Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fundraiser for Watchdog Group after Another Successful Year

Buffalo's Public Accountability Initiative (PAI) and LittleSis.org are celebrating another successful year. Their watchdog research on corporate power, undue influence, and corruption received national media coverage and delivered big impact.

Some highlights from the year: 
  • Senator Schumer's recusal. They reported on the role of Senator Charles Schumer's brother in crafting the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal. After initially praising the merger, Schumer recused himself from oversight of the merger as a result of our investigation. [AP]
  • Front group exposed. They exposed a gas industry front group and greenwashing effort called the "Center for Sustainable Shale Development." The president of the Heinz Endowments was a major supporter of the initiative, and resigned from his position at the foundation after they reported on his ties to the gas industry. The Heinz Endowments has since severed ties with CSSD. [Tribune-Review]
  • Conflicts of interest in the Syria debate. Their report on the "military-industrial pundits" – pundits with defense industry ties who were pushing for war with Syria – received major coverage in the Washington Post and elsewhere and caught the attention of two of their favorite investigative journalists: Glenn Greenwald and John Cusack. [Washington Post]
  • Wall Street Higher Ed Watch. They teamed up with the Higher Ed Not Debt campaign to develop a new tool on LittleSis that will support campus-based research on Wall Street's role in higher education.
  • Open Buffalo. They helped plan the winning Open Buffalo proposal, and they're looking forward to contributing to Open Buffalo's efforts to build a more equitable, just, and democratic city!
  • Introducing: the Oligrapher. They developed a new tool on LittleSis that graphs the cozy ties of the powerful individuals and organizations profiled in the database (to see an example, go here).
CELEBRATION & FUNDRAISER: You can show your appreciation for PAI's work and also meet the watchdogs in person at a celebration and fundraiser, whimsically entitled "Pie for PAI" (free pie will be served by PAI). A $20 donation is suggested, and there will be a cash bar.

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, April 17, 6 PM, Allen Street Hardware (backroom), 245 Allen Street, Buffalo.

If you can't make it to the event but still want to support PAI, you can always make a donation online.

Web: http://public-accountability.org/   
Web: http://littlesis.org/

UPDATE - April 10, 2014:  Meet Kevin Connor: Change Agent ~ Artvoice report by Harper S. E. Bishop

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