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Groups Adapt '08 Tactics For Lobbying Efforts

If you're a Blue Dog Democrat and you voted for the stimulus, there's someone using your name on Google to try to turn your constituents against you.The conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks is launching a search engine advertising campaign this week targeting all 49 of the fiscally conservative House Democrats, either criticizing or applauding them for how they voted on the stimulus package. The organization is buying spots in Google's "Sponsored Links" column, which appears alongside searches for the lawmakers' names.

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Newspaper Article

Groups Adapt '08 Tactics For Lobbying Efforts

BY Amy Harder

If you're a Blue Dog Democrat and you voted for the stimulus, there's someone using your name on Google to try to turn your constituents against you.The conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks is launching a search engine advertising campaign this week targeting all 49 of the fiscally conservative House Democrats, either criticizing or applauding them for how they voted on the stimulus package. The organization is buying spots in Google's "Sponsored Links" column, which appears alongside searches for the lawmakers' names.

03/04/2009
Naderites of Convenience

Conservatives for Nader? Who ever heard of such a thing? And here's something many would consider equally unlikely: dirty tricks in Oregon. It's easy to make the case that Ralph Nader was responsible for electing George W. Bush in 2000. Bush's winning margin in two states—Florida and New Hampshire—was much smaller than the Nader vote there. Democrats are worried that Nader will do it again.

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Naderites of Convenience

BY William Schneider

Conservatives for Nader? Who ever heard of such a thing? And here's something many would consider equally unlikely: dirty tricks in Oregon. It's easy to make the case that Ralph Nader was responsible for electing George W. Bush in 2000. Bush's winning margin in two states—Florida and New Hampshire—was much smaller than the Nader vote there. Democrats are worried that Nader will do it again.

07/10/2004
Sky High

"You never know which mode of governance you'll see from Bush," said Republican Stephen Moore, president of the political action committee Club for Growth, as he mused about the president's $2.4 trillion budget blueprint for fiscal 2005 and the potential for a second term. Some of President Bush's recent actions, including his signing of the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal 2004 (rife with what some Republicans perceive as wasteful spending), plus revelations about the actual growth in government spending under Bush, and his fanfare about sending astronauts to Mars, are sparking criticism of the president's fiscal stewardship. "Republicans are spending more money than Tip O'Neill ever did," said Moore, referring to the late Democratic House speaker of the Reagan era. "All those things have really hurt Bush in the polls," Moore added. And on top of that, this year's deficit forecast has reached $521 billion.

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Sky High

BY Alexis Simendinger, David Baumann, Carl M. Cannon, and John Maggs

"You never know which mode of governance you'll see from Bush," said Republican Stephen Moore, president of the political action committee Club for Growth, as he mused about the president's $2.4 trillion budget blueprint for fiscal 2005 and the potential for a second term. Some of President Bush's recent actions, including his signing of the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal 2004 (rife with what some Republicans perceive as wasteful spending), plus revelations about the actual growth in government spending under Bush, and his fanfare about sending astronauts to Mars, are sparking criticism of the president's fiscal stewardship. "Republicans are spending more money than Tip O'Neill ever did," said Moore, referring to the late Democratic House speaker of the Reagan era. "All those things have really hurt Bush in the polls," Moore added. And on top of that, this year's deficit forecast has reached $521 billion.

