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Entries in Lobbyists (163)

Friday
Feb212014

SEIA - A Shout Out for You 

 

The numbers are in: on January 24, more than 3 million people played a part in National "Shout Out For Solar" Day.

The following week, even President Obama gave a personal “shout out” for solar during his State of the Union speech, which was seen by nearly 35 million Americans.

By all accounts the first annual "Shout Out For Solar" Day was a huge success. We are thrilled that so many of you joined us, adding your collective voices (and Facebook feeds and Twitter handles!) to the celebration of solar’s record-shattering 2013 and to look forward to a sunny 2014.

We’ve been saying it all along: America Supports Solar. In fact, nine out of ten Americans think we should be getting more of our energy from the sun. With that in mind, we launched a new website: AmericaSupportsSolar.com, to help all of you – our solar supporters and advocates – better understand the important role solar energy plays in our economy and our environment.

Please take a moment to check out the new site and share it with your friends.

And thank you again for your support!

Ken Johnson,
Vice President
Solar Energy Industries Association

Sunday
Feb022014

Watchdog.org - Wendy Davis failed to disclose income, lobbyist ties

Saturday
Dec142013

Andy Martin demands Scott Brown release Brown's financial deals

New Hampshire Republican U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin says former Senator Scott Brown has become a “de facto” candidate who should release details of his financial arrangements and legal activity

 

Andy says Brown is being tainted by Jennifer Horn’s visibility in Brown’s “campaign”

 

Andy accuses Brown of betraying the voters of Massachusetts and the American people

 

Andy says “Having betrayed Massachusetts, I can understand why Brown wants to escape to New Hampshire

 

(Manchester, NH) (December 13, 2013) New Hampshire Republican U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin will hold a telephone news conference today, Friday, December 13th to demand that former Senator Scott Brown provide details of his financial affairs as regards Brown’s seeking to influence legislation and as a commentator for Fox News. Andy is out of town conducting a campaign investigation.  

 

Andy’s letter to Brown follows:

 

-----

Andy Martin

Republican for U.S. Senator

www.AndyMartin2014.com

 

you can email Andy:

andynewhampshire@aol.com

 

you can write Andy at:

fax (866) 707-2639, or

P. O. Box 742

Manchester, NH 03105-0742

 

Blogs/web sites  (partial):

NewHampshireRepublicans.wordpress.com

AndyMartin.com

FirstRespondersOnline.us

ContrarianCommentary.wordpress.com

ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com

 

December 13, 2013

 

Scott Brown, Esq.

Nixon Peabody

100 Summer Street

Boston, MA 02110-2131

via fax (617) 345-1300

 

Dear Scott:

 

I am writing to ask that you release details of your financial affairs as regards the law firm of Nixon Peabody, Fox News and other organizations or individuals with whom you may have a financial arrangement (including speaking fees). There is no doubt in my mind that your sustained activity in New Hampshire and your unholy alliance with Jennifer Horn renders you a de facto candidate under the standards established by the Federal Election Commission.

 

In 2009-2010 I did extensive research on Mark Kirk, and disclosed (www.MarkKirk.us) that he was a military fraud. Kirk regaled newspaper editors with tales of imaginary battles he had fought, and imaginary medals he had won. Kirk’s claims were all lies (or delusions). All of my negative research was subsequently vindicated.

 

We now have a number of campaign investigations under way. I have a track record of devastating my opponents with facts and evidence, not bloviating and bs. I exposed Barack Obama as an imposter in 2004. In 2008 I led the “Republican” opposition to Obama, see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgjQhnDEGSk

 

One of Obama’s thugs attacked me by name on national television. I wonder why. Evidently they were worried by my efforts.

 

Ironically, Jennifer Horn attacked me for exposing Obama. What’s in her wallet (or her IRS lien)?

 

In 2012 I tried to energize Mitt Romney, to no avail.

 

I. The need for essential and immediate Financial Disclosures

 

I ask that you make the foregoing financial disclosures before December 19th when you appear in Nashua, when I will be outside protesting your presence in the Granite State.

 

In this letter I would like to explain why I feel you must release your financial details and why I would invite you to run if you feel the need to do so.

 

We have already seen the predictable tit-for-tat between New Hampshire Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats asked for your financials, and Jennifer Horn countered with a demand for similar information from Jeanne Shaheen’s husband.

 

I have a suggestion: why don’t both of you release all of your financial arrangements? People are tired of insider deals and so-called public officials profiting from side-door income generated through their spouses. Senator Dick Durbin’s wife is a “lobbyist.” Forcing Shaheen to release her side-door moneymaking, and forcing you to disclose your side-door moneymaking, makes sense for both political parties.

