'Radical animal rights movement' gets new foe

By Michael Beckel

An Iowa-based organization devoted to fighting 'the radical animal rights movement' has formed a super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… in has financially supported Republicans such as 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney and House Speaker John Boehner in the past, he has not made any contributi …"

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… s.” When Restoring Ohio applied for tax-exempt status, it told the Internal Revenue Service that it intended to solicit funds from both individuals and businesse …"

Pulling back the veil on corporate contributions

By Michael Beckel and Erin Quinn

New database pulls back veil on corporate giving to politically active nonprofits and covert ways companies advance their agendas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Supreme Court":

"… c and members of the media alike to track the flow of corporate cash. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010 allowed …"

Shining a light on ALEC's power to shape policy

By Wendell Potter

Conservative group's power has been under-covered.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coca-Cola":

"… rs to as the “Prodigal Son Project” to woo back companies like Amazon, Coca-Cola, GE, Kraft and McDonald’s that have dropped their membership. Another …"

'Dark money' groups give big to similar nonprofits

By Julie Patel

Politically active nonprofits frequently share money with one another while hiding donors, new tax filings show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Americans for Prosperity":

"… American Action Network, $25,000 to the 60 Plus Association and $15,000 to Americans for Prosperity. The Institute, the largest trade association of the oil and natural gas i …"

"… , has more than 500 members including BP America, Chevron and ExxonMobil. Americans for Prosperity, backed by oil moguls David and Charles Koch, provided about $486,000 in g …"

"… d the National Federation of Independent Business, which received $20,000. Americans for Prosperity awarded smaller grants to the American Energy Alliance, which spent hefty …"

"… and promotion and $3 million on travel in 2012. Of its advertising output, Americans for Prosperity paid $55.8 million to a right-leaning, Maryland-based contractor, Mentzer …"

ALEC gets gift from Nuclear Energy Institute

By Michael Beckel

Controversial pro-business think tank received $10,000 from Nuclear Energy Institute last year, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coca-Cola":

"… its activities. Several major corporations — including McDonald’s and Coca-Cola — and dozens of state officials dropped out of ALEC last year after the …"

OPINION: insurers hiding political spending

By Wendell Potter

Insurance firms don't want to say how much they're spending on lobbying and campaigns

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… the $3.09 million Cigna says it spent lobbying lawmakers last year in both Washington and state capitals. And it’s also a fraction of what CIGNA probably spen …"

Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states

By Paul Abowd

Charity acts as screen for conservative foundations that feed network of state-based think tanks, media outlets.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mercatus Center":

"… ended up is a mystery, though some Donors Trust recipients, including the Mercatus Center and the Institute for Humane Studies based at George Mason University in V …"

Koch brothers pour more cash into think tanks, ALEC

By Paul Abowd

Billionaire Koch brothers continue to shower free-market causes with tax-exempt gifts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Koch":

"… p.m.) Four foundations run by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch hold a combined $310 million in assets according to tax filings obtai …"

Nonprofit spends big on politics despite IRS limitation

By Michael Beckel

Questions raised about whether nonprofits like Koch-connected American Future Fund are primarily about politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Koch":

"… osperity, which is backed by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. There are also Democratic-aligned nonprofits, but their spending was wel …"

Arizona still waiting for Fiesta Bowl fixes

By Kathleen Ingley

Fiesta Bowl scandal has brought outrage, but no fixes

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nick Surgey":

"… e’re not saying that legislators can’t go to ALEC conferences,” said Nick Surgey, staff counsel of Common Cause. “We’re saying that the use of corporat …"

ALEC's decades of 'right-to-work' effort pay off in Michigan

By Paul Abowd

Think tank’s 32-year 'right-to-work' campaign succeeds in union stronghold

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… ry, and it marks the revival of an effort long promoted by the influential American Legislative Exchange Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that has seen its share of controversy …"

Drug lobby gave $750,000 to pro-Hatch nonprofit in Utah's U.S. Senate race

By Michael Beckel

IRS records show drug lobby helped Utah senator, others.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… lobby’s donation was revealed on PhRMA’s newly filed Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service, which covers the 2011 calendar year. Since the donation went to a nonprof …"

Daily Disclosure: Mystery group goes after Dems in Senate races

By Rachael Marcus

A conservative nonprofit with mysterious origins goes after Democratic Senate candidates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… ich favor Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., according to the Center for Responsive Politics.In Wisconsin, Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin faces former Gov. Tommy Thomps …"

"… ave the group $2.4 million in 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The group says it is a “legal reform group” that “stands up to gree …"

"… ndidates and committees since 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Rastetter and his company, like the American Future Fund, are based in Io …"

"… s’ Rights gave $11.7 million in 2011, according to Center for Responsive Politics. This group is also a nonprofit, so it is unknown where its money comes fr …"

Nonprofit profile: American Commitment

By Rachael Marcus

Quick stats on the nonprofit group, supporting conservatives

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bill Nelson":

"… he summer in Florida, where it spent $1.1 million opposing Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and in Ohio, where it spent $1.2 …"

