Today, United Republic announced the launch of Republic Report, a multimedia muckraking blog dedicated to exposing the corrupting influence of money in politics. Written by a team of investigators, as well as former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the blog will feature original reporting and a look at the day’s news through a nonpartisan money-in-politics lens.
“Republic Report will become a go-to source for information about how Washington really works,” said Nick Penniman, president of United Republic. “The control Big Money has over our government is the story of our era. It’s an ailment afflicting both parties. And it’s why we can’t fix the major problems America faces. We plan to cover that story relentlessly, with a focus on impact.”
Republic Report, available at RepublicReport.org, will probe the often-under reported links between decisions in Washington and the money changing hands behind the scenes. It will investigate and uncover the ways the powerful influence industry plies the public sphere in pursuit of private gain, often at the expense of taxpayers.
The blog launches with stories that confront former Obama Communications Director Anita Dunn for her new position as an insider-for-hire, expose new details about a secret meeting held by Koch industries and other corporations who fund Washington influence groups, and show how Bill Gates praised the CEO of Kaplan, the controversial Washington Post-owned for-profit college, without disclosing that Gates’ foundation benefits from Kaplan’s revenues.
The blog will be anchored by a team of investigators and writers including:
- Jack Abramoff, former Republican “superlobbyist” whose recently released book details the techniques used by the influence industry to affect government, as well as a reform agenda to restrict the undue influence of lobbyists and special interests. In the last year he has become an outspoken critic of the industry, appearing regularly on television and radio. Abramoff’s insights will begin to appear on Republic Report next week.
- Lee Fang, a former investigative blogger for ThinkProgress and a freelance journalist. Over the course of his career, he has broken numerous stories about the intersection of money and politics that have resulted in multiple calls for hearings in Congress and the Federal Election Commission.
- David Halperin, the former founding director of Campus Progress and senior vice president at the Center for American Progress. He was a senior policy adviser for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and White House speechwriter and special assistant for national security affairs to President Clinton. He is a co-founder of the Internet company RealNetworks and served as counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
- Zaid Jilani, formerly the senior reporter-blogger for ThinkProgress. His work has also appeared in outlets including Salon and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Nick Penniman, president of United Republic, who was formerly the executive director of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, publisher of the Washington Monthly magazine, executive editor of TomPaine.com and associate editor of the American Prospect.