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Access and Influence by Ron Nixon
 

Access and Influence by Ron Nixon

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Ron Nixon presents during the free business journalism workshop, "Follow the Money -- Tracking Companies' Influence on Politics." ...

Ron Nixon presents during the free business journalism workshop, "Follow the Money -- Tracking Companies' Influence on Politics."

For more free resources on business journalism, please visit businessjournalism.org.

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    Access and Influence by Ron Nixon Access and Influence by Ron Nixon Presentation Transcript

    • Access and Influence: A guide tofollowing the money and legislative or regulatory outcomes.
    • Money: The Mother’s Milk of politics.    There  are  two  things  that  are  important  in  poli1cs.  The  first  is  money  and  I  cant  remember  what  the  second  one  is.  -­‐-­‐  Ohio  poli)cal  boss  and  U.S.  Senator  Mark  Hanna,  1895  and  fundraiser  for  President  William  McKinley.  
    • Tracking the Money In:—  Campaign  Contribu.ons  —  Personal  Financial  disclosures  —  Lobbying  disclosure  forms  —  Nonprofit/527’s  —  Property/Real  Estate  —  Adver.sing/Consul.ng  —  Super  PACs  
    • Tracking the Money Out:—  Federal/State/Local  Contracts  —  Earmarks/Tax  benefits/Regula.ons  —  Vote  for/against  legisla.on/regula.on  —  Revolving  Door  (Jobs,  consul.ng,  hiring  spouse,  former   staffers)  —  Trips  and  GiPs  —  LeQers  of  Support/LeQermarking  —  Appointments  —  Giving  to  Founda.on/nonprofit  linked  to  lawmakers  
    • Tax me if you can!
    • Documents Used—  Joint Tax Committee in Congress—  U.S. Tax Code—  Senate and House Member Websites—  Senate Office of Public Records—  Campaign Finance reports
    • Axis of Evil Business?
    • Documents Used—  Office of Foreign Asset Control license database obtained through lawsuit against Department of Treasury.—  Letters in OFAC files written by members of Congress in support of companies seeking permission to operate in Iran.
    • Pizza as a Vegetable?
    • Documents Used—  Lobbying Disclosure records—  Federal Register—  Comments on proposed regulations written by members of Congress and industry obtained through regulations.gov website.
    • The End of Earmarks?
    • Documents Used—  Lobbying disclosure records—  Appropriation bill—  Committee reports
    • Lettermarking!
    • Documents Used—  Letters obtained under Freedom of Information Act to various agencies
    • It just won’t die!
    • Documents Used—  Cuts, Consolidations and Saving budget report from the White House—  Lobbying disclosure reports—  Campaign finance reports
    • It won’t die either!
    • Documents Used—  Cuts, Consolidation and Savings budget report from the White House—  Lobbying disclosure reports—  Campaign finance report—  The Congressional Record
    • Charitable Contributions
    • Documents Used—  Campaign Finance reports—  Lobbying Disclosure reports—  Annual Reports—  Foundation tax forms
    • Not for Profit!
    • Documents Used—  Congressional Earmark requests—  Lobbying disclosure records—  Campaign finance reports—  Godaddy.com website—  I.R.S.
    • I’m a Business, Man!
    • “Disregard the Man behind the Curtain!”
    • Documents Used—  Congressional Records—  Lobbying disclosure reports
    • We are the Champions!
    • —  Campaign Finance reports—  Thomas.gov—  Congressional websites—  Congressional votes database
    • All in the Family!
    • Documents Used—  LegiStorm database—  Lobbying disclosure reports
    • Regulators! Mount Up!
    • Documents Used—  Agency travel records—  Office of Government Ethics private sponsored travel reports
    • A Seat at the Table.
    • —  Agency websites—  State Campaign finance records—  Meeting notes—  Legislative audits
    • Bad Medicine
    • Documents Used—  State and Federal Campaign Finance Records—  State and Federal Lobbying disclosure records—  Political ad records from local TV stations—  Corporate annual reports—  I.R.S. tax form 990
    • Tying Contributions to Outcomes: Resources—  The Congressional Record—  Lawmakers websites—  Regulations.gov—  FOIA—  Lobbying disclosure forms—  Office of Government Ethics—  Federal Register—  Guidestar/IRS 990s
    • Resources Cont:—  Appropriation bills and committee reports—  Authorization committees (House and Senate)—  Letters/Communications between Agency staffers and former employers.—  Thomas—  GovTrack—  LegiStorm—  Federal Advisory Committees—  Congressional Tax Committees
    • So Damn Much Money!