Posted by Brendan Fischer on January 21, 2013

The corrosive influence of money in politics was amplified in 2012 by the fact that in many cases we don't know which individuals or which corporations actually provided much of the funding to affect election results. "Dark money" -- election spending where we don't know the source of the funds -- played a bigger role in 2012 than in any other presidential election since Richard Nixon's.

A new report from the Center for Media and Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) has helped expose more about what we call "the swiss bank account" of American elections, where wealthy elites attempt to secretly influence the outcome of our elections through non-profit groups that keep their donations hidden, and increasingly, through "straw" or "shell" corporations that appear to exist for no reason other than to anonymously pour millions into elections.

Dark Money Nonprofits Reported Spending $299 Million, but Certainly Spent More

Voters could discover the actual funders behind just two-thirds of all election spending reported to the Federal Elections Commission. But when non-reported spending is tallied, the level of secrecy becomes even more extreme.

The reason we don't know the complete totals for secret money is because nonprofits largely ran so-called "issue ads," and spending on these ads need only be reported to the FEC when aired just before primaries or election day. Nonprofits that do not disclose their donors reported spending about $300 million in 2012, but the total is certainly much higher. Crossroads GPS, for example, told the FEC that it spent just under $71 million on the 2012 elections, but a review of its press releases since 2011 indicates it actually spent more than twice as much as was reported, topping at least $165 million.

This means that secrecy was not only an issue with respect to the sources of a group's funding, but also when it came to reporting the dollars that they spent.

Additionally, these tax-exempt non-profits are not supposed to have electoral intervention as a primary activity, so in the post-election period may use activities like lobbying as an accounting trick to balance their books between electoral and non-electoral spending. And their lobbying clout is likely increased by the fact that, come election time, they can back an unresponsive politician's opponent in the primaries. This leads to an escalating cycle of non-stop campaigning and special interest influence, but with zero transparency or public accountability.

Shell Corporations Funneled $17 Million to Super PACs

Super PACs, on the other hand, must disclose the identities of their funders, and must report all of their expenditures. But some donors sidestepped these transparency rules by forming "shell corporations," which are incorporated as for-profit businesses but don't appear to engage in any commerce. At least $17 million in secret dollars were funneled to Super PACs by way of these shell corporations, according to the report.

For example, at least $12 million was funneled to the FreedomWorks for America Super PAC through two shell corporations, both of which were formed just before the donations were made, and neither of which appear to do any legitimate business.

Of all Super PAC donations from business corporations, at least seventeen percent came from shell corporations that appear to have been formed for no reason other than to filter money into elections, and to keep the true sources of the funds secret.

Huge Problems with Secrecy

There are three main reasons why this level of secrecy is bad for our democracy.

First, not knowing the source of this spending makes it nearly impossible to assess whether a donor's secret "investment" in support of a candidate pays off through favorable policy, which shields both elected officials and donors from public accountability. Even though the American public is unaware of the sources of a dark money group's funding, there is nothing keeping donors from making their identities clear to the politicians benefiting from this spending. And those donors likely expect a return on their investment.

Second, not knowing which interests are backing or opposing specific candidates limits the ability of voters to assess those messages, or assess a candidate for that matter. In Montana, for example, a nonprofit called Montana Hunters and Anglers Action bought ads supporting the libertarian candidate, calling him the "true conservative." But Montana voters never knew who was behind the group or who funded the ads. An investigation by ProPublica found that Montana Hunters and Anglers Action has ties to Democrats, suggesting the group's true motivation was to siphon votes away from the Republican candidate rather than to support the libertarian.

Third, transparency in election spending allows us to identify violations of the law and deter those violations from happening in the first place. Though many campaign finance laws have been eviscerated in the post-Citizens United world, foreign corporations and individuals are still barred from spending to influence American elections. And it is entirely possible that foreign dollars are coming into elections by way of these nonprofits and shell corporations. A foreign donor could set up a sham corporation in Delaware, fill it with cash, have it spend to support the desired candidate, and then disband or go silent. Foreign donors could also give to a dark money nonprofit and the public would never know. The IRS almost never looks into whether a donor is actually American, unless there is a request for investigation from a watchdog group. And watchdogs can only identify a discrepancy if there is public reporting.

