I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Lobbying the Black Caucus, Legally

The NY Times has published a long, analytical piece explaining how the Black Caucus has "taken advantage of political finance laws" to amass large sums of money from corporations and labor unions. By donating not to the caucus' PAC but to its network of associated non-profits and charities, interest groups have garnered much political clout masked in philanthropy.

Interestingly, the caucus has spent more money on fancy galas, during which "lobbyists and executives who give to caucus charities get to mingle with lawmakers," than on scholarships for African-American children and young adults.

The article goes into extensive detail about specific interactions between caucus members and corporations. It is worth reading; it supplements our readings about campaign finance and primes our discussion on Congress and interest groups.

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