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 "insurance":

"… ers to Contain Health Costs. The “no” groups are backed by doctors and insurance companies, including The Doctors Company and Blue Shield of California, fi …"

"… Recent transplant James VanBuskirk, a 34-year-old marketer for a property insurance company, says he sees one every time he watches prime-time TV. Prop 46 to …"

"… ld require insurers to receive approval for rate hikes from the California insurance commissioner, an elected regulator. The ballot committee supporting the me …"

"… isan nonprofit that produces online voter guides. That doesn’t mean the insurance companies are necessarily going to win. In 2010, a group backed by Pacific …"

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 "Tom Corbett":

"… s race is also among the hottest in the country. Incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is facing a stiff challenge from Democrat Tom Wolf. The gubernatorial con …"

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 "Russia":

"… er Sens. 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 n …"

"… ington, D.C., were retained over the summer by a banking subsidiary of the Russian oil giant Gazprombank and lobbied the Senate and the Department of State …"

"… e no longer expected to act as a lobbyist” for the bank. Gazprombank is Russia’s third largest bank. On July 16 — a month and a half before Brea …"

"… ing — the U.S. Treasury Department added the bank to a list of Russian firms barred from debt financing with U.S. institutions. Lott and Breaux …"

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 "American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees":

"… ll. The top five donors to the Democratic group are all labor unions. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, has given $3.7 million to the Democratic governors’ group th …"

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 "bank":

"… enter for Public Integrity. The Center first reported this month that the banks have exclusive access to the more than 214,000 federal inmates under cont …"

"… . It is unclear how much money JPMorgan has made on the cards because the bank’s compensation comes from fees charged directly to former inmates. A sep …"

"… Comerica bank. Treasury paid Comerica an extra $32.5 million for work the bank had promised to do for free, the audit found. Treasury has spent more tha …"

"… past decade on financial agency agreements often with the same handful of banks, documents show. The Center’s report about federal prisons w …"

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 "Bank of America Corp.":

"… U.S. Senator is questioning the Treasury Department’s decision to award Bank of America Corp. an exclusive contract to provide technology and financial services in all …"

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 "Dallas":

"… versight of a program to deliver federal benefits on debit cards issued by Dallas-based Comerica Bank. The inspector general found that officials had failed …"

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 "Illinois":

"… dy spent, followed by Texas ($36.8 million), Florida ($33.7 million), Illinois ($26.4 million) and New York ($14.5 million). Through Sept. 8, one d …"

"… on), the Democratic Governors Association ($5.1 million), the union-backed Illinois Freedom Political Action Committee ($4.9 million) and the aforementioned N …"

"… ollowed by Maryland ($3.48), Nebraska ($3.12) and Illinois ($2.94). Spending in all five states is significantly higher than wha …"

"… nsylvania ($35.5 million), Florida ($31.8 million) and Illinois ($26 million) leading the pack. Andrew Cuomo’s bid to remain the De …"

Who’s trying to influence your vote?

By Chris Zubak-Skees, Kytja Weir and Dave Levinthal

A guide to our political TV ad trackers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bureau of Labor Statistics":

"… y 2014 Current Population Survey. The population figures, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, are the most recent available. Have more ques …"

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 "Politics":

"… r against federal-level candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  Topping the list is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the natio …"

Health insurers turning into who knows what?

By Wendell Potter

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Boeing":

"… are Act. …"

"… s to its employees that eliminates insurance companies as middlemen. What Boeing is doing represents a seismic shift in health care financing and delivery …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… of $24.2 million into $8.4 million of profit, according a March report by Inspector General Eric Thorson. The extra payments might “provide Comerica with a future …"

'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 "Bank of America":

"… use. As far as Young knew, she didn’t own anything. Four years earlier, Bank of America informed her it was foreclosing on her tiny yellow ranch-style house in Ja …"

"… and let someone put me out. I’ve never been evicted.” The problem is, Bank of America never followed through. Now, four years later, Young struggles to pay her …"

"… ial in April 2013 but sent notice to an attorney who no longer represented Bank of America. Because no one showed up in court, the judge dismissed the case. A year l …"

"… ral investigation. He said the company took proper care of the house. “Bank of America is committed to mitigating the potential for neighborhood blight created b …"

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 "Foreclosure":

"… ellas county there was a sign taped to the front of the bench that said “Foreclosure Sale: 45 days, Sept. 16, 2014.” It was like those signs in a liquor stor …"

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 "police officer":

"… idn’t even listen to you. This is a total fraud!” the 12-year St. Pete police officer fumed as he paced around Weidner, his lawyer, in the courthouse hallway wh …"

"… be kicked out of the home they have lived in for more than 12 years. The police officer was willing to pay the principal and interest due on his mortgage, but now …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… petitioning former colleagues on behalf of clients, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2008, they started a lobbying firm with their sons, Breaux Lott Leader …"

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.

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 "Medicare Rights Center":

"… ld ever hope to have. Late last month, two of the advocacy groups — the Medicare Rights Center and Social Security Works — released a report suggesting that Congress c …"

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 "Dianne Feinstein":

"… n administration decision to significantly shrink these programs in 2015. Dianne Feinstein of California and Jeff Merkley of Oregon were joined by 20 other Democrats …"

Russian gas company hires D.C. lobbyists

By Alexander Cohen

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bob Corker":

"… Qorvis filing. The lobbyists will also focus on a bill introduced by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., that would mandate more punitive measures against Russia and its …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… of the group’s spending in 2012, as previously reported by the Center for Responsive Politics. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, an advocacy group, …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… Public Integrity review of federal tax documents and data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, five nonprofits that are part of the Koch brothers’ network supplied ne …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… to put its money where its mouth is.” …"

Chattanooga asks FCC for help in spreading broadband

By Allan Holmes and Amirah Al Idrus

Industry-backed law prohibits expansion of cities' Internet service

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… than $3 million during last year’s second quarter and easily trumped the National Rifle Association in this regard — invested $1.24 million during this year’s second quar …"

Lawmakers issue dueling Dodd-Frank reports

By Jared Bennett

Republicans say the financial reform law creates a bailout fund. Democrats says the 4-year-old law makes banks safer.

Four years after passage, House keeps trying to kill Dodd-Frank

By Jared Bennett

On the fourth anniversary of the passage of landmark financial reform law, opponents still trying to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… ted almost $248 million to political campaigns, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, more than any industry. While most of these proposals probably don’t h …"

Tea party scandal brews FOIA backlog at FEC

By Dave Levinthal

Media and public wait for information from election agency as Congress seeks IRS-related information.

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