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Featured Work

After Massive Giveaways to Industry, Mining Executives Will Spend Big at Trump's D.C. Hotel

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The chief executives of some of the largest coal and mining companies in the country have chosen the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., for a private conference next month, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

The hotel is a natural venue for such an event. The host of the conference, the National Mining Association, an industry lobby group, has won a string of policy victories and carve-outs from the Trump administration and its Republican allies in Congress.

The NMA board of directors meeting, which takes place October 3-4, is yet the latest example of a special interest group spending thousands of dollars on a property owned directly by the Trump family. The Trump International charges over $800 a night for the days the mining event is scheduled. Read the rest of this item here.


SCOTUS Prepares to Hear Case that Could Put an End to Hyper-Partisan Gerrymandering and One Party Rule

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A case challenging the partisan gerrymandering of Wisconsin legislative districts will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on October 3. The court has a historic opportunity to curb the high-tech, gerrymandering that locks in one party control for at least a decade.

Briefs have been filed on both sides, including one from the Center for Media and Democracy, and now a new poll shows that 71 percent of voters want to remove partisan bias from redistricting even if it means their party may not win as many seats.

The voters have it right. They know that sophisticated, computer-aided gerrymandering, which can be undertaken by either party, strikes a mortal blow to democracy and competitive elections. Read the rest of this item here.


Bradley Foundation Funnels Millions to State Policy Network Groups

Tracie Sharp
Earlier this summer, CMD exposed the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, a $800 million tax-exempt "charitable" organization pursuing a highly partisan game plan: funding an "infrastructure" on the right that benefits the Republican Party, while at the same time attempting to defund labor unions, "a principal funding pillar of the left" and a key supporter of the Democratic Party.

Bradley effectuates this agenda by funding the $8.9 million American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its sister organization, the $80 million State Policy Network (SPN). The two groups have been linked since the beginning. SPN's predecessor, the Madison Group, was launched by ALEC in the 1980s at the Heritage Foundation, where ALEC was also housed. SPN was formally created in 1992 as an "umbrella organization" for a group of "mini-Heritage Foundations" in the states.

Read the rest of this item here.


State Policy Network Attacks Public Sector Workers as Waters Rise in Texas

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The remnants of Hurricane Harvey are still generating devastating floods in South Texas and Louisiana. While the Texas State Association of Firefighters and the Houston Police Officers Union and countless other public workers are working night and day on search and rescue -- and a fleet of union nurses start to arrive from around the country -- a little know ally of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is meeting in rain-soaked San Antonio planning an attack on public sector workers nationwide.

The $80 million network of state "think tanks" and other right-wing organizations known collectively as the State Policy Network (SPN) is holding its annual meeting in San Antonio this week with Koch operatives, corporate donors, and ALEC staff to coordinate an assault on American unions. SPN is bankrolled by many of the same companies as ALEC and receives funds from the Charles G. Koch Foundation.

What else is SPN planning to do while the impacts of Houston historic and catastrophic flood is still being felt? Why roll back renewable energy and promote the interests of their fossil fuel funders of course. Read the rest of this item here.


Tough Trade Talk Fades as Trump and Pence Toe the Koch Line

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When he was running for president, Donald Trump had very harsh words for deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the then-pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

He called NAFTA "the worst trade deal in the world" and "a total disaster." He said it had caused "carnage," lumping it in with other "terrible" trade deals like the TPP, which he also called a "disaster."

Trump withdrew America from the pending agreement upon taking office. But his administration is now resurrecting much of that deal's most troublesome provisions, along with its corporate-friendly drafting process, as it prepares to renegotiate NAFTA. Read the rest of this item here.


Recent Articles from PRWatch.org

"Poison Papers" Snapshot: HoJo Transcript Illustrates EPA Collusion with Chemical Industry

The world of independent chemical testing has a shiny veneer. The public is reassured that chemicals they're exposed to on a daily basis are certified by technicians in spotless white lab coats who carefully conduct scientific studies, including on animals in neat rows of cages.

But a federal grand jury investigation that ended with convictions in the early 1980s discovered that Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories (IBT), the largest such lab in the United States, conducted trials with mice that regularly drowned in their feeding troughs. The dead animals would decompose so quickly that "their bodies oozed through wire cage bottoms and lay in purple puddles on the dropping trays." IBT even invented an acronym "TBD/TDA" for its raw safety data, later discovered to mean "too badly decomposed." Read the rest of this item here.


Fierce Push Back on Trump "Voter Fraud" Commission

The Trump administration has set up what Trump calls a "voter fraud panel." Billed as an official "Advisory Commission on Election Integrity Resources," the commission is being met with stiff resistance from many states, lawsuits by civil rights, and privacy watchdogs, and it is even prompting some worried voters to take the names off the voter rolls.

The origins of this commission come from Trump's unsubstantiated claims that "millions" of people voted "illegally" in the 2016 election, all of them for his opponent. In a November 27, 2016 tweet, Trump claimed, "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." Even though scientific studies have repeatedly shown voter fraud to be insignificant in campaigns and elections, a week later he claimed that 3-5 million had voted illegally, all against him. Read the rest of this item here.


