Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell took to the New York Daily News op-ed page Wednesday with a message to local officials: stop worrying and learn to love fracking, forgetting to let readers know that since 2011, he has worked as a paid consultant to a private equity firm with investments in the natural gas industry.
A records request by ProPublica to the IRS turned up a list of the original funders of the group: Exxon, Pfizer, Time Warner, and other corporations put up at least 85 percent of the $1.3 million the foundation raised in the first year and a half of its existence, starting in 2003.
The Washington Post noted that in reorganizing his campaign as a tax-exempt social welfare group, the president is embracing a structure that has been criticized for allowing anonymous money into politics. Conservatives who’ve been attacked by the Obama camp for their reliance on such “dark money” groups called out the president’s “brazen hypocrisy.” Neither the White House nor Organizing for America responded to requests for comment.
The U.S. has long sold weapons to Bahrain, totaling $1.4 billion since 2000, according to the State Department. The sales didn’t come under scrutiny until security forces killed at least 19 people in the early months of the crackdown in 2011. (Dozens have died since then.)
Several media outlets reported in January on an alarming finding from a new U.S. government study: Iran’s intelligence ministry, as CNN put it, constitutes “a terror and assassination force 30,000 strong.” We inquired with six Iran experts, and none knew of any evidence for the figure. Some said it might be in the ballpark while others questioned its plausibility.
Recognition as a social welfare nonprofit is important for Crossroads because it allows the group to shield the identity of its donors. Under tax rules, such groups are allowed to spend money on political campaigns but must be primarily engaged in promoting social welfare.
When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a rule earlier this year to require TV stations to post political ad buying information online, public interest groups (and ProPublica) welcomed the policy as a means to get an unprecedented look at how billions of campaign dollars flow around the country. Now, the commission is refusing to even talk about the future of its own transparency initiative.
In May, a previously unknown group started pouring money into Ohio’s U.S. Senate race, considered one of the most important in the country and currently the nation’s most expensive. The group, the Government Integrity Fund, has spent over $1 million so far on TV ads bashing Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown and praising his Republican opponent, Josh Mandel.
Like many other such non-profit groups that are playing a dominant role in this ye