Video provided by CCTV Channel 17 Town Meeting Television in Chittenden County.
BURLINGTON – Online news organization VTDigger and the University of Vermont co-hosted a public talk by journalist New York Times Eric Lipton.
More than 400 journalists, students and members of the public attended Lipton’s lecture titled: “Lobbying in America: White Hats, State Troopers, Ski Resorts and Buckets of Money.”
Lipton’s talk featured highlights from his groundbreaking series of articles about the corporate lobbying of state attorneys general and the money-fueled world of influence in which they operate.
Lipton, a 1987 UVM graduate and former editor of The Cynic newspaper, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author who has spent the last decade at Washington Bureau of The New York Times.
His reporting exposed that attorneys general nationwide have been increasingly targeted by lobbyists trying to influence investigations and negotiate favorable business deals.
While attorneys general are elected to serve and protect consumers as lawyers for the public interest, Lipton’s work exposes numerous examples of lobbyists attempting to influence the outcome of public investigations. Special interests, Lipton says, push their agendas on topics as varied as GMO foods, securities fraud, gas fracking and prescription drugs.
In a series of New York Times stories, Lipton reviewed more than 6,000 emails obtained through open records laws in more than two dozen states. He also conducted interviews with dozens of participants in cases where corporate representatives had close relationships with and opportunities to influence decisions made by attorneys general.
Lipton’s 2014 work won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism, the Investigative Reporters and Editors award for large circulation newspapers, and the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.