Corporations, advocacy groups spend big on ballot measures

By Liz Essley Whyte

Corporations and national advocacy groups are throwing big dollars behind TV ads before voters decide 158 state ballot measures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… on public policies. The two most expensive propositions were in California. Proposition 46 has drawn more than $23 million in ad spending, while Prop …"

"… 0.5 million. Almost all of it has come from two groups:  No on 45 — Californians Against Higher Healthcare Costs and No on 46 — Patients, Providers and …"

"… and insurance companies, including The Doctors Company and Blue Shield of California, fighting to stop measures that would force doctors to undergo drug testin …"

"… Don’t Turn Racetracks Into Casinos. Ranking fourth were two California measures that have been touted as an inseparable duo:  Propositi …"

Critic of artificial sweeteners pilloried by industry-backed scientists

By Chris Young

Any criticism of the artificial sweetener industry is met with a barrage of criticism, often from questionable sources.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… Carolyn de la Pena, a professor of American studies at the University of California at Davis, wrote in her 2010 book “Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artifici …"

How lobbyists helped build John Cornyn’s election war chest

By Michael Beckel

Lobbyists’ role in Senate GOP whip's campaign helped him avoid, in his own words, a “fair fight.”

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Party":

"… ty Caucus, a conservative group that calls itself “the conscience of the Republican Party.” “Cornyn has gotten in well with lobbyists,” he said. “He’s do …"

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 "ExxonMobil":

"… lthcare, ALEC’s corporate membership has included big names ranging from ExxonMobil and Wells Fargo to Johnson & Johnson and Kraft. And it has worked clos …"

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 …"

Coal industry's go-to law firm withheld evidence of black lung, at expense of sick miners

By Chris Hamby

In part 1 of a series, the Center details how a major law firm withheld evidence of black lung, helping defeat miners' claims for benefits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… ons. Four of the board’s five members were appointed under the Reagan or George W. Bush administrations. The administrative court system, originally meant to ben …"

Pro-gun group dramatically ups influence spending

By Dave Levinthal

The nonprofit National Association for Gun Rights spent $3 million lobbying last quarter, far more than the better-known NRA.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… ), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association ($4.7 million), Koch Industries ($3.2 million), FedEx Corp. ($3.1 million), Microsoft ($3 million), Wal-Ma …"

Charitable 'matches' used to entice PAC giving

By Michael Beckel

Charitable 'matches' one way Coca-Cola, other companies incentivize employee PAC contributions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coca-Cola":

"… yees’ donations with contributions to charities of their choosing. Take Coca-Cola Co., for instance. Employees who donate to the company's PAC can designate …"

"… rganizations to receive a gift equal to their PAC contributions. In 2012, Coca-Cola gave $217,000 to charities in the name of employees who contributed to its …"

"… 000). At a national conference for PAC professionals earlier this year, a Coca-Cola official even evangelized such programs to "improve your fundraising numbe …"

"… ial even evangelized such programs to "improve your fundraising numbers." Coca-Cola spokeswoman Amanda Rosseter told the Center for Public Integrity that the …"

Corporations, pro-business nonprofits foot bill for judicial seminars

By Chris Young, Reity O'Brien and Andrea Fuller

Corporations and conservative foundations are top sponsors of judicial junkets.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokesman":

"… t popular George Mason conference, drawing at least 10 federal judges. BP spokesman Scott Dean says the company has no record of ever directly contributing to …"

Rockstar Energy Drink targets beverage laws

By Dave Levinthal

Energy drink maker hires sizable government affairs team to influence beverage laws.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coca-Cola":

"… is is, perhaps, no better illustrated than in 2009, when companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, and their affiliated trade groups, spent exponentially more t …"

Fiscal cliff, elections boost spending on lobbying

By Dave Levinthal

Year-end reports show outlays on influence by most active groups went up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… ns led by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I). Pro-gun advocates have historically and exponentially outspent gun co …"

Bank of America, unions among newly named inauguration sponsors

By Dave Levinthal

Sponsors of Obama's second inaugural have spent nearly $283 million on lobbying since 2009.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… deral Election Commission until 90 days after Monday’s inauguration. …"

"… eral lobbying since 2009, while Coca-Cola has spent nearly $25 million and Bank of America more than $12.8 million, federal disclosures show. The Forest County Pota …"

Corporate cash helps fuel Democratic convention despite pledges

By Michael Beckel

Democrats kick off their convention in Charlotte Tuesday with plenty of corporate support despite grass roots pledge.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Time Warner Cable":

"… at the Charlotte convention: AT&T Inc., Bank of America, Duke Energy, Time Warner Cable, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, UnitedHealth Group, Piedmont Natural Gas, US Airw …"

