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Are shark attacks more common than voter fraud in Florida?

Are shark attacks more common than voter fraud in Florida? | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

"There are probably a larger number of shark attacks in Florida than there are cases of voter fraud," he said.

 

We couldn’t resist diving in: Are there more shark attacks than cases of voter fraud in Florida?"

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Controversial Dark Money Group Among Five That Told IRS They Would Stay Out of Politics, Then Didn’t

Controversial Dark Money Group Among Five That Told IRS They Would Stay Out of Politics, Then Didn’t | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it
Americans for Responsible Leadership, which California officials have accused of
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It's even worse than we thought: the case for campaign law reform prevents the wild-west show.

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Restoring path of true democracy

Restoring path of true democracy | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it
Opinion: Unlimited spending is bad for the electoral process and secret spending is even worse.

Via Monica S Mcfeeters
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Truth to power: The days of Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed should be long past. Let's put our People back in charge of our democracy.

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Progressive Powerhouse Launches Radical Strategic Overhaul

Progressive Powerhouse Launches Radical Strategic Overhaul | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- MoveOn.org, one of the most influential progressive organizations in Washington, is dramatically reorienting its approach to politics, people inside and outside the organization tell The Huffington Post.
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Moveon.org adopting a Coffee Party-style model with strong local chapters and a cutting-edge socail media presence. Progressive Powerhouse Launches Radical Strategic Overhaul

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Does Anybody Besides Boehner Know What Boehner Is Doing?

Does Anybody Besides Boehner Know What Boehner Is Doing? | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it
Jim Geraghty writes on NRO: From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt: Remember, there’s just ten shopping days until the Mayan apocalypse! Does Anybody Besides Boehner Know What Boehner Is Doing?
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National Review op-ed recommends tax increases for the wealthy and massive cuts to corporate welfare."Does Boehner know what he is doing?" by Jim Garaghty

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RELEASE: New Poverty Data Provide Crucial Information on Effectiveness of Public Policies and Offer Insights into Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

RELEASE: New Poverty Data Provide Crucial Information on Effectiveness of Public Policies and Offer Insights into Fiscal Cliff Negotiations | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

By KATIE PETERS, Center for American Progress


Washington, D.C. — In response to the release of U.S. Census Bureau data on poverty and hardship today, the Center for American Progress released an analysis of how this new information should inform Congress’s approach to deciding the fate of many critical programs for low-income Americans during the year-end fiscal showdown.


In the analysis, CAP Poverty expert Melissa Boteach explains how the 2011 Supplemental Poverty Measure data show that public policy choices make a difference when it comes to lifting families out of poverty.


Refundable tax credits for working families lifted 8.7 million people out of poverty in 2011, and the child poverty rate would have been 6.3 percentage points higher without them.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program lifted 4.7 million people out of poverty in 2011. Without it, the child poverty rate would have been 2.9 percentage points higher.
The low-income home energy assistance program lifted more than 300,000 people above the poverty line in 2011.


At the end of 2012, though, the expansions to the earned income and child tax credits for working families—which kept hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty in 2010 and lessened hardship for millions more—are set to expire. Similarly, if Congress fails to act, the low-income home energy assistance program will be hit at the end of the year by automatic across-the-board cuts that would eliminate 734,000 households from help paying their utility bills. Without action from Congress, the millions of people who were lifted out of poverty by these successful public policies may be forced back below the poverty line.

 

[MORE]ttp://www.americanprogress.org/press/release/2012/11/14/44925/release-new-poverty-data-provide-crucial-information-on-effectiveness-of-public-policies-and-offer-insights-into-fiscal-cliff-negotiations/


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Ah. Mitt Romney Has Not Released His Taxes For 2010 After All...

Ah. Mitt Romney Has Not Released His Taxes For 2010 After All... | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

by ZACH CARTER and RYAN GRIM, Brad DeLong

 

Romney has not disclosed all of his tax documents for 2010 itself -- the only year for which the GOP presidential nominee has presented any final tax forms…. Swiss bank account and financial activities in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands… required to file a… Report on Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or "FBAR" in accountant slang….

