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Featured Work

Cable Industry Lobbyists Write Republican Talking Points on Net Neutrality

Following the vote last week by the Federal Communication Commission to unwind the net neutrality rules enacted during the Obama administration, House Republican lawmakers received an email from GOP leadership on how to defend the decision. The email was shared with The Intercept and the Center for Media and Democracy.

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers must treat all web traffic in the same way. If the FCC eventually undoes the Obama-era regulations in their entirety, an ISP like Comcast could demand that websites pay it fees in order not to slow or block them. Large companies like Facebook would easily be able to afford such charges, but smaller companies might not, creating an uneven playing field. Read the rest of this item here.

The Bradley Foundations' Secret War on Gay Marriage and Liberal Sex

A trove of documents exposed by the Center for Media and Democracy shows that the right-wing Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation wants to build a right-wing "infrastructure" across the country to promote its extreme agenda.

Unfortunately, the Foundation's desire to police what happens in American bedrooms is part of that agenda.

To promote its socially conservative view of marriage and the family--especially its opposition to marriage equality--the Bradley Foundation has been pushing the work of a discredited researcher who thinks liberal women want more sex, porn-watching makes men support gay marriage, and gay marriage makes straight men both more promiscuous and more likely to … well, keep reading.

Read the rest of this item here.

Comey Firing Drives Home Need for Independent Russiagate Prosecutor

James Comey
Image: Rich Girard CC BY-SA 2.0
President Donald Trump's surprise firing of FBI Director James Comey makes one thing perfectly clear—Americans need an independent prosecutor to investigate and enforce the law in the growing Russiagate scandal.

Comey's firing came just hours after CNN learned that the FBI has issued grand jury subpoenas in the Russia investigation and seven weeks after Comey confirmed in front of a House committee that the FBI was investigating "any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts."

Comey was serving a ten-year term that ran until 2023. Read the rest of this item here.

Bradley Foundation Bankrolls Front Groups of Discredited PR Spin Doctor Richard Berman

Documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) pull back the curtain on the highly politicized funding of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and its relationship with Richard Berman, the public relations spin doctor dubbed a hired gun" for corporate America by 60 Minutes.

Bradley is bankrolling multiple Berman front groups along with groups across the nation that are working to "defund Big Labor" and to destroy unions, the most significant advocate for higher wages and better working conditions in America. Berman was caught on tape telling prospective funders: "I get up every morning and I try and figure out how to screw with the labor unions" and "marginalize the people on the other side," as CMD helped reveal in 2014.

Read the rest of this item here.

Bradley Foundation Bankrolls Attacks on Unions

Documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) expose a national effort by the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to defund and dismantle unions, the most significant force for higher wages and better working conditions in America.

Publicly, the Bradley Foundation spins this agenda as "employee rights." Behind the scenes, newly disclosed Bradley documents detail an aggressive political agenda.

Why does Bradley want to annihilate unions? Because if you dismantle unions, you destroy a key funder of the Democratic Party and its "army on the ground," as Newt Gingrich once put it. Read the rest of this item here.

Recent Articles from

Privatizers Continue Assault on Public Schools through Charters and Vouchers

May 1-5 is National Charter School Week, and it comes at a time when charter school and school privatization advocates must be wondering how they should feel.

On one hand, the president of United States and the secretary of United States Department of Education are not just school privatization advocates, but hyper-zealous activists for the cause. Billionaire philanthropist and GOP super-donor Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has devoted a good portion of her adult life to undermining public schools and advancing the cause of private charter schools and private school vouchers. Read the rest of this item here.

100 Days in the New White House Swamp

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to "drain the swamp" of corruption in Washington, D.C., "make our government honest again," and "put America first," while deriding his opponents for being in the pockets of their billionaire backers.

On election night, Trump credited his victory to a "movement" of Americans "who want and expect our government to serve the people," and declared "serve the people it will."

What a difference 100 days makes. Read the rest of this item here.

Republicans Sell Access to Congressional Staffers

Congressional Republicans are baldly enticing donors with the promise of meetings with senior legislative staff, effectively placing access to congressional employees up for sale to professional influence peddlers and other well-heeled interests.

Documents obtained by The Intercept and the Center for Media and Democracy show that the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee are both telling donors that in exchange for campaign contributions, they will receive invitations to special events to meet with congressional staff including chiefs of staff, leadership staffers, and committee staffers. Read the rest of this item here.

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Exposed by CMD

Bradley Foundation Floated Wisconsin Watchdog While Franklin Center Floundered

Newly revealed documents from the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation show that the foundation gave significant grants to a diverse array of media institutions, including media sites that pursued a highly partisan agenda.

The Bradley Foundation provided crucial funding to "Wisconsin Watchdog" as the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity a right-wing media organization focused on building news bureaus in state capitals across the nation, slowly sank.

The Franklin Center was founded in 2009 with help from the Sam Adams Alliance, a now-defunct new media group founded in 2006 by Wisconsinite Eric O'Keefe. Read the rest of this item here.

Weaponized Philanthropy: Documents Detail Bradley Foundation’s Right-Wing "Infrastructure"

Documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) expose a national effort funded by the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to assess and expand right-wing "infrastructure" to influence policies and politicians in statehouses nationwide.

The documents were made public in October 2016 on two Twitter accounts that cyber security analysts have linked to one of the Russian hackers alleged to have breached the Democratic National Committee. The Bradley Foundation confirmed in a statement that the hack had taken place and was reported to the FBI.

The documents open a window to the behind-the-scenes workings of one of America's largest right-wing foundations. With $835 million in assets as of June 2016, the Bradley Foundation is as large as the three Koch family foundations combined, yet receives much less attention as a significant funder of the right. 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

Ethics Groups and Experts Demand DOJ Appoint Special Counsel

Deputy Attorney General
Rod Rosenstein
Recently, the Center for Media and Democracy joined 23 government watchdog groups and ethics experts in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein demanding that he appoint a special counsel to take over the Justice Department's investigation into the Russia influence scandal.

The letter reads, in part:

"As you know, Mr. Comey was leading an FBI investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election and any role that may have been played by the Trump campaign and by associates of President Trump. This is an investigation that could reach White House officials and potentially the President himself."

"Under the 'extraordinary circumstances' present here, the Justice Department regulation requires you to now appoint a Special Counsel." 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.

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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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