Tag Archives: lobbying

He didn’t lobby, it was just a hobby!

From Joan Walsh at Salon:

Another day, another story about Newt Gingrich profiteering. Well, three stories, actually.

The Washington Post reported this morning that a Gingrich “think tank,” the Center for Health Transformation, collected at least $37 million from health care industry groups, who were promised “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction” in exchange for their cash. Also in exchange for their cash, perhaps, Gingrich took some interesting positions on health care reform: He supported the “individual mandate” that Americans buy insurance (or post a bond to cover unanticipated illness) as well as measures to encourage “end of life” planning. He ditched both positions, of course, once he realized they were unpopular with the Republican base.

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Mac ‘n Sleaze

From John Cassidy at THE NEW YORKER:

Take the ludicrous suggestion that Freddie Mac, the smaller of the two government-sponsored mortgage giants, may have expected Newt to do some lobbying on its behalf when, in 2006, it paid him the very modest sum of $300,000. Any fair-minded person would agree that Newt quashed this idea during one of last week’s debates. He explained that Freddie’s executives hired him for his expertise as a historian, adding that he warned them to stop lending money to folks who couldn’t repay their loans. In Newt’s own words: “My advice as a historian, when they walked in and said to me, ‘We are now making loans to people who have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that’s what the government wants us to do.’ As I said to them at the time, this is a bubble. This is insane. This is impossible.”

That explanation was more than good enough for me. But darn it if a couple of quibbling scribblers from Bloomberg News didn’t put out a report yesterday, quoting former executives of Freddie Mac saying that Newt was hired “to build bridges to Capitol Hill Republicans and develop an argument on behalf of the company’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it.”

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You Can Run, But You Can’t Formaldehyde

From THINK PROGRESS:

Large manufacturers and chemical producers have lobbied ferociously to stop the National Institutes of Health from classifying formaldehyde as a carcinogen. A wide body of research has linked the chemical to cancer, but industrial polluters have stymied regulators from action.

Last year, the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reported that billionaire David Koch, whose company Georgia Pacfic (a subsidiary of Koch Industries) is one of the country’s top producers of formaldehyde, was appointed to the NIH cancer board at a time when the NIH delayed action on the chemical. The news was met with protests from environmental groups. Faced with mounting pressure from Greenpeace and the scientific community, Koch […] offered an early resignation from the board in October.

Yesterday, the NIH finally handed down a report officially classifying formaldehyde as a carcinogen […]

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Barbour Chop

From npr:

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has decided against running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Barbour, long a member of the national GOP Party establishment as a one-time chair of the Republican National Committee chair, said he couldn’t guarantee his supporters that he had the all-consuming “fire in the belly” it takes to wage the kind of campaign it takes to get the nomination, let alone to try and beat an incumbent president.

And whatever fire he did have might have been dampened by polls that gave him very little encouragement.

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More Support Than an 18-Hour Bra

From THINK PROGRESS:

Conservative billionaire David Koch, co-owner of the $110 billion dollar Koch Industries chemical and petroleum conglomerate, provided a “lengthy” interview to Boston Globe reporter Stephen Smith yesterday. Smith asked about Ian Murphy’s prank call to Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI). Walker, who thought he was speaking with David Koch, bragged about his union busting campaign, joked about using a baseball bat against his opponents, and confessed that he had considered planting trouble makers in the protest crowd. According to Smith, Koch was both “amused and bemused” by the prank, but said he has “no relationship with the governor and didn’t directly support him.”

And why in the world would we get that mistaken impression?
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Koch Choler

From Joe Conason at Salon:

Is there a vast corporate conspiracy behind the Tea Party and the midterm resurgence of the far right? The most suggestive evidence involves the well-documented role of the billionaire Koch brothers, their Americans for Prosperity front group and other Koch-funded entities – but now a secret letter from Charles Koch shows that the tentacles of the “Kochtopus” include a high-level “network” of corporate, lobbying, nonprofit, and media organizations that meet regularly to plot right-wing strategy.


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Well, he *does* appear to have a lot of baggage…

From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:

You might not know [George Alan] Rekers, but he has long played a prominent role behind the scenes in the social conservative movement: A member of the founding board of the conservative Family Research Council, Rekers has authored books on how to ensure that children grow up straight.

A Baptist minister and former research fellow at Harvard University, Rekers has testified against gay adoptions and is on the board of National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, which is focused on helping gay people turn straight.

According to [a Miami] New Times story, by Penn Bullock and Brandon K. Thorp, Rekers was spotted returning from a ten-day trip to Europe with a young man identified as Lucien [the name he uses at the site is Geo], who he allegedly met on a gay website called Rentboy.com.

It’s that old argument–I’m not gay, but my boyfriend is!


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The Junior Senator From Neva-duhhhh

From J. Patrick Coolican the LAS VEGAS SUN:

Last summer, Sen. John Ensign was with his wife, Darlene, at Palace Station for a meeting of Nevada Republican women.

It was a somewhat awkward venue, coming soon after he had confessed to an affair with his best friend’s wife, Cynthia Hampton, who had been Ensign’s campaign treasurer and whose husband, Doug Hampton, had been his Senate co-chief of staff.

Ensign’s chrome-colored hair just so and his shirt stiffly starched, as always, he plowed ahead.

“I want to first acknowledge my lovely bride. My wife, Darlene, is here. Anybody who does this job knows that, without a very supportive spouse, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish the things we were able to accomplish, especially when I go to Washington,” he said, awkwardness filling the air as if from a leaky propane tank.

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