02/07/2004
Conservative Crusaders

In Milwaukee last July, President Bush stood before a predominantly black audience at Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ and basked in its applause. Touting his faith-based initiative, Bush spoke of how churches such as Holy Redeemer-which runs a variety of job-training programs, four schools, and a housing facility for seniors-help welfare recipients and educate poor children through school voucher programs. "The federal government should not ask, 'Does your organization believe in God?' " Bush told the approving crowd. "They ought to ask, 'Does your program work?' " Federal agencies, the president declared, should remove regulations that "discriminate" against providers of faith-based social services. Bush's words not only resonated among the 5,000 congregants of Holy Redeemer; they also brought a smile to Michael Grebe, who was in the audience that day. Grebe is president of Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which has been a generous supporter of Holy Redeemer's programs, as well as other faith-based social service efforts in the city. Grants from Bradley have also funded the work of intellectuals who've studied faith-based programs, three of whom-John DiIulio, Stanley Carlson-Thies, and David Kuo-were named by Bush to guide the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives during its heady first days. The Bradley Foundation has always "been willing to challenge the status quo," Bush said at Holy Redeemer. "I'm honored you're here." The Bradley Foundation's financial and ideological backing of Bush's faith-based initiative is just one example among many of how conservative foundations across the United States are working hard to influence the policy agenda in Washington and elsewhere in the nation. Where the traditional, well-established, and more-liberal lions of the foundation world such as the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York were once seen as the trendsetters, today it is the conservative grant-makers-the Bradley Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, and others- that are creating a buzz. Grants from these well-heeled conservative donors have supported everything from school vouchers to Social Security privatization to welfare reform to pro-marriage programs, all among the most radical public policy ideas promoted by anyone, of either the political Left or the Right, in recent years. Today, foundations of all ideological stripes are spending more than ever before to promote their pet social and political causes. Despite the hit foundation coffers have taken from the stock market's decline, foundation grants have held steady in recent years, according to a report by the authoritative and nonpartisan Foundation Center. In 2001, according to the center, the 1,000 largest private foundations in the United States spent nearly $650 million on public-affairs, civil-rights, and social-action projects, a category that includes local, state, and federal spending on everything from think tanks to interest-group activism. That amount was more than twice what those foundations spent on such grants in 1997. And it's fair to say that overall, private philanthropy enjoys a sterling reputation in Washington. But the talk in Washington-among both liberals and conservatives-is all about the cadre of conservative and strategically aggressive philanthropic groups. "Who would have thought 20 or 30 years ago that we'd be talking about Social Security privatization, the dismantling of the progressive tax system, and school vouchers?" asks Chuck Collins, program director for the liberal group United for a Fair Economy. Conservative foundations, he said, have "really changed the terms of the debate." William Voegeli, program officer at New York City-based conservative Olin Foundation, one of the most highly regarded in public policy circles, says that the right-of-center foundations are "wary of supporting endeavors that preach to the choir." Instead, Voegeli said, they are looking for people who are making new arguments and are "getting noticed, shaping the agenda, and moving the ball down the field." Even more critical, say the myriad grantees that have benefited from the largesse of the Bradleys and Olins, is the steadfastness of these foundations; they are willing to fund programs for the long haul. Bush's plan to funnel additional government funds to faith-based social service providers has failed to overcome Democratic opposition in the Senate. But Grebe said that the Bradley Foundation is pouring more money than ever into promoting the idea through its research. To keep the faith-based issue on the front burner, the Bradley Foundation is underwriting a new Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal at the Hudson Institute, an Indianapolis think tank. The center will conduct research into the merits of faith-based social services; its head is William Schambra, a former vice president at the Bradley Foundation. On April 22, President Bush named Schambra to a recess appointment as a board member of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. And win or lose in Washington, Schambra says that Bradley-with help from President Bush-has turned stereotypes of conservatives on their heads. Bradley's $1 million grant to help Holy Redeemer build a community center was among the largest ever from a foundation to a black Pentecostal church. "This is peculiar politics," Schambra said, but it makes sense. The Bradley Foundation's mission is to promote such conservative values as self-respect and personal responsibility- values that Holy Redeemer stresses as well. The foundation also champions an overarching belief that community organizations generally provide better services than government-run programs can. Regardless of the fate of Bush's original faith-based initiative, Schambra said, "the fact that he is using the presidency to bring that message is incredibly critical."

