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Wednesday, October 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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What swamp? Lobbyists get ethics waivers to work for Trump

President Donald Trump and his appointees have stocked federal agencies with ex-lobbyists and corporate lawyers who now help regulate the very industries from which they previously collected paychecks, despite promising as a candidate to drain the swamp in Washington.

Emails: Utility worked with Christie staff to shield data

Lobbyists for New Jersey’s largest utility worked with former Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to craft a $300 million bailout for nuclear power, while adding language to shield the company’s financial information from the public, according to records obtained by the Associated Press.

Eye on Boise: Crapo parts with Bowles, Simpson over deficits to back tax cut

Anti-deficit activists Alan Simpson, the former GOP senator from Wyoming, and Erskine Bowles, the former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, spoke out against the GOP tax plan when it was on the verge of a vote in the Senate last week, warning, “Real tax reform can provide a boost to the economy, but higher debt works in the opposite direction.” The Senate tax bill would add $1.4 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.

AP source: Mueller’s probe draws in Democrat, Republican

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury is investigating a prominent Democratic lobbyist and a former GOP congressman for their involvement in an influence campaign on behalf of Ukrainian interests tied to Paul Manafort, according to a person with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Report: Trump-tied lobbyists cash in on their connections

A new report has found that Washington’s “swamp” of lobbyists appears to have expanded during President Donald Trump’s short time in office, with scores of former campaign staffers, transition workers and even a brief administration official, parlaying their connections into “K street” cash.

2018 gov candidates already out on the stump together

All three major GOP candidates for governor were sitting at the same table on the Fourth of July, at the big Idaho Falls fireworks extravaganza hosted by Melaleuca owner Frank VanderSloot. Nor were Tommy Ahlquist, Raul Labrador and Brad Little the only notable additions to the party.

Egypt’s Mukhabarat hires Washington lobbyists to boost image

Egyptian intelligence has hired two U.S. public relations firms in Washington to lobby on the country’s behalf and boost its image, the first such engagements by the country’s powerful security apparatus to be made public and a rare move by a foreign intelligence body.

Grading the Legislature

OLYMPIA -- Lobbyists give the Legislature a slightly better grade than voters in new Elway Polls.

Panel sets limit for Washington lawmakers’ free meals

OLYMPIA – Legislators could accept as many as a dozen free meals from lobbyists each year under a new rule adopted by their ethics board. But in what could be described as only a partial victory for public accountability, their constituents will have no way of keeping track of those meals unless legislators agree to change state law next year to allow for better reporting of the freebies.

Shawn Vestal: Legislators not entitled to free lunch

Some ethical purists are concerned about all the free lunches – and free dinners, and free breakfasts, and free drinks, and free golf, and free heavy apps at free receptions – being lavished upon Washington’s lawmakers when they’re in Olympia. It’s a question of independence and influence-peddling. But there is another, potentially more devastating problem with all the generosity flowing from lobbyists to legislators: the risk of dependency.

Idaho Freedom Foundation’s charitable status scrutinized

BOISE – In the ornate public gallery of the Idaho House of Representatives, lobbyist Erik Makrush of the Idaho Freedom Foundation leaned over to a reporter sitting next to him and whispered, “If you have any questions, you can ask me.” The House was debating one of 11 bills that would trim the powers of urban renewal agencies in the state, a hot political issue in Idaho’s 2011 legislative session. Makrush said he’d written all of them.