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Featured Work

Paul Ryan Is Fundraising Off Healthcare While Working to Kill It For Millions

House Speaker Paul Ryan
Image: Gage Skidmore CC BY SA 2.0
House Speaker Paul Ryan has a reputation for policy wonkishness, which he doesn't deserve. He also has a reputation for raising boatloads of cash, which he does deserve. Care to guess which one's driving his healthcare priorities? For bonus points, name the two billionaire brothers who are glad to see him do it.

Ryan did a fundraising "physicians and dentist industry" breakfast on February 1 of this year, (here's the invitation obtained exclusively by the Center for Media and Democracy) and the suggested contributions were worth more than a cup of coffee and some scrambled eggs: $10,000 for a "sponsor," $5,000 for a "host," $2,500 for a political action committee, and $1,000 for an individual attendee. Read the rest of this item here.

Court Orders Scott Pruitt to Release Emails

Scott Pruitt
Image: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.—The Oklahoma County Court found Trump EPA nominee Scott Pruitt in violation of the state's Open Records Act. The Center for Media and Democracy filed a lawsuit against Pruitt for improperly withholding public records and the court ordered his office to release thousands of emails in a matter of days.

In her ruling, Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons slammed the Attorney General's office for its "abject failure" to abide by the Oklahoma Open Records Act.

The judge gave Pruitt's office until Tuesday, February 21, to turn over more than 2,500 emails it withheld from CMD’s January 2015 records request, and just 10 days to turn over an undetermined number of documents responsive to CMD's 5 additional open records requests outstanding between November 2015 and August 2016. Read the rest of this item here.

John Humphries: Schooled by Team Walker, Betsy DeVos and ALEC

John Humphries
In the upcoming statewide election for Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Evers is facing a challenge from John Humphries, an administrator with the Dodgeville School District and Dr. Lowell Holtz, who has experience as a school teacher, principal and superintendent.

Evers is one of the last constitutional office holders in Wisconsin backed by Democrats. He was a critic of Scott Walker's unprecedented $834 million budget cuts to the K-12 system and a skeptic of the GOP push for school vouchers because they drain money from public schools for the benefit of private and religious schools. Holtz touts himself as the "real conservative" in the race and has garnered support from prominent Republicans and right-wing groups, such as Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund. Read the rest of this item here.

Scott Pruitt Withholds Thousands of Emails Likely Concealing Ties to Fossil Fuel Corporations

Faced with a February 16 court hearing on the Center for Media and Democracy's (CMD) lawsuit to force Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to turn over records of his communications with fossil fuel giants and other polluters, Pruitt's office finally responded to the first of CMD's nine outstanding Open Records Act requests. After analyzing the response, however, CMD has determined that the AG's office provided just 411 of the more than 3,000 emails they earlier said they had located, withholding thousands of emails relevant to the request.

CMD, represented by Robert Nelon, of Hall Estill, and the ACLU of Oklahoma, has filed a status report with the judge detailing the scope of missing documents, including 27 emails that were previously turned over to the New York Times in 2014. Pruitt's office has yet to respond to CMD's eight other outstanding record requests. Read the rest of this item here.

Republicans Are Fundraising Off America's Healthcare Misery

Steve Scalise
Image: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0
To the outside observer, it may look as if the Republican Party can't decide what to do about repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). After voting to repeal the ACA more than 60 times in the House of Representatives, Republicans now hold both houses of Congress as well the presidency.

Repeal is in their grasp, and yet they seem paralyzed.

But that's only true if you believe that a political party's mission is to govern. If raising money is the GOP's true goal, their paralysis suddenly begins to make more sense. Read the rest of this item here.

Recent Articles from

ALEC Embraces Trumpism

Just in time for Valentine's Day, love is in the air as the American Legislative Exchange Council cozies up to the Real Donald.

ALEC and Trump are unlikely lovers. One gets excited about slamming borders shut, raising tariffs on imports, and promising massive infrastructure spending ($1 trillion in borrowed money says Steve Bannon), the other has never seen a free trade agreement it hasn't embraced and objects to spending programs that might actually grow jobs. Read the rest of this item here.