 

I was one of those people who were happy when you won in 2010. I was also one of those who were disappointed by your performance in office. Allow me to explain.

 

II. Why I want to you to run/not run

 

I am ambivalent about your candidacy. If you sincerely want to run for the senate from New Hampshire I encourage you to do so. I would welcome a “major league” opponent instead of the “Three Zombies” who are currently opposing me in the primary.

 

I want to ask you why you initially ran on a platform of reform, and then in the senate became a typical reactionary Republican who fixated on collecting dirty dollars from Wall Street.

 

You opposed the Volcker Rule. I support it. You want to encourage banks to speculate with government-inured deposits. For shame.

 

You opposed financial reforms that would protect the public. I support them.

 

I am for avoiding another financial collapse; you fought hard for policies that ensure we could have another Great Recession or even Depression. But you were paid well by Wall Street for your betrayal. And you were repaid by the voters of Massachusetts whom you betrayed.

 

III. You were a poor candidate the last time around

 

When you ran for reelection in 2012 your campaign was a disaster. Elizabeth Warren had never run for office before, she was a lawyerly candidate (I do not mean that as a compliment) and she had all of the personal magnetism of a dead cat. She also misled the public about her ethic origins (remember “Fauxcahontas”), thus establishing herself as a typical affirmative action huckster. And she beat you. Why?

 

Warren at least believed in something. And what Warren generally believed in benefited ordinary citizens.

 

You, on the other and, were stuffing your pockets with Wall Street cash, and you have continued to do so since leaving the senate. You offered no vision of a better financial world for ordinary citizens. You wanted to continue the regime that had crashed the banks and thrown millions of helpless victims out of work. You had the powers of incumbency, and lost to a challenger. Now you want to move to New Hampshire to become a challenger against an incumbent. Hello?

 

Elizabeth Warren may have been a pushover as an opponent but she pushed you over. Jeanne Shaheen is no pushover. Shaheen is a hard-core leftist. Why you couldn’t beat Warren but think you can waltz back into office by defeating Shaheen mystifies me. In 2011 and 2012, Republicans drugged themselves into believing a “ham sandwich” could defeat Obama in 2012. The ham sandwich lost.

 

Republicans have repeatedly nominated out-of-the-mainstream candidates in other states, and repeatedly forfeited a possible senate majority. There is no doubt in my mind that despite what Jennifer Horn whispers in your ear you are way out of the mainstream in New Hampshire.

 

New Hampshire voters have constantly selected pragmatists and rejected extremists on issues such as abortion and other hot button topics. Over the past twenty years the New Hampshire Republican Party has gone steadily downhill, despite an occasional win in off-years. New Hampshire is not a purple state; it is a Blue State. But it is a typically New Hampshire anomaly, a conservative “blue” state.

 

I would love to attack you for opposing the Volcker Rule and for fighting against financial reform, and for being well-paid by Wall Street to do so. Instead of being on the side of the average “Joe” and “Josephine,” you were a handmaiden for the malefactors of great wealth that had crashed our economy. And, yes, the bad guys were both Democrats and Republicans.

 

I am a partisan Republican; but when it comes to consumer protection and fighting financial corruption I am totally nonpartisan. I will fight for Main Street, not Wall Street.

 

Given your track record of betraying Massachusetts voters and betraying the American people, I understand why you want to escape to New Hampshire. But, apart from Jennifer Horn, who used her federal income tax payments as a piggy bank to fund her own congressional campaigns, and may still have a $90,000 IRS tax lien on her home, why would anyone in New Hampshire trust either you or Horn to manage their affairs when neither of you could manage your own?

 

Welcome to New Hampshire. Now let the financial disclosures begin. The campaign is under way and you are already under attack for accepting support from a GOP state chairman with an IRS tax lien on her home. Live Free or Die.

 

With regards,

 

ANDY

 

AM:SP

 

Friday
Dec132013

NHGOP CALLS ON "LOBBYING ATTORNEY" BILL SHAHEEN TO RELEASE CLIENT LISTS

NHGOP Banner

Law Firm Of Senator Shaheen's Husband Helped To "Dole Out" Stimulus Funds

 

Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today called on William Shaheen, a well-connected "government relations and lobbying attorney" and husband of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, to release his full list of client records during his wife's terms in office.

 

After Senator Shaheen voted for the trillion-dollar stimulus in 2009, William Shaheen's law firm, Shaheen and Gordon, created a "stimulus opportunities team" to help public and private sector clients get stimulus money. According to the firm's web site, "New Hampshire is slated to receive $860 million in stimulus funds and the State is engaged in the difficult task of doling out these funds to worthy projects both public and private. Our Team stands ready to assist government and private entities apply for these funds and advance existing applications."

