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41 posts tagged with lobbying.
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The McDonald's Cocaine Spoon Fiasco

How U.S. drug laws destroyed the McDonald's coffee stirring spoon.
posted by reenum on Sep 19, 2014 - 76 comments

Net Neutrality: Cats, Comcast, Cost and Comments

John Oliver and Last Week Tonight do an extended piece on Net Neutrality.
posted by Wordshore on Jun 2, 2014 - 55 comments

In the shadows

Where Have All the Lobbyists Gone? (SL The Nation). Daschle, a “policy adviser” to a range of corporate interests and a close confidant of many top Democrats, has become one of the most famous unregistered lobbyists in the city. In fact, his escapades as a consigliere and go-between for business leaders and politicians, including President Obama, are so well known that among ethics watchdogs, the technicality in the law that allows lobbyists to evade registration has become known as the “Daschle Loophole.”
posted by spamandkimchi on Mar 3, 2014 - 11 comments

Congress Plus

The Hill’s Megan Wilson, based on documents leaked on Monday, reports that the American League of Lobbyists (ALL) is considering dropping "lobbyist" from its name. "The organization confirmed to The Hill it is 'discussing a rebranding,' and is taking 'baby steps' toward that goal. Top choices for a replacement name include The Association of Government Relations Professionals, The National Association of Government Relations Professionals and the Government Relations Professionals Association, 'based on board meetings and emails,' the document says." [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Sep 21, 2013 - 40 comments

U.S. Chamber of Commerce influence in European Parlement

E.U. Data Protection Directive has many proposed amendments that MEPs cut and pasted directly from American right-wing lobbyists group and ALEC member the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (previously). [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Feb 12, 2013 - 25 comments

Russell Simmons: Occupy Democracy

Russell Simmons presents thirteen proposed Constitutional amendments aimed at getting money out of American politics.
posted by Rykey on Nov 16, 2012 - 25 comments

What's wrong and how to fix it.

It’s not as though as a society we have become that much stupider than our forbears; it’s because we have become that much more corrupt.

Adam Garfinkle
discusses American political dysfunction in one, two, three parts.
posted by Shit Parade on Oct 27, 2012 - 13 comments

Keep it simple. Rhyming's good. Never explain anything.

The campaigns they chose to run, and the way they decided to run them, shaped the history of California, and of the country. - The history of Campaigns, Inc., the "first political-consulting firm in the history of the world" which morphed into the precursor for our modern lobbying firms (although they preferred the term "grassroots organizers").
posted by DynamiteToast on Sep 19, 2012 - 7 comments

Microsoft announces support for its open document format

... Microsoft made an unobtrusive announcement that brings a degree of closure to a seven year long epic battle between some of the largest technology companies in the world. The same saga pitted open source advocates against proprietary vendors, and for the first time brought the importance of technical standards to the attention of millions of people around the world... [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 15, 2012 - 98 comments

Blogger: 1, TSA: -1,000,000,000

Body scanners attacked again as US blogger Jon Corbett who blogs for TSA Out of Our Pants! exposes how to beat the body scanners, carrying a metal box in a secret shirt pocket through security at two airports. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on Mar 7, 2012 - 130 comments

Ezra Klein on corruption in US politics

Our Corrupt Politics: It’s Not All Money. Ezra Klein on corruption in US politics. The key mistake most people make when they look at Washington—and the key misconception that characters like Abramoff would lead you to—is seeing Washington as a cash economy. It’s a gift economy. That’s why firms divert money into paying lobbyists rather than spending every dollar on campaign contributions. Campaign contributions are part of the cash economy. Lobbyists are hired because they understand how to participate in the gift economy.
posted by russilwvong on Mar 3, 2012 - 36 comments

The stench of lobbying and corruption

Britain’s secretive lobbying system - one company, Bell Pottinger which has had several more than slightly controversial clients has been exposed boasting that they can influence the British Prime Minister.
Among other briefs they have been advising the despotic Uzbekistan Government - reforms need not be fast. They have also been found to have been editing wiikipedia using up to 20 different accounts.
More on lobbying and a list of relevant related links
posted by adamvasco on Dec 9, 2011 - 13 comments

Lobbying expenditure by sector

Have a look who is coming up on top! Lobbying expenditure in the United States by sector. [more inside]
posted by Surfin' Bird on Oct 16, 2011 - 40 comments

The Finest Money Can Buy

'The new Republican leaders in the House have received millions of dollars in fresh contributions from banks, health insurers and other major business interests, which are pressing for broad reversals of Democratic policies that affect corporations, according to disclosure records and interviews.''Much of that money flowed to the GOP chairmen overseeing banking, energy and other key committees, who will play a central role in setting the House agenda over the next two years. The impetus behind such largess is simple: Many companies and industry groups hope that House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and other Republicans will succeed in rolling back Democratic policies they find objectionable, including environmental and Wall Street regulations.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jan 21, 2011 - 79 comments

Hey, what's on the radio?

