"James Bond" backs dubious Bernie Sanders super-PAC
Seldom do our stories have as much going for them as Michael Beckel’s hard-won piece on the tale of a dodgy businessman-cum-diplomat-cum-lobbyist who’s tangled with the law and his self-created super-PAC supposedly supporting Bernie Sanders. Daniel Craig, the actor who plays 007 James Bond, is apparently one of those drawn in to the web thinking he really was helping the Democratic Party presidential candidate.
The story speaks for itself but let me say that I know it has taken weeks if not months of work by Michael and his colleagues and our lawyer Mike Rothberg to get it this far. Craig wasn’t even in the frame until very recently. It’s a fun story but doesn’t it also expose just how nuts the entire system of Political Action Committees is? That’s why the story was in our wheelhouse from the start and why this 2012 story on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision still draws lots of readers and attention.
It’s worth noting that Al Jazeera America ran the story in full and the New York Times picked it up in its campaign coverage today, as did the Washington Post,Bloomberg and Huffington Post, which kindly just noted it and linked back to our site for the action. The piece is also doing the rounds on Twitter and media columnist and professional flamethrower Michael Wolff noted: "totally fascinating look at latest political hustle--can't make this stuff up”.
“Big oil, bad air” scoops up another big award
In another category altogether, Jim Morris and the Environment team roll on, and their “Big Oil, Bad air” project exposing the unseen damage from fracking this week won the long form category of the National Association of Science Writers Science in Society Awards. It’s the fifth major industry award for a series which Jim led in partnership with Inside Climate News and the Weather Channel, another great example of our partnership strategy paying off.
The judges said the series was "an extraordinary accomplishment in team investigative science journalism targeted at a crucial energy, environment and health issue that extends well beyond the boundaries of Texas, the project's focus. The reporters set out to get to the bottom of a corrupt regulatory system involving the fracking boom. They found no bottom.” Our communication czar Bill Gray wrote up a note explaining it all.