See the …
… after this introduction.
As a young, J. Edgar Hoover trained, FBI Agent, the Ole’ Buzzard dreamed of arresting a Top Ten Fugitive. The lucky or talented Agent(s) who “nabbed” one would be feted, feasted, festooned and forever memorialized and monumentalized. Usually, such a coup would lead to promotions and incentive awards. Although the Ole’ Buzzard never arrested a Top Ten’r, he did work Bank Robbery in Los Angeles where much of his time was devoted to chasing and catching those “bad guys” who became fugitives (believe it or not a girl or two bank robber as well). The Bank Robbery squad was a prized assignment in the FBI of those days. The FBI didn’t have a SWAT Team for years, so the Bank Robbery Squad Agents were the “go to” guys, the kick down the door guys and the jump into the room first guys.
Well these days, the Spirit is still willing but the flesh is far too old and too weak to chase anything. He couldn’t even catch a little one eyed, flea bitten, three legged, dirty brown dog hide’n in the “Hood.”
Yet … here’s the exciting part … The Ole’ Buzzard’s still in the hunt!
We announce the …
… on the take from Big Tobacco and Energy Solutions.
Our list is interactive.
By clicking on the following names, one can see all contributions to that person. (To return to this posting, click the browser’s back arrow.) For “Tobacco,” the search had to be customized with help from “Follow the Money” experts. Click on “Tobacco” for our complete list of Individuals on the Take.
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The Deeper we dig the more it Stinks!
As it was for the FBI’s “Top Ten’rs” in those days, so shall it be today for our “Top 10 Takers.” Once arrested, the FBI’s Top Ten’rs fell off the Top Ten list. If memory serves us right, a fugitive could be downgraded and fall off the Top Ten list in order to make room for another more serious offender.
For our “Top 10 Takers” (Goodfellas) and all others on the take, we suggest a pay it forward plan! Perhaps more takers could then move up onto the Top 10 list.
We suggest to “pay forward” the “take” from Big Tobacco and Energy Solutions … pay the “take” forward. One could simply make a donation in the total amount of the “take” to a charity of choice. May we suggest Military Veterans or First Responders service organizations or the Primary Children’s Hospital as choices? A two minute sample of their tender care follows.
We will not intervene. These are just suggestions. It’s all on y’all. For those who took merely a “little bit” (probably inadvertently), why not pay it forward and let our citizens and your peers know of your good will and good works and intent? Pass on the shame to the “Top 10 Takers.” Give Big Tobacco and Energy Solutions the boot! What a “PR” coup! Is there a better way to lift a little of the “onus of sleaze and shame” from those who did not really “intend” to act shamefully in this matter? We’ll publish their kind acts if receipts are provided.
In the meantime, we’ll be working diligently to add other columns and names to the “Top 10 Takers” list … adjusting all according to how the chips may fall.
Now let’s go digg’n in The Ole’ Buzzard’s Toolbox!
When we open the top drawer, we always grab for our “Follow the Money” tool first. There we find data about “The Goodfellas” who “Subvert the Rule of Law and Good Governance” in Utah and the USA.
In “Follow the Money,” we found …
The Ole’ Buzzard is working to achieve meaningful campaign finance reform, lobby limits, and across the board term limits to elected office.
Follow the Money Mission
The nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute on Money in Politics (NIMP) promotes an accountable democracy by compiling comprehensive campaign-donor, lobbyist, and other information from government disclosure agencies nationwide and making it freely available at FollowTheMoney.org.
What they do
The Institute researches and archives a 50-state federal/state database of contributions documenting $100+ billion, plus more than 2 million state lobbyist-client relationships that are registered annually. Recent expansions include selected local-level data, collecting independent spending reports for federal campaigns and in 31 states, and lobbying spending in 20 states.
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
A brief history of the Institute
In 1999, three regional groups joined forces to reveal the influence of special-interest contributors on state elections. “The National Institute on Money in Politics is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to accurate, comprehensive and unbiased documentation and research on campaign finance at the state level.”
Located in Helena, Montana, the Institute collects reports submitted to agencies in every state by all candidates for statewide office, the legislature, and state supreme court; major political party committees; ballot measure committees; independent spending; and lobbying expenditures. In addition, you’ll find data on federal campaigns since 2010. See the full range here.
The task was and is immense. The Institute researched the reporting requirements in all 50 states—each with its own deadlines and laws—and created a uniform, seamless database that reveals the economic interests behind the contributions. The complexity and sheer volume of the work required skilled reasoning and dogged perseverance.
The Institute’s massive database is intended to inform public debate on state policy issues. Our perceptive researchers help people make sense of the numbers. “The Institute publishes studies and provides technical assistance and training to reporters, academic researchers and public interest groups that work on state policy issues.” The result today is substantive profiles on candidates and issues, insightful reports and reliable data for all 50 states.
Separately, the Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) also opened its doors in 1999. Since then, it has earned a reputation as the nation’s preeminent think tank on money in politics. In 2018, CFI officially joined the Institute. Each organization has performed valuable work separately by using the differences among states to help understand the effects of federal, state, and local campaign laws.
The National Institute on Money in State Politics dropped the word “State” to better reflect the expanded federal and state work. The National Institute on Money in Politics now has the resources and skills not only to continue, but to look at more jurisdictions and more programs more deeply. It will bring new data and new research to produce new insights. The results will continue to inform scholars and journalists. It will also guide agencies, lawmakers, activists, and others to develop more effective policies.
We believe that knowledgeable voters are the strongest foundation of democracy. Our data is freely presented to the nation.
2015 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions
Learn why the Institute was selected for the 2015 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. 4 min. 14 sec.
RAND Corporation Review of the Institute
August 12, 2014: A new RAND Corporation report evaluates the impact of the National Institute on Money in State Politics:
“We find that the Institute has made meaningful contributions to the public debate over the role of money in politics, both at the state level and nationally. The users we interviewed see the Institute as the gold standard resource for data on money in state politics. Indeed, the Institute has been a driving force behind informed public discussion of state campaign finance in the academic, journalistic, and advocacy communities. Perhaps as importantly, its users see it as the best available independent resource for individuals who seek to discover the roots of the campaign money that has financed their own state-level candidates.”
Download the report here.
Reports & Statements
The Ole’ Buzzard
Major, U.S. Army Special Forces Ret.Former FBI Agent 1970-76Retired EducatorMember Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)Freelance Commentator and Political “Lurker”Skype = wwickizer1Cell 435-828-0496Linkedin = http://goo.gl/Rgz9vdThe only Agent in the history of the FBIand also a letter of commendation from Jack Andersonof “The Washington Merry-go-Round.”