All posts by Molly Gott

Spotlight on LittleSis User Maps: Who’s funding the five St. Louis mayoral front-runners?

St. Louis LittleSis users are at it again! This time their map profiles five mayoral candidates, highlighting donors to their campaigns. Because Mayor Slay, the would-be incumbent, has stepped aside, this race marks a turning point in St. Louis history and policy. Get to know the developers, police boards, and business executives that are influencing this election with their campaign cash.

The map below was presented at yesterday’s #WokeVoterSTL city-wide debate. With just over a month to go before the democratic primary, the race is on!

Spotlight on LittleSis User Maps: A Guide to the St. Louis Development Corporation

This week, we’re highlighting a map created by LittleSis users in St. Louis. The map below was created by #TeamTIF St. Louis, a group organizing to challenge the city’s tax incentive system and the ways it which it drives racial inequity. The map focuses on the St. Louis Development Corporation, which determines how the city doles out tax incentive packages to developers. The map provides an overview of sub-committees, points out members with financial stake in recent development deals, and highlights how three of the most powerful boards share almost identical memberships. TeamTIF hopes that the map’s release furthers city residents’ understanding of the public bodies involved in the decision making process and spurs more investigation.

Mapping the players in the Peabody Energy bankruptcy

Peabody Energy – the world’s largest private sector coal corporation – filed for bankruptcy in April, the latest in a series of major coal company collapses. As Peabody’s bankruptcy hearings unfold, there is growing concern amongst environmental, labor, and indigenous justice groups that the company will use the bankruptcy process to pay back their big bank and hedge fund creditors and give bonuses to their white collar employees, but shirk financial responsibilities for environmental cleanups and pension and healthcare obligations to retired coal miners.

There are numerous stakeholders with competing interests involved in the Peabody bankruptcy, so some St. Louis activists used LittleSis to create a map detailing the players involved and their power networks.

Continue reading Mapping the players in the Peabody Energy bankruptcy

Republican or Democrat? Both parties’ convention host committees represent the 1%

The host committees for both the Republican and Democratic national conventions are composed of wealthy officials who spend their day-to-day lives representing the interests of health insurers, fracking companies, banks and other large corporations.

Host committees are comprised of locals picked by party elites to represent the cities hosting each convention. This year’s Democratic National Convention is in Philadelphia, and features prominent political and business people from the region; likewise, influential Clevelanders sit on the host committee of the Republican National Convention.

Democratic Convention Hosted by Republican Donors, Anti-Obamacare Lobbyists, and Fracking Advocates

As a recent article in The Intercept pointed out, several of this year’s host committee members are hardly Democratic Party devotees. In fact, Independence Blue Cross CEO Daniel Hilferty, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen have donated thousands of dollars to Republican presidential and congressional candidates this cycle and actively undermined and lobbied against progressive policies including fracking regulations, Obamacare, and net neutrality regulations.

Click through the map below for details on how this year’s DNC host committee members are donating thousands of dollars to Republicans and undermining progressive causes.

Keep your eyes open for our next blog post on the Republican Nation Convention Host Committee!

Ed Rendell again fails to disclose oil and gas ties, this time in boosting Philly Energy Hub

Media outlets should use extra caution when publishing op-eds by former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

On at least two occasions in the past three years, Rendell has failed to disclose oil and gas industry ties in op-eds that advocated for oil and gas interests. In both cases, newspapers later had to append disclosures noting the conflicts of interest – a relatively rare step for a publication to take.

Continue reading Ed Rendell again fails to disclose oil and gas ties, this time in boosting Philly Energy Hub