-by Justin Acuff
August 3, 2013- Groundswell, the conservative behind-the-scenes organization that forms a coalition between prominent Republicans, right wing media, and conservative activists to wage a “30-front war against Obama and progressives” has been revealed to have played a role in the hype and false scandalization of the Benghazi “controversy.” A secret tape released by Crooks And Liars (audio below) has detailed the cooperation between House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ginni Thomas (the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas), former Rep. Allen West, as well as high-ranking members of Judicial Watch and Breitbart. The meeting was presided over by Catherine Engelbrecht, one of the founders of the voter suppression group, True The Vote.
—By Stephanie Mencimer
July 26, 2013- Virginia "Ginni" Thomas is no ordinary Supreme Court spouse. Unlike Maureen Scalia, mother of nine, or the late Martin Ginsburg, mild-mannered tax law professor who was good in the kitchen, Thomas came from the world of bare-knuckled partisan politics. Over the years, she has enmeshed herself ever more deeply in the world of political advocacy—all the while creating a heap of conflict of interest concerns surrounding her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Her role in Groundswell, the coalition of conservatives waging a "30 front war" against progressives and the GOP establishment that was revealed by Mother Jones on Thursday, revives questions about the propriety of Thomas' activism on issues that have or could become the subject of Supreme Court cases.
-By Kathleen Galligan
January 16, 2013- Lobbying is normal in the course of public business, but when the government lobbies itself, the practice can involve taxpayer resources used to pursue a political agenda.
Like expanding a state-run district that manages underachieving schools.
Restructuring a major health care insurer.
Or enacting right to work.
A Lansing State Journal analysis showed $556,000 in taxpayer money was used by state government agencies to lobby the Michigan Legislature in 2012.
State officials from various departments said the money equates to staff time spent advancing the interests of those agencies and, more broadly, the policy agenda of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.
“There’s nothing insidious here. There’s no wining and dining of lawmakers,” Snyder spokesman Kurt Weiss said. “It’s listening to hearings at the Capitol, talking with lawmakers. Every administration has a staff that does that.”
-By Sarah Blaskey and Steve Horn
May 16, 2012- Taxpayer-subsidized stealth lobbyists: Lobbyists who circumvent normal lobbying regulations and procedures to advance the corporate agenda in statehouses nationwide on the taxpayer dime.
If Washington DC is the new Versailles, run by corporate overlords and their lobbyist-hired guns, then the 50 statehouses are its paternal twins. That is, while they look different in form, they share the same genetic function as avenues for the fulfillment of the corporate agenda.