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 "Massachusetts":

"… and medium-information voters.” Gambling is also on the ballot in Massachusetts, with a casino-backed group spending about $3.3 million on ads. In total, …"

"… s include Coca-Cola and Pepsi, has pumped millions into a group opposing a Massachusetts ballot measure that would raise fees for beverage distributors and expand …"

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.

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.

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 "Sheldon Adelson":

"… lican group, which counts energy companies and billionaires David Koch and Sheldon Adelson among its top donors. Battling over 36 governorships up for election this …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… with our ad trackers for state-level offices and the U.S. Senate. Source: Center for Public Integrity analysis of preliminary data through Oct. 13 from Kantar Media/CMAG …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… cial agents,” the watchdog's general counsel, Rich Delmar, told The Center for Public Integrity. The Center first reported this month that the banks have exclusive acces …"

"… be. Delmar said the investigation was launched on Oct. 3, a day after The Center for Public Integrity published a report on the contracts. Bank of America’s deal also d …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… xpayers the most bang for the buck,” Grassley said in a statement to the Center for Public Integrity. “Any time the government avoids competitive bidding, the practice needs …"

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 "Law":

"… n, said Kathleen Clark, a professor at the Washington University School of Law who studies government ethics. Treasury’s broad use of its authority pre …"

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 "Angel Taveras":

"… seeking re-election. Gina Raimondo defeated and outspent Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and the largely self-funded Clay Pell to win the Democratic nomination, 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 "general election":

"… the exception of “issue ads” that run immediately before a primary or general election. Why are the spending estimates different from other sources? These numbe …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… nbsp;Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.  Twenty of the nearly 300 companies studied didn …"

Health insurers turning into who knows what?

By Wendell Potter

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… roup’s website, it is “the most diversified health care company in the United States and a leader worldwide in helping people live healthier lives…” WellP …"

"… ida. We’re here to be the best health solutions company in the United States.” What all of those companies’ executives understand is that if profi …"

Treasury extends controversial bank-card deal with Comerica

By Daniel Wagner

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

'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 "Medicare":

"… forming her that her disability payments, those of her daughter, and their Medicare benefits were being cut off. The Social Security Administration said she l …"

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.

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 "Wells Fargo":

"… of America, JPMorgan Chase, Ally Financial (formerly GMAC), Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. That was the case that led to the massive settlement that now is helping …"

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 "general counsel":

"… Sabrina Ram $100 per hour, according to the agreement.  Marc Miller, general counsel for the Carmen Group, declined to discuss the firm’s relationships with …"

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 Advantage":

"… to provide incentives for health insurance companies to participate in the Medicare Advantage program and administer the Medicare drug program. The Affordable Care Act …"

"… ch themselves, in both lawful and unlawful ways, since the creation of the Medicare Advantage program in 1997.  Under this program, Medicare pays privately run he …"

"… CPI investigation uncovered as much as $70 billion of improper payments to Medicare Advantage plans from 2008 through last year. Will Congress act to save taxpayers bi …"

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 "Pakistan":

"… Budget Director Shaun Donovan. “The recent spate of terrorism in Iraq, Pakistan, and Kenya is a harrowing reminder of the importance of ensuring that terr …"

Russian gas company hires D.C. lobbyists

By Alexander Cohen

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

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 "Republican Jewish Coalition":

"… top five highest-paid independent contractors either year. Moreover, the Republican Jewish Coalition didn’t list media buying firm Jamestown Associates in its IRS filing for …"

"… on in 2012, according to FEC records. Jeffrey Altman, an attorney for the Republican Jewish Coalition, maintained that the group correctly filed its disclosures, citing “diff …"

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 "Campaign finance reform advocates":

"… — unlike candidates, parties and political action committees that are. Campaign finance reform advocates for years have called on the IRS to investigate politically active nonprof …"

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 "United States":

"… for just 105 buildings where dirty bomb materials are stored — 53 in the United States and 52 abroad — by September 2015, the end of the fiscal year, according …"

"… He also said they may wind up being “funded by countries other than the United States or through international organizations,” such as the International Atomi …"

"… on will spend at least $179 billion from 2010 through 2018 to maintain the United States’ nuclear stockpile. Because of plans to replace the “triad” of land …"

Chattanooga asks FCC for help in spreading broadband

By Allan Holmes and Amirah Al Idrus

Industry-backed law prohibits expansion of cities' Internet service

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Communications Inc.":

"… telecommunications companies led by AT&T Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast. The companies are among some of the biggest contributors to …"

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 "Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association":

"… financial reform law, which this week marked its fourth anniversary. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association ($2.1 million from $1.3 million), JPMorgan Chase and Co. ($1.6 million fro …"

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.

Pages