Citizens United Opened Floodgates, but Supported Disclosure

The many billions spent in 2012 are largely attributable to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.

But, Justice Kennedy and the four other justices in the Citizens United majority affirmed the long-standing notion that the public has a right to know who is spending money to influence elections.

The justices got a lot wrong in Citizens United, but their position on transparency demonstrates that reforms to mandate disclosure of the sources of money in politics are constitutionally sound and supported by legal precedent.

We need a 28th amendment to overturn Citizens United and to limit political spending. But until that happens there are multiple reforms that can and should be enacted to shine some sunlight on election spending, which can limit some of the abuses we've seen in the past year that have kept donors secret and left voters in the dark:

  • the IRS should create clearer rules for what constitutes political intervention to help resolve ambiguities that have been exploited by dark money non-profits in the post-Citizens United world.
  • Congress should tighten limits on how much a non-profit can participate in political activity. Ambiguity under current law has led many non-profits to assert they can spend up to half of their total activities or expenditures on politics, which the IRS has neither refuted nor clearly supported.
  • Congress should expand the reporting window for "issue ads" to Jan 1 in non-Presidential election years and one year before the election in Presidential years. Under our current system, where we are basically in a permanent political campaign, the narrow reporting window does not adequately capture the efforts to influence our vote and impact elections.
  • To ensure that secretive donors don't shift their funding to shell corporations in response to new transparency requirements, States should require all private corporations to list their true owners (known as the "beneficial owners") upon incorporation and make that information readily available on the public record. Congress should require that Super PACs and dark money groups that intend to spend on the election collect and report information on the "beneficial owner" of all private corporate donors.

Regardless of the election results, the amount of secretive spending in this past election shows that the integrity of our democracy is being threatened, and we must take bold steps to restore the primacy of voters in our elections.

TAKE ACTION: Click here to ask your U.S. Senator to investigate the secret money that tainted the 2012 elections and to subpoena the Koch brothers and others involved in the big money game.

LEARN MORE: Read the full "Elections Confidential" report from CMD and USPIRG here.

Comments

Update --- Jan.21th 2013.

Pictet & Cie Bank ---- List of Crimes.

1996 ----- F.S.A--- Breach in London.

2003 ----- F.S.A. -- States rogues operating in Pictet's London office. Ivan Pictet
states that documents were forgeries but were later proved to be genuine in
the British Courts. He had documents destroyed in their London office --
hoping to hide the crimes.

2007 .- - - The Securities and Ecxhange Surveillance issued a recommendation
that the Prime Minister and The Commissioner of the FSA to take disciplinary action against Pictet Asset Management – Japan Ltd.

2008 .-- Dec. - Pictet Bank state - " We have never chosen any funds linked to Madoff.

2011 - - - Madoff Trustees sue Pictet & Cie. Bank for $156 Million.

2011- - - Pictet & Cie Bank abetted a Bribery Scheme - Oil company sues Pictet for $350Million

2012 - - - April – Geneva Bank Pictet used in Offshore Tax Scheme. ( USA.)

2012 -- - June. -- Published in Anglo INFO .Geneva.--- USA Trust Fund Investors were sent false and fraudulent documents by Pictet Bank in order to collect large fees. ( Like MADOFF)
Even after the SEC in the USA uncovered the fraud Pictet continued to charge fees and drain whatever was left in these accounts. Estimated that $90 million lost in this Pictet Ponzi scheme.

2012 - - - July. -- De – Spiegel. -- states – Pictet Bank uses a letterbox company in
Panama and a tax loophole involving investments in London to gain
German millionaires as clients.

2012 - - - August ---- German Opposition Leader accuses Swiss Banks of "organised crime."

2013 --- Jan.--- Swiss MP' table motion to freeze Tiab Mahmud's assets of " criminal origins"
held in Swiss banks – $18 million held in 5 accounts at Pictet & Cie. Bank. Bahamas.