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Conservative Crusaders

BY Shawn Zeller

In Milwaukee last July, President Bush stood before a predominantly black audience at Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ and basked in its applause. Touting his faith-based initiative, Bush spoke of how churches such as Holy Redeemer-which runs a variety of job-training programs, four schools, and a housing facility for seniors-help welfare recipients and educate poor children through school voucher programs. "The federal government should not ask, 'Does your organization believe in God?' " Bush told the approving crowd. "They ought to ask, 'Does your program work?' " Federal agencies, the president declared, should remove regulations that "discriminate" against providers of faith-based social services. Bush's words not only resonated among the 5,000 congregants of Holy Redeemer; they also brought a smile to Michael Grebe, who was in the audience that day. Grebe is president of Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which has been a generous supporter of Holy Redeemer's programs, as well as other faith-based social service efforts in the city. Grants from Bradley have also funded the work of intellectuals who've studied faith-based programs, three of whom-John DiIulio, Stanley Carlson-Thies, and David Kuo-were named by Bush to guide the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives during its heady first days. The Bradley Foundation has always "been willing to challenge the status quo," Bush said at Holy Redeemer. "I'm honored you're here." The Bradley Foundation's financial and ideological backing of Bush's faith-based initiative is just one example among many of how conservative foundations across the United States are working hard to influence the policy agenda in Washington and elsewhere in the nation. Where the traditional, well-established, and more-liberal lions of the foundation world such as the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York were once seen as the trendsetters, today it is the conservative grant-makers-the Bradley Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, and others- that are creating a buzz. Grants from these well-heeled conservative donors have supported everything from school vouchers to Social Security privatization to welfare reform to pro-marriage programs, all among the most radical public policy ideas promoted by anyone, of either the political Left or the Right, in recent years. Today, foundations of all ideological stripes are spending more than ever before to promote their pet social and political causes. Despite the hit foundation coffers have taken from the stock market's decline, foundation grants have held steady in recent years, according to a report by the authoritative and nonpartisan Foundation Center. In 2001, according to the center, the 1,000 largest private foundations in the United States spent nearly $650 million on public-affairs, civil-rights, and social-action projects, a category that includes local, state, and federal spending on everything from think tanks to interest-group activism. That amount was more than twice what those foundations spent on such grants in 1997. And it's fair to say that overall, private philanthropy enjoys a sterling reputation in Washington. But the talk in Washington-among both liberals and conservatives-is all about the cadre of conservative and strategically aggressive philanthropic groups. "Who would have thought 20 or 30 years ago that we'd be talking about Social Security privatization, the dismantling of the progressive tax system, and school vouchers?" asks Chuck Collins, program director for the liberal group United for a Fair Economy. Conservative foundations, he said, have "really changed the terms of the debate." William Voegeli, program officer at New York City-based conservative Olin Foundation, one of the most highly regarded in public policy circles, says that the right-of-center foundations are "wary of supporting endeavors that preach to the choir." Instead, Voegeli said, they are looking for people who are making new arguments and are "getting noticed, shaping the agenda, and moving the ball down the field." Even more critical, say the myriad grantees that have benefited from the largesse of the Bradleys and Olins, is the steadfastness of these foundations; they are willing to fund programs for the long haul. Bush's plan to funnel additional government funds to faith-based social service providers has failed to overcome Democratic opposition in the Senate. But Grebe said that the Bradley Foundation is pouring more money than ever into promoting the idea through its research. To keep the faith-based issue on the front burner, the Bradley Foundation is underwriting a new Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal at the Hudson Institute, an Indianapolis think tank. The center will conduct research into the merits of faith-based social services; its head is William Schambra, a former vice president at the Bradley Foundation. On April 22, President Bush named Schambra to a recess appointment as a board member of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. And win or lose in Washington, Schambra says that Bradley-with help from President Bush-has turned stereotypes of conservatives on their heads. Bradley's $1 million grant to help Holy Redeemer build a community center was among the largest ever from a foundation to a black Pentecostal church. "This is peculiar politics," Schambra said, but it makes sense. The Bradley Foundation's mission is to promote such conservative values as self-respect and personal responsibility- values that Holy Redeemer stresses as well. The foundation also champions an overarching belief that community organizations generally provide better services than government-run programs can. Regardless of the fate of Bush's original faith-based initiative, Schambra said, "the fact that he is using the presidency to bring that message is incredibly critical."

