SourceWatch

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to SourceWatch!

The Center for Media and Democracy publishes this wiki, SourceWatch.

Please check out our sister sites, PRWatch and ALECexposed, to read our original reporting and see our award-winning investigations.

Lisa Graves, Executive Director

Click here to keep this research online with a tax-deductible gift today!

Featured Work

Google Refuses to Respond to Letter Questioning ALEC Ties

by Rebekah Wilce

Net neutrality Google-SR200.jpg
The Center for Media and Democracy/Progressive Inc. (CMD) has joined more than 50 watchdog, advocacy, and labor groups in sending a letter to Google asking it to cut its ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Google has not responded, telling the trade publication Ars Technica, "we aren't going to be commenting on this letter" and refusing to respond to repeated requests for comment made by the International Business Times.

Microsoft recently cut ties to ALEC, as CMD reported, prompting many to ask, "Will Google be next?" Read the rest of this item here.


Anti-Fracking Message Fueled the Teachout Challenge

by Jessica Mason

Zephyr Teachout
(Image by Thomas Altfather Good)
An unexpectedly strong primary challenge from the left is forcing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reckon with public opposition to fracking.

Zephyr Teachout won over 34% of the Democratic primary vote, or 182,000 of the 330,000 votes cast in the New York gubernatorial primary. Teachout is a Fordham Law School professor and author of the new book Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuffbox to Citizens United. Teachout ran on an anti-corruption, pro-democracy platform that also included a strong stand on fracking. Her running mate, Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School, won a full 40%. The low-budget grassroots challenge to a well-financed incumbent was only expected to win around 20% of the vote. Read the rest of this item here.


US Chamber Attack on Wife of Walker Prosecutor Falls Apart

by Brendan Fischer

Us-chamber-logo200px.jpg
The investigation into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is led by a Republican special prosecutor, was unanimously approved by Wisconsin's nonpartisan Government Accountability Board, and includes the participation of elected county District Attorneys from both political parties.

But according to an outlet bankrolled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the motivation for the "John Doe" probe can be traced back to a "weeping" teacher's union member married to Milwaukee County's District Attorney, John Chisholm. Read the rest of this item here.


Scott Walker’s Favorite Judge Rescues Voter ID

by Brendan Fischer

Judge Sykes and Governor Walker
At a Federalist Society event in Washington D.C. last November, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker called 7th Circuit Judge Diane Sykes “one of our favorite jurists,” and joked about appointing her to the U.S. Supreme Court if elected president.

During Friday’s hearing on Wisconsin’s blocked voter ID law, Sykes didn’t disappoint.

“We are on the eve of an election,” Sykes said, indicating that she would like to immediately put one of Walker’s signature pieces of legislation in place for November’s vote. Read the rest of this item here.


Chamber of Commerce Should Apologize for Attack on Wife of Walker Prosecutor

by Mary Bottari

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
The claims were described as a "bombshell" and "colored with a bit of Macbeth."

On September 9, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Legal Newsline cited an unnamed source to claim that the criminal probe into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was a personal vendetta that can be traced back to the wife of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. Read the rest of this item here.


James O'Keefe Cronies Unveiled in Attempted Sting on CMD

by Jonas Persson

Ryan Sorba
As Tea Party sentiment swept the country a few years ago, the media saw a new brood of young Republicans. Smooth and confident but also prone to anger and aggression, these budding "rock stars" of the movement held prominent positions in campus organizations bankrolled by the GOP. But it was an uneasy relationship. Their frat boy hijinks were often excused by party officials. After all, they were the future of the Republican Party. As for any misogynistic or xenophobic pranks, well, boys will be boys.

Sometimes, however, they went too far. Read the rest of this item here.


Recent Articles from PRWatch.org

Walker’s Snow Job

by Mary Bottari

The governor’s race in Wisconsin between the Republican incumbent, Scott Walker, and his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke, is coming down to one issue: jobs, jobs, jobs.

This summer Walker launched aggressive ads against Burke, charging that her family’s giant bike company, Trek, had outsourced jobs. The Walker camp also dug out a failed economic development grant from the time she was the head of the state Department of Commerce.

The Walker team is cleverly trying to hit Burke where Walker himself is most vulnerable. Read the rest of this item here.


Federal Panel Suggests Koch-Tied Judge Overreached When He Halted Walker Probe

by Brendan Fischer

Federal Judge Rudolph Randa may have overreached when he halted the state criminal investigation into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and allied groups, a panel of federal appellate judges suggested on Tuesday.

“This is a federalism issue,” Diane Wood, chief judge of the 7th Circuit court of appeals, said of the case. “Should a federal court step in and stop a state proceeding?”