Radio, RIAA: mandatory FM radio in cell phones is the future. 'Music labels and radio broadcasters can't agree on much, including whether radio should be forced to turn over hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay for the music it plays. But the two sides can agree on this: Congress should mandate that FM radio receivers be built into cell phones, PDAs, and other portable electronics. The Consumer Electronics Association, whose members build the devices that would be affected by such a directive, is incandescent with rage. "The backroom scheme of the [National Association of Broadcasters] and RIAA to have Congress mandate broadcast radios in portable devices, including mobile phones, is the height of absurdity," thundered CEA president Gary Shapiro. Such a move is "not in our national interest." "Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do." But the music and radio industries say it's a consumer-focused proposition, one that would provide "more music choices."' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Aug 16, 2010 - 96 comments

Show Him the Money

“What we try to do is build an unholy alliance between big guys and little guys." Tom Donohue, leader of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, goes on the record for an unbelievably revealing interview.
posted by jonp72 on Jul 12, 2010 - 11 comments

After the revolution, life goes on... and so do the bugs.

The Exterminator’s Want-Ad, a short story by Bruce Sterling, is a twisted first-person missive by a former K-Street lobbyist making his way in a post-collapse socialist regime of sharing. It's part of the Shareable Futures series of short stories and speculative essays at Shareable.net. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 24, 2010 - 41 comments

PhRMA is ... exactly what it sounds like

The Legacy of Billy Tauzin: Paul Blumenthal of the Sunlight Foundation details the complicated set of meetings that allowed the now retiring head of prescription drug lobby group PhRMA (derided in a popular Obama campaign spot) to secure influence on the health care bill in exchange for their endorsement. The White House officially announced its health care plan today. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Feb 22, 2010 - 19 comments

WE R IN UR MEDIA, STEALING UR DEMOCRASSY

The Lobbying-Media Complex. The Nation explores the pervasive influence of paid lobbyists on the media landscape. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Feb 15, 2010 - 21 comments

Politics 101: Don't Brag About Your Sexploits in Public

Conservative Republican California State Assemblyman Michael Duvall (Orange County) didn't realize his mic was live, moments before the start of a legislative hearing this past July. So when the 54-year-old married father of two began describing his ongoing affairs with two different women in very graphic detail for the benefit of a colleague seated next to him, he had no idea that he was being recorded. The story was picked up by KCAL, who cited unnamed sources that said Duvall was describing affairs with two married lobbyists. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 9, 2009 - 216 comments

What do lobbyists do?

Colonel Muammar al-Gadaffi, Leader and Guide of the Revolution, has been consulting with two US-based PR / lobbying companies—The Livingston Group (Sourcewatch) and Monitor (Sourcewatch)—to effect the rebranding of Gadaffi's Libya as a desirable and trustworthy ally of the United States. Confidential documents from these consultations have been obtained and posted online by a Libyan opposition group called NCLO. They include fee quotes, progress reports, and mission plans, as well as a personal tutorial curriculum for Gaddafi's son. Via LRBlog [more inside]
posted by stammer on Jul 29, 2009 - 27 comments

"They frankly own the place"

The second most powerful United States Senator admits, "And the banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place." [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Apr 30, 2009 - 55 comments

Everyone's Favorite Upstart Mom-and-Pop Search Engine Tries to Yank Watchdog's Funding

Bob Boorstin, Google's Director of Policy Communications, wrote a letter to the Rose Foundation, suggesting that the foundation stop funding Consumer Watchdog, an outspoken Google critic. [more inside]
posted by univac on Feb 26, 2009 - 49 comments

Banks Get What You Paid For

Where have the TARP funds gone? Apparently, manipulating elections. Lobbying against consumers, and $530/night retreats for CEOs.
posted by expriest on Feb 17, 2009 - 65 comments

