States continue war over Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

State lawmakers at odds over hundreds of bills to either cripple or prop up Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… cripple it. That might change as Republicans take control of the House and Senate, though what fixes, if any, Congress might prescribe—and whether any can …"

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 …"

'Radical animal rights movement' gets new foe

By Michael Beckel

An Iowa-based organization devoted to fighting 'the radical animal rights movement' has formed a super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Minnesota":

"… twork, the social welfare nonprofit led by former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, also contributed $100,000 to the group sometime between July 2012 and Jun …"

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and led by former Koch Industries lobbyist Thomas Pyle. Ahead of the 2012 presidential election, the America …"

Pulling back the veil on corporate contributions

By Michael Beckel and Erin Quinn

New database pulls back veil on corporate giving to politically active nonprofits and covert ways companies advance their agendas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… oundations, such as Third Way, the Republican Main Street Partnership, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Heritage Foundation and the Congressional Black Caucus Political Educ …"

Shining a light on ALEC's power to shape policy

By Wendell Potter

Conservative group's power has been under-covered.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… on & Johnson and Kraft. And it has worked closely with groups like the National Rifle Association as well. It is the organization’s association with the NRA, in fact, tha …"

'Dark money' groups give big to similar nonprofits

By Julie Patel

Politically active nonprofits frequently share money with one another while hiding donors, new tax filings show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sheldon Adelson":

"… at donor, although journalist Peter Stone has reported that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, contributed the bulk o …"

"… e Co. and the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which is run by Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform — it also doesn’t disclo …"

ALEC gets gift from Nuclear Energy Institute

By Michael Beckel

Controversial pro-business think tank received $10,000 from Nuclear Energy Institute last year, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Steve Kerekes":

"… ired to publicly identify its funders. Nuclear Energy Institute spokesman Steve Kerekes said his group contributed to ALEC as a way to “increase awareness of en …"

OPINION: insurers hiding political spending

By Wendell Potter

Insurance firms don't want to say how much they're spending on lobbying and campaigns

Excerpts from this story referencing "CIGNA":

"… in both Washington and state capitals. And it’s also a fraction of what CIGNA probably spent through its trade associations and other groups to influenc …"

Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states

By Paul Abowd

Charity acts as screen for conservative foundations that feed network of state-based think tanks, media outlets.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… ational umbrella organizations that coordinate their activities:  the American Legislative Exchange Council, the State Policy Network (SPN), and the Franklin Center. “Gridlock” …"

"… de the best way to protect the environment.” SPN also sponsors the American Legislative Exchange Council, another D.C.-based clearinghouse for state-level policymaking that gets s …"

Koch brothers pour more cash into think tanks, ALEC

By Paul Abowd

Billionaire Koch brothers continue to shower free-market causes with tax-exempt gifts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dave Levinthal":

"… able Foundation Why is 2013 an important year for campaign finance? Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel will answer that, and many other questio …"

Nonprofit spends big on politics despite IRS limitation

By Michael Beckel

Questions raised about whether nonprofits like Koch-connected American Future Fund are primarily about politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sean Noble":

"… ost office box in Phoenix. It was launched in 2009 by Republican operative Sean Noble, who has extensive ties to the vast political network underwritten by the …"

Arizona still waiting for Fiesta Bowl fixes

By Kathleen Ingley

Fiesta Bowl scandal has brought outrage, but no fixes

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… le,” he said, “and I guarantee that life as we know it will not end.”Florida adopted that approach in 2005 — the notable exception is flowers on the …"

ALEC's decades of 'right-to-work' effort pay off in Michigan

By Paul Abowd

Think tank’s 32-year 'right-to-work' campaign succeeds in union stronghold

Excerpts from this story referencing "Right-to-work law":

"… who would reap the benefits of union representation without chipping in.Right-to-work laws ban this arrangement, creating “open shops,” where new employees at a …"

Drug lobby gave $750,000 to pro-Hatch nonprofit in Utah's U.S. Senate race

By Michael Beckel

IRS records show drug lobby helped Utah senator, others.

Excerpts from this story referencing "operative":

"… n, R-Nev. In addition to Bensing, the group’s board members include GOP operative Mark Emerson. Bensing is a lobbyist at the firm SB Strategic Consulting, …"

"… sulting firm November Inc., which is headed by Mike Slanker, a former NRSC operative and Ensign aide. Sheila Krumholz, the executive director the Center for R …"

Daily Disclosure: Mystery group goes after Dems in Senate races

By Rachael Marcus

A conservative nonprofit with mysterious origins goes after Democratic Senate candidates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… nprofit American Future Fund announced the release of attack ads to run in Florida and Wisconsin, battlegrounds for control of the U.S. Senate.In Florida, De …"

"… in Florida and Wisconsin, battlegrounds for control of the U.S. Senate.In Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is facing $1.9 million in outside spending fr …"

Nonprofit profile: American Commitment

By Rachael Marcus

Quick stats on the nonprofit group, supporting conservatives

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… erican Commitment aired seven different television ads in Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and North Dakota, all opposing Democratic candidates. …"

