Lee Fang

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Lee Fang, a freelance journalist, is the former Senior Investigator for United Republic and a former investigative blogger for ThinkProgress.org. He has broken stories that include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s foreign funding, the attendance of U.S. Supreme Court justices at secretive political fundraisers and the stealth efforts by lobbyists to orchestrate and control the Tea Party. Lee’s work has resulted in multiple calls for hearings in Congress and the Federal Election Commission. His book on the campaign to block Obama’s domestic priorities is slated for publication in late 2012.

July 28, 2014
Don Blankenship receives a shoe shine at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Don Blankenship receives a shoe shine at the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Disgraced Coal Baron Don Blankenship Rebrands As A Libertarian Activist

Among visitors to Freedom Fest, a libertarian convention in Las Vegas, you might miss the aging Don Blankenship amid other middle aged attendees and a swarm of college students in three piece suits. Blankenship, wearing a bowling shirt and tan slacks, moves from panel to panel carrying a tote bag filled with free schwag — of which there was a lot to choose from, including this “water bottle” from the Charles Koch Institute — like anyone else. The former CEO of Massey Energy became the most feared man in West Virginia for his ruthless control over his mines and for …

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July 24, 2014
Comcast chief executive Neil Smit (left) and LULAC executive director Brent Wilkes (center). Smit has been tapped to lead the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Comcast chief executive Neil Smit (left) and LULAC executive director Brent Wilkes (center).

Leading Civil Rights Groups Just Sold Out on Net Neutrality

Last Friday, just before the Federal Communication Commission closed its comment period for its upcoming rule on “network neutrality,” a massive coalition of Asian, Latino and Black civil rights group filed letters arguing that regulators should lay off of Internet Service Providers regarding Title II reclassification and accept FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s original plan. In other words, something close to half of the entire civil rights establishment just sold out the Internet.

The civil rights group letters argue that Title II reclassification of broadband services as a public utility — the only path forward for real net neutrality after a federal court ruling in January — …

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July 18, 2014
alexmooney

No Coordination? GOP Super PAC Tied to WV Candidate Alex Mooney

When the Supreme Court opened the doors to unlimited corporate influence in campaigns with the Citizens United ruling, there was a small caveat in the ruling to prevent corruption: groups raising outside funds could not legally “coordinate” with candidates. Candidates begging for unlimited donations, would, after all, constitute corruption. As recent history has shown, these anti-coordination rules are easily sidestepped.

Alex Mooney, the GOP nominee for Congress in the second district of West Virginia, won his election with help from a Super PAC called the Freedom Frontier Action Fund. Disclosures show that this Super PAC was not as independent as …

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July 15, 2014
Senator Jim Inhofe

U.S. Senator Welcomes Climate Deniers to Help GOP Capture Congress

If Republicans win control of the U.S. Senate this year, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), a lawmaker famous for his belief that the entire body of climate science research is a “hoax,” will take control of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which oversees matters relating to pollution and environmental problems.

So it should be little surprise then that Inhofe made an appearance by video last week at the Heartland Institute, a think tank famous for peddling big business-friendly viewpoints on behalf of corporate sponsors, during a conference for climate change skeptics. The group, like Inhofe’s political action …

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June 30, 2014
Paula Gant previously worked for the American Gas Association and Christopher Smith previously worked for Chevron's liquified natural gas trading unit. Now, both work for the Department of Energy's unit overseeing LNG applications.
Paula Gant previously worked for the American Gas Association and Christopher Smith previously worked for Chevron's liquified natural gas trading unit. Now, both work for the Department of Energy's unit overseeing LNG applications.

LNG Exports and Agency Capture: Regulators and Industry Swap Spots

Expanded natural gas exports have wide repercussions, ranging from increased costs to American consumers to greater incentives for drilling companies to use controversial fracking methods for extracting their product. As numerous reports have shown, the gas boom means more methane, a greenhouse gas that is exacerbating our climate crisis, in the atmosphere.

But the discussion in Washington has not focused on the climate and environmental impact of rapidly approving LNG export licenses, a process controlled by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy. Instead, as Republic Report’s David Halperin outlined last week, companies that stand to …

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June 26, 2014
cnbc1

Responding to ‘Risky Business’ Report, CNBC Seeks Op-Ed on ‘Global Warming Being a Hoax’

How badly does cable news network CNBC want to deny the existence of global warming?

For a network with an embarrassing history of fudging the science around climate change, one CNBC booker apears to have made a big mistake.

Responding to the groundbreaking report “Risky Business,” a bipartisan project that compiled the many ways global warming will harm the United States economy over the next cenutry, a CNBC staffer sent an e-mail to a website that she apparently thought was connected to economist and climate contrarian Alan Carlin. In the e-mail, which has been shared with Republic Report, the …

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June 26, 2014
Shelley-Moore-Capito1

Natural Gas Industry Hires Family Members of Leading Politicians

In May of last year, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, now considered the favorite to win West Virginia’s open Senate seat, stood on a small platform in Charleston, behind a row of tiny trophies in the shape of drilling rigs. She was there to congratulate the Energy Corporation of America, a major gas exploration and distribution company, on its plans to open a new building in the state capital. The company needed new space to accommodate over a hundred new employees in coming years. “I am honored to attend the groundbreaking celebration of the ECA’s new eastern headquarters,” Capito …Continue Reading »

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June 18, 2014
Steve Scalise

Steve Scalise’s Network of Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Stand To Gain

Eric Cantor’s surprise defeat in the Republican primary, and subsequent decision to step down as Majority Leader, has set off a scramble within his party. Current Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is widely perceived as the next majority leader, while Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) are rounding up votes to take McCarthy’s place as whip.

Though there are negligible policy differences between the candidates, particularly on energy issues, one candidate is particularly close to the fossil fuel lobby: Steve Scalise, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of likeminded conservative members, who …

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