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ExxonMobil Top Sponsor at ALEC Annual Meeting

ExxonMobil, facing multiple state investigations connected to its funding of climate change denial, is listed as a top corporate sponsor of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting, taking place this week in Indianapolis, Indiana. ALEC has long promoted climate change denial to state legislators, and promotes a legislative agenda of "model" bills designed to protect the interests of its oil, gas and coal funders.

The ALEC meeting agenda includes discussion of a new "model" bill, designed to block implementation of the Obama administration Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing carbon pollution. Republican Vice-Presidential nominee, Mike Pence is due to speak at the ALEC event on Friday. Read the rest of this item here.

Black Lives, Blue Lives, and the Fight Over Criminal Justice in America

Tamir Rice
PHILADELPHIA--Two people from Milwaukee took to the national stage at the Republican National Convention (RNC) and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to present two very different perspectives on one of the most divisive issues of our time, the shootings of unarmed African Americans by police and civilians.

The conventions took place against a backdrop of traumatic news stories. The shooting death of Philando Castile and its dramatic aftermath, live-streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend, sparked national protests. At one protest in Dallas, Texas, five police officers were shot and killed by an African American military veteran who had served in Afghanistan. This was followed by the shootings of police in Baton Rouge. The very next week, Charles Kinsey, an African American caregiver for an autistic adult, was shot by police while he was on the ground with his arms raised. Read the rest of this item here.

Trump Promises Law and Order for an America He Says Is in Crisis

CLEVELAND — Squadrons of police and Secret Service were mobilized in full riot gear in Cleveland last night for the conclusion of the Republican National Convention (RNC). Even the police horses were sporting face shields.

Although it is true that a small parade of doctors and nurses, armed with stethoscopes, did approach the Quicken Arena, thankfully they were turned back by an army of police who had been imported from across the country.

The $60 million display of police force, which resulted in only a dozen or so arrests over three days, fit right into the night’s proceedings, which ended with a remarkable speech by the Republican nominee for president, who painted a dark picture of America in crisis and pledged to be America’s "law and order candidate." Read the rest of this item here.

Policy Matters, but RNC Has Little to Say to Cleveland

CLEVELAND — There is little commingling between Clevelanders and delegates at this week’s Republican National Convention (RNC).

An army of imported police from around the nation works hard to keep protesters and delegates separate and actual residents of Cleveland are thin on the ground inside the security perimeter. Even though delegates have taken over every hotel in the city, they are whisked to the Quicken Arena in white buses, even if their hotel is only a few blocks away.

Their standard bearer, Donald Trump, is not even staying in Cleveland. He has been flying home to New York each night to get some rest. Read the rest of this item here.

CMD Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Prosecutors' Appeal in John Doe II Corruption Case

On June 22, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), the Brennan Center for Justice, and Common Cause filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the justices to grant a hearing and overturn a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that shut down a criminal investigation into potentially illegal campaign coordination between Governor Scott Walker's campaign and groups that spent millions during the 2011-2012 recall elections.

The brief, submitted by CMD's General Counsel Arn Pearson, argues in part that the fundamental principle of a fair and independent tribunal deeply rooted in the U.S. Constitution was violated in the case due to the extraordinary conflicts of interest of two justices in the majority on the state's highest court. Brent Ferguson and Matthew Menendez from the Brennan Center also helped prepare the brief, along with John Brautigam, as counsel of record.

State Justices David Prosser and Michael Gableman denied a motion from the special prosecutor to step aside. Read the rest of this item here.

Koch Criminal Justice Reform Trojan Horse: Special Report on Reentry and Following the Money

Charles Koch has taken a high-profile in pushing criminal justice reform. He recently likened his own devotion to that of Bernie Sanders.

In a 2015 interview with USA Today, Koch claimed that of the projected $889 million raised by his donor network, the "Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce," only $300 million would be spent on direct electoral politics, whereas, "A good part of the rest is education and research," Koch said, ticking off university grants and other projects he is supporting, including an overhaul of the criminal justice system. Read the rest of this item here.

Recent Articles from

Gingrich Audio on Donald Trump

Watchdog group the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) once again is the source behind breaking news revealing the truth behind the politics on issues in our media and democracy. As reported in ProPublica's story "" What Newt Gingrich Really Thinks of Donald Trump," audio obtained by CMD revealed that VP Finalist Newt Gingrich expressed his thoughts on Trump to Republicans in a private February speech, stating that he believed Trump would lose in a landslide if he didn't change his campaign tactics and calling Trump "an American nationalist" who is "not a conservative." Read the rest of this item here.

UPDATE Koch Candidates? Where Is the Koch Machine Spending in 2016 So Far

Recent articles in the national media, such as this piece in the National Review, suggest that Charles and David Koch are less involved in national politics in the 2016 election cycle than in previous years. This latest PR effort comes despite the fact that $400 million of the $889 pledge by the Kochs through their "Freedom Partners" network has already been invested in the outcome of the 2016 elections, with more money to be spent. Read the rest of this item here.

