Lobbying disclosures leave public in the dark

By Marcelo Rochabrun and Dave Levinthal

Despite efforts to beef up laws regulating lobbyists, public is in the dark when it comes to what firms are up to in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… efforts has also slipped each year since 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The drop, some have theorized, may be due to more lobbyists terminating …"

Retailers band together to fight health reform law

By Erin Quinn

Companies, trade groups band together to lobby on issues of common interest.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Berkshire Hathaway":

"… of which are Fortune 500 companies. They include American Financial Group, Berkshire Hathaway, Chubb, Hartford Financial Services Group, Liberty Mutual Group, W. R. Ber …"

Banks seek to sway critical GAO report

By Alison Fitzgerald

Big banks say new regulation is unnecessary thanks to Dodd Frank reforms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… tant report by the government’s internal watchdog that may determine how banks are regulated in the future. The Government Accountability Office was as …"

"… y Office was asked by Congress to determine whether the nation’s largest banks are able to borrow money at lower rates than smaller institutions because …"

"… y, the second of two related reports, is due out later this year. The big banks and their lobbyists have been building an arsenal of reports and academic …"

"… nstitutions and that there is no need for further regulation. But the big banks will have a rough time arguing that they receive no market subsidy. Majo …"

New credit union cop tight with industry

By Daniel Wagner

Newest credit union overseer owes political career to industry he regulates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "teacher":

"… member of the credit union and an aficionado of old cars. He worked as a teacher, then an investigative reporter, before a visit to Salem on behalf of his …"

Obama taps Goldman Sachs executive as ambassador to Canada

By Michael Beckel

Goldman Sachs executive is 20th campaign bundler nominated for an ambassadorship by Obama this year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "ambassadors":

"… use: During his second term, Obama has now tapped 20 campaign bundlers for ambassadorships. Together, these moneymen and women raised at least $13.8 million — …"

"… government groups, even as Obama’s overall rate of appointing non-career ambassadors has remained in-line with those of previous administrations — about one …"

"… time to end the spoils system and the de facto ‘three-year rental’ of ambassadorships,” extolls the American Foreign Service Association website. “The a …"

"… y people,” Nixon said. “Big contributors in many instances make better ambassadors, particularly where American economic interests are involved.” At the t …"

Graham's campaign collects bundle from lobbyists

By Michael Beckel

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., collected 10 percent of campaign cash from lobbyists.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Senatorial Committee":

"… ee times more cash from lobbyist-bundlers ($2.8 million) than the National Republican Senatorial Committee ($1 million). Additionally, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committ …"

Non-political nonprofit's spending spikes in election years

By Dave Levinthal

Law says groups like Americans for Job Security cannot make politics its primary purpose.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Party":

"… for Job Security’s president is Stephen DeMaura, a former New Hampshire Republican Party executive director. He declined to answer questions about Americans for Jo …"

Pro-environment group gave grant to conservative nonprofit

By Michael Beckel

Why would a pro-environment group give $125,000 to a pro-energy, anti-regulatory nonprofit?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Fred Malek":

"… e American Enterprise Institute. Its board includes former Nixon operative Fred Malek, former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, former GOP Gov. Tom Ridge of P …"

Campaign finance reformers gain new ally

By Michael Beckel

Moderate ex-senator Byron Dorgan joins ranks of campaign finance reforms endorsing public financinig.

Excerpts from this story referencing "DISCLOSE Act":

"… he highest bidder.”In the op-ed, Dorgan advocated for the passage of the DISCLOSE Act, legislation that he twice supported against GOP filibusters in the Senate …"

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 "UPS":

"… This year, companies ranging from Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo to Xerox and UPS are working to ensure that they have a presence at both conventions.“The …"

Top defense oversight staffer received $1.6 million payout from Lockheed Martin

By Zach Toombs

Staffer for the Senate Armed Services committee is a veteran lobbyist for the defense industry.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Northrop Grumman":

"… helping oversee federal contracts with a former employer. Last year, when Northrop Grumman lobbyist Thomas MacKenzie joined the House Armed Services Committee, he he …"

