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 "California":

"… first visited the country eleven years ago, while he was a nutritionist in California with the Nestlé food company, to give a lecture at Balkh University in Ma …"

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 "California":

"… irginia, along with Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and U.S. Rep. George Miller of California. A bill might be ready before the August recess, a Casey staffer said. &n …"

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.

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.

Is this super PAC subverting disclosure rules?

By Michael Beckel

Georgia's GOP Senate primary has attracted big money from a super PAC funded by two nonprofit groups tied to an Ohio lobbyist.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… represents clients including the Ohio Ready Mixed Concrete Association and California-based Optivus Proton Therapy Inc., a company that specializes in proton ra …"

Republicans continue to capitalize on 'McCutcheon' ruling

By Michael Beckel

NRCC creates second 'jumbo' joint fundraising committee in wake of Supreme Court 'McCutcheon' ruling.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… Election Commission. These 11 Republican candidates are: Dan Logue in California’s 3rd Congressional District   Doug Ose in California’s 7th Con …"

"… an Logue in California’s 3rd Congressional District   Doug Ose in California’s 7th Congressional District   Jeff Gorell in California’s 26th …"

"… g Ose in California’s 7th Congressional District   Jeff Gorell in California’s 26th Congressional District   Brian Nestande in California’s …"

"… l in California’s 26th Congressional District   Brian Nestande in California’s 36th Congressional District   Carl DeMaio in California’s 52n …"

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 "California":

"… profit organizations (including the Center for Investigative Reporting, in California), we named our new group the Center for Public Integrity. Although this t …"

Home is where the money is for Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Medicare Advantage home visits may not improve health, but boost risk scores and cost taxpayers billions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… that?’’ said Sy Zahedi, president and CEO of MedXm, in Santa Ana, California, which does home assessments. ‘Paucity of evidence’ The downside, fed …"

"… led with no admission of fault. In a third case — against SCAN, a major California health plan — a whistleblower alleged that the company hired reviewers t …"

"… ael Curran, chief operating officer of Health Data Vision Inc. in Burbank, California. Dollar signs Some experts believe that Medicare’s difficulties taming …"

Medicare Advantage lobbying machine steamrolls Congress

By Fred Schulte

Under pressure, Medicare Advantage critics morph into defenders.

L.A. judge objects to school police getting millions reserved for struggling students

By Susan Ferriss

A top juvenile court judge objects to a proposal giving school police $13 million out of a state fund to help disadvantaged kids learn.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles Unified School District":

"… ll learning English as a second language.  In a June 6 letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Michael Nash said this …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… early $650 million for 2007 alone — just for those six plans. One major Texas health plan was paid to care for a man it said had brain cancer. But his m …"

"… contractor, hotly disputed audit findings for its plans in California and Texas.   Auditors had deemed the risk scores for 45 of 100 California …"

Why Medicare Advantage costs taxpayers billions more than it should

By Fred Schulte, David Donald and Erin Durkin

Critics warned of billing abuse in Medicare Advantage health plans, but oversight is lagging.

Whistleblower suit says health plan cheated government out of more than $1 billion

By Fred Schulte

Lawsuit: executives worried health plan would be ‘screwed’ if feds heard of overcharges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… tion to these illegal practices.” Valdez filed the lawsuit in Santa Ana, California, in April 2011, but it remained under court seal until February of this ye …"

"… Valdez is a veteran health care executive and consultant who headed the California regional office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2 …"

"… is allegations to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the central district of California, which has since launched an investigation. That investigation “has not …"

States urged to embrace alternatives to school discipline criminalizing kids

By Susan Ferriss

The Council of State Governments warns that harsh school dicipline disproportionately harms ethnic minority, disabled and LBGT students.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… e Governments released a longitudinal study finding that 60 percent of all Texas students had been suspended at least once, with punishment falling particu …"

"… nal justice system — not straighten out and get engaged in school.  Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, a Democrat from the Houston area, told reporters …"

"… f-school suspensions rarely accomplish anything.”  As chair of the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee, Whitmire said he tells his colleagues i …"

"… “you pay later” with higher incarceration costs. Whitmire said kids in Texas have been accused of misdemeanors for infractions as minor as throwing an …"

Lawsuit: Low-income students assigned too much 'work experience' or free time instead of classes they need

By Susan Ferriss

A lawsuit filed on behalf of kids in poor California schools demands state monitor and intervene practices depriving kids of teaching time.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… -time enrolled students. …"

"… County and the San Francisco Bay Area. The suit demands that the state of California — a defendant in the suit — monitor practices at the schools and inter …"

"… the plaintiffs, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and other legal groups. Certain practices “slowly rob” students of rea …"

"… prove the situation for low-income students.  The suit comes just as California lawmakers launch an initiative they hope will boost lagging graduation and …"

Evan Bayh's multi-million-dollar head start?

