A Lobby Shop’s Bottom Line

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According to this memo, in one month, September 1997, The Wexler group lists $640,850.33 in billings for its 25-member staff. Another monthly project memo lists what services were rendered for such largesse: for the American Dental Association ($4,000), The Wexler Group was trying to set up a meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala; for General Motors ($25,000), the lobby shop was “monitoring regulatory reform”; for Owens Corning ($15,000), a former manufacturer of asbestos, The Wexler Group was offering help with product liability issues.

Burger King, another big client, paid The Wexler Group $15,000. The lobby shop’s chief duties include public relations and “general Washington representation.” A note in the margin of the project memo reports that a government study had cited Burger King for violating child labor laws. The margin note says that bad PR for Burger King is a good reason for Wexler to extract more money out of the fast-food giant, noting that the lobby shop should “revisit our contract; look for increased retainer.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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