leedrutman   25

NRA still wields real, if misunderstood, political power | Center for Public Integrity
“Members of Congress pay attention to these numbers, and they know that in the last election cycle the NRA spent $18.6 million on various campaigns,” says Lee Drutman, who has studied the role of gun money in politics for the Sunlight Foundation. “They know what the NRA is capable of doing and the kinds of ads they’re capable of running, and especially if you’re someone facing a close election, you don’t want hundreds of thousands and potentially millions of dollars in advertising to go against you.”
sunlightmention  nra  leedrutman  clips  cpi 
december 2015 by sunlightfoundation
Vox Sentences: Finally, you too can be down with TPP - Vox
Largely, though, anti-corporate groups simply suspect corporations had too much influence over the deal — as graphics like this one, about TPP lobbying by industry groups years before the deal came out, insinuate.
[Sunlight Foundation / Lee Drutman]
sunlightmention  leedrutman  clips  vox 
november 2015 by sunlightfoundation
No Matter Who the New Speaker Is, Real Dysfunction Lies Deeper | Michael Golden
Between the years 2000 and 2014, gun rights groups spent more than $80 million on federal campaigns - with $46 million of it spent by those independent groups given free rein after the Citizens United decision. More than $18 million alone was spent during the election cycle preceding Newtown. Of the forty-six senators who voted against the amendment, forty-three of them had received money from gun rights groups since the year 2000 (gun rights groups outspent gun control groups 28-1 in 2000-2010). Despite such strong circumstantial evidence of influence, that does not necessarily constitute a direct causal link. In fact, four Democrats who voted against the background checks were likely unswayed by money, as they had received some of the smallest amounts from the NRA.

But influence comes not only from the NRA money that flows into lawmakers' coffers. It also comes from the truckloads of cash that loom over the incumbents in the form of election-cycle attack ads. In fact, even the mere threat of such influence infects political thinking. Lee Drutman, who studies the impact of money on gun policy for the Sunlight Foundation, says lawmakers are plain afraid of the predatory political attacks: "They know what the NRA is capable of doing and the kinds of ads they're capable of running, and especially if you're someone facing a close election, you don't want hundreds of thousands and potentially millions of dollars in advertising to go against you."
clips  nra  leedrutman  huffingtonpost  sunlightquoted 
october 2015 by sunlightfoundation
The Trace, A New Media Organization Committed To Shining Light On Gun Violence, Could Not Be Coming At A More Important Time | Bustle
Even though President Obama lifted the ban on federal funding for gun violence research in 2013, there still has not been adequate funding allocated to gun violence research. As it stands, the gun lobby still controls most of the conversation surrounding gun crime. Seriously. Between election time in 2000 and 2013, the gun lobby spent nearly $81 million on congressional and presidential campaigns, while Obama asked Congress for only $10 million for gun violence research following the Newtown killings. Lee Drutman of the Sunlight Foundation has studied the relationship between gun lobby money and politics, and has publicly claimed that politicians “know what the NRA is capable of doing and the kinds of ads they’re capable of running, and especially if you’re someone facing a close election, you don’t want hundreds of thousands and potentially millions of dollars in advertising to go against you.”
sunlightmention  clips  guns  influence  leedrutman 
june 2015 by sunlightfoundation
The Lobbying Bonanza - NYTimes.com
In 2014, Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at New America, conducted a study for the Sunlight Foundation that revealed that there were 799 registered Washington lobbyists whose fees for at least one year between 1998 and 2012 exceeded $1 million.

At the same time that the business of influencing government has grown more lucrative, the city’s college-educated, affluent, largely but not exclusively white work force has grown by leaps and bounds
sunlightmention  clips  leedrutman  lobbying  influence  onepercent  sunlightquoted  nyt 
june 2015 by sunlightfoundation
Americans spend more money on NCAA Tournament betting than on presidential elections. By a lot. - The Washington Post
Dive even deeper into the numbers and you see how much of the billions expended on elections are spent by a very few very wealthy people. "In the 2012 election, 28 percent of all disclosed political contributions came from just 31,385 people," writes the Sunlight Foundation's Lee Drutman. "In a nation of 313.85 million, these donors represent the 1% of the 1%, an elite class that increasingly serves as the gatekeepers of public office in the United States."
sunlightmention  clips  sunlightquoted  leedrutman  onepercent 
march 2015 by sunlightfoundation
Maine’s 10 big money elite giving $3.95 million to this year’s elections - Keep Me Current: News
Political scientist Lee Drutman, writing for the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan Washington-based group that advocates for open government, explained in a June, 2013 article that the top individual givers “are the political gatekeepers of American politics.”
He wrote, “They determine who is an acceptable candidate (i.e., those individuals whom they trust to represent their interests). Their influence is very rarely found in simple favor trading. Rather, their influence arises from something subtler yet far more significant: shaping the limits of acceptable political discourse, one conversation at a time.”
sunlightmention  clips  leedrutman  onepercent  maine 
october 2014 by sunlightfoundation
Why Apple Spent $1 Million Lobbying the U.S. Government
Lee Drutman, a lobbying expert at the Sunlight Foundation, estimated that at least twice as much is spent on lobbying as is officially reported, and The Nation itself found that in some cases, the quarterly registration system shows only a tenth of the amount that companies spend to influence how the government views and treats an issue.
sunlightmention  sunlightquoted  leedrutman  lobbying  influence  technology  clips 
october 2014 by sunlightfoundation
Milking the Money Machine - NYTimes.com
A 2013 Sunlight Foundation study by Lee Drutman, a senior fellow, found that in the 2012 election, a tiny fraction of the American public, just 31,385 men and women making up 0.01 percent of the population, provided over a quarter of the $6 billion spent in federal campaigns that year.