Heckuva job, Blakey

Federal Aviation Administrator Marion Blakey is valiantly fighting European attempts to extend the EU's emission trading scheme to aviation. Those silly Europeans, Ms. Blakey has argued, are so overexcited about global warming that they are even using helicopters with thermal imaging systems to enforce a green tax on outdoor BBQs! Unfortunately for her argument, it turns out that the story she quoted is a complete hoax. Now, unlike Brownie, nobody would ever accuse Ms. Blakey of being a novice. Apart from previous tenures at, among others, the Department of Transportation and the NTSB, Ms. Blakey also founded Blakey & Agnew, a "public affairs" firm with a special focus on transportation issues.
posted by Skeptic on May 27, 2007 - 9 comments

Citizen K Street

Citizen K Street: How Lobbying Became Washington's Biggest Business The story will begin in the newspaper and on the Web on March 4, with an overview of Cassidy's career. Then, beginning March 5 and running Monday through Friday for five weeks exclusively at washingtonpost.com/citizenkstreet, Kaiser will tell the story in a serial narrative that will chart Cassidy's path and the transformation of the lobbying industry in Washington.
posted by srboisvert on Apr 8, 2007 - 5 comments

Global sweatshop lobby

"In a historically unprecedented visit, the influential Chinese scholar and labor law expert Liu Cheng arrived in Washington, D.C. this week to garner support from US legislators and labor leaders for a law that is pending not before the US Congress but before the National People’s Congress in China."
Global Labor Strategies' recent report Undue Influence has prompted comment that US corporate advocacy in China is retarding democracy. The US-China Business Council rejects this characterization of their lobbying efforts (China Law Blog broadly agrees). Their European counterparts think better compliance and implementation are key to improving protection for Chinese workers.
posted by Abiezer on Apr 6, 2007 - 20 comments

n layman’s terms, this is called a con.

"Mortgaging Old Black People" --Abramoff, Ralph Reed, the Black Churches Insurance Program, with the old folks' benefits going to Abramoff. They had previously tried it with the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe of El Paso. (original GQ story here)
posted by amberglow on Jul 13, 2006 - 18 comments

Lobbying Reform, GOP style

Great local investigative piece on the GOP's "point man on lobbying reform". (check out the video) Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)'s "charity" has spent almost half as much on "unexplained" T&E as it has given out to the needy. What's more, the treasurer of this organization is not only treasurer of his re-election campaign, but is also the the treasurer of Americans for a Republican Majority, the PAC run by Tom DeLay, who is no stranger to lobbyist scandals.
posted by mkultra on Mar 10, 2006 - 12 comments

The Commissar and the Apparatchik Vanish

Shades of Stalin's pre-Photoshop erasing of Trotsky from history: Joanne Amos admits to Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall that her GOP-friendly company, Reflections Photography, scrubbed images of President Bush with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff from both their online archive and CD record of official events. [Photos previously discussed here.]
posted by digaman on Jan 26, 2006 - 44 comments

Where the rich and conservative wine and dine

Who knew Jack Abramoff owned a restaurant? Well with the power-lobbyist-cum-felon's latest problems, Signatures, his Capitol Hill eatery, is looking for a new name. And you can help! I hope the Mefi community can offer many thoughtful suggestions. (via)
posted by slogger on Dec 30, 2005 - 24 comments

The lobbying labyrinth interactive map

Lobbycracy. "Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) invites you to join one of our guided tours through Brussels, the corporate lobbying capital of Europe. The two-hour tour introduces you to the headquarters of industry lobby groups, think-tanks, public relations firms and other key players in EU-level corporate politics, all located conveniently close to the corridors of power." There's a nice little Lobby Planet guide [PDF] with even more information. One group has come back with some criticisms about "factual errors", akin to our very own pantsgate.
posted by gsb on Feb 7, 2005 - 8 comments

Uncool: Chill, Bill. Technorati: Awake!

Think tanks attack Open Source "The Alexis de Tocqueville Institute’s attack on Linux is just the latest in a series of attacks on Open Source by think tanks.....

I was able to detect a common theme to all their criticism. They all seem to be funded by Microsoft. "
posted by troutfishing on Jun 25, 2004 - 54 comments

Opiates and Tacos. Mmmm.

