Lobbying

Getting Consumers to Pay Now for Nukes Later

Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the energy utility Southern Power, has mounted an intensive lobbying campaign for legislation that would allow it to bill customers now for as much as $2 billion of the $14 billion price tag of two new nuclear reactors proposed for the Vogtle power station.

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Lobbyists Fuel Perchlorate Debate

"For decades prior to passage of clean-water laws in the 1970s, defense firms routinely dumped perchlorate, used in rocket fuel to generate an intense burn, into the ground and waterways. The substance has tainted water supplies in at least 26 states," and is linked to such health threats as "neurological impairments for infants." Military companies and U.S.

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Consultants Rush in to Help Russia

St. Basil's Cathedral on Red Square, MoscowThe public relations firm Ketchum, which "works with the highest levels of Russia's Government and the state-owned energy monopoly Gazprom," has hired the Alston & Bird lobby firm to work on the account. The lobby firm "of former Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole and Tom Daschle will deal with trade, energy, economic and politico-military issues at a $35K-a-month rate," at least through the end of May 2009, reports O'Dwyer's. Russia paid Ketchum $2.9 million from August 2008 to January 2009. The PR firm helped Russia finesse its invasion of Georgia in August 2008 and its cutting off natural gas supplies to Ukraine. The firm secured a CNN interview for Vladimir Putin, "coordinated President Dmitry Medvedev's Council on Foreign Relations event (in November 2008), organized a meeting for Washington reporters with Kremlin spokesperson Alexey Pavlov and arranged a Wall Street Journal meeting with Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev." Previously, Ketchum placed Russia-themed paid supplements in the Washington Post and helped Putin become Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2007.

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South Korea Seeks the Calming Influence of Spin Doctors

The Korean Ministry of Labour has appointed Fleishman-Hillard (F-H) to "develop a strategic communications campaign to address pressing labour-related issues within the domestic market," reports Media magazine. David Blecken reports that F-H will run a one-year campaign which will "aim to maintain social harmony by building a greater level of understanding between the government, business community, unions, employees and other related interest groups." The South Korean Embassy in Washington D.C.

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Rethinking Think Tanks

"Fueled by tax-deductible donations and an explosion in philanthropic assets, think tanks have dramatically grown in size and influence during the past 100 years," writes J.H. Snider, himself a think tank fellow. "U.S. think tanks increased in number from eight in 1910 to 98 in 1960 and 1,106 in 2006. ...

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Developer's Casino in a Velvet Glove

J. Scott Trubey reports that documents, obtained under Georgia's freedom of information laws, revealed that Fleishman-Hillard (F-H) had been hired by Georgia Lottery to sell the concept of the state's first casino to legislators, business leaders and the public. Underground Atlanta, a shopping complex, was mentioned as a possible site for the introduction of a casino.

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