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Corporations Push to Influence Redistricting

 Push to Influence 
pro publica investigation

Corporations Push to Influence Redistricting

As do other special interests

(Newser) - “Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting” may sound like a pretty innocuous, non-partisan group. But its leadership is almost identical to the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, a group tied to Koch Industries, a ProPublica investigation discovered. The Freedom Foundation’s head, Annette Meeks, claims she has “no involvement” with...

Thousands Ditch Congress for Lobbying Firms: Study

Study says almost 5,400 have jumped ship in past decade

(Newser) - There’s a veritable car pool lane connecting Capitol Hill to K Street, according to a new study, which found that almost 5,400 ex-congressional staffers and nearly 400 former lawmakers have taken jobs with lobbying firms over the past decade. The road goes in the opposite direction as well,...

Ethanol Group Paid Gingrich $300K

Former House speaker was lobbying coalition's highest-paid consultant

(Newser) - Newt Gingrich earned more than $300,000 acting as a consultant to a coalition of ethanol lobbying groups in 2009, according to IRS records. The possible GOP 2012 candidate—who declared "I am not a lobbyist for ethanol" during a spat with Wall Street Journal editors over his support...

GE 2010 Profits: $14.2B GE Tax Bill: $0

In fact, it earned a tax benefit of $3.2B

(Newser) - General Electric is America’s biggest firm, but it’s not paying a dime in US taxes this year—instead, it has claimed a $3.2 billion tax benefit, the New York Times reports. Though it made a $14.2 billion profit in 2010, $5.1 billion of which was...

'Tea Party Patriots' Starting to Look Like Lobbyists

Tea Partiers start to criticize major group

(Newser) - The Tea Party Patriots may have started out as a grass roots group, but a growing number of critics say the group is starting to look a lot more like a standard-issue Beltway lobbying outfit, according to an investigation from liberal site Mother Jones . The group has accepted large donations...

Google Way Outspends Rivals in Lobbying

Company spent $5.16 million, a 29% increase in 2010

(Newser) - Google spent more on lobbying last year than Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo combined, dropping a total of $5.16 million—or 29% more than the year before, according to its Lobbying Disclosure Act Database filing. The jump is pretty understandable, given that net neutrality and online privacy were major issues,...

Issa to Big Biz: What Can I Do for You?

Eric Cantor says removing rules a major part of GOP agenda

(Newser) - Darrell Issa saved lobbyists some time last month: he went to them. The incoming chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent more than 150 letters to various industry groups and businesses, asking what regulations they think inhibit job growth, Politico reports. Democrats bemoaned the move, but Eric Cantor...

'Salesman' Diplomats Pitch Perks for Boeing Deals
'Salesman' Diplomats Pitch
Perks for Boeing Deals


'Salesman' Diplomats Pitch Perks for Boeing Deals

Politics a big part of billion-dollar global airline deals

(Newser) - Turkey wants its astronaut to fly with NASA. The king of Saudi Arabia wants his plane to have all the same high-tech amenities as Air Force One. Bangladesh wants landing rights to resume at Kennedy International Airport. All are apparently up for grabs as perks if the nations sign contracts...

New Marijuana Lobby Group Hits Washington

We'll be the 'go-to' association, boasts director

(Newser) - Heavy, man. No more hippie-dippie peace-and-love arguments to legalize pot: marijuana supporters have launched a professional lobby organization in DC to press their case. The National Cannabis Industry Association will be the "go-to organization in Washington" for this fight, said director Aaron Smith, who has worked for 5 years...

Scanner Firms Doubled Lobby Spending Over 5 Years

High-profile former officials ended up on scanner firms' payrolls

(Newser) - A revealing USA Today scan of government records finds that companies who won the contracts to supply the TSA with its controversial full-body scanners have more than doubled their spending on lobbyists over the last 5 years. The firms have also hired some high-profile former government officials to advance their...

US No Longer One of 20 Least Corrupt Nations

Falls to new low in global corruption rankings

(Newser) - For the first time ever, the US has fallen out of the top 20 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, thanks to financial scandals and the growing influence of money in our politics, Reuters reports. The US is now seen as the 22nd-least-corrupt country in the world, down from...

Big Biz Pays Chamber of Commerce to Fight Its Battles

Handful of anonymous corporate donors account for bulk of funding

(Newser) - The foreign money that's been funneling into the Chamber of Commerce looks like small potatoes in light of a new analysis from the New York Times that found nearly half of the Chamber's $140 million in 2008 contributions came from 45 anonymous corporate donors who step up the spending when...

Major Christian Group Took $50K From Terror Backer

Nat'l Prayer Breakfast sponsor implicated

(Newser) - The foundation that sponsors the National Prayer Breakfast received thousands of dollars from the Islamic American Relief Agency, a Missouri-based organization with terrorist ties, the Washington Post reports. The Senate Finance Committee considers the agency a terrorist financier, and a few months after the federal government shut it down in...

Goldman Sachs Boosts Lobbying Costs 40%

Banks want to shape finance reform

(Newser) - Goldman Sachs is spending more and more in Washington—The bank upped its lobbying spending by nearly 40% in the second quarter and has already spent almost as much in the first half of this year as it did in all of 2009, notes the Huffington Post . The company...

Republicans Scolded for Partying With Lady Lobbyists

Boehner tells off Hunter, Graves, Terry, others

(Newser) - John Boehner has warned several Republican congressmen to stop flirting, dining, partying, and otherwise hanging out with female lobbyists. Boehner told the reps to “knock it off,” sources tell the New York Post , which dutifully tracked down the perpetrators. It caught Lee Terry, for example, chatting up an...

BP, Transocean Hire Swarm of Lobbyists

...who swear they're just 'trying to give information to people'

(Newser) - The oil gushing into the Gulf has been black gold for one someone: the lobbyist. BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and many, many other small and large industry players affected by the spill have hired a bevy of lobbyists from both sides of the aisle, reports the Washington Post , which offers an...

Hedge Funds Get 'Sweet Deal' in Finance Bill

Thanks to an army of lobbyists, they've dodged reforms

(Newser) - While Wall Street banks are being hauled before Congress for public reprimand, hedge funds and private equity firms have floated blissfully above the fray, thanks to an army of well-connected lobbyists. More than half of the 83 new lobbyists who signed up with the industry's two main trade groups last...

Colleges Protest US News Ranking Survey
 Colleges Protest US News 
 Ranking Survey 
Lobbying Blitz 'sordid'

Colleges Protest US News Ranking Survey

Glossy lobbying campaign called unseemly waste

(Newser) - Each spring, US News & World Report asks college presidents to rank the reputations of other colleges—and a dozen or more presidents protest the surveys, refusing to fill them out and encouraging others to do the same. The focus this year is not only on the survey itself, a...

Looking to Settle, Goldman Launches Lobbying Blitz

Firm steps up effort to woo lawmakers, repair battered image

(Newser) - Goldman Sachs' lobbying efforts have gone from cavalier to frenzied as it faces what could be the worst crisis in its history. The firm has assembled a high-powered team of Washington insiders to do battle, even as the New York Post reports that, in wake of the beating Goldman took...

Democrats Defy Wall Street, GOP on Bank Reform

Banks trying mightily to kill restrictions on derivatives

(Newser) - Democrats defied Wall Street lobbyists’ push to kill new reforms on derivative trading yesterday, and got an earful from Republicans for their troubles. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley have been leaning heavily on Blanche Lincoln’s Agriculture Committee to scrap a plan to force derivatives—which, incidentally, played a...

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