pay to play

Jared Kushner Name-Dropped During Paul Manafort’s Trial - Bringing the Case One Step Closer to Trump's Oval Office

If there is one context in which Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, probably did not want his name to be mentioned, it is in that of any legal proceeding involving the ongoing Trump-Russia scandal.

Keep reading... Show less

Making Medical Marijuana Monopolies: The Pay-To-Play Licensing Trend

Hilary Bricken State-sanctioned medical marijuana operational licenses are increasingly becoming a “pay-to-play, greatest barrier to entry” model. In this sort of system, there is usually some combination of the following, all geared towards minimizing the number of licensed cannabis businesses and towards making sure all those who get such licenses are very well-funded: A difficult and…

Keep reading... Show less

New Chris Christie Scandal: NJ Gov Gave Pension Fund Billions to Wall Streeters Who Bankrolled His Campaigns

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie has turned his state’s multi-billion dollar pension fund into a giant political extortion racket, where top employees at 43 different investment firms were given contracts to manage $14 billion in retirement accounts after giving $11.6 million to Republican Party operations that helped elect Christie governor and fueled his rise as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Keep reading... Show less

The Media Industry's Cash Crunch Makes Pay-to-Play Look Much More Tempting

When the Washington Post recently unveiled its plan to sell sponsorships of off-the-record "salons," the move was widely pilloried in the press and elsewhere. Even the Post's own Ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, described the move as "an ethical lapse of monumental proportions."

Keep reading... Show less

Bill Richardson Withdraws From Commerce Secretary Nomination

NBC News reports:

Keep reading... Show less

Lobbying Firm Brags About Smoothing Way for a Stolen Election

The Sunday Times caught politically-connected lobbyist Stephen Payne on tape suggesting that a $250,000 donation George W. Bush presidential library could help secure access to senior administration officials.

Perhaps even more incredible is the Worldwide Strategic Partners brochure that ran with the expose. [Download payne.pdf]

Here's what WSP claims to have done for Azerbaijan, verbatim, from the last page of the brochure, emphases added:

Keep reading... Show less

The Marriage of Corruption & Hypocrisy In Democratic Washington

In a new Denver Post op-ed out today, I argue that the best way to see Washington's gross corruption is to look at how Big Money interests no longer even try to present consistent arguments. On everything from trade, to medicine prices to democracy itself, corporate lobbyists are now so sure they can buy whatever policies they want that they don't even bother to put up the veneer of logical rationales.

It's nice to imagine that the new Democratic Congress will put its foot down, especially after a 2006 election campaign run against corruption. But on the same day my op-ed appeared, a spate of stories shows just how aggressively Democratic Washington is embracing the pay-to-play culture. See the extended entry for what I'm talking about.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.