In 2006, Oregon successfully made pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient of meth, a prescription drug. Since then, Mother Jones' Jonah Engle reports, 24 states have tried to follow suit -- and 23 have failed. Engle attributes those failures to pharmaceutical companies' massive lobbying efforts.
Chances are you've never heard of Charles and David Koch. The brothers, worth billions, are major industrialists and generous philanthropists. But in Washington, as Jane Mayer writes in the Aug. 30 New Yorker, they're "best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama administration in particular."
Political scientist James Thurber discusses the role of lobbyists in the McCain and Obama campaigns. An expert in campaign conduct and lobbying, Thurber testified before Congress about lobby reform and advised both candidates on the 2007 lobbying reform bill.
Congressional reform of the lobbying system is nettled by competing agendas and concerns over freedom of speech. But in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal, the discussion has become more heated. James Thurber is an expert on politics and lobbying who has testified before Congress.
The lobbying scandal that engulfed the career of Jack Abramoff and threatens that of Rep. Tom DeLay was first reported two years ago, by reporter Susan Schmidt. Her colleague, R. Jeffrey Smith, is covering the DeLay angle of the story.
Alex Knott, a political editor at the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, produced the research, which details the expenses shouldered by federal contractors, lobbyists and other groups. Knott covers politics and lobbying at the Center for Public Integrity, which researches and reports on public policy issues.
Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, has a lot of experience
rounding upevotes for Republican legislation. He's the former Senate majority
leader and former House and Senate whip. He's also the author of a new memoir,
The investigation of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff has taken many twists and turns. As investigators gauge the extent of Abramoff's influence with lawmakers of both parties, an associate of Abramoff's has pled guilty to conspiracy. Reporter Philip Shenon has been covering the case for The New York Times.
Journalist Osha Gray Davidson. His book Under Fire: The NRA and The Battle For Gun Control is now available in paperback. He talks about the recent NRA convention and what it says about the direction of the group.
Former president of the public affairs non-partisan lobbying group Common Cause, Fred Wertheimer. As president of the organization, Wertheimer led the charge for campaign finance reform, the banning of special-interest honoraria for members of Congress, and a lobby disclosure law. Wertheimer stepped down earlier this year after 14 years as President. He's been called "the capital's most vocal crusader for reforming the political system" by The Wall Street Journal.
Journalist Steven Waldman is National Correspondent for Newsweek. His new book "The Bill" follows Bill Clinton's plan to revamp the college loan system, from idea to implementation. Clinton first talked about his plan during the presidential campaign, and once he was in the White House, work began on what became AMERICORPS.
Christopher Buckley has just written a new political satire, "Thank you for Smoking" (Random), which pokes fun at everything and everyone associated with the tobacco industry-- from anti-smoking advocates to tobacco company executives. Buckley was George Bush's speechwriter from 1981-1983 when Bush served as Vice President. The son of William F. Buckley, he is the author of other political and social satires, including "The White House Mess" and "Wet Work." He is the editor of "Forbes FYI" magazine.