In the two weeks before the Senate passed a resolution to repeal a tax on medical devices that was part of President Obama's health care overhaul, medical device interests threw a pair of fundraisers benefiting the leadership PAC of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a longtime friend of the industry.Continue reading
Tight rules preclude reporting charitable donations to Speaker’s pet charity
With Americans saying that reducing federal corruption is now their second most important campaign issue, it's worth looking at how well a 2007 law designed to curb corruption is holding up.Continue reading
Lawmakers, Executive Branch officials honored for about $19 million last year
Companies, associations and the lobbyists employed by them contributed almost $19 million to charities in honor of federal officials last... View ArticleContinue reading
Special interests honor Congress, executive branch with nearly $19 million in 2011
Spurred by reports that Smartphone software made by Google and Apple could violate users' privacy, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee called executives from the companies to testify in May 2011. For the most part, the senators were uncharacteristically deferential to the hi-tech titans appearing before their panel. In his brief opening statement, ranking member Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said, “We need a whole lot more information and knowledge in terms of those of us on the legislative side before we come to conclusions about what needs to be done.”
One day later, Coburn was recognized at a Consumer Electronics Association event for ...Continue reading
Graphic: Which officials were honored the most in 2011?
Companies, associations and the lobbyists employed by them contributed almost $19 million to charities in honor of federal officials last year, the vast majority of it for members of Congress. You can read the full report on 2011's honorary giving here.
To find out which lawmakers and cabinet members were honored most, or to see which interests paid the most in honorary expenses last year, search the interactive graphic below. You can even filter the graphic for lawmakers from your home state.
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Lobbyists golfing with Clyburn have friend on Super Committee
In early August, Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., a member of the newly created congressional super committee, held his annual charity golf tournament, welcoming nearly 600 golfers to spend the weekend in Santee, South Carolina.
Prior to the tournament, the charity’s website posted a list of golfers signed up for the tournament, which raises money for college scholarships for needy students. Among those golfers, we identified 34 lobbyists, many of who represent companies with a stake in the decisions of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, a 12-lawmaker body tasked with trimming at least $1.2 trillion from the ...Continue reading
Lobbyists pay millions to honor Congress, executive branch
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
Some lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers’ pet causes remain in the dark
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
Graphic: Lobbyists’ Honorary Gifts to Federal Officials
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