Ex-senators Breaux and Lott confirm lobbying for Russian bank on Ukraine sanctions

By Alexander Cohen

A new filing says two former senators were part of a team that earned $150,000 for roughly a month of work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Russia":

"… er Sens. Trent Lott and John Breaux were part of a team paid $150,000 by a Russian bank to lobby on U.S. sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, according to a n …"

"… ington, D.C., were retained over the summer by a banking subsidiary of the Russian oil giant Gazprombank and lobbied the Senate and the Department of State …"

"… e no longer expected to act as a lobbyist” for the bank. Gazprombank is Russia’s third largest bank. On July 16 — a month and a half before Brea …"

"… ing — the U.S. Treasury Department added the bank to a list of Russian firms barred from debt financing with U.S. institutions. Lott and Breaux …"

Center for Public Integrity hires Carrie Levine as federal politics reporter

By The Center for Public Integrity

Carrie Levine — former Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington research director — to investigate money in politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "research director":

"… our years before joining the Center for Public Integrity, Levine worked as research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, where she managed …"

McAuliffe names panel to reform Virginia’s ethics laws

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Governor cites Center’s State Integrity Investigation in announcing new initiative.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Global Integrity":

"… ility and transparency in state government released in 2012 by the Center, Global Integrity and Public Radio International. The commission will address a number of is …"

Russian bank hires two former U.S. senators

By Alexander Cohen

U.S. sanctions against Russia are becoming a boon for Washington's lobbyists.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… r Putin, was similarly targeted for sanctions by the United States. …"

"… eted for sanctions by the United States. …"

"… ns, according to a new disclosure filed with the Senate. Gazprombank is controlled by Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom, the countr …"

"… ator John Breaux, D-La., are listed as the main lobbyists under the Gazprombank account for the firm Squire Patton Boggs, lobbying on “banking laws and …"

How much money can a lobbyist make?

By Dave Levinthal and Marcelo Rochabrun

Hourly pay of four figures is possible at one D.C. firm, court filings show.

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 "Barack Obama":

"… minating their registrations rather than doing less influencing. President Barack Obama’s executive actions against the profession may have prompted lobbyists t …"

Russian gas company hires D.C. lobbyists

By Alexander Cohen

D.C. firm will fight U.S. sanctions

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… icy battles, for their prolific output.    That’s because the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($28.8 million during second-quarter 2014 compared to $19.1 million during …"

Lobbyists boost Senate Democrats

By Michael Beckel

Democrats have outraised their GOP counterparts in terms of money coming from lobbyists doubling as fundraisers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee":

"… cal candidate or group received more money from lobbyist-bundlers than the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which raised nearly $2.6 million from them despite regularly criticizing …"

Chemical industry among big spenders on lobbying this quarter

By Dave Levinthal

New numbers indicate it's still good to be a lobbyist in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chairman":

"… nda DeBard said, is because of an aggressive effort by Business Roundtable Chairman Randall Stephenson to promote “top policy issues” that include “tax …"

Virginia's move toward ethics reform leaves many unimpressed

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Legislators pass modest changes, but critics abound.

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 "Lobbying":

"… most companies haven’t embraced such additional transparency practices. Lobbying reports filed with Congress provide a bit more information on the group’ …"

Netflix stacking deck on Capitol Hill

By Dave Levinthal

'House of Cards' distributor is accelerating its own political efforts in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barbara Boxer":

"… politicos including President Barack Obama; Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; and former Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. Hastings also contribu …"

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 "Lobbying":

"… the big banks can take on and how much bigger they’ll be able to grow. Lobbying the GAO is somewhat unusual, and it wasn’t something that the Congress c …"

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. Chamber of Commerce":

"… 2012. That means if you are interested in trade associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers or the Business Roundtable, you …"

McAuliffe takes step toward reform in Virginia

By Nicholas Kusnetz

McAuliffe executive order limits gifts.

'Lobbyist' not curse word to all influencers

By Dave Levinthal

Some government influencers wish the Association of Government Relations Professionals had kept its old name.