 

"Jeanne Shaheen has been in elected office for decades while her husband built a prominent law firm that represents clients that have directly profited from her votes," said NHGOP Executive Director Matt Mowers. "If New Hampshire Democrats are sincerely interested in transparency, they must hold Senator Shaheen to the same standards and call on her husband to release his client lists, especially the ones he helped 'dole out' millions of taxpayer dollars to as part of the failed Obama stimulus. Otherwise, Granite Staters will view their partisan attack as nothing more than a desperate political stunt designed to distract from Senator Shaheen's deciding vote to impose ObamaCare on New Hampshire families."

 

Jeanne Shaheen served as New Hampshire's governor from 1997-2003 and as senator since 2009.

 

Additionally, during her time in the New Hampshire state senate, Governor Maggie Hassan worked for Pierce Attwood LLP, a legal firm with a government affairs practice. Yesterday, Senator Shaheen's allies at the State Democrat Party called on former Senator Scott Brown to release his list of legal clients since he left office earlier this year.

 

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander. In order to avoid looking like blatant, shameless hypocrites, New Hampshire Democrats must hold members of their own Party to the same standards and call on them to release the same records that they are asking from Republicans," said Mowers.

Wednesday
Dec042013

AUFC - PRESS CALL DEC. 4 @ 12:15 PM ET: Lawmakers to Respond to Disturbing New Revelations About ALEC in Leaked Documents

http://webmail.myway.com/cgi-bin/emailGetAttachment.cgi?attemid=&act=11&unm=nhinsider.myway&fid=9cbca01a_e351_4fc6_9877_7708e887a0f5&msgid=60b11868_722c_4954_a3c8_68afebed71bd&sid=20131204115634907860154&cid=image001.jpg@01CEEF7C.9D336F60

ALEC: In Town and Under Fire:  Lawmakers to Respond to Corporate-Owned Agenda and Disturbing New Revelations Detailed in Leaked Documents

CALL IN: (310) 409-2027, 501154

New Must Read Report from the Guardian, Dec. 3: ALEC facing funding crisis from donor exodus in wake of Trayvon Martin row

• Rightwing lobby group appealing to major donors to return
• Internal documents reveal so-called 'Prodigal Son Project'
• Network lost almost 400 state legislators over past two years

(SEE FULL ARTICLE BELOW)

 

On Wednesday, December 4 at 12:15 p.m ET, state and federal lawmakers who have seen firsthand how ALEC’s corporate-owned special interest agenda harms their constituents will respond to disturbing new revelations about ALEC’s upcoming legislative agenda and plans to further sabotage the Affordable Care Act, as well as newly published documents that raise serious issues about the group’s status as a so-called charitable organization.

ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council, is in D.C. this week for its “State and Nation Policy Summit” has been the moving force behind legislation including the Stand Your Ground laws that protect reckless killers, voter suppression schemes and laws to strip workers of their right to bargain collectively for fair wages, benefits and working conditions.

ALEC is funded by massive “donations,” from corporations who in return are given full voting rights in all decisions. Corporations draft legislation that directly benefits their bottom line, sits with legislators at ALEC conferences and votes on ALEC policy and legislation, then sets the legislators loose to push these bills on their behalf in state governments around the country.

Early this week The Guardian newspaper published an expose and accompanying documents that detail secret ALEC’s concerns about lobbying while pretending to be a charitable organization as well as its plans to win back corporate members who left after the Trayvon Martin shooting and to require legislators to pledge allegiance to ALEC above all ALEC’s legislative agenda for 2014 includes plans to harass navigators who help uninsured Americans sign up for affordable health coverage and continue to push for a repeal of the minimum wage.

Speakers include :

  • ·         Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
  • ·         Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI)
  • ·         Nebraska State Senator Danielle Conrad, a former ALEC member
  • ·         Center for Media and Democracy and ALEC Exposed Executive Director Lisa Graves

When: Wednesday, December 4 at 12:15 p.m. EST

Call info: (310) 409 -2027

Conference I.D.: 501154

 

###

 

 

The Guardian: ALEC facing funding crisis from donor exodus in wake of Trayvon Martin row

• Rightwing lobby group appealing to major donors to return
Internal documents reveal so-called 'Prodigal Son Project'
• Network lost almost 400 state legislators over past two years

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/03/alec-funding-crisis-big-donors-trayvon-martin

An influential US lobbying network of Republican politicians and big businesses is seeking to avert a looming funding crisis by appealing to major donors that have abandoned it over the past two years following criticism of its policy on gun laws.

