June 22, 2016

Give the Obama Student Loan Servicing Plan a Chance

Guest Post by Deanne Loonin (attorney and advocate for low-income student loan borrowers)

Programs to help struggling student loan borrowers will only succeed if servicers effectively do their jobs and provide high quality information and assistance.

Servicers are a borrower’s primary point of contact.  Ideally, they should provide borrowers with accurate and comprehensive information about their options and help them get relief.  The reality of the current servicing system, unfortunately, is far from this ideal.

Quality, borrower-centric servicing is essential, but often overlooked in policy debates.  The Obama Administration has started to pay attention, recognizing the flaws in the …

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July 24, 2012
"Lee Fang" discusses Koch's unreported campaign spending during the 2010 midterm election.

VIDEO: Lee Fang Discusses Failure Of The DISCLOSE ACT

Last night, Lee Fang joined a panel on Thom Hartmann’s television program to discuss the failure of the DISCLOSE Act, legislation designed to bring transparency to the election system. Under current law, much of the electioneering in our political system is undisclosed. The legislation, which was filibustered twice last week, would have forced secretive 501(c) campaign committees to disclose their donors in the same manny in which PACs and Super PACs reveal financial information.

Take a look at Republic Report’s coverage of the DISCLOSE Act debate last week:

— Ron Paul organization Campaign for Liberty advances falsehoods to …

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April 27, 2012

Lobbying Makes Low-Performing For-Profit Colleges Highly Profitable

This guest post was written by United Republic’s Jasper McChesney. He also designed the infographic below:

Few would argue against spending tax-dollars wisely: eliminating ineffective and wasteful programs in favor of better ones. But when federal dollars flow to private industries with powerful lobbies, politicians can have a hard time closing the spigot.

The for-profit college industry is a case in point. Unlike Harvard or a state college, private, for-profit schools exist to generate shareholder returns. Yet that money doesn’t come from rich kids or their parents: up to 90% of it comes from tax-payers, in the form of sky-high federal …

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April 16, 2012

New Online Documentary: Koch Brothers, Tiny Number of Plutocrats, Set to Make 2012 “The Great Election Bought And Sold”

The election this year is shaping up to be the biggest spending spree since the Gilded Age. In an era of Citizens United, a small number of billionaires on both the right and left are stepping up to funnel tens, potentially hundreds, of millions of dollars to elect either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. A new documentary by Bob Abeshouse explores this dynamic while focusing on the efforts of petrochemical oligarchs, David and Charles Koch.

Republic Report’s own Lee Fang is featured in the video, which can be found online:

Meanwhile, the Kochs are rounding up hundreds of millions of …

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April 2, 2012
Lee Fang discusses corruption on MSNBC

Republic Report’s Lee Fang Discusses Backdoor Bribery on MSNBC

Republic Report’s Lee Fang Discusses Backdoor Bribery on MSNBC Campaign asks retiring members of Congress to share future plans United Republic’s senior investigator, Lee Fang, went on The Dylan Ratigan show to talk about the Backdoor Bribery campaign. Republic Report has sent a letter to every retiring member of Congress asking them to disclose any job negotiations with lobbyists. There’s good reason to do so — when members leave Congress to become lobbyists, they can get a 1,452% raise. Are current lawmakers setting industry-friendly policy so they can be rewarded as soon as they step …

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March 9, 2012

Only In Washington: Obama’s Lobbying Ban Leads To More Corruption

When Republic Report launched Sell Out Of The Week feature, our initial winner was President Obama, who earned the prize for embracing his super PAC, essentially endorsing unlimited corporate cash invading the democratic process, after having failed over three years in the White House to take some critical steps to clean up the system. We’ve chosen him again this week, but for a different money in politics offense.

Obama campaigned on a promise of reform and transparency, pledging as a candidate that lobbyists “will not run my White House…and will not drown out the voices of the American …

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March 3, 2012

ABRAMOFF: Let’s Focus on What Matters: Battling Washington’s Everyday Corruption

Last week, the Sunlight Foundation’s reporting blog responded to a post I wrote about my experience as a lobbyist convincing members of Congress not to impose a retroactive tax on inverted companies, including my then-client, Tyco. Inverted companies are those who reincorporate overseas, primarily to avoid paying US corporate taxes. Tyco was actually purchased by ADT, based in Bermuda, but that transaction had the same effect.

Keenan Steiner writes:

But a review of the record, and interviews with a former colleague as well as with a congressional staffer to a key senator pushing the legislation, do not support his claims …

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February 23, 2012

Exclusive: Rick Santorum’s Lobbying Firm Helped Clients Win Stimulus Cash

Two weeks ago, Republic Report announced Sell Out Of The Week, a regular feature for the blog. President Obama gained the distinction for breaking his promise, and embracing unlimited corporate money for his super PAC, while refusing to take simple steps to clean up the system. Last week, we highlighted Democratic consultant Joe Trippi, who went from promoting the Internet as a tool to expand democracy to working for a dictatorship that censors the Internet and tortures its own people. Today, our Sell Out Of The Week is Rick Santorum.

As the anyone-but-Mitt Republican primary rolls on, …

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