Ironically the Pictet & Cie.Bank partners are bigger criminals than the criminals who have accounts in the their bank.

Update . Jan20th.2013..

The following sent to - - - - 312- - Lords - - - - - - House of Lords. ( Inc. Lord Myners.)
The following sent to - - - - 649 - - M.P.'s - - - - - House of Commons.

SWISS BANK PARTNERS IN CRIMES.

Pictet & Cie Bank.

Ivan Pictet.
Charles Pictet.
Nicolas Pictet.
Jacques de Saussure.
Jean – Francois Demole.
Renaud de Planta.
Philippe Bertherat..

Pictet & Cie.- claim they are the “Rolls Royce”of Swiss banks.

Swiss Banks or more correctly Swizz banks.

Swizz. ---- “ a great disappointment.” or a “ fraud.”

Fraud. ---“ an intentional deception or dishonesty.”— “a crime.”

Crime. ---“ an act committed or omitted in violation of a law.”

Serious Crimes .
Conspiring to pervert the Course of Justice.
Perverting the Course of Justice.
Contempt of Court.

Pictet & Cie Bank –Partners –(1996—2013)---guilty.
Peters &Peters – Partners.— (1999---2013)--- guilty.

The bank and it’s officials/lawyers deliberately withheld crucial documents requested under a High Court order. The bank and it’s officials/lawyers deliberately withheld evidence from the Police, and one of it’s account managers Susan Broadhead gave a false witness statement to the Police.
Another one of it’s managers Nicholas Campiche ( Now Head of Pictet – Alternative Investments.) concocted a letter pretending to be a client and closed his account. The senior partner (Ivan Pictet.) sought to have numerous documents destroyed,along with those copies held in their London office’s of Pictet Asset Management. Initially stating that they were forgeries then their lawyers Peters & Peters – Monty Raphael –and the barrister Charles Flint.Q.C. later had to admit in Court that the documents were genuine.

British Parliament. Hansard .29th March 2007.
Barry Sheerman .M.P.—quote.

---------“ Constituents of mine have lost £2 million through fraud. The fraudster used Pictet & Cie - - a French Bank - - and Pictet Asset Management to back the fraud being perpetrated.””

(1) It is a criminal offence for a bank to knowingly act for an undischarged criminal bankrupt in so far as it seeks to assist that criminal bankrupt in the fraudulent movement of monies. ( Money Laundering.)

(2) It is a criminal offence for a bank to lie to the police and the bankrupts trustee in bankruptcy in so far as any knowledge of, or dealings with the bank was refuted .

(3) A bank can be guilty of Contempt of Court if it fails to comply fully with the Courts order for discovery .

(4) The banks contempt is further compounded if it fails to address its error after it is specifically drawn to the to its solicitors attention. ( Monty Raphael Q.C.).

(5) It is a criminal offence under the Financial Services Act to seek to destroy evidence that might be relevant to an investigation .

(6) It is a criminal offence not to relinquish control of funds to the Trustee immediately the fact of the bankruptcy is drawn to the banks attention.

(7) It is a criminal offence to lie or otherwise obfuscate the lawful and proper enquiries of the F.S.A.

In the F.S.A. cover up , they concluded that there had been “ Rogue” elements in Pictet & Cie’s , London operations . They had been moved from their London Office so who was there left to prosecute. “ Unbelievable.”

*** We thank --David Cameron. M.P. ( Canary Wharf Speech.)
PRIME MINISTER.

(1) Bankers who behave irresponsibly should face professional consequences.
(2) If anyone is found to have behaved criminally they must be prosecuted.
(3) The F.S.A and the Serious Fraud Office should be following up every lead,
investigating every suspect transaction .
(4) We need to make it 100% clear –those who break the law should face
prosecution.
(5) That we make sure we root out any wrongdoing that may have happened, whoever
is involved, however high or well connected they may be.

