'Zombie' homes get facelift after Center report

By Alison Fitzgerald

Foreclosure crisis left some homes empty and untended. Wells Fargo addressing problem in St. Petersburg.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tampa":

"… according to RealtyTrac, a real estate industry market research firm. The Tampa-St. Petersburg area stands out, with 7,509 abandoned homes out of 26,810 p …"

Texas weakens chemical exposure guidelines, opens door for polluters

By Lisa Song and Rosalind Adams

Amid a fracking boom, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has quietly weakened air pollution guidelines for toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… lth-protective, than the old one. The decision by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was a boon for oil refineries, petrochemical plants and o …"

"… ott, the state’s governor-elect, has taken legal action against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 19 times since 2010, arguing that overly restrictive r …"

"… e emissions. Ron Melnick, a former scientist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, analyzed the TCEQ’s 139-page description of …"

"… ental community tends to rely on a single expert—Elena Craft of the Environmental Defense Fund—to weigh in on risk assessment science. Air Alliance Hous …"

Governors and oil industry work hand in hand in offshore drilling group

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Lobbying firm, advocacy organization did much of the work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… February morning, and the governors of Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia and North Carolina were seated around a ring of tables draped with pleated beige fabric in th …"

"… ain CEA’s relationship with the coalition, which is currently chaired by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. The coalition’s website made no mention of CEA&nb …"

"… groups did attend the meeting. Nadia Luhr, the legislative counsel for the North Carolina Conservation Network, wrote a letter to the administration protesting the …"

"… vided thousands of pages, though Alaska’s response was heavily redacted. North Carolina has yet to respond to the request, which was submitted in April. Whatever …"

Mega-donors give big to state candidates

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien and Ben Wieder

More than two dozen donors have given at least $1 million to state-level campaigns ahead of Nov. 4.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… imits at the federal level in April, with its ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.  States such as Connecticut and Wisconsin have p …"

"… paigns. Thanks to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and subsequent rulings, there is no limit to what a person, corporation o …"

"… o given about $8 million to federal super PACs this year, according to the Federal Election Commission. In 2012, he was the largest Democratic donor to independent spending grou …"

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 "North Carolina":

"… te elections, where three political ads run every five minutes in Iowa and North Carolina.  For state-level races ranging from governor to state board of educa …"

'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 "Mortgage":

"… year. When they moved out, she was unable to find another tenant. CitiMortgage filed a foreclosure action in July 2009. In February, 2010, Mainor s …"

"… y, 2010, Mainor sent a three-page handwritten “hardship letter” to CitiMortgage asking for a deed in lieu of foreclosure as she was unable to fix up the p …"

"… safe and comfortable environment for my grandchildren,” she wrote to CitiMortgage. “Being able to qualify for a deed in lieu will alleviate some of the di …"

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 "energy":

"… ms to people who are not at risk,” Turner said. “All the time and energy put into limiting access to firearms could be put into improving our menta …"

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 "Energy":

"… sed 2015 budget chose to cut nuclear nonproliferation programs in the Energy Department by $399 million while increasing spending on nuclear weapons by …"

"… the globe, the White House at about the same time rejected a confidential Energy Department-sponsored plan to accelerate those efforts by 2016, the ye …"

"… he National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-independent arm of the Energy Department. The NNSA also oversees the production of nuclear warheads, so …"

"… a bruising debate within the administration over a bid by newly-appointed Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to get an extra billion dollars from the Office of …"

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 "Jim McGovern":

"… nd a report published last year by U.S. Reps. George Miller, D-Calif., and Jim McGovern, D-Mass., highlighted the continued obstacles union workers faced. Gimena …"

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 "Alabama":

"… a Democrat, is lucky he's not mulling a gubernatorial bid in, for example, Alabama. There, it's a felony for an office-seeker to "receive or spend, in a cam …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… an employment discrimination appeal and plans to reopen the case after The Center for Public Integrity uncovered a conflict of interest by one of its judges. Eleventh U.S. Circ …"

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 "Alliance for Justice":

"… n of judges as fair and impartial,” said Nan Aron, the president of Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group that focuses on the judicial system. Charles Ge …"

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 "judge":

"… ar-cut reason why that was redacted,” she said. …"

"… s his redactions via the clerk of court, is not the only federal appellate judge who had text obscured from his report. Of 255 judges on the second-hi …"

"… federal appellate judge who had text obscured from his report. Of 255 judges on the second-highest courts in the nation, the financial disclosure repo …"

"… received, income they earned and investments they held. Additionally, some judges have failed to disclose the names of the companies that pay them royaltie …"

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 "Citigroup":

"… nance companies, is married to a banker who has worked for Wells Fargo and Citigroup. Himes spent 12 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. before joining a nonprof …"

'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 "Paul S. Ryan":

"… el Alito dismissed such examples as a "wild hypotheticals." Nevertheless, Paul S. Ryan, an attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, is still concerned. "Members o …"

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 "Pat McCrory":

"… uke Energy coal ash spill into the Dan River. In North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 29 years before taking office — a connection …"

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 "gross domestic product":

"… erican children had caught up with white children by 1998, the country’s gross domestic product in 2008 would have been $525 billion greater. In addition to issuing state …"

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 "Georgia":

"… dismayed that so many Republican governors, including Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia, where Sullivan was born and still lives, have refused to expand the Medic …"

"… Tampa in 2012. Sullivan told the journalists Thursday that, in his view, Georgia can’t afford not to expand Medicaid. Not only would the expansion bring …"

"… pand Medicaid. Not only would the expansion bring hundreds of thousands of Georgians into coverage, the millions of dollars the federal government would send …"

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 "president":

"… influence what we do,” university spokesman Michael Sandler said. “Our president [Angel Cabrera] has made clear that if any donor ever threatened our acade …"

"… climate of our student body,” said Jaywin Singh Malhi, student body vice president at Southern Methodist University. Billy Cerullo, Student Government Assoc …"

"… thern Methodist University. Billy Cerullo, Student Government Association president at Suffolk University in Boston, says the $44,700 donation his school rece …"

"… r amount should be published on an easily accessible list.” Nick Mahon, president of the University of Arizona Young Democrats, says he’s not concerned wi …"

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 "spokeswoman":

"… the Concord Monitor, New Hampshire (48 points) state courts spokeswoman Carole Alfano made a similar point about the alarming failure ra …"

"… are our results with the court prior to publication. New Jersey’s court spokeswoman Winnie Comfort told the New Jersey Law Journal there were t …"

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 "Oregon":

"… used was intended for private security guards only. Districts in Colorado, Oregon and Ohio have taken similar steps, and schools in several other states are …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank":

"… posit in an Antigua-based Bank that he owned called Stanford International Bank Ltd. Five Democratic and Republican national campaign committees, which h …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… ican Speaker of the House John Boehner and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. An aggregate limit on political contributions was enshrined into law by …"

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 "Alabama":

"… named for its lead plaintiff Shaun McCutcheon, a Republican activist from Alabama. McCutcheon's lawyers today argued that such limits, which are indexed to …"

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 "Mitch McConnell":

"… itt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. On the other side of the aisle, media mogul Fred Eychaner&nbs …"

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 "Republican National Committee":

"… elation comes just as Alabama Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee are challenging the federal political contribution ceiling, put in pl …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… 15 federal candidates, including contributions to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Republican U.S. Senate candidates Josh Mandel of Ohio and Richard Mour …"

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 "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… ing to protect you from the coming storm.” The president has tasked the Environmental Protection Agency with completing new carbon pollution standards for both new and existing p …"

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