Access Hollywood: How Jeffrey Katzenberg Became the Democrats' Kingmaker

Then came Citizens United, dismantling limits on political giving and paving the way for super-PACs—and a new kind of kingmaker arose. So, in 2012 megadonors like Katzenberg and casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson demonstrated just how far some 1-percenters were willing to open their wallets. “There’s now a whole range of opportunities for donors that didn’t exist before Citizens United,” says Bill Allison. And that’s not even accounting for the fact that the Supreme Court could lift what restrictions remain on individual giving, allowing donors to give millions directly to campaigns and parties.

Follow the Dark Money

For many political observers, it feels like a return to the pre-Watergate years. Rich bankrollers—W. Clement Stone then, Sheldon Adelson now—cut jaw-dropping checks backing their favorite candidates. Political operatives devise ways to hide tens of millions in campaign donations. And protesters have taken to the streets over what they see as a broken system. “We’re back to the Nixon era,” says Norman Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, “the era of undisclosed money, of big cash amounts and huge interests that are small in number dominating American politics.” This is the story of how we got here.

Are Walmart's Chinese Factories as Bad as Apple's?

Almost seven years into the program, many environmentalists remain convinced that Walmart is serious about sustainability—and that its actions can have a major impact on the world economy because of the gravitational pull of its vast network of suppliers, customers, and employees. Walmart’s environmental initiatives in China have been heralded—most recently by Orville Schell in The Atlantic —as a key force in spurring other corporations to embrace sound environmental practices. My reporting—more than a year of research that took me from Arkansas to China—suggests a more complex, less flattering story: Walmart has made laudable though modest progress on many of its goals. But with the global economic slowdown tugging at the company’s profit margins, people involved with the environmental campaign say the momentum seems to be stalling or vanishing entirely.

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