Ivan Pictet.
Managing partner in Pictet & Cie Bank .
President of the Geneva Financial Centre.
World Bank.committee member.
United Nations. Investment Committee member,
Vice President – Global Humanitarian Forum.
Member of the Henokiens.
Blackstone Group --- Board Member.
Past- President – Geneva Private Bankers association.
Past –President – Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Monty Raphael. ( Peters & Peters.)
Quote.” ---- Doyen of U.K. Fraud lawyers.
Head of Fraud and Regulatory Dept. Director of the Fraud Advisory panel.
Member of the Law Society of England & Wales.
International Bar Association Member.

Both Ivan Pictet and Monty Raphael.Q.C. conspired to withhold crucial documents requested by the High Court – the FSA --- and the Police Fraud Squad.

Written Parliamentary Questions received by the table office ..

(1) To ask the secretary of state what steps he is taking to ensure that Swiss Banks such as Pictet & Cie do not evade criminal prosecution under EU law even when the illegal act is committed by a London based subsidiary.

(2)To ask the secretary of state what steps he is taking to protect the rights of UK citizens who seek redress following criminal activities by Swiss banks with subsidiary offices located in London.

Quote. ( America’s Top Lawyer .)
You can be the richest man in the world with the best lawyers that money can buy but you cannot win against a man who has got nothing left to lose and is telling the truth.

*** We note that there has been a sharp increase in Peters & Peters partners leaving to go to other practices. Moving does not alleviate them of any responsibility from any illegalities that may have occurred at Peters & Peters during their partnership tenure. From 1999 onwards.

The consensus of opinion is the Pictet & Cie should be prosecuted , and that their U.K. banking licence should be taken away.

Their Solicitors at Peters & Peters .London “ struck off and prosecuted..”

*** Started campaign --- June 6th.2008.
4 .5years ---- approx 8 .5 million e-mails - - - but still no writs, injunctions or threats of litigation - - - WHY - - - because it is all true.

*** . The bigger they are --- the harder they fall.!!!
In America ---- they would have all been in prison for the last seven years.

Full Story.

" Google " .

Insert-- ( Charles Pictet. Banker.
Insert-- ( Ivan Pictet.Banker.
Insert-- ( Jacques de Saussure.Banker.
Insert-- ( Nicolas Pictet. Banker.
Insert-- ( Jean-Francois Demole.Banker.
Insert-- ( Renaud de Planta. Banker.
Insert –(Philippe Bertherat. Banker.

Feb 3. -2013.

Peters & Peters Partners ----(1999 ---2013.) – guilty.
Pictet & Cie Bank – Partners -(1996---2013) – guilty.

The bank and it’s officials/lawyers deliberately withheld crucial documents requested under a High Court order. The bank and it’s officials/lawyers deliberately withheld evidence from the Police, and one of it’s account managers Susan Broadhead gave a false witness statement to the Police.
Another one of it’s managers Nicholas Campiche ( Now Head of Pictet – Alternative Investments.) concocted a letter pretending to be a client and closed his account. The senior partner (Ivan Pictet.) sought to have numerous documents destroyed,along with those copies held in their London office’s of Pictet Asset Management. Initially stating that they were forgeries then their lawyers Peters & Peters – Monty Raphael Q.C.–and the barrister Charles Flint.Q.C. later had to admit in Court that the documents were genuine.

British Parliament. Hansard .29th March 2007.
Barry Sheerman .M.P.—quote.

---------“ Constituents of mine have lost £2 million through fraud. The fraudster used Pictet & Cie - - a French Bank - - and Pictet Asset Management to back the fraud being perpetrated.””

(1) It is a criminal offence for a bank to knowingly act for an undischarged criminal bankrupt in so far as it seeks to assist that criminal bankrupt in the fraudulent movement of monies. ( Money Laundering.) assisted by Monty Raphael.Q.C.

(2) It is a criminal offence for a bank to lie to the police and the bankrupts trustee in bankruptcy in so far as any knowledge of, or dealings with the bank was refuted . + Monty Raphael.Q.C.

