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Category Archive: Corporate Influence in Politics

Jul 30 2013

Halliburton Pleads Guilty to Shredding Evidence

This week in entirely unsurprising news: Halliburton destroyed evidence of their own culpability after the BP oil spill. They’ve now agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges for it and to pay a whopping $200,000 fine, which I assume will merely come out of petty cash.

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Jul 14 2013

McDonnell Problems Hit Cuccinelli Too

You may be watching the gathering storm around Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University and a serious right wing nutjob, with as much glee as I am. But it looks like his problem of taking major kickbacks and benefits from a controversial company in his state may hit his …

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May 20 2013

What Is ‘Primarily Political’?

The Inspector General for Tax Administration at the Treasury Department has issued a preliminary report on the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party and “patriot” groups that applied for 501(c)(4) status. You can see that report here. The report does conclude that inappropriate criteria was used, but finds no evidence that it was anything other than …

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May 17 2013

Adelson Hit With $70 Million Verdict

Sheldon Adelson, one of the world’s richest men and now one of the primary money men for Republican politicians, has lost another major lawsuit. A jury awarded a man who had helped Adelson get a license to open several casinos in Macau a $70 million judgment.

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May 15 2013

The Real IRS Scandal

The IRS has admitted that they targeted Tea Party and “patriot” groups for additional scrutiny when they applied for non-profit status over the last couple years, something that is clearly beyond the pale. The real question, which should be answered by the Inspector General of the Treasury Department who is investigating, is who authorized this …

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May 07 2013

Fix the Debt: Fiscal Responsibility for Thee

ThinkProgress links to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Campaign for America‚Äôs Future about a group called Fix the Debt, which is made up of the CEOs of many large and powerful corporations. While demanding fiscal responsibility, they all make far more money both personally and for their companies because …

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Apr 25 2013

TX Fertilizer Plant Failed to Disclose Hazardous Materials

Here’s one likely reason why the explosion at that fertilizer factory in West, Texas was so massive. According to Reuters, the company had failed to report stores of ammonium nitrate that were more than 1300 times more than they were supposed to have without DHS oversight.

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Apr 23 2013

Business as Usual Continues in Politics

When President Obama took office, he promised to change business as usual in Washington. No lobbyists would work in his administration, he declared, but quickly made so many exceptions to the rule that it became irrelevant. And in reality, as Noam Scheiber notes, virtually nothing has changed; the revolving door is still revolving as quickly …

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Mar 07 2013

Those Uncoordinated (Wink, Wink) Super PACs

Salon.com has a report on a new study from Public Citizen about those allegedly “independent” Super PACs that support a candidate. They’re forbidden by law from coordinating their actions with a candidate’s official campaign committee, but everyone knows that isn’t really true.

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Mar 07 2013

Adelson Bribed Foreign Officials

Sheldon Adelson, one of the richest men in the world and the single largest contributor to Republican politicians in 2012, has admitted to the SEC that he likely violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits the bribing of foreign officials.

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Feb 22 2013

Making Citizens United Worse

The Supreme Court has granted cert in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a case that could potentially make the result in Citizens United much worse by allowing essentially unlimited contributions to political candidates and parties.

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Feb 06 2013

Lobbyist: Businesses Don’t Do Enough Lobbying

Every once in a while you read something that is so staggeringly out of touch with reality that you fear it may rip a hole in the space-time continuum and cause that total protonic reversal thing from Ghostbusters. Please turn off your irony meters before reading this:

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Feb 02 2013

Roberts’ Convenient Loss of Memory

Still reading Jeffrey Toobin’s new book, The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court, and found this very interesting quote from Chief Justice John Roberts in the chapter about the ruling in Citizens United v FEC. Legal experts have long regarded Roberts as an advocate of judicial restraint. That’s why his ruling in …

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Jan 16 2013

Interesting Facts About the Citizens United Ruling

I’m reading Jeffrey Toobin’s new book The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court and there is some very interesting information about the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that I wasn’t aware of. There are lots of fascinating facts about how the case was decided that are worth taking a look at. Toobin …

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Dec 19 2012

More Lobbying = Lower Taxes

Joseph Rotella and Dennis Van Roekel have an article at U.S. News and World Report that details more than $220 billion in tax subsidies given to some of the largest corporations in the world, allowing them to pay very low taxes even while earning record-breaking profits. And it’s hardly a coincidence that many of them …

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