 

Although Romney's campaign declined to comment for this article, in January, Brad Malt, the manager of Ann Romney's blind trust, told reporters the Romneys had an account with Swiss bank UBS worth about $3 million, which generated roughly $1,700 in interest. Malt said the account was set up for "diversification" in 2003 -- a claim that puzzles tax and investment experts, who note that all of the investment options available in Switzerland are available in American accounts. Malt said the account was closed in 2010….

 

That Romney's disclosed account was with Swiss bank UBS has also raised eyebrows. In 2008, a whistleblower at the bank informed the IRS of thousands of accounts being operated by American clients to avoid paying U.S. taxes. For Americans, the coveted Swiss secrecy suddenly became a legal liability…. [T]he IRS established a special tax amnesty program, which allowed those who voluntarily turned themselves in to remain anonymous and pay limited penalties…. [MORE]


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Fighting Disclosure, Killing Democracy

Fighting Disclosure, Killing Democracy | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

In this web-exclusive video essay, Bill Moyers calls out politicians fighting tooth and nail to hide the secret of who really owns our democracy.


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Many Lawmakers Personally Invested in JPMorgan Chase

Many Lawmakers Personally Invested in JPMorgan Chase | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

By Russ Choma, Open Secrets

 

When Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase announced this week that it had lost an estimated $2 billion (now upped to $3 billion) on risky trades, Republican and Democratic members of Congress rushed to make their political cases: Either this was something that more regulation couldn't have prevented, or this was exactly what stronger government rules could have thwarted.

None of them, however, mentioned whether they had a financial stake in JPMorgan Chase.

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Are shark attacks more common than voter fraud in Florida?

Are shark attacks more common than voter fraud in Florida? | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

"There are probably a larger number of shark attacks in Florida than there are cases of voter fraud," he said.

 

We couldn’t resist diving in: Are there more shark attacks than cases of voter fraud in Florida?"

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This Is Very Very Cool!

This Is Very Very Cool! | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

by Jessica English, Coffee Party USA

 

Our Facebook page alone reaches more than a million people every day. It's an honor and a dream come true to connect with so many people using 99 Percent Media (media that most Americans can afford). It's a lot of fun too! But most of all, it's a huge responsibility. To compete with One Percent Media, we need more people like you to get involved.

We're not asking you to do anything you don't do already.  Only now, when you go online, and find something that you think other people should read, you can share it with a larger community waiting to engage with you directly.

Help us "be the media" by signing up and or registering for an upcoming strategy call that will teach you how to help us operate one or more of our social media platforms...

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Sunday 5 pm ET on Coffee Party Radio: Debunking Four Spending Myths Keeping U.S. from Recovery

Sunday 5 pm ET on Coffee Party Radio: Debunking Four Spending Myths Keeping U.S. from Recovery | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

Our guest on The Bottom Line Sunday at 5 pm ET is Mattea Kramer, who writes in her latest piece that high-profile claims of fantasy, fear only hold back America's resources from being used to spur economy. 

 

As we approach the historic Senate hearing about the impact of Super PAC's and the "Citizens United" decree, Jessica English welcomes Mattea Kramer of National Priorities Project as her guest. Mattea's article,Four Spending Myths Holding Up the Economy, has been boncing all over the Internet, including TomDispatch, CBS News, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, and Salon. Read the article, and come up with a good quetions for Mattea!  646-929-2495

 

My favorite (actually least favorite) was Myth 4: The Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- will bankrupt the federal government while levying the biggest tax in U.S. history.

 

 

THE BOTTOM LINE with Jessica English
Sundays 5 pm to 6:30 pm eastern time (2 pm to 3:30 pm PT)

Call to listen or to join the conversation: 646-929-2495
or LISTEN LIVE on the web 


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Bipartisan "Cliff" Deal a Successful Dress Rehearsal: Good Sign for 2013

Bipartisan "Cliff" Deal a Successful Dress Rehearsal: Good Sign for 2013 | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

by ERIC BYLER

 

Many are saying that the "Fiscal Cliff" was a crisis created by Congress, and that our leaders should not receive too much credit for solving it. But let's remember that most recent chapter of our 4-year  saga of debt & deficit political theater was inserted as a mid-season replacement for 2011's The Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis, a much more serious game.

This Fiscal Cliff episode turned out to be a dress rehearsal for The Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis Part 2, allowing for the two parties to learn to work together. Republicans decided to vote with Democrats on both sides of the Capital dome. This is good. When Republicans and Democrats realize they have more in common with each other than either party has with extremists, progress follows. Trust me. I have seen it before.