(3) A bank can be guilty of Contempt of Court if it fails to comply fully with the Courts order for discovery .+ Monty Raphael Q.C.

(4) The banks contempt is further compounded if it fails to address its error after it is specifically drawn to the to its solicitors attention. ( Monty Raphael Q.C.).

(5) It is a criminal offence under the Financial Services Act to seek to destroy evidence that might be relevant to an investigation .+ Monty Raphael.Q.C.

(6) It is a criminal offence not to relinquish control of funds to the Trustee immediately the fact of the bankruptcy is drawn to the banks attention.+ Monty Raphael Q.C.

(7) It is a criminal offence to lie or otherwise obfuscate the lawful and proper enquiries of the F.S.A. + Monty Raphael Q.C.

In the F.S.A. cover up , they concluded that there had been “ Rogue” elements in Pictet & Cie’s , London operations . They had been moved from their London Office so who was there left to prosecute. “ Unbelievable.”

*** We thank --David Cameron. M.P. ( Canary Wharf Speech.)
PRIME MINISTER.

(1) Bankers who behave irresponsibly should face professional consequences.
(2) If anyone is found to have behaved criminally they must be prosecuted.
(3) The F.S.A and the Serious Fraud Office should be following up every lead,
investigating every suspect transaction .
(4) We need to make it 100% clear –those who break the law should face
prosecution.
(5) That we make sure we root out any wrongdoing that may have happened, whoever
is involved, however high or well connected they may be.

Both Ivan Pictet and Monty Raphael.Q.C. conspired to withhold crucial documents requested by the High Court – the FSA --- and the Police Serious Fraud Squad.

Written Parliamentary Questions received by the table office ..

(1) To ask the secretary of state what steps he is taking to ensure that Swiss Banks such as Pictet & Cie do not evade criminal prosecution under EU law even when the illegal act is committed by a London based subsidiary.

(2)To ask the secretary of state what steps he is taking to protect the rights of UK citizens who seek redress following criminal activities by Swiss banks with subsidiary offices located in London.

Quote. ( America’s Top Lawyer .)
You can be the richest man in the world with the best lawyers that money can buy but you cannot win against a man who has got nothing left to lose and is telling the truth.

*** We note that there has been a sharp increase in Peters & Peters partners leaving to go to other practices. Moving does not alleviate them of any responsibility from any illegalities that may have occurred at Peters & Peters during their partnership tenure. From 1999 onwards.

The consensus of opinion is the Pictet & Cie should be prosecuted , and that their U.K. banking licence should be taken away.

Their Solicitors at Peters & Peters .London “ struck off and prosecuted..”

*** Started campaign --- June 6th.2008.
4 .5years ---- approx 8 .5 million e-mails - - - but still no writs, injunctions or threats of litigation - - - WHY - - - because it is all true.

*** . The bigger they are --- the harder they fall.!!!
In America ---- they would have all been in prison for the last seven years.

Monty Raphael Q.C. --- Master of the Bench --- one of the main advisors to the F.S.A. -- the Banks.--- and the Police.

Seeing that the Banks and the Police are now top of the criminality table and the F.S.A. top of the incompetency list for government bodies --- we cannot understand why Monty Raphael Q.C. and his firm of Peters & Peters are still allowed to operate.( Friends in high places.)

Monty And Friends In Association. (MAFIA.)

Update --- April 27th .2013.

Pictet & Cie Bank ---- List of Crimes.

1996 ----- F.S.A--- Breach in London.

2003 ---- F.S.A. -- States rogues operating in Pictet's London office. Ivan Pictet states that their documents were forgeries but were later proved to be genuine in the British Courts.( Ivan Pictet a proven liar) He had documents destroyed in their London office hoping to hide the crimes.

2007 .- - - The Securities and Exchange Surveillance issued a recommendation that the Prime Minister and The Commissioner of the FSA to take disciplinary action against Pictet Asset Management – Japan Ltd.

2008 .-- Dec. - Pictet Bank state - " We have never chosen any funds linked to Madoff.

2011 - - - Madoff Trustees sue Pictet & Cie. Bank for $156 ,000,000.( They lied again.)

