1461 days ago, Trump became the 45th President of the United States. Today, it finally ends. And I want to take a beat and hear from you. What are your hopes for the new administration? What are your fears? What topics would you like to see this newsletter cover?
You can leave your thoughts in the discussion thread linked below, starting now. I’ll be dropping by to participate in the discussion and answer your questions at 9:30 AM Eastern, for about an hour.
But I did want to give you one update from Popular Information's recent reporting on corporate donations to the 147 Republicans who objected to the Electoral College. Yesterday, we learned that Oracle would suspend donations to this group.
This is a stance now taken by at least 38 companies — including Amazon, Disney, Walmart, and Pfizer. Why is Oracle so significant? Because Oracle's chairman, Larry Ellison, is one of Trump's biggest supporters and the company has been closely aligned with Trump.
Last February, Ellison hosted a fundraiser for Trump at his California estate where tickets went for up to $250,000. Oracle backed "the administration’s trade plans and its positions on major tech policy issues." Oracle's CEO, Safra Catz, served on Trump's transition team and personally donated more than $130,000 to reelect Trump.
And now Oracle has suspended its donations to members of Congress who validated Trump's lies about election fraud. A week earlier, 500 Oracle employees signed a letter to the board demanding action.
Change is possible.
My hopes are thus: 1.) I want Biden and Harris to stay alive through their terms. 2.) I want Biden to get everything he wants through the Congress. 3.) I want Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Lauren Boebert to be ejected along with Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar and Mo Brooks . 4.) I want Dems to gain seats in both chambers in 2 years and the GOP to crater. 5.) I want Trump impeached and for him and his family to be ground into dust in the courts. ***I think you should make Popular Information LLC an Amazon Smile option to raise money. Thank you for doing what you do!!
First off, Judd, thank you for your incredible work. It is all too common to feel powerless in the machinations of our system of government and politics, and yet the work you've done (both singularly and in partnership with others) is incredibly empowering, inspiring, and hopeful. We are so grateful for what you do.
As far as the future goes, I look forward to you holding the Biden administration accountable in the same way you have the Trump administration. While I would hope that there will be significantly less corruption, I think it would be foolish to think this new administration will be clean of corruption and not beholden to corporate interests. It is quite clear that corporations hold an enormous amount of power over our government and politicians, and I hope you can chip away at that power. I'm still very concerned with the seditionist culture that has been fomented by the Trump administration, as well as the continuation of obstructionist behavior by a good number of Republican congressmen. The past four years (especially with the pandemic and the insurrection) have shown that America has become a country of "Choose your own reality". I don't know how to bring us back to a consensus reality, but the influence of things like Fox News, OANN, news consumption from social media (especially Facebook), and arenas of misinformation like Parler and, again, Facebook, are truly putting our democracy at risk.
Though I feel a slight relief with the upcoming Biden administration, the amount of positive change I expect is fairly limited. Many issues from the Trump era will continue, and I'm afraid some may worsen. But as I said before, your work is inspiring and gives me hope. Thanks again for what you do.
My biggest fear is this will fade from everyone's memory and the donations will start up again for those who voted against our democracy. And they will again get a podium without consequences. People have learned they can lie without consequences to them - this needs to change. I am personally off FOX, not just news but regular programming including football games on FOX (& since I am an Eagles fan and FOX broadcasts most Eagles games it is a big deal for me)
I want a thorough investigation of the insurrection at the Capitol. I want any member of Congress or their staff who aided or abetted the riot to be held accountable . I want a thorough investigation of the horrendous response by law enforcement . My biggest concern is that Joe Biden does not have the make up to go after the people who enabled the Trump disaster and the attempt to overthrow a free and fair election. Hopefully the independent Justice Department will . I also want anyone arrested and convicted for the attack on the Capitol to be held accountable with substantial jail time . Obviously there is so much facing the new Administration and they must deal with Covid , vaccines and the economy but we have to acknowledge the white domestic terrorism problem in this country and deal with it
I just want to taut this moment to thank YOU. Your reporting gave me how during some moments that felt hopeless. How many times throughout those 1461 days did it feel like Trump was getting away with murder? And yet there was Judd and Tess, exposing his and his enablers’ corruption all along the way. Thank you and keep going. Popular Information is more important more than ever.