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?  Walgreens, a nationwide drugstore chain, has been unsuccessful in obtaining city approval for a new store in a south Austin neighborhood. Now, they're trying a new approach:
Along with plan revisions and numerous neighborhood meetings, they made public in February their intention to build a permanent home for a nearby icon, Maria Corbalan's Taco Xpress.
      —Austin American Statesman, 6-13-04
...and they've hired a political consultant, reportedly with green leanings and a history lobbying the city of Austin, to drum up support for this cause (specifically the Maria's Tacos portion of their strategy). Insidious? Benign? Is this a new trend?
posted by Ethereal Bligh on Jun 13, 2004 - 35 comments

Peer-to-peer lobby

P2P United, the new lobby set up by peer-to-peer software developers, publishes a code of conduct.
posted by liam on Sep 29, 2003 - 6 comments

K street antics

Welcome to the Machine This article in the Washington Monthly describes a long term project of the Republican party to change the largely bipartisan nature of K street lobbying firms and install Republican thought leaders. In return for political benefits to the lobbyists clients, the lobbyists and their clients are expected to play nice with the Republicans on other issues. K Street has been a moderating influence against drastic change, as some constituent always objects. Under this new right-wing symbiotic relationship, individual interests are somewhat subordinated to the right-wing agenda. One of the more fascinating aspects is how it dramatically improves Republican fundraising; for instance:"For years, conservatives have been pushing to divert part of Social Security into private investment accounts. Such a move, GOP operatives argued, would provide millions of new customers and potentially trillions of dollars to the mutual fund industry that would manage the private accounts. The profits earned would, of course, be shared with the GOP in the form of campaign contributions. In other words, by sluicing the funds collected by the federal government's largest social insurance program through businesses loyal to the GOP, the party would instantly convert the crown jewels of Democratic governance into a pillar of the new Republican machine. " Of course the whole premise of this system rests upon continued Republican control. If the Democrats can wrest back control of the House and Senate, or install another strong president some of these lobbyists and their constituents will likely find themselves closed out of the process. Oh what a lovely way to govern. (via The Filibuster)
posted by caddis on Jun 29, 2003 - 30 comments

Show Scientology the Money.

Tom Cruise is lobbying politicians for money. Will the story ofXenu be taught in schools? Will our govenrment fund it? Will the Thetans ever recover their god-like powers?

What does The Church of Scientology need money from the Government for? Is the most expensive religion in the world running out of money from Suing and Harrassing everyone who speaks out against Scientology?
posted by da5id on Jun 19, 2003 - 30 comments

Mohair, Yourhair

The Mohair Council of America wins the prize for our country's most unique lobbying group. (I mean, really - it's mohair!) The MCA exists largely to protect the mohair subsidies, which are leftover from a time when the military used the material for uniforms. The subsidies were phased out in the mid 90s, but the MCA lobbied hard enough to bring them back in 1999. It just goes to show that with a well-placed lobbying arm, even the most useless, obscure interest group can get a piece of the government pie. (Runner up: The Flexible Packaging Association)
posted by risenc on Jan 6, 2003 - 6 comments

"This is not the first time [COMPANY] has been caught using dubious practices.

"This is not the first time [COMPANY] has been caught using dubious practices. Last August, lobbyists acting for [COMPANY] went beyond the grave and dispatched letters to US states' attorneys general from two deceased people as part of a campaign to persuade government prosecutors to lay off the company in the [COMPANY] case."
posted by holloway on Jan 9, 2002 - 23 comments

Watchdog Watchdog on Your Side

Watchdog Watchdog on Your Side "ActivistCash.com states that its mission is to expose 'where anti-consumer organizations and activists get their money.' ... ActivistCash is one of several front groups created by Berman & Co., a public affairs firm owned by lobbyist Rick Berman. Berman & Co. represents the tobacco industry as well as hotels, beer distributors, taverns, and restaurant chains." Not a new phenomenon, but a helpful accounting.
posted by Joe Hutch on Jan 5, 2002 - 6 comments

NBC apologizes to Latinos for 'Law & Order' episode

NBC apologizes to Latinos for 'Law & Order' episode The network's action was swiftly criticized by Dick Wolf, executive producer of the long-running legal drama. So a TV network caves into a lobbying group, even though the episode was based on real events.
posted by fleener on Jan 28, 2001 - 25 comments

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