lobbyists

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TurboTax Tricks People Into Fighting Free Tax Prep

Lobbyist with ties to software maker plants stories with community leaders: ProPublica

(Newser) - It sounds like an uncontroversial proposal: The IRS could set up a simple, optional, online tax tool, filling out your forms automatically using info the government has on file. Yet over the past year, community leaders have been coming out of the woodwork against such a thing. Rabbi Elliot Dorff,... More »

Lobbyist Pens Bill to Ban Gay NFLers

'Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man'

(Newser) - The NFL might seem to have other , seemingly more pressing problems , but a Republican lobbyist has decided to first tackle gay men in the league. Jack Burkman's proposed bill, which he says was inspired by openly gay NFL prospect Michael Sam , would ban gay players from the NFL, the... More »

As Feds Go Digital, Paper Industry Wages Secretive War

'Consumer' group was developed by the paper industry

(Newser) - In 2011, the Social Security Administration put the kibosh on mailing paper statements to 150 million future retirees, at an annual cost savings of $72 million. But last month's budget contained language that forces the government to plan for restarting these paper mailings. Ridiculous? Not according to a group... More »

How Lawmakers, Lobbyists Vacation Together—Legally

Lavish fundraisers offer chance to schmooze

(Newser) - In 2007, Congress passed measures largely barring lavish lobbyist-funded trips and gatherings. But what the New York Times calls "destination fundraisers" haven't stopped, and, indirectly, they're still funded by the lobbyists, who schmooze with lawmakers in places like Napa Valley, Las Vegas, and Bermuda. The money for... More »

The Other NRA's Lobbyists Are Keeping Workers Poor

How the National Restaurant Association keeps wages down

(Newser) - The National Rifle Association has long been the biggest boogeyman on K Street. But there's another NRA that Michele Simon at al-Jazeera thinks deserves some scorn: The National Restaurant Association, which has conducted a "campaign of duplicitous lobbying and outright deception at the expense of the public interest.... More »

Lobbyists' Lobbyists: Don't Call Us Lobbyists

New name: Association of Government Relations Professionals?

(Newser) - The American League of Lobbyists is tired of being stereotyped. "Everybody has that misconception that lobbyists are walking around with a pocketful of cash and that’s about it," says group head Monte Ward. In fact, these days, the group notes that lobbyists affect the political process in... More »

Israel Calls Up Reserves as Syria Bubbles

But its lobbyists are noticeably quiet

(Newser) - With a Western strike on Syria looking more likely by the hour, Israel mobilized some of its reservists and beefed up its missile defenses today, Reuters reports. But apart from that move, the country seemed strangely nonplussed by the furor surrounding its neighbor and longtime enemy. "Following a security... More »

Twitter Registers Lobbyist, Forms PAC

And yes, it has a hashtag in the name

(Newser) - DC's profound love for Twitter may be tested or cemented, with news the social media service is turning political. The company has announced it's forming its own PAC, to be named Twitter#PAC, and has registered its policy manager (and former Republican aide) William Carty as a lobbyist, the... More »

Obama Will Take Corporate Cash for Inaugural Parties

It's a 'symbolic reversal' after 2009 festivities: Politico

(Newser) - One way President Obama's second inauguration will differ from his first: This time, he's accepting unlimited corporate funds for parties and receptions, a rep says. He still won't take money from PACs or lobbyists, the New York Times notes, and with the economy in mind, his inaugural... More »

Tim Pawlenty Ditches Romney for CEO Gig

He'll head up powerful financial services lobbying group

(Newser) - Passed over for vice president , Tim Pawlenty is getting out of Team Romney altogether and cashing in: He's stepping down as co-chairman of Romney's campaign to accept a job as CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in DC, the Hill... More »

'Pop-Up' Firms Skirt Ethics Rules, Party With Pols

Lobbyists find ways to throw convention shindigs

(Newser) - Where there's a pesky ethics rule, there's usually a way around it, and lobbyists have found a simple way to sidestep restrictions against throwing parties for lawmakers at the Republican and Democratic conventions, NBC finds. "Consulting firms" have been set up to throw parties for members of... More »

Lobbyists Clog White House All The Time

Despite promise to curb access, they've got plenty

(Newser) - President Obama took office as perhaps the most anti-lobbying president ever, barring lobbyists from joining his administration and advisory boards. But the Washington Post looked over the White House visitor logs, and found that lobbyists still have plenty of access to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., with what it characterized as a... More »

Murdoch's News Corp Wanted Editors to Lobby

Emails show execs considered idea amid B-Sky-B deal: ProPublica

(Newser) - In his testimony before a government panel in Britain today, Rupert Murdoch insisted that his News Corp "never pushed our commercial interests in our newspapers." But as ProPublica reports, the company at least entertained the idea of using the top editors at two leading papers—Wall Street Journal ... More »

Majority of Lawmakers Funnel Money to Families

Watchdog group issues report detailing litany of financial benefits

(Newser) - Having an uncle in Congress is apparently a pretty sweet gig. More than half of the lawmakers in Congress have bestowed some kind of financial boon on their families, according to the Citizens for Responsibilities and Ethics in Washington, which has released a 346-page report that the New York Times... More »

Romney Camp Full of Lobbyists

Top GOP influence peddlers fill his 'cabinet,' and policy teams

(Newser) - Mitt Romney occasionally touts himself as a Washington outsider, but he hangs out with an awful lot of lobbyists, the New York Times observes. Romney's "kitchen cabinet" includes some of the top Republican influence peddlers in the business, including Charles Black, Wayne Berman, and Vin Weber, all of... More »

Egypt Bans Ray LaHood's Son From Leaving

Along with other Americans monitoring Egyptian elections

(Newser) - Egypt has placed Ray LaHood's son and several other Americans working for pro-Democracy groups on a no-fly list, barring them from leaving the country. Sam LaHood tried to board a plane out of Egypt in Cairo on Saturday, Politico reports, but was prevented from doing so. A State Department... More »

Gingrich's Freddie Mac Contract Released

Newt reported to a top lobbyist in one-year, $300K deal

(Newser) - Newt Gingrich made $25,000 a month working for Freddie Mac, where he reported to one of the company's leading lobbyists, according to his newly released contract with the mortgage giant. The 15 pages unveiled by Gingrich's former firm cover one year of his eight-year, $1.6-million relationship... More »

Obama 2012 Aide Was Bailout Lobbyist

Broderick Johnson is key Democratic insider

(Newser) - President Obama is building his reelection campaign on "channeling anti-Wall Street anger," but a top campaign staffer lobbied for the bank bailout that has both Occupiers and Tea Partiers fuming. Broderick Johnson and fellow lobbyists were paid some $450,000 working for the Financial Services Forum, a group... More »

Non-Lobbyist Newt Gingrich Acted a Lot Like a Lobbyist

Ex-speaker hawked clients' products, arranged meetings

(Newser) - Newt Gingrich’s consulting clients all signed contracts saying that Gingrich “does not provide lobbying services of any kind,” but what he did for them looks an awful lot like lobbying to the New York Times . Gingrich actively hawked his clients’ products in his presentations to lawmakers, and... More »

Freddie Mac Paid Gingrich $1.6M

But only for his 'strategic advice'

(Newser) - Newt Gingrich raked in somewhere between $1.6 million and $1.8 million over the course of an eight-year span consulting for Freddie Mac, sources tell Bloomberg —a far cry from the $300,000 he was asked about in last week’s CNBC debate. His main contact was the... More »

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