Why industry is trying to tell you how to think

By Erin Quinn, Chris Young and Kimberley Porteous

How we investigated the top message peddlers influencing public policy — and why you should care.

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

"… illion on lobbying in 2012, and that’s according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. A total of 144 trade associations met that $1 million threshold, and thes …"

Who needs lobbyists? See what big business spends to win American minds

By Erin Quinn and Chris Young

Trade groups pay top PR, advertising firms $1.2 billion over five years to influence public.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Business":

"… embers take recycled cooking oil and animal fats and turn them into fuel. Business associations — led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — represented the s …"

"… dustry trade group wasn’t the firm’s only client. Others included the Business Roundtable ($9.9 million), a group of CEOs who advocate for Business-frien …"

Broadband findings you may have missed

By The Center for Public Integrity

The Center's best stories about the telecommunications industry from 2014.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… tical spectrum made themselves heard. With those developments in mind, the Center for Public Integrity began investigating the political power of companies in the information te …"

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 "bank":

"… 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 new dis …"

"… quire Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C., were retained over the summer by a banking subsidiary of the Russian oil giant Gazprombank and lobbied the Senate …"

"… ed over the summer by a banking subsidiary of the Russian oil giant Gazprombank and lobbied the Senate and the Department of State on the sanctions and ot …"

"… lobbied the Senate and the Department of State on the sanctions and other banking laws, according to the filing. Disclosure of their connection with Gaz …"

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 "Washington":

"… e worked as research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, where she managed a five-person staff that exposed the activities of poli …"

"… University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit, nonpartisan a …"

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 "Terry McAuliffe":

"… slature can pass meaningful reforms. “I’m skeptical,” he said. …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… petitioning former colleagues on behalf of clients, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2008, they started a lobbying firm with their sons, Breaux Lott Leader …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… hington, D.C.-based Carmen Group said it would charge Xavier University of Louisiana $1,250 an hour for its "most senior" lobbyist to work beyond what was othe …"

"… l Services Administration. In 2005, the Carmen Group said it would charge Louisiana Construction Systems a comparatively modest $850 an hour for lobbying serv …"

"… oup quoted a $75-per-hour fee for "junior personnel" to lobby on behalf of Louisiana Construction Systems in 2005. The hourly fee increased to $100 by the tim …"

"… the time the Carmen Group negotiated a contract with Xavier University of Louisiana, which is now mired in a breach of contract lawsuit with its former lobbyi …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… ly describe its federal lobbying efforts on behalf of Xavier University of Louisiana, the firm used the vaguely worded phrase: “Hurricane Katrina related rec …"

"… e of earmarking appropriation bills.” In a lobbying proposal in 2008 to Louisiana-based building securities firm MBI Global, Patton Boggs said it could help …"

"… efforts would remove “a serious economic burden” from Xavier and other Louisiana schools, which she thanked for their “partnership.” Never mentioned i …"

Russian gas company hires D.C. lobbyists

By Alexander Cohen

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sri Lanka":

"… s and individuals.” Among its other clients are Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Sri Lanka and Bahrain. The news was first reported by the National Journal. Accordi …"

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 "social media":

"… a pittance compared to other tech titans, but significant considering the social media company only began lobbying the federal government late last year and has …"

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 "BP":

"… Obama, represents a range of corporate clients, including drugmaker Amgen, BP, Google, Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo. Several Democratic campaigns also disc …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… ntegrity of analysis of new congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data. These new numbers reverse — at least temporarily — top lob …"

Virginia's move toward ethics reform leaves many unimpressed

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Legislators pass modest changes, but critics abound.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Terry McAuliffe":

"… ort as little more than a gesture, and it remains unclear whether new Gov. Terry McAuliffe will sign the measure in its existing form. Virginia has among the least …"

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 "Aetna":

"… among those named in E-Flex’s reports to Congress, as are health insurer Aetna, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association. …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… lobbyists are Christopher Libertelli, a former senior adviser at the Federal Communications Commission; Lisa Kountoupes, former assistant director of the Office of Management an …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… the flow of corporate cash. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010 allowed corporations to pay for political advocacy — or d …"

McAuliffe takes step toward reform in Virginia

By Nicholas Kusnetz

McAuliffe executive order limits gifts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "campaign finance laws":

"… ommittee and are free to raise vast sums of money under a porous regime of campaign finance laws. The combination earned Virginia a grade of F from the State Integrity Inv …"

"… ate an ethics commission as well. The deal would not address the state’s campaign finance laws, however, and the ethics commission as proposed would only have advisory p …"

'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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "campaign finance laws":

"… al association ... for championing changes to lobbying disclosure and campaign finance laws, nor do we have one for defending lobbyists." Not so, says Monte Ward, cu …"

Obama's pardoned turkeys courtesy of lobbyists

By Michael Beckel

Influential National Turkey Federation behind time-honored Thanksgiving tradition.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John Boehner":

"… ader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who has received $5,000, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, who has received $2,500. Meanwhile, embattled incumbent Sens. Ka …"

American League of Lobbyists changes name

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "American League of Lobbyists":

"… argest lobbying industry group is ditching its lobbyist-centric name. The American League of Lobbyists — known as such since its founding in 1979 — will now call itself the …"

"… ng to the Center for Responsive Politics. Prior to changing its name, the American League of Lobbyists' board of directors determined that most of its members don't conside …"

"… icially recommended the name change in October. In recent years, the American League of Lobbyists, which only counts a fraction of the nation's more than 12,000 registered …"

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 "Pfizer Inc.":

"… nd National Association of Manufacturers, including pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. (both), railroad operator Norfolk Southern Corp. (both) and United Parcel …"

Facebook's lobbying climbs to record level

By Michael Beckel

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's leadership PAC; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio; and House Minority Lead …"

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 "social media":

"… this summer, spending a modest $40,000 during the third quarter. But the social media site centered its fledging lobbying activity squarely on issues of acute n …"

"… g “privacy, security, protecting children and online safety.” The social media company is also well off its peak of $2.45 million, a mark set during the …"

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.

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… nter for Public Integrity analysis of congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data indicates. About three-fifths, meanwhile, spent less during the year …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… y lays out the most detailed analysis to date of the political spending of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately held corporations in the world. Led by Cent …"

"… s from the Koch brothers personally, donations to political campaigns from Koch Industries’ political action committee and the lobbying activities of Koch Companie …"

"… bbying activities of Koch Companies Public Sector. The cumulative cost to Koch Industries and Charles and David Koch for this extraordinary alchemy of political and …"

"… to 89 nonprofit organizations and an annual libertarian conference. Koch Industries and Charles and David Koch contributed $8.7 million to candidates and the …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Poland":

"… ign au pairs, hailing from countries that include Australia, China, Italy, Poland, Sweden Switzerland and Thailand, with American families. The firm last w …"

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