The term “Chamber of Commerce” plants visions of a quaint, local organization helping hang banners in the town square at Christmas time, or sponsoring youth groups in a Fourth of July parade during warmer seasons. Realistically, however, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the nation’s largest business and commerce trade group. And among all their other lobbying work, the Chamber of Commerce has become one of the world’s biggest advocates for Big Tobacco, pushing that industry’s interests globally. [More]
Congressman Bill Shuster from Pennsylvania, the Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the lawmaker behind pro-airline legislation like this 2014 bill to remove any transparency from advertised airfares — and whose top campaign contributors are United and American Airlines — has admitted today to being in a romantic relationship with a top lobbyist for the airline industry. [More]
Large companies do a lot of philanthropic and community giving. Comcast is not alone on that front: volunteerism, grants, donations, and employee matching are common, perhaps even standard, at many of America’s biggest businesses. But where Comcast differs is that they, very publicly, turn their valuable giving into an unpaid army of on-demand lobbyists whenever they have a company to buy. Like Time Warner Cable. [More]
There are thousands of trade groups in America. Probably hundreds of thousands. And although we most often hear from the groups representing industries like cable, tech, or banking, pretty much everyone out there has another someone out there collecting their dues and writing to Congress on their behalf. In the world of food, those groups can get as specific as every ingredient in your evening dinner. [More]
That money talks in Washington is conventional wisdom for a reason. Corporations, industries, and a handful of extraordinarily wealthy individuals spend big bucks on campaigns and on lobbying not for fun, but because they expect to get something back in return. And while adding up all those expenditures is comparatively straightforward, finding out who gets how much back has been harder… until now. A new study finds that billions of dollars might go into D.C., but trillions are coming back out. [More]
Mergers are an expensive business. Not only is Comcast spending $45 billion just to buy Time Warner Cable, but also there are the costs of getting the deal approved. Trying to convince regulators and lawmakers that this arrangement is not only not harmful, but potentially beneficial, is a hefty undertaking. That means a legion of lobbyists. [More]
Google wants its self-driving cars to prowl Nevada streets, so it’s lobbying the state’s lawmakers to make its cars legal, and also give them exemptions from a distracted driver law that forbids text messaging while at the wheel. [More]
We are super-duper late in mailing out Comcast’s Worst Company In America trophy so we decided to spice it up with a disco lightshow for the award and a nice congratulatory letter. [More]
Kaching, kaching, that’s the sound of Mastercard’s lobbyist’s coffers engorging. The credit card company spent nearly a million dollars in the 4th quarter to lobby Congress critters. By comparison, they spent only $680,000 in the 3rd quarter, and $510,000 in Q4 2008. Among the issues of keen interest to the big orange and yellow interlocking circle: overdraft fees, banking reform, interchange fees, issuer practices, and the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The good thing about being Mastercard is that you can just charge all your lobbying expenditures.
A lobbyist for one of the world’s largest biotech firms ghostwrote in whole or in part the official statements made by different Congresspersons in the Congressional Record regarding a provision of the House health care bill, a Times investigation found.
The New York Times has details about the new bailout plan Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is scheduled to talk about later today. Here’s a rundown of what’s on the menu:
AIG apparently spends a pretty significant chunk of cash lobbying politicians, says the WSJ, a practice they’re being forced to abandon as they come under more scrutiny from lawmakers.
Writing to Congress is the single best way to express your view on public policy. The average consumer has a surprising ability to influence legislation by crafting a well written missive. Let’s find out what the common mistakes to avoid are, how the process works, and the best ways to ensure your letter has the greatest impact.