Influence / Persuasion / Bribery
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jun 14, 2007 Vote for me, dimwit: How the electorate is irrational
QUOTE: ANYONE who follows an election campaign too closely will sometimes get the feeling that politicians think voters are idiots. A new book says...voters systematically favour irrational policies.
Economist May 25, 2007 House Votes to Lift Veil Over Lobbyists’ Donations
QUOTE: The House voted Thursday to drag into public view the role that registered lobbyists play in soliciting and collecting contributions for political campaigns, exposing for the first time one of the most effective ways that influence-seekers ingratiate themselves with lawmakers and presidents.
New York Times May 22, 2007 Johns Hopkins Aid Official Resigns: Student Loan Scandal Repercussions Affect Columbia, Too
QUOTE: The financial aid directors at Johns Hopkins and Columbia universities have been forced out of their posts amid revelations that they received payments or gifts from loan companies they recommended to students.
Washington Post May 15, 2007 Ultrasound: latest tool in battle over abortion: Images of fetuses are at the center of a hot debate over states' 'witness to the womb' laws.
QUOTE: Abortion foes say it is a medical imperative that women have access to all information about their pregnancies before deciding whether to end them, and that should include an opportunity to have and see an ultrasound. Abortion rights activists say such requirements are medically unnecessary, constitutionally suspect, and even a form of emotional blackmail of women in the throes of making a difficult choice.
Christian Science Monitor May 10, 2007 Psychiatrists, Children and Drug Industry’s Role
QUOTE: "But the intersection of money and medicine, and its effect on the well-being of patients, has become one of the most contentious issues in health care. Nowhere is that more true than in psychiatry, where increasing payments to doctors have coincided with the growing use in children of a relatively new class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics."
New York Times May 10, 2007 Four Officials Profited From Publishers, Report Finds
QUOTE: Four officials who helped oversee a federal reading program for young students have pocketed significant sums of money from textbook publishers that profited from the $1 billion-a-year initiative, a Democratic congressional report disclosed yesterday.
Washington Post Apr 23, 2007 World Bank faces setback to war on corruption: Actions of bank president Paul Wolfowitz have led to allegations of impropriety.
QUOTE: What's clear is this: It is a setback for Wolfowitz's attempt to make a crackdown on corruption a hallmark of his tenure at the World Bank. And such an effort is sorely needed, say experts in economic development. "We should be extremely concerned about the prevalence of corruption in our world," says Frank Vogl, cofounder of the watchdog group Transparency International in Washington.
Christian Science Monitor Mar 06, 2007 Broadcasters Agree to Fine Over Payoffs
QUOTE: The new penalty, which would come as part of a consent decree with the radio companies — Clear Channel Communications, CBS Radio, Entercom Communications and Citadel Broadcasting — would reflect perhaps the toughest F.C.C. enforcement of the decades-old regulations that prohibit broadcasters from taking secret payments in exchange for playing specific songs. Critics have accused the agency of lax enforcement.
New York Times Feb 07, 2007 Loudoun Land Deals Subject of U.S. Probe: County Officials' Ties to Developers Under Investigation
QUOTE: Federal prosecutors have launched a far-reaching investigation into potential public corruption....major land-use decisions in Loudoun have been dominated by a small network of public officials and their allies in the development industry. Developers, landowners and others profited as they coordinated with public officials to influence land-use decisions in the county...
Washington Post Jan 19, 2007 Identity of Edwards Home's Buyers Veiled: Assisted-Living Magnates in SEC Probe Paid Candidate $5.2 Million
QUOTE: ...John Edwards finally succeeded last month in selling his imposing Georgetown mansion for $5.2 million....the buyers were Paul and Terry Klaassen, according to several sources...The wealthy founders of the nation's largest assisted-living housing chain for seniors, the Klaassens are currently cooperating with a government inquiry in connection with accounting practices and stock options exercised by them and other company insiders. They are also the focus of legal complaints by some of the same labor unions whose support Edwards has been assiduously courting for his presidential bid.
Washington Post Jan 08, 2007 Ex-President for Sale
QUOTE: Carter is saying that no objective journalist or politician could actually believe that America’s support for Israel is based on moral and strategic considerations and not on their own financial self-interest....It now turns out that the shoe is precisely on the other foot. Recent disclosures prove that it is Carter who has been bought and paid for by anti-Israel Arab and Islamic money.
