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Ari Berman

Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, will be published in August 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights, and the intersection of money and politics. His stories have also appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, and he is a frequent guest and commentator on MSNBC and NPR. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Photo by Ports Bishop)

  • June 14, 2007

    The Queen of Earmarks?

    There is nothing inherently wrong with "earmarks," which the Sunlight Foundation describes as "a provision in legislation that directs funds to be spent on specific projects." But in recent years earmarking has become a symbol of the culture of corruption in Washington, used and abused by crooked politicians like Duke Cunningham and Conrad Burns to benefit wealthy benefactors. 

    Ari Berman

  • June 12, 2007

    Foreign Agent Fred

    The mainstream media is starting to pay attention to Fred Thompson's decades-long gig as a well-heeled Washington lobbyist. His client list has been noted in this space and elsewhere. What Thompson actually did for one of these clients, the British insurance firm Equitas Ltd, was fleshed out in a must-read column by the Washington Post's Jeffrey Birnbaum today.


    Ari Berman

  • June 11, 2007

    Bad News Benchmarks

    The Brookings Institution's Iraq Index provides the most authoritative measure of how much progress is being made in Iraq. Their recent findings? Not much.

    Ari Berman

  • Politics June 8, 2007

    Curbing Corporate America

    Corporate and CEO profits are at an all-time high. The richest 1 percent in America posses the wealth of the bottom 95 percent combined. Companies deploy hundreds of lobbyists and spend millions of dollars courting members of Congress to win legislative favors. The presidential election in '08 promises to be the priciest in history, largely underwritten by big business and top dollar donors.

    Ari Berman

  • June 7, 2007

    Hillary vs. Labor, Round II

    Hillary Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn, is becoming a liability for her campaign. Following the publication of The Nation's article, Hillary Inc., the heads of two large unions wrote a letter to Clinton, first noted in the New York Times this week, expressing their displeasure that Penn's PR firm, Burson-Marsteller, was helping corporations block union organizing drives, including one their unions were involved in at Cintas, a highly profitable uniform and laundry supply company.

    Ari Berman

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  • June 5, 2007

    Hillary vs. Labor

    A few weeks ago The Nation disclosed that Hillary Clinton's chief strategist and pollster, Mark Penn, leads a giant PR firm, Burson-Marsteller, that aggressively helps corporations stop union organizing drives. We cited the specific example of how B-M successfully assists the highly profitable and controversial uniform and laundry supply company Cintas in blocking union efforts to organize 20,000 of the company's garment workers and truck drivers.


    Ari Berman

  • June 4, 2007

    The War Over “War on Terror”

    Bill Clinton made a habit of blurring the differences between Democrats and Republicans. Now his wife is doing the same to her Democratic rivals.

    Ari Berman

  • May 31, 2007

    Thompson’s Team

    For eighteen years Fred Thompson was a lobbyist in Washington, a part of his biography his jump-start presidential campaign is not likely to highlight.

    Ari Berman

  • May 30, 2007

    Her Way, Her War

    Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign would like voters to forget that she supported the war in Iraq. "Senator Clinton believes things are not going well [In Iraq], wants to begin phased withdrawal, wants to end the war," her spokesman Howard Wolfson told MSNBC on Friday.

    Ari Berman

  • May 29, 2007

    Colombia’s Plan Clinton

    The right-wing government of Colombia, which stands accused of collaborating with militias that kill union workers, is feting Bill Clinton at a "Colombia is Passion" awards ceremony in New York City next month.

    Ari Berman