Bridge Project Launches New Climate Accountability Project

American Bridge’s advocacy arm, Bridge Project, is launching a new climate change initiative today ahead of Congress’ August recess, focusing on the Trump administration’s policy changes and their devastating impact on our country’s economy. Digital ads, an aggressive petition campaign, and a new online hub to boost real time accountability will be at the forefront of this initiative. In addition to rapid response and in person tracking efforts, the latest research on the Trump administration’s dangerous agenda to erase key environmental protections and in-depth reports on climate related policy changes will be housed at www.climateundertrump.com, with state and local research available to grassroots advocates, members of the press, and the public.

“Climate change presents an economic problem as well as an environmental one, and we’re going to expose the dangers of Trump’s agenda,” said American Bridge President Jessica Mackler. “If President Trump continues to put our future at risk […]

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REPORT The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why The Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying the Hawkeye State

Bridge Project is continuing the “Month’s Supply of Koch” with the release of the latest report: “The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why the Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying in the Hawkeye State.” It’s a comprehensive look at the impact of the Kochs’ operations in Iowa. In their quest to grow their empire, the early primary state has been a central focus for the brothers’ political maneuvering.
 
The Koch brothers’ priorities couldn’t be more out-of-step with Hawkeye State values. Perhaps the best example of the Kochs’ self-interest is their opposition to the renewable fuel standard and biodiesel fuel standards – a boon to Iowa’s economy – to protect their own oil profits. In fact, since 2006, Koch companies have lobbied on at least 37 bills in Iowa related to ethanol, biodiesel, and other renewable fuels — despite overwhelming support of biodiesel by Iowans. The Kochs aren’t just hitting Iowa’s farmers on renewables; Americans for Prosperity even lobbied against the Farm Bill in 2014. 
 
Just about every issue lobbied on by the Kochs lines their pockets while hurting Iowans. For example, the Kochs, who are major formaldehyde producers, lobbied against the classification of formaldehyde as a carcinogen, and in Iowa, lobbied on a bill that would ban formaldehyde in children’s toys. The Kochs fought a bill giving workers injured on the job access to better care by allowing them to see their own doctors. They also lobbied against a bill that permitted Iowans to file consumer fraud lawsuits against dishonest businesses.

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Florida Man Buys State: Koch Impacts in the Sunshine State

Through their decades in business and politics, Charles and David Koch have honed their methods for rigging the system in their favor, both through their national operations and activities. Their history in Florida is indicative of this overall multifaceted strategy, which includes lobbying and raising funds for politicians, using their advocacy network to sway public policy, and leveraging financial donations to universities to buy professors that promote their worldview. Time and time again, the Koch brothers’ self-interested actions proved to be beneficial to their bottom line at the expense of hardworking Floridians.

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U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “PA Senate – Bob Casey”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce accuses Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) of “voting against western Pennsylvania” by supporting the health care law, a cap-and-trade bill, and EPA regulations designed to cut down on toxic air pollution. But the Affordable Care Act doesn’t, as the ad suggests, cut any money out of Medicare’s current budget. The estimate of job losses the ad cites for the cap-and-trade law comes from the right-wing Heritage Foundation, and the EPA’s air toxics regulations would prevent an estimated 11,000 premature deaths per year.

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American Crossroads: “Consequences”

American Crossroads hits Nebraska Senate candidate Bob Kerrey (D) for opposing a balanced budget amendment and supporting health care reform and cap-and-trade. But current debt levels are due to the recession and Bush-era policies, not to the absence of a constitutional balanced budget amendment, which would make it harder for the government to respond to economic downturns. Kerrey’s position on health care is that the law must be amended rather than fully repealed, which would have negative consequences that include kicking millions of people off insurance and forcing seniors to pay more for care. In context, the former senator’s remarks on cap-and-trade legislation make it clear that Kerrey views climate change as a moral issue without dismissing its impact on jobs and the economy.

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Americans for Tax Reform: “Skyrocket”

In an ad tying Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY) to President Obama’s pre-election statements on cap-and-trade, Americans for Tax Reform accuses Chandler of voting for a plan that would kill Kentucky jobs. But the job-loss estimate comes from an industry-funded study of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which other analysts projected would create jobs and boost GDP while costing consumers little.

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Congressional Leadership Fund: “Join Me”

Congressional Leadership Fund claims Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) “stood with Obama for Obamacare,” but Barrow voted against the Affordable Care Act and currently supports amending the law while acknowledging that “all or nothing” repeal would be harmful. The ad also misleads about the health care law’s effect on Medicare – it doesn’t cut benefits – and about the Recovery Act, which helped prevent an even deeper recession. Furthermore, Georgia has gained over 80,000 jobs since the end of the devastating recession that’s responsible for millions of job losses nationwide, even though the ad tries to blame Georgia’s economic difficulties on Barrow.

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Congressional Leadership Fund: “Swept”

The Congressional Leadership Fund criticizes Gary McDowell (D-MI) for supporting state-level tax increases and President Obama’s Recovery Act, suggesting that McDowell’s agenda “helped sink Michigan’s economy.” But the tax increases, which were accompanied by spending cuts, were part of a compromise to close the deficit and keep the state government operating. And the Recovery Act created jobs — in America, not China — and helped prevent an even deeper recession.

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Congressional Leadership Fund: “Duck Hunt”

Congressional Leadership Fund attacks congressional candidate Pete Gallego (D-TX) over the support he has received from the League of Conservation Voters, saying that a long-dead climate change bill the group supported would have killed jobs even though it was projected to boost the economy at minimal cost to consumers. The ad also accuses Gallego of shooting down tax cuts, citing a series of bills on which Gallego primarily voted for things like preventing tax evasion and funding trauma centers. Finally, the ad’s suggestion that Gallego is “targeting jobs” is linked to an interview in which he expressed a desire for the wealthy to pay their fair share – a proposal that wouldn’t harm the economy.

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Congressional Leadership Fund: “Hall Of Fame”

Congressional Leadership Fund accuses Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) of voting for an expensive stimulus bill that “created jobs in China,” but the article the ad cites points to a project that never actually received any stimulus money. The ad also criticizes Sutton for her support of a cap-and-trade bill and the bank bailout, even though the former would have stimulated the economy with little cost to consumers and the latter, which passed in a bipartisan fashion after urging from President Bush, helped avert another Great Depression.

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