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Posts in "Corporations"
July 15, 2014
A national accounting firm has agreed to pay $4 million to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that the firm violated rules relating to lobbying activities while claiming to be an independent auditor.
In the settlement, Washington Council EY, a unit of Ernst & Young, agreed to pay $4,071,925.98 including disgorgement, interest, and civil penalty. The settlement details the House and Senate lobbying activities of the firm, including letters, meetings, and draft legislation.
The summary of the settlement stated,
“These proceedings arise out of certain legislative advisory services provided by Washington Council EY (“WCEY”), which has been part of EY since 2000.
“Prior to 2009, certain conduct related to WCEY’s provision of legislative advisory services violated the independence rules with respect to two of EY’s SEC-registrant audit clients. For example, WCEY sent letters urging passage of bills to congressional staff on behalf of one of its clients (hereinafter, “Client A”). These bills were important to Client A’s business interests. In another instance, WCEY asked congressional staff to insert into a bill a provision favorable to Client A. For another audit client (hereinafter, “Client B”), WCEY attempted to persuade congressional offices to withdraw their support for legislation detrimental to that client’s business interests. In addition, WCEY worked closely with congressional staff in drafting an alternative bill more favorable to Client B. WCEY also marked up a draft of the alternative bill, inserting specific language written by Client B, and sent the mark-up to congressional staff. Full story
July 12, 2014
A major Washington lobbying firm reported it is no longer lobbying for a top tobacco company, which usually paid the firm $2 million a year.
Dickstein Shapiro LLP, filed a termination report report on Friday indicating, as of July 11, it will no longer be lobbying for Lorillard Tobacco Company. The firm had earlier reported it had been paid $500,000 for lobbying during the second quarter of 2014.
During the last four quarters, Lorillard paid the firm $2,670,000. Since 1999, Lorillard has paid the firm $31.8 million for lobbying the federal government. View multi-year lobbying totals for Dickstein Shapiro’s Lorillard work.
Dickstein Shapiro lobbied for Lorillard on the issues of tobacco, taxes, health, and appropriations.
Dickstein Shapiro also filed terminations for over thirty other lobbying clients Full story
July 9, 2014
Corrected, 10:30 a.m. | 2012 vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul D. Ryan has had the time and opportunity to methodically meet and greet the top financial donors of the Republican Party around the country – and collect almost $7 million dollars in campaign contributions.
Ryan for Congress reported it had receipts of $1,611,280 during the second quarter of 2014. This brings the Wisconsin Republican’s election cycle total receipts to $6.95 million.
During the quarter, Ryan’s committee received over $1 million in direct contributions from individuals – with many from the financial services industry, $432,740 from PACs and other committees, and $156,596 from transfers in from joint fundraising efforts with this leadership PAC and his Ryan-NRCC Victory Committee. The committee spent $1,783,118 during the quarter, and has cash on hand of $3,835,558, and debts of $6,525, as of June 30th.
One June 16th, and prior to the close of books for the second quarter, the committee sent $1 million in excess funds to the National Republican Congressional Committee. It was also five days after Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced he would resign as House Majority Leader.
Donors included Full story
July 2, 2014
A Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm has scored $84,000 in the last year from the U.S. Soccer Foundation for lobbying the federal government.
McAllister & Quinn LLC, reported yesterday it received $21,000 for their lobbying during the second quarter of 2014, bringing their 12-month total to $84,000.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation pays the firm to lobby on World Cup-related requests; Urban Soccer Symposium; Capitol Hill Day; and the Capital Soccer Classic/Congressional Soccer Competition.
The firm also lobbies on Full story
June 24, 2014
The flow of money into politics continues with a steady stream of large contributions from millionaires and wealthy donors.
