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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August 31, 2012

On HuffPost: To Get Better Policies, Expose Corrupt Politics

Huffington Post published this piece by me yesterday, as part of its Shadow Conventions series:

To grasp the harms caused when money dominates politics, start with for-profit colleges. This industry tripled in size during the last decade, spurred by deceptive recruiting practices, after its lobbyists loosened federal rules aimed at protecting students and taxpayers from fraud. It has become a monster, a league of Wall Street corporations and private equity-owned firms that get 86 percent of their revenues — $32 billion a year — from taxpayers.

While some for-profit colleges are honest and work to educate their students, many charge sky-high …

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August 9, 2012
Who did Pete Hoekstra influence peddle on behalf of? We may never know.

Who Did Pete Hoekstra Lobby For? We May Never Know

Last night, former congressman Pete Hoekstra won the Michigan GOP Senate primary, securing his spot as the party’s nominee. He will be competing the Senate seat this November.

In between his stint as a congressman and this current race, Hoekstra raked in nearly half a million dollars as “a senior adviser with Dickstein Shapiro LLP, a legal and lobbying firm.” In this role, Hoekstra all but certainly helped the firm’s corporate clients advance their government agendas. But because he spent less than twenty percent of his time on lobbying, he had no obligation to officially register as a lobbyist. Thus …

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August 7, 2012
Super PAC ads aren't just annoying...they make a lot of money for stations.

Political Advertisements Advance The Media’s Profits

Industry analysts are predicting that upwards of $3 billion will be spent on political advertisements in the 2012 election. This is an increase of more than $500 million from 2008. But who will benefit the most from this cash infusion? Not President Obama. Not even Mitt Romney. Rather, the National Association of Broadcasters, a lobbying group that proclaims itself “the voice for the nation’s radio and television broadcasters.”

A new FCC rule could provide the public with real-time data about who is profiting from the vast Super PAC spending. The commission ruled in April that affiliates of CBS, NBC, ABC, …

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August 6, 2012

VIDEO: The Constitution Is Pretty Clear — It’s ‘We, The People,’ Not ‘It, The Money’

We all know how the Founders wanted lawmaking to work — but lately, the democratic process has been upended by a flood of Big Money. From our friends at unPAC, here’s how a bill(ionaire) becomes a law(maker)…and what we can do to take back our democracy!

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August 2, 2012

Corruption #2 Issue for Americans

87% percent of Americans find, “reducing corruption in the federal government,” to be “extremely,” or, “very important” according to a new Gallup poll on American’s top priorities for the next president.  This is the #2 issue, following only job creation.

Corruption in government usually ranks as an important issue when it is asked about specifically, though it is not as top-of-mind as jobs or the economy.

Particularly, corruption does less well in polls when respondents are asked to volunteer priorities.  However, only 2% thought corruption was not an important issue.  In addition, corruption, like job …

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July 17, 2012

Romney aide’s hypocritical attack on Obama “crony capitalism”

On Sunday’s CNN “State of the Union,” Mitt Romney senior advisor Ed Gillespie explained how a second Obama Administration would reward its rich friends: “If you’re a political donor to Barack Obama, you’re going to do fine, because you’re going to get a payoff.”

This statement was pure hypocrisy: “a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not.” Because, although the Obama Administration has indeed sometimes cozied up to special interests, it is Mitt Romney’s policies that are audaciously skewed to favor his campaign donors. And Ed Gillespie’s regular job, when not advising Romney, …

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July 16, 2012

VIDEO: After Attacking Opponent’s Lobbyist Fundraising, Dewhurst…Fundraises With D.C. Lobbyists

There’s a populist revolt against Big Money, and one place where you can see this on full display is in Texas. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is running against former Solicitor General Ted Cruz for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, and each side has accused the other of being beholden to lobbyists.

Dewhurst, who is widely considered to be the establishment candidate and who has received 33 times as much in corporate Political Action Committees (PACs) money as his opponent,  has said that Cruz is “another lawyer funded by Washington special interests,” referring to his backing by right-wing groups …

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