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Haters, Liars & Theives

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All statements involving Donald Trump. Donald Trump's file. Players Guide 2016. Every election cycle, we compile an ever-evolving set of stories about the groups seeking to influence the federal elections.

Players Guide 2016

Today, we are debuting our Players Guide 2016. Each story includes information about the political leanings of the group — what party, candidate or issues it supports or opposes — as well as information about the group’s leaders, its fundraising efforts and goals, and how it has spent its money so far. Each report will also describe how the group is registered with the federal government — for example, whether it is a super PAC or another type of advocacy group — and we’ll explain the contribution limits (if any) and donor disclosure requirements for each, as well as other legal restrictions, such as the prohibition against super PACs coordinating with a political campaign.

This year, of course, many of the groups in our guide are advocating on behalf of various presidential candidates. 4 factchecking sites that’re the real deal. Folks, I just want news I can trust.

4 factchecking sites that’re the real deal

As I've been saying, the press should be the immune system of democracy, and needs to fulfill that role again. With the Internet, everyone can be their own journalist now. It's become increasingly difficult to find news that comes from a trustworthy press. Factchecking efforts only have value, it's felt, if: Misinformation is corrected, in a way that doesn't reinforce the lie.Any involved news outlets are encouraged to avoid promoting misinformation.Regular people, the broad citizenry, have the means to easily help media correct misinformation and encourage news outlets to restore factchecking. My team and I compiled a list of 4 factchecking sites that are the real deal (in no particular order, and please note that none are perfect, and sometimes their calls are called into question):

Flackcheck.org. Tea Party Patriots Investigated: "They Use You and Abuse You" Manny Crisostomo/Zuma Two years ago, Tea Party Patriots got its start as a scrappy, ground-up conservative organization.

Tea Party Patriots Investigated: "They Use You and Abuse You"

Its rowdy activists demanded more transparency and less business-as-usual in the nation's capital, and they worked hard to elect candidates who they believed wouldn't succumb to the ways of Washington. But it didn't take long for the grassroots tea party organization to embrace the DC establishment—and some of its more questionable practices. Tea Party Patriots Investigated: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Pete Marovich/Zuma The nation's largest tea party group, Tea Party Patriots, made a name for itself through raucous protests demanding more government transparency and fiscal responsibility.

Tea Party Patriots Investigated: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

But the high standards of transparency and financial restraint that TPP's leaders expect from the Obama administration don't seem to apply to their own organization, a Mother Jones investigation has found. TPP leaders have used dodgy accounting tricks to avoid publicly disclosing financial information. They've refused to share this information with the group's members.

Tea partiers who've tried to pierce the veil of secrecy have found themselves threatened with lawsuits or shut out of the organization entirely. TPP has proven highly adept at raising money, and it has hired a team of high-priced PR consultants and GOP-connected direct-mail and telemarketing firms to give the group even more fundraising firepower.

TPP claims it is a 501(c)(4) entity. Tea Party Patriots Investigated: The Tax-Dodging Treasurer. Pete Marovich/Zumapress.com The finances of the nation's largest tea party group have increasingly become a subject of concern—and outrage—to conservative activists.

Tea Party Patriots Investigated: The Tax-Dodging Treasurer

Some question whether donations to the organization, Tea Party Patriots, have gone to advance the movement, or just the careers and jet-setting lifestyles of its leaders. What they don't know is that the group has had a man with an unusual background managing its money: He was sanctioned by the IRS several years ago for failing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes related to a failed business that pushed him into bankruptcy. He also happens to be married to one of the group's leaders. For a group that has demanded financial accountability and transparency from the Obama administration, Tea Party Patriots (TPP) has not embraced those principles in its own business affairs. Ex-TPP insiders familiar with Martin's role at TPP say having him handle the group's bills poses a conflict of interest. Mojo - April 2011. A pair of Democratic strategists have launched what they're billing as the left's answer to the flood of outside spending by Karl Rove's Crossroads groups and the Koch brothers' money machine.

Mojo - April 2011

The group Priorities USA, run by former White House aides Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, opened for business today, as did as the outfit's affiliated political action committee, Priorities USA Action. Sweeney described the groups in a statement as "an effort to level the playing field. Americans deserve an honest debate about job creation, the economy, national security, and education. That debate will never happen if only right wing extremists are engaged on the battlefield. " Burton and Sweeney join Media Matters founder David Brock and his team at American Bridge 21st Century, another liberal independent expenditure group, in building up the left's firepower in the outside spending wars.