04/26/2003
Into the Gray Fray

Although they rule both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Republicans are divided over whether to seize this moment and seek a dramatic overhaul of Social Security or merely to lay the groundwork for action in 2005. The business, libertarian, and fiscal conservatives who lead the "just-do-it" faction believe the midterm elections proved that Social Security is no longer a toxic issue for Republicans and that delay only raises the cost of reform. Their goal: Follow through on the president's vow to let younger workers steer some of their payroll taxes into privately owned investment accounts. Investing through private accounts, they contend, will help solve Social Security's long- term financing problems while raising national savings and retirement incomes, as well as family wealth. But partial privatization will likely continue to be a tough sell on Capitol Hill. Any reform will require politically explosive cuts in traditional benefits, and private accounts would likely entail deeper cuts. Most Democrats are unalterably opposed to private account "carve-outs." Partial privatization, they warn, would doom the promise of guaranteed lifelong benefits, erode subsidies for the poor, women, and the disabled, and squander money on high administrative costs, among other things. If President Bush does decide to make Social Security reform a domestic priority, the sort and level of interest-group activity will depend on whether he aims to corral just enough Democratic votes for passage or seeks a more broadly bipartisan compromise with Democratic leaders. Even if the administration decides to defer action, it has indicated that it is counting on like-minded advocacy groups to help advance the cause over the next two years.

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Into the Gray Fray

BY Julie Kosterlitz

Although they rule both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Republicans are divided over whether to seize this moment and seek a dramatic overhaul of Social Security or merely to lay the groundwork for action in 2005. The business, libertarian, and fiscal conservatives who lead the "just-do-it" faction believe the midterm elections proved that Social Security is no longer a toxic issue for Republicans and that delay only raises the cost of reform. Their goal: Follow through on the president's vow to let younger workers steer some of their payroll taxes into privately owned investment accounts. Investing through private accounts, they contend, will help solve Social Security's long- term financing problems while raising national savings and retirement incomes, as well as family wealth. But partial privatization will likely continue to be a tough sell on Capitol Hill. Any reform will require politically explosive cuts in traditional benefits, and private accounts would likely entail deeper cuts. Most Democrats are unalterably opposed to private account "carve-outs." Partial privatization, they warn, would doom the promise of guaranteed lifelong benefits, erode subsidies for the poor, women, and the disabled, and squander money on high administrative costs, among other things. If President Bush does decide to make Social Security reform a domestic priority, the sort and level of interest-group activity will depend on whether he aims to corral just enough Democratic votes for passage or seeks a more broadly bipartisan compromise with Democratic leaders. Even if the administration decides to defer action, it has indicated that it is counting on like-minded advocacy groups to help advance the cause over the next two years.

12/07/2002
K Street: Chamber Is Coy on Campaign Effort

Chamber Is Coy on Campaign Effort After publicly vowing earlier this year to raise and spend more than $30 million to help elect business-friendly candidates and push legal reform in the 2002 elections, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has become more tight-lipped about the effort. Chamber President Thomas Donohue stressed in an early-October address that the chamber "is committed to challenging the class-action trial lawyers on all fronts." But the Institute for Legal Reform- the chamber affiliate that runs the electoral project called the Litigation Fairness Campaign-declined to say how much was being spent on advertising and get-out-the-vote operations in judicial and attorney general races around the country, or for efforts to sway Congress into passing legislation on class-action reform, medical malpractice, and asbestos liability. "We're not discussing any plans whatsoever," Michael Schick, the institute's director of communications, told National Journal. Several sources familiar with the campaign, however, say that a joint fundraising drive by the chamber and the Business Roundtable has raised about $20 million so far. That's a smaller amount than was expected, though hardly a number to sneeze at. The money is being spent to bolster Supreme Court and attorney general candidates in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, and Texas, sources said. Judicial candidates in a few other states such as Ohio and Wisconsin may also get some help. The campaign is now being coordinated in part by Stanton Anderson, a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery who has worked in the past for Donohue and the chamber. Anderson came aboard after Jim Wootton decided recently that he would step down as the institute's president after Election Day. Wootton is still actively involved, sources said, but not quite as much as he had previously. Wootton, a lawyer, is still considering options for the future, including moving to Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, a law firm whose client list includes the chamber. Meanwhile, another pro-business group that played a role in judicial elections in 2000, Citizens for a Sound Economy, has pulled back from the judicial sphere this year. CSE says it is focusing instead on bolstering pro-business turnout in the Senate races in New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Texas. -Peter H. Stone and Louis Jacobson