Recent financial reports from Super PACs, showing May activity, disclose several large contributions. For example, American Crossroads, a Republican-oriented Super PAC reported receiving $1 million from Paul Singer, President and CEO of Elliott Management Group (NY); $200,000 from Ruben Martin, President and CEO of Martin Resource Management Corporation (TX); $100,000 from James MacDougald, chairman of Westshore Ventures (FL); and $100,000 from Geoff Palmer, owner, G.H. Palmer Associates (CA). The Super PAC had receipts o $1.66 million during May, and has $4.6 million cash on hand as of May 31st.
The House Majority PAC, a Democratic-oriented super PAC, received $1 million from Fred Eychaner, CEO of Newsweb Corporation (IL); $300,000 from Jon Stryker, architect (MI); $100,000 from the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (DC); $100,000 from the UAW Education Fund (MI); $100,000 from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association PAC; and $100,000 from the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union Active Ballot Club(DC).
The Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic-oriented Super PAC, reported receipts of over $2 million during May Full story
June 21, 2014
The new personal financial wealth and income reports of the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are now available online.
The Ethics in Government Act requires annual personal financial wealth and income reports from top officials in all three branches of government. The goal is to prevent conflicts of interest and deter corruption and the appearance of corruption of public officials.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts made public on Friday the paper copies of financial reports covering calendar year 2013, for Chief Justice Roberts and the eight active Associate Justices. Since the Court does not make them available online, Political MoneyLine has scanned them each year and made them available here, under the tab for SCOTUS Personal Financial Disclosures.
The financial reports list assets and financial holdings in broad dollar ranges, and do not include the value of personal residences or spousal income, unless done voluntarily. Some view the filings to see if any Justice owns stock or has investments in a company that may relate to a matter that may come before the Court.
In 2013, some of the Justices supplemented their salary with brief teaching positions at education institutions and law schools. For example, Chief Justice Roberts taught a ten-day course in Prague, The Czech Republic.
Also, some are reimbursed for Full story
June 20, 2014
A U.S. Representative must repay $59,000 to those who provided improper gifts, as well as be reproved by the House Ethics Committee.
The House Ethics Committee released a report on Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, stating that in regard to fifteen trips and certain gifts, (1) Young violated House rules, and other laws and standards of conduct, (2) Young failed to report certain gifts, (3) Young must repay the $59,064 value of those trips and gifts, (4) Young must amend his personal financial disclosure report to show the gifts, and (5) Young should be reproved for his conduct with respect to his personal use of campaign funds, his acceptance of improper gifts, and his failure to report certain gifts.
Roll Call’s Matt Fuller recaps the report in his article, Don Young Broke House Rules, Ethics Committee Says.
The campaign finance records of the newly elected House Majority Leader and Majority Whip provide a wealth of data on who already has connections into the two new leaders.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has raised over $12.5 million in campaign funds for his principal campaign committee since 2006. The $4.9 million in contributions from individuals is easily searchable by donor name, employer, state, or date, on McCarthy’s multi-year financial profile with a subscription to Political MoneyLine’s databases.
McCarthy’s $6.6 million in receipts from PACs and other committees is also searchable by interest group category, such as Finance & Insurance, which has been his largest industry category over the years.
The records of McCarthy’s leadership PAC, the Majority Committee PAC, also show connections with donors around the country. The committee had almost $5 million in receipts since 2006. His personal wealth and income statements also are available.
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., has raised Full story
Several political action committees of major companies, unions, and issue groups reported their highest levels of monthly giving this cycle for contributions to candidates and political committees.
With primaries underway, some general election candidates already identified, and Congress still in session, several PACs reported May was their largest month for giving this cycle. PACs filing monthly disclosure reports must file on or before June 20th.
The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education gave out $307,500 during May, their largest giving month this cycle. From January 1, 2013 through May 2014, they had receipts of $2,898,671 leaving $1,752,357 cash on hand. About 86% of their contributions go to Democrats. This percentage includes contributions to candidates, leadership PACs, national party committees, and other party-related committees.
The Exxon Mobil Corporation PAC gave $281,250. This cycle they raised $1,375,529, and have $587,706 cash on hand. About 83% of their contributions go to Republicans.
