McGuireWoods Lobbying for ‘Smart Card’ Maker Dynamics Inc.

Former Rep. L.F. Payne (D-Va.) of McGuireWoods Consulting is advocating for a smart payment card maker on debit card fees, according to a lobbying registration form submitted to Congress less than a week after changes to debit card transactions went into effect Oct. 1.

Payne, the president of McGuireWoods, is representing Cheswick, Pa.-based Dynamics Inc. with two other lobbyists from the firm. The trio is lobbying for the company on security issues, payment card technology and credit card fee legislation, in addition to the implementation of new debit card fees.

The Federal Reserve in June approved rules that lower the fees merchants pay for a customer’s debit card usage. Bank of America Corp. and other banks plan to add or already have added monthly charges for debit card users to help offset money lost by the rules, angering cardholders.

Dynamics, founded in 2007, announced this month that it has reached agreements to produce more than 1 million smart payment cards through 2012. The company’s products include cards that handle two accounts, provide password protection for payment card numbers and allow cardholders to use points or credit for purchases.

McGuireWoods Consulting is the only firm that has registered to lobby for Dynamics, congressional records show.

Neither Payne nor a Dynamics spokesman immediately responded to requests for comment.

via McGuireWoods Lobbying for ‘Smart Card’ Maker Dynamics Inc. – The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.

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World Bank warns of climate finance ‘desert’

The availability of finance to help developing countries tackle climate change is drying up, imperiling the international climate talks, the head of the World Bank’s sustainable development network has warned.

Speaking at Chatham House in London yesterday, Rachel Kyte warned of a “desert” emerging between funds already allocated in ‘fast-start’ climate finance, such as to the Clean Technology Fund, and the beginning of operations of the planned Green Climate Fund.

“There’s an urgent need for pragmatic action on climate finance in the run up to the Durban talks [which begin at the end of November] and just after,” she said.

“It’s crucial if we want to keep the negotiations on track.”

She said that the managers of the Clean Technology Fund, one of two Climate Investment Funds set up via the UN climate talks, and managed by five development banks, have fully “programmed” its $4.5 billion in commitments. That fund has leveraged an additional $37 billion, Kyte said, around one third of which came from the private sector.

Negiotators are hopeful that the rules setting out how the Green Climate Fund will operate will be agreed at the Durban Conference of the Parties to the UN climate change convention.

That fund is intended to channel the $100 billion a year by 2020 that governments pledged at the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks to developing countries.

Kyte argued that, despite the difficult economic conditions, there is the potential to raise and deploy significant capital to help poor countries adapt to the effects of climate change, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. “Capital is tight, but it can be leveraged effectively,” she said.

“The message is clear – the time for testing and experimenting is over. There’s no magic in climate finance,” she said. “What’s missing is the political will.”

Also speaking at the event, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said that officials meeting in Panama last week got “almost there” in agreeing “a draft operational document” for the Global Climate Fund, for the Durban meeting to approve.

via Environmental Finance | News | World Bank warns of climate finance ‘desert’.

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Economists urge G20 to tackle hunger

G20 ministers meeting this week in Paris must take urgent action to stop speculation on commodity markets that is fuelling food prices and hunger, 450 economists demanded in a letter published Tuesday.

“Excessive financial speculation is contributing to increasing volatility and record food prices, exacerbating global hunger and poverty,” the economists wrote in the letter to finance ministers.

“With around one billion people enduring chronic hunger worldwide, action is urgently needed to curb excessive speculation and its effects on global food prices,” they added in the letter on behalf of the World Development Movement.

The WDM, based in Britain, is an anti-poverty campaigning organisation.

Economists from leading universities including Cambridge, Oxford, Berkeley, Cornell and the London School of Economics were among the hundreds who signed the letter.

They were “adding their voices to an escalating international campaign,” the WDM said in a statement.

“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation… Pope (Benedict XVI), French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz are among those who have already spoken out in favour of curbing speculation,” it added.

Deborah Doane, director of the World Development Movement, said: “Excessive lobbying from the finance sector seems to be delaying political action, both here in the UK, and elsewhere.

“This is despite the obvious suffering caused by speculation on this most basic human need, and despite the growing number of voices calling for action. “Instead of propping up cynical financial gambling by speculators, the G20 finance ministers must act to ensure that strict rules are put in place to limit the hold of bankers over the world’s food markets,” she added.

via Economists urge G20 to tackle hunger – International | IOL Business | IOL.co.za.