The case, an appeal of federal Judge Randa’s order from May halting the criminal campaign finance investigation, has major implications both for transparency in Wisconsin elections and for the future of Walker’s political career. Read the rest of this item here.


Historic Debate: Senate Advances Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

by Brendan Fischer

"We are here to fight back against a Supreme Court that says there is no difference between free speech and billions of dollars spent by the privileged few to swing elections and buy off legislators," Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said September 8, as the U.S. Senate kicked off a historic debate over a proposal to amend the constitution to limit the role of money in politics in the wake of Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United.

"There are times when action is required to defend our great democracy against those who would see it perverted into one more rigged game where the rich and the powerful always win," she said. "This is the time to amend the constitution."

Read the rest of this item here.


Oregon Residents Challenge the State "Right-to-Farm" Law

by Rebekah Wilce

A group of residents of the Cedar Valley area near Gold Beach in Curry County, Oregon say their properties were doused with pesticides by a helicopter aiming for privately-owned timberlands last October.

In what has been called a "severe sanction," the pesticide applicator and the aerial spray company he owns have been fined $10,000 each by the state and had their pesticide licenses suspended for a year for providing false information that misled investigators.

But at least one of those affected says this basically amounts to a big traffic ticket, when instead he believes the incident should be considered an act of "criminal trespass" linked to 45 illness reports. Read the rest of this item here.


Koch Operative: Raise the Wage, Totalitarianism and Terrorism Follow?

by Brendan Fischer

Leaked audio from the latest Koch summit shows Charles Koch's "intellectual sounding board," Richard Fink, drawing a direct line between increasing the minimum wage and the rise of fascism, totalitarianism, and terrorist suicide bombers.

"So the big danger of minimum wage isn’t the fact that some people are being paid more than their valued-added," Fink told the gathering of donors and GOP operatives in Dana Point, California this summer, according to a recording obtained by The Undercurrent. Instead, he claimed, 500,000 people would lose their jobs, "putting them unemployed, making dependence part of government programs, destroying their opportunity for earned success. And so we see this is a very big part of recruitment in Germany in the 20s." Read the rest of this item here.


Fight for 15 Gets into the Ring with Taco Bell

by Mary Bottari

The chant “come on out, we’ve got your back!” echoed through the air at Taco Bell as peaceful protesters took the “Fight for 15” directly to the fast food giant, calling on workers to walk off the job.

Protesters were targeting McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell with more than 150 actions across the nation. Taco Bell is owned by YUM! Brands. With $13 billion in annual revenue, the top five YUM! executives received $30 million in compensation in 2013. That is not what their workers are making in Madison, however, where the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Read the rest of this item here.


Getting Started on SourceWatch

Looking for somewhere to start?

You can read any SourceWatch article without registering, but if you would like to improve our articles or add new ones, you need to register here. You will be asked to provide an email address to verify that you are a real person and not a computer spamming links to other sites, but your email address will not be shown publicly on your user page. You will also be asked to create a user name, which can be your own name or a pen name. And, if you'd like, you can edit your user page to let readers know more about yourself, your work on SourceWatch, and your research interests -- but that is not required. Once you are registered, you will also be able to contact other editors through their user pages. If you do not wish to register but do want to contact us, you can use the addresses at the bottom of this page.

You can search for existing articles to improve using the search box, but please note that the search feature differentiates words and phrases with capital letters from those that are lower case. Please also visit the pages on our purpose, our tips on editing and citing authoritative sources, and our FAQs for help.

Thank you, in advance, for helping to make SourceWatch even stronger!


Editors' Pick

WI Election Officials and Advocates Scrambling After Voter ID Reinstated

by Brendan Fischer

Voter ID cage-200px.jpg
Wisconsin election officials and advocates are being forced to make an "extraordinary effort" to adjust to voter ID restrictions that were just reinstated by a federal appellate court. Thousands of absentee ballots have already been sent to voters, and the majority of Department of Motor Vehicle service centers that issue IDs are only open only two days per week.

On September 12, just seven weeks before election day, a panel of three 7th Circuit appellate judges -- all appointed by Republican presidents -- reinstated Wisconsin's voter ID law, which federal district Judge Lynn Adelman had blocked in April as unconstitutional and violative of the Voting Rights Act.

Around 300,000 Wisconsin voters don't have the forms of identification required to vote under the law, a disproportionate number of whom are people of color. Opponents of the law have asked the full 7th Circuit to review the September 12 ruling, but if the order stands, all voters will now have to bring identification to the polls, which they have not needed in the past.

Read the rest of this item here.


