pay to play

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Companies Pay Up for News Coverage in China

Business fork over thousands for positive pieces

(Newser) - If you're looking for some positive news coverage in China, open your wallet. Chinese media outlets routinely sell coverage, charging thousands of dollars for flattering interviews, puff pieces, or even quick shots of a CEO in a crowd, the New York Times reports. Officially, the practice is illegal in... More »

Bloomberg Hires Rattner to Manage Money

Pariah/ex-car czar is under investigation in pay-to-play case

(Newser) - Steven Rattner doesn't have a ton of friends these days, but Michael Bloomberg is apparently one of them. New York's mayor has hired Rattner to manage his fortune and his philanthropic foundation, sources tell the New York Times , despite the kickback accusations swirling around him. Rattner, who briefly served as... More »

Rattner May Have Quit Over Pay-to-Play Settlement

New York AG targets ex-car czar's company

(Newser) - Washington is dying to know why Steven Rattner quit after just months as President Obama’s car czar. One possible reason: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is pushing for a legal settlement with his company for its part in a pay-to-play scandal surrounding the state’s pension fund, sources... More »

Texas Firm Charged in Kickback Case

Pension 'pay to play' scheme had tentacles in many states: Cuomo

(Newser) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the SEC brought criminal charges yesterday against Saul Meyer, founder of Aldus Equity Partners, saying the firm had been involved in a “pay to play” scheme to manage part of New York’s pension scheme. And that’s just the tip of... More »

Blago Gave Burris' Son Job

Facing foreclosure, Burris II gets housing gig; 'reeks of hypocrisy,' state rep charges

(Newser) - Sen. Roland Burris’ son, Roland W. Burris II, got a job with the Illinois housing authority last year, weeks after the IRS imposed a tax lien and his home entered foreclosure, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The appointment came as his father lobbied for Barack Obama’s Senate seat, and Gov.... More »

White House to Burris: Think It Over

(Newser) - As the chorus urging Roland Burris to resign grows larger and louder, the White House today stopped just short of joining but sent an unmistakable "veiled threat," writes Frank James in the Chicago Tribune. At this afternoon's press briefing, Robert Gibbs' words were measured yet blunt: "... More »

Ill. Gov to Burris: Quit Already

(Newser) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn today joined the chorus of politicians calling for Roland Burris to resign, urging him to step down "as quickly as possible for the best interests of Illinois," the Chicago Tribune reports. Said Quinn, who gained the office after Rod Blagojevich's ouster for attempting to... More »

How We Can Get Rid of This Guy

(Newser) - Even with everyone in sight calling for his head, even after he’s been caught lying multiple times about his appointment, Roland Burris seems determined not to step down. But there is a quick way to be rid of him, law professor Garrett Epps writes for Salon: The Illinois legislature... More »

Burris: I Never Changed My Story

(Newser) - Roland Burris denied today that an affidavit sent to the Illinois House conveyed a shift in his testimony in the Rod Blagojevich scandal, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “There was no change,” Burris said of three statements he gave to the committee that recommended Blago's impeachment. Burris also called... More »

Blago Asked Burris for $10K in Cash

(Newser) - Rod Blagojevich's camp asked Roland Burris for money before nominating him to take Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Burris revealed the request, for up to $10,000 in campaign contributions, in an affidavit dated Feb. 5—3 weeks after he was sworn in. Burris didn't mention... More »

Richardson: Not So Easy Going Home Again

Mixed reactions greet return of Santa Fe's political dynamo

(Newser) - His cushy Cabinet post yanked out from underneath him, Bill Richardson is heading home to the state that made him a national player, reports the New York Times. And while New Mexico might be a let-down for Richardson, (“Sometimes your own dreams and plans must take a back seat... More »

Keep Richardson Cabinet Spot Hispanic, Leaders Urge

Latino activists disappointed NM governor won't head Commerce, push new list

(Newser) - Bill Richardson’s Cabinet nomination was big for the Hispanic community, and with the New Mexico governor backing out, Politico reports, Latino leaders are pushing Barack Obama to choose another of their own for the Commerce slot. Says the head of one group, “We hope we can keep that... More »

Richardson Camp Mum to Vetters on Pay-to-Play

Gov. tight-lipped about investigation

(Newser) - Bill Richardson’s sudden exit from the prospective Obama Cabinet is causing some Democrats to question the transition team’s vetting process. Sources tell Politico that Richardson evaded the team’s questions about the “pay-to-play” investigation he cited as his reason for backing out. The investigation has been public... More »

Amid Probe, Richardson Drops Bid for Commerce

(Newser) - Bill Richardson has withdrawn his nomination to be commerce secretary amid a grand jury investigation into a lucrative state contract awarded to a firm that backed the New Mexico governor's political activities. Barack Obama's transition office said today that Obama has accepted Richardson's withdrawal. More »

Emanuel Talked Senate Seat With Blago Aide

No sign Chief of Staff pick tried to wheel and/or deal

(Newser) - Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s pick for White House chief of staff, had multiple conversations with Rod Blagojevich's chief of staff about Obama’s Senate seat, the Chicago Tribune is reporting. There’s no evidence that Emanuel engaged in any dealmaking for the seat, or that he knew of Blagojevich’... More »

Media Gets 'Silly' Over Obama Ties to Blago

There's little evidence of ties as questions pour from press

(Newser) - The media is aflutter with questions over Barack Obama’s connection to Rod Blagojevich, and although it’s fair for the press to probe, things are getting “silly,” Joan Walsh writes on Salon. The only tie we’ve seen is Blagojevich caught on tape ranting obscenely that Obama... More »

Jackson Rejects Blago Allegations

(Newser) - Jesse Jackson Jr. vigorously denounced Gov. Rod Blagojevich today and insisted he did nothing unethical to try to win appointment to Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. "I reject and denounce pay-to-play politics," said Jackson, who was identified earlier today as the so-called "Senate Candidate No. 5" in... More »

Complaint Shows Blago's Wife Plotted With Him

(Newser) - Rod Blagojevich's wife was deeply involved in his alleged scheming, the Chicago Tribune reports, based on details in the federal complaint against the Illinois governor. Though Patricia Blagojevich has not been charged with a crime, she was a vocal party to wiretapped conversations. In one recording, she can be heard... More »

Blago Charges Go Beyond Obama Seat

'Breadth of corruption' would 'make Lincoln roll over in his grave'

(Newser) - In addition to bartering over President-elect Obama’s vacant Senate seat, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich sought campaign contributions in return for government action, and attempted to influence the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, the Sun-Times reports. The FBI released transcripts of incriminating conversations today. “The conduct would make... More »

Illinois Guv Charged With Corruption

Feds focus on 'pay-to- play politics' in choice of Obama successor

(Newser) - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested at his Chicago home today, and taken into federal custody on charges of “pay-to-play politics,” the Tribune reports. Amid questions over whether such practices were involved in the selection of a senator to replace President-elect Obama, a federal probe had been recording... More »

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