Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More on the Bustos illegal coordination allegations...

I don't know how this skipped my radar, but it did.

Apparently, Bustos and House Majority were also accused of coordination before election day -- click here to read the story in the Galesburg Register-Mail. The Bustos campaign uploaded b-roll footage to YouTube, which was, in turn, used in a House Majority Pac advertisement to support her.

The Schilling campaign filed a claim with the Federal Election Commission, but it was thrown out because YouTube is considered the "public domain" and there was a lack of evidence to prove coordination between the two groups.

Considering the fact that John and Ali Lapp are married and involved in both organizations (respectively), isn't it pretty clear that there was some type of coordination? Don't think they could have possible coordinated between the campaign and the House Majority Pac? Here are some easy ways they could have hypothetically "coordinated" but not "coordinated."

Ex. 1
John Lapp, at the dinner table with his wife Ali, gets a call from Cheri Bustos. Ali overhears him say, "Oh no! That's horrible! You mean we don't have enough money to put on TV in Rockford this week? Well I guess we will just have to pull our ads down..."Ali Lapp then proposes to have House Majority Pac purchase ads in Rockford attacking Bustos' opponent.

Ex. 2
John Lapp "forgets" and leaves polling and messaging data on the desk in the family office room. Ali, accidentally looks at it, thinking it is from House Majority Pac. Ali Lapp then uses that information to tailor an effective message, without having to pay for polling data.

It's not hard to put this all together and understand what really happened. The local press should at least ask tough questions.

At the very minimum, it was inappropriate and a conflict of interest for Ali Lapp to spend money on races that her husband was involved in. How do we know that he isn't promising outside help to his clients as an incentive to sign with him?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


From Illinois Review:

Quad Cities - Newly-elected Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) says she's indebted to Nancy Pelosi's House Majority PAC for helping her and the Democrats win back the seat Republican conservative Bobby Schilling won in 2010. She's included in the House Majority PAC's new ad boasting about the Democrats eight pickups in 2012, but no, she's not asking for donations in the ad. That would be illegal.

Most certainly Bustos knows she also has Illinois House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan to thank for drawing the district's new boundaries to make it more Democrat-friendly. Sounds like she doesn't credit Madigan with too much campaign dollar help, though.

And we thought candidates weren't supposed to coordinate efforts with Super PACs. Silly us.

Did Cheri Bustos Illegally Coordinate With Super-Pacs?

So Bustos is in a new ad thanking the House Majority Pac for running ads during her election last fall. You can see the ad here:

While it's weird and somewhat disturbing that she is thanking anyone but her supporters and the voters of the 17th district, I found something even more disturbing...

On Twitter this AM:
So Bobby Schilling is suggesting that Bustos' campaign was being run by the spouse of House Majority PAC. I did a little research and this is what I found:

1. According to the Federal Election Commission, Cheri Bustos paid Ralston-Lapp Media a total of $55,782 during the 2012 election cycle.

2. Ralston-Lapp Media is run by John Lapp who served as Bustos' general consultant for the 2012 cycle. Lapp was a critical partner to Rahm Emanuel in the 2006 mid-term elections.

3. John Lapp is married to Ali Lapp.

4. Ali Lapp runs House Majority Pac, which spent almost $600,000 to get Bustos elected.

5. Further, Ralston-Lapp makes no mention of Bustos on their site. You'd think that they would be promoting the heck out of her since she was one of their only successful House races this cycle.

Was their coordination between the Bustos campaign and House Majority? Or did Ali Lapp just over hear her husband talking the phone about where they needed more ads to be played? Sounds like a "wink-wink" and "nod-nod" set up if you ask me.

I guess it's only considered "dark-money" when you don't coordinate.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Someone created a "drudge" style news site for the Quad Cities. Should be pretty fun!