Judd, first of all, thank you for your incredible follow-the-money reporting. The corporations that have vowed not to contribute to the insurrectionist representatives and senators, thanks to your questioning them, really turned the tide. Even Mitch McConnell is singing a different tune today because he doesn't want all those contributions to dry up. Well done!
I also appreciated the reporting you did on restaurant workers and grocery store employees who had no sick leave at their companies during the pandemic and were forced to come to work sick or not get paid. You changed that for so many workers.
Also great to see you getting credit on The News Hour the other night.
I agree with your other commenters about their worries and priorities going forward. May Joe and Kamala stay safe.
Going forward, I'd like to know what corporations/organizations are supporting and donating to the Proud Boys and other white supremacist groups that are advocating violence.
I'd like to know why the USPS is still messed up, with very slow delivery, and what's going on with Louis De Joy.
And please keep up with FaceBook policies and their enforcement.
My hopes for the new administration: First, that it will a return to government of service to the people (rather than for the glorification of one person’s ego), that is competent, reality based, conscientious, and takes care of business rather than just shouting about doing so. Second, that this administration will heal the rips and tears in domestic and international relations that were created and aggravated by the outgoing administration.
Im just happy that its over. What a relief! Thank you for your great work in these four years. It was much appreciated.
Greeting from South Germany!
I just want to say how grateful I am for your work; without a light being shown on who is giving money to whom, our democracy came perilously close to being destroyed. I wish transparency would force people in government to work together. I feel like MCConnell has obstructed the government serving its people because of money.
My biggest fear is that 75% of the Republican Party believe the election was stolen and that the 40% of the country cannot even agree on simple facts
Corporate Boards across the spectrum are not serving the interests of shareholders, employees or customers. They are serving each other, and I am sure it would take little to discover a who’s who of ineptitude and mismanagement. How is it that a failed CEO finds $$$ and salvation on a Corporate Board?
So much corruption happened, so many worm eggs were left by Trump you need to keep your eye on DeJoy and the Postal Service, Oil & Gas leases and ethanol waivers and probably some stuff at the Department of Education and HHS. Let us not forget the “private donors” I mean contractors who built the wall and imprisoned children/family separation. I have to believe things happened in ICE and DHS that have yet to see the light of day and would be shocking even to the most jaded among us. And lastly, like the attorneys who were backing Trump’s challenges to the election but quit, we must keep a spotlight on the soon to be former administration officials (especially the “acting” ones) and where they land. We can’t let them off with essentially the Nuremberg defense.
You’ve done so much to raise public awareness of the large individual and corporate donors to PACs that support Trump and Trumpism. Keep going. We need comprehensive campaign finance reform and I hope your efforts to educate and activate more rank and file voters will help bring about real reform in the way political campaigns are financed in this country. Transparency is vital. No more 501(c)(4) dark money!
Keep up the pressure on both sides. Hold these publicly elected officials responsible for their words and actions. I'm hoping to get back to some level of normalcy. With people in place who care about preventing COVID and I hope Biden gets back to hiring actual experts instead of people who simply flatter him. I don't want to hear from Biden every day and I don't think we will. He will actually focus and care about the job, unlike his narcissistic predecessor who only cared about the stock market numbers and his own polling numbers. I'm so glad that we will be rid of the worst president ever in a few hours. A true coward to the end, continuing to deny that he lost in a landslide and he's too big of a loser to even show his face at the inauguration. True cowardice.
I agree as well, your reporting has been informative and helped drive change.
I want to see the ACA fixed and affordable healthcare for all. Fix USPS, stop gerrymandering districts for good, end the Electoral College, pass voting rights and women’s rights legislation. True limits on all campaign contributions: individual, corporate, PACs and full transparency. Improve education.
