have gone to the top of the ticket. Novotney, in an interview, said that wasn't the intention of the Pennsylvania PAC's note to Ricketts. The super PAC, he said, is not trying to use Trump's drop in the polls to rally donors.


"That's no strategy of ours," he said. "We reach out to people who are known large donors to Republicans."


The PAC has spent more than $1.25 million against Toomey's challenger, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.


Ricketts didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about his plans. During the primaries, he supported Trump's opponent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Then, after Ricketts' wife gave $3 million to an anti-Trump group, Trump took to Twitter claiming the family has "a lot to hide!" The couple eventually gave another $2.5 million to the anti-Trump group. Then, in a surprising turnaround last month, Ricketts pledged $1 million to a pro-Trump super PAC.


Aside from its revelations about the state of the election, Novotney's email also illustrates the loose rules governing campaign finance. Unlike traditional political action committees, super PACs can accept donations of unlimited size, but are supposed to be independent groups that don't coordinate spending with the campaign of any candidate. Yet the note claims a special relationship with the Toomey campaign.


"We are the blessed Super PAC by Sen. Toomey," Novotney wrote. " I am his former senior aide and finance director, and I am working with his former chief-of-staff, cc'd on this email. We appreciate any consideration and help Mr. Ricketts can give."


Candidates are legally allowed to encourage donors to give to particular super PACs, and often anoint groups run by former aides - even as the two sides are generally not allowed to coordinate their spending.


Larry Noble, the former top lawyer for the Federal Election Commission, said the arrangement was within the rules.


But "calling a super PAC that is ‘blessed' by the candidate and run by his former staff ‘independent' shows how ludicrous the FEC's current coordination rules are," said Noble, who is now general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, a group that advocates for stricter enforcement of campaign finance regulations.


Novotney ended his email with a personal touch: "On a side note, I am a big fan of Mr. Ricketts since the family bought the Cubs. My grandfather was a catcher for the Cubs in '49. Always been my team."


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Best 4G Mobiles
As I mentioned in the previous article, Reliance Jio has not only forced other operators to reduce tariffs, but also paved the way for new 4G mobile handsets. There, literally, is a flood of 4G handsets in the market. Visit any mobile shop and you would find the sales force trying hard to convince the customer how that particular handset works like a breeze on 4G, especially of Jio. (Although, they will keep mum on giving free Jio SIM!) With the upcoming festive season, you may see more discounts and offers, including exchange of your old handset for 4G mobiles. This brings us to the question: Which is the best value-for-money 4G handset?  
Before looking at 4G handsets, there are certain factors one needs to understand. For example, while the handset may support 4G in both SIM slots, you need to use the first slot for achieving real 4G speed and other services. There are some handsets, like LeEco’s Le2 and Max2, which have in-built ‘Voice over Long Term Evolution’ (VoLTE) feature that provides high-definition (HD) quality audio (on supported devices at both ends) and you need to enable it for using this service. Jio subscribers, who have old handsets, can use its Jio4GVoice app to make or receive HD quality voice and video calls.  
Most prominent mobile handset-makers have either already launched their 4G devices or are in the process of entering the market. While Jio allows subscribers to use mobiles from other manufacturers, it also sells its own LYF brand. However, I found LYF devices lagging behind in hardware specs. Mobiles from Samsung’s Galaxy series (latest), mostly, support 4G. However, make sure you are buying the updated edition. For example, if you are buying J5 or J7, make sure it is from the 2016 edition. 
Here is a list of some mobile handsets that support 4G: Zenfone 3 series from Asus, Coolpad (MAX & Mega 2.5D), Gionee (F103, S Plus & Elife S6), LeEco (Le2 & Max2), Lenovo Vibe (Shot, K5, K5 Note), LG Google Nexus 5x, LG G4 Stylus 4G, Yu Yunique and Yunique Plus, Moto G 3rd Gen, Moto G4, OnePlus3, Sony Xperia Z5 series, Xiaomi (Redmi2, Note3, MI5, Redmi 3S). And listed below are some of the best value-for-money 4G handsets available in Indian market. While some of them are sold exclusively online, a few may be available in the mobile shops in your neighbourhood.  
1. Coolpad Mega 2.5D: This is one of the best and cheapest handsets. With a price tag of Rs6,999, this handset comes with 3GB RAM, and 5.5 inches HD screen. This is available exclusively on Amazon. 
2. LeEco Le2: This premium looking mobile costs Rs11,999. It has 3GB RAM, fingerprint scanner and 4G dual SIM supported by VoLTE which you need to enable. Three features make this handset a worthy contender, namely, good voice clarity and sound level, its proprietary Type-C continual digital lossless audio (CDLA) and supercharge, which allows you to fullly charge the device in 90 minutes. In short, this is one of the best value-for-money handsets. It can be bought from, the company site, or from Flipkart.
3. Samsung J7 -6 (2016): The J series from Samsung offers to save data by up to 50% through compression and restricting background data. The J7 comes with Octacore processor, SuperAMOLED 5.5-inch screen and 2GB RAM, 16GB in-built memory, microSD up to 128GB. This is available at Rs15,990. An upgraded version of J7, called Prime, which has 3GB RAM, is priced at Rs18,790. Both the handsets can be bought online as well as offline. 
4. OnePlus3: This is one of the best devices that can give a tough fight to other pricey mobiles. It comes with a huge 6GB RAM, 820 Snapdragon processor and OpticAMOLED, 5.5-inch display and 64GB in-built memory. It runs on OxygenOS which is based on Android Marshmallow. With its Dash charging feature, the battery gets charged up to 60%, in just half an hour. It costs Rs27,999 and is available exclusively on Amazon. 




