Cable TV's Secret Channels of Influence

If cable TV subscribers paid for just the channels they watch ("a la carte"), instead of paying a flat fee for channel packages, it would "jeopardize an economic model that has helped the industry maintain huge profits." The Center for Public Integrity reports on "a highly sophisticated lobbying campaign" by the cable industry to build anti-a la carte "astroturf." Some of the "seemingly disinterested


Accidental Full Disclosure by the FCC

"A trade association that represents competitors of the large regional telephone companies" had their lobbying plan "published by mistake on the Federal Communications Commission's Web site." The Association for Local Telecommunication Services's (ALTS) lobbying plan "starkly criticized the policy positions of FCC members and lawmakers and described the need for the association to hire, for $120,000 a year, a 'heavyweight Republican [lobbyist] that can navigate between the FCC chairman and the White House.'" The plan also said "ALTS has 'he


The Rotten Taste of Success

"Food industry lobbyists met privately with Bush administration officials 10 times while the government was crafting rules to protect the food supply from bioterrorism." The Center for Science in the Public Interest stated, "The result is regulations that the industry likes, but that don't fully protect the public interest." The Grocery Manufacturers of America, Altria Group and others lobbied to weaken propos


EPA: What's a Little Toxic Emission Among Friends?

"For the third time, environmental advocates have discovered passages in the Bush administration's proposal for regulating mercury pollution from power plants that mirror almost word for word portions of memos written by a law firm representing coal-fired power plants." The passages, in language from the Latham & Watkins firm, say the


California Lobbyist's Pesky Pesticide Past

A former farm lobbyist will become California's top pesticide regulator, despite complaints from environmentalists. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Mary-Ann Warmerdam, who worked for the California Farm Bureau Federation from 1981 to 2001, to head the state's Department of Pesticide. Warmerdam currently is a lobbyist for Pacific Gas & Electric.


K Street: Dems Need Not Apply?

Firms on Washington DC's lobbying row, K Street, are "aggressively courting GOP lawmakers who have announced their retirements, suggesting that the business community is confident the GOP will retain the Speaker's gavel in January." The trend "is stoking talk on Capitol Hill that the 'K Street Project'" - an effort launched by Grover Norquist and


Oily (Not Girly) Men

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ambitious plan to reorganize almost every aspect of state government was influenced significantly by oil and gas giant ChevronTexaco," including "streamlining the permit process for the construction of new oil refineries" and "reorganizing the regulatory process for ... energy facilities," reports Associated Press.



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