Gather.com Dec 25, 2006 Nonprofit Connects Murtha, Lobbyists: Ties to Pa. Group Mutually Beneficial
QUOTE: arrangement over the years has yielded millions of dollars in federal support for the contractors, businesses and universities, and hundreds of thousands in consulting and lobbying fees to Murtha's favored lobbying shops, according to Federal Election Commission records and lobbying disclosure forms. In turn, many of PAID's directors have kept Murtha's campaigns flush with cash.
Washington Post Dec 12, 2006 Dr. Shameless: Why I take handouts from drug companies.
QUOTE: doctors end up with meals and pens and trips and bogus advisory-board positions and, of course, the hordes of fine-looking well-perfumed young men and women—some literally cheerleaders—who hustle their way through physicians' offices. Despite its successes, the pharma business model does have a problem. The drug reps, foot soldiers in the mercantile crusade, don't know what they are talking about.
Slate Dec 10, 2006 Religion for a Captive Audience, Paid For by Taxes
QUOTE: Since 2000, courts have cited more than a dozen programs for having unconstitutionally used taxpayer money to pay for religious activities or evangelism aimed at prisoners, recovering addicts, job seekers, teenagers and children. Nevertheless, the programs are proliferating.
New York Times Oct 19, 2006 Torture of detainees? No. 'Coercion'? It depends. New detainee law gives the White House and the CIA most – but not all – of the authority they wanted for interrogations.
QUOTE: legal and other experts say the new law does not give the White House - and the CIA - the clear and broad authorization the president had requested....What the president won was a congressional endorsement of the concept of using coercive interrogations - provided the techniques are not too extreme.
Christian Science Monitor Oct 01, 2006 Campaign Cash Mirrors a High Court’s Rulings
QUOTE: Thirty-nine states elect judges, and 30 states are holding elections for seats on their highest courts this year. Spending in these races is skyrocketing, with some judges raising $2 million or more for a single campaign. As the amounts rise, questions about whether money is polluting the independence of the judiciary are being fiercely debated across the nation. And nowhere is the battle for judicial seats more ferocious than in Ohio.
New York Times Sep 28, 2006 Mortgage Suit Says ‘Trust Us’ Led to Fleecing
QUOTE: The civil lawsuit, filed in June by one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, describes an elaborate confidence game in which Martinsville residents with good credit ratings were enlisted last year to join what they believed was a risk-free investment in Indiana real estate. Instead, they found themselves responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid mortgages.
New York Times Sep 08, 2006 Why Is Chicago So Corrupt? And how do you measure corruption, anyway?
QUOTE: What makes Chicago so corrupt? City government experts point to a political culture that's been in place for more than 100 years.
Slate Sep 08, 2006 Crowd Pleasers: An Age of Tainted Admissions and Too Much Homework
QUOTE: the privacy strictures that once protected even the most knuckleheaded students can now be breached via the Internet. As colleges deal with overwhelming numbers of applications by making their calculations more blatantly quantifiable, embarrassing facts and figures have begun finding their way into the public discourse. Students’ test scores, colleges’ rankings in surveys and parents’ bribes all figure in institutions’ decisions.
New York Times Aug 21, 2006 Who Gets the Cash From a Forum by the Ultimate Source? No Secret.
QUOTE: In Washington, $595 buys a ticket to the Evans-Novak Political Forum...a twice-a-year gathering that features a speech by an A-list politician...[Robert Novak, host of the forum] has long batted away the charge that the forums violate journalistic ethics...journalists should not make money from interactions with the people they cover.
New York Times Aug 06, 2006 Deal Maker Details the Art of Greasing the Palm
QUOTE: Mr. Wilkes was described as “co-conspirator No. 1” in a plea agreement signed by Representative Randy Cunningham, a California Republican on the House Appropriations Committee. In the plea deal, Mr. Cunningham admitted accepting more than $2.4 million in cash and gifts from Mr. Wilkes and other contractors....Mr. Wilkes acknowledged that he was a willing participant in what he characterized as a “cutthroat” system in which campaign contributions were a prerequisite for federal contracts.
New York Times Jul 23, 2006 Dropping a Few Sports at Rutgers, and Putting Pressure on Trenton
QUOTE: '“Rutgers’s response is very similar to what local governments used to pull when the state would cut state aid,” said David P. Rebovich, managing director of the Rider University Institute for New Jersey Politics. “What towns used to say is, ‘We’re going to start laying off cops.'"'
New York Times Jul 20, 2006 Corruption Issue Comes to Fore: Reed Is Seen as First Casualty, and Parties Brace for More
QUOTE: While political corruption has failed so far to take root as a national issue, the defeat of scandal-stained Ralph Reed in Georgia on Tuesday showed that federal investigators could tip some key House and Senate races this fall, according to party strategists.
