Democracy

Slim Pickings For Rich

Organizations backed by Howard Rich, a wealthy New York conservative activist and chairman of Americans for Limited Government, spent over $8.6 million in eight states promoting 'takings' initiatives. 'Takings' promoters seek to limit the role of regulation by requiring compensation to be paid to property owners if a regulation has an impact on the value of their property.

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Drug Company Pulls Funding After Conference Criticism

Adriane Fugh-Berman, an Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, recounts her experience of speaking at a recent medical conference in New Mexico on the topic of drug industry influence in medical education. "Immediately after my talk, one pharmaceutical company representative announced to a conference organiser that her company would no longer support the annual conference. Another packed up his exhibit and walked out," she writes in the British Medical Journal.

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Deported Activist Wins Access to Spook's Assessment

The U.S.-based activist Scott Parkin has won a legal victory that requires the Australian government to provide his lawyers with access to the adverse security assessment used in September 2005 as the basis for revoking his visitors visa and deporting him. Justice Ross Sundberg granted Parkin and two Iraqi asylum seekers access to their adverse security assessments.

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Fifteen Current Members of Congress Now Under Investigation

The investigations just keep on coming. Since our last update on members of Congress under investigation, a mere week ago, four new members have been added to Congresspedia’s page of (potential) shame. With these additions, fifteen current and three former members of Congress are currently the subject of a federal, state or local probe (nearly 3% of the Congress)!

Citizens Needed

We need some of the citizens out there who are reading Congresspedia everyday to help out with a new article we're putting together on the congressional votes related to the Iraq War. We've already identified many of the votes and put up links to various articles and resources that explain them, but we need citizens to help us out with summarizing what was in the amendments and bills that were considered and explaining what was at stake.

Why people think members of Congress are crooked: Nine of them are being investigated

Fully 50 percent of Americans think that most members of Congress are corrupt and 36 percent think their own member of Congress is corrupt, according to a poll released Thursday by CNN. A quick stroll over to my personal favorite part of the Congresspedia wiki, the Members of Congress under investigation page, shows why: at least a dozen current and former members of Congress are under investigation for everything from covering up the Mark Foley page scandal to laundering campaign contributions to bribery. And don't take comfort in the fact that three of those dozen are no longer in Congress: each was forced to resign in just the last year in the wake of investigations or guilty pleas related to actions they took while they were still in Congress.

Each of these current and former members of Congress has detailed explanations of the allegations against them on their Congresspedia profile pages, but the mind-boggling litany of allegations begs for a quick rundown:

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