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Notable Investigations and Solutions

Facebook is torn: Since the corporation gave its full-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Facebook’s relationship with Democrats has soured, particularly among 2020 candidates. Now they’re moving into the presidential election in an “awkward position”, tied between liberals’ calls to combat disinformation and conservatives’ fear of fact-checking groups.

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Drain the swamp (again): A new recording released over the weekend showed that President Trump was soliciting big-ticket donors for their policy preferences. While Democrats are pointing fingers in debates over their own major support, the problem of moneyed influencers in politics still festers among conservatives, up to the White House level.

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Buttigieg’s PhRMA buddy: Among the list of Buttigieg’s foreign policy supporters, one name stands out: John Black. That’s because Black is also one of the key international lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry group PhRMA, Sludge found.

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Now you see it, now you don’t: In the 2000s, judges began coming down hard on defendants who failed to provide electronic communications as evidence, particularly when that defendant was a tech company. But a concerted lobbying effort by tech companies triggered a rule change in 2015, and judges have been much more lax on deliberate destruction of evidence.

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Spotlight on Local Reporting

Cleaning up a Philly refinery? An oil refinery in Philadelphia has filed bankruptcy after a damaging fire in June and would otherwise be preparing to shut its doors; however, powerful forces in the state, as well as the White House, are fighting over its future.

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Demanding response: A nonprofit bay advocacy group and the state of Maryland are joining together to force action from the EPA, which they say is failing to pressure Pennsylvania to clean up its mess in Maryland waters.

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Florida Lobbyist Power: The Tallahassee Democrat released a series on the power that lobbyists wield in the statehouse, from a roundup of meals and meetings that are occupying legislators’ times, to a profile of one of the top dog lobbyists that serves Florida’s biggest lobbying clients.

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Danielle Keeton-Olsen is the Engagement Editor at and a freelance journalist based in Southeast Asia.