Influence / Persuasion / Bribery
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Sep 08, 2016 Why Donald Trump and Pam Bondi Probably Won’t Face a Corruption Investigation: The Supreme Court’s McDonnell decision seems to have put a chill on prosecutors.
QUOTE: Why is a charity giving money to aid a pol with whom the foundation’s head has pending legal business?....Reading through the court’s language in McDonnell, the easier hurdle is “official acts.” The justices were not certain that McDonnell’s various phone calls and luncheons represented official acts...
Slate Jan 06, 2016 The Man Who Studies the Spread of Ignorance
QUOTE: Proctor found that ignorance spreads when firstly, many people do not understand a concept or fact and secondly, when special interest groups – like a commercial firm or a political group – then work hard to create confusion about an issue. In the case of ignorance about tobacco and climate change, a scientifically illiterate society will probably be more susceptible to the tactics used by those wishing to confuse and cloud the truth.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Dec 06, 2014 Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General
QUOTE: unprecedented, secretive alliance that Mr. Pruitt and other Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda...Attorneys general in at least a dozen states are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which in turn are providing them with record amounts of money for their political campaigns, including at least $16 million this year. They share a common philosophy about the reach of the federal government, but the companies also have billions of dollars at stake.
New York Times Feb 01, 2014 Law Doesn’t End Revolving Door on Capitol Hill
QUOTE: Federal ethics rules are intended to limit lobbying by former senior officials within one year after they leave the government. Yet even after the ethics rules were revised in 2007 following a lobbying scandal, more than 1,650 congressional aides have registered to lobby within a year of leaving Capitol Hill...
New York Times Dec 27, 2013 Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward
QUOTE: major players on Wall Street and elsewhere have been aggressive in underwriting and promoting academic work. The efforts by the financial players, the interviews show, are part of a sweeping campaign to beat back regulation and shape policies that affect the prices that people around the world pay for essentials like food, fuel and cotton.
New York Times Dec 26, 2013 Prosecutor Overseeing Turkish Graft Inquiry Is Removed From Case
QUOTE: The corruption allegations are centered on claims of bribery involving vast real estate projects, many of them in Istanbul, that have become a hallmark of Mr. Erdogan’s time in power. No one has been convicted, but several people, including two sons of government ministers, have been arrested, and one of the departing ministers on Wednesday said that the prime minister himself had been involved in the real estate deals facing scrutiny.
New York Times Dec 13, 2012 DealBook Conference Was Impressive, Lucrative and Chummy
QUOTE: Here is what the conference did not have going for it: A great deal of distance between sources and those who cover them — something traditionally thought to be a bedrock journalistic idea....DealBook – a blog and print section dedicated to coverage of mergers and acquisitions and other related subjects — is something of an oddity at The Times. A rainmaker for the company, it has garnered its share of critics who see it as too soft on its sources.
New York Times Dec 01, 2012 As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price
QUOTE: states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains. The cost of the awards is certainly far higher....A portrait arises of mayors and governors who are desperate to create jobs, outmatched by multinational corporations and short on tools to fact-check what companies tell them....Many of the officials said they feared that companies would move jobs overseas if they did not get subsidies in the United States. Over the years, corporations have increasingly exploited that fear, creating a high-stakes bazaar where they pit local officials against one another to get the most lucrative packages.
New York Times Nov 15, 2012 Wal-Mart Inquiry Reflects Alarm on Corruption
QUOTE: Wal-Mart on Thursday reported that its investigation into violations of a federal antibribery law had extended beyond Mexico to China, India and Brazil, some of the retailer’s most important international markets. The disclosure, made in a regulatory filing, suggests Wal-Mart has uncovered evidence into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act...
New York Times Apr 26, 2012 Not just Wal-Mart: Dozens of U.S. companies face bribery charges
QUOTE: Deere, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Qualcom and many others are also under investigation for violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
CNN (Cable News Network) Apr 21, 2012 Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle
QUOTE: Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters....The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation. Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.
New York Times Mar 19, 2012 A Drumbeat on Profit Takers
QUOTE: Their joint crusade, stated repeatedly in editorials for the journal and since expanded in books and dozens of articles in the lay press, is against for-profit medicine, especially its ancillary profit centers of commercial insurance and drug manufacture — in Dr. Relman’s words, “the people who are making a zillion bucks out of the commercial exploitation of medicine.”
