Donald Shaw

Donald Shaw is a money-in-politics reporter and a co-founder of Sludge.

Recent Articles

How Medicare for All Became a Dirty Word

Richard Neal’s recent contributors include multiple companies represented in anti-Medicare for All lobbying group the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future.

Sludge produces investigative journalism on lobbying and money in politics. The American Prospect is re-publishing this article. The House Ways and Means Committee was scheduled to hold a hearing today on Medicare for All, but its chairman, Representative Richard Neal, suddenly changed the focus of the hearing and instructed his Democratic colleagues to not even mention the term. Instead of focusing on the proposal to establish a single-payer universal health care system, the hearing now covers all options for making health coverage universally accessible, including tweaks to the Affordable Care Act. Since taking his powerful chairmanship at the start of the current legislative session, Neal, a longtime skeptic of Medicare for All , has raked in tens of thousands of dollars from health care industry interests. Neal received $61,800 from PACs and individuals affiliated with health care interests from January 1, 2019, to March 31, 2019, Sludge ’s review of the most recent Federal...

McConnell’s Tobacco 21 Bill Exposes States to Big Tobacco’s Wishlist

McConnell has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the tobacco industry, and some of his former staffers now lobby for tobacco giant Altria.

Seth Wenig/AP Photo
Seth Wenig/AP Photo A Juul electronic cigarette starter kit at a smoke shop in New York Sludge produces investigative journalism on lobbying and money in politics. The American Prospect is re-publishing this article. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced a so-called Tobacco 21 bill to raise the federal minimum age for buying tobacco products, including vaping products, from 18 to 21. The legislation does not include preemption of state regulations or other industry-friendly measures, but it requires states to take follow-up actions that could give the tobacco industry a chance to flex its lobbying muscle and enact its regulatory wishes in states across the country. Tucked into the bill is an update to a 1992 law, the Synar Amendment, that requires states to enact and enforce their own laws prohibiting the sale and distribution of tobacco products to people under the age of 18. The McConnell bill, which is co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of...

DCCC Vendors Work for Corporations Lobbying Against Democratic Policies

Sludge produces investigative journalism on lobbying and money in politics. The American Prospect is re-publishing this article. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is refusing to work with vendors that also work with candidates mounting primary challenges against incumbents, but it appears happy to hire vendors whose corporate clients work to block popular Democratic policies like net neutrality and Medicare for All. The DCCC, the campaign arm of House Democrats, recently stated on its website that it “will not conduct business with, nor recommend to any of its targeted campaigns, any consultant that works with an opponent of a sitting Member of the House Democratic Caucus.” The new policy caused some Democratic candidates, including Marie Newman, who is mounting a primary challenge against anti-abortion Democratic Representative Dan Lipinski in a solidly Democratic Illinois congressional district, to lose contracts with campaign consultants and...

Hedge-Fund Billionaires Were Democrats’ Main Bankrollers in 2018

A new report shows that three-quarters of the money that individuals donated to pro-Democrat outside spending groups in 2018 came from finance founders and executives.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in her Capitol Hill office in Washington. Sludge produces investigative journalism on lobbying and money in politics. The American Prospect is re-publishing this article. In the 2018 midterms, Democrats benefited more than Republicans from election spending by outside groups for the first time in recent history. Now, thanks to a new report from Public Citizen , we have a better understanding of where much of that money backing Democrats came from: wealthy individuals who earn their livings as hedge-fund founders, bank executives, and other key positions in the financial industry. The report, named “Plutocrat Politics: How Financial Sector Wealth Fuels Political Ad Spending” and authored by Public Citizen’s Alan Zibel, analyzed the 100 individuals who gave the most money to outside political spending groups in the 2018 cycle and found that about half of that money...