Big business prefers GOP over Democratic super PACs

By Michael Beckel

Corporations have made big contributions to super PACs with conservative groups the biggest benefactors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pennsylvania":

"… overturn if elected to the White House in November.During the same period, Pennsylvania-based CONSOL Energy spent nearly $1.8 million on state, federal and grassr …"

Vote set for quixotic bill that would reveal attack ad funders

By Rachael Marcus and Michael Beckel

The Senate is scheduled to consider a bill Monday that would require secretive groups that fund political ads to reveal their donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… of the legislation.David Keating, president of the Center for Competitive Politics said the sponsors dropped all of the “outrageous disclaimer requirements …"

Violating the public trust?

By Maggie Mulvihill and Julia Waterhous

A five-year look at Massachusetts public servants charged with crimes and ethics violations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "West Bridgewater High School":

"… e patients at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Bedford, where he worked, a West Bridgewater High School teacher and coach who portrayed himself online as a mom who would pimp out …"

Charities supporting AT&T’s buyout of T-Mobile have financial incentive

By Jason McLure

Charities that received big dollars from AT&T supporting phone giant's buyout of T-Mobile

Excerpts from this story referencing "Craig Holman":

"… member.“This is taking influence peddling to a whole new level,” says Craig Holman, a lobbyist with Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. “It’s sort …"

Health reform lobbyist mistakenly errs on side of transparency

By Joe Eaton

If numbers are to be trusted, longtime advertising lobbyist Jim Davidson of Polsinelli Shughart is the top dog of the 2009 health care refor

Excerpts from this story referencing "Craig Holman":

"… less paperwork,” Davidson said.The arrangement is common and legal, said Craig Holman of the Washington watchdog group Public Citizen. Lobby firms often set up …"

The Abstinence Lobby’s Lone Wolf

By Joe Eaton

Most rich people hoping to influence federal policy are content to write checks to fund political campaigns or shuffle cash to advocacy grou

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… s year, Rogers donated $1,500 to Hatch, according to Center for Responsive Politics data. Wood and Lukawski each donated $500 to Hatch on the same day in May. …"

Thousands of free trips taken by Pentagon staff

By M.B. Pell and Aaron Mehta

DOD personnel took $26 million in travel from industry, foreign governments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… from the Washington suburbs? Mr. Millies worked for the Pentagon as deputy director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which runs th …"

"… Dennis Blair, then commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, and now director of national intelligence, took a $3,600 trip to China paid for by the Peop …"

"… company VISA paid nearly $35,000 for the travel of a financial officer and directors of DOD’s human resource data agency. Exxon Mobil Corporation spent more …"

A vacation from the rules

By Anupama Narayanswamy

Some disclosure filings sketchy on details, tardy despite ethics oversight

Excerpts from this story referencing "OMB Watch":

"… completed," Gary Bass, executive director of the government watchdog group OMB Watch, said of such imprecise disclosure.Shaw's filing for an October 2003 visit …"

"… o determine whether a given traveler is in violation of the rules.Bass, of OMB Watch, advocates that all privately sponsored travel be noted on members' Web si …"

Unregistered advocates?

By Anupama Narayanswamy and Alex Knott

Influential groups sponsoring $20 million in travel not registered to lobby

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lobbying":

"… ng any member of Congress and nearly all paid congressional staff)The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 states that an organization must register to l …"

"… Affairs was headed by a former Mercatus advisory board member, John Graham.Lobbying rules stipulate that groups have to register after spending more than $24, …"

"… register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), rather than the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). A FARA violation is a criminal offense rather than a …"

Privately sponsored trips hot tickets on Capitol Hill

By Jim Morris

Study finds almost $50 million spent on travel for lawmakers, aides

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rwanda":

"… rt to effect change in some of the harshest areas of the world," including Rwanda, Sudan and Colombia."It's clearly beneficial for these interest groups to …"

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

By Sam Stein

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2006 — When Representative John Boehner, R-Ohio, was elected House majority leader on February 2, he presented himself

Excerpts from this story referencing "Majority Leader":

"… nly one factor in the congressman’s success.“The most common thread in Majority Leader [Boehner’s life], professionally and personally, is the commitment to th …"