This constituency is composed of publicly identified donors who made contributions to candidates and to political committees, including super PACS, ranging from $13,000 to $93 million (Sheldon and Miriam Adelson). 49.8 percent of these mega-donors gave at least 90 percent of their money to Republicans; 35.5 percent gave at least 90 percent of their contributions to Democrats. “A tiny sliver of Americans who can afford to give tens of thousands of dollars in a single election cycle,” Drutman wrote, “have become the gatekeepers of public office in America.”
nyt  leedrutman  onepercent 
july 2014 by sunlightfoundation
National Journal: Is Congress Getting Dumber? Probably Not, Study Finds
Is Congress getting dumber?

Probably not. But a new analysis by the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation seems to reveal that Congress is, at least, speaking dumber -- at a little over a 10th-grade level and a full grade below the level it was speaking at in 2005. But as the Sunlight Foundation’s Lee Drutman, one of the study authors, explains, it’s easy for those frustrated with congressional ineptitude and inaction to interpret the findings of the study as indicating an increase in congressional stupidity.

“The idea that Congress is dumbing down resonates with a lot of people because they don’t hold Congress in particularly high regard, because Congress has proven time and time again that they can’t solve pressing problems,” he said.
gradelevel  leedrutman  nationaljournal  msm 
june 2012 by sunlightfoundation
89.3 KPCC: Is Congressional speech really sophomoric? | Patt Morrison
What does it take for a politician to communicate with the American public? If you’ve been following the news lately, it’s speaking like a tenth grader, but is that accurate?

The Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission of creating government transparency, said it had analyzed the speeches of members of congress, and found that members now speak at a 10.6 grade level – down a full grade from the 11.5 grade level of political discourse seven years ago.
leedrutman  gradelevel  kpcc  radio  california 
may 2012 by sunlightfoundation
The Monkey Cage: Me Talk Pretty One Day?
From new analysis by Lee Drutman at the Sunlight Foundation’s blog.  You’ll never guess whose speeches score higher than the Declaration of Independence.
capitolwords  gradelevel  leedrutman  monkeycage  blog 
may 2012 by sunlightfoundation
Huffington Post: Members Of Congress Speak Like High School Sophomores, Sunlight Foundation Report Says
The sophistication of federal lawmakers' speech patterns is on the decline, with members of Congress now talking, on average, at the level of high school sophomores. According to a new report by the Sunlight Foundation, Congress has fallen by almost a full grade-level since 2005.

The members speaking at the lowest grade levels tend to be freshmen Republicans.

As NPR noted on Monday, "Of the 10 members speaking at the lowest grade level, all but two are freshmen, and every one is a Republican." That measurement is for all speeches since 1996.
capitolwords  leedrutman  gradelevel  huffingtonpost  topblog2012 
may 2012 by sunlightfoundation
NPR: Sophomoric? Members Of Congress Talk Like 10th-Graders, Analysis Shows
But what about what they say and, more specifically, how they say it? It turns out that the sophistication of congressional speech-making is on the decline, according to the open government group the Sunlight Foundation. Since 2005, the average grade level at which members of Congress speak has fallen by almost a full grade.
capitolwords  gradelevel  leedrutman  npr  radio 
may 2012 by sunlightfoundation
NPR's Planet Money: The Most (And Least) Lucrative Committees In Congress
So we created our own list, based on publicly disclosed fundraising numbers. At our request, Lee Drutman of the Sunlight Foundation, crunched data going back to the early '90s.

The analysis found that Ways and Means is the most valuable committee for fundraising. Lawmakers on the Ways and Means committee raise an extra $250,000 a year compared to the average Congressman.
fundraising  house  leedrutman  planetmoney  msmblog 
april 2012 by sunlightfoundation
The Hill's On The Money: Report: Ways and Means top House panel for fundraising
A spot on the House Ways and Means Committee turns out to be a rewarding position, according to a new report.

The Sunlight Foundation found that members of the tax-writing committee were on the most preferable House panel when it came to fundraising — raking in, on average, an estimated quarter-million dollars more in itemized contributions per election cycle than non-Ways and Means members.
house  fundraising  thehill  leedrutman  msmblog 
april 2012 by sunlightfoundation
ABC News: Exxon Mobil, Verizon and Other Companies That Spent Most on Lobbying Had Lower Tax Rates
The eight companies that spent the most on lobbying happened to have a lower corporate tax rate, a report released this week from the Sunlight Foundation found.

The Sunlight Foundation, a watchdog group advocating for government transparency, analyzed the 200 largest U.S. companies, ranked by 2010 pre-tax income, and found those that spent the most on lobbying between 2007 and 2009 had lower 2010 tax rates than what they paid in 2007. Some of the companies say their tax rates have little to do with their lobbying efforts though.
taxes  lobbying  leedrutman  abcnews  msmblog 
april 2012 by sunlightfoundation
PressTV: Corporations spending more on lobbying pay less tax
A recent report has found that of the 200 wealthiest U.S. companies, those who spent the most on lobbying in Washington saw the greatest reduction in reported tax rates between 2007 and 2010.

[...]

"If you think you wound up paying too much in taxes this year, maybe you ought to hire a lobbyist. Or two. Or 20. After all, it’s a strategy that seems to be working well for some of the nation’s biggest corporations," according to report published by the Sunlight Foundation. sunlightfoundation.com
taxes  lobbying  leedrutman  presstv  iran  blog 
april 2012 by sunlightfoundation

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