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Secretly Recorded Lobbyist: I'm in 'Endless War'

Richard Berman tells execs to 'win ugly or lose pretty'

(Newser) - If Richard Berman likes keeping his tactics from the press, he won't like this. The corporate lobbyist was secretly recorded at a June event telling company executives how he "play[s] dirty" by publicizing embarrassing factoids about liberal celebrities and green activists, the New York Times reports via AllGov... More »

Why Dentists Are Helping This Guy Get Re-Elected

Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho is one of 2 in Congress

(Newser) - As Rep. Mike Simpson braces for a tough re-election battle, he has some allies most members of Congress can't claim: dentists. Simpson is one of just two dentists in Congress; he even continued to practice in Idaho while serving in the Statehouse. This year he's trying to fend... 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 »

How Big Pharma Keeps Meth Labs Cooking

Lobbyists are battling attempts to legislate cold and allergy medicines

(Newser) - It's pretty easy to make meth at home, and Big Pharma seems intent on keeping it that way, Mother Jones reports. The so-called "one pot" method of meth production relies on pseudoephedrine , a common ingredient in medicines like Sudafed and Claritin D. So two states—Oregon and Mississippi—... More »

How the Pentagon Managed to Kill Sex-Assault Reform

Military's lobbying muscle is without peer

(Newser) - Publicly, the military has vowed to do everything it can to combat sexual assault. But privately, it's been in lobbying overdrive to ensure it doesn't have to do much at all, Politico reports. While federal agencies regularly lean on legislators, this push by the Pentagon has been unusually... More »

GOP Governors Are Coming Around on ObamaCare

How lobbying, politics are making them change their tune

(Newser) - Rick Scott's stunning about-face on expanding Medicaid in Florida made him the seventh Republican governor to back the ObamaCare provision, a trend delighting the law's supporters, the New York Times observes today. "I think this means the dominoes are falling," says the head of one consumer... 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 »

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 »

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 »

MF Global Hid Debt From Investors

While Corzine lobbied, successfully, to curb financial regulation

(Newser) - MF Global appears to have spent the past two years hiding its debt risk from investors by temporarily slashing debt right before issuing its quarterly reports, in a shady-but-legal process known as “window dressing,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The company insists borrowing fluctuated due to “client... More »

Corporations Push to Influence Redistricting

As do other special interests

(Newser) - “Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting” may sound like a pretty innocuous, non-partisan group. But its leadership is almost identical to the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, a group tied to Koch Industries, a ProPublica investigation discovered. The Freedom Foundation’s head, Annette Meeks, claims she has “no involvement” with... More »

Thousands Ditch Congress for Lobbying Firms: Study

Study says almost 5,400 have jumped ship in past decade

(Newser) - There’s a veritable car pool lane connecting Capitol Hill to K Street, according to a new study, which found that almost 5,400 ex-congressional staffers and nearly 400 former lawmakers have taken jobs with lobbying firms over the past decade. The road goes in the opposite direction as well,... More »

Ethanol Group Paid Gingrich $300K

Former House speaker was lobbying coalition's highest-paid consultant

(Newser) - Newt Gingrich earned more than $300,000 acting as a consultant to a coalition of ethanol lobbying groups in 2009, according to IRS records. The possible GOP 2012 candidate—who declared "I am not a lobbyist for ethanol" during a spat with Wall Street Journal editors over his support... More »

GE 2010 Profits: $14.2B GE Tax Bill: $0

In fact, it earned a tax benefit of $3.2B

(Newser) - General Electric is America’s biggest firm, but it’s not paying a dime in US taxes this year—instead, it has claimed a $3.2 billion tax benefit, the New York Times reports. Though it made a $14.2 billion profit in 2010, $5.1 billion of which was... More »

'Tea Party Patriots' Starting to Look Like Lobbyists

Tea Partiers start to criticize major group

(Newser) - The Tea Party Patriots may have started out as a grass roots group, but a growing number of critics say the group is starting to look a lot more like a standard-issue Beltway lobbying outfit, according to an investigation from liberal site Mother Jones . The group has accepted large donations... More »

Google Way Outspends Rivals in Lobbying

Company spent $5.16 million, a 29% increase in 2010

(Newser) - Google spent more on lobbying last year than Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo combined, dropping a total of $5.16 million—or 29% more than the year before, according to its Lobbying Disclosure Act Database filing. The jump is pretty understandable, given that net neutrality and online privacy were major issues,... More »

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