January 18, 2014
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Media for Sale: Coal Lobby Buys Politico, Real Clear Politics Events

Last week, the political news website Real Clear Politics hosted a Washington DC event (video) targeted at an elite media and policy audience. Held at the gleaming Newseum, site of many such events, it was entitled, “U.S. Energy Policy: The Road Ahead,” and appeared to be a genuine policy discussion. It was, in fact, an infomercial.

The event was sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), a major trade organization for the U.S. coal industry. ACCCE was paying to have an energy discussion before journalists and policymakers – and for the opportunity to have ACCCE’s CEO Mike Duncan …

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125 comments
December 12, 2013
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Steve Forbes, The Olympics, Congress and Other Stuff For-Profit Colleges Buy With Your Tax Dollars

America’s for-profit colleges are receiving as much as $33 billion in a single year from your tax money, and billions more from the pockets of students, a lot of whom are left deep in debt and jobless from their encounters with predatory schools.  Many of the biggest for-profit colleges get close to 90 percent of their revenue from federal grants and loans, and yet the cost for students of attending, after financial aid awards, can be more than even private schools like Harvard.  So what are for-profit colleges doing with all this money?

Buying influence with the media.  Bridgepoint Education recently …

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84 comments
May 29, 2013
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Christie to Climate: Drop Dead

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie received widespread praise for his determined, and anti-partisan, work to aid his citizens in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. But when it comes to protecting his state against future extreme weather assaults, Christie morphs into another know-nothing partisan. In an interview last week on NBC’s Today, Matt Lauer pressed Christie on his recent statements casting doubt on the connection between human-created climate change and Sandy:

LAUER: You said you don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change. Several experts I’ve heard from say the destruction, though, from Sandy, was …

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November 14, 2012
On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney praised overpriced for-profit colleges and promised to protect them from accountability. But he lost.

Without Romney To Shield Them, For-Profit Colleges Must Face Reality

Since last week’s election, the Fox News Channel has featured several corporate executives complaining about the results. But it’s likely that few are as upset as CEOs of the troubled for-profit college industry. This sector, which is deeply dependent on the federal government, bet heavily on a Republican victory.

Mitt Romney, who has a financial stake in the industry, went out of his way to praise for-profit colleges, and he pledged to undo Obama reforms aimed at holding these companies accountable for fraudulent practices and poor quality schools. Sparked by Romney’s apparent eagerness to let them off the …

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32 comments
November 1, 2012
Todd Nelson, who has run both of America's two largest for-profit colleges, backs Mitt Romney.

Controversial For-Profit College Industry Using Your Tax Dollars To Support Romney Victory

Todd Nelson resigned as chief executive of Apollo Group, parent company of the University of Phoenix, in 2006, in the wake of two controversies that ended up in court.  In the first case, Apollo, the nation’s largest for-profit college business, paid $9.8 million in 2004 to settle a U.S. Department of Education complaint that it had engaged in systematic violations of rules regulating aggressive recruiting of students.  The second, less well known, was a case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), several months after Nelson left, charging that for years the University of Phoenix had discriminated against  employees …

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October 31, 2012
Destroyed homes in Seaside, NJ, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. © Greenpeace / Tim Aubry

In Sandy’s Wake: Top Romney Advisors Andrea Saul and Jim Talent Tied to Climate Change Denial

Greenpeace has posted these stark images of the destruction Sandy brought to the New Jersey shore. The devastation on the ground is heartbreaking, and Americans are grateful for the courage and determination of people responding to the crisis. At the same time, it’s imperative that we start asking why we have seen so much extreme weather lately — and what kind of leadership it will take to truly address the crisis.

In the wake of the disaster, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “There has been a series of extreme weather incidents. That is not a political statement. That is …

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16 comments
October 15, 2012

Beneath the Etch a Sketch: 5 Signs That Romney’s Real Ideology is Crony Capitalism

Is Mitt Romney “severely conservative,” as he put it during the primary season, or is he instead the semi-compassionate moderate he has portrayed since the first debate? It’s the question pundits keep asking, and of course it’s important to his political strategy and the outcome of the election. But to understand how Romney would actually govern as president, this dichotomy obscures a critical point.

If you look beyond Romney’s stump remarks – dig beneath the Etch A Sketch — to the structure of his campaign and the details of his policy proposals, it appears that Romney’s true ideology is not small-government conservatism, or …

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59 comments
October 1, 2012
Jim Talent endorsed the coal industry in a Romney campaign policy paper without telling you that his firm lobbies for the coal industry.

Top Romney Advisor Jim Talent Tied to Coal Lobbying, Wal-Mart Spying — and Todd Akin

Former Missouri Senator Jim Talent has emerged as a key policy advisor and public surrogate for Mitt Romney, and he is “regarded by insiders as a contender for a Cabinet-rank position if Romney wins the election,” maybe even Secretary of Defense. Just this morning, Talent appeared 0n MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” to preview Romney’s debate performance and criticize President Obama’s handling of the economy, the federal deficit, and the Middle East.

At the same time, Talent runs a big DC lobbying firm that represents major corporations, like the coal industry.

Last fall, the Romney campaign released an energy policy paper that …

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