Category Archives: lobbying

As Rick Santorum Secured Earmarks, 2006 Donations Flowed In – NYTimes.com

As Rick Santorum Secured Earmarks, 2006 Donations Flowed In – NYTimes.com.

Donors Gave as Santorum Won Earmarks

The announcements flowed out of Rick Santorum’s Senate office: a $3.5 million federal grant to Piasecki Aircraft to help it test a new helicopter propeller technology; another $3.5 million to JLG Industries to bolster its bid to build all-terrain forklifts for the military; $1.4 million to Medico Industries to upgrade equipment for its munitions work.

Each of the news releases represented an earmark or, in some cases, multiple ones — the practice by which members of Congress set aside money in federal spending bills for what critics often denounce as pet projects back home.

[…]

But an examination of Mr. Santorum’s earmark record sheds light on another aspect of his political personality, one that is at odds with the reformer image he has tried to convey on the trail: his prowess as a Washington insider.

A review of some of his earmarks, viewed alongside his political donations, suggests that the river of federal money Mr. Santorum helped direct to Pennsylvania paid off handsomely in the form of campaign cash.

[…]

In just one piece of legislation, the defense appropriations bill for the 2006 fiscal year, Mr. Santorum helped secure $124 million in federal financing for 54 earmarks, according to a tally by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group. In that year’s election cycle, Mr. Santorum’s Senate campaign committee and his “leadership PAC” took in more than $200,000 in contributions from people associated with the companies that benefited or their lobbyists, an analysis of campaign finance records by The New York Times shows.

[…]

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Bacteria 1, F.D.A. 0 – NYTimes.com

Bacteria 1, F.D.A. 0 – NYTimes.com.

December 27, 2011, 9:00 pm

Bacteria 1, F.D.A. 0

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The Trouble With That Revolving Door – NYTimes.com

The Trouble With That Revolving Door – NYTimes.com.

December 18, 2011, 9:00 pm

The Trouble With That Revolving Door

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Keystone Claptrap – NYTimes.com

Keystone Claptrap – NYTimes.com.

Editorial

Keystone Claptrap

The Keystone XL oil pipeline has become the House Republicans’ weapon of choice in their fight with President Obama over jobs and taxes. Mr. Obama has said he will not make a decision on the pipeline until 2013. The Republicans are insisting that he approve it now and have attached an amendment to a bill extending the payroll tax cut in hopes of forcing his hand.

This legislative booby trap seems unlikely to make it through the Senate, and the president has all but said he would reject it if it does. But this has not stopped the House Republicans, led by Speaker John Boehner, from using the pipeline as a political cudgel — or from wildly inflating its economic benefits.

[…]

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Detailing the Koch brothers’ influence on environmental politics | The American Independent

Detailing the Koch brothers’ influence on environmental politics | The American Independent.

Detailing the Koch brothers’ influence on environmental politics

By Troy Hooper | 10.31.11 | 11:16 am | More from The Colorado Independent

Koch Industries Inc. isn’t just in Kansas anymore, Toto.

The nation’s second largest private company and its subsidiaries are also in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas and just about every other state in the nation. But the locale where Koch Industries is making its presence felt the most isn’t a state at all. It’s Washington, D.C.

The Wichita-based conglomerate has spent a fortune lobbying for its oil, gas, mineral and chemical interests this past decade while bankrolling the campaigns of sympathetic congressmen. It has paid special attention to lawmakers that make up the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Koch Industries is diversified — it manufactures household staples such as Angel Soft toilet paper, Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Lycra fabrics and Stainmaster carpets — but its main investment is in oil.

While the influence of Koch Industries has been ongoing for years, it wasn’t until after 2008 that it captured mainstream attention for the tornado of dollars it funneled into campaign coffers as the Democrats — buoyed by House, Senate and White House control — pushed for cap and trade. What followed was a conservative takeover of the House in 2010 that capitalized on widespread voter frustration with the job-hemorrhaging economy and the government’s inability to put a stop to it.

