User Notes

Take Back Chicago Know anyone who needs a little help getting started on the database? We are holding a series of open trainings throughout August. Please share with your contacts!

John Simon Guggenheim Foundation The foundation has granted more than 17,600 fellowships to aspiring academics since 1925. Too many to compile a list on Little.sis - but the foundation maintains a searchable database with bios of many recipients.

The Fellows Program at the Institute of Politics, Harvard University Please see this list of the more than 500 people who have served fellowships since 1966. On-line bios were in various states of disrepair depending the era, but create some very interesting connections

Hey UB Watch, check out this map of the connections between UB, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and the 10 richest corporations in Western New York:

Jonathan Elkind, now at DoE, is named in this Wikileaks cable on natural gas in Ukraine, from 2006, as a "US-funded energy adviser":

Here, he is described as a "special energy advisor" to the prime minister of Ukraine:

The word "protect" appears next to his name throughout the cable. From the Guardian (

"More than 3 million US government personnel and soldiers, many extremely junior, are cleared to have potential access to this material, even though the cables contain the identities of foreign informants, often sensitive contacts in dictatorial regimes. Some are marked "protect" or "strictly protect"."

Christopher Smith: "The Honorable Christopher Smith is deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas in the Office of Fossil Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this position, Smith is responsible for administering domestic and international oil and gas programs, including research and development, policy analysis, and natural gas import and export licensing. The Oil and Natural Gas Office leads the DOE’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) program, which involves safety analysis and other technical issues. Prior to his DOE appointment in October 2009, Smith served in managerial and analytical positions of increasing responsibility in the private sector. Most recently, he spent 11 years with two major international oil companies, focused primarily on upstream business development and LNG trading, including three years negotiating production and transportation agreements in Bogotá, Colombia. Smith began his career as an officer in the U.S. Army and served tours in Korea and Hawaii. He subsequently worked for Citibank and JPMorgan in New York City and London in the area of emerging markets and currency derivatives. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering management from the United States Military Academy, West Point, and an MBA from the University of Cambridge. "

Joseph A Ripp Time Inc. becomes and independent company today - taking most, but not all of the publishing assets of the former publishing division of Time Warner. Inc

Milton Hershey School From May 2013 press release - "The City of Harrisburg, the Hershey Trust Co., and the Milton S. Hershey School have implemented reforms in two separate cases that placed all three entities under the scrutiny of government regulators and law enforcement.

The City has agreed to settle charges of securities fraud, in which the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that the City misled bond investors about its financial health in various financial statements and a mayoral address. Two days later, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane said her office was ending a multiyear investigation into allegations of financial improprieties at the Hershey Trust Co. and the school.

In an analysis of the Harrisburg case, Ballard Spahr attorneys William C. Rhodes and Tesia N. Stanley noted that a “significant number” of municipal bond issuers fall short of total disclosure compliance. They said municipalities “struggling to remain solvent” should be especially careful about timely and complete disclosures." Spahr Stillman & Friedman LLP

John Wilton This article by Joseph Stiglitz on the IMF policies is interesting. Stiglitz time at the World Bank overlapped some with Wilton's.

Research here will be difficult. Stiglitz notes (p. 115) "The IMF holds that transparency could undermine its effectiveness..."

Credit Suisse Group AG is expected to plead guilty and pay more than $2.5 billion to U.S. authorities to resolve charges that the Swiss bank helped Americans evade U.S. taxes

Time Magazine Time Magazine neglected to renew the copyright of their covers previous to 1934, placing them in the public domain.

From Noble Energy's proxy, on Jeffrey L Berenson's qualifications:

Extensive Knowledge of Our Industry and Business — has historical knowledge of the Company’s DJ Basin (Colorado) assets through his service as a director of Patina and since that time has had broad exposure to the Company’s business through over eight years of service on our Board.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce "U.S. Chamber of Commerce beating Tea Party in Republican races" The chamber and American Crossroads, a group founded by Karl Rove, spent $2.5 million in North Carolina

Duane Sand This is a wonderful blog posted about the fund raising industry supporting tea party candidates. The irony is that most of the grass roots funds raised through direct mail, telemarketing and events are going to the firms handling those functions - and very few dollars are going to campaigns. In the case of Mr. Sand's most recent campaign he spent $800,346 to raise $676,391- and $705,114 was billed to the campaign by Washington DC based fund raising firms.

UB Watch Shawn Black appears not to be Thomas Black's son, but I assume he is somehow related since they share a last name, work at the same firm, followed the same education path (Notre Dame>UB Law), and are both top donors to Joe Donnelly.

Hey UB Watch, UB Law School has selected Joe Donnelly, the junior senator from Indiana as its 2014 commencement speaker.

Donnelly, a "Blue Dog" Democrat who is pro-life, pro-Keystone XL, and against EPA carbon dioxide regulations, has no major legislative accomplishments and has been called "the accidental senator" after winning his election due to his opponent's remarks about abortion and rape.

Donnelly HAS accomplished a friendship with University at Buffalo Foundation, Inc. director and UB Law School Dean's Advisory Council member Thomas E Black Jr, with whom he attended Notre Dame.

Black has donated $26,200 to Donnelly since 2003 and his son @entity:1530100[Shawn P Black] has given $22,400 since 2004. Donnelly's honorarium for his commencement speech appears to be another gift from his friend who rules UB.