A 2014 exposé on NRTWC and NRTWLDF by the Center for Media and Democracy, an award-winning investigative watchdog group, described the organizations as “a powerful instrument of the corporate and ideological interests that want to keep wages low and silence the voice of organized labor in the political arena.” The exposé details the enormous financial resources that are funneled to both organizations from billionaires, like the Koch brothers and the Walton family, through their dark money foundations and nonprofits.
Sprint and T-Mobile had quit ALEC in 2012 and 2015, respectively, “leav[ing] Comcast, Charter Communications, CenturyLink, and Cox Communications as the last major telecom companies sticking with the corporate bill mill,” PR Watch reported in November 2018.
“We have earned an A from the Cato Institute in fiscal policies,” he told representatives from fossil fuel and petrochemical companies, referring to a libertarian think tank that Sourcewatch describes as “founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.”
According to the corporate watchdog group, SourceWatch, the National Restaurant Association is a key lobbying group that has fought hard in recent years to block worker-friendly issues such as paid sick days and increases in the minimum wage.
During our investigations, we came across a previous report published by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) in 2015, during the Obama presidential administration, that found similarly disturbing results, where federal grants had gone to hundreds of charter schools that had basically taken the money and run.
The Fraser Institute received $4.3 million in foreign funding over 10 years from billionaire U.S. donors, beginning in the early 2000s. More than half (approximately $2.7 million) of the total foreign funding came from the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation, a charitable arm of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. According to the U.S.-based Center for Media and Democracy — an organization that tracks corporations’ PR campaigns and identifies corporate front groups — between 1995 and 2014 the Fraser Institute received over $1 million from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, and $400,000 from the Searle Freedom Trust, a private foundation founded with wealth from G.D. Searle pharmaceuticals (now part of Pfizer, another pharma giant).
In a move away from how Soglin managed the mayor’s office, Rhodes-Conway announced she will bring on Mary Bottari as her chief of staff.
Bottari joined the Center for Media and Democracy in 2009 and serves on the advisory board of Good Jobs First, a national policy resource center in economic development and smart growth. Bottari previously worked in the Wisconsin Senate for Sen. Lynn Adelman and as press secretary for U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold.
Jobs related to solar energy alone employ more people than the coal industry. According to SourceWatch, “There are approximately 174,000 blue-collar, full-time, permanent jobs related to coal in the U.S.: mining (83,000), transportation (31,000), and power plant employment (60,000).” Bloomberg Business reports that “solar energy accounted for more than twice as many jobs, about 350,000 workers.” Wind energy, they found, accounted for just over 100,000 jobs. And while coal jobs are disappearing, the number of clean energy jobs is rapidly increasing.
If that had been the case, the beagles might have ended up in another laboratory. NAIA is “a front group and industry-funded lobbying organization” for “animal agribusiness, commercial breeding, hunting, fishing, trapping, fur ranching, animal testing, and animals in entertainment,” says SourceWatch, a website run by the national watchdog group, Center for Media and Democracy.
The closure of New Vision is by no means a fluke. A 2015 report by the liberal watchdog group The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) concluded that approximately 2,500 charter schools shut down across the US between 2001 and 2013, affecting 288,000 students, and noted that “the failure rate for charter schools is much higher than for traditional public schools.” As well, the report points out that school closures leave a lasting impact on students’ success rates and can contribute to higher rates of youth incarceration.