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Tag Archive: Handy Tools

Give a dollar to a pol, get $18,195 back


Glenn Reynolds asks whether employees in the financial industry, always a big donor to political campaigns, will contribute to other candidates or curtail their giving. He cites the AIG bonus flap, and Congress' reaction to it (including the outrage of members and the House passing a bill that would tax 90 percent of those bonuses away) as evidence of the fickleness of Congressional favor. Reynolds writes,

In light of this behavior, Wall Street--if it survives long enough--will likely conclude that subsidizing these pols was a bad idea.

If so, maybe it's time to shut off the funding. Politicians are ...

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Sleuthing the Stimulus’ bonus provision


So maybe Dodd's not to blame for the AIG bonus furor. Jane Hamsher uses to compare versions of the bill -- Donnie Shaw explains how here. Hamsher concludes:

So -- in the end, all compensation limits only applied to contracts written after February 11, at the specific request of Timothy Geithner, and AIG was able to pay out $286 million in bonuses on Sunday.

It's impossible to know how many of those bonuses would have been covered by Dodd's original language without examining the individual contracts. What is certain, however, is that the loophole regarding "retroactivity" which ...

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BankTracker debuts at Investigative Reporting Workshop


I've been doing some Webinars over the past few days for reporters to show off some features of for looking at bailout data from Treasury and the FDIC. One of the things I keep telling them is that lots of groups are looking at this data, building tools for parsing and analyzing it, and they should stay tuned.

Today I got to offer an incredibly vivid example of that: the Investigative Reporting Workshop released its BankTracker project, which uses FDIC data to answer the question, "how safe is your bank?" Wendell Cochran is heading up the effort ...

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Muckety maps PMA Group giving


There have been lots of different ways of slicing PMA Group contributions from Congressional Quarterly and the Center for Responsive Politics (see here too). Now Muckety looks at the web of connections of top PMA Group lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti. From CQ's analysis, Muckety begins by noting:

In addition to Magliocchetti, nine of his relatives - two children, his daughter-in-law, his current wife, his ex-wife and his ex-wife's parents, sister and brother-in-law - donated a total of $1.5 million to political campaigns in that nine-year period, according to the analysis.

The map is interactive; click the names to navigate it ...

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Dodd’s tbd fundraising reception


Facing what looks like a tougher-than-expected reelection effort, Sen. Christopher Dodd has a fundraiser scheduled for tomorrow evening, March 18, at a location "TBD." (click the link to see the invite) Dodd is asking "hosts" to pony up $10,000 (PACs will be the hosts, and they'll be asked to give $5,000 for the primary and $5,000 for the general election, maxing out in March for an election twenty months away. To be a co-host, a PAC can contribute $5,000, while individuals can get in the door (which door?) for a mere $1,000 ...

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Grassley seeks lobbyist disclosure for tariff bills


It's been a while since I've looked at tariffs, but, as CongressDaily notes, they're back in the news (well, at least inside the beltway):

fter a high-profile fight over earmarks in the omnibus appropriations bill, another front in that battle is shaping up to be a huge package of tariff breaks on imported goods being cobbled together by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Senate Finance ranking member Charles Grassley wants to add the name of each lobbyist or individual proponent to the hundreds of individual tariff and duty suspensions Congress might consider, often of benefit to ...

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CRP: PMA Group, clients donated to 516 members of Congress


Lindsay Renick Mayer of the Center for Responsive Politics writes on about PMA Group, the lobbying firm that specialized in defense appropriations and that is reportedly under investigation for campaign finance irregularities:

No matter how we slice and dice the data related to contributions from embattled lobbying firm PMA Group and its clients, Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn.), chair of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, remains at or near the top of the recipient list, along with Reps. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.). This week, though, we took yet another look at the contributions from the firm ...

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Making the bailout more transparent


It's old news -- several trillion dollars ago -- but back in 2008 the Federal Reserve, Treasury and the FDIC started working in tandem on a series of measures to stabilize the financial system. The Federal Reserve's aid is doled our or loaned out in secrecy, despite the dogged attempts of Bloomberg News to pry loose the data; the FDIC has released some, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by our colleagues at

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480" caption="Banks participating in FDIC's Transaction Guarantee Account Option"]Banks participating in FDICs Transaction Guarantee Account Option[/caption]

You can download data in ...

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Cities seeking a Piece of the Action?


From the A Piece of the Action? database, here's a list of cities that have hired lobbyists who have reported that the bailout or the stimulus is a specific lobbying issue, complete with links (if any) to project requests on the excellent page for those cities:

Tacoma, WA

Birmingham, MI

Tracy, CA

Hartford, CT

Everett, WA

Jasper, AL

Thomasville, AL

Center Point, AL

Jackson, AL

Atmore, AL

Henderson, NV

Huntsville, AL

Sumter, SC

Arlington, TX

Austin, TX

Dallas, TX

Denton, TX

Phoenix, AZ

Bellevue, WA

Portland, OR

Las Vegas, NV

Whittier, CA

Boise, ID

Auburn, AL

Brewton ...

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