Corporations, advocacy groups spend big on ballot measures

By Liz 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 …"

Comparison shopping for a health plan

By Wendell Potter

California makes it easy to do your homework.

Excerpts from this story referencing "healthcare.gov":

"… work and want to compare costs among competing health plans, you can go to healthcare.gov, maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or a priv …"

Suit against Kern County schools alleges disproportionate discipline for minorities

By Susan Ferriss

Litigation follows Center pieces highlighting harsh discipline for minorities.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… den State’s Central Valley, had the highest rate of student expulsion in California, not just on a per capita basis, but actually numerically higher than popu …"

"… adoption of alternative discipline and student transfer practices include California Rural Legal Assistance, or CRLA, a nonprofit that has represented Kern kid …"

"… d. The suit was filed against the 35,000-pupil Kern High School District, California’s second largest high school district. Its student body is 62 percent La …"

"… Kern County Office of Education, which runs alternative campuses; and the California Department of Education. Lisa Krch, the district’s public information a …"

California coverage plan for undocumented echoes earlier call by Schwarzenegger

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former governor supported plan allowing coverage for undocumented residents.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… rmer California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, Democrats in Congress decided as they worked on health care reform that providing coverage to th …"

A life-and-death struggle for asylum in America

By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson

Teens' tortured road to asylum in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… by House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican who opposes federal expenditures on counsel for unaccompanied m …"

"… 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, based in Richmond, Virginia, upheld an immigration board’s denial of an asylum claim based …"

Investigators find Islamic State used ammo made in 21 countries, including America

By Julia Harte and R. Jeffrey Smith

A new report from an arms tracking group highlights how easily munitions shipped to the Middle East shift from one owner to another.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Russia":

"… munition manufactured in at least 21 different countries, including China, Russia, and the United States. The group’s report, released Oct. 6, indicates …"

"… f such weaponry can impact many generations hence.  Manufacturers in Russia and the former Soviet Union made a total of 492 of the recovered shells, a …"

"… nion made a total of 492 of the recovered shells, according to the report. Russia has been a major arms supplier to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, wh …"

"… c., was found on many shells, which it said were evidently manufactured in Russia for the firm. “Significant quantities” of the firm’s WOLF brand 7.62 …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maryland":

"… to Republican candidates and also lobbies for for-profit universities. In Maryland, JPay hired Bruce Bereano, one of the state's best-paid lobbyists, who was …"

New types of health care delivery are improving the 'patient experience'

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: eliminating role of insurers could improve health care delivery.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… ederal government works with insurers in the same way to handle claims for Medicare beneficiaries. Gifford also told me he’s in discussions with a number o …"

"… ompanies, to some extent. And he noted that government entities, including Medicare and state governments, are following a similar path. It’s a path that l …"

"… ey Peninsula in California, which earlier this year began offering its own Medicare Advantage plan to serve area seniors through a subsidiary called Aspire. …"

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 "David Dewhurst":

"… n, eclipsing even the state’s own gubernatorial race. Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst spent nearly half of that in the four-way race, with 70 percent more spots …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ave been handed over to school districts large and small, from California, Texas, Nevada and Utah to Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Michigan.   In Cali …"

"… NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and Public Counsel, which is based in Los Ange …"

"… d Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and Public Counsel, which is based in Los Angeles. Controversy over so-c …"

"… pline, as the Center for Public Integrity has reported.    Both Texas Appleseed and Public Counsel have been active in pushing for states and di …"

Contractor, Hispanic worker deaths up in 2013, BLS says

By Talia Buford

The number of contractors and Hispanic workers who died on the job increased in 2013 even as the overall tally of worker deaths declined.

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

"… result of work-related injuries, up from 715 in 2012 and 542 in 2011. The Center for Public Integrity highlighted the plight of temporary workers in a December 2012 article abo …"

In New Hampshire, quixotic super PAC shaking up Republican primary

By Dave Levinthal

Big-spending Mayday PAC giving Jim Rubens an unexpected boost — and Scott Brown a headache — ahead of GOP primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… in states other than New Hampshire. Mayday PAC is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Shaheen’s campaign itself, at last count Aug. 20, had nearly four time …"

FEC not 'Ready for Warren'

By Dave Levinthal

The nation's election regulator is telling an upstart super PAC to change its name, saying it violates federal law.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Scott Brown":

"… ext month. Warren won her U.S. Senate office in 2012, defeating then-Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who's now attempting to win a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire. …"

Defeat of California initiative would protect insurers' profits

By Wendell Potter

Proposition 45 would allow California's insurance chief to block insurance rate hikes; insurers are spending millions to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… paign and write more about it in the weeks ahead. …"

"… rers had contributed tens of millions of dollars to an organization called Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs. If you think the companies’ CEOs ope …"

"… again. It is their customers that are paying for the propaganda campaign. Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs (CAHHCC) is not a grassroots, consumer- …"

"… hat it’s a “coalition of doctors, nurses, hospitals, health plans, and California employers” who want the state’s residents to vote against Proposition …"

