Lisa Graves Receives 2012 WAJ President's Award

Lisa Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), which is a non-profit investigative reporting group focusing on exposing corporate spin and government propaganda. CMD publishes PRWatch, SourceWatch, and BanksterUSA and Lisa serves as the publisher of the three publications. She previously served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government – Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy/Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice, Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division of the U.S. Courts.  Lisa has also served as a leading strategist on civil liberties advocacy – Senior Legislative Strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union and Deputy Director of the Center for National Security Studies.


Lisa is an honors graduate of Cornell Law School and the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. She clerked at the firms of Crowell & Moring, Kirkland & Ellis, Johns & Flaherty, and Bosshard & Associates, and as an intern at the La Crosse County District Attorney’s Office.  She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, and she has been admitted to practice before the Seventh, Ninth, Fifth, and Fourth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeal; she does not currently practice law in Wisconsin. 


Lisa is the publisher of CMD’s newest investigative site,  The website investigates the inner working of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  The website exposes the corporations that are bankrolling its operations, the legislators receiving ALEC “scholarships” to attend posh resorts where corporate lobbyists and the elected officials vote behind closed doors on “model” legislation to change Americans’ rights.  Over the past year, CMD's independent reporting has been a real game-changer, leading 41 corporations to leave ALEC.  They have won significant awards for investigative journalism.


In 2011, CMD produced hundreds of original stories and articles on PRWatch and SourceWatch, as well as pieces featured on Huffington Post, Truth Out, Common Dreams, Firedog Lake and other online outlets.  Lisa has appeared as an expert on ALEC and its corporate agenda on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, C-SPAN, and other news programs and on numerous radio shows, including National Public Radio, Democracy Now!, Air America, and Pacifica Radio. Her analysis has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, The Nation, The Progressive, In These Times, Mother Jones, Vanity Fair, Congressional Quarterly, Roll Call, National Journal, Legal Times, Newsday, and Wired, among others, as well as online in The Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and other blogs.


Lisa wrote a feature article for WAJ, Echoing ALEC’s Playbook: How Scott Walker Changed the Rules to Make It More Difficult to Hold Corporations Accountable for Injuring or Killing Wisconsin Residents, which appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of The Verdict.


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