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Popular Information


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@JuddLegum
     
1.  Supreme Court greenlights corruption  

2022-05-17


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There are few meaningful limits remaining on money in politics. As a result, politics has become increasingly dominated by the wealthy. The average U.S. Senator is a multi-millionaire. On Monday, the Supreme Court made the situation a little bit worse.

2.  The right's embrace of a deadly racist conspiracy theory  

2022-05-16


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The "great replacement theory" can be traced back at least to Theodore G. Bilbo (D-MS), the brazenly racist U.S. Senator who held office from 1935 to 1947. Bilbo, an antisemite who acknowledged being a member of the Ku Klux Klan during an appearance on "Meet the Press," warned that at "the present rat...

3.  After Roe  

2022-05-11


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In the coming weeks, Roe v. Wade is expected to be overturned and the constitutional right to abortion will be eliminated. If that happens, 22 states already “have laws on the books that impose very strict restrictions on abortion.” Eighteen of these states have laws that will “

4.  Ron DeSantis' math textbook hoax  

2022-05-10


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The Florida Department of Education issued an alarming press release on April 15: "Florida Rejects Publishers’ Attempts to Indoctrinate Students." The release claimed that publishers of dozens of math textbooks were attempting to indoctrinate Florida students with Critical Race Theory (CRT), Social Emotiona...

5.  PR giant advising corporate clients to stay silent on abortion rights  

2022-05-06


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A massive public relations firm, Zeno, is privately advising its high-profile corporate clients to avoid commenting on the draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, according to an internal communication obtained by Popular Information. Zeno is a multinational company with almost

6.  What corporations are saying about the end of constitutional protections for abortion  

2022-05-05


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Corporations can play a critical role in pushing back against state action that undermines fundamental rights. In 2016, for example, the Georgia legislature passed a bill that would have allowed private businesses to refuse to serve LGBTQ people. Disney and Netflix threatened to

7.  The two flavors of Republican candidates in the 2022 primaries  

2022-05-03


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There are two primary flavors of Republican candidates in 2022, and they are competing to be the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Georgia. The first type of candidate is represented by former Georgia Senator David Perdue (R). During his Senate campaigns, Perdue ran as a no-nonsense businessman. Bu...

8.  Major corporations quietly funnel millions to national group behind regressive state laws  

2022-04-28


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Republican state legislators across the country have embraced an aggressively regressive agenda, targeting the LGBTQ community, abortion access, voting rights, and candid discussions of race in classrooms. But these legislators are not acting alone. They are backed by the

9.  Corporations get massive pandemic windfall, stiff workers  

2022-04-27


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For most Americans, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a traumatic experience. Nearly 1 million Americans have died. Millions more lost their jobs. And nearly everyone had their daily lives upended dramatically. But for a number of large corporations, the pandemic has created an unprecedented windfall an...

10.  Musk is a "free speech absolutist" except when he's not  

2022-04-26


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Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, bought Twitter yesterday for about $44 billion. "Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy," Musk said in a press release announcing the deal. "Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated." Musk, th...

11.  Toyota's second U-turn  

2022-04-25


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Shortly after January 6, 2021, Toyota announced that it would reassess "our future PAC criteria" in light of "the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol." That review did not last long. Within weeks, Toyota resumed donating to Republican members of Congress that voted to overturn the election.

12.  UPDATES: Koch exits, DeSantis responds  

2022-04-22


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For the last five weeks, Popular Information has reported extensively on Koch Industries, the corporation owned by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, and its decision to continue business in Russia. Koch Industries was one of the few American companies to maintain full operations after the Russia...

13.  Inside the "dangerous" math textbooks DeSantis claims would "indoctrinate students"  

2022-04-21


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On April 15, the Florida Department of Education issued a dramatic press release: "Florida Rejects Publishers’ Attempts to Indoctrinate Students." In the release, Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced that he had rejected 54 math textbooks submitted by publishers for the next schoo...

14.  Passing the mic  

2022-04-20


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NOTE: There was a technical error in sending the email this morning. If you are looking for today’s discussion, you can find it HERE.

15.  Passing the mic [CORRECTED]  

2022-04-20


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Apologies for the multiple emails this morning. Due to a technical error, the previous version did not have a link to the discussion thread. — J…

16.  Inflation profiteering  

2022-04-19


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There is no single cause for inflation, which reached an annual rate of 8.5% in March. That's the fastest increase in prices since 1981. There are continuing problems with supply chains, rising prices for raw materials, and limited supply. There is a tight job market, which increases costs for labor...

