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Featured Work

Pruitt Helped Block Garland Confirmation to Supreme Court, then Fundraised from Polluters that Benefited

Scott Pruitt
Image: Gage Skidmore CC BY SA 2.0
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Trump's choice to be the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), coordinated an effort by Republican state attorneys general to oppose the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

Pruitt then used this effort as a basis to request financial support for his federal Political Action Committee (PAC), called Oklahoma Strong.

In a March 2015 email that he sent to supporters of Oklahoma Strong, Pruitt boasted of his effort to block Garland's confirmation. Read the rest of this item here.


Tallahassee Mayor Defends Local Democracy from the Gun Lobby

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum
Local democracy is going on trial in Florida January 10. That's when opening arguments in the lawsuit being brought by the gun lobby against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum will be heard by Florida's First District Court of Appeals.

The trial is also a test of the state's super-preemption law – laws created to intimidate local, and often more progressive, lawmakers from passing and enforcing ordinances that reflect the values and needs of their communities. Read the rest of this item here.


Koch Astroturf Army Cheers Union Busting in Kentucky

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On the first day that the Kentucky legislature got underway with a newly elected Republican House, a Republican Senate and a Republican governor, the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity group blew the whistle and legislators jumped to do their bidding.

This week, the Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover rammed through the legislature three bills to break the back of unions and lower wages for highly-skilled construction workers.

It was bare-knuckled partisan politics. "We can pretty much do whatever we want now!" crowed GOP Kentucky Rep. Jim DeCesare behind closed doors. Read the rest of this item here.


Election Losses Don’t Stop Corporate Efforts to Block Voter-Approved Minimum Wage Hikes

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Voters spoke very clearly on November 8 when they elected to raise the minimum wage in Arizona and Maine, along with Colorado and Washington State.

But those wins, the democratic process, and the express will of the people are being defied and denied in Arizona and Maine, where corporate lobbyists and their legislative allies are working to block, delay, even rewrite the laws approved on Election Day.

These efforts to flout voter-approved laws are part of ongoing conservative and corporate-backed strategies to keep wages low. Read the rest of this item here.


Trump Urged to Put Nation Before Family Profits

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With just four weeks left until inauguration, President Elect Donald Trump has yet to deliver on his promise to tell the American people how he is going to handle his corporate empire in order to avoid crippling conflicts of interest.

With investments and developments in at least 20 countries around the globe, not to mention the United States and Washington, DC, Trump brings an unprecedented array of conflicts to the White House, along with an equally unprecedented risk of bribery, foreign influence, and corruption.

Trump told the world he would reveal his solution to resolving conflicts between his corporate interests and the national interest on December 15, but then abruptly canceled his scheduled press conference and postponed his announcement until January. Read the rest of this item here.


Recent Articles from PRWatch.org

A Trump Nation in an ALEC Land

The first post-presidential American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting last week in Washington, D.C. made clear that starry-eyed conservative state legislators had visions of more power dancing in their heads. Corporations were giddy thinking about the tax giveaways and incentive packages (think the $7 million Trump/Pence tax giveaways to Carrier to keep less than one-half of its jobs in that state) surely coming their way. Even keynote speaker Carly Fiorina this morning seemed hopeful, seemingly forgetful of Trump's former abuse.

Certainly, Trump wasn't the first choice of most ALEC members. Many other Republican presidential hopefuls had come to kiss the ALEC ring over the course of the Republican presidential primary. ALEC prince Scott Walker came before he fell off the presidential cliff. Kellyanne Conway appeared before ALEC in July, then a mere pollster. She (correctly) identified the mood of the electorate (very angry), and said that only a "change agent" like Trump could prevail. Even Mike Pence showed up to ALEC, but still no Trump. The ALEC audience was Trump wary. Read the rest of this item here.


