A freelance producer for ABC News allegedly put pressure on politicians who opposed the interests of clients of a powerful political consulting firm, which some say was an unethical use of her influence with the network, NPR reports.
According to NPR’s report, Kristen Hentschel used her ties with the network “at least three times to trip up Florida politicians whose stances on environmental regulations cut against the interests” of clients of Matrix LLC, a political consulting firm that was accused of spying on environmentalists and journalists for the benefit of its corporate clients.
“At the time, a political consulting firm called Matrix LLC had paid Hentschel at least $7,000, the firm’s internal ledgers show. And Matrix billed two major companies for Hentschel’s work, labeling the payments ‘for Florida Crystals, FPL.’ (Florida Crystals is a huge sugar conglomerate. FPL is shorthand for the giant utility Florida Power & Light.),” NPR’s report states.
“Both companies could have benefited from her efforts to undermine [Florida House of Representatives candidate Toby Overdorf] and his promises to resolve environmental issues in the district he was vying to represent. Florida Power & Light has pushed back against efforts to bring solar panels to the Sunshine State, while runoff from the sugar industry is a major source of water pollution in Florida.”
Read the full report over at NPR.