My fear is what Trump has brought to the surface and made okay, the hate and violence. I feel less safe in my life now and it is from other Americans, including the police and military. It will take generations to fix but I think today’s youth can. We are due a social revolution like the ‘20s an ‘60s.
Great work, Judd. America needs a thousand like you ❤️
I fear over-expectations. A lot of what the Biden administration is going to be stuck doing is correcting the callous acts of the Trump administration. This will be tedious. Get the pandemic under control, and improve health.
In just under 3 1/2 hours, we will for the very first time (but certainly not the last time) be able to say the words "Madame Vice-President". That is such a great thing for this country!
Judd, I found you mid-2020 and you are one of the first things I read each morning. You and Heather Cox Richardson. I've been able to take action at a local level, because of your reporting on a range of topics, so thanks! My hope? That our congress actually does their job. That we see legislation take place that helps Americans. My concerns/questions? I would like to see data that relates to the "trickle down" economics and it's effectiveness/lack of effectiveness. I would like to see reporting on what progress/if any, is being made on criminal justice reform OR where there are overt plays to prevent it. I'd like to see reporting on healthcare. It's a complicated topic and I think most Americans have only a surface understanding of everything in play against making it truly affordable and effective. Reporting on blatant work being done to prevent solar and wind energy from being accessible. Public Utilities are seen as non partisan and they aren't. It's a long list, Judd :). Hoping you might explore one or two of them! Thanks for asking.
Keep up the good fight. Never forget the insurrectionists that tried to overturn an election. The house members come up for election in 2 years.
Your expertise is reporting hypocrisy some of which may result when a company "keeps its enemies closer" by seeking access to influence those powerful enough to do great harm. Withholding money from those that threaten takes courage - always in short supply. How might the tables be turned? Will sunlight help reduce the political bullying of corporate America? Or is this shadow boxing forever part and parcel of American democracy? Also, I would be interested in how Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton remains in office. He must have powerful supporters or knows where the bodies are buried. Who are they? What are they trying to accomplish? The stock answers are unsatisfying. Or you could ask the same about Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Can you shine any light on how words and deeds are aligned or misaligned there? Just the facts, please. There are similar enigmas elsewhere. Texas has no monopoly on corporate/political hypocrisy. And congratulations on your recent successes. You struck a nerve. Both of us could practice conciseness.
I’m so happy! My biggest fear almost materialized and that was Trump trying to steal the election and installing himself as President. And because of his actions I’m scared of what the GOP has become, both on a national level but also on a local level. Here in blue NJ we have GOP members trying to overturn local elections. This trend is so alarming as it is happening all over the country. So I would really like it if you could continue focusing on corporate dollars to those members of congress that tried to overturn the election, either by making calls (Graham) or by voting against the EC. Because I fear these companies are waiting for us to forget and the GOP is literally banking on us to forget.
Thankful for your work, Judd. - A.G.
I'd love to see PI keep following the money (and calling out donors, advertisers, etc when they're contributing to white supremacist orgs and movements). And also please keep watching facebook. Your work has been so impactful, thank you!
Thank you for your diligent calling-out of those quietly complicit. It has made a difference.
Please just keep your eyes on the corporations that have promised changes in their corporate giving, so that we know they’re actually following through on their commitments and not falling back into old habits in a few months.
First of all, I would like to thank you for the good journalistic work you do, please keep it up. As a Canadian I am mostly interested in seeing this new administration re-establish the close ties that once united us. Being your cousins of the north, and thanks to our close geographic proximity and other similarities, we have had to endure the agony of the last 4 years as if it was our own government putting us through it. As you might have heard before: "when the US sneezes, Canada catches the cold" so to speak... I'm happy for you and for all our American friends being able to enjoy the feeling of hope in the dawn of this new era; the challenges are huge but so is the hope that the new administration brings. Keep well.
I hope President Biden quickly addresses and restores the Post Office. Everyone has been impacted, and the President can achieve a "Quick Win" with all citizens. Thank God, T is gone.