Walmart’s Spin on Workers and Manufacturing Exposed

Walmart exterior200px.jpg
In response to the increasing media interest around the business practices of America's largest employer and retailer, the Center for Media and Democracy launched a new web resource on Walmart that fact checks the company’s advertisements and statements. Using the model of AlecExposed.org, Walmart’s profile in SourceWatch details Walmart’s employee pay and policies, its PR on veterans, its lobbying and political contributions, environmental impact and its spin on domestic sourcing. The site also includes a section analyzing the impact that the company’s business practices on shoppers.

Read the rest of this item here.
Visit the Walmart SourceWatch page for more!


Follow the Money! Wiki Resource

KochExposed.org200px.jpg
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:

The Kochs' Anti-Civil Rights Roots

Vist Koch Exposed for more.

Watch the Video!

Watch Lisa Graves talk about her new article, "The Koch Cartel: Their Reach, Their Reactionary Agenda and Their Record."

Read the article 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.

Generation Opportunity

Excerpt from a longer SourceWatch article on Generation Opportunity:

Generation Opportunity (GenOp) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization based in Arlington, Virginia funded by Freedom Partners, a multimillion dollar Koch-tied funding vehicle. On the group's website, its describes itself as "a free-thinking, liberty-loving, national organization of young people promoting the best of Being American: opportunity, creativity and freedom."[1] According to OpenSecrets, "[i]n the three years for which tax information is available, Generation Opportunity has raised almost 86 percent of its funds from just two Koch-linked nonprofits."[2] In 2014, Generation opportunity has spent big money in Senate races against three Democrats: Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Udall (D-CO). Mary Bottari reported on prwatch.org that, "Gen Opp spent a total of $900,000 against Udall, $825,000 against Hagan, and $550,000 against Landrieu, bringing the ad buy to $2.275 million."[3]

2014 Election Cycle Ad Buys

”Shopping spree” ad that ran against Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado.
Generation Opportunity, a 501(c)(4) organization, has launched ad buys in several targeted Senate races in 2014, including ads against Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Udall (D-CO), costing over $2 million.

The organization has launched two basic ads in multiple states. One ad, used against Landrieu and Udall, caricatures the senators. In the ad, the two are played by actors and are depicted as children in a shopping cart, who appear to be gleefully overspending on unnecessary items. The ad criticizes their votes on government spending, claiming they are footing younger generations with the bill.[4][5]

Read the entire SourceWatch page on Generation Opportunity here (including source citations).

Web Resource on Outsourcing & Privatization

CMD Launches OutsourcingAmericaExposed.org to "Expose the Private Companies Behind the Corporate Takeover of Public Services"

by PRW Staff

Outsourcing America Exposed
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of the award-winning ALECexposed.org, launched OutsourcingAmericaExposed.org, a web resource devoted to helping taxpayers identify the corporations seeking to privatize public assets and services in their communities: including their schools, roads, prisons, drinking water, court systems, and more.

CMD has unveiled corporate profiles of America’s most notorious corporations that are quietly working with state and local lawmakers to take over public services with little accountability, along with in-depth examinations of the CEOs personally profiting from this corporate coup.

Read the profiles on featured privatizers:




Read the rest of this press release here.



ALEC News

Reporters' Guide to Rex Sinquefield and the Show-Me Institute

by Lisa Graves and Brendan Fischer

A-Reporters-Guide-to-Rex-Sinquefield cover200px.jpg
The Center for Media and Democracy and Progress Missouri released a new report on April 29 entitled, "Reporters' Guide to Rex Sinquefield and the Show-Me Institute," that should be an eye-opener for Missouri residents and national press.

"Sinquefield is one of the top right-wing political funders in the country, and the single top political spender in Missouri, where he has spent at least $31.5 million since 2006 seeking to reshape Missouri laws, legislators, and policies according to his own ideological mold," said co-author Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy/The Progressive. 

Read the full report here


Featured Video

Outsourcing America, Privatization Bites Back

Outsourcing America, Privatization Bites Back


Popular SourceWatch Articles

SourceWatch's home page is the top landing page in this website. Here are some of the other hot pages:


Subscribe to our free email newsletter, The Spin, "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @PRwatch and @ALECexposed."

If you would like to help in other ways, please take a look at some of our earlier citizen journalism projects here.


Praise for SourceWatch!

Here's what they're saying about SourceWatch:


"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

"A truly impressive project based on cutting edge web technology."
David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community.

"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.

"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 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.

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

Disclaimer: SourceWatch is part of the Center for Media and Democracy—email the publisher of SourceWatch, CMD's Executive Director, Lisa Graves, via lisa AT prwatch.org. You can also contact our Editor, Friday Thorn, via friday_thorn AT prwatch.org.

Antispam note: To avoid attracting spam email robots, email addresses on SourceWatch are written with AT in place of the usual symbol, and we have removed "mail to" links. Replace AT with the correct symbol to get a valid address. Read the full disclaimer.


Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found