17.  Koch-funded analyst raises doubts about Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians  

2022-04-18


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A foreign policy analyst with extensive ties to the non-profit network operated by Charles Koch publicly cast doubt about whether Russian forces are attacking civilians in Ukraine. The analyst, Professor John Mearsheimer, also suggested that, if Russian forces have attacked civilians, such attacks woul...

18.  The big payback  

2022-04-12


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"I saved his ass. I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop." That was Donald Trump bragging to Bob Woodward about the lengths he went to prevent Congress from holding Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) accountable for the brutal murder and dismembermen...

19.  How the Koch machine works  

2022-04-13


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On April 6, Popular Information published a report on Stand Together, the influential non-profit organization run by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch. The piece featured excerpts from an internal email that Dan Caldwell, Stand Together's Vice President of Foreign Policy, sent to Stand Together's staf...

20.  Democratic groups stick with union-busting consulting firm  

2022-04-14


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On April 1, workers at JFK8, Amazon’s largest warehouse in New York, won a historic vote to unionize, becoming the first Amazon union in the United States. At the end of March, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ran a union election at JFK8 that asked employees one

21.  Political blackmail  

2022-04-11


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Republicans in Florida and Washington, DC are vowing to seek retribution against Disney for belatedly opposing Florida's "Parental Rights in Education" legislation, also known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill. The bill prohibits "instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gende...

22.  EXCLUSIVE: Koch group says U.S. should deliver partial "victory" to Russia in Ukraine  

2022-04-06


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In an internal email obtained exclusively by Popular Information, Stand Together, the influential non-profit group run by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, argues that the United States should seek to deliver a partial "victory" to Russia in Ukraine.

23.  Tennessee Republicans pushing to undermine same-sex marriage are backed by major corporations  

2022-04-07


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A group of 24 Tennessee Republicans that introduced a bill to undermine same-sex marriage rights are financially backed by prominent corporations who publicly champion LGBTQ rights — including Amazon, Comcast and Cigna. The legislation has received widespread attention because, as introduced, it mad...

24.  AT&T shareholders fight back  

2022-04-05


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Popular Information has repeatedly documented how AT&T's political spending conflicts with the company's stated values. For example, AT&T publicly claims to be an ardent supporter of voting rights. AT&T posted a four-minute video on its corporate website, "AT&T Employees Honor Those Who Fought for th...

25.  New York is on the brink of historic climate action. One man stands in the way.  

2022-04-04


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Most people think of cars and power plants as significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. So if the world wants to combat climate change, we need to clean up transportation and power generation. That's true. But there is another major contributor to climate change that tends to fly under the radar...

26.  American paper company maintains lucrative business relationship with Russian government  

2022-03-31


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More than a month after the Russian military began its assault on Ukraine, only a handful of American businesses have fully maintained their operations in Russia. One of those businesses is International Paper Company, which partners with Russian oligarch Zakhar Smushkin in a joint venture, Ilim.

27.  It's your turn  

2022-03-30


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This month, Popular Information broke the news that Koch Industries continues to operate in Russia (prompting an avalanche of national coverage),

28.  Top corporate lobbying group shows its true colors on climate change  

2022-03-28


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Corporations love to talk about what they are doing to combat climate change. In TV ads and sustainability reports, corporations tout their efforts to increase efficiency, utilize clean energy, and ultimately achieve "net-zero" emissions. But as Popular Information

29.  When money is no object  

2022-03-29


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The conventional wisdom is that the United States government is hopelessly divided — Republicans and Democrats can't reach a consensus on anything. That's not true. Year after year, whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge, virtually everyone comes together in support of massive increases in defens...

30.  Has Disney really changed?  

2022-03-22


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Disney CEO Bob Chapek says he's a changed man. Just two weeks ago, in a March 7 memo to Disney staff, Chapek defended the company's decision to remain publicly silent about Florida's "Don't Say Gay" legislation. Chapek said he was concerned any statement about the legislation, which prohibits classroo...

31.  UPDATE: Disney responds  

2022-03-23


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On Tuesday, Popular Information reported on five states outside of Florida where Disney has operations — Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas — that are advancing policies targeting LGBTQ people. After initially staying silent on Florida's "Don't Say Gay" legislation, Disney CEO Bob Chape...

