Invasion of the Franchise Snatchers

While "attending an open meeting of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities," Bruce Kushnick saw "something odd. Three guys are standing in the back by the exit door and they keep shaking the hands of the speakers, most of whom testified that Verizon should get a new, statewide franchise." The three guys were Verizon employees, and many of the speakers were from groups that receive Verizon funding. Such telecom astroturf is spreading, warns Kushnick.


New Participatory Project: Tracking the Most Influential Lobbyists

Examining and exposing the activities of lobbyists and their firms is an important aspect of the Center for Media and Democracy's work. Now you can help, via our online collaborative encyclopedia, SourceWatch!

SourceWatch has many articles related to this industry, but because the players and the issue change frequently, our resources can always use some updating. The Hill recently released a list of the most powerful individual lobbyists at http://thehill.com/business--lobby/the-new-sheriffs-in-town-2007-04-24.html.

Can you help us track these influence peddlers? Go to SourceWatch and do a search for one of the lobbyists on The Hill's list. If you find an article, please add the quote from the article in The Hill by saying, "According to the April 25, 2007 issue of The Hill, lobbyist X is ...." and add the link to the article. If The Hill lists a lobbyist who is not already in SourceWatch, please create a short "stub" article on him or her (with the lobbyist's name, The Hill info, and any other information you might find on him/her).

If this is your first time editing, you can register as a SourceWatch volunteer editor here , and learn more about adding information to the site here and here. Thanks for joining the CMD truth squad!


Glover Park Meets Bogota

To defend Colombia's "scandal-tainted government before a skeptical [U.S.] Congress," and to "revive an important trade deal and maintain a strong military aid package," the administration of President Alvaro Uribe has hired a Democratic Party-associated U.S. lobbying firm, for $40,000 a month.


Nigerian Power Politics in Washington DC

Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar may have lost his bid to become president (though Nigeria's recent elections were "marred by violence and alleged fraud, and results are not yet final"), but it's not for lack of trying. To increase his influence, Abubakar maintains a Washington DC lobbying presence "separate from the embassy, costing him roughly $200,000 over several years," reports The Hill. Abubakar retains Edward Weidenfeld for legal counsel and "support for free and fair elections in Nigeria," according to lobbying registration forms.



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