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 "PepsiCo":

"… on Low-Calorie Sweeteners, whose members include Ajinomoto, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. His wife, who is the diet and nutrition editor for the NBC Today show, is …"

"… the board  includes officials from soda companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, as well as artificial sweetener manufacturers like Ajinomoto and Merisant …"

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 "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 …"

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 "Virginia":

"… ion’s largest companies and nonprofits,newly released records show. The Virginia-based National Association for Gun Rights spent more than $3 million from …"

"… self spent a near-record $840,000 during the year’s second quarter. The Virginia group is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit. It did not lobby prior to this year and do …"

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 "American Express":

"… companies offer similar PAC match programs — aerospace giant Boeing and American Express are among them — Coca-Cola rival PepsiCo. Inc. does not, said Phil Swink …"

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 "Virginia":

"… in the United States. Two schools — George Mason University, located in Virginia just outside Washington, D.C., and Northwestern University based in Evanst …"

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 "Captain":

"… liquor brands as Guinness, Jose Cuervo, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan. The beverage industry — both makers of alcoholic and non-alcoho …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… nter for Public Integrity analysis of congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data indicates. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s year-over-year lobbying …"

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 "Coca-Cola":

"… mmission until 90 days after Monday’s inauguration. …"

"… edEx has spent more than $64 million on federal lobbying since 2009, while Coca-Cola has spent nearly $25 million and Bank of America more than $12.8 million, …"

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 "North Carolina":

"… despite their displeasure with the selection of "right-to-work" state North Carolina as host of the convention.Among them:Service Employees International …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… th party conventions, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of Federal Election Commission filings — $3.4 million to Republicans and $2.6 million to DemocratsThe t …"

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 "analyst":

"… ember, making the group “as bipartisan as possible,” says Jon Kuhl, an analyst for NCSL. “Our president rotates every year between the parties.”NCSL …"

Donor profile: Jerry Perenchio

By Rachael Marcus

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Venezuela":

"… 85 for $485 million. Perenchio took that money in 1992 and teamed up with Venezuela’s Venevision and Mexico’s Televisa to buy several Spanish language sta …"

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 "Florida":

"… r Ground’ laws that have been in the news since the February shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin and for its backing of voter ID laws requiring voters …"

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 "Dan Knodl":

"… d with heavy sponsorship from ALEC members in 2011, including that of Rep. Dan Knodl, who has received $1,500 since 2007 from the beer wholesalers association. …"

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 "toxicologist":

"… cts that would have been missed by prior methods," said Charles Vorhees, a toxicologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, who studied BVO's neur …"

"… uctive changes that weren't imagined in the 1970s and early 1980s."I am no toxicologist, but I think that the toxic evaluation of chemicals has been improved sinc …"

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 "Senate committee":

"… ting corporations, while hiring stagnated or declined,” according to the Senate committee’s study of 15 leading firms that profited from the tax break. Drug giant …"

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 "Charles Lewis":

"… ess, and disproportionate influence that the cash provided. Center founder Charles Lewis wrote at the time that the presidential campaign in the United States had …"

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 "Coca-Cola":

"… ssociates, which also represents corporations such as AT&T, Boeing and Coca-Cola, records show. Between payments to BKSH and its own lobbying expenses, EFC …"

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 "Ted Turner":

"… hor John Grisham, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, and media magnate Ted Turner. He also took $2,500 in airfare from BET co-founder Sheila Johnson for his …"

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 "Louisville":

"… than $400,000 in payments from Vernon Jackson, chief executive officer of Louisville, Ky.-based iGate Inc., has yet to publicly comment on the Brazil trip."It …"

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 "Department of Justice":

"… analysis of foreign agent lobbying disclosure records filed with the U.S. Department of Justice. A small amount of that total accounts for lobbying efforts by private com …"

"… on June 30. Spiegel denied calling Moran and said that the filing with the Department of Justice, which says that the ambassador called James Moran on June 23 and carries …"

"… the contact. As of Sept. 6, Akin Gump had not filed an amendment with the Department of Justice correcting what Spiegel said was an error.Moran said that he did meet with …"

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 "Trent Lott":

"… he invitees, alongside Arizona Senator John McCain and Mississippi Senator Trent Lott.But party-goers and hosts should beware: The New York Temporary State Comm …"

"… nGOP Lobbyist John Green with the Federalist Group, former aide to Senator Trent Lott (Miss.)B.B. King’s NightclubAfter-hours parties featuring ZZ Top, the Ma …"

"… erg 7, along with actors Rob Morrow, Joe Pantoliano, Joe Piscopo, Senators Trent Lott (Miss.) and John McCain (Ariz.) and Representative Mary Bono (Calif.)The C …"

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 "Indiana":

"… ronlobbied for the NAFTA highway, which would extend the existingCanada-to-Indiana artery all the way to Texas and Mexico. Congressauthorized the project in …"