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 "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 "Senate":

"… r. After the McDonnell verdict, state House Speaker William J. Howell and Senate Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., both Republicans, wrote an op-ed in th …"

"… t in 2015. State Sen. John S. Edwards, a Democrat who was chairman of the Senate Rules Committee last session, told the Center that he supports the governo …"

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 "president":

"… nd Congress after one of its largest shareholders, an associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was similarly targeted for sanctions by the United States. …"

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 "United States":

"… agreement between the firm and the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada — quoted firm Managing Director Nicole Korkolis as working fo …"

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 "Senate":

"… efforts than what’s contained in quarterly reports submitted to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House. Reforms fall short Lobbyists seldom get into trouble for …"

"… form of referrals from Congress’ clerk of the House or secretary of the Senate. Lobbyists who violate federal disclosure provisions could face a $200,00 …"

"… lo., aims to compel more people to register as lobbyists and ban Senate candidates from soliciting registered lobbyists for campaign contributions …"

Russian gas company hires D.C. lobbyists

By Alexander Cohen

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Gazprombank":

"… tek, along with the oil giant Rosneft and one of Russia’s largest banks, Gazprombank. …"

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 "Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association":

"… financial reform law, which this week marked its fourth anniversary. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association ($2.1 million from $1.3 million), JPMorgan Chase and Co. ($1.6 million fro …"

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 "House":

"… , tobacco giant Philip Morris International and the city of Houston. Some House members, too, reaped riches from lobbyist-bundlers. For instance, Rep. Ma …"

"… undlers. For instance, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, received $40,400 from Larry Duncan, a lobbyist f …"

"… ed Martin. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the ranking Democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee collected $18,200 from the PAC of Northrup Grumma …"

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 "ExxonMobil":

"… rests and defense contractors, such as Northrop Grumman, General Electric, ExxonMobil, Chevron Corp., Edison Electric Institute, BP and American Electrical Powe …"

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 "Washington":

"… distributor is nonetheless building itself into a political force in Washington, D.C., where just about every denizen seemed to binge-watch  …"

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 "Mississippi":

"… age diminished because of Dodd-Frank rules. Ken Cyree of the University of Mississippi and Bhanu Balasubramanian of the University of Akron published a paper in …"

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 "Microsoft Corp.":

"… ship Institute. You can also look up the donations of companies including Microsoft Corp., Aetna Inc. and The Coca-Cola Co. Furthermore, you see which firms didn't …"

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 "Mark Pryor":

"… eived $2,500. Meanwhile, embattled incumbent Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Mark Pryor, D-Ark., account for more than 40 percent of the money the National Turkey …"

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 "Politics":

"… ow peaked at $3.55 billion in 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Prior to changing its name, the American League of Lobbyists' board of d …"

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.

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 "GlaxoSmithKline":

"… acare implementation on Oct. 1, drug makers Amgen Inc. ($2.52 million) and GlaxoSmithKline ($1.27 million), increased their quarterly lobbying expenditures compared …"

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 "Politics":

"… ng, and political contributions.  Sign up now to receive our Money in Politics newsletter. ------------------------- Sometimes, companies need litt …"

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 "National Association for Gun Rights":

"… companies and nonprofits,newly released records show. The Virginia-based National Association for Gun Rights spent more than $3 million from April through June to advocate against doz …"

"… gal and fiscal home to those advocating for social change.” Neither the National Association for Gun Rights nor the Advocacy Fund returned a call seeking comment. (Update, 7:26 p.m. …"

"… cy Fund returned a call seeking comment. (Update, 7:26 p.m.: In an email, National Association for Gun Rights spokeswoman Danielle Thompson said her organization will continue this yea …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ivotal element in elections thanks to the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed super PACs, unions and certain nonprofits to raise and spen …"

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.

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 "Washington":

"… al being and our Jewish values,” said Sammie Moshenberg, the director of Washington operations for the National Council of Jewish Women. “For many of us, th …"

"… orm measure this year. That list includes some of the heaviest hitters in Washington, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, Facebook, Google, Microsof …"

Bob Casey bucks fundraising trend with beer bash

By Dave Levinthal

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

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 "Cory Booker":

"… wide, federal records show. On the left, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark N.J., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., are among its fou …"

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 "Washington":

"… us ethics complaints, said Tom Smith, Texas director for Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group. The legislation also calls for a change in the Rail …"