ALEC's Little Brother, ACCE, Has Big Plans for 2017

By Steve Arnold, Mayor of Fitchburg, Wisconsin

I recently returned from the American Legislative Exchange Council's 2016 States and Nation Policy Summit, in Washington, DC. As a Mayor, I was most interested in the corresponding meeting of the American City County Exchange (ACCE), an offshoot spawned by ALEC in 2014 to spread ALEC's ideas about "limited government, free markets, and federalism" down to the most local levels of government.

I had attended the 2014 ACCE conference and was eager to see how the group had evolved in its formative years. What plans were its leaders developing in response to the surprising ascension of Donald Trump to President-elect, and the consolidation of republican power in the Congress and in statehouses nationwide? Read the rest of this item here.


Jeff Sessions and Trump's White House Swamp

Donald Trump may have campaigned on "draining the swamp," but he brings an unprecedented and dazzling array of conflicts of interest to the White House and the Executive Branch.

The Attorney General is expected to maintain an arm's-length distance from the President, providing him and his cabinet secretaries with independent legal advice while enforcing the laws of the United States.

But let's face it: It will take an exceptionally strong and independent-minded AG to call a gator a gator and build the levees needed to keep the swamp out of the Department of Justice. Jeff Sessions seems an unlikely pick if that's the kind of AG Trump has in mind. Read the rest of this item here.


Popular SourceWatch Articles

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Get breaking news on these and other issues here, "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @PRwatch and @ALECexposed."


Exposed by CMD

Exxon Illegally Funded ALEC Under Tillerson’s Tenure, CMD Tells Committee

Rex Tillerson
Written Statement of Lisa Graves on Behalf of the Center for Media and Democracy Submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Hearing on the Nomination of Rex Tillerson to Be U.S. Secretary of State.

Dear Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin and Members of the Committee:

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) would like to bring your attention a matter of serious concern regarding the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be U.S. Secretary of State. We would also respectfully request that this letter be included in the hearing record on his nomination, which we oppose.

For more than a decade under Mr. Tillerson’s tenure, Exxon has poured millions of dollars into nonprofit organizations in order to undermine public confidence in climate science and promote its anti-regulatory agenda. Read the rest of this item here.


CMD Opposes Confirming Sessions to Be Attorney General

Jeff Sessions
Image:Gage Skidmore CC BY SA 2.0
Written Statement of Lisa Graves on Behalf of the Center for Media and Democracy Submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Hearing on the Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to Be Attorney General of the United States

Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Leahy, and Members of the Committee:

I respectfully submit this statement for the record in opposition to the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions to be the 84th Attorney General of the United States.

Confirmation is a privilege, not a right–even for a sitting United States Senator. 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:

Fracking

This article is part of the FrackSwarm portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. To search by topic or location, click here.

Fracking (also often referred to as hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking) is a process stimulation procedure first used by the oil and gas industry in 1947 at a well in the Hugoton gas field located in Kansas. Hydraulic fracturing was first used commercially in 1949. The premise is simple, fluids are forced under pressure into the formation surrounding the wellbore. Once those fluids reach the fracture gradient of the surrounding rock the rock parts and fluid continues to flow further from the wellbore. The fluid continues to propagate the fracture, and eventually proppant is added to the fluid stream in order to keep the fractures from naturally healing once the wellbore pressure is released. Once the process is finished the now propped fractures provide conduits for fluids to flow to the wellbore. To date hydraulic fracturing has been performed more than 1 million times in every oil and gas producing region in the country. It is estimated that of the existing wells in the United States hydraulic fracturing has been performed in more than 70% of them. [1]

Water quality Impacts

Although no complete list of the cocktail of chemicals used in this process exists, information obtained from environmental clean-up sites demonstrates that known toxins are routinely being used, including hydrochloric acid, diesel fuel (which contains benzene, tuolene, and xylene) as well as formaldehyde, polyacrylimides, arsenic, and chromates.[2] These chemicals include known carcinogens and other hazardous substances.[3]

Read the entire SourceWatch page on the Fracking here.

