Under The Influence, Tarbell's Weekly Newsletter

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This Week In Tarbell

Nothing to report now, but we’re launching a new series, “The Cost of Doing Business”, very soon!

notable reporting and Solutions

Faith-based organizations have embarked on a coordinated campaign to allow adoption centers to discriminate on the basis of religion. By analyzing matching text in bills pushed in 21 states and the House of Representatives, the Center for Public Integrity unpacks the strategies that religious organizations use to lobby for higher levels of discriminatory foster parent recruitment practices in adoption centers.

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A key fundraiser for Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden also has another pet project:  dismantling regulations on foreign corporations’ ability to influence U.S. politics, Sludge finds.

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Thanks to the Trump administration’s 2017 tax overhaul and a mapping error, Goldman Sachs and Under Armour’s billionaire CEO will be able to claim millions from a tax break program intended for companies revitalizing poor communities…even though the companies are doing no such thing, ProPublica finds.

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“It’ll be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for a lot of our companies,” an industry group president told Politico:  trade groups are doing all they can – including extensive lobbying – to prevent the Trump administration from putting tariffs on more than $300 billion worth of import goods from China.

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Three Big Pharma manufacturers are challenging the Trump administration over the prescription pricing requirement that the president is championing, which makes companies include drug prices in commercials targeted to consumers.

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Bill and Melinda Gates taking their Foundations’ issues into K Street, opening the Gates Policy Initiative to lobby related to their charitable works, The Hill reports.

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The Senate health committee is set to vote on how to reduce surprise billing –when a patient is charged the full cost because their insurance network changed with little or no warning. But there’s still a lot of scrutiny as the best method to do so.

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The EPA’s reforms that require the mixing of renewable fuels like ethanol and other biofuels into fossil fuel has brought together odd lobbying bedfellows: the oil lobby is working against biofuel groups, closer in line with Green groups that are concerned about the longterm greenhouse gas effect of biofuels.

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Insider Commentary: A former deputy staff director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee critiques the Democratic National Committee’s lip service to climate change – and its dependence on fossil fuel money.

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Spotlight on Local Reporting

The Federal Trade Commission is considering whether the certificate of public advantage (COPA) system is allowing Ballad Health System to build a monopoly in Tennessee’s outpatient care market.

Click Here To Read The Story, And If You Haven’t Already, Check Out Dr. Raymond Feierabend’s Analysis of the Ballad Health Merger On Tarbell.org

While he was on the board of a major hospital system, New Jersey Democratic party boss David Norcross III was steering the hospital to mislead the state and reap nearly $40 million in tax breaks, a new report finds.

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Maine’s newly Democratic Legislature just passed a bill preventing lawmakers from accepting contributions from lobbyists from outside their districts, but it’s yet to be seen whether the Democratic governor will sign it.

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The proposed merger between Minnesota’s two big pediatric hospitals was shelved, not because of market dominance but because of differences in control and staffing, the Star-Tribune reports.

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Montana public officers appear to be changing policy to make it harder for citizens to request – and understand – the amount that lobbyists are investing into state legislation. Montana Public Radio broke down the struggle they encountered just to report that the state lobbyists spent $6.5 million in payments so far this year.

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