The Guardian has learned that the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which shapes and promotes legislation at state level across the US, has identified more than 40 lapsed corporate members it wants to attract back into the fold under a scheme referred to in its documents as the "Prodigal Son Project".

The target firms include commercial giants such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Kraft, McDonald's and Walmart, all of which cut ties with the group following the furore over the killing of the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in February 2012.

Alec was embroiled in the controversy surrounding Florida's 2005 "stand-your-ground" law under which George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood watch volunteer who shot and killed the 17-year-old Martin, initially claimed self-defence. The Florida law was picked up by Alec, and, working in partnership with the National Rifle Association, used as a template for one of its "model bills", which was then taken up by other states across the country.

The Guardian has learned that by Alec's own reckoning the network has lost almost 400 state legislators from its membership over the past two years, as well as more than 60 corporations that form the core of its funding. In the first six months of this year it suffered a hole in its budget of more than a third of its projected income.

The reference to the Prodigal Son Project is just one of many revelations contained in a batch of internal Alec documents that have been obtained by the Guardian. The documents, prepared for its most recent annual board meeting in Chicago in August, cast light on the inner workings of the group.

They show that:

Alec has set up a separate sister group called the "Jeffersonian Project" amid concerns over possible government inquiries into whether its activities constitute lobbying – which would threaten its tax-exempt status;

the network has suffered a decline in its membership among state-based Republicans and among big corporations following the Trayvon Martin controversy;

its income raised from conferences, membership fees and donations has fallen short, leaving the group with a potential funding crisis;

a draft agreement prepared for the board meeting proposed that Alec's chairs in each of the 50 states, who are drawn from senior legislators, should be required to put the interests of the organisation first, thus setting up a possible conflict of interest with the voters who elected them;

Alec also considered extending its remit to include the gambling industry, particularly online gambling, as a possible source of new members and revenue.

Alec reconvenes for its next nationwide meeting, described as a "states and nation policy summit", on Wednesday in Washington. The three-day event will be attended by hundreds of state legislators and corporate representatives.

In a sign of the influence the network holds with Republicans, it will be addressed by rising stars of the party including US senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who led the push for the recent government shutdown, and the party's budget guru, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

The network also counts among its former members the two highest ranking Republicans in the House of Representatives, John Boehner and Eric Cantor, as well as prominent Republican governors such as Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio.

The documents seen by the Guardian show that Alec is hoping to avoid legal, tax and ethical challenges by creating a separate sister organisation it calls the "Jeffersonian Project". The new body would be categorised as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organisation, a designation that would allow Alec to be far more overt in its lobbying activities than its current charitable status as a 501(c)(3).

"Any activity that could be done by Alec may be done by Jeffersonian Project if legal counsel advises it would provide greater legal protection or lessen ethics concerns," a note on the proposed new body to Alec's board of directors says. The note adds that the Jeffersonian Project would remove "questions of ethical violations made by our critics and state ethics boards and provides further legal protection".

Alec's critics have accused it of violating tax laws by lobbying on behalf of rightwing legislation that advances the interests of its corporate members. Among the areas that Alec has pursued aggressively in the form of model bills are measures to privatise public education, cut taxes, reduce public employee compensation and workplace rights, oppose Obamacare and resist state action to reduce global warming gas emissions.

A letter included among the documents from Alec's lawyer, Alan Dye, warns that "though we do not believe that any activity carried on by Alec is lobbying, the IRS could disagree". It also makes clear that major potential donors are holding back because they are anxious about Alec's tax status.

"Alec has been approached by donors who are willing to make sizable donations, but insist that the donations go to a section 501(c)(4) organization," Dye writes.

Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which monitors Alec's activities, said the Jeffersonian Project laid bare Alec's internal concerns about the tax rules and the perceived need to take steps to avoid getting into trouble. "It should have disclosed its lobbying long ago," she said.

But Alec's senior director of public affairs, Bill Meierling, insisted that the group complies with all state and federal tax laws. He said the creation of the Jeffersonian Project "does not indicate a desire to avoid trouble; it illustrates a desire for compliance with the law".

It would also be proactive, rather than reactive. "We are preparing for the possibility of future change that may alter the way we communicate with the public."

The Obama administration last week signaled its intention to get tough on tax-exempt organisations that stray into the political realm. Alec is not directly affected by the new rules as it does not engage in election campaigning, but more intense federal scrutiny could have longer-term ramifications.

Meierling insisted that Alec does not lobby in any state. It "provides non-partisan study, research and analysis on policy issues, and nothing more. Alec does not advocate the passage of specific legislation; it discusses the impact of potential policies on the American people."