6 months ago

It was rightly timed for me as I was about to purchase new one . I saved
ten thousand rupees. Thanks a lot sir.

Pradeep Kumar M Sreedharan

7 months ago

I wish somebody sells a "voice call "centered premium (high quality) phone for shirt pockets,as most of used to do. I carry two devices, one for calls and a tab for data consumption.

Thirumalesan C.P

7 months ago

Samsung on8 is yet another volte capable phone, competitively priced (13.5K) with festival discount

The Legal System Is Like Evidence-based Medicine
“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.” — Christopher Hitchens 
I  was talking with the judges in service at the Karnataka Legal Academy. There were more than 200 of them. One of their own High Court colleagues had spoken to them just before my talk and they were all very keen to listen to some outsider who did not study jurisprudence! When I said that I am going to talk with them (not to them) about my concept of Humanism, some of them showed signs of unrest. From my understanding of the word, almost from the time of Comte, the French philosopher, it was meant to signify that anything that man does on this planet, ultimately, helps mankind. Comte did not invent the word as a neologism; he popularised it. Our understanding was that the talk would be interactive. The first question I asked them was if, in their opinion, the present adversarial system of justice, which we have blindly inherited from the British, serves the truth?  
We then went on to dissect the word truth into The Truth and A Truth at a given time. As Khalil Gibran had so beautifully described, ‘The Truth’ is something that is final and unchangeable; while ‘A Truth’ is what we all think is the truth, to the best of our ability, which, of course, changes from time to time. In the adversarial system, the judge is ONLY an umpire and has no freedom for her/his free will to act on his information even to the contrary. 
What then happens is that the so-called great lawyers charge exorbitant fees to distort the truth even when they know the truth from the culprit whom they represent willingly, under the protection of the infamous saying that any person is innocent until he is proven guilty. 
Now, see the catch in that statement! For argument’s sake, let us say that the judge knows, for sure, that the culprit is guilty of the offence. The judge will not be able to take a definite stand. He only has to weigh the EVIDENCE provided by both the sides. The judiciary, the cunning lawyers, the investigating officers and, in fact, the whole system banks on that clause, to the detriment of truth. 
That is exactly the reason why the rich and the powerful have one kind of justice and the hapless poor another kind. Even the man-on-the-street knows the crime that is perpetrated on the innocent people who today do not have a voice in our country, while the powerful perpetrators go scot-free.
This reminds me of evidence-based medicine. No one ever questions the basis, and the quality, of the evidence. The statistical evidence that we use in medicine is not ‘The Truth’. Statistics, thus, used in evidence-based medicine are also dangerous. A senior professor of epidemiology in Washington calls this ‘science without sense’ in his book by that title. He shows how statistical evidence could be collected to favour the industry, using the so-called randomised controlled studies, where they just show that one treatment would be better than either a placebo or better than another drug of their rivals.
The total immunity that the judges enjoy is also against the normal cannons of justice and is not in tune with the truth. Therefore, we must have tighter control in selection of judges. Let the collegium continue; but once the government gets the list from the collegiums, the list must be widely publicised so that the common man has a voice in their selection. If anyone has valid unimpeachable evidence against any one of them, that must be brought to the notice and thoroughly investigated before the final selection, so that the black sheep do not make a backdoor entry. A periodic review of the working of judges will also keep them alert all the time. The job they are entrusted with is a very serious one and they have to be completely authentic and trustworthy to command people’s respect—exactly what the doctors ought to be doing.




7 months ago

Crpc makes Complainant and accused to take of Witnesses so that False Persons do not come in place of actual Witness, Forcing Accused to be Present on all Adjournments days. More Sec. 205 Exemption gets defeated if Neither Police nor Judiciary shelves Responsibility of getting Actual Witness Persons Statements Recorded .Both are Paid from Publi Taxes only , but do not Bother to Comfort Public . As Aadhar card is Standardised for all Schemes Suppport , Courts and Police may also Collect Copy of Each Witness Aadhar card , so False Persons Witness Menace can be Curbed.

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