Love your work Judd, keep it up. Let us savor this wonderful day.
Thank you for the incredible work you’ve done! Glad to have found you very early on.
I want some big changes in Congress so that no one person can hold up legislation so easily. I want corporate spending on campaigns to end completely. I want Democrats to show that government can work to make people’s lives better.
Mr. Legum, what do you think the chances are of having the 2010 Citizens United decision repealed, reversed, tossed out the nearest window....?
I want to say a resounding thank you and congratulations on your tireless, insightful work. It is a pleasure to wake up to read Popular Information, and always thrilling to see major publications pick up your writings. I am deeply grateful for your moral compass and clarity through the shitstorm of the past four years.
I have been waiting 4 years for this day! I want Trump to no longer be the News, where all of his outrageousness no longer grabs headlines. Where he is treated like the crazy uncle that he is. I hope he is convicted both by the senate and in court and finally after a lifetime of lies and deceit he is held accountable for his actions.
Thank you Judd for your efforts to bring accountability to Trump and his enablers. For naming names and taking action and strategically identifying how best to discourage others from supporting all the bad actors surrounding Trump.
Now I’m ready to get back to reality, enjoy the inauguration and the mending of our country.
Dear Judd, Thank you for keeping me informed and for inspiring me to stay engaged with my legislators and updated all the corporations they are beholden to. When I read your articles I get pissed off and can't sit idle. In this f'd up time of self distancing, it is more important than ever to hold our legislators accountable! We need to get back to some semblance of normal. Our legislators need to advocate for us! More than anything, we have to fix the catastrophic damage that Trump & his cronies have done. Our nation has went backwards more than 2 decades of legislation that so many people fought so hard for; voting rights, reproductive rights, etc. Perfect example, today House Study Bill 41 in which Iowa legislators will vote on today to advance into the judicial committee. HSB 41 was introduced as a constitutional amendment that creates barriers for abortion access and planned parenthood sevices. We cannot go backwards! I wonder who is in the pockets of Iowa legislators. 🤔 It would be great if you could do a piece on #MedicareForAll. What legislators in their right mind wouldn't want their constituents to have healthcare? Thanks ✌💜😷🙏
Please keep on top of all the nefarious actions of the last four years and alert us as they are being unwound and reversed. I know you will.
Topics-Please teach us how to hold our local govt and local branches of corporations accountable--show us the public info tools (FEC, IRS 990's, state business filings) to expose both taxpayer funding of corp welfare and shadowy influence on officials at the micro-local level.
Thanks for your reporting, I am relatively new, but have really found value in your work. I stole this format from another commenter as I found it useful.
> What are your hopes for the new administration?
To help fight misinformation. To lead the way in disintegrating Trumpism. Provide more opportunity and equality to underprivileged Americans.
> What are your fears?
Trumpism and misinformation are here to stay, and the latter may get worse.
> What topics would you like to see this newsletter cover?
Keep holding government accountable. Help fight fake news, both directly and indirectly with your excellent reporting.
There is hope for the Biden administration only if grassroots organizing builds a crescendo of pressure for fair and effective pandemic relief, wealth and income equity, racial justice, climate solutions and sustainability, peace and military drawdown. We must revive unions and anti-trust action and create a fair immigration policy.
We need to think hard about the relative priorities of substantive measures like pandemic relief checks and minimum wage hike versus structural change like affirming voting rights, checking corporate power, and regulating money in politics and Wall Street greed.
Another thing Judd...exposing the backgrounds on the Supreme Court justices as they make decisions. Decisions that SOOOO affect our lives! I’m not sure how you would do that but we have some decisions that really help corporations along with politicians. Dark money.
Judd, adding my voice to the many who congratulate you for your crucial work. I haven’t seen such sustained results from investigative journalism since Watergate.
The US has only a brief window to prosecute and sideline Trump and his crime cohorts, in order to maintain the country’s Democratic leadership, to result in restoring the US domestically and internationally. This is what I believe is most important right now.
