Category: Corporate Politics

How the Lawyer Who Beat Chevron Lost Everything

Steven Donziger sits for a portrait at his home in Manhattan, NY, where is on house arrest for his work with Amazon, Wednesday, January 15, 2020. ( Annie Tritt for The Intercept)Image result for Chevron"

Like Dupont Corporations have the power to make the thought of Common Good go away (ODT)

“They are trying to totally destroy me.”

Donziger is not exaggerating. As he was arguing the case against Chevron in Ecuador back in 2009, the company expressly said its long-term strategy was to demonize him. And since then, Chevron has continued its all-out assault on Donziger in what’s become one of the most bitter and drawn-out cases in the history of environmental law. Chevron has hired private investigators to track Donziger, created a publication to smear him, and put together a legal team of hundreds of lawyers from 60 firms, who have successfully pursued an extraordinary campaign against him. As a result, Donziger has been disbarred and his bank accounts have been frozen. He now has a lien on his apartment, faces exorbitant fines, and has been prohibited from earning money. As of August, a court has seized his passport and put him on house arrest. Chevron, which has a market capitalization of $228 billion, has the funds to continue targeting Donziger for as long as it chooses.

via How the Lawyer Who Beat Chevron Lost Everything

Australia’s politics only barrier to clean energy system, report finds | Australia news | The Guardian

Wind turbines

Climate Council finds agreement among experts and authorities that there are no technological or economic obstacles to a grid powered by renewables

Source: Australia’s politics only barrier to clean energy system, report finds | Australia news | The Guardian

When the 1% have bought the government

Californian Initiative Could Force Politicians To Wear Their Corporate Sponsors’ Logos


Californian Initiative Could Force Politicians To Wear Their Corporate Sponsors’ Logos

December 31st, 2015 | by CoNN

Corporations and banks have long ruled the roost. The government has assisted in their looting of funds meant for the disabled. Politicians themselves have admitted that “billionaires have basically bought the…

Koch Group Flexes Its Muscle, Blocks Tennessee Medicaid Expansion

Koch Group Flexes Its Muscle, Blocks Tennessee Medicaid Expansion

Susie Madrak

You know, I have to wonder how many of these old farts aren’t just bored. If they lived on the East Coast, they’d hop a free bus to Atlantic City for the day, get a free buffet lunch and a roll of quarters to gamble with. So the Kochs offer them a free lunch and a comfortable bus ride — maybe they’re just doing what they’re told. Legislators act like a deer in the headlights with these people, but I do wonder how much of a threat they really are. Readers?

NASHVILLE-In December, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, got the deal he wanted from the Obama administration: Tennessee would accept more than $1 billion in federal funding to expand Medicaid, as allowed for in the Affordable Care Act, but Obama aides would allow Haslam to essentially write staunchly conservative ideas into the program’s rules for the state. He dubbed the reformed Medicaid program “Insure Tennessee.”

But the state’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the national conservative group whose foundation is chaired by controversial billionaire David Koch, argued Haslam was just trying to trick conservatives into implementing Obamacare in their state by giving it a new name. AFP campaigned aggressively against Haslam’s plans for the next six weeks, even running radio ads blasting GOP state legislators who said they might vote for it.

On Wednesday, Haslam’s bill died in a committee of the Tennessee state senate. The vote was one of the clearest illustrations of the increasing power of AFP and other conservative groups funded in part by the Koch brothers.

When the coalition of conservative groups allied with Charles and David Koch announced recently they would spend $889 million over the next two years, much of the discussion was about how that money could shape the upcoming presidential election. But AFP and other Koch-backed conservative organizations may be having their biggest impact on state politics, where targeted advertising and a strong organization can make a huge difference.

“We’re the third-worst state in the country for accepting federal dollars,” said Andrew Ogles, AFP’s state director said in an interview here. “It’s time for us to stop. Anytime we have a problem, instead of coming up with a Tennessee solution, we run to the federal government with our hands out. No more.”

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The aggressive action in Tennessee by AFP was not unusual. The group, started in 2004, now has chapters in 34 states. The state operations’ general goals, like AFP and other Koch-allied groups nationally, are to oppose tax hikes, increases in government spending and what they view as excessive regulation.

But AFP is playing a unique role in effectively serving as a conservative watchdog against fellow Republicans at the state level. In many states in the West and South, like Tennessee, both houses of the state legislature are controlled by the GOP and the governor is also a Republican. The policy debates are between more moderate Republicans and the party’s conservative wing.