New York Times Mar 15, 2012 It's Not All About You: What Privacy Advocates Don't Get About Data Tracking on the Web
QUOTE: The privacy discourse frames the issue in an ego-centric manner, as a bargain between consumers and companies: the company will know x, y and z about me and in exchange I get free email, good recommendations, and a plethora of convenient services. But the bargain that we are making is a collective one, and the costs will be felt at a societal scale. When we think in terms of power, it is clear we are getting a raw deal: we grant private entities -- with no interest in the public good and no public accountability -- greater powers of persuasion than anyone has ever had before and in exchange we get free email.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Mar 06, 2012 Web Sites Shine Light on Petty Bribery Worldwide
QUOTE: similar sites are spreading like kudzu around the globe, vexing petty bureaucrats the world over. Ms. Ramanathan said nongovernmental organizations and government agencies from at least 17 countries had contacted Janaagraha, the nonprofit organization in Bangalore that operates I Paid a Bribe, to ask about obtaining the source code and setting up a site of their own.
New York Times Nov 11, 2011 Arms and the Corrupt Man
QUOTE: Governments protect corrupt and dangerous arms dealers as long as they need them and then throw them behind bars when they are no longer useful.
New York Times Aug 05, 2011 Ex-Lawmaker Still a Friend of Hospitals
QUOTE: House members are banned from lobbying on Capitol Hill for a year after leaving office (Mr. Pomeroy’s term ended in January), but Mr. Pomeroy, a Democrat, has teamed up with his former chief of staff, who is not subject to the restriction, as a lobbying partner.
New York Times Jun 20, 2011 Support Is Mutual for Senator and Utah Industry
QUOTE: [Sen. Hatch] was the chief author of a federal law enacted 17 years ago that allows companies to make general health claims about their products, but exempts them from federal reviews of their safety or effectiveness before they go to market.... Mr. Hatch has been rewarded with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, political loyalty and corporate sponsorship of his favorite causes back home. His family and friends have benefited, too...
New York Times Jun 18, 2011 Friendship of Justice and Magnate Puts Focus on Ethics
QUOTE: The publicity-shy friend turned out to be Harlan Crow, a Dallas real estate magnate and a major contributor to conservative causes. Mr. Crow stepped in to finance the multimillion-dollar purchase and restoration of the cannery, featuring a museum about the culture and history of Pin Point that has become a pet project of Justice Thomas’s. The project throws a spotlight on an unusual, and ethically sensitive, friendship that appears to be markedly different from those of other justices on the nation’s highest court.
New York Times May 31, 2011 Sales Tactics on Implants Raise Doubts
QUOTE: an implant industry where producers seek to influence the brand of device that patients receive long before a diagnosis....big makers of implants like heart devices and artificial joints, including Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific and St. Jude Medical, have settled Justice Department charges that they illegally promoted sales. The enforcement effort has sought to reduce the role of corporate influence over medicine through tactics like bogus or inflated consulting deals with doctors.
New York Times May 21, 2011 Behind Grass-Roots School Advocacy, Bill Gates
QUOTE: They described themselves simply as local teachers who favored school reform — one sympathetic state representative, Mary Ann Sullivan, said, “They seemed like genuine, real people versus the teachers’ union lobbyists.” They were, but they were also recruits in a national organization, Teach Plus, financed significantly by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
New York Times May 21, 2011 The Gossip Machine, Churning Out Cash
QUOTE: This is how it works in the new world of round-the-clock gossip, where even a B-list celebrity’s tangle with the law can be spun into easy money, feeding the public’s seemingly bottomless appetite for dirt about the famous. A growing constellation of Web sites, magazines and television programs serve it up minute by minute, creating a river of cash for secrets of the stars, or near-stars.
New York Times May 01, 2011 Costly Afghanistan Road Project Is Marred by Unsavory Alliances
QUOTE: The vast expenses and unsavory alliances surrounding the highway have become a parable of the corruption and mismanagement that turns so many well-intended development efforts in Afghanistan into sinkholes for the money of American taxpayers... There have been 364 attacks on the Gardez-Khost Highway.
New York Times Apr 20, 2011 Obama weighs disclosure order for contractors
QUOTE: “Now, under the guise of ‘transparency,’ the Obama administration reportedly wants to know the political leanings of any company or small business, including those of their officers and directors, before the government decides if they’ll award them federal contracts.”
Washington Post Apr 17, 2011 You Get the Judges You Pay For
QUOTE: An ugly, expensive campaign for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court is but the latest example of what is now common in judicial elections: millions of dollars in misleading television ads, subsidized by lobbies that have cases before the bench.
