Who needs lobbyists? See what big business spends to win American minds

By Erin Quinn and Chris Young

Trade groups pay top PR, advertising firms $1.2 billion over five years to influence public.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John McCain":

"… mong them: Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; former White House deputy press secretary& …"

New FEC chief on 'dark money' mission

By Dave Levinthal

New Chairwoman Ann Ravel says she'll fight to out people behind secretive political cash, regardless of party.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… the public with great success by government agencies such as NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency— is comparatively pathetic: It averages one tweet about every three days …"

Can this 'dark money' group help the Democrats keep the Senate?

By Michael Beckel

Patriot Majority USA raises millions from unknown sources to play attack dog in the South.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… c Integrity review of Department of Labor, Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service filings shows that 13 contributors have combined to give Patriot Majority …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Chemistry Council":

"… hers in total ads with more than 9,300. Other big groups — including the American Chemistry Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority USA …"

Decades old gun control debate reshaped by new advocacy groups

The gun control movement has made significant gains in recent years, but the NRA remains king of the hill

Excerpts from this story referencing "gun control":

"… s in America, no longer has a monopoly on the debate. A resurgence of the gun control movement is challenging the status quo, while groups to the right of the N …"

"… f the evolving landscape, no progress in either direction is certain. The gun control movement was nearly $285 million behind the gun rights movement in 2012 re …"

"… oups, a revamped strategy, more money and unprecedented collaboration, the gun control movement has made headway. Organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety, th …"

"… ned to take on the Washington gun lobby,” said Shannon Watts, founder of gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, speaking at an Everytow …"

25 years, countless investigations and 935 lies

By Charles Lewis

Founder Chuck Lewis tells how the Center for Public Integrity came to be in this excerpt from his new book.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… ng for an organization dedicated to digging deep beneath the smarminess of Washington’s daily-access journalism into the actual records and documents few repo …"

"… gative journalism.” The Center for Public Integrity was incorporated in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1989, and months later the IRS approved its tax exempt …"

"… d a consulting contract with ABC News to open its first office in downtown Washington, D.C. (My home was required as collateral on the lease.) The issue of per …"

"… ng political influence and its impact on public policy decision- making in Washington, D.C., and state capitals. We like to think that the Center for Public In …"

Who’s bankrolling secretive liberal group America Votes?

By Michael Beckel

A dozen anonymous donors accounted for most of the $12.7 million America Votes raised during its last fiscal year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Labor":

"… x filings with the Internal Revenue Service and documents submitted to the Department of Labor do provide some insight into the social welfare nonprofit’s funding. Th …"

"… on between October 2012 and September 2013, according to a filing with the Department of Labor. Other labor unions supporting America Votes include the Service Employee …"

Wireless companies fight for their futures

By Allan Holmes

A rare auction of wireless spectrum may determine who controls your cell phone.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… luded committee members Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, Ed Whitfield from Kentucky, Billy Long from Missouri, and Robert Latta from Ohio, received among the …"

What makes a good U.S. ambassador?

By Michael Beckel

Former diplomats offer advice as Obama faces criticism for elevating numerous campaign bundlers with limited overseas experience.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Argentina":

"… able international experience." Earlier this month, nominees for posts in Argentina, Iceland and Norway admitted before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee …"

A challenging two-step: cutting costs and covering the uninsured

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the political challenges of both cutting costs and providing health care coverage.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… ce companies operate. That was the same focus of the bill former governor Mitt Romney signed into law in Massachusetts in 2006, which is why there are so many s …"

‘Nonpartisan’ gun rights group boosted by Democratic-aligned America Votes

By Adam Wollner and Michael Beckel

Nearly all of 'nonpartisan' Bull Moose Sportsmen's funding has come from a Democratic-aligned nonprofit.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… a Center for Public Integrity review of documents recently filed with the Internal Revenue Service. In all, contributions from America Votes represent at least 95 percent o …"

Koch-backed governors group gives big to Cuccinelli in Virginia

By Rachel Baye

Cuccinelli slams McAuliffe for accepting out-of-state cash while raking in millions from governors association.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… in the first half of 2013 was billionaire David Koch, who gave $1 million. Koch Industries, the company he owns with brother Charles, gave $25,000, according to IRS …"

"… s raised this year, about 7.5 percent came from Virginia, IRS data shows. Koch Industries is also an RSLC backer, having given more than $202,000 through Sept. 20 o …"

"… donors in 2013 include health insurance and tobacco companies, as well as Koch Industries. Similar to McAuliffe, Democratic candidate for attorney general Mark Her …"

Julie Patel joins Center for Public Integrity's federal politics reporting team

By The Center for Public Integrity

Veteran reporter Julie Patel previously worked for San Jose Mercury News, South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Excerpts from this story referencing "India":

"… 's degree in communications from Stanford University. She was born in India and raised in Chicago. Before working at the Chicago Sun-Times as a report …"

Ex-SEC chief now helps companies navigate post-meltdown reforms

By Lauren Kyger, Alison Fitzgerald and John Dunbar

Former regulators profit from their experience with jobs, book deals and speaking fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bill Clinton":

"… peaker for the Harry Walker Agency, which also represents former President Bill Clinton. Geithner banked $400,000 for three talks this summer, according to a repo …"

'America Votes' spent nearly $1 million on Wisconsin recall

By Adam Wollner

Progressive nonprofit, fueled by unions, targeted Wisconsin recall elections in 2011 and 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Supreme Court":

"… measure. Neuroh said America Votes is also surveying the fallout over the U.S. Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Act decision, which has led to lawmakers in a number of …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… campaign finance system that emerged following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010 the way Koch’s Oxbow Carbon LLC did. The decision allo …"

Super PACs swarming New Jersey special election

By Adam Wollner

Front-runner Cory Booker gets boosted — and bashed — by outside groups.