Washington Post Jul 12, 2006 Hacker Spawns a French Watergate
QUOTE: ...what many are calling "the French Watergate"... is a sophisticated conspiracy to falsely implicate a number of celebrities, high-ranking officials and political candidates in a bribery scandal.
Wired Jul 06, 2006 Lobbying Firm Underreported Income: Some Clients Paid With Public or Tax-Exempt Funds in Bids for 'Earmarks'
QUOTE: A Washington lobbying firm at the center of a federal corruption probe failed to disclose at least $755,000 in income from 17 nonprofit organizations and governmental entities, and $635,000 from 18 other clients between 1998 and 2005...
Washington Post Jun 28, 2006 Charities Tied to Doctors Get Drug Industry Gifts
QUOTE: Around the country, doctors in private practice have set up tax-exempt charities...the doctors involved defend those efforts as legitimate charitable activities that benefit the public... can bias the treatment decisions of physicians, may lead to suspect research findings and at times may even risk running afoul of anti-kickback laws.
New York Times Jun 17, 2006 Jefferson Loses Ways and Means Seat
QUOTE: The House officially expelled Rep. William J. Jefferson from a prestigious committee, ending a tug of war between the embattled Louisiana Democrat and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that had become tinged with political and racial overtones... Also yesterday, a federal judge hinted he may find that the May 20 FBI raid on Jefferson's Capitol Hill office was constitutional.
Washington Post Jun 14, 2006 Rep. Mollohan Admits Errors in Disclosure: Former Ethics Panelist Amends Forms
QUOTE: Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.), under federal investigation for blending his commercial investments with his duties as a congressional appropriator, acknowledged yesterday that he misstated more than a dozen transactions on his financial disclosure forms.
Washington Post Jun 12, 2006 China, Citing Corruption, Fires Olympic Building Chief
QUOTE: The firing is an acute embarrassment for Chinese officials, who had sought to keep tight controls on spending to prevent the graft and bribery allegations that have plagued previous Olympics bids.
New York Times May 30, 2006 Police Are Criticized in Wave of Gang Violence in Brazil
QUOTE: recriminations against the police and the way they handled the attacks are intensifying, fed by indications that irate officers may have sought revenge with a killing rampage that swept up lawbreakers and innocent civilians alike.
New York Times May 18, 2006 Ethics Panel Starts 3 Probes: Ney, Jefferson And Cunningham Cases End Hiatus
QUOTE: the House ethics committee launched investigations...into bribery allegations against Reps. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) and William Jefferson (D-La.) and a separate inquiry into the widening scandal surrounding former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.).
Washington Post May 12, 2006 Out of Money but Not Resources: With Aid Cut Off, Palestinians Turn to Each Other to Get By
QUOTE: Like the rest of the 150,000 Palestinian civil servants, the teachers, bureaucrats and policemen here had not received a paycheck for nearly two months, the result of a freeze in international aid following Hamas's victory in January legislative elections.
Washington Post May 11, 2006 Hartford Settles Pension Charges Insurer Paid Brokers to Get Business
QUOTE: The Hartford Financial Services Group has agreed to pay $20 million to settle charges that it secretly paid brokers to steer pension funds to the insurer's annuities even though they may not have been the best choice.
Washington Post May 09, 2006 Ex-Aide to DeLay Often Traveled on Others' Tab: Study Details Travel By Staffers on Hill
QUOTE: A former chief of staff...was described yesterday in a nonprofit groups' study as one of the top two recipients of privately financed travel among congressional staff...Lobbyist-paid travel for congressional staff members is prohibited; corporate-paid travel must be reimbursed.
Washington Post May 01, 2006 Watchdog Group Singles Out 'Junketing Judges'
QUOTE: from 2002 to 2004 (the last year available) federal judges took an average of 110 trips per year sponsored by...three organizations that, according to the CRC, "share a similar libertarian/pro-big corporation ideology."
Law.com Feb 18, 2006 Prosecutors Urge 10-Year Sentence for Cunningham
QUOTE: Convicted former representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) should be sentenced to the maximum 10 years in prison because of "unparalleled corruption" that included a "bribe menu" on congressional letterhead telling a defense contractor what payments were required for different levels of federal funding, federal prosecutors said...
Washington Post Feb 08, 2006 Boehner Rents Apartment Owned by Lobbyist in D.C.
QUOTE: Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who was elected House majority leader last week, is renting his Capitol Hill apartment from a veteran lobbyist whose clients have direct stakes in legislation Boehner has co-written and that he has overseen as chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee.
