Tag Archives | Lobbyists

Google Is Now Pouring Money Into Far-Right Wing Organizations

google earthPR Watch notes that Google’s political activities don’t necessarily match up with the views held by its workers:

Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers.

Organizations that received “substantial” funding from Google for the first time over the past year include Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the Federalist Society, the American Conservative Union (best known for its CPAC conference), and the political arm of the Heritage Foundation that led the charge to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act: Heritage Action.

In 2013, Google also funded the corporate lobby group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), although that group is not listed as receiving “substantial” funding in the list published by Google.

What Google considers “substantial” is not explained — no dollar amounts are given — but the language suggests significant investments from Google and, with a stock value of $330 billion, Google has considerably deep pockets.

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The 2005 Bankruptcy Bill: Knowing a Financial Crisis Was Imminent, Banks Lobbied Government to Pass Laws to Preserve Their Wealth

via chycho

bankruptcy

Our government representatives would like us to believe that the subprime mortgage crisis (2, 3, 4, 5) could not have been predicted. The truth is, the collapse was expected and authorities were well aware that crimes were being committed.

I. Introduction

It is said that if you want to find the corrupt, follow the money. This catchphrase, however, cannot be used as a preventative measure; it can only be used in retrospect to punish perpetrators of a crime. It does very little to protect us from predators. This is unfortunate when applied to our current crony capitalistic system; a wrong decision in our personal finances can mean the difference between living a life of debt servitude or one of freedom.

In our current centralized economic system, the best way to avoid pitfalls and preserve wealth, improving lifestyle, is to pay close attention to changes in laws and be mindful of their implications.… Read the rest

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The Pro-Cancer Lobby In Washington D.C.

In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof describes what he terms the “cancer lobby” — how major industry spends millions of dollars to influence Congress in support of carcinogenic chemicals:

Who knew that carcinogens had their own lobby in Washington? Just consider formaldehyde, which is found in everything from nail polish to kitchen countertops, fabric softeners to carpets. Largely because of its use in building materials, we breathe formaldehyde fumes when we’re inside our homes. According to government scientists, it causes cancer.

The chemical industry is working frantically to suppress that scientific consensus — because it fears “public confusion.” Big Chem apparently worries that you might be confused if you learned that formaldehyde caused cancer of the nose and throat, and perhaps leukemia.

The industry’s strategy is to lobby Congress to cut off money for the Report on Carcinogens, a 500-page consensus document published every two years by the National Institutes of Health, containing the best information about what agents cause cancer.

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Motion Picture Industry Threatens Politicians

Former Sentator Chris Dodd

From the sickening department at Techdirt:

Reinforcing the fact that Chris Dodd really does not get what’s happening, and showing just how disgustingly corrupt the MPAA relationship is with politicians, Chris Dodd went on Fox News to explicitly threaten politicians who accept MPAA campaign donations that they’d better pass Hollywood’s favorite legislation … or else:

“Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,”

This certainly follows what many people assumed was happening, and fits with the anonymous comments from studio execs that they will stop contributing to Obama, but to be so blatant about this kind of corruption and money-for-laws politics in the face of an extremely angry public is a really, really, really tone deaf response from Dodd.

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President Obama Has Raised More Money From Wall Street Than Any Politician in American History

CasablancaThis opinion piece from Joe Scarborough in the Politico is worth a read:

One of the most famous scenes in movie history comes from “Casablanca,” when a corrupt official shuts down Humphrey Bogart’s cafe. Bogart asks the French captain — who also happens to be a gambling aficionado — why he’s closing the joint down. His response is a classic.

“I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here.”

Political commentators have referred to Capt. Renault’s uproarious line for years when calling out hypocritical politicians. But few political narratives ever fit that scene as tightly as President Barack Obama’s bipolar approach to Wall Street. To fully understand the extent of Obama’s double-speak, it helps to let the “Casablanca” scene play out a bit, because after the corrupt captain makes his self-righteous declaration, a croupier hands him cash and says, “Your winnings, sir.”

Capt. Renault quietly thanks the croupier and then quickly returns to the role of reformer by shouting, “Everybody out at once!” Like that old movie character, Obama seems capable of effortlessly floating between demonizing Wall Street gambling one day and profiting from it the next.

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Where in the World are Obama’s Blunders (That is, Bundlers)?

Suitcase Of MoneySeth Cline writes on Open Secrets:

Nearly lost in the troves of campaign finance data recently released by presidential candidates was an updated list of bundlers for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. These 359 well-connected supporters have raised at least $56 million for Obama and the Democratic National Committee so far this year, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Obama’s campaign, the sole presidential campaign to disclose information about its bundlers, only gives broad ranges for the amounts these elite fund-raisers have raised, so the exact amount they’ve raised is unknown.

But because the campaign releases a figure for the minimum amount bundled, it’s safe to say that bundlers constitute a sizable portion of the fund-raising for Obama and the DNC.

In fact, more than $1 of every $3 donated to Obama and the DNC so far this year has come from bundlers, according to the Center’s research.

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Who Lobbies In Washington?

OpenSecrets has a wealth of information concerning private lobbying of federal and state government in the United States. However, it may be best to begin by looking at where the lobbying money is coming from. The FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) sector leads the field in terms of lobbying funds spent from 1998-2011. Also notable is how far down the list the Republican bogeyman of “Big Labor” is:

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