News Articles By Lisa Graves
Although it seems a bit like a dog-bites-man story, the New York Times reported that Texas Governor and 2012 presidential aspirant Rick Perry (R-TX) has joined with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to regulate carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. As the Center for Media and Democracy has documented on our SourceWatch site, CEI has been well-funded by Exxon and other oil companies, and is one of the main U.S. corporate front groups fighting efforts to address global warming and regulate the industry that feeds it funding. But, the courts are now stacked in Perry's favor, as noted below.
We recently flagged that the Tribune Company was proposing bankster-style bonuses to its execs while cutting reporting and other staff. Despite the strong objections of employees and their union reps, a federal bankruptcy court judge, Kevin J. Carey, approved paying bonuses totaling $45,000,000 to executives at the media company.
A U.S. federal bankruptcy court is expected to rule this week on whether the bankrupt Tribune media company can pay its executives big bonuses despite the cuts to its reporting staff. According to Business Insider, the Tribune is seeking to pay out over $45 million to its executives (down from $70 million this summer). The Tribune company probably owns a paper near you: the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Sun Sentinel (South Florida), Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, Morning Call and Daily Press and 23 TV stations and more.
Talk about bankster envy! What's a failing media conglomerate that has slashed staff and frozen salaries doing giving such golden parachutes to management, while ad revenues plummet? It must be hard for the top dogs to take a critical look at the big bankster bonuses when they are pressing hard to line their own wallets. I must confess that I do have a bias, having seen some great investigative reporters I know laid off by the Tribune's "cost-saving" measures, which apparently do not including saving millions of dollars at the top.
Five Republican appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court just struck down critically important laws regulating corporations' influence on election and public policy. The Center for Media and Democracy strongly opposes this radical decision by a bare majority of the Supreme Court to rewrite the First Amendment and give corporations even greater influence in elections and public policy. With this decision, huge corporations like Goldman Sachs and AIG will be able to use their enormous wealth to run campaigns against the president or any person who might oppose their agenda.
In our view, this decision is terrible for our democracy. The corruption of policy development we have already seen by the big insurance companies in the health care debate, by the big banks opposing regulations to protect our economy, and the big oil companies slowing efforts to address global warming, even under the current rules that the Court just struck down, show this decision will make things worse. We cannot sit on the sidelines and let this radical decision stand.
You can help us stand up to the Court by casting your vote against this judicial activist decision and sending a strong rebuke. Please sign our petition and help put Americans before corporations. Please tell your friends, family and colleagues about this important issue and urge them to sign the petition. We also have a new "Corporate Rights portal" we are launching in SourceWatch to help educate the general public about these issues and provide a gateway for getting more involved. You can bookmark this link to the Corporate Rights portal to stay up-to-date on the latest news about this issue.
Thank you for demanding a full investigation into the health insurance industry's expensive double-dealing.
We, the people, deserve to know the true extent of the double-dealing of the insurance industry. And, we deserve to know how much of our health insurance premiums have been spent not on providing health care but on underwriting ads and lobbying against health care reform.
We'll deliver this petition to Congress and let you know about it.
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