Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 16, 2014

Posts in "Corporations"

April 15, 2014

Study Finds Voluntary Corporate Political Spending Disclosure Lacking

Corporations that stated they would voluntarily disclose their political contributions have been criticized by an organization that went through I.R.S. reports of the recipients to see if the corporations disclosed all.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit 501c3 organization, compared the political spending disclosed by 60 companies to what Section 527 political organizations reported receiving from those companies.

The key findings from their new report, “The Myth of Corporate Disclosure Exposed,” stated (1) that 25 of 60 companies had significant discrepancies between what was disclosed and what was reported, (2) 20 companies failed to disclose any of their contributions to Section 527 political organizations, and (3) the discrepancies of 25 companies totaled more than $3.1 million between 2011 and 2013.

Full story

Republican Super PAC Spends Against Republicans

The war chest of a Republican-oriented Super PAC has been filled by three donors giving hundreds of thousands of dollars in March, but the funds are being spent against a Democrat and several Republicans.

Ending Spending Action Fund, the super PAC of a 501c4 non-profit organization, reported it had receipts of $1,350,000 and disbursements of $375,438 during the first quarter of the year, leaving $977,621 cash on hand as of March 31st.

The super PAC founder, J. Joe Ricketts, former CEO and chairman of T.D. Ameritrade, gave $550,000 on March 17th. Paul Singer, CEO of Elliott Management Corporation, gave $350,000 on March 18th. The Baupost Group LLC of Boston, Massachusetts, gave $450,000 on March 28th.

The super PAC was set up to educate and engage taxpayers about wasteful and excessive government spending.

Full story

April 14, 2014

Realtors, Goldman Sachs, Comcast Move Money to Cantor

New fundraising reports show the Realtors have engaged more than 75 individual realtors from 35 states to contribute during March to the leadership PAC of Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the House Majority Leader.

The Realtors PAC gave Cantor’s PAC, Every Republican is Crucial (EricPAC), $5,000, and 77 realtors from 35 states contributed $34,500 more.

The PAC reported receipts of $380,206 and disbursements of $282,252, during March, leaving $539,394 cash on hand. The committee received $158,129 in transfers from joint fundraising committees; and $151,000 from PACs and other committees.

The Goldman Sachs Group PAC gave $5,000.  Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and chairman, gave $5,000. The Comcast PAC gave $5,000. The Google NetPAC gave $5,000.

Full story

Chairman Goodlatte Receives $143,000 While Considering Legislation

While considering immigration legislation, and holding a March hearing on the Internet sales tax issue, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, received over $143,000 from Internet and high-tech company PACs, their executives and lobbyists.

Goodlatte’s joint fundraising committee, Goodlatte Victory Committee, reported it had receipts of $149,400 and disbursements of $148,768 from January 1 to March 31st., leaving $6,847 cash on hand. All but $6,000 of the receipts came in during the nineteen days after the chairman’s March 12th Internet sales tax hearing and a Silicon Valley fundraising event.

Chairman Goodlatte held the Silicon Valley fundraising event on March 19th. View the TechNet invitation and Roll Call’s article, “Goodlatte to Fundraise in Silicon Valley as Tech Community Pushes Immigration Fix.Full story

April 11, 2014

Guilty Plea for Foreign Money in U.S. Campaigns

A California luxury car dealer pleaded guilty Thursday to a scheme that moved hundreds of thousands of dollars from a foreign national into U.S. campaigns.

Marc Alan Chase pleaded guilty Thursday to eight counts of violating federal campaign finance laws, including making a contribution in the name of another, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting contributions by a foreign national.

Full story

March 31, 2014

Members of Congress Buying and Selling Stocks

petri 064 071012 445x295 Members of Congress Buying and Selling Stocks

Rep. Tom Petri


Members of Congress continue to report their periodic stock transactions as required by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. Meanwhile the House Ethics Committee is still looking into a member’s stock purchases in a company that would benefit from legislation being considered by his subcommittee, as well as actions the Congressman took to help a company he invested in to retain a billion dollar defense contract.

The House Ethics Committee is still investigating the actions of Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., in regards to his stock purchases in Plum Creek Timber, and his actions in support of defense contractor Oshkosh. Petri, himself, had requested the committee review the matter.

Here are some of the larger transactions by members of Congress.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the third richest member, reported he purchased $500,001 to $1 million of Alexandria RC Investors LLC on 1/21. He also sold $1 million to $5 million of EJF Select Fund LP on 1/11. He also sold $1 million to $5 million of Ramsey Long Biased Fund LP on 1/22.

Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., the 6th richest member, reported he sold $1 million to $5 million in stock of CapitalSource Inc. on 3/3 and the same amount again on 3/4. On each of three days, 2/26, 2/27, and 2/28 he also sold $1 million to $5 million of CapitalSource Inc.

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., the 14th richest member, reported her spouse purchased $1 million to $5 million of BBH Limited Duration on 2/27. During January he purchased $450,004 to $950,000 of BBH Limited Duration. He also purchased $250,001 to $500,000 of Artisan Funds Inc. Int’l. on 2/27.

Full story

March 26, 2014

Would Sheldon Adelson Underwrite the 2016 Republican Convention?

It’s a good bet that Las Vegas Sands Corporation owner Sheldon Adelson would do a lot to get the 2016 Republican convention to come to Las Vegas. The question is how high will the stakes go.

Peter Overby’s NPR article, “Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer Funded Political Convention,” highlights the recently passed bill that will prohibit $18+ million in public funds from being used for each of the 2016 the national party conventions. President Obama is expected to sign the bill.

Political MoneyLine’s earlier posting, “Corporations Can Expect To Pay More For Conventions,” points to corporate contributions as the likely source of funds to replace the loss of federal funds.

Today is the deadline for groups supporting specific cities to submit bids to the Republican National Committee for the 2016 Republican convention. A Las Vegas Review-Journal article indicated that the Las Vegas Host Committee is submitting an updated bid to host the convention at the Las Vegas convention center. The convention hosts committee may need to raise $50 to $75 million to cover the expenses.

Full story

March 25, 2014

Republican State Leadership Committee Invests in Website

A caucus of Republican state officials and its nine state affiliates are investing more funds in website development.

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) reported its February expenditures included paying $36,000 to Acquire Digital (Nashville, Tennessee) for website development; $14,000 to Harris Media (Austin, Texas) for website development; $10,775 to 3DNA Corporation (Los Angeles, CA) for website work; and $4,000 to Domain Diction Limited (London, England) for consulting.

The Section 527 organization reported to the I.R.S. February receipts of $674,000 and expenditures of $739,686.

Large donors in February included $165,000 from WellPoint Inc.; $50,000 from the Nuclear Energy Institute; $50,000 from AT&T; $50,000 from United States Steel Corporation; $35,000 from the Int’l. Council of Shopping Centers; and $35,000 from Majestic Realty Co. (CA); among others.

Full story

March 21, 2014

Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Hires Blanche Lincoln

The top Republican contributor has hired a former Democratic Senator to lobby for his casino company.

The government consulting firm of former Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., the Lincoln Policy Group, has registered to lobby for the Las Vegas Sands Corp., whose business is described in the registration as an “Upscale, integrated resort and casino operations.”

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. In the 2011-2012 election cycle, Adelson and his spouse contributed $100 million to various Republican committees, including $96,280,000 to Super PACs and $3,800,000 to Section 527 organizations.

Full story

Operating Engineers Union PAC Gives Out More than $750K

An international labor union has reported giving out more than $750,000 to federal candidates and committees during February.

The PAC of the International Union of Operating Engineers reported it contributed $769,500 to federal candidates and committees during February. The PAC gave $419,500 to candidates, leadership PACs, and political party committees. The PAC gave $350,000 to Super PACs.

From January 2013 through January 2014, the PAC had given a total of $1,370,000 to federal candidates and committees, with 77% going to Democrats. In the full 2011-2012 cycle, the PAC contributed $2,722,889, of which 84% went to Democrats.

The Engineers Political Education Committee (EPEC) reported it had receipts of $261,665 and disbursements of $938,336 during February, leaving $6,170,394 cash on hand at the end of the month.

Full story

By Kent Cooper Posted at 11:06 a.m.
Corporations, PACs

March 20, 2014

Google Inc. NetPAC Has Record Giving Month

The political action committee of a major Internet services and products company has increased its political contributions to a new high.

Google Inc. NetPAC reported today it had giving $174,500 to federal candidates and committees during February. Previously, their high month was September 2012, when the PAC gave $165,500 to federal candidates and committees.

From January 2013 through the end of January 2014, the PAC gave out $642,500 to federal candidates and committees, with 51% going to Republicans. View 2013-2014 financial profile profile. In the full 2011-2012 cycle, the PAC gave $1,031,000 to federal candidates and committees, with 51% going to Republicans.