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K Street: Chamber Is Coy on Campaign Effort

Chamber Is Coy on Campaign Effort After publicly vowing earlier this year to raise and spend more than $30 million to help elect business-friendly candidates and push legal reform in the 2002 elections, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has become more tight-lipped about the effort. Chamber President Thomas Donohue stressed in an early-October address that the chamber "is committed to challenging the class-action trial lawyers on all fronts." But the Institute for Legal Reform- the chamber affiliate that runs the electoral project called the Litigation Fairness Campaign-declined to say how much was being spent on advertising and get-out-the-vote operations in judicial and attorney general races around the country, or for efforts to sway Congress into passing legislation on class-action reform, medical malpractice, and asbestos liability. "We're not discussing any plans whatsoever," Michael Schick, the institute's director of communications, told National Journal. Several sources familiar with the campaign, however, say that a joint fundraising drive by the chamber and the Business Roundtable has raised about $20 million so far. That's a smaller amount than was expected, though hardly a number to sneeze at. The money is being spent to bolster Supreme Court and attorney general candidates in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, and Texas, sources said. Judicial candidates in a few other states such as Ohio and Wisconsin may also get some help. The campaign is now being coordinated in part by Stanton Anderson, a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery who has worked in the past for Donohue and the chamber. Anderson came aboard after Jim Wootton decided recently that he would step down as the institute's president after Election Day. Wootton is still actively involved, sources said, but not quite as much as he had previously. Wootton, a lawyer, is still considering options for the future, including moving to Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, a law firm whose client list includes the chamber. Meanwhile, another pro-business group that played a role in judicial elections in 2000, Citizens for a Sound Economy, has pulled back from the judicial sphere this year. CSE says it is focusing instead on bolstering pro-business turnout in the Senate races in New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Texas. -Peter H. Stone and Louis Jacobson

10/12/2002
People

Image-Makers Boeing has lured Maureen P. Cragin away from the Veterans Affairs Department to serve as vice president of communications in its Washington office. Cragin, 39, is now in charge of coordinating Boeing's communications with Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, and many others. She spent the past year and a half as assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at Veterans Affairs, managing a staff of about 85. She also spent nearly six years with the House Armed Services Committee, ultimately becoming communications director. She got her start in public affairs during seven years of active duty in the Navy (she's still in the Reserves). Cragin caught the attention of the Naval Academy with her prowess as a swimmer, and went on to graduate in 1985. How did she survive her plebe year? She recalls that her father, a former Navy basketball coach and Marine, told her, " 'Remember, it's a game. You just need to play the game.' Whenever I was down, I remembered those words."

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People

BY Erin Heath

Image-Makers Boeing has lured Maureen P. Cragin away from the Veterans Affairs Department to serve as vice president of communications in its Washington office. Cragin, 39, is now in charge of coordinating Boeing's communications with Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, and many others. She spent the past year and a half as assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at Veterans Affairs, managing a staff of about 85. She also spent nearly six years with the House Armed Services Committee, ultimately becoming communications director. She got her start in public affairs during seven years of active duty in the Navy (she's still in the Reserves). Cragin caught the attention of the Naval Academy with her prowess as a swimmer, and went on to graduate in 1985. How did she survive her plebe year? She recalls that her father, a former Navy basketball coach and Marine, told her, " 'Remember, it's a game. You just need to play the game.' Whenever I was down, I remembered those words."

10/05/2002