Obama takes star turn in state political ads

By Ben Wieder

President and his policies take center stage in political ads, with more than 300,000 mentions, including in lower level state races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… ad sponsored by Jeremy Oden, a Republican candidate seeking re-election to Alabama’s Public Service Commission, promises that Oden will “fight Obama and …"

'Zombie' homes haunt Florida neighborhoods

By Alison Fitzgerald and Jared Bennett

Neighborhoods devastated by thousands of abandoned homes as banks fail to follow through on foreclosures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tampa":

"… une and 29 percent — 3,532 — are vacant, according to RealtyTrac. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area fares even worse, with 30 percent of 31,759 …"

Firearms more likely to be used in suicides than in homicides

By Carmen Forman and Jacob Byk

At least 50 people died per day from firearm suicide; 26 died from firearm homicides.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… ecessary to promote gun safety, said Don Turner, Nevada Firearms Coalition president. “As a responsible gun owner, we have the obligation to make sure that …"

Obama curbs nuclear security goals as bomb-building budget grows

By Douglas Birch

The White House rejected a confidential proposal to accelerate work on nuclear security problems despite a missed 2013 deadline.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… and bombs in the nation’s aging nuclear arsenal. Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, at a March 5 Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing …"

Is this U.S. coal giant funding violent union intimidation in Colombia?

By Rosalind Adams

Lawsuits allege Alabama-based Drummond Co., which mines coal in Colombia, has financial ties to groups that have threatened union leaders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia":

"… ons in Colombia, the country was still embroiled in a civil war led by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Kidnappings and extortion s …"

Evan Bayh's multi-million-dollar head start?

By Dave Levinthal

If Democrat Evan Bayh runs for governor, he could tap nearly $10 million parked in his old Senate campaign account.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… n 2005.     …"

"… all money raised for federal campaigns toward state-level political bids, Indiana Election Division Co-Director Trent Deckard confirmed in an email to the C …"

"… or Public Integrity previously reported. And it's exponentially more than Indiana's Republican Gov. Mike Pence reported having in his campaign fund at 2013' …"

"… I don't want to foreclose any possibilities at this time." Bayh served as Indiana's governor from 1989 to 1997, and as Jerry Brown in California has proven, …"

Case reopened after Center reveals judge's conflict of interest

By Kytja Weir

Center investigation identifies conflicted judge leading to new hearing for discrimination case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… case.” The 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, covers Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The appellate courts are second only to the U.S. Supreme Court in terms o …"

Federal judges plead guilty

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Judges acknowledge conflicts of interest Center found in 26 cases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… eing no excuse.” William G. Ross, a Samford University law professor in Alabama who specializes in judicial ethics, said such failures undermine public co …"

Information on judges' disclosures often blacked out

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

More than 40 percent of federal appellate judges had portions of financial disclosures blacked out.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… him from threats. William G. Ross, a Samford University law professor in Alabama who specializes in judicial ethics, said it’s not easy for the courts to …"

"… 11th Circuit Judge Robert Vance was killed by a mail bomb delivered to his Alabama home. The U.S. Marshals Service provides security for all federal judges, …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Insurance":

"… es involved in the rule fell in line. The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., CFTC, SEC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency all agr …"

"… yielded hundreds of letters to the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and The Securities and Exch …"

'Jumbo joints': How big will the newest political animals get?

By Michael Beckel

Supreme Court ruling has emboldened political groups designed to serve as collective fundraising operations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… ear. While plausible, Dan Backer — the conservative attorney who helped Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon bring the campaign finance lawsuit that now b …"

Residents of polluted U.S. communities fear planned cuts in EPA enforcement

By Ronnie Greene and Chris Hamby

The EPA's "Next Generation Compliance" plan would lead to fewer inspections of, and enforcement actions against, polluters.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Denver":

"… t really get if you’re sitting in an office in Dallas or Washington or Denver or some other EPA office, and somebody writes that down on a piece of pape …"

New report ranks best, worst states for kids of all ethnicities

By Susan Ferriss

Ethnic minority children will be majority of U.S. kids in four years, but face barriers to success in some places.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… hallenges in South Dakota. Latino children are faring especially poorly in Alabama, Rhode Island and Nevada. West Virginia and Mississippi showed the worst r …"

GOP opposition to Obamacare baffles Dr. Sullivan

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former HHS Secretary Sullivan says Obamacare resembles plan crafted by Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… ce plan if they are not eligible for a government program like Medicare or Medicaid — is among the most vilified by today’s GOP. “If they were supporti …"

"… orgia, where Sullivan was born and still lives, have refused to expand the Medicaid program to bring more low-incomes individuals and families into coverage, …"

"… erage, as the Affordable Care Act makes possible. Deal has said expanding Medicaid “is something our state cannot afford,” even with the federal governme …"

"… urnalists Thursday that, in his view, Georgia can’t afford not to expand Medicaid. Not only would the expansion bring hundreds of thousands of Georgians int …"

Inside the Koch brothers' campus crusade

By Dave Levinthal

The billionaire industrialists aren’t just investing in politicians, but also young hearts and minds.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… t the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University in Alabama. Billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch may rank among the nat …"