I don't want you to change anything. Just keep on doing the good work of holding people to account. It's wonderful work
“Pause” donations seems like a way to maintain a good image considering that this is not the time on the political clock when they would be making donations anyway! It will be more significant to check back to see what this soul searching actually re$ults in
Judd I just want to thank you for following the money and starting this whole thing! If the GOP is influenced by your work and votes to remove the criminal and prevent him from ever polluting our politics again, you will have changed history!!
Profoundly grateful for the work you do. NZF
Thank you for keeping their feet to the fire.
I thought your efforts to shine the light on PA politicians who worked to overthrow the election at theState level was critical as well. And they should face consequences.
I am looking forward to the renewed involvement in climate change and more jobs in that sector. Why, in FL the sunshine state, doesn’t all new construction have solar power? Why aren’t there jobs and legislation providing retrofitting of older homes to solar? Other than FP&L not letting it happen.
Thank you so much, Judd and Tesnim, for all that you have done, and are continuing to do for America!
To address your question, Judd, I think Biden must accomplish at least two things while at the very least holding off an insurrection, and he must in my opinion accomplish them fast. He's got to quell the pandemic by summer, and he's got to get the economy moving again. That's a pretty vague and abstract way of putting what I think most people know well enough already. Just adding my vote to what seems to be the general expectation and demand for what Biden and his administration must accomplish. If Biden comes through on both of those things by summer, I'm guessing he'll rank somewhere around 75% in the popularity polls.
Again, thank you guys for what you're doing.
Good to see-Yesterday I had success with Kroger who had OathKeepers as one of their charities. I pointed out the head of OK had been arrested by FBI & last night they told me they dropped them0-No more $$$-Starve the GOP beast
Many others have already expressed my views, thank you for your in depth and insightful reporting sir! Please also keep following the accountability aspect of the Trump crime family and their co-conspirators. Thank you 🙏
I want you to focus your attention on those corporations funding both global warming and plastic pollution, its dirty offshoot. You have become very good at this valuable work; don't lose focus or dilute your efforts by spreading them too thin.
1461 days ago began a journey of re-energized engagement in community activism. I have always been engaged. Though I was too young to join MLK’s March on Poverty (maybe I was 9), I was old enough to understand both it’s importance and correctness. I marched on Washington against the Viet Nam war. And marched for many other causes. But since turning 65 I imagined my marching days over. Then 2016 happened. Not only did I march but I organized our buses for 6 marches plus three others I attended in a 4 year time frame. I worked on campaigns and helped my county turn blue for the first time in its 200 year history. So we have some triumphs and that I am grateful.
But I fear the backlash which I already see in my state (PA). Entitled grey haired white men in elected office using their power to control and dictate policies and constitutional amendments to our state’s constitution that directly benefits R’s continued gerrymandered control.
I fear the criminals being released by the orange stain leaving the WH.
I am hopeful that the wealthy corporations will honor their recent pledge to stop funding politicians who have backed and continue to support the false claims regarding the 2020 election outcome.
I’m exhausted. I’m ready to retire. But I know now more then ever this is NO TIME FOR COMPLACENCY!
Sadly, we must stay a constant watchdog mode because as soon as the smoke dies down, they’ll go right back to self-interests & donating.
It is baffling to me how we allow corporate donations to politicians; openly buying the focus of politicians... There is no other way to describe it. They donate, donate & donate to direct & control the focus of politicians, no matter what it costs the country. Trump was horrible from the start & never hid it. Oracle & others were still happy to overlook his horrors on others because he benefited them. I don’t buy their act of stopping now.
It took literal death and mayhem before corporations acted “somewhat” in the interest of the nation, to spare their reputations & avoid brand damage from the public. These pauses in donating from so many companies should be the wake up call to the power & damage of dark money, Corp donations, excessive lobbying, campaign finance issues, etc etc etc! We must challenge the SCOTUS “corporations are people” bs.
Everything is for sale in America, right down to our Democracy. One of my foreign friends made a comment the other day that really hit me when she said “America is not a country, it is a business.” So true.