Another Koch Criminal Justice Reform Trojan Horse: Reentry and Privatization

As Congress considers major criminal justice reforms to address the devastating impact of gross sentencing disparities that have devastated minority communities, the Koch machine is seeking changes to the law that would benefit Koch Industries and other corporations by limiting their criminal liability, as the Center for Media and Democracy documented in 2015.

But that's not the only part of the agenda of the billionaire Koch brothers' network that is in play.

Few policymakers understand the role the Koch-funded "think tanks" are playing in the privatization of the criminal justice system. Read the rest of this item here.

CMD Wins Open Records Lawsuit against Governor Walker

On Friday, May 27, a judge resoundingly rejected Gov. Scott Walker's elaborate efforts to hide from the public his role in deleting "the search for truth" and the Wisconsin Idea from the UW's mission statement. And his effort to throw a cloak of secrecy over a wide range of decision making under the guise of protecting government "deliberations" from public view was also repudiated. Read the rest of this item here.

Kochs' Grassroots Leadership Academy Training Astroturf Army

With no clear favorite in the 2016 U.S. presidential primary race--following Gov. Scott Walker's early exit and Trump's march to the nomination--the Koch brothers have turned their attention (and opened their wallets) to races for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state governorships.

But with the Kochs having already spent at least $400 million of $889 million committed to the 2016 election cycle,, where is that money being spent? Read the rest of this item here.

Exposed by CMD

Revealed: AARP Is Funding ALEC

ALECexposed Logo CMD200px.jpg
AARP, the non-profit seniors organization that exists to promote the financial security, pensions and healthcare of those over 50, is secretly funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization whose bills have acted against the interests of ordinary Americans, including retirees and their families.

The Center for Media and Democracy has learned that AARP has recently joined ALEC, and that it is a named sponsor of the ALEC annual meeting taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana from July 27-29, 2016. Read the rest of this item here.

ALEC 2016 Agenda Boosts Charters, Coal, and Other Corporate Funders

Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Image: Gage Skidmore CC BY SA 2.0
The American Legislative Exchange Council will push bills to protect failing charter schools, silence political speech, and obstruct environmental protections in the ALEC 2016 agenda introduced at its annual meeting in Indianapolis this week.

ALEC faces renewed public attention as it gears up for the annual meeting, where corporate lobbyists sit side-by-side with state legislators in luxury hotels to vote as equals on "model bills" that then get pushed to become law in states across the country.

As the Center for Media and Democracy has reported, Donald Trump chose an ALEC ally, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, as his running mate, while his party’s 2016 platform was clearly stamped in the Koch-fueled ALEC mold. Read the rest of this item here.

Featured SourceWatch Article is an interactive wiki website that depends on readers like you to improve content. If you want to help us grow SourceWatch with well documented research and become a volunteer editor, click here for more information.

Excerpts from longer SourceWatch article:


AARP is a U.S. nonprofit organization representing people age 50 years and older, with 39 million members. The national headquarters is in Washington, D.C. with local offices in each state. AARP provides information of interest to older people through publications such as the monthly AARP Bulletin and the bimonthly AARP The Magazine, advocates on public policy issues by doing extensive lobbying, and along with business partners sells auto, homeowners and life insurance, long-term health care insurance, and Medicare supplement insurance.


AARP spent $23,160,000 for lobbying in 2006. $60,000 went to the lobbying firm Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart, Inc. with the remainder being spent using in-house lobbyists.[1]

Read the entire SourceWatch page on the AARP here.


  1. AARP lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed November 2007.

Editors' Pick

Casino Dollars Now Funding ALEC

Centaur Gaming, which runs casinos, horse tracks, and off-track betting parlors in Indiana, was not previously known as a funder of ALEC, but is a Vice Chair-level sponsor of the 2016 Annual Meeting. That’s the meeting where ALEC introduced a draft "model" bill on for-profit fantasy sports "contests."

Centaur's Vice President and head lobbyist has publicly criticized a new Indiana law that would legalize and regulate fantasy sports, saying the $50,000 registration and annual renewal was too pricey to be worth Centaur's while. ALEC’s draft bill offers a steeply discounted application fee and requires renewal only once every five years. Read the rest of this item here.

Koch Brothers’ Fingerprints Can Be Found All Over GOP Convention

CLEVELAND -- Though the Kochs have indicated they are staying out of the presidential election and Charles Koch has even had kind words for the Clintons, their fingerprints are all over the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week in the form of candidates and the extreme RNC platform.

The Kochs have had their doubts about Donald Trump, early on refusing to share their voter data base with him and spending their money down-ballot after it appeared he would win the nomination. As CMD has reported, the Kochs have been busy investing millions in a faux "grassroots" ground game in key states. They are hoping to rival labor's mastery in turning out committed volunteer door knockers, by paying an army of teenagers to hit the doors. Read the rest of this item here.

Featured Video

Arizona's NBC 12 and CMD Expose ALEC's Corporate Influence on State Laws

Sunday Square Off, December 9, 2015
Phoenix Arizona's NBC affiliate KPNX hosted the Center for Media and Democracy's Executive Director Lisa Graves on the December 6 episode of "Sunday Square Off" to expose the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) effort to push corporate backed model legislation in state legislatures.

Koch Exposed

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