Documents reveal GOP group's secret donors

By Michael Beckel and Erin Quinn

Alabama Power, Pfizer among companies that helped fund the Alabama House Republican Conference in 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… dam Wollner contributed to this report.     …"

"… Alabama Power, drugmaker Pfizer and insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama helped fund the secretive “social welfare” nonprofit arm of the Alabam …"

"… labama helped fund the secretive “social welfare” nonprofit arm of the Alabama House Republican Caucus during 2012, the Center for Public Integrity has l …"

"… ican Caucus during 2012, the Center for Public Integrity has learned. The Alabama House Republican Conference, organized under section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. …"

Justice Department says federal contractor routinely faked security clearance reviews

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Mattie Quinn

A court filing alleges that a Virginia firm failed to vet files properly for hundreds of thousands of federal clearance-holders

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… eneral in the Justice Department’s civil division and a U.S. attorney in Alabama, the Justice Department describes how systematic this was — to the point …"

State judges: We don't need no stinkin' disclosure

By John Dunbar, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Officials defend limited financial disclosure for high court judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Carolina":

"… as “a solution looking for a problem,” according to The Argus Leader. South Carolina Chief Justice Jean Toal called the Center’s study “very flawed,” acc …"

"… h,” Campsen said. “There are protections in place.” The Center gave South Carolina a failing grade largely because the materials available to the commission …"

"… ected. Room for improvement? There were also a few calls for reform. “South Carolina's judicial ethics standards are clearly lacking,” noted The Po …"

A year after Newtown, searching for answers in the nation’s schools

By Nicholas Kusnetz

A year after Newtown, communities searching for answers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Homeland Security":

"… mendations in January. DeFronzo said the group is working with the federal Department of Homeland Security to adapt a security assessment tool now used for federal buildings to scho …"

Obama campaign pocketed Ponzi schemer cash

By Alison Fitzgerald

Obama's campaign — and 38 others — have not returned political money from Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford

Why 'McCutcheon' won't stop the influx of cash into politics

By Bill Buzenberg

Even if the FEC wins its Supreme Court case, super PACs and other groups will still be allowed to spend big in elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "speaker":

"… nine Supreme Court justices, arguing that should party leaders such as the speaker of the House or Senate majority leader solicit seven-figure checks, there …"

Supreme Court mulls axing campaign donation limits in 'McCutcheon' case

By Michael Beckel

Nine justices appeared divided on 'McCutcheon' campaign money case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "speaker":

"… nine Supreme Court justices, arguing that should party leaders such as the speaker of the House or Senate majority leader solicit seven-figure checks there i …"

Supreme Court 'McCutcheon' case could aid GOP

By Michael Beckel

Conservative donors who maxed out during the 2012 election far outnumbered liberals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… nee Mitt Romney, Ohio Republican and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel and Indiana Republican and U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock. McCutcheon also co …"

Top Democratic donor breached aggregate contribution limit last year

By Michael Beckel

Fred Eychaner, the top Democratic super PAC donor in 2012, gave more money to federal candidates than legally allowed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… y the Center for Public Integrity indicates. The revelation comes just as Alabama Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee …"

Supreme Court plaintiff McCutcheon exceeded campaign contribution limit

By Michael Beckel

Lead plaintiff in upcoming Supreme Court campaign finance case gave Alabama GOP more money than federal law allows, records show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… ublican U.S. Senate candidates Josh Mandel of Ohio and Richard Mourdock of Indiana. McCutcheon also gave more than $300,000 to two conservative super PACs w …"

William Koch emerges from shadow of famous siblings

By Michael Beckel

William Koch's steadily increasing political activity has gotten relatively little notice compared to that of brothers Charles and David.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… the title of honorary admiral in the state navies of Kansas, Nebraska and Alabama. Last year, for his wife’s 50th birthday party, he hired pop star Katy P …"

D.C.-based groups spent big in special elections

By Dave Levinthal

Special interest super PACs and nonprofits from D.C. region poured millions into special elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Denver":

"… ls on behalf of Markey in Massachusetts. And Progressive U.S.A. Voters of Denver paid Grassroots Voter Outreach of Boston more than $21,000 for canvassing …"

Treatment for troubled teens

Two Georgia youth offenders respond to intensive, at-home family-focused treatment.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… said Kate Cantrell, who directs Youth Villages’ programs in Georgia and Alabama. “It’s our job to help them see the benefit of participating in the pr …"

Lax state rules provide cover for sponsors of attack ads

By Alan Suderman

In 30 states it’s impossible to total how much money outside groups are spending on campaigns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal election law":

"… tes have independent spending disclosure laws that are less stringent than federal election law. In fact, in 30 states it’s impossible to total how much money outside …"

Colbert Busch backed by D.C.-based groups

By Dave Levinthal

Nearly all independent expenditures made in S.C. special election come from beltway benefactors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Stephen Colbert":

"… which features the state’s philandering former governor against comedian Stephen Colbert’s comparatively unknown sister, could foreshadow outside groups’ activ …"

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