Consider the source

I saw this ad this morning, and went to the Restore Our Future website to get information. There was none. So I looked on Wikipedia:

As of March 2012, Restore Our Future raised almost $43 million, of which almost half came from Wall Street contributors.[4]


As of August 2011, the largest individual contributor to Restore Our Future was John Paulson, a billionaire and hedge fund manager who is, according to Politico, “famous for [having enriched] himself by betting on the collapse of the housing industry.”[3] An additional million dollars came from W Spann LLC, an entity with no record of actual business activities.[6] W Spann LLC was formed, donated to the PAC, and then dissolved in a matter of months,[7][8] attracting concerns from election-watchdog groups and campaign-finance experts about the use of dummy corporations to shield large campaign contributions from public scrutiny.[6]


Several watchdog groups requested that the Justice Department and Federal Election Commission investigate donations to Restore Our Future from W Spann LLC as possible violations of campaign-finance law.[9] Restore Our Future declined to provide additional details about the donation and asserted that it had complied with existing laws. In response to rumors, a spokesman for Bain Capital, an equity firm previously headed by Romney, stated that W Spann LLC “is not affiliated with Bain Capital or any of our employees.”[6] Shortly thereafter, Edward Conard, a former top executive at Bain Capital who retired in 2007, came forward to state that he had formed W Spann LLC and funded and authorized the $1 million contribution.[10]Conard requested that Restore Our Future amend its filings to reflect that he, rather than W Spann LLC, donated the $1 million.[11][12]


Another entity, Paumanok Partners LLC, contributed $250,000 to Restore Our Future. It has been traced back to Romney donor William Laverack, Jr.[13] Glenbrook L.L.C. was originally reported as donating $250,000 in August 2011, but in an amended filing with the FEC the Glenbrook donation was replaced by two $125,000 donations by Jesse Rogers, a former executive at Bain & Company.[14]

Two additional $1 million contributions came from corporations registered to the offices of two executives of Nu Skin Enterprises, a Utah-based multilevel marketing company selling skin-care products and dietary supplements.[3] Other large contributors included members of the Marriott family, hedge-fund managers, and investors in Bain Capital.[3]

Several Affiliates of Melaleuca, Inc., an Idaho-based multilevel marketing[15] company owned by Frank L. VanderSloot, have donated a total of approx. $1 million to the PAC.[16] VanderSloot is also a national finance co-chairman of the Romney campaign.[17]

[edit]From federal contractors

Despite a 36-year-old ban against federal contractors making federal political expenditures, Restore Our Future has accepted donations of $890,000 from at least five such companies, who are taking advantage of a legal gray area created by the U.S. Supreme Court‘s 2010 ruling in the Citizens United caseOxbow Carbon, a major coal and petroleum company founded by William Koch that contracts with the Tennessee Valley Authority, gave $750,000, and has insisted such donations are now legal. Another company, M.C. Dean, a Virginia-based electrical engineering company, donated $5,000, but has asked the funds to be returned after consulting with lawyers. The other companies are: B/E Aerospace, a U.S. Department of Defensecontractor, which gave $50,000; Clinical Medical Services, which contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs, donated $25,000; and Suffolk Construction Co., which is building a U.S. Naval base, donated $60,000.[18]

Summertime

I was watching a documentary about Janis the other night, and I saw how she had to placate Sam Andrew, the lead guitarist, while trying to tactfully point out that her vocal was the dominant sound, not which chord he played. Boy, some things never change:

Hopeful

That this might actually mean something positive for consumers – i.e. don’t squeeze my Roku!

New fears that Big Cable will squash online-video competition has caught the attention of the Justice Department — and is one of several antitrust issues now facing cable giant Comcast Corp.


Investigators have sent the equivalent of civil subpoenas to Comcast, other pay-TV providers, and programmers, in a broad sweep for information about contract provisions related to online video. It’s an industrywide probe.


Comcast’s proposed deal to sell wireless spectrum through a consortium of cable companies and partner Verizon Wireless to market quad-play bundles — wireless phone, wireline phone, Internet, and cable TV — is being analyzed separately by the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. Critics say the deal amounts to a business truce between Comcast and Verizon Communications Inc., which controls Verizon Wireless and also competes with Comcast with its FiOS TV and Internet products. Comcast and Verizon officials say that there is no truce and that they still will compete.


In addition, Judge John R. Padova has scheduled for trial in September a class-action antitrust lawsuit that, since late 2003, has been wending its way through federal court in Philadelphia. The suit claims that Comcast clustered its cable systems in the Philadelphia region through swaps with other cable companies, leading to market power and higher prices for consumers.


Legal issues in the three cases are different, and, Comcast officials say, the matters are unrelated. But observers note that a common thread is the company’s willingness to push legal limits when pursuing growth.


Experts say that it’s very early in the online-video investigation, but that the probe seems serious.


“Online television is now getting to the point where it is a real threat to cable companies, and anything the cable companies do to undermine that threat will draw antitrust scrutiny,” said Ankur Kapoor, a partner and antitrust specialist with Constantine Cannon, a New York law firm.

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