Lawsuit Filed Against Trump Nominee Scott Pruitt for Polluter Emails

CMD Alleges Pruitt Violated OK Open Records Law, Failed to Release 3,000 Emails for Over Two Years; Asks Court to Block Destruction of Emails

Days before the full Senate voted on Scott Pruitt's nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) alleged in a new lawsuit that as Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt had violated the Oklahoma Open Records Act for failing to provide public access to official emails and other documents for more than two years.

Alongside the petition, counsel requested an emergency hearing due to the impending Senate vote on Pruitt's nomination. Read the rest of this item here.

Coal Power Play at DOJ Poses Conflicts for Sessions

In the wake of Donald Trump's firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend his unlawful immigration ban, Senator Jeff Sessions faces renewed questions about whether he is too close to Trump to serve independently in the post. Read the rest of this item here.

Popular SourceWatch Articles

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Exposed by CMD

Oklahoma AG Releases 7,564 Pages in Response to CMD Request

Scott Pruitt
Image: Gage Skidmore CC BY SA 2.0
Under court order, Oklahoma Attorney General's office releases previously withheld emails and holds back others; more emails expected on February 27

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — As a result of an Open Records Act request and lawsuit filed by the Center for Media and Democracy, on Tuesday night the Oklahoma Attorney General's office released a batch of more than 7,500 pages of emails and other records it withheld prior to Scott Pruitt’s nomination as EPA Administrator last Friday.

The AG’s office has withheld an undetermined number of additional documents as exempted or privileged and submitted them to the Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons for review. A number of other documents were redacted, and CMD will be asking for the court to review those as well. Read the rest of this item here.

Reformers Call for Sessions Recusal in Russian Interference Investigations

Jeff Sessions
Image: Gage Skidmore CC BY SA 2.0
The Center for Media and Democracy joined 24 other reform organizations and bipartisan ethics experts in a February 17 letter calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from any Department of Justice investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, Russian interactions with the Trump campaign and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, or leaks related to those matters.

DOJ regulations require recusal whenever an employee has a personal or political relationship with anyone who is the subject of a DOJ investigation or prosecution. Read the rest of this item here.

Featured SourceWatch Article 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:

Mike Pompeo

CIA Director Mike Pompeo
Michael Richard Pompeo is the director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and former Representative of Kansas's 4th Congressional District, where the global headquarters of Koch Industries is located. While serving as a Congressman, the Huffington Post described the Tea Party Republican as "the Koch brothers' point man in the House."[1] Koch Industries and its employees was Pompeo's largest contributor in each of his campaigns.

Pompeo was tapped by President Donald Trump to be the Director of the CIA on November 18, 2016. He was confirmed by the Senate 66-32 on January 23, 2017 and sworn in that night.[2]

Koch Industries Is Pompeo's Top Campaign Contributor

Representative Pompeo's largest contributor in his each of his Congressional campaign's was Koch Industries and its employees, totaling $375,100 since 2010.

Read the entire SourceWatch page on Mike Pompeo.


  1. Elliot Negin, The Koch Brothers Are Still Trying to Break Wind, Huffington Post, December 9, 2013.
  2. Matt Flegenheimer, Mike Pompeo is Confirmed to Lead C.I.A., as Rex Tillerson Advances, New York Times, January 23, 2017.

Editors' Pick

Don't Let Them Smear Us as "Fake News"

Last Friday night, ALEC posted an op-ed trying to smear the Center for Media and Democracy as "fake news," a bogus attack from the Koch-backed corporate bill mill.

The truth? CMD has written hundreds of stories documenting ALEC's pay-to-play operation--where corporations secretly vote as equals with legislators on "model" bills to change our rights. Our research has helped fuel thousands of stories about ALEC in news outlets across the country and the globe, like the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, the Washington Post, PBS, and many more.

ALEC's "fake news" smear is designed to minimize the impact of our investigations.

Don't let them get away with it. Read the rest of this item here.

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!

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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