The PAC reported receipts of $143,559 and disbursements of $174,500 during February, leaving $1,448,306 cash on hand at the end of the month. Google CEO Lawrence Page gave $5,000 to the PAC.

During February 2014, the PAC gave $15,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and $10,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The PAC gave $8,000 to the campaign committee of Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

Full story

By Kent Cooper Posted at 12:37 p.m.
Corporations, PACs

Senior Executives in Koch Industries and Subsidiaries Fuel PAC

Corporate executives of Koch Industries and forty-one subsidiaries contributed over a quarter of a million dollars to its PAC during February, surprisingly none were named Koch.

Four hundred and sixty-six employees, and a few spouses, contributed $250,912 to the Koch Industries Inc. PAC during February, including 27 that gave the $5,000 maximum. Another $32,061 was raised in small unitemized contributions of $200 or less.

The Koch Industries Inc. PAC reported receipts of $284,785 and disbursements of $112,711 during February, leaving $1,268,420 cash on hand at the end of the month. The PAC gave $105,000 to federal candidates and committees during February.

From January 2013 through the end of January the PAC had receipts of $1.9 million and had given $1,183,500 to federal candidates and committees, with 98% going to Republicans. View 2013-2014 PAC financial profile.

In the full 2011-2012 cycle, the PAC reported receipts of $3,082,336. The PAC gave $2,581,500 to federal candidates and committees, with 97% going to Republicans.

The itemized contributors to the PAC in February 2014 came from Full story

By Kent Cooper Posted at 11:34 a.m.
Corporations, Donors, PACs

March 19, 2014

No Slow Down in PAC Money to Congress During Snow and Recess

Although the snowy weather and recess slowed down legislative action during February, PAC money kept moving, led by the National Association of Realtors PAC, which gave over half a million dollars to federal candidates and committees.

Political action committees (PACs) of companies, unions, trade associations and other interest groups are reporting their financial activity for February on Thursday. Early filings indicate that some gave out more than $100,000 during February to federal candidates and committees.

The National Assn. of Realtors PAC tends to give out a large amount of contributions early in an election year, and then another large amount in the fall before the General Election. During February the National Assn.of Realtors PAC reported receipts of $1,179,450 and disbursements of $598,248, leaving $4,659,699 cash on hand at the end of February.

Earlier reports show the following PACs gave more than $100,000 in February:

March 18, 2014

GM PAC Keeps On Giving Before Congressional Hearings

The political action committee of a major auto maker continues to make contributions to members of Congress, at the same time they are facing Congressional hearings next month on the company’s recalls of vehicles for safety issues.

The General Motors Company PAC reported today it gave out $76,000 during February to members of Congress and political committees. The GM PAC raised $63,525 during February, raising their election cycle receipts to $896,884. This 14-month total already exceeds the full 24-month 2011-2012 cycle receipts of $755,178. GM CEO Mary Barra contributed $400 during February, and will probably reach the maximum $5,000 limit by the end of the year.

Prior to February, the PAC had given $497,750 to federal candidates and committees in the 2013-2014 cycle. Fifty-six per cent went to Republicans, and $44% went to Democrats. View Political MoneyLine’s 2013-2014 GM PAC profile.

In the full 2011-2012 cycle, the GM PAC gave out $530,800 to federal candidates and committees, including 63% to Republicans and 37% to Democrats.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra stated today that  she will probably testify before Congressional hearings into the ignition-switch problem that was announced last month, affecting over one million cars. This week GM also announced a 1.5 million recall of vehicles with brakes and airbag wiring issues.

Full story

March 12, 2014

Corporations Can Expect To Pay More For Conventions

Congress has taken steps to remove public funds from partially paying for national party conventions, but corporations, unions, and individuals will soon be on the hook for making up the difference.

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill by voice vote to end taxpayer funding for presidential party conventions and use those funds for researching pediatric cancer and other childhood disorders. The funds come from the $3 check-off on taxpayer annual returns.

In 2012, the Democratic and Republican National Conventions each received $18 million from the taxpayer funding. In addition, each raised private funds for their conventions. The Democrats raised $37 million. The Republicans raised $57 million.  Without taxpayer funding, the parties will be going back to donors to earlier conventions for even larger contributions for 2016. For some donors there is an advertising justification, and for others they may provide in-kind products or services, but all donors receive special thanks from national public policy makers.

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