In the 2010 elections, Koch Industries and its partners spent tens of millions of dollars to elect politicians who would roll back environmental and financial regulations that benefit their businesses.

The men behind the curtain are Charles and David Koch who, with an estimated net worth of $25 billion a piece, are tied for fourth in Forbes magazine’s annual list of The Richest People in America.

[…]

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Outside Groups Eclipsing G.O.P. As Hub of Campaigns – NYTimes.com

Outside Groups Eclipsing G.O.P. As Hub of Campaigns – NYTimes.com.

Outside Groups Eclipsing G.O.P. As Hub of Campaigns

About once a month, a dozen or so of the country’s most influential Republicans meet in a bare-walled conference room in Washington to discuss how to make further gains in the Congressional elections next year and defeat President Obama.

They share polling and opposition research, preview their plans for advertising and contacting voters in swing states, and look for ways to coordinate spending hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 12 months, drawing on years of experience laboring for the party.

But almost none of them hold office or a job with the Republican Party itself. Instead, they represent conservative groups that channeled tens of millions of dollars into last year’s Congressional campaign. And as 2012 approaches, the groups — among them the Karl Rove-founded American Crossroads, the Republican Governors Association, the American Action Network and Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the billionaire Koch brothers — have gathered into a loosely organized political machine poised to rival, and in many ways supplant, the official Republican Party apparatus.

[…]

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Did You Hear the One About the Bankers? – NYTimes.com

Did You Hear the One About the Bankers? – NYTimes.com.

Op-Ed Columnist

Did You Hear the One About the Bankers?

CITIGROUP is lucky that Muammar el-Qaddafi was killed when he was. The Libyan leader’s death diverted attention from a lethal article involving Citigroup that deserved more attention because it helps to explain why many average Americans have expressed support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. The news was that Citigroup had to pay a $285 million fine to settle a case in which, with one hand, Citibank sold a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers — securities that it knew were likely to go bust — and, with the other hand, shorted the same securities — that is, bet millions of dollars that they would go bust.

It doesn’t get any more immoral than this. […]

But, then, what happened to us? Our financial industry has grown so large and rich it has corrupted our real institutions through political donations. As Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, bluntly said in a 2009 radio interview, despite having caused this crisis, these same financial firms “are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they, frankly, own the place.”

Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. […] Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street.

We can’t afford this any longer. We need to focus on four reforms that don’t require new bureaucracies to implement. 1) If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big and needs to be broken up. We can’t risk another trillion-dollar bailout. 2) If your bank’s deposits are federally insured by U.S. taxpayers, you can’t do any proprietary trading with those deposits — period. 3) Derivatives have to be traded on transparent exchanges where we can see if another A.I.G. is building up enormous risk. 4) Finally, an idea from the blogosphere: U.S. congressmen should have to dress like Nascar drivers and wear the logos of all the banks, investment banks, insurance companies and real estate firms that they’re taking money from. The public needs to know.

Capitalism and free markets are the best engines for generating growth and relieving poverty — provided they are balanced with meaningful transparency, regulation and oversight. […]

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Pomeroy Is Health Industry’s Well-Placed Friend – NYTimes.com

Pomeroy Is Health Industry’s Well-Placed Friend – NYTimes.com.

The Champions

Ex-Lawmaker Still a Friend of Hospitals

WASHINGTON — Earl Pomeroy figured that Plan A was his career in Congress, where, over nearly two decades, as a North Dakota congressman he became a powerful advocate for the hospital industry.

Now, after losing re-election last year despite hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from grateful hospital executives, doctors and other industry officials, he has moved on to Plan B: promoting their cause as a lobbyist.

While that kind of shift is familiar in Washington, in Mr. Pomeroy’s case there is a special twist. House members are banned from lobbying on Capitol Hill for a year after leaving office (Mr. Pomeroy’s term ended in January), but Mr. Pomeroy, a Democrat, has teamed up with his former chief of staff, who is not subject to the restriction, as a lobbying partner.

[…]

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