As part of last night's bipartisan compromise, the job-killing and economic-recovery-killing budget cuts known as the "sequester" have been scheduled to coincide with Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis Part 2 in March. But thanks to a successful dress rehearsal, I predict that an emboldened White House, encouraged Democrats, and relieved Republicans will form a coalition that defeats the radical right's negligent debt ceiling tactic (holding the global economy hostage in order to force the nation into European-style austerity measures that would hurt the economy and add to the deficit and the debt by shrinking our tax base for decades to come). Instead of caving in to deranged hostage-takers, we may well see Washington achieve a "grand bargain" similar to the one President Obama has been seeking for two years now: gradual, and responsible deficit reduction that allows our economy to create jobs and continue its recovery. [MORE]


Via Coffee Party USA
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There was a good omen in the Fiscal Cliff deal: At least congress and the senate did SOMETHING. Even though there was a lot of sausage making involved, there is a view that that is the the "spice" that makes the system work. Now if they could only act BEFORE rather than after a deadline, and without the pork....

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Eight Corporate Subsidies in the Fiscal Cliff Bill, From Goldman Sachs to Disney to NASCAR « naked capitalism

Eight Corporate Subsidies in the Fiscal Cliff Bill, From Goldman Sachs to Disney to NASCAR « naked capitalism | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it
Commentary on current economic and financial news.

Via Monica S Mcfeeters
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"Econned: How UNelightended self interest undermined democracy and corrupted Capitalism"

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'The Limits to Growth': A Book That Launched a Movement | The Nation

'The Limits to Growth': A Book That Launched a Movement | The Nation | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it
This mega-bestseller has been attacked repeatedly since its publication forty years ago, but its warnings about the climate were alarmingly prescient.
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This little forty year old book fortold our economic and ecological collapse forty years ago.

The Limits to Growth': A Book That Launched a Movement | The Nation

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Sen. Boxer Proposes Federal Standards for Equal Access to Polling Places Regardless of Race, Political Affiliation

Sen. Boxer Proposes Federal Standards for Equal Access to Polling Places Regardless of Race, Political Affiliation | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

by AMANDA BECKER, Roll Call

 

Sen. Barbara Boxer on Wednesday became the latest lawmaker to introduce election reform legislation, proposing a plan aimed at shortening the long lines that greeted voters on Election Day.


The California Democrat would require the attorney general to work with the federal Election Assistance Commission to require states such as Florida, Ohio and Virginia — where voters waited more than 90 minutes to cast a ballot during the 2012 elections — to comply with a program to remedy such delays in the future. The attorney general and the commission would also develop national standards related to voting machines, election works and other necessary resources.

 

“It is unacceptable that many Americans had to wait in line for five, six or seven hours to cast their ballots,” Boxer said in a release. “The LINE Act will help ensure that every American has an equal chance to vote without enduring hours-long delays at their polling places.”

 

Boxer’s bill comes on the heels of a letter she sent last month to Republican congressional leaders that urged them to recommend Election Assistance Commission nominees after the panel sat without a single commissioner, executive director or general counsel during the elections. Boxer cited a CQ Roll Call report that the commission’s lack of Senate-confirmed leaders had undermined its mission. [MORE]


Via Eric Byler
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Party Recon's comment, December 6, 2012 10:45 AM
In Oregon, this isn't an issue. We get our ballots weeks before the election and are free to mail them in or drop them in secure boxes around the state. It is ludicrous in this day and age to force people to go to a poling place to vote. Tell Barb and her buddies in Washingotn that we want either a mail-in or electronic (via the internet) voting system NOW! Anything short of this impedes democracy.
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Many Lawmakers Personally Invested in JPMorgan Chase

Many Lawmakers Personally Invested in JPMorgan Chase | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

By Russ Choma, Open Secrets

 

When Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase announced this week that it had lost an estimated $2 billion (now upped to $3 billion) on risky trades, Republican and Democratic members of Congress rushed to make their political cases: Either this was something that more regulation couldn't have prevented, or this was exactly what stronger government rules could have thwarted.

None of them, however, mentioned whether they had a financial stake in JPMorgan Chase.

