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Nick Surgey
Nick Surgey is Director of Research at The Center for Media & Democracy, which publishes PR Watch and ALEC Exposed. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and The Guardian.

His research has also been cited in Mother Jones magazine, The Nation magazine, on MSNBC, and many other places including the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

Nick was previously Staff Counsel at Common Cause, where he led the research and legal work on their ALEC and Supreme Court Ethics projects.

Entries by Nick Surgey

Ted Cruz at Secret Koch-Backed Fracking Lobby Group Meeting

(34) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 9:29 AM

Senator Ted Cruz, raising cash for a 2016 presidential bid, was to meet privately Monday in Denver, Colorado with executives from major oil and gas corporations, all members of the pro-fracking lobby group Western Energy Alliance (WEA), according to details of the secret meeting shared with the Center for Media...

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Jeb Bush Speaking at Secret Coal Industry Retreat

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 10:20 AM

Jeb Bush is the highest profile speaker at a secretive three-day retreat in Bristol, Virginia, hosted by the CEOs of six coal companies, according to materials for the invitation-only event obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and shared with the Guardian.  

The event,...

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Emerson Electric Latest to Confirm ALEC Exit

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 3:22 PM

Emerson Electric is the latest corporation to confirm it has ended funding for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), joining a notable wave of recent corporate defectors that has included Microsoft, Google, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo.

Emerson first revealed that it ended its association in discussions with Walden Asset Management,...

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AOL Is Latest Tech Company to Cut Ties With ALEC

(2) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 11:20 AM

Following criticism of it teaching climate change denial, AOL, the owner of The Huffington Post, became the latest major corporation to announce a decision to cease funding for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), following similar statements in recent months from a wave of other tech firms including...

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ALEC Corporate Board Chair Quits Over Climate Change, Renewables and Voting Rights

(6) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 11:13 AM

The corporate board chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the software company SAP America, has quit the group, telling CMD that it has made the decision to "immediately disassociate itself from ALEC" because of the group's position on climate change, opposition to renewable energy, its position on gun...

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Edelman Makes a Climate Change Pledge, But Forgets About ALEC

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 12:18 PM

Edelman, the world's largest PR company, synonymous with astroturf-style front groups and dirty tricks, has announced that it will no longer work for groups that deny climate change. The PR firm represents many of the world's most polluting companies, and numerous front groups for polluters, including the American...

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How ALEC Fronts for Fossil Fuels

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 4:57 PM

Even as the Environmental Protection Agency finally attempts to limit carbon dioxide pollution from coal plants, it is meeting resistance at the state level, thanks to a secretive campaign by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

This reporter has obtained a number of internal documents from ALEC that provide a...

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Coal and Oil Polluters Dominate ALEC Conference

(1) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 4:11 PM

By Nick Surgey of The Progressive Inc. and Connor Gibson of Greenpeace

Who's pulling the strings at the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) conference in Dallas, Texas, this week?

According to material obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and Greenpeace, Big Oil and King Coal...

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Utility Trade Group Funds ALEC Attack on Americans Using Solar

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 6:01 PM

As the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) prepares to meet in Dallas this week, the Center for Media and Democracy has uncovered new evidence that Edison Electric Institute (EEI) -- the trade association for the U.S. utility industry -- has been funding ALEC's legislative assault on solar energy.


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Koch Cadre Billionaire Defends Nazi Comments

(2) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 5:32 PM

Ken Langone, the big-spending Home Depot billionaire and ally of Charles and David Koch, clumsily defended his March 2014 comments comparing populist criticism of the 1 percent with the rise of Nazi Germany, in an interview with Capital New York published this week.

Langone, a regular...

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Revealed: ALEC's 2014 Attacks on the Environment

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 4:29 PM

An internal tracking document-- obtained from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by the Center for Media and Democracy/the Progressive Inc. under Texas public records law -- reveals the scope of ALEC's anti-environmental efforts in 2014.

The spreadsheet (dated from late March 2014 and made public by...

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One of the Koch Family-Controlled Foundations Has Quietly Folded

(76) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 10:10 AM

The Koch family-controlled Claude R. Lambe Foundation (CRLF), one of the routine sources of funding for right-wing groups for more than 30 years has dissolved, further limiting what little is publicly known of which groups seeking to change Americans' rights receive money controlled or directed by Charles and David...

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