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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ad of candidate campaigns. 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 …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… the money is being spent. Though the Illinois state senate is long behind Barack Obama, the president has been a hot topic in state-level elections this year.&nb …"

'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 "Alabama":

"… for alleged predatory lending that led to abandoned homes, but Birmingham, Alabama’s lawsuit failed, according to Kathleen Engel, a law professor at Suffol …"

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 "Alabama":

"… d not be reached. The FBI received limited homicide data from Illinois and Alabama and none from Florida. That firearm suicides outnumbered firearm homicide …"

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 "Washington":

"… it,” Biden said in a speech at National Defense University in Washington. “Guaranteeing our stockpile, coupled with broader research and dev …"

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 "Colombia":

"… t these injustices, and so we put our fate in the hands of God.” …"

"… Florez served as a local president of Sintramienergetica, a labor union in Colombia that represents the employees of Drummond Company, a U.S.-based coal-minin …"

"… ted, “Drummond has never paid or otherwise assisted any illegal group in Colombia, whether paramilitary or guerilla [sic].” Nonetheless, Drummond has bee …"

"… ham, Alabama, with revenues that reached $3 billion last year—has helped Colombia become the world’s fourth-largest coal exporter. Heman Drummond started …"

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 "Judge":

"… of interest by one of its Judges. Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Susan Black vacated the original opinion in the case involving Jacobs Engi …"

"… by a new panel of Judges. Black tossed the decision because 11th Circuit Judge Frank Hull bought up to $15,000 worth of stock in Jacobs several months be …"

"… in which Judges had financial interests in a party with a case they heard. Judges cannot own even a single share of stock in companies that come before the …"

"… pril 28 story showed a lack of accountability in the federal court system. Judges face no formal punishment for breaking these rules. In response to the C …"

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 "energy":

"… 0), Microsoft Corp. (at least $630,000) and IBM Corp. ($1.5 million), plus energy heavyweight ExxonMobil Corp. (at least $3.8 million) — a list that gener …"

"… eavley and Carolyn King, ruled on cases in which parties in the cases were energy companies that paid the couple royalties for extracting minerals from thei …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… andidates, more than any other industry, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s more than two-and-a-half times the $57 million donated by the he …"

"… 012, members raised an average of $2.6 million, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, edging out the powerful Ways and Means Committee. “Members are encoura …"

'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 "Dan Backer":

"… contributions of more than $400,000 per donor per year. While plausible, Dan Backer — the conservative attorney who helped Alabama businessman Shaun McCutch …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… wide over the next five years. Those cutbacks — continuing a trend, the Center for Public Integrity found, that began in 2006 and accelerated last year — mean the EPA will …"

"… ution triggered by the utility’s coal ash ponds. Beginning in 2009, the Center for Public Integrity exposed the environmental perils of coal ash ponds. Earlier this …"

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.

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 "Koch Family Foundations":

"… g those receiving support, according to a document posted on the Koch Family Foundations & Philanthropy website. While the document doesn’t include dollar f …"

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 "Internal Revenue Service":

"… t tax form, she provided a version that is typically only delivered to the Internal Revenue Service and includes contributor names and contribution amounts. This document na …"

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 "Nevada":

"… nances.   Attacking the messenger Bill Gang, spokesman for the Nevada Supreme Court (42.5 points), called the report "somewhat mi …"

"… ion about the finances of judges’ spouses and dependent children, saying Nevada could not pass because it does not seek such information. Judicial expert …"

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 "Teacher":

"… da Bridges, president of the Texas affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, opposes arming Teachers, and she’s skeptical of districts’ claims th …"

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 "New Jersey":

"… en returned — $10,000 — according to the web site of the receiver. The New Jersey Democratic State Committee also received $10,000 from Stanford and his com …"

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 "Sheldon Adelson":

"… uper PACs last year. For example, the No. 1 super donor was casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a Republican who spent about $100 million, including some $40 million in …"

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 "Senate":

"… ces, arguing that should party leaders such as the speaker of the House or Senate majority leader solicit seven-figure checks there is an "inherent risk of …"

"… t the aggregate limits was attorney Bobby Burchfield, who was representing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. A vocal supporter of campaign finan …"

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 "Politics":

"… 2012 election cycle, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics at the request of the Center for Public Integrity. About 45 percent gave …"

"… bout $34 million to 975 candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That was about 1 percent of all money all candidates raised during the t …"

"… tions to national party committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which was $70,800 during the 2012 election. Again, the GOP made out bett …"

"… er for Public Integrity review of data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Additionally, Adelson gave a combined $44,500 — just shy of the then-$ …"

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 "Dan Backer":

"… Shaun had sponsored an event that he thought was a state-account event,” Dan Backer, McCutcheon’s lawyer, told the Center for Public Integrity in an email a …"

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 "Politics":

"… political analyst Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics told the Center for Public Integrity. “Whatever way they can influence t …"

"… or Public Integrity review of data maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics. Of that sum, nearly two-thirds went to Democrats, including $400,000 to …"

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 "Minnesota":

"… Do you fly to Alabama to get a mortgage?” he asked. “Do you drive to Minnesota to use to the ATM?” Erin Quinn contributed to this report.   &nbs …"

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 "Alabama":

"… year, were among 26 states that received a failing grade. The others were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, M …"

"… ds, often negative and misleading, just before an election. Six states — Alabama, Indiana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota and South Carolina — didn …"