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 "public relations":

"… r of Commerce spent more than $1.2 billion on contractors for advertising, public relations and marketing services from 2008 to 2012. That dwarfs what they spent on t …"

"… lobbying members of Congress. Much less attention is paid to how they use public relations and advertising to directly influence the public. So our investigation fou …"

"… ounter to what most people would think, when you look at the data. How is public relations more effective than lobbying when it comes to influencing public opinion? …"

"… R and advertising campaigns help refine industry’s lobbying efforts. One public relations expert actually told us that it “provides air cover” for lobbyists. Wh …"

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 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.

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 "Bank of America":

"… ly on, represent or supply the mailing industry, such as American Express, Bank of America, Conde Nast, the Envelope Manufacturers Association, FedEx, the National R …"

'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 "official":

"… ioned a BBC news report he recently heard where an Israeli government official, who's pressing U.S. lawmakers on issues related to Iran, bristled at …"

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 "public relations":

"… ly lobbyists. It mulled for months how the group might better include public relations, campaign finance and other political influence industry professionals&nbs …"

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.

IMPACT: Georgia governor signs bills limiting gifts from lobbyists

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Gov. Deal signs measure setting limits on lobbyists

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 "Robert Menendez":

"… and deliver the checks in a “bundle.” Only New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, who did face opposition in 2012, received more bundled campaign cash from …"

Pentagon claims $757 million overbilling by contractor in Afghanistan

By Richard H.P. Sia

Lawmakers are upset that the Pentagon kept giving billions of dollars to a food supplier for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House subcommittee":

"… f years trying unsuccessfully to negotiate fair and reasonable rates. The House subcommittee, which launched a probe of the contract last spring, found that the defens …"

Air show lobbyists to buzz Capitol Hill

By Dave Levinthal

Air show lobbyists to press Congress on sequestration's grounding of military plane demonstrations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Security Council":

"… , the filing indicates. Cave also has worked as a special assistant to the National Security Council and Senate Armed Services Committee. Michael W. Schupp will also lobby on …"

Easter has friends on K Street

By Reity O'Brien

From confectioners to egg cooperatives, a basketful of political influencers press agenda.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Baltimore":

"… e list stops just short of Willy Wonka himself.   Several members of Baltimore’s Goetze family, of Cow Tail and Caramel Cream fame, contributed at leas …"

University of Alabama plays politics as well as football

By Michael Beckel

BCS champ Alabama spent $370,000 on federal lobbying in 2012, records show.

Data transparency advocates register lobbyist

By Dave Levinthal

Coalition pressing government for free, standardized information registers first lobbyist.

Georgia House approves ethics reform package

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Calls for change followed F from State Integrity Investigation

Senate lobbying data revamp causing problems for data watchdogs

By Dave Levinthal

Links to old documents broken as Senate revamps disclosure database.

Georgia speaker wants new ethics rules - with a twist

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Speaker proposes bill limiting gifts, but reform groups cry foul

Fix the Debt Coalition lobbies up

By Dave Levinthal

Fix the Debt Coalition hires government affairs professionals to press financial reform agenda.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iowa":

"… c Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to former Rep. Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, who also served as President George W. Bush's Office of Management and Bu …"

Lobbyist for lobbyists steps away

By Dave Levinthal

Government relations group ends contract with former president, eyes new representation.

Ethics bill would slam Maine's 'revolving door'

By Naomi Schalit and John Christie

Ethics legislation would require 'cooling off' period

Influence chic: Urban Outfitters bags K Street help

By Dave Levinthal

Former GOP Sen. Spencer Abraham's firm to represent company known for risqué clothing.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Urban Outfitters":

"… in a live chat on Monday, Feb. 4, at 1 p.m. ET.  …"

"… development" are the issues on which Abraham & Roetzel will lobby for Urban Outfitters, the filing states.  Federal records further indicate that this is t …"

"… tates.  Federal records further indicate that this is the first time Urban Outfitters has hired federal-level lobbying representation. Come April, the comp …"

"… , the government affairs shop is allocating three lobbyists to assist Urban Outfitters, including its president, Bob Carey, the former director of the Department …"

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 "General Dynamics":

"… . Defense contractors Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Co. and General Dynamics also reported moderate increases from the third quarter to the fourth. The …"

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 "Bank of America":

"… deral Election Commission until 90 days after Monday’s inauguration. …"

"… eral lobbying since 2009, while Coca-Cola has spent nearly $25 million and Bank of America more than $12.8 million, federal disclosures show. The Forest County Pota …"

Obama inauguration sponsors spent millions influencing government

By Dave Levinthal

Obama's inauguration, brought to you in part by corporate America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United":

"… political influence developments in U.S. history — the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision — which Obama decried as a “huge victory” for special inter …"

"… ection of politicos, liberal and conservative. David Bossie, president of Citizens United, the conservative activist group that prompted the eponymous Supreme Court …"

Lawmakers in Southeast call for ethics reform

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Legislators in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina want change

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… eement on an unlikely agenda: ethics reform. Leaders in South Carolina and Florida have begun work that lawmakers and watchdogs say could lead to the states …"

"… bstantive changes. Georgia and South Carolina received failing grades, and Florida received a C-minus.But critics caution that this isn’t the first time po …"

"… f the talk could prove to be just that. Apart from a narrow rule change in Florida, policymakers have taken few actions beyond voicing grand but general comm …"

"… oon, who failed to rally much support last session. And while observers in Florida and South Carolina say they fully expect legislators to cast votes on refo …"

Revolving door swings freely in America's statehouses

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Anything goes in some states; lawmakers skirt rules in others

Excerpts from this story referencing "state legislator":

"… new secretary of state, who pushed unsuccessfully for ethics reforms as a state legislator. “It’s one thing when that working relationship is beneficial to your …"

Arizona still waiting for Fiesta Bowl fixes

By Kathleen Ingley

Fiesta Bowl scandal has brought outrage, but no fixes

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… le,” he said, “and I guarantee that life as we know it will not end.”Florida adopted that approach in 2005 — the notable exception is flowers on the …"

Georgia's ethics commission: A sad tale of dysfunctional state government

By Jim Walls

Georgia commission can't seem to avoid controversy.

Bipartisan group of lawmakers demands better Pentagon auditing

By Zach Toombs

A Republican-led effort threatens to block major weapons systems if the military services cannot account properly for their expenditures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. military":

"… ny that has received an audit during their tenure there.Each branch of the U.S. military has had difficulty meeting a set of interim auditing deadlines. A report f …"

Florida reforms targeted by 'good government' group

By Caitlin Ginley

'Good government' group wants more light to shine on lawmakers in the Sunshine State

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dan Krassner":

"… iana has the best form in the country and Florida should adopt it,” said Dan Krassner, Integrity Florida’s executive director.The group’s report also stress …"