References

  1. L. Britt and J. Jones, "Design and Appraisal of Hydraulic Fractures", SPE, 2009.
  2. Q+A: Environmental fears over U.S. shale gas drilling, Reuters, Dec. 23, 2009.
  3. "Gas Drilling Plan Raises Water Contamination Fears in New York City", Voice of America News, Carolyn Weaver, December 24, 2009


Editors' Pick

ALEC Pay to Play on Display in Washington, DC

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By Steve Arnold, Mayor of Fitchburg, Wisconsin

I first attended an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) winter policy meeting in 2014. There I learned that many so-called "model bills" in the ALEC library had become law in my state of Wisconsin. These include the "cable competition" (deregulation) bill, the "castle doctrine" allowing home owners to shoot intruders, and parts of a bill to make it harder for young, old, and poor people to vote.

Upon my return home, I found that corporate ideas flogged by luncheon sponsors while we ate and promoted at lobbyist tables between sessions at the 2014 meeting had subsequently followed the same well-worn path to "model bills," then state law. Read the rest of this item here.


Featured Video

ALEC and Criminal Justice Reform; RAGA and Oil Companies

October 3, 2016 - Democracy Now!
Amy Goodman talks with Lisa Graves, the executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, about the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the expansion of the U.S. prison system. ALEC has worked with states to write legislation promoting the privatization of prisons in addition to pushing for harsher, longer sentences. Amy also asks Graves about the connection between oil and gas companies and the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA).


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.



Sign up for news and updates from the Center for Media and Democracy

We Track Corporations and PR Spin

The Center for Media and Democracy publishes SourceWatch to track corporations.
  • We provide well-documented information about corporate public relations (PR) campaigns, including corporate front groups, people who "front" corporate campaigns, and PR operations.
  • Dating back to when tobacco companies deployed doctors to try to prevent labeling of cancer-causing cigarettes, many corporations use the "tobacco playbook" to hide behind neutral-looking "experts" as well as think tanks or non-profits in their efforts to influence or distort public policy to protect their bottom line or agenda--often a narrow agenda at odds with the broader public interest.
  • This specialized encyclopedia watches those sources and provides detailed information about corporations and special interests, using the collaborative "wiki" platform, like Wikipedia.

CMD relies on concerned citizens like you to keep this research online. You can contribute here.

Please visit SourceWatch's sister websites EXPOSEDbyCMD, to find our investigations and original documents we release, PRWatch, to read our original reporting, and ALECexposed, to see our award-winning investigation of a corporate front group where corporate lobbyists actually vote as equals with elected legislators on "model" legislation to change our rights.

Also, please check out the in-depth research from around the world by our partner projects within SourceWatch: CoalSwarm and FrackSwarm.

You can also use the sign up box below to get breaking news about our breakthrough investigations.

Lisa Graves, Executive Director

Praise for SourceWatch!

"As a journalist frequently on the receiving end of various PR campaigns, some of them based on disinformation, others front groups for undisclosed interests, [CMD's SourceWatch] is an invaluable resource."
Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire

"Thanks for all your help. There's no way I could have done my piece on big PR and global warming without CMD [the Center for Media and Democracy] and your fabulous websites."
—Zoe Cormier, journalist, Canada

"The troublemakers at the Center for Media and Democracy, for example, point to dozens of examples of "greenwashing," which they defined as the "unjustified appropriation of environmental virtue by a company, an industry, a government or even a non-government organization to sell a product, a policy" or rehabilitate an image. In the center's view, many enterprises labeled green don't deserve the name.
—Jack Shafer, "Green Is the New Yellow: On the excesses of 'green' journalism," Slate.

"The dearth of information on the [U.S.] government [lobbying] disclosure forms about the other business-backed coalitions comes in stark contrast to the data about them culled from media reports, websites, press releases and Internal Revenue Service documents and posted by SourceWatch, a website that tracks advocacy groups."
—Jeanne Cummings, 'New disclosure reports lack clarity," Politico.

"The folks at the Center for Media and Democracy have done incredible work documenting fake grassroots ("astroturf") groups. Here, they're helping protect the rights of all Americans to exercise their right to vote. They are completely non-partisan. These guys are the real deal."

Craig Newmark, Craig's List

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