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Dueling Studies on Immigration and Texas Jobs Numbers

In September, the Center for Immigration Studies published a report claiming that immigrants, both legal and illegal, got the lion’s share — 81 percent — of the new jobs created in Texas from 2007 to 2011. Yesterday Chuck DeVore, a former California Republican legislator who is now at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, published a piece challenging this assertion.

“Put simply, CIS used faulty methodology to make its main point,” DeVore wrote. It compared a net increase in jobs in Texas over a four-year period with a gross increase in employed newly arrived immigrants in Texas.” He also pointed to the job churn in the labor market that makes it difficult to establish who the Texas jobs went to.

In response, CIS research director Steven Camorta argues that they did a net-to-net comparison and still found immigrants gained disproportionately over the native-born. Camorta also wrote:

Here are the facts: Government data shows there were about 280,000 more people working in Texas in the second quarter of 2011 than in the same quarter of 2007. In the second quarter of 2011 there were 225,000 immigrants (legal and illegal) working in the state who indicated that they arrived in our country between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2011. Thus the employment gains of newly arrived immigrants (225,000) equaled 81 percent of total employment growth (280,000). Over the same time period, the employment situation for native-born workers deteriorated significantly.

The DeVore-Camorta debate has taken on significance because of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential candidacy. Some conservative critics have argued that Perry’s immigration record undermines his record of presiding over substantial job growth in Texas.

via The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : Dueling Studies on Immigration and Texas Jobs Numbers.

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Crackdown on illegals begins here; 4 arrested – Decaturdaily.com

Four people charged during the weekend under Alabama’s new immigration law pleaded guilty Monday in Decatur Municipal Court.

The four would have been released after pleading to willful failure to procure alien registration documents, a Class C misdemeanor under Section 10 of the law, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials had placed holds on them earlier Monday.

Each agreed to a fine of $100, $196 in court costs, and a 30-day suspended sentence with 12 months of probation.

It was unclear whether anyone at the arraignment was aware ICE had already placed detainers on the defendants.

“I wasn’t aware of an ICE hold. I had no idea if they were going to be detained by ICE at the time,” said City Prosecutor Emily Prater. “… I rarely deal with ICE unless they contact me directly about a particular charge on somebody.”

Paula Soto Navarro, 29, expressed to the judge, through a translator, that she was eager to get the case over with and get out of jail.

Judge Bill Cook told Navarro there would be a mandatory call to federal authorities before anyone could be processed out of the jail.

“I don’t know what position the federal government will take,” Cook said.

Navarro and Rubi Alejandra Vazquez, 22, were arraigned during the same hearing. Alexis Oscar Lopez, 22, and Juan Zetino Lorenzo, 19, were arraigned earlier in the afternoon, according to attorney Christy Miller, who represented all four.

“I understand this is difficult,” Cook told Vazquez. “This is the law of the state of Alabama. The federal courts are reviewing this, but until such time as we have further instruction, this is the law.”

via Crackdown on illegals begins here; 4 arrested – Decaturdaily.com.

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City Grants Occupy Dallas a Special Permit

​We began the day by discussing Occupy Dallas’s missive to the mayor concerning their encampment at Pioneer Plaza, between Dallas City Hall and the Dallas Convention Center. We end it — not counting our Rangers liveblog, which is now into extra innings — with this: Following a sitdown with the group, the city has OK’d a special permit for the group through October 14. The permit, which was just dispatched, follows, but first this from Frank Librio, City Hall spokesman:

The Occupy Dallas group has obtained a special permit for the Pioneer Plaza area near the Convention Center. The City is balancing this group’s first amendment rights with a focus on protecting the protestors and the public — like many other cities across the country experiencing similar protests.

The Dallas Police Department has only utilized on-duty resources to address the Occupy Dallas demonstrators. This is consistent with other demonstrations that have occurred in the city in the past and a function of the police department that is part of the current operating budget. The Police Department has provided a uniformed presence during the demonstrator’s marches to ensure there is minimal disruption in traffic flow, no disturbances or violation of law and that counter protests do not develop that could lead to disorder.

via City Grants Occupy Dallas a Special Permit – Dallas News – Unfair Park.

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Vets try protecting OWS Boston from police beatings

Update: Approximately 2:00 a.m.

The police Commissioner was heard saying there were 100 arrests at the Boston North Encampment for �unlawful assembly and criminal trespassing.

The camp appears to be gone.

One of the remaining protesters was heard saying, “They can destroy the camp but they cannot destroy the movement.”

The remaining small number of protesters have been chanting something new, “March to jail.”

via Breaking News: Vets try protecting OWS Boston from police beatings (video) – National Human Rights | Examiner.com.

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