Archive for the ‘lobbying’ Category

Q & A: 2 Minutes with Elizabeth Warren

June 4, 2015

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at the re/code Conference, May 26, 2015.

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Pistol Packin’ Pork Lobbyist

July 24, 2014

Pistol Packin' Pork Lobbyist

Ronald Prestage, President-elect of the National Pork Producers Council, went to the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning because, you know, pork barrel politics. Mr. Prestage, a veterinarian who runs a 170,000-sow swine operation, was carrying a Ruger 9mm pistol. You never know when you’ll run across a fierce feral hog on The Hill, or a raging, veggie-wearin’ PETA protester. Unsympathetic Capitol Hill Police arrested him. House Republicans want everyone in DC to pack heat, just not around them.

When Dr. Prestage realized he had his gun in his bag, you can imagine how he felt. He’s a former Chairman of the National Turkey Federation.

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No Standing

December 6, 2013

No Standing

On Monday United States District Judge Janet C. Hall ruled that the National Shooting Sports Foundation lacked legal standing to challenge Connecticut’s recently enacted firearms laws and dismissed its lawsuit. NSSF is the trade association representing the arms and ammunition manufacturers and dealers who profit from the sale of the high-capacity magazines and military-style weapons forbidden by the new gun laws, passed after the killing of 20 young children and  6 educators in Newtown, Connecticut. Newtown is also home to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

On Wednesday, Newtown authorities released recordings of the 911 emergency calls from inside Sandy Hook Elementary School during the mass shooting of first-graders. The neighbors at the NSSF didn’t comment on that.

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Las Vegas Tribute to Newtown Victims

January 16, 2013

Las Vegas Tribute to Newtown Victims

The city of Las Vegas pays tribute to the slaughtered children of Newtown, Connecticut this week by hosting that New England town’s resident gun lobby, the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  60,000 gun worshippers are expected to attend the memorial for the 20 children and six educators shot to death by a single military-style firearm.

The NSSF represents gun and ammunition manufacturers and dealers, and lobbies against laws banning high-capacity gun magazines, something the Las Vegas police chief favors. The organization also maintains that military-style weapons belong in civilian hands since they drive massive industry profits and are fun to use.

More:

“Gun Group Chief Says Industry Didn’t Cause Newtown,” Ken Ritter, AP via ABC News

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Corporation Wants Congress to Give Away The Postal Service

January 16, 2013

Corporation Wants Congress to Give Away The Postal Service

Pitney Bowes financed a plan to privatize the sorting and delivery parts of the U.S. Postal Service, leaving the “last mile” of delivery, the part that can’t possibly pay for itself, to USPS letter carriers. Private companies like Pitney Bowes and UPS would process and transport the mail but you’d just see the mailman.

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Newtown’s Gun Lobby in DC

December 23, 2012

Newtown's Gun Lobby in DC

This morning the NRA attempted to defend its insane proposals to put guns in all American schools and keep military-type weapons and magazines on the streets, the gun lobby’s reaction to the horrifying slaughter of 20 small children and 6 educators in Newtown Connecticut. But Newtown itself is home to another gun lobby group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and its last registered DC office is at 20 F Street NW (above) near the U.S. Senate, where it rents space.

The NSSF represents gun and ammunition manufacturers and dealers, so it’s no surprise that it has lobbied Congress against restrictions on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. It even claims that the AR-15 is a legitimate hunting firearm.

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Sandy Hook’s Dangerous Neighbor

December 18, 2012

Sandy Hook's Dangerous Neighbor

In Newtown Connecticut, if you drive 3 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School heading towards Rock Glen State Park, you’ll reach the headquarters of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. NSSF is the association representing 7,000 firearms manufacturers, gun dealers, and shooting range businesses across the country.  Here’s what NSSF has to say about the massacre of 20 neighborhood kids and 6 local educators:

“DEAR NSSF MEMBERS AND INDUSTRY ASSOCIATES . . . We at the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute have been deeply shaken and saddened by the horrible events that took place in Newtown last week. There are not many degrees of separation in small communities like Newtown, and so, not surprisingly, we had family, friends and acquaintances that were affected. We are weighed down by their heartbreaking stories and the sorrow that has blanketed our community. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy.

Last Friday, we posted on the NSSF and SAAMI websites that out of respect for the families, the community and the ongoing police investigation, it would be inappropriate for our organizations to comment or participate in media requests. That remains our position at this time.”

That’s it. Heartfelt.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation Government Relations division had lots more to say when opposing laws against high-capacity magazines of the type used to slaughter kids three miles from the NSSF doorstep. A similar bill will be reintroduced in Congress. A Connecticut state bill banning high-capacity magazines was defeated last year due to pressure from the gun lobby.

More:

“The Second Most Powerful Gun Lobby Is in Newtown, Connecticut,” Lydia DePillis, The New Republic

“Gun lobby thrives just 3 miles from Sandy Hook school where shooter killed 26,” Larry McShane, New York Daily News

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

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Remote Control: Congressional Drone Caucus

July 9, 2012

Remote Control: Congressional Drone Caucus
Drone aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, have battled in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, and, now, the United States House of Representatives. While it’s been flying under the radar until now, Congress has a Drone Caucus, officially the Unmanned Systems Caucus.

Congress has spent $12 Billion on UAVs since 2009, an amount that will increase dramatically now that domestic use of drones has been approved. Most of the new drones flying in the U.S. will be used for border security. Twenty-one congressmen from border states belong to the Drone Caucus, and the big drone manufacturers have donated around $1 Million to their campaigns. Expect that amount to ramp up, too.

More:

“The Drone Makers and Their Friends in Washington,”Jill Replogle, KPBS

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School Reform: From Crusade to Sales Pitch

April 24, 2012

School Reform: From Crusade to Sales Pitch

“… since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (which directed federal funds to low-income schools), the nation has made progress toward access and excellence. Too slowly, of course, but progress nonetheless (see Richard Rothstein’s March 8, 2011 analysis for the Economic Policy Institute). Ed reformers ignore the data, claiming that poor and minority children are no better educated now than thirty or forty years ago. In fact, progress has slowed only in the last decade, since No Child Left Behind was implemented and the reform agenda gained traction. Other factors may play a role, but the ed reformers certainly haven’t improved progress.”

— “Hired Guns on Astroturf: How to Buy and Sell School Reform,” Joanne Barkan, Dissent

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Leave Congress, Cash In

March 15, 2012

Leave Congress, Cash In

It’s a sad day when our public servants leave the halls of Congress. They cry all the way to the bank. An analysis by Lee Fang finds that when congressmen become lobbyists, their income increases astronomically:

“When a Congressman Becomes a Lobbyist, He Gets a 1,452% Raise (on Average),” Lee Fang, Republic Report

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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