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Corporate Influence on the Elections

Find out about the corporations that are backing both the Bush and Kerry campaigns. CorpWatch investigations, live convention reports and news updates reveal the facts, figures, and faces that the corporate media don't report: Stories on specific industries such as tobacco, media, and finance; Analysis of who is giving, who is not and why; Profiles of big donors, what they give, what they get and who they control. Listen to CorpWatch's reporting team live at the Democratic and Republican conventions in joint production with Democracy Now! Listen online or locate your local affiliate at

US: Early-voting problems in Putnam: Touch-screen votes switched, then corrected
by Paul J. NydenThe Charleston Gazette
October 21st, 2008
Two more Putnam County voters - Martha Louise Harrington and Michael K. Koon - have come forward about problems they experienced on early-voting electronic machines at the Winfield courthouse.

The Presidential Pipeline
by Brooke Shelby Biggs CorpWatch Blog
December 21st, 2005
Raise a few hundred thousand dollars in campaign cash for a winning candidate, and expect millions in favorable policies.

US: The Presidential Pipeline: Kerry Backers Still Feel Sting of Losing 2004 Presidential Contest
by Christopher D. Kirkpatrick and Mike WilkinsonThe Toledo Blade
December 20th, 2005
Tort reform partly explains why 152, or 27 percent, of Mr. Kerry's 563 top fund-raisers, dubbed Vice Chairs and Chairs, are listed as lawyers. They raised at least $50,000 each for the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

US: The Presidential Pipeline: Bush Money Network Rooted in Florida, Texas
by Steve Eder and Jim DrewToledo Blade
December 19th, 2005
Long before George W. Bush began campaigning for the White House, his family built a fund-raising network of wealthy supporters to bankroll his political ambitions and propel him to the presidency.

US: Presidential Pipeline: Bush's Top Fund-Raisers See Spoils of Victory
by Jim Tankersley, Joshua Boak and Christopher D. KirkpatrickToledo Blade
December 18th, 2005
President Bush's corporate champions see the spoils of his administration in coal. And timber. And credit-card payments, Afghan electric lines, Japanese bank transfers and fake crab.

US: Document Says Oil Chiefs Met With Cheney Task Force
by Dana Milbank and Justin BlumThe Washington Post
November 16th, 2005
Executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.

NIGERIA: Chevron Paid Troops After Alleged Killing
by David R. Baker
August 4th, 2005
Nigerian soldiers guarding Chevron oil rigs billed the company for $109.25 a day after they allegedly attacked two villages in the volatile country, killing four people and setting fire to homes.

USA: Senate Approves Bill Worth $140 Billion in Corporate Tax Breaks
by Edmund AndrewsNew York Times
October 11th, 2004

Banking on Elections
by Lucy KomisarSpecial to Corpwatch
October 6th, 2004
Finance sector invests heavily in candidates When former Texas Senator Phil Gramm came out of the Tavern on the Green one recent August morning, his disposition turned edgy. Now a vice chairman of the Swiss financial corporation UBS, he had just left his colleagues at the Financial Services Roundtable breakfast. He wasn't keen on talking to waiting journalists, certainly not to the CorpWatch team.

USA: Republicans Try to Dilute Provisions in Tax Bill
by EDMUND L. ANDREWSNew York Times
October 5th, 2004

Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail Legislation in California
September 15th, 2004

US: Chevron donates to Schwarzenegger, gets removal of restrictions on oil refineries in California
by Tom ChorneauAssociated Press

November Surprise
by Stephen MillerSpecial to Corpwatch
September 8th, 2004
Electronic Voting Machines Add Uncertainty to Close Election Race Across the U.S., dozens of election commissions, county clerks and voting registrars are scrambling to maintain public confidence in an election system shaken by the Florida 2000 debacle and challenged by security flaws in hi-tech electronic solutions. In the swing states, where the presidential election is expected to be close, 14 of 20 states will be experimenting with untested technology.

Swing States and Electronic Voting Machines
September 7th, 2004

CorpWatch Covers the Conventions
From New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Time-Warner extravaganza to New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici's connections to nuclear and fossil fuel companies, CorpWatch joins with Democracy Now! to reveal the facts, figures, and faces the corporate media won't cover.

