No Labels Equals Dark Money For Trump's Tax Cuts For Rich


With Democratic U.S. President Joe Biden expected to face former GOP President Donald Trump in the November election, No Labels on Friday confirmed it is pushing ahead with plans for a third-party “unity” ticket that critics fear could help the Republican return to the White House.

“The consequences of the next presidential election could not be more serious or more existential, and, despite this, No Labels has put their dangerous, reckless thought experiment ahead of the rights and freedoms of millions of Americans and the future of our democracy,” declared MoveOn Political Action executive director Rahna Epting. Their decision to move forward with a dark-money, Trump donor-funded third-party fantasy bid is shameful and puts millions of Americans at risk.

“Their own founder said they are ‘not in it to win it,’ and several current and past supporters of No Labels have implored them to stand down. And yet, they have decided to pump millions of dollars of dark money into a run that would swing the election to Donald Trump,” she warned. “Any candidates who join the No Labels presidential ticket will be complicit in making it easier for Donald Trump and MAGA extremists to win a second term in the White House.”

“Any candidates who join the No Labels presidential ticket will be complicit in making it easier for Donald Trump and MAGA extremists to win a second term.”

Epting’s comments came after No Labels national convention chair Mike Rawlings said in a statement that “earlier today, I led a discussion with the 800 No Labels delegates from all 50 states. These citizen leaders have spent months discussing with one another the kind of leadership they want to see in the White House in 2024. These are some of the most civic-minded, thoughtful, and patriotic Americans I have ever met. They take their responsibility seriously.”

“Even though we met virtually, their emotion and desire to bring this divided nation back together came right through the screen. I wasn’t sure exactly where No Labels delegates would land today but they sent an unequivocal message: Keep going,” he added. “They voted near unanimously to continue our 2024 project and to move immediately to identify candidates to serve on the unity presidential ticket. Every one of our delegates had their own explanation for wanting to move ahead.”

While Rawlings provided some examples of delegates’ statements from the call, so did journalists who obtained recordings of it. The New Republic‘s Greg Sargent—who got the audio from Matt Bennett, co-founder of the Democratic-centrist group Third Way—reported on concerns about a No Labels candidate being a spoiler for Trump:

For instance, a No Labels leader in Idaho said that while members are all for a run, they believe the ticket should “only” be offered to a candidate who has a “reasonable path to succeed and not be a spoiler.” A leader in Iowa said the candidate must be “strong” and have “the ability to win.”

Many others echoed these sentiments. At one point a party member from New Hampshire said: “We are in it to win it. But we also don’t want to look like liars when we’re telling people that we’re not going to be a spoiler.”

However, participants in the call expressed support for pursuing a unity ticket, according to Politico‘s Shia Kapos and Daniel Lippman, who also obtained a recording and reported that “delegates compared what No Labels was doing to Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address and the Founding Fathers during the American Revolution.”

Third Way’s Bennett said in a statement Friday: “What part of ‘no’ is so hard to understand? Time and again, voters, candidates, and election experts have told No Labels that a third-party presidential ticket can’t win and would help Trump.”

As Andrew Perez and Nikki McCann Ramírez detailed Friday for Rolling Stone:

Over the past year, the dark-money group has been leading a reported $70 million campaign to secure ballot access nationwide for a potential 2024 “unity” ticket. No Labels has refused to disclose who’s funding this effort, claiming that this is to protect its donors from “agitators and partisan operatives.” Thanks to a quirk in America’s broken system of campaign finance laws, the group will never be required to disclose who funded its ballot access effort—and would only have to start reporting donors if it were to formally back candidates.

So far, No Labels has secured ballot access in 16 states, and is trying to do so in 17 other states. The group has given no concrete hints as to which two divide-spanning politicians might run on its unity ticket, or to what party they might belong.

Outgoing U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)—a right-winger who weighed a run for president—suggested last week that a No Labels ticket would be a spoiler, saying that “right now, if you can’t get on 50 states and you’re going to basically hit in some of the battleground states that could be very detrimental to what the outcome would be.”

During Biden’s State of the Union speech on Thursday night, Trump said that it was “interesting” that Manchin and retiring Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah)—the 2012 GOP nominee—were sitting together, “and nobody wants to talk to them.”

“I think they’d make a great No Labels team!” added Trump—whose only remaining primary challenger, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, dropped out earlier this week. She has also publicly opposed running with No Labels.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, an Independent who ditched the Democratic Party shortly after the 2022 election, revealed this week that she is not seeking another term in November but she is also “not running for president.”

Another potential No Labels candidate, former Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, recently resigned from the group’s board in frustration and has decided to run for Senate. He remains opposed to both major candidates, saying Thursday that “I’m like 70% of the rest of people in America who do not want Joe Biden or Donald Trump to be president.”

While No Labels searches for candidates, the group’s critics continue to warn of the consequences of its potential ticket.

“There is no path to victory for No Labels. They will only ensure a second Trump presidency that serves the interests of their billionaire and corporate special interest backers,” End Citizens United president Tiffany Muller said Friday. “It’s why they’ve fought every effort to play by the rules and disclose their donors.”

Republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).





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