New York Times Feb 08, 2011 Egyptian man's death became symbol of callous state
QUOTE: ... the death of Khaled Said would have become a footnote in the annals of Egyptian police brutality. Instead, outrage over the beating death of the 28-year-old man in this coastal city last summer, and attempts by local authorities to cover it up, helped spark the mass protests demanding the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Washington Post Feb 08, 2011 Corruption Blew the Lid off North Africa
QUOTE: Today, people see freedom from corruption as a basic human right. They are right to do so. No one should have to live under a regime where corruption is endemic.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 20, 2011 Paid a bribe? Click here to complain
QUOTE: In India if you ask citizens about corruption almost everyone has a story. Bribes and kickbacks have become a part of everyday life for many.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 15, 2011 Renault Fires 2 Men Accused of Selling Corporate Secrets About Electric Vehicles
QUOTE: Renault has formally fired two of the men it has accused of espionage....While French officials have confirmed on background that investigators are following a lead related to China...
New York Times Jan 07, 2011 Rift in Arizona as Latino Class Is Found Illegal
QUOTE: ...Mr. Acosta’s class and others in the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American program have been declared illegal by the State of Arizona — even while similar programs for black, Asian and American Indian students have been left untouched....It was Mr. Horne, as the state’s superintendent of public instruction, who wrote a law aimed at challenging Tucson’s ethnic-studies program. The Legislature passed the measure last spring, and Gov. Jan Brewer signed it into law in May amid the fierce protests raging over the state’s immigration crackdown.
New York Times Dec 08, 2010 ‘Operation Payback’ Attacks Fell Visa.com (The Lede)
QUOTE: A group of Internet activists took credit for crashing the Visa.com Web site on Wednesday afternoon, hours after they launched a similar attack on MasterCard. The cyber attacks, by activists who call themselves Anonymous, are aimed at punishing companies that have acted to stop the flow of donations to WikiLeaks in recent days. The group explained that its distributed denial of service attacks — in which they essentially flood Web sites site with traffic to slow them down or knock them offline — were part of a broader effort called Operation Payback, which began as a way of punishing companies that attempted to stop Internet file-sharing and movie downloads.
New York Times Nov 30, 2010 Beauty Discrimination During a Job Search
QUOTE: an attractive man needs to send an average of five résumés with a photo to get one interview. An ordinary-looking man needs to send 11 résumés with a photo to get a single interview. But the apparent bias in favor of job candidates with photos didn’t hold true for women.
New York Times Nov 05, 2010 Money doesn't buy many wins for self-funded candidates
QUOTE: Tuesday's midterms featured an unusually large crop of moguls who sought to ease their way into power by pouring millions of their own dollars into their campaigns. In most cases, they failed spectacularly.
Washington Post Jun 24, 2010 Justices Limit Use of ‘Honest Services’ Law Against Fraud
QUOTE: The justices were unanimous in calling a broad interpretation of the law, which makes it a crime “to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services,” unconstitutionally vague.
New York Times May 25, 2010 BP’s Ties to Agency Are Long and Complex
QUOTE: The relationships among Dr. Chu, Dr. Koonin and BP illustrate the complexity of the ties between the company and the government now playing out along the Gulf Coast as they struggle to cope with one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters. Just as the Pentagon and military contractors develop symbiotic business, technical and political interdependencies, the government in this case needs BP’s offshore drilling technology and well-control equipment; the company needs the government’s logistical and scientific expertise, including that of Dr. Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.
New York Times May 14, 2010 A Toolkit for Women Seeking a Raise (Your Money)
QUOTE: Even now, when women represent half the work force, they’re still paid considerably less than men — and part of that pay gap may be a result of what happens at the salary negotiation table. That’s assuming that women make it to the table, since research shows that they are less likely to ask for raises. Even when they do, their requests may be perceived as overly demanding or less agreeable.
New York Times May 13, 2010 Online Talk, Suicides and a Thorny Court Case
QUOTE: The case, chilling and ghoulish, raises thorny issues in the Internet age, both legal and otherwise. For instance, many states have laws barring assisting suicide, but rarely have cases involved people not in the same room (much less the same country) or the sharing of only words (not guns or pills).
New York Times May 04, 2010 Free Speech Through the Foggy Lens of Election Law (Sidebar)
QUOTE: Corporate contributions to candidates are still banned, but corporations may now spend freely in candidate elections. The distinction between contributions and spending has not been popular in the legal academy.
New York Times Mar 29, 2010 Reputations at stake, companies try to alter word of mouth online
QUOTE: Liu said Yelp's salespeople phoned repeatedly, telling her that if she advertised on the site, negative reviews would move lower on Scion's page and positive reviews would move up. Liu decided to fight back, joining nine other businesses this month in a class-action lawsuit against Yelp alleging similar tactics -- claims that Yelp executives deny.
