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How Do Republicans Win Elections: Meet Harold Simmons, Reactionary Billionaire Smearmeister Who Buys Them

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Since posting about reactionary billionaire, swift boat funder, and hate-monger Harold Simmons yesterday, we've had more than a dozen e-mails from people in Texas claiming inside knowledge of not just activities that will keep Simmons out of Heaven, but activities that, if they were provable in court, would have him spending the rest of his wretched life in a prison cell. I'll pass on repeating the ones that I can't verify and the personal stuff and just stick to the political dirt.

It's well known that the twice-divorced ne'er-do-well money bags behind the swiftboat liars was sued by his two daughters. What I didn't know is that what came out in the process is that he'd been funneling vast amounts of money to Republican candidates by forging documents making it look like the donations were coming from other people (like the two daughters). Under questioning, and threatened with perjury charges, he admitted in court that he forged his two daughters' signatures to make political contributions from family trusts to various Republican candidates. Simmons has said that from 1991 to 1995 he made $110,000 in contributions to political action committees (PACs) in his daughters' names without their knowledge or permission. He later settled a lawsuit with them for $50 million and paid some fines to the FEC.

So why aren't slimy Republican crooks who routinely look after his business interests in the Senate, like Susan Collins (R-ME), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Cornyn (R-TX), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), John Sununu (R-NH), James Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and others upon whom he has lavished thousands and thousands of tainted dollars, returning the money? And while we're on the subject, so far this year Simmons' shady Dalen PAC has made efforts to buy the loyalty of the following senators and Senate candidates (all Republicans):

Lamar Alexander (R-TN, $2,000)
Norm Coleman (R-MN, $5,000)
John Cornyn (R-TX, $10,000)
Elizabeth Dole (R-NC, $5,000)
Michael Johanns (R-NE, $5,000)
James Risch (R-ID, $5,000)
Bob Schaffer (R-CO, $5000)
John McCain (R-AZ, $5,000)

The same suspicious PAC handed out $130,000 in 2006 to some of the most extreme right members of (and candidates for) Congress. Although almost all of his Senate patsies lost-- like Michael Steele (R-MD, $10,000), Mark Kennedy (R-MN, $7,000), James Talent (R-MO, $6,000), Conrad Burns (R-MT, $6,000), George "Macacawitz" Allen (R-VA, $5,000), Mike DeWine (R-OH, $5,000), Rick Santorum (R-PA, $5,000), Stephen Laffey (R-RI, $5,000), Michael McGavick (R-WA, $5,000), and Pete Ricketts (R-NE, $5,000)-- he still has his hooks into dozens of Republican House members he and his PACs have financed, especially Kay Grangers (R-TX), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Michael McCaul (R-TX), and Chris Shays (R-CT).

According to the Dallas Morning News, "The two daughters, Andrea Swanson, 33, and Scheryle Patigian, 44, contend in a lawsuit over control of the family trust that Mr. Simmons made hundreds of thousands of dollars of contributions in their names without their permission in violation of federal campaign law."

He also funnels money to Republicans through his Contran Industries PAC. So in addition to what he's given personally, given fraudulently from his daughters, and given through Dalen PAC, he's also given hundreds of thousands more-- mostly to the same far right candidates like McCain, McConnell, Cornyn, Dole, Inhofe, etc.-- through Contran, $100,000 this year alone. Obviously, this is all above and beyond the $4,000,000 he spent in 2004 to smear John Kerry-- and beyond the massive amount he's pledged this year to destroy Barack Obama.