Fearing for the Second Amendment, militia groups grow in number

By Alex Lancial and Jim Tuttle

Fear of interference with Second Amendment rights and suspicion of elected officials have provoked a rise in self-described patriot militias

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… our houses,” said Robert Mitchell, commander of the Citizens Militia of Mississippi. “That doesn't exist anymore. Maybe it sounds cliche, maybe it sounds li …"

"… A little over a year ago, Mitchell started the Citizens Militia of Mississippi, which now claims nearly 150 official members – a number that membe …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ays privately run health plans a set monthly rate for each patient. As the Center for Public Integrity reported in a series of investigative reports this past June, about 16 mil …"

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 "Department of Energy":

"… ’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget cut nonproliferation programs in the Department of Energy by nearly $400 million. In their letter, the senators praised Obama‘s le …"

State lawmakers take aim at federal gun control

By Justine McDaniel, Robby Korth and Jessica Boehm

A growing collection of state legislatures seeks to disqualify federal gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives":

"… n't give you any assistance. So in other words, no state police help with (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) raids, no local law enforcement enforcing a federal gun law, none of that …"

"… ed he would manufacture a Montana-made rifle, but he was challenged by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, so he sued for his right to make the guns. Eventually, the suit made it …"

Growing number of biosafety labs raises public health concern

By James Arkin

Construction of new biosafety labs a waste of money, possible threat to public health, say reports and experts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… used for or why it is needed, according to a report released last week by Department of Energy Inspector General Gregory Friedman. Friedman wrote that the $9.5 million …"

"… . Most of the work would come from other federal agencies rather than the Department of Energy, the IG report said, while the demand for work from these agencies is less …"

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 "director of communications":

"… ill “be a force for decades to come,” said Ladd Everitt, the group’s director of communications. But tax filings show the top six national gun rights groups brought in c …"

Briefing the president but keeping the public in the dark

By James Arkin

Washington kept grim early estimates of the death and destruction from a nuclear war with Russia secret for more than half a century.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George Washington University":

"… al Security Archive, a nonprofit historical research group affiliated with George Washington University, along with other previously classified documents about nuclear weapo …"

Critic of artificial sweeteners pilloried by industry-backed scientists

By Chris Young

Any criticism of the artificial sweetener industry is met with a barrage of criticism, often from questionable sources.

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

"… d’s ties to the manufacturer of aspartame. John Fernstrom told the Center for Public Integrity that his industry ties have “no impact on my work.” He says the m …"

Center honored for revealing chemical industry influence over science

"Toxic Clout" investigation into chemical industry wins an award from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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

"… hy, and Dan Fagin for his book on a cancer cluster in Toms River, N.J. …"

Flurry of new legislation targets sexual assault on campus

By Kristen Lombardi

New legislation follows landmark Center series

Excerpts from this story referencing "House of Representatives":

"… reduce the number of violent assaults.” …"

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.” …"

Afghans don’t like soybeans, despite a big U.S. push

By Alexander Cohen and James Arkin

Washington ignored warnings that Afghans were unlikely to embrace protein-rich soy products.

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

"… te, according to interviews and government audit documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. Warnings by agronomists that the effort was unwise were ignored. The cou …"

"… ation of the program financed by USDA, a copy of which was obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. Sowing but not reaping The program ran into early trouble when its new p …"

Black lung claims by 1,100 coal miners may have been wrongly denied

By Chris Hamby

Black lung opinions by Dr. Paul Wheeler of Johns Hopkins should be assumed to lack credibility, senators are told at a hearing.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coal":

"… to a series of new initiatives.   Two major obstacles miners face: Coal companies have more resources to develop medical evidence, and miners ofte …"

Is this U.S. coal giant funding violent union intimidation in Colombia?

By Rosalind Adams

Lawsuits allege Alabama-based Drummond Co., which mines coal in Colombia, has financial ties to groups that have threatened union leaders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Colombia":

"… t these injustices, and so we put our fate in the hands of God.” …"

"… Florez served as a local president of Sintramienergetica, a labor union in Colombia that represents the employees of Drummond Company, a U.S.-based coal-minin …"

"… ted, “Drummond has never paid or otherwise assisted any illegal group in Colombia, whether paramilitary or guerilla [sic].” Nonetheless, Drummond has bee …"

"… ham, Alabama, with revenues that reached $3 billion last year—has helped Colombia become the world’s fourth-largest coal exporter. Heman Drummond started …"

How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Industry has transformed the state, but at what cost?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… tried to ban the practice, as they have in Colorado, Pennsylvania and even Texas. Residents are largely supportive of the oil industry — an industry-spon …"

"… limits are much less stringent than in other states — even oil-friendly Texas allows for just 10 days — but the Department of Mineral Resources has is …"

"… For one thing, drillers in North Dakota were looking for oil, not gas, and Texas has many gas fields and, therefore, a large infrastructure prepared to han …"

Hobbled IRS can't stem 'dark money' flow

By Julie Patel

Budget and staffing cuts, endless congressional investigations keep IRS from investigating activities of political nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… ssion argued that Crossroads GPS, co-founded by Republican operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, spent more on politics than anything else leading up to …"

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