Daily Disclosure: Sierra Club pushes wind industry tax credit

By Rachael Marcus

The Sierra Club is going after Republican congressmen who oppose a tax credit for wind energy.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… his year by conservative groups including Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of state representatives and corporations that has drafte …"

ALEC faces new challenge to tax-exempt status

By John Dunbar

A group of clergy is challenging the tax status of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Diego":

"… ”held in luxury hotels, frequently in vacation-worthy destinations like San Diego, New Orleans and Scottsdale.” These include “perks such as meals, recr …"

ALEC anti-union push includes key players from Michigan, Arizona think tanks

By Paul Abowd

Goldwater Institute, Mackinac Center sponsored model bills at Charlotte summit

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nick Surgey":

"… large proportion of the bills are sponsored by these think tanks,” says Nick Surgey, a legal associate at D.C.-based Common Cause, which claims ALEC is actual …"

Wisconsin Gov. Walker’s conservative media appearances pay off as he raises millions from out-of-state donors

By Kate Golden and Amy Karon

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's national conservative media appearances have helped him to raise millions from out-of-state donors

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… ervative think tank in Phoenix with ties to the powerful, corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council.“Tonight, you might say I’m preaching to the choir with a bunch of fel …"

Watchdog 5/10/12


Excerpts from this story referencing "Richard Mourdock":

"… Senator Richard Lugar lost in the Indiana Republican primary on Tuesday to Richard Mourdock, a tea party favorite who enjoyed huge backing from super PACs. According …"

ALEC exempted from lobbyist status in three separate states

By Paul Abowd

Group faces IRS scrutiny, but is already exempt from lobbyist status in South Carolina, Indiana and Colorado.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coca-Cola":

"… ps Common Cause and Color of Change that caused 14 ALEC members, including Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Procter & Gamble,  to drop out of the group. Thirt …"

ALEC scraps task force behind support for voter ID, 'Stand Your Ground' laws nationwide

By Gordon Witkin

Move follows pressure from liberal groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… iples. ALEC receives funding from hundreds of corporate members, including Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, AT&T and Walmart. In addition, two thousand legislators …"

Beer and wine wholesalers behind legislators pushing controversial voter ID laws

By Paul Abowd

Wholesalers among those behind legislators pushing controversial new election rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… principles. It draws funding from hundreds of corporate members including Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, Pfizer, UPS, AT&T, and Walmart. Corporate membership cost …"

NRA pushed 'stand your ground' laws across the nation

By Susan Ferriss

Gun-rights group used endorsements, campaign cash and political pressure to spread laws nationwide.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch Daniels":

"… y lawmakers benefited from NRA support. In Indiana, for instance, GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels, who took office in 2005, received $12,400 in NRA donations between 2004 a …"

State Integrity Investigation highlighted ethics problems plaguing Virginia and its governor

By Laura LaFay

WaPo cites Center investigation in editorial on commonwealth's "swiss cheese" ethics laws.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… 001. Its drafts provided the basis for Virginia’s legal challenge to the Obama administration’s health care reforms, a bill requiring voters to show identification at …"

Drug lobby gave $9.4 million to nonprofits that spent big on 2010 election

By Michael Beckel

Pharmaceutical lobby gave $9.4 million to five different politically active nonprofits in 2010

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Future Fund":

"… nearly half of the funds.The groups were: the American Action Network, the American Future Fund, Americans for Tax Reform, America’s Families First, Inc. and the Citize …"

"… ver Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, which received $75,000, and the American Future Fund, which received $300,000.For its part, the American Future Fund spent near …"

"… 0, and the American Future Fund, which received $300,000.For its part, the American Future Fund spent nearly $9.6 million on ads during the 2010 election, including one a …"

"… nd Zero, as iWatch News previously reported. The New York Times called the American Future Fund the most successful outside spending group during the 2010 midterms.Meanwh …"

Michigan's budget crisis puts democracy on the chopping block

By Paul Abowd

Michigan's emergency manager law grants sweeping powers to unelected officials

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Media and Democracy":

"… ws directly from ALEC’s model laws, hundreds of which were leaked to the Center for Media and Democracy last summer.The model bills have matched up with language found in Arizona …"

Anatomy of an attack ad

By Ben Protess and Lagan Sebert

How Dick Morris Is making seniors feverish about health care reform

Excerpts from this story referencing "Grover Norquist":

"… r conservative nonprofit groups, includingAmericans for Tax Reform, led by Grover Norquist, the longtime anti-tax activist. The League has “no affiliation whatsoev …"

Surrogates for their agenda

By Alexander Cohen

How the drug industry uses non-profits to push its interests

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… who authored the drug advertising report, also works as an advisor for the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative free-market oriented association of state legislators whos …"

A most favored corporation: Enron prevailed in federal, state lobbying efforts 49 times

By M. Asif Ismail

WASHINGTON, January 6, 2003 — Enron Corp., which ran a formidable lobbying machine in Washington and state capitals, gained favorable treatm

Excerpts from this story referencing "New Jersey":

"… Enron, which had lobbied for deregulationin the state, won a pilot project.New JerseyNewJersey passed deregulation legislation in 1999.New YorkNew YorkPublic Se …"

"… that wanted to play a role in the deregulation processes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Other members included the retail divisions of Consolidated …"