Dark money group Americans for Tax Reform just dropped close to $2 million to influence competitive House races.
Victories for the 501(c)4 non-profit lobbying organization, founded by conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist in 1985, would undoubtedly complicate efforts to reach a deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" because the group "opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle." ATR's central tenet -- the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which requires lawmakers to "solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases," enjoys the backing most Republicans in Congress and all but one of this year's GOP presidential ...Continue reading
- Rep. [sw: William Jefferson] (D-LA) has a lot of friends and Ken Silverstein at the Harper's.org blog has brought them all together in one place. His friends in the Capitol may be dwindling as the Democratic Caucus is voting right now to decide whether Jefferson will be removed from his seat on the Ways and Means Committee. Two of the most powerful members of the Congressional Black Caucus, [sw: Charlie Rangel] (D-NY) and [sw: John Lewis] (D-GA), have broken ranks with the CBC, staunch backers of Jefferson, and will vote to remove the troubled congressman from the tax-writing committee.
- The Hill documents the powerful defense industry lobby and their congressional connections. The PMA Group stands out for honorable mention as one of those lobby shops that is filled with former congressional staffers. Don't forget this little piece about [sw: Pete Visclosky]'s ties to PMA.
- What you say on the campaign trail, stays on the campaign trail. That seems to be the motto for the newest Congress critter, [sw: Brian Bilbray] (R-CA). According to the Club for Growth blog, Bilbray, who holds the infamous Duke Cunningham seat, denounced earmarking on the campaign trail and called for greater transparency. But yesterday Bilbray voted against all of Jeff Flake's challenges to earmarks in the Transportation-HHS Appropriations bill.
- Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt likes to fly. Mike Leavitt likes to fly on luxury jets that are only intended to be used for emergency purposes. Did I mention Mike Leavitt likes to fly?