32.  You are (probably) paying for pro-Russian propaganda  

2022-03-21


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The most powerful source of pro-Russian propaganda is not the Russian government. It's the #1 rated host on U.S. cable television: Fox News' Tucker Carlson. But before we dive into the disinformation, let's establish the facts. For decades, the United States has partnered with former members of the Sovie...

33.  UPDATE: Koch Industries breaks silence  

2022-03-17


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On Monday, Popular Information broke the news that Koch Industries, the conglomerate run by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, continued to business in Russia through three wholly-owned subsidiaries. Hundreds of other companies have exited Russia as its military intensified attacks on Ukraine, including

34.  Decisions have consequences  

2022-03-15


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A core component of President Biden's failed Build Back Better plan was the extension of the expanded child tax credit. The American Rescue Act, which was signed into law in March 2021, expanded the child tax credit for one year. The credit was expanded in

35.  Koch Industries continues doing business in Russia  

2022-03-14


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Koch Industries, the conglomerate run by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, has numerous ongoing business operations in Russia. Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Koch Industries has given no indications that those business operations have been suspended. On the contrary, the limited public comment...

36.  These companies are still doing business in Russia  

2022-03-10


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Since Russia invaded Ukraine last month, there has been a mass exodus of companies from Russia. The pace of these withdrawals from Russia has intensified as the Russian military adopted increasingly brutal tactics, including targeting Ukrainian civilians

37.  The inside story of how Disney turned its back on the LGBTQ community  

2022-03-08


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Disney is happy to profit off the LGBTQ community. For example, it serves as a host for Gay Days, "an Orlando gathering that generally attracts over 150,000 people each June." Disney offers a full array of LGBTQ-themed clothing and accessories available for purchase.

38.  The audacity of oil  

2022-03-07


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The American Petroleum Institute (API), the lobbying arm of the oil and gas industry, has intensified its efforts to exploit Russia's invasion of Ukraine to push the United States government to roll back environmental protections, open up more federal land for drilling, and greenlight the constructio...

39.  Corporations speak out against Texas' attack on trans youth  

2022-03-03


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Texas is taking aggressive action targeting trans youth and their families. It raises the prospect that children who receive medically appropriate care could be taken away from their parents. The effort started with a February 18 opinion issued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R). The opinion spend...

40.  UPDATE: Indiana's anti-CRT bill defeated  

2022-03-02


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This year, Popular Information has reported extensively on legislation in Indiana that attempts to ban "Critical Race Theory" and related concepts in K-12 education. It appeared inevitable that the bill would pass Indiana's legislature, which is dominated

41.  Fossil fuel companies are exploiting Russia's attack on Ukraine  

2022-03-01


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For many people around the world, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is an unprovoked violation of international law and a humanitarian catastrophe. For the fossil fuel industry, it's an opportunity to exploit for profit. Fossil fuel corporations' desire to cash in on the war is not always subtle. On Februar...

42.  Two members of Congress spoke at a white nationalist convention. These corporations are supporting their reelection.  

2022-02-28


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Over the weekend, two members of Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), addressed a white nationalist convention. A number of major corporations, including Ford, Walmart, Delta Airlines, and Deloitte, are financially supporting their reelection through PAC contributions to th...

43.  A far-right website created 36 days ago is more popular on Facebook than the Washington Post  

2022-02-24


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Brandon Gill "provides strategic marketing direction for Conservative Brief," the right-wing website whose underhanded tactics were exposed in yesterday's Popular Information. But he is also the founder and editor of his own website, DC Enquirer. The DC Enquirer website was registered on January 8, 2022...

44.  Florida representative proposes requiring schools to out LGBTQ kids to their parents — even if it puts them in danger  

2022-02-22


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Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, which is scheduled for a floor vote in the Florida House today, would create a hostile environment for LGBTQ students. The bill prohibits any discussion of "sexual orientation or gender identity" through the third grade and any discussion "that is not age-appropriate o...

45.  Tell me  

2022-02-16


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So far this month, Popular Information exposed a top College Board executive who was pushing to limit instruction on race and history in classro…

46.  Florida politicians behind "Don't Say Gay" bill backed by corporations that claim to support LGBTQ rights  

2022-02-17


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A bill advancing rapidly through the Florida legislature would prohibit many of the state's teachers from discussing "sexual orientation or gender identity" in class. Under the legislation, also known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, parents who believe the prohibition was violated could sue schools fo...

