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Ethics-Wise, Ami Bera = Sean Casten?

Ami Bera's sick, elderly father, Babulal Bera, only got a year in prison-- the designated scapegoat to keep his corrupt New Dem son out of prison. Babulal was released 7 weeks early for good behavior and had to check in with a probation officer until 2020. "He" had illegally laundered over a quarter million dollars into his son's campaigns in 2010 and 2012. Ami claimed he had no idea, didn't know a thing about it. After all what's a quarter million dollar's showing up in one's campaign coffers, especially when-- in 2010-- you're not even a member of Congress. Ami, obviously the mastermind of the whole scheme, wasn't even charged. Instead, he went to Congress, joined the corrupt, Wall Street-owned New Dems and proceeded to become one of the worst California members. Remember this? It was the widely used New Dem scheme that put Ami Bera's father in prison, and helped keep Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate:

ProgressivePunch gives Bera a grade of "F" and only 2 California Democrats have (slightly) worse voting records, Scott Peters (Blue Dog) and Jim Costa (Blue Dog), each of whom is being challenged by a progressive this cycle. Bera's district was made significantly bluer in the latest redistricting and he never has to worry about a GOP challenger again-- only a progressive primary. Unlike Costa or Peters, he doesn't have one coming up as far as I can tell.

But, back to the kind of congressional crookery that brought Ami and poor old Babulal back into my consciousness. This time it's another corrupt New Dem and his wealthy father playing the same games as Ami Bera once did-- Sean Casten in Illinois.

Casten, who has been directing a smear campaign against the progressive he's trying to unseat, Marie Newman, illegally coordinated with a SuperPAC in the 2018 primary according to a new complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

The complaint alleges that Casten violated the law when his federal political action committee, Casten for Congess and a super PAC operating in support of his candidacy, SunShinePAC, improperly coordinated campaign spending, and exceeding federal contribution limits on an attack ads targeting Kelly Mazeski, the progressive woman in that race.

Sean and Tom

The complaint notes that Michael Garton, Casten’s campaign manager in 2018, and Tom Casten, Sean Casten’s father, were living together in Hinsdale, Illinois during the campaign. The complaint establishes both of their residencies through Illinois voter registration files as well as FEC filings from the time period. At the time, Casten’s father was the sole funder of SunShine PAC, making a total of $150,000 in contributions during the first quarter of 2018. FEC filings from the time show that SunShine PAC spent $129,699, to oppose Casten's progressive opponent, for "advertising," "phones and advertising" and "printing."

Federal election law prohibits super PACs from coordinating the spending of campaign cash with the candidates they support, as was the case in the 2018 primary cycle. Blue Dogs and New Dems-- like Republicans-- consider themselves above the law and routinely ignore this particular law and are rarely held to account.

Kerri Barber who filed the FEC complaint wrote that: "Garton and Tom Casten were living together while Garton was serving as the principal agent of Casten for Congress. The intimate relationship between Garton and Tom Casten, and the apparent disregard for the firewall between the super PAC and campaign as required by federal law, should raise concerns for Rep. Casten’s constituents. There is substantial evidence that the FEC’s 'three-pronged test' to determine whether super PAC communication is coordinated with a candidate was met when these two were living together."

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