Bailed-out banks, Freddie Mac, AIG gave $6 million to 2008 conventions

By John Dunbar and Michael Beckel

Corporate donors to 2008 party conventions included financial institutions bailed out by government.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… oldman Sachs and Citigroup; $150,000 from Morgan Stanley and $100,000 from Bank of America.Most of the banks and other institutions that made contributions to the co …"

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 "member and Republican Speaker":

"… s, and the National Conference of State Legislatures, as well as ALEC.ALEC member and Republican Speaker of the House Mike Murphy co-sponsored a 2010 Indiana ethics bill with Mino …"

Donor profile: Jerry Perenchio

By Rachael Marcus

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jerry Perenchio Living Trust":

"… blicans than Democrats. Much of Perenchio’s giving has been through the Jerry Perenchio Living Trust. Living trusts are established so that after one’s death, survivors don …"

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 "Coca-Cola":

"… aving an effect, as brand-name firms began dropping their ALEC membership. Coca-Cola quit on April 4 and Pepsi, Kraft Foods, Intuit and McDonalds soon followed …"

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 "Brennan Center":

"… o possess government-issued identification.A 2006 survey conducted for the Brennan Center for Democracy found that 25 percent of African Americans and 16 percent of …"

"… ws, together with restrictions on voter registration and early voting, the Brennan Center says, could affect 5 million Americans in 2012. Since December, the Justic …"

Brominated battle: Soda chemical has cloudy health history

By Brett Israel

Experts now urge a closer look at a chemical, banned in other countries, now popping up in U.S. sodas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Squirt":

"… n soda imports.Flame retardant soda?The next time you grab a Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerad …"

"… nment regulations."Chris Barnes of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, makers of Squirt and other drinks that contain BVO, echoed that response."All ingredients i …"

"… eloped ulcers on his swollen hands after drinking eight liters of Red Rudy Squirt every day for several months. The man was diagnosed with bromoderma, a rar …"

Wealthy corporations with a trillion dollars stashed offshore lobby for a 'holiday' from U.S. taxes

By John Aloysius Farrell and Aaron Mehta

Wealthy corporations are lobbying for a tax holiday for a trillion dollars stashed offshore

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kay Hagan":

"… gn Earnings Reinvestment Act, for example, is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona. It would red …"

Commentary: Supreme Court ruling may help spur the buying of American politicians

By Bill Buzenberg and Josh Israel

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today opens a floodgate — making the buying of elections even easier. In the Citizens United v. Federal Elec

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coca-Cola":

"… elections. Get ready for U.S. Senate candidates brought to you directly by Coca-Cola or Bank of America.Fourteen years ago, the Center for Public Integrity fir …"

How nonprofits won special treatment in student lending bill

By Sasha Chavkin, Ryan Tracy and Mar Cabra

Some nonprofits on the verge of getting government protection, even after acts of misconduct

Excerpts from this story referencing "senior vice president":

"… ducation and labor programs at the House Budget Committee. The council’s senior vice president, Vince Sampson, worked in the Education Department’s Office of Postsecon …"

Governor v. lt. governor: The ethics match-up

By Sarah Laskow

From the highest echelons of public office in Maryland and Virginia to offices less than two blocks apart, the Democratic and Republican Nat

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coca-Cola":

"… Myers, as well as more than $50,000 in stock in Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and Coca-Cola. Perhaps the pharmaceutical and oil industries will get a more welcome rec …"

A gateway to Brazil

By Kevin Bogardus

Telecom firm linked to Jefferson bribe probe helped pay for his, others' travel

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coca-Cola":

"… l. The other four listed a number of sponsors, including iGate, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturer …"

"… tors; GlaxoSmithKline; Port of New Orleans; iGate Technologies; Odebrecht; Coca-Cola; Congressional Black Caucus FoundationApril 11 to April 17, 2004Rep. Willi …"

China steps up its lobbying game

By Marina Walker Guevara

The Chinese government is hiring the best of the best to advance its agenda

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chicago":

"… C does not have a Washington office, but it maintains bureaus in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. Its U.S. lobbying activities are coordinated throu …"

"… s for the past several years.Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. ($888,187.95) Chicago-based Sidley Austin is one of the largest law firms in the country and has …"

Grand Old Parties: Special interests shower Republicans with perks and parties in the Big Apple

By Meredith O'Brien

Cowboy boots and rock stars. Tuxedos and champagne. Batting practice in a Major League Baseball stadium and coveted tickets to the U.S. Open

Excerpts from this story referencing "Hawaii":

"… n opening night.” ($25-101)California, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Utah and Hawaii delegationsNYC Host Committee, NYC & Co., New York TimesAida, Palace T …"

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 "Coca-Cola":

"… obil, Exxon, Enron, Bank of America, the Gap, Texaco, Amoco, Citicorp, and Coca-Cola were members.Alliance for Capital AccessThe Alliance represented about 50 …"