47.  Zero credibility  

2022-02-15


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Corporations want the public to know that they take the climate crisis seriously. Most major corporations have taken a public "climate pledge," promising to reach "net zero" carbon emissions by a future date. Amazon is so into this concept that it started "

48.  Rite Aid, wrong crime  

2022-02-14


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On January 25, actor and comedian Michael Rapaport posted a video of a man allegedly stealing condoms and shampoo from a Rite Aid on the Upper East Side of New York City. Rapaport claimed the theft, and others like it, were forcing the store to close. "I was just informed this Rite Aid is closing 2/1...

49.  How GOP Attorneys General joined forces with RFK Jr. to spread vaccine misinformation  

2022-02-10


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On Tuesday, Popular Information broke the news that the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) accepted a $50,000 contribution from Children's Health Defense, an anti-vaccine propaganda group led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The donation, as Children's Health Defense admitted in a statement, wa...

50.  Republican Attorneys General Association accepts illegal contribution from RFK Jr's anti-vax group  

2022-02-08


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The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) accepted an illegal $50,000 contribution from Children's Health Defense, a leading purveyor of anti-vaccine propaganda run by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The unlawful contribution, which was received by RAGA last summer, was first disclosed in an 87-pag...

51.  UPDATE: College Board parts ways with top executive who wants to limit instruction about race and history  

2022-02-09


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On Monday, Popular Information published a story revealing that a top executive with the College Board, Todd Huston, played a central role in advancing legislation to "limit what teachers can say regarding race, history, and politics in Indiana classrooms." The College Board is the organization tha...

52.  Top College Board executive advocates limiting instruction of race and history in classrooms  

2022-02-07


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A top executive for the College Board is playing a central role in advancing legislation to "limit what teachers can say regarding race, history, and politics in Indiana classrooms." The executive, Todd Huston, is paid $460,738 to serve as the College Board's

53.  What we learned from the first FEC deadline of 2022  

2022-02-03


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This week brought the first FEC deadline of the year — and it was a doozy. Nearly every committee and campaign were required to file. Popular Information sorted through that mountain of data and came to the following conclusion: not that much has changed.

54.  How a new proposal to stop Trump from stealing the 2024 election could backfire  

2022-02-01


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Donald Trump is acting like someone who is running for president, holding political rallies around the country. If Trump runs, he would be the favorite to win the Republican nomination. Yes, Trump remains very unpopular with the broader public. But, at the moment, President Biden is also

55.  North Carolina superintendent abruptly removes MLK-themed novel from 10th grade class  

2022-01-31


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An acclaimed MLK-themed novel was removed from a 10th-grade English class in North Carolina. Haywood County Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte told Popular Information that he pulled the book, Dear Martin by Nic Stone, in a matter of hours after receiving one parent complaint. Nolte said he did not read th...

56.  UPDATE: Facing boycott calls, Pepsi defends donation to Texas Republican Party  

2022-01-26


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On Monday, Popular Information published a report on corporations that donated to the Republicans who imposed a draconian abortion ban in Texas. The report detailed contributions to Texas Republicans from a variety of major corporations, including AT&T, Walmart, and Ford. But what caught the attentio...

57.  A strange meeting at the White House  

2022-01-27


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On Wednesday, according to the official White House schedule, President Biden met "with private sector CEOs to discuss the ways his Build Back Better [(BBB)] agenda will grow the economy and make the U.S. more competitive, increase worker productivity and workforce participation, lower inflation ove...

58.  2022: The year of the thought police  

2022-01-25


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For years, people on the right have complained about the supposed left-wing assault on free speech. "We talk a lot on this show about the threat to free speech. It turns out it’s very real," Tucker Carlson said on his Fox News program on December 18, 2019. Carlson was upset because, on a previous show...

59.  After Texas Republicans imposed a draconian abortion ban, these corporations sent checks  

2022-01-24


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On May 19, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed legislation banning virtually all abortions in Texas and creating a system of vigilante justice to enforce the ban. The new law, which went into effect on September 1, bans all abortions after four to six weeks of pregnancy — before many women eve...

60.  Why aren't there enough hospital beds?  

2022-01-20


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The Omicron variant appears somewhat less severe than previous strains of COVID-19, but it is still landing plenty of Americans — especially the unvaccinated — in the hospital. At present, more than 155,000 people with COVID are hospitalized, which is a higher number than last winter's surge.

61.  Martin Luther King Jr. said more than 35 words  

2022-01-17


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Martin Luther King Jr. wrote several books, delivered hundreds of speeches and sermons, and produced a massive quantity of documents and correspondence. The King Papers, a collection of King's writings and published by the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University...