Washington Post Mar 29, 2010 Afghan corruption: How to follow the money?
QUOTE: a Defense Department contract worth up to $360 million to transport U.S. military goods through some of the most insecure territory in Afghanistan. But his company has no trucks. Instead, Wardak sits atop a murky pyramid of Afghan subcontractors who provide the vehicles and safeguard their passage. U.S. military officials say they are satisfied with the results, but they concede that they have little knowledge or control over where the money ends up.
Washington Post Mar 03, 2010 Rangel Steps Aside From Post During Ethics Inquiry
QUOTE: Representative Charles B. Rangel stepped down on Wednesday as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee after losing support within his party because of ethics violations....The ethics panel is still investigating more serious accusations regarding Mr. Rangel’s fund-raising, his failure to pay federal taxes on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic and his use of four rent-stabilized apartments provided by a Manhattan real estate developer.
New York Times Feb 27, 2010 Ethics panel clears 7 on earmarks
QUOTE: the ethics committee declared that lawmakers are free to raise campaign money from the very companies they are benefiting so long as the deciding factors in granting those "earmarks" are "criteria independent" of the contributions. The report served as a blunt rejection of ethics watchdogs and a different group of congressional investigators, who have contended that in some instances the connection between donations and earmarks was so close that it had to be inappropriate.
Washington Post Oct 26, 2009 A congressman, a lobbying firm and a swift path to earmarks: Democrat supported funds for tech companies, many of which supported him
QUOTE: Federal investigators are scrutinizing [Representative Peter J.] Visclosky's earmarks and whether a member of his staff tried to raise campaign money by promising funding.
Washington Post Jul 23, 2009 2 N.J. Mayors Arrested in Broad Inquiry on Corruption
QUOTE: The mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, two state assemblymen, five rabbis and dozens of others were rounded up early Thursday as the F.B.I. swept across New Jersey and Brooklyn as part of a two-year corruption and international money-laundering investigation...
New York Times Jul 12, 2009 Approval by a Blogger May Please a Sponsor
QUOTE: The proliferation of paid sponsorships online has not been without controversy....the Federal Trade Commission is taking a hard look at such practices and may soon require online media to comply with disclosure rules under its truth-in-advertising guidelines.
New York Times Mar 27, 2009 Despite Red Flags About Judges, a Kickback Scheme Flourished
QUOTE: the two judges [Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Judge Michael T. Conahan] pleaded guilty to tax evasion and wire fraud in a scheme that involved sending thousands of juveniles to two private detention centers in exchange for $2.6 million in kickbacks.
New York Times Dec 26, 2008 Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan
QUOTE: In their efforts to win over notoriously fickle warlords and chieftains, [CIA] officials say, the agency's operatives have used a variety of personal services. These include pocketknives and tools, medicine or surgeries for ailing family members, toys and school equipment, tooth extractions, travel visas, and, occasionally, pharmaceutical enhancements for aging patriarchs with slumping libidos
Washington Post Dec 25, 2008 Pardon Lasts One Day for Developer in Fraud Case
QUOTE: President Bush changed his mind on Christmas Eve, pulling back a pardon he had extended a day earlier to a Brooklyn developer at the center of a Long Island real estate fraud case and adding a bizarre twist to the episode...Mr. Toussie’s father, Robert, donated $28,500 to the Republican National Committee last April, for what apparently was his first political contribution.
New York Times Dec 09, 2008 Illinois Governor in Corruption Scandal
QUOTE: Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested by federal authorities on Tuesday morning on corruption charges, including an allegation that he conspired to effectively sell President-elect Barack Obama’s seat in the United States Senate to the highest bidder.
New York Times Dec 03, 2008 State Finds (or Buys) Some Peace in Nigeria (ESCRAVOS Journal)
QUOTE: For years the Niger Delta has been plagued by instability caused by armed militants who kidnap foreign oil workers or wealthy Nigerians for ransom, clash with the military and sabotage oil pipelines.....Delta State, under its governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has found a rare measure of peace. It has accomplished this not by fighting the militants but by drawing them into the government and making sure they are awarded valuable contracts from the oil companies...
New York Times Oct 27, 2008 Stevens Found Guilty on 7 Counts: Senator Will Remain on Nov. 4 Ballot
QUOTE: Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, one of Congress's most powerful Republicans, was convicted yesterday of lying on financial disclosure forms to conceal his receipt of gifts and expensive renovations to his house, just eight days before he faces voters in a tight reelection contest.
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