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14 reasons why this is the worst Congress ever

14 reasons why this is the worst Congress ever | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

Excerpt from article by EZRA KLEIN, Washington Post

 

Hating on Congress is a beloved American tradition. Hence Mark Twain’s old joke, “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” But the 112th Congress is no ordinary congress. It’s a very bad, no good, terrible Congress. It is, in fact, one of the very worst congresses we have ever had. Here, I’ll prove it:


1. They’re not passing laws.


Let’s start with the simplest measure of congressional productivity: the number of public bills passed into law per Congress. The best data on this comes from the annual “resume of congressional activity,” which goes back to the 80th Congress — the same Congress President Harry Truman dubbed the “do-nothing Congress.” But they did a lot more than this Congress [see chart above].

 

The 112th Congress — this Congress — is the last bar on the right. The one that’s way smaller than the other bars. To be fair, the 112th Congress remains in session, while the other congresses on the chart have completed their work. But the 112th is three-quarters done, and it’s not yet half as productive as the next least-productive congress. Plus, Congress doesn’t typically work in last-minute sprints; most bills are passed in the first half of a congressional session. As such, it’s very unlikely that the 112th will manage to pull even with anyone else on the chart.
Now you may say that this simply reflects divided government. But while there are many instances of divided government on that chart — the 104th Congress, for instance, when Newt Gingrich and his Republican revolutionaries faced off against President Bill Clinton and still managed to pass 333 public laws — there’s no session of Congress with such a poor record of productivity.


2. They’re hideously unpopular.


According to Gallup, the 112th Congress set a record for unpopularity in February, when only 10 percent of Americans said they approved of the job Congress was doing. The previous record was set in December of 2011, when only 11 percent approved of Congress. So this Congress is number one … in being hated by their constituents. 


[CLICK HERE, because you won't believe the things that are more popular than Congress, including the IRS, Banks, BP Oil Spill, and Paris Hilton] 


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Secrecy is not a small business value. Transparency is

Secrecy is not a small business value. Transparency is | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

by DAVID BORRIS, Main Street Alliance for THE HILL

 

I’ve been a small business owner for more than 25 years. So it’s fair to say I’ve been around the block. I also happen to live in the Chicago metro area, so I know a thing or two about hard-nosed politics.

 

But even so, the brazen defense of secret political spending we’ve just witnessed in the U.S. Senate with the filibuster of the DISCLOSE Act still made my jaw drop. It’s hard for me to grasp how anyone who believes in free and fair competition would be against this basic level of transparency.

 

My wife and I pooled our life savings 27 years ago to take our shot at the American Dream. We started our catering business in 900 square feet with two employees and a handful of our mothers’ recipes. Through hard work and commitment – both our own and that of a dedicated staff – we’ve built a thriving business. Today we have 27 full-time, year-round employees, and over 80 part-time and seasonal workers.

 

I’m proud of what we’ve done and the role we play as job creators. I believe our country needs public policies that lay the foundation for more small business success stories like ours. Defending secrecy in political spending won’t do that.

 

The explosion of secret money in our elections leaves small businesses like mine at a severe disadvantage. I don’t have a line item in my budget for “independent expenditure” political ads. When big corporate entities and their CEOs dump millions of dollars into elections, there’s no way for small business owners like me to keep up.

 

Look, I’m a realist. I know that to be successful I have to deal regularly with big corporate interests. Some are direct competitors. Others are vendors, insurance companies, and big banks. I welcome the challenges that come with this – that’s why I chose to be a part of entrepreneurial America. But I want to face these challenges on a level playing field.

 

Dark money organizations and secret political spending make a mockery of that level playing field idea. They drown out the voices of Main Street and they corrupt and warp public policy to the benefit of narrow special interests. [MORE]


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Voter Polarization and Voter Suppression - is the battle for 4 Million swing votes tossing CIVILITY into the wind?

Voter Polarization and Voter Suppression - is the battle for 4 Million swing votes tossing CIVILITY into the wind? | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

Thursdays at noon PT: Lunch with Louden
CLICK HERE to listen

by JEANENE LOUDEN

 

In an article released today, the Brennan Center for Justice reported that 500,000 Americans could face significant challenges to their right to vote because of an inability to pay for, make time for, or find travel arrangements for the acquisition of a voting rights ID. Many live in a rural areas, more than 10 miles from an issuing agency AND the offices close to rural areas are cutting back on their days of service. Some are not open on weekends.

