November 19, 2014
LNG-Exports-Obama-macro

Revealing Washington’s Natural Gas Exports Revolving Door

Republic Report and DeSmogBlog released this report about natural gas lobbying on November 20, 2014. Co-authored by Lee Fang and Steve Horn, the report is the result of ongoing investigations into natural gas industry lobbying for LNG exports. Click the title to read the full PDF version, or read the series indexed online below. Natural Gas Exports: Washington’s Revolving Door Fuels Climate Threat (click to download PDF) Image credit: Simon Fraser University via Flickr

Part I

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The 2014 U.S. congressional mid-term elections are now complete, and the Republican Party controls both the House of Representatives and the Senate. …

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November 18, 2014
Richard Verma, a consultant to Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart backed Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety
Richard Verma, a consultant to Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart backed Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety

Madeleine Albright’s Consulting Firm Behind Effort to Undercut Bangladesh Safety Standards

The tragic Dhaka garment factory disaster in Bangladesh last year placed international pressure on global retailers to take responsibility and force their suppliers to increase safety standards. Though many North American and European brands signed onto a fairly strong safety agreement known as the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, several companies with suppliers in Bangladesh refused, most notably, Wal-Mart and GAP.

Wal-Mart and GAP, rather than signing the Accord’s binding safety agreement, developed their own standard with fewer commitments and no legally binding promise to take financial responsibility for future disasters. While the Accord mandates that retailers help provide funds for safety …

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November 18, 2014
cea

Oil Companies Continue to Lavish ‘Grassroots’ Pro-Keystone XL Groups with Cash

As Republic Report has previously noted, a group called the Consumer Energy Alliance has led the grassroots-organizing efforts to pressure politicians to support the Keystone XL pipeline. The group has mobilized letters to Congress, petitions to the State Department, and maintains a website caleld “BuildKXLNOW.org,” among other efforts.

New disclosure information obtained by Republic Report reveals that CEA continues to receive big donations from the nation’s largest oil companies, including firms positioned to profit from the shipment of tar sands oil from Alberta to the gulf coast.

The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers – a trade group that represents Koch Industries, Continue Reading »

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November 7, 2014
Connie Mack
Connie Mack

Hungarian Gov Hires Former Congressman Connie Mack

On the heels of massive protests against a proposed Internet tax and an increasing crack down on ethnic minorities, the Hungarian government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban is looking for political support in Washington. And it’s no wonder why. Hungarian political leaders have been widely condemned for calling for a national list of Jews who may pose a “national security risk.” In recent months, the government has also faced criticism for development projects apparently designed to remove Roma (gypsy) communities from urban centers.

For a price, any regime can find Beltway support. Registration documents show that Connie Mack IV, the former …

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November 7, 2014
Steve-Gunderson-President-CEO-APSCU

Entitled For-Profit Colleges File Meritless Suit to Block Obama Rule

On Thursday, November 6, the national trade association of for-profit colleges, APSCU, sued the Obama Administration in federal court in Washington DC to strike down the new 2014 “gainful employment” rule. The complaint repeats many of the claims from APSCU’s suit to strike down the 2011 gainful employment rule: that the U.S. Department of Education didn’t have the authority to issue such a rule; that the Department has not provided a reasoned basis for the rule; and that the rule is “unlawful, arbitrary, and irrational.” (The same day, the New York-based Association of Proprietary Colleges filed a separate suit to …

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November 5, 2014
salliemae

Sallie Mae Lobbyists Control Midterm Election Dark Money Groups

In the midterm elections this year, tens of millions of dollars flowed from secret donors into pivotal races through nonprofits. We may never know who really paid for the election of a whole new class of politicians.

Here’s a hint of where the money might be coming from: the lobbyists who control the gusher of money.

Crossroads GPS and the American Action Network, according to filings, were two of the largest dark money groups in America. Both are organized under the 501c4 section of the tax code, meaning they do not have to disclose a dime of donor money.

Here’s another similarity: both …

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September 17, 2014
suzeorman

VIDEO: With Senator Warren Watching, Suze Orman Denies, Admits, Rationalizes Teaching at University of Phoenix

At an event in Washington DC this morning, speaking alongside Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), financial guru Suze Orman at first seemed to deny what is a documented fact: that she teaches a personal finance course at the nation’s biggest for-profit college, the University of Phoenix.  Then Orman admitted it, but offered a wholly unconvincing explanation.

The event, hosted by Politico and sponsored by Starbucks, addressed the issue of educational opportunity and student debt, issues on which Senator Warren has been a leader. Having read a tweet I sent yesterday, Politico reporter Allie Grasgreen asked Orman a highly relevant question:

Q: Suze, are …

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September 16, 2014
Richard Cordray

Consumer Protector Cordray: Corinthian Colleges Deceived And Bullied Students

For a couple of years now, I’ve argued that Corinthian Colleges might be the worst predator of all the big for-profit college companies, a remorseless giant engaged in endless abuses of students who needed career help, not more problems. But now that Corinthian, which was taking in as much as $1.4 billion a year in taxpayer dollars, is collapsing under the weight of law enforcement probes and bad student outcomes, I worry that a prolonged focus on Corinthian’s horrid acts might allow other terrible actors in the for-profit college industry to sneak out the back door.

Indeed, the rest of …

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