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.

August 29, 2014
charleskoch

Charles Koch Personally Founded Group Protecting Oil Industry Hand-Outs, Documents Reveal

‘Lifestyles of the Rich Environmentalists,’ produced by a group called the Institute for Energy Research, is a slick web video campaign designed to lampoon Leonardo Dicaprio and will.i.am as hypocrites for supporting action on climate change. The claim is that wealthy celebrities who oppose industrial-scale pollution supposedly shouldn’t fly in airplanes that use fossil fuels. The group, along with its subsidiary, the American Energy Alliance, churns out a steady stream of related content, from Facebook memes criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency, to commercials demanding approval of new oil projects like the Keystone XL, …

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August 6, 2014
vitter1

Senator Vitter Report Claims Cancer Prevention, Wildlife Nonprofits Are Part of Nefarious Cabal

Louisiana Senator David Vitter made headlines with conservative websites in the last few days by releasing a report called Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA.

Below the lengthy title is a report that claims breathlessly that environmental and public health foundations are part of a cabal of “a close knit network of likeminded funders, environmental activists, and government bureaucrats” responsible for spreading “bogus propaganda disguised as science and news to spread an anti-fossil energy message to the unknowing public.”

The report goes on to list groups such as the …

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August 1, 2014
David Honig
Minority Media and Telecommunications Council president David Honig

Comcast Affiliated News Outlet Censored My Article About Net Neutrality Lobbying

In a move that smacks of censorship, Republic Report has discovered that a telecom industry-affiliated lobbying group successfully persuaded an African American news website to remove an article that reported critically on the groups advocating against Net Neutrality. The order to delete the article came from the website’s parent company, a business partner to Comcast.

Last Friday, I reported on how several civil rights groups, almost all with funding from Comcast, Verizon and other Internet Service Providers, recently wrote to the Federal Communication Commission in support of Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan, which would create Internet fast lanes and slow lanes, an …

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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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