2011- - - Pictet & Cie abetted a Bribery Scheme - Oil company sues Pictet for $350,000,000.

2012 - - - April – Geneva Bank Pictet used in Offshore Tax Scheme. ( USA.)

2012 -- - June. -- Published in Anglo INFO .Geneva.--- USA Trust Fund Investors were sent false and fraudulent documents by Pictet Bank in order to collect large fees. ( Like MADOFF)
Even after the SEC in the USA uncovered the fraud Pictet continued to charge fees and drain whatever was left in these accounts. Estimated that $90,000,000 lost in this Pictet Ponzi scheme.

2012 - - - July. -- De – Spiegel. -- states – Pictet Bank uses a letterbox company in Panama and a tax loophole involving investments in London to gain German millionaires as clients.

2012 - - - August ---- German Opposition Leader accuses Swiss Banks of "organised crime."

2013 --- Jan.--- Swiss MP' table motion to freeze Tiab Mahmud's assets of " criminal origins"
held in Swiss banks – $18,000,000. million held in 5 accounts at Pictet & Cie. Bank. Bahamas.

2013 -- The bank is now seeking to re-structure -- to cut the partners liability – hoping to off load their decades of criminal responsibilty – and protect their personal ill gotten wealth.. The Germans are right -- the bankers should go to prison if found guilty of financial crimes..
( Madoff got 150 years in prison --- why are the Pictet partners still at large.)

Ironically the Pictet & Cie.Bank partners are bigger criminals than the criminals who have accounts in the their bank.

Pictet & Cie Bank.--- Partners ---- (1996 --- 2013) --- Guilty.
Peters & Peters --- Partners ---- (1996 ---- 2013) --- Guilty.

The bank and it's officials/lawyers deliberately withheld crucial documents requested under a High Court Order. They also withheld evidence from the Police.

One of Pictet's accounts managers Susan Broadhead gave a false witness statement to the police. The banks Head of Alternative Investments --- Nicholas Campiche – concocted a letter pretending to be a client and closed his account.

The senior partner Ivan Pictet sought to have numerous crucial documents destroyed along with copies held in their London offices of Pictet Asset Management. Initially stating that these documents were forgeries.

Their lawyers – Peters & Peters . London --- lead by Monty Raphael Q.C. --- and the barrister Charles Flint Q.C. had to embarrassingly in Court admit that the documents were indeed genuine.

British Parliament. -- Hansard.

Barry Sheerman. M.P. -- quote:

" Constituents of mine have lost £2,000.000 through fraud. The fraudster used Pictet & Cie a French bank --- and Pictet Asset Management to back the fraud being perpetrated."

Both Ivan Pictet and Monty Raphael Q.C. conspired to withhold crucial documents requested by the High Court -- the F.S.A.-- and the Police Fraud Squad.

Written Parliamentary Questions received by the table office.

To ask the secretary of state what steps he is taking to ensure that Swiss Banks such as Pictet & Cie do not evade criminal prosecution under EU law even when the illegal act is committed by a London based subsidiary.

To ask the secretary of state what steps he his taking to protect the rights of U.K. Citizens who seek redress following criminal activities by Swiss banks with subsidiary offices located in London.

*** The consensus of opinion is that Pictet & Cie Bank should be prosecuted and that their U.K. Banking licence should be taken away.

*** Their solicitors at Peters & Peters .London - " Struck off and prosecuted."

In America they would have all been in prison for the last seven years.

Quote.( Top American Lawyer.):

" You can be the richest man in the world with the best lawyers that money can buy but you cannot win against a man who has got nothing left to lose and is telling the truth."

Full Story. --- Search --- Google or Yahoo.

Ivan Pictet. Banker.
Charles Pictet. Banker.
Nicolas Pictet. Banker.
Renaud de Planta.Banker.
Francois Demole. Banker.
Jacques de Saussure.Banker.
Philippe Bertherat. Banker.

Bill Moyers presents "United States of ALEC," a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of -- ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.