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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June 2, 2014
mmiller

Matt Miller, Which Hat Is He Wearing?

Out of a crowded field of candidates hoping to replace retiring Representative Henry Waxman in Los Angeles, Democrat Matt Miller has attempted to distinguish himself by touting a variety of experiences. Miller’s campaign advertisement lists his various positions as a radio show host, education expert, former Clinton administration official, and business advisor. As he announced his candidacy, Miller took a leave from the Washington Post and NBC, where he was a columnist and contributor. What hasn’t been widely reported is his other bread-winning job: PR consultant.

Ethics forms filed by Miller to the House Clerk’s office, a standard procedure for …

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May 23, 2014
foxx_nc05_200

Top Donor for House Education Chair is For-Profit College Facing Federal and State Fraud Probes

As reported yesterday by OpenSecrets, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has no serious opposition in her bid for reelection, yet has received more than $800,000 in campaign contributions. More than half of that money has come from outside North Carolina, much of it from corporate special interests.

The biggest industry donating to Foxx, who is chair of the House subcommittee on higher education, is the for-profit education industry, which is fighting to stop the Obama Administration’s “gainful employment” rule.  That regulation, for which public comments are due on Tuesday, would hold predatory companies in the career education industry accountable for its …

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May 16, 2014

Ed Gillespie Made $3 Million Advising Big Oil and Gas Lobbyists, Other Corporate Clients

You won’t find Ed Gillespie, the likely Republican nominee to challenge Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) this fall, on the official list of lobbyists maintained by the Secretary of the Senate’s database. That’s because Gillespie isn’t registered. But not being registered doesn’t mean he doesn’t help big corporations and lobbying firms advance their interests in Washington.

As a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, Gillespie’s recently filed ethics forms show that he made $2,958,800 over the last year from his consulting firm, aptly named Ed Gillespie Strategies.

Though Gillespie was for many years a registered lobbyist, through his previous firm …

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May 13, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 10.39.17 AM

Marco Rubio: The Dirty Energy President

On Sunday’s ABC “This Week,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed two notable opinions. First, he said he’s ready to be president of the United States. Second, he asserted that climate change is not caused by humans and cannot be slowed by regulation:

RUBIO:  I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow, there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate.  Our climate is always changing.  And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and — and …

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May 12, 2014
robert-e-murray_original

Federal Judge Dismisses Libel Suit Brought By Coal CEO Robert Murray: The Opinion

This morning, United States District Judge Gregory L. Frost dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Robert Murray, CEO of coal company Murray Energy, against blogger Mike Stark and the Huffington Post.  Some reporting on the case is here and here.  Stark was represented by the ACLU of Ohio and me.  Below I’ve posted Judge Frost’s decision and the papers filed by both sides in the case.

Judge Frost’s Decision Granting Motions to Dismiss

Robert Murray’s Complaint

Mike Stark’s Motion to Dismiss

Huffington Post’s Motion to Dismiss

Murray’s Opposition to Stark Motion to Dismiss

Murray’s Opposition to Huffington Post’s …

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April 17, 2014
Rep. Walter Jones and Taylor Griffin
Rep. Walter Jones and Taylor Griffin

Last Remaining Populist House Republican Faces K Street’s Own Wolf of Wall Street

Congressman Walter Jones, a Republican who represents a wide swath of eastern North Carolina, might not strike you as a populist. But as a lawmaker, the veteran politician with a slow Southern drawl has become a gadfly in his own party for thumbing his nose at powerful political interests. He is the only GOP co-sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act, a measure to reveal the donors of dark money campaign advertisements. He is among the loudest critics of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, telling an audience once that, “Lyndon Johnson’s probably rotting in hell right now because of …

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March 5, 2014
David Jolly

David Jolly’s Clients Won Earmarks From His Old Boss, Bill Young

David Jolly, the Republican congressional candidate vying for the special election in Florida next week, has not only made a career out of lobbying. Records reviewed by Republic Report show that Jolly’s clients won millions of dollars in taxpayer earmarks from his old boss, the late Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young (R-FL), an appropriator known for his lavish use of the earmarking process.

These earmarks contrast sharply with the claims made by Jolly that he did not build his business career through political connections to his former employer.

“I did not build my practice around Mr. Young, not in any stretch,” Jolly …

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