By Dave Levinthal

If Democrat Evan Bayh runs for governor, he could tap nearly $10 million parked in his old Senate campaign account.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… Bayh served as Indiana's governor from 1989 to 1997, and as Jerry Brown in California has proven, it's possible for a state's former chief executive to have a s …"

Texas fracking verdict puts industry on notice about toxic air emissions

By David Hasemyer

A nearly $3 million jury verdict against a Texas oil and gas company highlights regulatory failures and health risks linked to fracking.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… air pollution from gas and oil operations near their ranch in Wise County, Texas. Sometimes they had trouble breathing, they told the Texas Commission on E …"

"… in Wise County, Texas. Sometimes they had trouble breathing, they told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). They also experienced nausea, …"

"… 7 complaints from Wise County, in the Barnett Shale drilling area in North Texas. One said the odor was so powerful that the complainant “couldn’t go o …"

"… jury found that Aruba Petroleum, a privately owned company based in Plano, Texas, “intentionally created a private nuisance” that affected the family's …"

Nearly $100 million in campaign cash sits idle

By Dave Levinthal

What happens to campaign money of former congressional candidates? It often sits in accounts for years.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… d Reps. Jerry Costello, D-Ill. ($1.38 million) and Jim Turner, D-Texas ($972,843). Ex-candidates cannot spend unused campaign money on themselve …"

Singularity University disavows super PACs

By Dave Levinthal

University disavows super PACs formed in its name by a school official.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… for program operations recently formed in its name. But the tech-focused California school is remaining mum on the official's assertion that other school lead …"

"… ey wouldn't likely become active until after the 2014 election cycle. The California-based school was co-founded by futurist Ray Kurzweil and is funded in part …"

A different way of thinking about health care

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Canadians take pride in their health care system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… ns. Dr. Hedy Fry of Vancouver related the stories of three people who told California lawmakers at a hearing several years back that they had become “uninsura …"

"… g. She had been invited to explain the Canadian single-payer system, which California lawmakers were considering. Her voice cracked as she recalled the dire str …"

"… Schwarzenegger two bills that would establish a single payer system in the California — in 2006 and 2008 — but Schwarzenegger vetoed both, calling them “s …"

Insurers following 'the playbook' in opposing California ballot initiative

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: multi-faceted effort to defeat California ballot initiative.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… ough the Manipulation of Public Opinion.” Seeing what is playing out in California this year, I should have included voters, along with lawmakers and regulat …"

"… ors, as among those subject to influence. Health care reform advocates in California, led by Consumer Watchdog, are supporting a November ballot initiative to …"

"… pproval — or disapproval — of proposed health insurance rate changes. California is not among them, and advocates believe the state’s residents are payin …"

"… s in 2011 requiring public disclosure of proposed rate hikes — which the California Public Interest Research Group says has saved residents almost $350 millio …"

Juvenile injustice: truants face courts, jailing without legal counsel to aid them

By Susan Ferriss

Court procedures leave minor offenders with few rights.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… tus offense can lead to penalties that could bedevil minors for years. In Texas, teen Elizabeth Diaz spent 18 days in an adult county jail when a judge in …"

Gordon Witkin named Center's top editor

Former U.S. News & World Report editor takes over as executive editor.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… e than 60 awards for his work. He has worked for a number of newspapers in Texas and California as well as publications such as U.S. News & World Repor …"

Donors, friends of governors often get state supreme court nod

By Rachel Baye

Judicial elections are often criticized for corrupting influence, but appointment process has problems too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ter found: Even in states where there are elections, like Minnesota and Texas, judges time their retirements so that the governor, rather than voters, c …"

"… tendency to step down before the end of their term. All in the timing In Texas, for example, supreme court justices are elected every six years. But of t …"

"… ined to comment. Perry appointed his chief of staff, Jeffrey Boyd, to the Texas Supreme Court in 2012. Boyd is on the ballot for the first time this year. …"

Center's report on troubled teens wins prestigious Tobenkin Award

'Throwaway Kids' honored with Columbia Journalism School award.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… or Cox Newspapers.  …"

"… by Ferriss “galvanized immigrant parents to confront the school system. California legislators are now discussing a legal fix for the problem.” The award …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Be the 'squeaky wheel' if health claim denied

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obamacare may squeeze insurance industry profits, subscribers should know their rights when it comes to claim denials.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… of Sacramento. CPR found after analyzing several years of data compiled by California’s insurance department that patients won about half of the appeals they …"

Senate power players quarrel over fate of e-filing

By Michael Beckel

A growing number of senators voluntarily e-file their campaign finance reports. But will the practice ever be mandated?

Super PAC leaders score perks from political donations

By Julie Patel

Super PAC founders enjoy fine dining, big salaries and a steady business for their consulting firms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… rise to Rick Hasen, a law and political science professor at University of California, Irvine, who publishes the Election Law Blog. “Super PACs are not just …"