Sunrise (3/3/11)



CRP: “At least 130 current congressional chiefs of staff and legislative directors are former lobbyists, new research by the Center for Responsive Politics and Remapping Debate indicates. … And some of these powerful staffers — both Democrats and Republicans — have worked multiple lobbying jobs prior to working in their current congressional capacities, the project finds. … The majority of chiefs of staff and legislative directors represented corporations, trade organizations, or worked for lobbying firms that represented corporations, but a wide range of entities were represented: from the National Right to Work Committee to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; from King & Spalding to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group; and from the American Insurance Association to Human Rights Campaign.”


Vanderbilt: “What they describe in a new research paper is strong evidence that individuals who make political donations – whether at the behest of companies or not – directly benefit businesses in their communities. … “The reason we looked at individual contributions is because it accounts for about two-thirds of all the money given directly to politicians,” said Ovtchinnikov, noting that only about 10 percent of firms are actively involved in campaign finance. “Individuals are the big players in this game.” … firms located in areas where individual contributors most intensely targeted “economically relevant” politicians saw positive changes in return on asset (ROA) and market-to-book ratios. The bottom-line boost that comes from campaign donations is similar to investing in a new research-and-development or capital-expenditure project. … Further, the economic benefit to firms strengthens when donations come from areas that have high unemployment rates, even if the politicians on the receiving end don’t live in that district.”


NYT: “Louisiana’s biggest corporate players, many with long agendas before the state government, are restricted in making campaign contributions to Gov. Bobby Jindal. But they can give whatever they like to the foundation set up by his wife months after he took office. … AT&T, which needed Mr. Jindal, a Republican, to sign off on legislation allowing the company to sell cable television services without having to negotiate with individual parishes, has pledged at least $250,000 to the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children. … Marathon Oil, which last year won approval from the Jindal administration to increase the amount of oil it can refine at its Louisiana plant, also committed to a $250,000 donation. And the military contractor Northrop Grumman, which got state officials to help set up an airplane maintenance facility at a former Air Force base, promised $10,000 to the charity. … The foundation has collected nearly $1 million in previously unreported pledges from major oil companies, insurers and other corporations in Louisiana with high-stakes regulatory issues, according to a review by The New York Times.”


CPI: “Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa introduced a bill today that would make available to the public data on Medicare billing by doctors and other health care providers, a portion of which is currently kept hidden by a decades-old U.S. District Court order in Florida. … Grassley spokeswoman Jill Gerber said the bill is a “direct outgrowth of reporting” by the Center for Public Integrity and The Wall Street Journal, which have been using limited portions of the Medicare data to expose waste, fraud, and abuse in the program. … Speaking today at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on health care fraud prevention, Grassley said Medicare payments to doctors and other providers should be just as available as standard federal contracts, which are posted on the government website USA[Spending].gov. … “A taxpayer dollar spent on Medicare isn’t any different than the public’s right to know about a taxpayer dollar spent on defense programs,” Grassley said.


–Fundraisers held today can be found here.


Day in Transparency (3/2/11)

Day in Sunlight (3/2/11)