Obama's pardoned turkeys courtesy of lobbyists

By Michael Beckel

Influential National Turkey Federation behind time-honored Thanksgiving tradition.

American League of Lobbyists changes name

By Dave Levinthal

The American League of Lobbyists will now go by Association of Government Relations Professionals.

Business groups assail political transparency

By Dave Levinthal

Letter from U.S. Chamber, others charge Center for Political Accountability with laying 'disclosure trap' for corporations.

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

"… the launch of a public relations campaign (including Facebook ads) by the Center for Competitive Politics, a nonprofit group which is largely opposed public disclosure of political …"

Facebook's lobbying climbs to record level

By Michael Beckel

The online social networking giant is spending record levels on lobbying.

Lobbying dips overall, but the beat goes on for guns, drugs and agriculture

By Dave Levinthal

But third-quarter expenditures are down for many special interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Medical Association":

"… th care interests, such as the American Chemistry Council ($4.75 million), American Medical Association ($4.27 million) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization ($2.02 million …"

More corporations revealing 'dark money' donations

By Dave Levinthal

Corporations are still mostly mum about political contributions, but more and more are reporting donations to secretive nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Political Accountability":

"… ts at all, according to the first-of-its-kind study, which the nonpartisan Center for Political Accountability is producing. An even greater share of corporations — more than one-fou …"

"… . The study shows a slow shift toward transparency, said Bruce Freed, the Center for Political Accountability’s president. Shareholder pressure, changes in corporate governance …"

"… ure, changes in corporate governance standards and publicity from the Center for Political Accountability’s more detailed and annual corporate transparency index of S&P 200 c …"

"… cycle.” The S&P 500 study will also note that of the companies the Center for Political Accountability investigated: About four in five publicly release at least some of thei …"

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 "American Medical Association":

"… maceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, Google, Coca-Cola, the American Medical Association, Verizon Communications, drug maker Pfizer and defense firm Northrop Grumm …"

Outside money from D.C. groups, Koch brothers gushes into local politics

By Bill Buzenberg

Two investigations this week show how money from out-of-state groups continues to permeate elections.

IMPACT: LePage, lawmakers push for a passing grade in Maine

By Naomi Schalit and John Christie

Failing mark from State Integrity Investigation leads to ethics reforms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… utive branch officials leave government service and go directly to work as lobbyists. The governor’s bill, LD 1001, is “a major departure from what we do …"

"… or high-level executive branch officials before they could begin work as a lobbyist.  The difference this time around, Crockett said, was “the light s …"

League of nations lobbying immigration bill

By Adam Wollner

Immigration reform bill attracting special interests from all corners of the globe.

Bob Casey bucks fundraising trend with beer bash

By Dave Levinthal

Sen. Bob Casey skirts trendy political fundraisers, throws beer bash with lobbyists.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… ght, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., is going old-school — boozing with some lobbyists. The scene for "Beer with Bob" is the rooftop 1001 G St. NW in Washingto …"

"… t former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., Casey had particularly harsh words for lobbyists, derided K Street as "a mess" and "place of corruption and …"

"… Gump, Hauer, Strauss & Feld; Robert Getzoff, a Bank of New York Mellon lobbyist; Marshall Matz, principal attorney and lobbyist at Olsson Frank Weeda Term …"

"… a Bank of New York Mellon lobbyist; Marshall Matz, principal attorney and lobbyist at Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC and Jason M. Rosenstock, director of …"

Lobbying firm PACs start 2013 slow

By Dave Levinthal

Few raising or spending big money early in 2013 — if at all.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Raytheon":

"… azeera America, Comcast, drugmaker Merck, the PGA Tour, defense contractor Raytheon and ZTE USA, the American subsidiary of a Chinese telecom company that has …"

Texas passes ethics bill, but many proposed reforms are left on the cutting room floor

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Good-government groups lament what's left out

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wendy Davis":

"… l improvements in transparency.” While that may be the case, state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat, noted that most of the changes in the bill apply to other bra …"