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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January 18, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 10.30.40 AM

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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December 12, 2013
forbes

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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May 29, 2013
LauerChristie-B

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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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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