Washington Post Feb 06, 2006 Boehner Opposes Sweeping Changes In Lobbyist Work
QUOTE: Newly elected House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said he opposed efforts to ban privately funded travel for members of Congress and provisions in spending bills that fund lawmakers' pet projects.
Washington Post Jan 27, 2006 Drugmakers to Cut Off Some Free Prescriptions: Seniors, Disabled Face Big Financial Crunch
QUOTE: Several of the nation's largest drug manufacturers say they will no longer provide free or discounted medications to low-income elderly and disabled patients because they should be covered by the new Medicare drug benefit.
Washington Post Jan 25, 2006 In Article, Doctors Back Ban on Gifts From Drug Makers
QUOTE: The gifts, drugs and classes that makers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices routinely give doctors undermine medical care, hurt patients and should be banned, a group of influential doctors say in today's issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
New York Times Jan 24, 2006 Whistle-Blower Suit Says Device Maker Generously Rewards Doctors
QUOTE: These doctors work in a growing field, complex back surgery, and this makes them particularly valuable to the spinal-implant division of Medtronic. In recent years, the company has spent tens of millions of dollars on consulting contracts and other types of payments to them and numerous other prominent surgeons, according to papers filed as part of a whistle-blower lawsuit. The suit contends that some of these payments were made to attract or retain the doctors' business.
New York Times Jan 24, 2006 Second Careers
QUOTE: half the former members of Congress--half!--are now earning many times their Hill salaries by trying to persuade their ex-colleagues to fund a Bridge to Nowhere or some equivalent measure. Every special interest, in other words, is a future employer...
Washington Post Jan 22, 2006 U.S. Funds Enter Fray In Palestinian Elections: Bush Administration Uses USAID as Invisible Conduit
QUOTE: The Bush administration is spending foreign aid money to increase the popularity of the Palestinian Authority on the eve of crucial elections in which the governing party faces a serious challenge from the radical Islamic group Hamas. The approximately $2 million program is being led by a division of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Washington Post Jan 12, 2006 Lobbyists' Emergence Reflects Shift in Capital Culture
QUOTE: The implied bargain -- money for access -- struck many as just too obvious. Three days later, Bentsen ended the breakfasts and acknowledged that his error of judgment had been "a doozy." Now, every day Congress is in session, there are lobbyist-organized fundraisers for senators and representatives...at which the basic transaction is little different than what got Bentsen in hot water.
Washington Post Jan 10, 2006 Lobby Firm Is Scandal Casualty: Abramoff, DeLay Publicity Blamed For Shutdown
QUOTE: Alexander Strategy Group, which had thrived since its founding in 1998 thanks largely to its close connections to DeLay (R-Tex.), will cease to operate except for a relatively small business-development division, Edwin A. Buckham, the former top DeLay aide who owns the company, said yesterday.
Washington Post Jan 09, 2006 Hastert Moves to Tighten Rules on Lobbyists
QUOTE: With Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) formally removed from congressional leadership, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) took the next step yesterday in Republican efforts to distance the party from a growing corruption scandal, saying the House will move soon to tighten the rules governing lobbyists' access to lawmakers.
Washington Post Jan 06, 2006 Medicare Officials' Attendance at Lavish Contractor Meetings Probed
QUOTE: Medicare officials responsible for overseeing $300 million awarded annually to private contractors regularly attended conferences sponsored by the groups at lavish beach and mountain resorts..."appeared to be more of a party than a diligent working meeting."
Washington Post Jan 04, 2006 Case Bringing New Scrutiny To a System and a Profession
QUOTE: ...put both sides of the lawmaker-lobbyist relationship on notice that some of the wilder customs of recent years -- lubricated with money, entertainment and access -- carry higher risks. In the post-Abramoff era, what once was accepted as business as usual may be seen as questionable or worse.
Washington Post Jan 01, 2006 Hill Gift Limits Often Exceeded, Lobbyists' Records Show: BellSouth Document Illustrates Gap Between the Rules and the Realities
QUOTE: More than 80 lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides are listed as having accepted entertainment from lobbyists for BellSouth Corp. at levels that appear to exceed congressional gift limits....one of the capital's worst-kept secrets: Congressional gift restrictions are frequently ignored.
Washington Post Dec 30, 2005 In N.C., Scandal Arrives Before New State Lottery: House Speaker and Top Aide Under Investigation for Possible Corruption in Measure's Passage
QUOTE: North Carolina, which until now was one of the few states without a lottery, will not begin its games until spring, but already state and federal criminal investigations are looking into whether the measure's passage was tainted by corruption.
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