One-stop science shop has become a favorite of industry—and Texas

By Rosalind Adams and Lisa Song

The EPA's sluggishness in assessing chemicals has created opportunities for a consulting firm with ties to chemical and tobacco interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dow Chemical":

"… ups that want their results displayed on ITER. Those clients have included Dow Chemical, Frito-Lay and the International Copper Association. If the study passes T …"

"… ted on TERA's website, half were convened for industry groups such as Dow Chemical. Most of the rest were done for Health Canada, the Canadian national healt …"

Texas weakens chemical exposure guidelines, opens door for polluters

By Lisa Song and Rosalind Adams

Amid a fracking boom, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has quietly weakened air pollution guidelines for toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… the new guideline as the reason for the delisting. …"

"… weaker, or less health-protective, than the old one. The decision by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was a boon for oil refineries, …"

"… ry agency in the U.S. that's done that." The benzene decision was part of Texas’ sweeping overhaul of its air pollution guidelines. An analysis by Insid …"

"… ervised by TCEQ toxicologist Michael Honeycutt, who began updating the way Texas develops its guidelines in 2003, when he was promoted to division chief. A …"

Citing health risks, New York State bans fracking

By Talia Buford

"The potential risks are too great," says the state's acting health commissioner. "In fact, they are not fully known."

Excerpts from this story referencing "Natural Resources Defense Council":

"… as just over the border in Pennsylvania.” Kate Sinding, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Community Fracking Defense Project, said Cuomo’s decision was based …"

New FEC chief on 'dark money' mission

By Dave Levinthal

New Chairwoman Ann Ravel says she'll fight to out people behind secretive political cash, regardless of party.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… irman who now leads pro-campaign deregulation group Center for Competitive Politics, says the agency might have some measure of success next year. “Commiss …"

Advisory panel tells Congress the nuclear weapons complex is too big and too old

By Douglas Birch

A congressional advisory panel says the nuclear weapons complex can be scaled down and modernized with less regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… Corporation to manage the Y-12 plant in Tennessee and the Pantex plant in Texas, where key nuclear weapons components are made. Panel co-chairman Richard …"

Senate report says CIA repeatedly misled policymakers about interrogation program

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Senate report says CIA repeatedly tried to mislead policymakers about interrogation program to escape scrutiny and criticism

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… did. He said only detainees suspected of knowing about attacks against the United States or its interests or the whereabouts of Bin Laden were subjected to EIT, bu …"

Luxembourg tax deals for Disney, Koch brothers empires revealed

By Alison Fitzgerald and Marina Walker Guevara

New leak discloses secret tax agreements between major American companies and Luxembourg.

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

"… publicans’ successful bid to gain control of the U.S. Senate.  The Center for Responsive Politics calculated that David Koch and his wife Julia contributed at lea …"

New battlefront for petrochemical industry: benzene and childhood leukemia

By Kristen Lombardi

Jarrett McElheney grew up near a cluster of petroleum storage tanks. His parents believe benzene in drinking water gave him cancer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… voice over anything.” Maryam Jameel contributed to this story. …"

"… achloride and 1,2-dichloroethane, sparking a state investigation. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) found benzene in the water of …"

"… a 1991 letter to the company states, and requested further action. Under Georgia law, the company was required to develop what the EPD calls a “correctiv …"

Benzene and worker cancers: 'An American tragedy'

By Kristen Lombardi

Previously secret documents illuminate a 10-year effort by petrochemical titans to counteract damning science on the carcinogen benzene.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chemistry":

"… tute but has gotten $100,000 for a small benzene project from the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main lobby group. Defenders of the Sha …"

Internal documents reveal industry 'pattern of behavior' on toxic chemicals

By David Heath and Jim Morris

A new archive created by the Center and two universities will feature a trove of previously secret industry documents on toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pollution":

"… ents and have written Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution and other books and articles based on them. This is not the first databas …"

Exploding the myths about American health care

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: new film takes on 'world's best' medical system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

U.S. companies supply eavesdropping gear to Central Asian autocrats

By Julia Harte

Surveillance gear generally falls outside U.S. export controls.

Excerpts from this story referencing "advocacy":

"… s and clamp down on dissent, according to a new report from the U.K.-based advocacy group Privacy International. Verint Systems, a manufacturer of surveillan …"

PR firm busts disclosure deadline while representing Burkina Faso

By Carrie Levine

CD Global Strategies took months — instead of 10 days — to inform the Justice Department of its work for Burkina Faso.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington, D.C.":

"… tion, in the midst of civil unrest in her West African nation, traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and other U.S. officials. Helping arran …"

Nursing homes serving minorities offering less care than those housing whites

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Nursing homes serving blacks, Latinos provide less daily registered nurse care than those housing whites.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… elative to majority-white homes, the Center found. For Latinos, cities in Texas, among them El Paso and Brownsville, had daily registered nurse care level …"

Poorly rated nursing homes got HUD-guaranteed mortgages anyway

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Hundreds of poorly rated facilities received mortgage guarantees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… ;Charlene Harrington, an emeritus nursing professor from the University of California at San Francisco, says that the insurance pattern raises serious questions …"

"… e largest number, 30, of these homes. Illinois, with 20 homes, was second. California was third. With $242 million worth of HUD mortgage insurance, New York had …"

"… ranteed mortgages since 2001, according to HUD records. Michael Thamer, a California lawyer who was the lead attorney in a landmark nursing home staffing case …"

Analysis shows widespread discrepancies in staffing levels reported by nursing homes