Clinton supporter suspected of illegal donations

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

Clinton's 2008 campaign received $50,000 from "assembly line of illegal campaign contributions."

Excerpts from this story referencing "John McCain":

"… ($20,000 in the 2004 cycle), former Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain ($13,800 in the 2008 cycle) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ($9,600 …"

Yellen as Fed chair would be tougher on banks

By Alison Fitzgerald

Janet Yellen, President Obama’s intended nominee for Federal reserve chief, may prove to be tougher on banks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Janet Yellen":

"… months of uncertainty and deliberation, President Obama has indicated that Janet Yellen is indeed his nominee to lead the Federal Reserve. The Center’s recent p …"

"… w ascending to one of Washington’s most influential posts.    Janet Yellen is in the running to become chairwoman of the Federal Reserve and tha …"

Majority of Supreme Court members millionaires

By Reity O'Brien and Chris Young

At least five and as many as eight of nine U.S. Supreme Court justices are millionaires, filings show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bill Clinton":

"… r a close second at $17.1 million. Both were appointed by former President Bill Clinton. However, Ginsburg’s actual net worth may be as low as $4.4 million and …"

D.C.-based groups bombarded state high court races with ads

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

Nearly $12 million spent by super PACs and nonprofits in 2012-13 state supreme court races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "The Wall Street Journal":

"… but the ruling was overturned on appeal. In 2002, the Chamber issued what The Wall Street Journal dubbed a “call to arms” to Mississippi voters and referred to the stat …"

All the presidents' debt

By Dave Levinthal

Gaggle of former White House hopefuls still owe creditors millions of dollars.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Party":

"… LaRouche PAC political action committee, could not be reached for comment. Democratic Party officials say they have no comment on LaRouche’s debt, as they maintain …"

Fix the Debt Coalition lobbies up

By Dave Levinthal

Fix the Debt Coalition hires government affairs professionals to press financial reform agenda.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… -founders and co-chairmen of Campaign to Fix the Debt. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent; former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.; and former Pennsylvania G …"

'Fiscal cliff' ads target candidates in 2014

By Rachael Marcus

Rove-affiliated nonprofit runs 'fiscal cliff' ads targeting vulnerable Senate Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bill Clinton":

"… was co-founded by Democrat Erskine Bowles, chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming.The pair headed Obama …"

FACT CHECK: Facing facts on fiscal cliff

By FactCheck.Org

How did the U.S. reach a 'fiscal cliff' and what does it mean?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bill Clinton":

"… tly for a period of four straight years, beginning in 1998 under President Bill Clinton.The government’s checkbook benefited in the Clinton years from the effec …"

Elite fundraisers bring in more than $180 million for Obama

By Michael Beckel

Famous names pepper list of president's top fundraisers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… rds of the money raised by the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the Campaign Finance Institute found. Bundlers are elite political fundr …"

Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

FACT CHECK: Stumbles in latest presidential debate

By The Associated Press

FACT CHECK: Facts take some hits in rough and tumble debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Benghazi":

"… OBAMA: The day after last month's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, "I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the …"

"… cord, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror." OBAMA: "Get the transcript." …"

"… ." THE FACTS: Obama is correct in saying that he referred to Benghazi as an act of terrorism on Sept. 12, the day after the attack. From the Ros …"

Canadian-owned firm's mega-donation to super PAC raises ‘legal red flags’

By Michael Beckel

Foreigners are prohibited from spending money on U.S. elections, law not so clear on foreign corporations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Restore Our Future":

"… he controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision to new criticism. Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Republican Mitt Romney’s run for president, re …"

"… s Canadian parent company had “no role” in the decision to donate to Restore Our Future. Peter Lovell, general counsel of OdysseyRe, likewise said the firm’s co …"

"… ads in critical media markets. It also represents one-seventh of the money Restore Our Future collected in August. Watsa told industry analysts in a conference ca …"

Aggressive Romney spars with Obama in first debate

By FactCheck.Org

No more practice: Five weeks before Election Day, Obama and Romney debate for first time.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bill Clinton":

"… raise taxes on upper-income persons only to the “rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president.” Actually, many high-income persons would pay more than t …"

"… ealth care costs is at a 50-year low for the past two years.President Bill Clinton used this statistic, correctly, in his speech at the Democratic Natio …"

"… ck to where they were during economically prosperous times under President Bill Clinton. But those making over $250,000 a year would actually pay more than they d …"

"… over $250,000 a year, that we should go back to the rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president, when we created 23 million new jobs, went from deficit to s …"

Aggressive Romney spars with Obama in first debate

By FactCheck.Org

No more practice: Five weeks before Election Day, Obama and Romney debate for first time.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Office of Management and Budget":

"… ted, even if you accept Obama’s $4 trillion claim, the president’s own Office of Management and Budget projected annual federal deficits would never be lower than $476 billion. …"

"… “Obama’s Spending: ‘Inferno’ or Not?” FactCheck.org. 4 Jun 2012.Office of Management and Budget. “Table 1.1, Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits: 17 …"

"… Regular All Formations Retail Gasoline Prices. 1 Oct 2012.The White House; Office of Management and Budget. “Living Within Our Means and Investing in the Future; The President’s …"