The Home Depot Inc. PAC gave out $280,500. This cycle they raised $2,203,291. They give about 75% of their contributions to Republicans.
The PAC of the Credit Union National Association gave out $229,000. This cycle they raised $3,035,732. They give about 52% of their contributions to Democrats.
The Club for Growth PAC gave out $214,437 during May. This cycle they raised $1,576,145. They give 100% of their contributions to Republicans.
The United Parcel Service Inc. PAC gave out $206,450 during May. This cycle they have raised $2,751,37 and have $759,943 cash on hand. They give about 66% of their contributions to Republicans.
Other PACs that gave out a large amount of contributions in May, but had given out a larger monthly amount earlier in the cycle, include: Full story
June 19, 2014
A New York federal grand jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission have issued subpoenas for a Congressional committee staff member who may have information about providing knowledge of Congressional action on health care policy to stock traders on Wall Street.
The subpoenas were issued for documents, as well as the testimony of Brian Sutter, staff director of the Ways and Means subcommittee on health, according to an article by Brody Mullins and Andrew Ackerman in the Wall Street Journal. On May 9th, Sutter notified the House of Representatives he had received the New York subpoena.
Under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, Full story
June 17, 2014
A new Super PAC related to operatives of Koch Industries has registered with the Federal Election Commission to make independent expenditures during the 2014 elections.
Freedom Partners Action Fund is based in Arlington, Virginia, with Thomas F. Maxwell as treasurer. The group registered as a Super PAC to raise funds in unlimited amounts, not to make contributions directly to federal candidates, but to make independent expenditures for or against candidates.
The group listed Freedom Partners as its website. Freedom Partners, also based in Arlington, Virginia, is a 501c6 nonprofit organization that “promotes the benefits of free markets and a free society.” Freedom Partners “awards grants to organizations to conduct nonpartisan issue advocacy and bring these important societal and economic issues to the public’s attention.“ The establishment of a sister Super PAC, which must disclose its donors, is a new step for the organization, which as a 501c6 is not required to disclose its donors.
June 12, 2014
A conservative Super PAC has reported spending over $300,000 on media ads against Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., who is up for re-election this year.
Americas PAC reported it had receipts of $400,000 and disbursement of $383,596 between April 1st and June 4th. The PAC has $22,202 cash on hand as of June 4th.
The only donor during this period to the Super PAC was Richard Uihlein, CEO of Uline Corporation, an Illinois distributor of shipping and packaging materials. Uihlein contributed $400,000 on April 15th. In March, he gave $50,000.
From April through June 4th, the PAC reported Full story
June 9, 2014
The company owned by billionaires Charles and David Koch, who contribute millions to political advocacy groups that spend money on political advertising and impacting elections, has now started to lobby on the issue of campaign finance.
The Koch Companies Public Sector LLC, an energy, manufacturing, trading and investment company, has contracted with The Nickles Group to lobby the federal government on issues relating to campaign finance, and the wind energy production tax credit.
Most of the political advocacy organizations that receive funds from the Koch brothers Full story
A National Football League team has beefed up its defense against a growing line of aggressive opponents who want the team to change what they feel is its offensive name.
Daniel Snyder’s Washington Redskins team has contracted with the K Street lobbying, public affairs and government services firm McGuireWoods Consulting. McGuireWoods filed their lobbying registration on Friday, with an effective date of May 29th.
McGuireWoods will lobby on ”Discussions of team origins, history and traditions, Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and youth sports, activities of Original Americans’ Foundation.”
May 30, 2014
The Chamber of Commerce of the U.S., using funds contributed by undisclosed corporations and business interests, is pumping over $600,000 into support for a U.S. Senate candidate running against a former company CEO.
The Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. reported Friday afternoon that it had paid $636,335 on May 28th to Revolution Agency for TV and digital advertisements as independent expenditures supporting Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., in his race for the U.S. Senate. The ads will run from May 28th through June 17th.