Big Coal Burns Bright at ALEC Conference

The best part of my 9th American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference so far was trying to get into the host hotel in Denver.

When I pulled up in my cab, it was surrounded by hundreds of protestors marching on the sidewalk and shouting some of my favorite chants. Any possible entrance into the hotel was blocked by yellow police tape or a barricade. So I marched with them for a bit, pulling my suitcase behind me, and then ducked under the tape to get into the hotel.

Now that's the way to start an ALEC conference. Read the rest of this item here.


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Exposed by CMD

ALEC’s Corporate Board Leads…in Federal Violations

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The federal government has slapped eight of the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) known corporate board leaders with more than $6.2 billion in federal fines and penalties for misconduct or corporate crimes since 2000.

The leading ALEC scofflaws include pharmaceutical giant Pfizer ($4.350 billion), Exxon Mobil ($715 million), Koch Industries ($657 million), AT&T ($421 million), United Parcel Service ($35 million), alcohol multinational Diageo ($17 million), Peabody Energy ($16 million), and Altria (owner of Phillip Morris, the largest U.S. cigarette manufacturer) ($7 million).

The extensive violations data is accessible for the first time thanks to "Violation Tracker," an expanded database of federal regulatory actions created by Good Jobs First. Read the rest of this item here.


Government Watchdogs Urge Support of Bills to Prevent Firing of Special Counsel Mueller

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Image: Kit Fox/Medill - CC BY 2.0
The Center for Media and Democracy signed onto a letter yesterday with 22 other government watchdog groups and ethics experts calling on senators to support two bipartisan bills designed to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Trump.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May to serve as special counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice to oversee the investigation into any Russian interference in the 2016 elections, including possible collusion with Trump's campaign.

The letter notes that Trump has already "interfered with this investigation and the administration of justice" on multiple occasions, including firing FBI Director James Comey, asking top intelligence officials to intervene, and exploring whether he can pardon himself and his children. Read the rest of this item here.


Featured SourceWatch Article

SourceWatch.org is an interactive wiki website that depends on readers like you to improve content. If you want to help us grow SourceWatch with well documented research and become a volunteer editor, click here for more information.

Excerpts from longer SourceWatch article:

Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

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The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation (LHBF), formerly known as the Allen-Bradley Foundation, was established in 1942, describing itself as "a private, independent grantmaking organization based in Milwaukee."[1] According to the foundation's 1998 Annual Report and a 2011 report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation gives away more than $30 million per year.[2][3] In November 2013, One Wisconsin Now and the Center for Media and Democracy reported that the Bradley Foundation had given over $500 million to conservative "public-policy experiments" since 2000.[4]

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "from 2001 to 2009, it [Bradley] doled out nearly as much money as the seven Koch and Scaife foundations combined."[5]

Read the entire SourceWatch page on the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

References

  1. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Home, organizational website, accessed June 6, 2013.
  2. Media Transparency, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc. - Funder profile, archived by the WayBack Machine March 6, 2012.
  3. Daniel Bice, Bill Glauber, and Ben Poston, From local roots, Bradley Foundation builds conservative empire, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel November 19, 2011.
  4. One Wisconsin Now and the Center for Media and Democracy S is for Shill: Inside the Bradley Foundation's Attack on Public Education, organizational report, November 2013.
  5. Barbara Miner, Wisconsin's Progressive Tradition at Stake in the Recall Election, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 14, 2012.


Editors' Pick

Order John Nichols New Book Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse Today!

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Hot off the press is John Nichol's new book HORSEMEN OF THE TRUMPOCALYPSE: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America. The book details the wrecking crew with the power to make our country and our world a much more dangerous place.

Learn about Robert and Rebekah Mercer "The Investors," the "King of Voter Suppression" Kris Kobach, the Koch Brother Mike Pompeo, the Kingfish of the Quagmire Tom Price, and "Secretary of Gentrification" Ben Carson.

You can buy the book at a local bookstore, but we are asking you to buy it though us to support CMD's investigations. CLICK HERE TO ORDER!


Featured Video

Days After Pruitt Becomes EPA Head, Newly Released Emails Show His Ties to Koch Bros. & Energy Firms

Days After Pruitt Becomes EPA Head, Newly Released Emails Show His Ties to Koch Bros. & Energy Firms
February 23, 2017 - Democracy Now! Thousands of pages of newly released emails reveal how EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely collaborated with oil, coal and gas companies backed by the Koch brothers to roll back environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general. The documents were released just days after Pruitt was sworn in as the new head of the EPA, the agency tasked with curtailing pollution and safeguarding public health. Last week, Senate Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to postpone Pruitt’s final confirmation until the emails were released, but Republicans pressed forward and confirmed him in a 52-46 vote, largely along party lines. As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times. The trove of new documents shows how energy companies drafted language for Pruitt’s Attorney General’s Office to use to sue the EPA over environmental regulations. We speak to Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which successfully sued for the emails to be released.


Koch Exposed

Follow the Money!

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The Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of ALEC Exposed, brings you this unique wiki resource on the billionaire industrialists and the power and influence of the Koch cadre and Koch cash.

Read about Koch Funding Vehicles:

Visit Koch Exposed for more.



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