Last year, four of the country’s biggest military contractors paid $100,000 or more to become top sponsors of a black tie charity gala that honored the influential former chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo.
In exchange for that gift, some of the company's top executives were placed at Skelton's table and all were given the chance to address the V.I.P. crowd that included many top military officials. The event benefited a charity for families of fallen soldiers.
This kind of lavish corporate spending on galas bestowing awards on executive ...Continue reading
In the past two years, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have donated tens of thousands of dollars to a Florida nonprofit where congresswoman Corrine Brown, D-Fla., serves on the board of directors. Yet JPMorgan disclosed this contribution in a lobbying report while Bank of America did not.
There is nothing illegal about the bank’s non-reporting, experts and the megabank say. That’s because disclosure of Bank of America’s gifts—since they came from the bank’s charitable foundation—are not mandated under a law that requires all lobbying entities to report their honorary contributions to the secretary ...Continue reading
Companies and organizations can donate an unlimited amount of money to honor officials, sponsor their conferences, and donate to their pet charities, so long as these donations are reported to the Senate. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed these filings from 2009 and 2010 and found about $50 million in honorary gifts and meeting costs. These donations can all be viewed in the interactive display below by company making the donation or by official being honored.
Viewers can filter the data by the type of honoree (executive branch officials and members of Congress, for example) and can further narrow the display to ...Continue reading
An investigation by the New York Times this week raised questions about whether the natural gas industry has had too much influence on policymaking by federal agencies, and whether that sway has led investors, members of Congress and others to be overly bullish about the energy source.
The article focused on the Energy Information Agency, the research arm of the Department of Energy, which writes annual reports on the industry that are considered authoritative. Ian Urbina wrote that, in its reports, the EIA has:
[S]teadily increased its estimates of domestic supplies of natural gas, and investors and the oil ...
Legislators leading the push against a proposed mortgage lending regulation are among the biggest beneficiaries of campaign dollars from the industries decrying the rules.
Industry groups such as the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Home Builders, along with consumer advocates, have opposed the rule--required by the Dodd-Frank legislation and intended to prevent financial institutions from writing risky mortgages and then selling them to other investors--since they were unveiled in March.Continue reading
Two members of Congress left some information in the dark when filling out their personal financial disclosure forms, which were made public last week.
According to ethics rules, if a member of Congress sits on the board of directors at a nonprofit, he or she is supposed to disclose the position. But at least two representatives—Corrine Brown, D-Fla., and Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla.—have failed to do so. The lawmakers' positions were discovered while researching lobbying reports, where lobbyists report honorary gifts to charities tied to members of Congress. There could be many more members of Congress making the same ...Continue reading
Eight members of Congress signed on to a January letter asking the heads of the Treasury and State Departments to take measures to intervene on behalf of a U.S.-owned company in the middle of a controversial dispute with Peru. Until now, Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., was the only known signatory of the letter sent to Secretaries Tim Geithner and Hlllary Clinton.
The missive, along with another from Rep. Spencer Bachus, came after the Renco Group, owned by billionaire mining magnate Ira Rennert, began a lobbying campaign spending more than $300,000 since November 2010 to influence Washington ...Continue reading
The U.S. mining conglomerate Renco Group spent over $80,000 in the first quarter and retained five lobbying firms in a push to convince Washington to help its embattled smelting company in Peru, according to lobbying filings. This comes after the company spent $245,000 on fees to outside lobbyists to work on the issue of Doe Run Peru in the final two months of last year.Continue reading
A coalition of environmental advocates has launched a letter writing campaign directed at government officials who intervened in a dispute between Renco Group and its Doe Run Peru subsidiary and the government of Peru. The campaign came after the Sunlight Foundation reported that Renco had hired eight former government officials in less than three months to lobby on its behalf.
Two members of Congress, House Financial Services chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., and Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., wrote letters to executive branch officials summarizing Renco Group's position in the dispute with Lima. The letters request that the U.S ...Continue reading