Pro-McConnell nonprofit hit with IRS complaint

By Michael Beckel

A watchdog organization wants the IRS to investigate a nonprofit that spent millions backing Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… of dollars supplied by undisclosed donors to boost Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during his contentious 2014 re-election bid. The nonprofit is “nothing …"

Crossroads GPS' cash plummeted in 2013

By Carrie Levine

Conservative nonprofit's income drop coincided with a non-election year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal elections":

"… 14 election cycle, the Crossroads groups spent a combined $47.7 million on federal elections, with about $26 million of that coming from Crossroads GPS. Crossroads GP …"

Congress' never-ending political money chase

By Dave Levinthal

Congressional lawmakers are hard at work raising campaign cash in D.C. as lame duck session begins.

Ballot measure backers spend big, win big

By Liz Essley Whyte

Of the most expensive ballot races, top spenders won over voters in 21 of 25 contests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Colorado":

"… od-backed organizations won on abortion-related issues in North Dakota and Colorado and lost in Tennessee, which passed a measure that declares that the Tenne …"

"… that would have required labeling of genetically modified foods failed in Colorado and Oregon in the face of opposition from groups backed by big food compan …"

"… he ads were backed by an out-of-state casino company, Twin River Casino. A Colorado casino group spent about $6.7 million on TV airtime opposing it. Wash …"

More scrutiny coming for Medicare Advantage, Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

New round of audits coming; Obamacare too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… ending on managed health care in the new fiscal year, ranging from private Medicare Advantage groups that treat millions of elderly to health plans rapidly ex …"

"… Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse, said it would conduct “various revi …"

"… aid waste, fraud and abuse, said it would conduct “various reviews” of Medicare Advantage billing practices with an eye toward curbing overcharges. Result …"

"… lent sign ups. The Inspector General’s office did not say if individual Medicare Advantage plans would be audited, but indicated it would focus on concerns …"

'Banking Caucus' member aims for Senate

By Alison Fitzgerald

Republican candidate for Senate U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito defends little banks but big banks benefit too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "West Virginia":

"… ions into consideration.”    …"

"… are the biggest banks in the world. Capito, a Republican, is running for West Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat that’s being vacated by Jay Rockefeller after 30 ye …"

"… regulation. Capito has defended herself against criticism by her opponent, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, that she’s too cozy with the banking …"

"… ndustry is meant to help small, local banks. “I’m going to defend the West Virginia community banks and the West Virginia credit unions. We need to have a ful …"

Corporations, advocacy groups spend big on ballot measures

By Liz Essley Whyte

Corporations and national advocacy groups are throwing big dollars behind TV ads before voters decide 158 state ballot measures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Delaware":

"… allot that would create a new law or veto an existing one. Every state but Delaware offers voters the chance to weigh in on constitutional amendments approved …"

Pennsylvania super PAC gets 'dark money' infusion

By Michael Beckel

Nonprofit Green Orchard Inc. is listed as the sole donor to new Prosperity for Pennsylvania super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "treasurer":

"… a attorney Brian Sullivan is listed as Green Orchard’s sole director and treasurer on its 2013 tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. When asked by t …"

"… ho served as Toomey’s chief of staff from 1999 to 2004, is listed as the treasurer of the Prosperity for Pennsylvania super PAC. Dion, now a partner at the …"

Ex-senators Breaux and Lott confirm lobbying for Russian bank on Ukraine sanctions

By Alexander Cohen

A new filing says two former senators were part of a team that earned $150,000 for roughly a month of work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… Trent Lott and John Breaux were part of a team paid $150,000 by a Russian bank to lobby on U.S. sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, according to a new dis …"

"… quire Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C., were retained over the summer by a banking subsidiary of the Russian oil giant Gazprombank and lobbied the Senate …"

"… ed over the summer by a banking subsidiary of the Russian oil giant Gazprombank and lobbied the Senate and the Department of State on the sanctions and ot …"

"… lobbied the Senate and the Department of State on the sanctions and other banking laws, according to the filing. Disclosure of their connection with Gaz …"

Bloomberg helps Democratic governors' group close gap on Republicans

By Ben Wieder

The Republican Governors Association is outpacing its Democratic counterpart but Democrats are catching up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Koch":

"… hy of the Republican group, which counts energy companies and billionaires David Koch and Sheldon Adelson among its top donors. Battling over 36 governorships …"

Gubernatorial hopefuls outspend U.S. Senate candidates

By Rachel Baye

Thirty-six seats are at stake in the U.S. Senate and 36 governorships are also up for election on Nov. 4.

Center report spurs investigation of Bank of America, JPMorgan prison deals

By Daniel Wagner

No-bid contracts with Bank of America and JPMorgan under government scrutiny after Center report.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Justice":

"… ses. Treasury says the payments to Bank of America were reimbursed by the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Prisons’ parent agency. JPMorgan issues debit cards to i …"

Senator questions Bank of America’s no-bid prison deal

By Daniel Wagner

After a Center report, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says Bank of America's no-bid prison banking deal "raises significant questions"

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Justice":

"… r this fall’s election. Prisons account for more than one-fourth of the Department of Justice’s discretionary budget through fiscal 2018, Grassley said, so “we must …"

"… d the department had received Sen. Grassley's letter and will respond. The Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment. In the letter, which was a …"

Megabanks have prison financial services market locked up

By Daniel Wagner

Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase & Co. avoid competitive bidding process in contracts serving federal prisoners.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… e of this power has drawn criticism from lawmakers, auditors with the Government Accountability Office, federal appeals court judges and the department’s own inspector general …"

"… nefits like Social Security, calling it “arbitrary.” And in 2008, the Government Accountability Office said a deal with JPMorgan to provide stored value cards on Navy …"

Marine Corps settles dispute with whistleblower

By Julia Harte

Scientific adviser Franz Gayl, whose protests forced the Corps to buy costly MRAPs, is appointed to a new commission on whistleblowers.

