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Lobbying Firm Raided

A report on Monday from abcnews.com indicates that federal investigators raided the offices of the PMA group, one of the largest defense lobbying firms in Washington DC. The raid took place as part of an ongoing investigation into potentially improper campaign contributions.


Big Money Mitch, Lobbyists and iPods for Afghans

Mitch McConnell had a staffer, Hunter Bates, who left the senator’s office and became a lobbyist. A lucrative move, Bates began reeling in clients for his “boutique” firm, Bates Capitol Group, which catered to those who wanted and needed access to the powerful senator.

Dropping campaign contributions, not calls

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Cindy McCain, wife of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) received free cell towers to benefit cell phone service to her ranch in Sedona, AZ. While these free portable towers are usually used for outages by Verizon and AT&T, Cindy McCain got one each from both of the them because of spotty service.


"Consulting" Covers a Multitude of Sins

It would seem that getting his home remodeled by an oil services company then wildly underreporting the value of that remodel is not the only questionable thing Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) has been up to lately. Shocker, right? It appears that 'round about the time Stevens held his powerful post on the Senate Appropriations Committee a lobbying firm looking to win millions for their clients from the Committee went to work as fundraising consultants for Stevens.

On the Guest List

As the Republican National Convention rolls on in St. Paul just a reminder to check in on the exploits of Nancy Watzman at the Sunlight Foundation who has been trying, with varied success, to gain access to the fancy corporate-sponsored parties that crop up around the conventions. Last week she traipsed all over Denver trying to get past the velvet rope and this week she's trying her luck with the Republican bouncers. Check our her updates here!

Signs of Shame?

Once bitten twice shy? Or actually, bitten quite a few times and now at least marginally chastised: it appears that years of scandal have taken their toll on the party schedule surrounding the Republican National Convention in St. Paul this week. There are still parties-a-plenty put on by lobbying powerhouses and corporations alike but the glitz is a bit more muted this time out.

Under Surveillance

Just how well are those new ethics laws working out when it comes to corporations and their lobbyists throwing big parties for lawmakers attending the party conventions this week and next? The watchdogs of Washington, DC are looking to find out and now they're in Denver paying visits -- or at least trying to -- to the many events being put on by companies with a very real interest in getting legislators on their side.

McCain's Lobbyists

Public Campaign Action Fund's Campaign Money Watch project debuted a new website today. McCain's Lobbyists analyzes data from the Center for Responsive Politics to show the vast amount of money lobbyists and their clients have poured into McCain's campaign, and how donations from the clients of lobbyists tied to the McCain campaign have influenced policy. Click on a lobbyist to see how money goes both ways.

Perata Pro Quo?

Did California state Senator Don Perata (D) push officials in Oakland to hire a lobbyist who would push for the pet project of a major contributor to Perata? The FBI is investigating what may have been quite an elaborate instance of quid pro quo which the San Francisco Chronicle sums up here.

Hometown Hijinks

The Anchorage Daily News gives us their take on the news that lobbyists are bailing out Rep. Don Young's (R-AK) election campaign with thousands in campaign contributions: "It's sleazy. It's wrong. It makes ordinary citizens cynical and saps their faith in the integrity of their government and the officials who are supposed to represent them." Hey, don't hold back there ADN!