The mutual attraction between Hollywood and Washington has been a long-standing affair. But how much influence does the entertainment industry have inside the Beltway?
Here's a look at some of Hollywood's behind-the-scenes political players and activists and at some of the key policy issues that tickle Tinseltown.read more
Republicans and Democrats disagree on many things but not on alcohol. The industry lobby fuels policy, political campaigns and government coffers. The big players in the industry fight to protect their share of the market through lobbying at all levels of government.
See how they keep the taps open by picking up the tab for many election campaigns.read more
Texas has the highest percentage of medically uninsured residents of any state in the country and could gain the most from recent national health care reform. Conservative Texas politicians, however, have been the most unspoken against the legislation.
Texas is an example of the conflicts that arise when politics and policy clash as powerful special interest groups open their purses.read more
Power in Los Angeles was once held by a close-knit group of wealthy downtown businessmen whose political and economic influence held absolute sway. Nowadays, power in the City of Angels is more diffuse and a shifting alliance of politicians, developers, unions and community groups jockey for dominance. Some argue this fragmentation is the embodiment of democracy. Critics say it is a recipe for gridlock.read more
After the 1979 Three Mile Island disaster, the nuclear power lobby kept a low but steady political profile. Over the last ten years, however, it leveraged billions in public funding to spur what it hoped would be a "Nuclear Renaissance." Then came the catastrophe at Fukushima and now the U.S. nuclear industry is putting all of its considerable political and financial clout into a strategy of survival.read more
These are heady times for Republicans.
In 2010, the GOP captured 19 formerly Democratic state legislatures and a majority in the House of Representatives, and now Republicans are determined to win back the presidency in 2012. From policy shops to SuperPACs, we explore part of the behind-the-scenes network driving the GOP's surge and we hit Ground Zero of the Republican Revolution in the political battleground of Wisconsin.read more
The pro-Israel lobby, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is one of the most powerful political forces in Washington. The lobby's initiatives, backed by tens of millions in dollars in political contributions, often become legislation that passes overwhelmingly in Congress.
Its supporters say AIPAC is key to the strategic U.S.-Israel alliance. Its critics contend that the lobby's unconditional support for controversial Israeli policies are counter-productive for both Israel and the U.S.read more
Financial titans like Bill Gates, Eli Broad and the Walton family are pouring billions of dollars into reshaping American education.
As more school districts come under the sway of privately-funded reform, are U.S. schools on the doorstep of a new era or simply becoming subject to a business-influenced agenda?read more
Only one percent of American families are millionaires, but a full half of the U.S. Congress is in that top tier. Our elected representatives grow richer as the rest of America still languishes in economic uncertainty.
Take a journey into the Southern California city of Temecula, represented by the richest member of congress, and see how many people in the community are desperate for help.read more