 

Republican State Rep. Brandon Creighton, says tough tootsies. "The fact is is that, in rural areas, people choose to live in rural areas and they're accustomed to commutes." Do you agree that voting rights should be impacted by where you choose to live, your age, economic status, or ethnic background in 21st century America? Or, is voting a sacred right for all American citizens, the free access to which defines us as a nation? [MORE]


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Study: Millions Could Face Obstacles In Voter ID Laws

A new report finds that millions of potential voters in states that require photo ID at the polls live more than 10 miles from the office that issue IDs.

 

A new report by the Brennan Center for Justice finds that more than 10 million potential voters in states that require photo ID at the polls live more than 10 miles from offices that issue such ID. Nearly 500,000 of these voters don't have access to a car or other vehicle.

Many of these people presumably already have a photo ID, but for those who don't, the new laws pose a special challenge, according to the Brennan center. The center, which advocates for wider citizen participation in government, opposes many of these new voter ID laws.

 

The report, which details the obstacles to getting government-issued photo ID, is the latest volley in the battle over the impact of new state voting laws.

 

Report: Not Free And Not Easy


"I've voted my entire life, from the time I was old enough to vote," says Bea Bookler, 94, of Devon, Pa.

 

She cast her first ballot for Franklin Roosevelt. But now, unless she can get to the motor vehicle office 10 miles from her home, she won't be able to vote in November.

"How would I get there and how would I manage to stand in a line?" says Bookler, who uses a walker. She says she can barely make it to the polling place next door to her retirement community. She also doesn't understand why she has to go to all this trouble in the first place. She already has a voter registration card.

 

"I have an ID which says I am registered to vote in Chester County. There is no reason why I should need anything else. It's an outrage," she says.

 

But Pennsylvania recently enacted legislation requiring voters to show government-issued photo ID at the polls. Nine states have similar laws. Several others are pending.

 

Sponsors say that the laws are needed to prevent voter fraud and that free ID cards are available for those who don't have them. But Keesha Gaskins, senior counsel at the Brennan center, says for many people the IDs are far from free.

 

"What we discovered was that there was limited access to these ID-issuing offices," Gaskins says, citing long travel distances and limited office hours.

 

The center found that no offices that issue IDs are open on weekends in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Texas and Wisconsin. In some areas, the offices are open only one day a month.

And that's not to mention the cost of documents — such as birth certificates and marriage licenses — that people often need to get a photo ID. The prices can range from $8 to $25, which Gaskins says is a lot for some poor people, and more than the $1.50 poll tax the Supreme Court found unconstitutional in 1966.

 

"It certainly looks and feels like a poll tax," says Gaskins.

 

An Inconvenience Or More?


That's a comment that has sponsors of the laws crying foul. But the issue is being raised in several lawsuits.

 

Bookler is part of a challenge filed by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the Advancement Project and others against Pennsylvania's new law. A three-judge panel last week also heard a case in U.S. District Court involving a Texas ID law, which the U.S. Justice Department has blocked as discriminatory. Witnesses told the court that some Texas voters would have to travel more than 100 miles each way to get to the nearest motor vehicle office.

 

But one author of the law, Republican state Rep. Brandon Creighton, says that doesn't mean anyone will be denied the right to vote. "The fact is is that, in rural areas, people choose to live in rural areas and they're accustomed to commutes," says Creighton.

 

[READ MORE] | LISTEN TO THE STORY 


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Campaign finance after Citizens United is worse than Watergate

Campaign finance after Citizens United is worse than Watergate | Scoop-it daily feed | Scoop.it

The new campaign finance order puts the corruption of the 1970s to shame.

 

by RICHARD L. HASEN, Slate.com

 

How does the brave new world of campaign financing created by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision stack up against Watergate? The short answer is: Things are even worse now than they were then.

 

The 1974 scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon was all about illegal money secretly flowing to politicians. That’s still a danger, but these days, the biggest weakness of our campaign finance system is not what’s illegal, but what’s legal. As Dan Eggen of the Washington Post put it, “there’s little need for furtive fundraising or secret handoffs of cash.” The rules increasing allow people and corporations with great wealth to skew public policy toward their interests—without risking a jail time, or a fine, or any penalty at all. It’s an influence free-for-all.  [Read More.]


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