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#DrainTheSwamp: Donald Trump is exploiting loopholes and taking advice from lobbyists. Behind the curtain of ‘gray money’: Donors, motives hard to track in Washington legislative races. “Nesting doll” campaigns, in which one PAC gives to another to avoid disclosing donors, are increasingly common.

Behind the curtain of ‘gray money’: Donors, motives hard to track in Washington legislative races

Initiative 1464 would require more transparency, but it doesn’t daylight “dark money,” another kind of opaque campaign money. Quaffing down the beer tax. Few things can bring the parties together on tax policy — but brewers are hoping beer is one of them.

Quaffing down the beer tax

Where once the brewing industry was concentrated in Wisconsin, Missouri and Colorado in particular, the craft brewery boom today touches every state. Story Continued Below Now, traditional brewers and craft beer makers alike are hoping their broader political clout will help them achieve a long-sought goal: cutting the $7-to-$18 a barrel beer levy that they say is crimping their growth. The effort has lured members from tea party conservatives like Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina to liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders: DNC is taking 'backwards step' to allow lobbyists and super PACS to donate. Senator Bernie Sanders has lambasted the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for taking an “unfortunate step backward” in once again allowing donations from lobbyists and PACs, a move that Obama had banned when he became a nominee in 2008.

Bernie Sanders: DNC is taking 'backwards step' to allow lobbyists and super PACS to donate

Senator Sanders, who raised almost three quarters of his campaign funds from small donors, has called for his rival Hillary Clinton to join him in opposing the new policy, as reported by the International Business Times. It is yet to be seen whether Ms Clinton would support the move. The Democrat received more than $30 million from lobbyists and lawyers between 2000 and 2008, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), while Mr Sanders got just over $310,000. In this election cycle alone, the Clinton campaign has raised $725,000 from lobbyists, while Mr Sanders was given less than $5,000. “We will not take a dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs,” President Obama announced in 2008.

A K Street How-To, Courtesy of Wall Street - Bloomberg Politics. Lobbyists around Washington have more than a handful of tactics to combat legislative threats to their clients.

A K Street How-To, Courtesy of Wall Street - Bloomberg Politics

Some are as basic as meeting with lawmakers to explain their position. Others involve mustering seven-figure efforts that include a full deployment of public relations, consulting, grassroots, and legal pros. K Street braces for Ryan. Paul Ryan is not a creature of K Street: The GOP’s ultimate policy guru has spent most of his career on Capitol Hill but is known to be more interested in the opinions of think tankers and wonks than the traditional influence set.

K Street braces for Ryan

“Paul has never been a downtown guy, and I don’t expect that to change,” said his spokesman, Brendan Buck. Story Continued Below. Lobbying spending contracts by 10 percent in third quarter. Anti-abortion activists rally on the steps of the capitol in Austin, Texas.

Lobbying spending contracts by 10 percent in third quarter

The organization’s lobbying push made for one of the only spikes in an otherwise slow quarter of lobbying activity in Washington. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) Someone must have called a three-month time out in Washington’s influence game during the late summer and early fall. Spending on lobbying was already sluggish this year, but outlays dropped from nearly $822 million between April 1 and June 30 to $738.6 million in the most recent quarter. While the third quarter is typically the slowest of the four, the nearly 10 percent contraction from the second quarter is much steeper than in years past.

Seventy-five industries paid out less to lobby the federal government between July 1 and September 30 than they did in the previous quarter of 2015, a Center for Responsive Politics review of lobbying data shows. The data comes from quarterly reports by lobbying firms and clients filed with the House and Senate. The Meat Industry's Political Sway Has Had Ongoing Influence on Nutrition Gui... Your doctor might tell you to eat fewer burgers and steak sandwiches, but thanks to the exceptional lobbying skills of the American meat industry, the US government probably never will.

The Meat Industry's Political Sway Has Had Ongoing Influence on Nutrition Gui...

Rejecting the advice of their own expert panel, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced this month that the latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans will not include considerations of environmental sustainability. Had they decided otherwise, they likely would have recommended that people lower their intake of meat, the production of which is widely recognized as a major contributor to climate change.

Health advocates are still hoping that the final guidelines, to be unveiled later this year, will include a directive to eat less red and processed meats, based on nutrition and health concerns alone. Mega-donors opposing Iran deal have upper hand in fierce lobbying battle. GOP kingmaker Sheldon Adelson’s foundation has given $7.5 million since 2010 to several groups fiercely fighting the Iran deal.

Mega-donors opposing Iran deal have upper hand in fierce lobbying battle

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) On one side of the fight are Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and Haim Saban, whose foundations have given a total of $13 million since 2010 to advocacy groups battling the Iran nuclear deal in Congress. Q. How much did Google just spend applying political pressure in the US? A. $... Moneybags Google has topped the list of tech-giant political lobbyists again, spending $4.62m in the past three months alone in Washington DC and elbowing its way into an enormous range of issues.

Q. How much did Google just spend applying political pressure in the US? A. $...

That's according to a declaration filed by Google that companies are legally obliged to submit to US Congress. The multimillion-dollar total is, essentially, the wages and expenses bill of Google's political pressure unit. From 1 April to 30 June this year, Google's nine main lobbyists set up meetings in the capital covering everything from online advertising to patent reform to cybersecurity to drone and unmanned vehicle policies. The spending makes Google one of the top ten biggest lobbying organizations in Washington: the top being the US Chamber of Commerce, and the rest rounded out by four medical industry companies, plus Boeing, General Electric, the National Association of Realtors, and Business Roundtable. Former CMS chief to become top lobbyist for health plans. Marilyn Tavenner speaks during a hearing with the House Ways and Means Committee in Washington, D.C.

Former CMS chief to become top lobbyist for health plans

AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON / Getty Images Marilyn Tavenner — who led the rocky roll-out of HealthCare.gov — will become the head of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the leading national trade group for health insurance, AHIP’s board of directors announced Wednesday.