Corporate Donations to Republican Convention to Reach $160 Million.
by Bill MeslerSpecial to CorpWatch
August 31st, 2004
The extravagant spectacle is expected to dwarf the record $95 million spent by Democrats this year. In fact, the Republicans will spend more than the $130 million raised by Al Gore for his entire 2000 campaign.

Take Back Your Local TV!
Common Cause
August 25th, 2004

Demand FCC Hearing in your State
August 25th, 2004

Media Money
by Sakura Saunders and Ben ClarkeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 25th, 2004
Media corporations give millions, receive billions. The cost for two weeks of ad-driven debate on Kerry's military record cost almost $1 million. Political advertising will bring over $1.5 billion to media corporations this election season. In turn they will invest millions in campaign contributions and lobbying. Meanwhile, substantive political coverage continues to decline.

USA: Cable and Broadcast Associations Go into Secret Meetings with FCC
by Chellie Pingree and Jonathan RintelsSeattle Times
August 11th, 2004

USA: G.O.P. Donors Paying to Play at Convention
by Glenn JusticeNew York Times
August 11th, 2004

Information Warriors
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 4th, 2004
Rendon Group Wins Hearts and Minds in Business, Politics and War The Rendon Group is a consulting firm whose services range from creating "a favorable environment before privatization begins" to helping justify war. Rick Rendon, a founding partner talks to CorpWatch about his latest project, "Empowering Peace."

US: PR Firm Drafts Ethics Reforms
by Patrick McGreevyLos Angeles Times
July 30th, 2004

Soft Money Meltdown: Corporate Influence on the Election
July 28th, 2004 published a new report today entitled Up in Smoke: Tobacco Industry Saves on Soft Money, Spends On Lobbyists. The article features a close look at campaign spending and influence peddling by the tobacco industry. The tobacco investigation is one in a series of reports detailing corporate influence on the U.S. elections system. The new series also features an extensive review of how corporations are coping with the McCain-Feingold Act ban on soft-money and live reports from the Democratic and Republican conventions

Up in Smoke
by Chris BerdikSpecial to Corpwatch
July 28th, 2004
Tobacco Industry Saves on Soft Money, Spends On Advertising and Lobbyists The quadrennial special-interest cash race is on. Although the McCain-Feingold Act has blocked some of the flow, the political system is still awash with tobacco dollars.

Attend a House Party to Take On FOX!!!!
July 25th, 2004

Financing the Election
by Bill MeslerSpecial to CorpWatch
July 22nd, 2004
John Kerry will accept the Democratic nomination to run for United States President at the Fleet Center, a sports and entertainment arena named after the powerful FleetBoston Corporation, the biggest donor to Kerry's Congressional career.

A Cabinet That Looks Like (Corporate) America
by Bill MeslerSpecial to CorpWatch
Increasingly, the highest of government officials arrive directly from the executive offices of powerful corporations. Those who regulate and those supposed to be regulated have become almost indistinguishable. Here are a few egregious examples.

Build One America That Works For Everyone! The First Step Is To Make Sure Everyone Gets Registered To Vote!
July 6th, 2004

US: Professors Back Kerry With Campaign Giving
by Brian C. MooneyBoston Globe
May 18th, 2004
Voting with their checkbooks, college professors are breaking overwhelmingly for Senator John F. Kerry over President Bush, with the Democratic challenger raising nearly three times as much in campaign contributions from college campuses. The fund-raising trend contrasts sharply with the 2000 presidential race, when Bush raised slightly more money from academia than Al Gore.

US: Harvard Donors Aid Kerry
by  Kevin JoyBoston Globe
April 13th, 2004
Professors and other employees of Harvard University have donated $140,600 to US Senator John F. Kerry's various campaigns since 1984, including several big donations from prominent academics in recent months, a review of campaign documents shows.

US: Who Gives the Most Money
by Alex KnottCenter for Public Integrity
February 13th, 2004
Investment companies dominated President George W. Bush's $47 million fourth quarter fundraising, driven by networks of top individual contributors, according to a recent supplement to "The Buying of the President 2004," a book by the Center for Public Integrity detailing the financial interests behind each presidential candidate.