Alec's own internal records of its membership states that it has 1,810 state legislators on its membership books – amounting to almost a quarter of all elected representatives at state level across the nation. That support base has declined though over the past two years, from a peak in 2011 of 2,200, underlining the structural problems that the group faces in the wake of the Trayvon Martin outrage.

Alec has also suffered heavy losses in its private backing from corporate members that have declined from a similar 2011 peak of 280 to 214. Among the documents are Alec's own list of 38 companies that have allowed their membership to lapse, including The Home Depot, the over-50s organisation AARP, healthcare insurers such as WellPoint and the pharmaceutical company Roche Diagnostics.

The documents show that Alec has struggled to hold on to members from the financial services industry. A note records that "many of these companies failed to renew at Alec due to controversy".

The group accepts that it has lost members in recent months, but puts it down to normal cyclical pressures. "No one disputes that Alec lost public and private members during the past several years, but Alec and its members work on issues relevant to the American people and will continue to do so long into the future," Meierling said.

He added that "companies do not like controversy of any sort. It is also clear that – whether true or untrue – accusations made of Alec cost members."

But he said the network intended to regain the trust of lapsed members by focusing on "transparency and engagement".

However, the decline in both public and private membership is starting to have an impact on Alec's financial health, the documents show. Over the first six months of this year, the network suffered a shortfall on its projected budget of $547,500 in sponsorship of its thrice-yearly national conferences, and a further shortfall of $440,792 on its general support from memberships.

By 30 June this year it had developed a hole in its income of $1.4m on expected dues of $3.9m.

Alec said that its financial challenges did not amount to a crisis, though it admitted that there had been a shortfall in projected income.

Despite the losses, Alec continues to be supported by some of the largest rightwing foundations in the country, including the energy tycoons the Koch brothers, the Bradley Foundation and the Searle Freedom Trust set up by the creator of NutraSweet. Alec's list of corporate members includes companies such as the telecoms firm AT&T, energy concerns Exxon Mobil and Peabody Energy, the pharma company Pfizer, drinks giant Diageo and the tobacco multinational Altria.

Yet the hole in Alec's budget still has to be filled, lending urgency to the push to regain lapsed members referred to in the documents as the Prodigal Son Project. Meierling said no "specific, named project exists", but he added that "it is reasonable for any organisation to be interested in engagement with former members".

A total of 41 companies are listed by Alec as targets to be lured back into membership. Of those, only one – Wells Fargo – is known to be still funding the network, acting as a sponsor of the August board meeting in Chicago.

Walmart is one of the companies that withdrew its membership of Alec in May 2012 complaining that the organisation had strayed from its core mission to advance free-market policies and that the "divide between [its] activities and our purpose as a business has become too wide". In April 2012, in the wake of criticism from Walmart and others, Alec shut down its Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which had been responsible for the stand-your-ground law as well as controversial voter suppression legislation.

Yet Walmart continues to keep its distance. A company spokesperson, Lorenzo Lopez, told the Guardian: "We don't have any current plans to rejoin Alec."

Coca-Cola was also asked whether they had plans to rejoin, but did not comment.

Lisa Graves said that the difficulty the network was having in attracting back major corporate sponsors showed how vulnerable the network is to public scrutiny. "This is a reflection of the power of sunlight on their activities – for too many years they were operating largely in secret. Corporations are sensitive to these issues."

The documents obtained by the Guardian include a variety of papers prepared for Alec's board of directors. To give a full and fair picture of the organisation, the Guardian is publishing all of the documents.

Among them is a draft agreement that was prepared for Alec's board of directors that set out the proposed responsibilities of the group's state chairs from prominent, largely Republican, legislators. The draft agreement contains the proposed commitment from state chairs that: "I will act with care and loyalty and put the interests of the organization first."

The duty of elected politicians to put the interests of Alec first, with no mention of their obligations to the voters who put them in office, would have set up an apparent conflict of interest. But Alec said that the draft agreement was not adopted by the membership committee or by any of the state chairs. "All legislators are beholden to their constituents' interests first – if they are not, they will be held accountable at the ballot box," Meierling said.

Another document prepared for the board meeting reveals that Alec considered expanding its area of interests to take in gambling, specifically online gambling and sports betting. The position paper notes that $37bn in revenue was generated by gambling in the US last year, providing a potentially lucrative source of new corporate members – it lists giant casino operators such as Las Vegas Sands, MGM and Wynn Resorts as potential draws. "This industry is very large and regulated by the states. We believe they would have a strong interest in Alec."

But Meierling said that the proposal was not taken up. The Alec board, consisting solely of state legislators, rejected the gambling plan.