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Analysis shows staffing levels lower than what's reported on public website.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington, D.C.":

"… rom 2008 to 2013. But Robyn Grant, director of public policy for the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Car …"

"… that are lower than those mandated by state laws. Thirty three states and Washington, D.C. had mandatory daily direct care staffing requirements that in 2010 ranged …"

Methodology for our nursing homes investigation

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein and Ben Wieder

Center compared self-reported staffing numbers with Medicare data

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… dmissions per bed with the previous data set.The Center also used the Area Health Resource File to include the degree to which an area was urban or rural, a …"

Running a five-star nursing home

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Top-rated homes had more nurses, less turnover

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… p; …"

"… omes, the studies said. Jack Wagoner, administrator of the Carlton Shores Health and Rehabilitation Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, said several of the n …"

"… nt, according to a 2012 report by nursing home industry group the American Health Care Association. Buckland estimated that half of the staff at Woodview ha …"

"… as about 55 percent for all of the homes analyzed. Bita Kash, professor of Health Policy and Management at Texas A & M University, said Medicaid’s com …"

Juvenile facilities strive to foster ‘family engagement’

States adopt programs to involve families in rehabilitation of young offenders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Missouri":

"… book detailing facility policies. Arya also points to the widely cited “Missouri Model” and lauds the state for putting a premium on family engagement an …"

"… engagement and for viewing “families as experts.” Among other things, Missouri’s Division of Youth Services state advisory board includes parents of tw …"

"… ithin days of sentencing and continuing throughout the youth’s time with Missouri’s DYS. The service coordinators even make home visits to meet with famil …"

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 "Tennessee":

"… ns won on abortion-related issues in North Dakota and Colorado and lost in Tennessee, which passed a measure that declares that the Tennessee Constitution does …"

"… orado and lost in Tennessee, which passed a measure that declares that the Tennessee Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion, reversing an earlier …"

GOP rides cavalry to U.S. Senate majority

By Michael Beckel, Dave Levinthal and Carrie Levine

Super PACs, 'dark money' nonprofits help make Election Day difference as Republicans seize a U.S. Senate majority

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… ive groups — including a cluster of groups tied to Republican strategist Karl Rove and a network of groups backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and D …"

Insurers spending cash, spreading fear in high-stakes California showdown

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: insurers have the cash to spread fear, confusion

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… unneled those millions to a front group called Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs, which they hope folks will believe is supported primarily by d …"

"… surance marketplace: Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser, Health Net, and UnitedHealthcare.  What Proposition 45 would actually do is …"

"… nthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser, Health Net, and UnitedHealthcare.  What Proposition 45 would actually do is give the state’s in …"

"… 1, for example, Maine’s commissioner, Mila Kofman, concluded that Anthem Health Plans of Maine’s proposed rate increase of 9.7 percent was excessive. Sh …"

Election 2014 by the numbers

By Michael Beckel

A new Center for Public Integrity money-in-politics index highlights key facts about the most expensive midterm in history.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… on and Obamacare critic Ben Carson: $11 million Portion of vote winner of Georgia’s Senate race must earn to avoid a runoff: 50 Date of the potential Geo …"

"… gia’s Senate race must earn to avoid a runoff: 50 Date of the potential Georgia Senate runoff: Jan. 6, 2015 Editor’s note: The Center for Pub …"

'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 "Shelley Moore Capito":

"… s and taking their frustrations into consideration.”    …"

Another whistleblower suit alleges Medicare Advantage fraud

By Fred Schulte

California litigation alleges 'house calls" yielded false claims

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… dicare Advantage patients in Ohio, New York, California, Texas, Oregon and Virginia.   The four health plans “turned a blind eye to the truth” becaus …"

California takes on harsh discipline and academic inequities for black, Latino students

By Susan Ferriss

California bars truancy jailing

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… national debate over childhood inequities sharpens, recent developments in California highlight struggles over practices critics say deprive some kids of qualit …"

"… t over “lost learning time” was filed in May on behalf of kids at nine California schools, including two in Alameda County, as the Center for Public Integri …"

"… w groups. Policy makers and businesses in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in California also argue for more action to close an “achievement gap” and boost acc …"

"… L.A. district that assigns kids to these periods. North of Los Angeles, in California’s farming and oil-drilling Central Valley, another lawsuit filed this mo …"

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 "Bloomberg":

"… orting expanded background checks. That organization — backed by Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety fund, early Amazon investor Nick Hanauer and …"

Comparison shopping for a health plan

By Wendell Potter

California makes it easy to do your homework.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… plans, you can go to, maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or a private online source like, w …"

"… patient experience. They were followed by Blue Shield of California, Sharp Health Plan (in greater San Diego), and Western Health Advantage (in the Sacramen …"

"… hield of California, Sharp Health Plan (in greater San Diego), and Western Health Advantage (in the Sacramento area). All of those plans are also nonprofits …"

"… ts. The plans with the fewest stars were Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna, Health Net and UnitedHealthcare of California, all for-profit companies. Convers …"

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 "Education":

"… kids in school disputes; the nonprofit Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF; the nonprofit Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc …"

"… o names as defendants the district’s trustees; the Kern County Office of Education, which runs alternative campuses; and the California Department of Educati …"

"… ucation, which runs alternative campuses; and the California Department of Education. Lisa Krch, the district’s public information and communications manage …"

"… on “implicit biases of students of color.” The U.S. Department of Education has urged schools to examine discipline policies and the impact on ch …"

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 "Arnold Schwarzenegger":

"… olks hanging off the sides of the ship." …"