May 31, 2012
Mike Elk tries to ask a question to Honeywell CEO David Cote

Video: On Capitol Hill, Reporter Attacked For Daring To Ask A Question To A Powerful CEO

Republic Report attended a conference for “entrepreneurs” and small businesses today on Capitol Hill hosted by Congressman Tim Scott (R-SC). Although it was advertised as a lively discussion about economic policy, we witnessed staffers for Scott violently grabbing the mic from the only reporter who asked a critical question during the forum.

Mike Elk, a journalist for In These Times magazine, was called on during the question and answer portion of a morning panel to ask David Cote, the CEO of Honeywell, about his efforts to bust labor unions at a Honeywell-owned uranium plant. Elk asked Cote, who earlier in …

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117 comments
May 31, 2012
Georgia's voters want lobbying reform.

Georgia Tea Partiers And Progressives Unite To Demand Lobbying Reforms

In July, Georgia’s Democratic and Republican Party voters will get a chance to tell their respective political parties that there needs to be lobbying reform.

Ballots for both parties will ask “questions about limiting the value of meals, tickets and other gifts lobbyists give to state legislators. The questions are nonbinding but will give policymakers insight into how voters feel about the issue.”

The Athens Banner-Herald and the Georgia Newspaper Partnership conducted a poll of Georgia voters last December asking them about lobbying reform. Here’s the key result:

Seventy-two percent of Georgia voters polled by the Banner-Herald and the Georgia Newspaper Partnership in December supported …

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May 31, 2012

Flashback Video: Joe Lieberman In 2000 Called Secret Campaign Cash “Indefensible,” Now Pushes Bill To Keep Political Money Secret

Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are leading an effort to keep more secret money in our election system. Two weeks ago, a Senate panel approved a bill that would prevent the public from learning about which taxpayer-funded companies are funneling money into political campaigns. As Mother Jones’ Gavin Aronsen notes, the legislation is the latest effort in a big business-fueled lobbying campaign to block a presumptive executive order from the Obama administration that would force government contractors to reveal their campaign donations.

On the Citizen Vox blog, Rick Claypool explains how the law, which is disingenuously …

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24 comments
May 31, 2012

Wal-Mart Leaves Corporate Front Group ALEC, Joining 20 Other Organizations

Corporate front group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has faced increasing scrutiny for secretly passing off corporate-written laws to state legislatures, including the controversial Stand Your Ground gun law. Late last night, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer and biggest seller of firearms in the country, announced it was suspending its membership in ALEC, which the retailer joined in 1993.

Reuters reports:

“Previously, we expressed our concerns about ALEC’s decision to weigh in on issues that stray from its core mission ‘to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets,’” Maggie Sans, Wal-Mart’s vice president of public affairs …

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18 comments
May 31, 2012
Screen shot from a video catching Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) asking David Koch for money.

Koch Network Alone To Spend More To Defeat Obama In 2012 Than McCain Raised In All Of 2008

We’ve warned before that 2012 will be the greatest election bought and sold. Now, Politico is reporting that outside groups are preparing to spend upwards of $1 billion this year to defeat President Obama and elect more big business-friendly lawmakers to Congress.

To put these numbers in perspective, the Koch network alone — the political machine headed by plutocrats David and Charles Koch and funded by other billionaires — plans to spend more money this year than every dollar raised by John McCain’s campaign in 2008:

Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network …

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94 comments
May 30, 2012

Medtronic Leaves ALEC, Joining 19 Other Organizations

The corporate front group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has come under increasing fire for secretly passing off corporate-written legislation to state legislatures. Yesterday, the medical device company Medtronic announced that it chose not to renew its membership in ALEC in 2010. Medtronic joins companies including Scantron, which announced earlier this week it was leaving ALEC, as well as Coca-ColaKaplan,PepsiCoKraft Foods, Wendy’s, Mars, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and BlueCrossBlueShield.

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May 30, 2012
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) was protected by Corporate America in his primary election.

Corporations Close Ranks Around Lamar Smith And Successfully Protect Him From Tea Party Challenge

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is one of Congress’s most loyal allies of Big Money. Earlier this year, he championed the “anti-piracy” legislation that would give the government huge internet censorship powers on behalf powerful entertainment and media corporations.

As a result, Smith faced a primary challenge from a former local Sherrif, Richard Mack. Mack is a national Tea Party leader who made opposition to internet censorship legislation a top-line issue in his campaign.

But Big Money soon closed ranks around Smith, working to kill off the Tea Party challenge. Smith raised $1.3 million for his reelection bid, while …

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May 30, 2012
Cable news calls Penny Lee a "Democratic strategist" but she's paid by subprime colleges to strategize against Democratic President Obama's efforts to rein in that industry's abuses.

Aggressive Subprime College Industry Lobby Group Ratchets Down — For Now

The $35 billion for-profit college industry gets most of its revenue –for many of the big schools, over 90 percent of its revenue — from federal financial aid, a.k.a. your tax dollars. The industry has lobbied hard in recent years to avoid accountability for high-priced, low-quality programs, even after multiple investigations have exposed waste, fraud, and abuse in the sector. But the newspaper The Hill has just reported that the for-profit college advocacy group Coalition for Educational Success (CES) has now dramatically reduced spending on lobbying. Last year, the group spent more than $1.8 million on lobbyists, but in the first …

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