"… Hartzler of Missouri.The group also made large ad buys over the summer in Florida, where it spent $1.1 million opposing Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, accordi …"

Daily Disclosure: Sierra Club pushes wind industry tax credit

By Rachael Marcus

The Sierra Club is going after Republican congressmen who oppose a tax credit for wind energy.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… has come out against renewing the production tax credit whereas President Barack Obama has said he supports it.The value of wind energy has been subjected to att …"

ALEC faces new challenge to tax-exempt status

By John Dunbar

A group of clergy is challenging the tax status of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona":

"… sociation and an immigration bill which reportedly served as the basis for Arizona’s law and was drafted with help from a private prison company. The immig …"

ALEC anti-union push includes key players from Michigan, Arizona think tanks

By Paul Abowd

Goldwater Institute, Mackinac Center sponsored model bills at Charlotte summit

Excerpts from this story referencing "Midland":

"… unit’s members and would apply to public- and private-sector unions.The Midland-based Mackinac Center has played a central role in pushing the GOP-control …"

Wisconsin Gov. Walker’s conservative media appearances pay off as he raises millions from out-of-state donors

By Kate Golden and Amy Karon

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's national conservative media appearances have helped him to raise millions from out-of-state donors

Excerpts from this story referencing "media outlets":

"… urs with media and granted interviews to at least 115 outlets. But not all media outlets had easy access to the governor.“Gov. Walker skips interviews, does NYC …"

"… winter when the governor was scheduling year-end interviews with many news media outlets — a common practice — Walker seemed to single out his paper for reject …"

Watchdog 5/10/12


Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… three statesIt could take several years for the IRS to decide whether the American Legislative Exchange Council is indeed a lobbyist required to register with that label and disclose how …"

ALEC exempted from lobbyist status in three separate states

By Paul Abowd

Group faces IRS scrutiny, but is already exempt from lobbyist status in South Carolina, Indiana and Colorado.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Charlotte":

"… ostly behind the scenes for decades, but its conference later this week in Charlotte will likely draw more attention. Among the documents recently released by …"

ALEC scraps task force behind support for voter ID, 'Stand Your Ground' laws nationwide

By Gordon Witkin

Move follows pressure from liberal groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Walmart":

"… of corporate members, including Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, AT&T and Walmart. In addition, two thousand legislators pay $50 a year to be members.ALEC …"

Beer and wine wholesalers behind legislators pushing controversial voter ID laws

By Paul Abowd

Wholesalers among those behind legislators pushing controversial new election rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Elections":

"… n early 2009, though, ALEC formed a committee within its Public Safety and Elections Task Force to focus on election fraud.Sean Parnell, the former president o …"

"… ut he declined to identify them.By summer 2009, the full Public Safety and Elections Task Force, including the beer and wine wholesalers, formally approved the …"

"… nizations say their groups have been members of ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections task force to foster efforts aimed at preventing underage drinking. The ta …"

"… wine wholesalers would say how they voted when the ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force approved the model voter ID law.Indeed, cash from the beer and …"

NRA pushed 'stand your ground' laws across the nation

By Susan Ferriss

Gun-rights group used endorsements, campaign cash and political pressure to spread laws nationwide.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… A said in an Aug. 12, 2005 website posting, it approached the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, which drafts legislation for like-minded state lawmakers. ALEC, as it is …"

State Integrity Investigation highlighted ethics problems plaguing Virginia and its governor

By Laura LaFay

WaPo cites Center investigation in editorial on commonwealth's "swiss cheese" ethics laws.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… d hundreds of thousands of dollars into last year’s state House and Senate races. By the time the dust cleared, 15 state Senate campaigns had each sp …"

"… epresent you. Photo credits: Virginia State Capitol (Anderskev), Virginia Senate chamber (Waldo Jaquith). …"

Drug lobby gave $9.4 million to nonprofits that spent big on 2010 election

By Michael Beckel

Pharmaceutical lobby gave $9.4 million to five different politically active nonprofits in 2010

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… Colorado Senate race in support of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), the West Virginia Senate race in support of Democrat Joe Manchin and the U.S. House race in …"

Michigan's budget crisis puts democracy on the chopping block

By Paul Abowd

Michigan's emergency manager law grants sweeping powers to unelected officials

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… nfluencing state legislators in passing emergency manager type laws is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).The group convenes national conferences with state legislators and …"

Anatomy of an attack ad

By Ben Protess and Lagan Sebert

How Dick Morris Is making seniors feverish about health care reform

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… nonpartisan think-tank that focuses on health care policy. The center’s president, Peter Pitts, recently wrote an op-ed published by Reuters that …"

"… egist for the League of American Voters, which is running ads opposing the president’s healthcare reforms.” Morris’ columns in the New York Post do not c …"

"… dd credibility to yours, which clearly has none,” wrote Mary Wilson, the president of the League of Women Voters. Adams has not responded to Wilso …"