Non-candidate spending increases in state elections

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Ben Wieder

TV ad spending in state elections since 2010 is down, but the portion ponied up by political nonprofits and state-level super PACs rises.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… l hopeful Christine Jones was on the receiving end of such a group — the Virginia-based 60 Plus Association, which has been connected to the …"

"… e a major factor in his 4-percentage-point loss. It’s not clear why the Virginia-based group was active in the Arkansas race. As a nonprofit regulated unde …"

Who’s trying to influence your vote?

By Chris Zubak-Skees, Kytja Weir and Dave Levinthal

A guide to our political TV ad trackers.

Secret politics pervade popular companies

By Dave Levinthal

Some well-known brands keep their political spending secret while others are more forthcoming, new survey shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… a new route to political disclosure." Railroad giant CSX Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. — each with 68 points — led about three-dozen companies that …"

Health insurers turning into who knows what?

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health insurers are transforming themselves — but into what?

Treasury extends controversial bank-card deal with Comerica

By Daniel Wagner

Treasury extends Comerica program that exposed the elderly and poor to fraud.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… with Dallas-based Comerica to distribute Social Security and disability on bank-issued, taxpayer subsidized cards came in the second-to-last paragraph of …"

"… ntry posted on Friday afternoon. Treasury agreed last year to seek another bank partner after a report by The Center exposed fraud in the program and poor …"

"… contract, Treasury also paid Comerica an extra $32.5 million for work the bank had promised to do for free. The payments turned a potential loss for the …"

"… had promised to do for free. The payments turned a potential loss for the bank of $24.2 million into $8.4 million of profit, according a March report by …"

'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 "Social Security Administration":

"… those of her daughter, and their Medicare benefits were being cut off. The Social Security Administration said she lied on her application when she failed to disclose she  …"

Investigating Florida's parallel legal system for foreclosures

By Alison Fitzgerald and Sarah Whitmire

A Q&A with Senior Reporter Alison Fitzgerald on her most recent investigation into Sunshine State foreclosures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… ive? What I saw is that the initiative tilts the legal system in favor of banks. For that small fraction of homeowners who are defending their homes, the …"

"… f homeowners who are defending their homes, they are now fighting not only banks, but also the state. When a court or judge tries to move a case forward, …"

"… tries to move a case forward, they are by default working on behalf of the bank which brought the case. And they are giving the banks leeway in terms of e …"

"… king on behalf of the bank which brought the case. And they are giving the banks leeway in terms of evidence they would never give to a homeowner. I revi …"

Homeowners steamrolled as Florida courts clear foreclosure backlog

By Alison Fitzgerald

Why are Florida's courts rushing to clear more than 700 foreclosure cases per day?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tampa":

"… ays Matt Weidner, an outspoken foreclosure defense lawyer who practices in Tampa and St. Petersburg and blogs about the system. “They’re stripping away …"

Russian bank hires two former U.S. senators

By Alexander Cohen

U.S. sanctions against Russia are becoming a boon for Washington's lobbyists.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… public service almost a decade ago and are among more than 300 members of Congress who’ve become lobbyists, and begun petitioning former colleagues on beha …"

"… ington, D.C., public relations firm Qorvis to lobby the administration and Congress after one of its largest shareholders, an associate of Russian president V …"

How much money can a lobbyist make?

By Dave Levinthal and Marcelo Rochabrun

Hourly pay of four figures is possible at one D.C. firm, court filings show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… t and medical outfit HealthFirst.    …"

"… nows most federal lobbyists aren't going hungry. But how much pay does one lobbyist truly command? You won't find the answer in federal lobbying disclosures, …"

"… s. That's regardless of whether a client is purchasing the services of one lobbyist or an entire team of them. Several lobbying contracts obtained by the Cen …"

"… filings do, however, reveal the hourly market rate at one notable firm for lobbyists of different skill and experience levels. In 2010, the Washington, D.C.- …"

Docs, drug companies, insurers drive up Medicare costs

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: reform drove down hospital costs, creating Medicare savings, but insurers, doctors and drug companies escaped cuts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… until 2030 — 13 years later than projected in 2009, the year before Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. While it’s uncertain how much of that g …"

"… hts Center and Social Security Works — released a report suggesting that Congress could save taxpayers $141 billion over 10 years just by reauthorizing a pr …"

"… in the first year of the Part D program. The groups also recommended that Congress allow Medicare to create its own drug insurance plan that could directly n …"

"… s also contributed to soaring health care costs, especially for Medicare. Congress has also allowed health insurers to enrich themselves, in both lawful and …"

White House faces Democratic Senate revolt over nuclear security cuts

By James Arkin

Members of the Senate are asking Obama to increase spending to secure global nuclear weapons stocks

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… ision to significantly shrink these programs in 2015. Dianne Feinstein of California and Jeff Merkley of Oregon were joined by 20 other Democrats, as well as t …"

Russian gas company hires D.C. lobbyists

By Alexander Cohen

D.C. firm will fight U.S. sanctions

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… a Washington, D.C., public relations firm to lobby the administration and Congress after one of its largest shareholders, an associate of Russian president V …"

Political nonprofits bungle IRS filings

By Michael Beckel

High-profile groups such as Crossroads GPS and Patriot Majority USA acknowledged mistakes after Center for Public Integrity inquiry.

Koch-backed seniors group low-balling election spending?

By Michael Beckel

The 60 Plus Association tells the IRS it barely spends money on politics — despite funding millions in candidate attack ads.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Koch":

"… tizen advocacy group funded largely by billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch’s conservative political network — appears to have vastly understated …"

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