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 "California":

"… on public policies. The two most expensive propositions were in California. Proposition 46 has drawn more than $23 million in ad spending, while Prop …"

"… 0.5 million. Almost all of it has come from two groups:  No on 45 — Californians Against Higher Healthcare Costs and No on 46 — Patients, Providers and …"

"… and insurance companies, including The Doctors Company and Blue Shield of California, fighting to stop measures that would force doctors to undergo drug testin …"

"… Don’t Turn Racetracks Into Casinos. Ranking fourth were two California measures that have been touted as an inseparable duo:  Propositi …"

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 Healthcare.gov, maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or a private online source like Healthinsurance.org, 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 "Arvin High School":

"… s in the suit. Antonio M., as the student is identified, was expelled from Arvin High School in Kern County for an alleged fight he denied being involved in. Antonio …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… 7 that was similar to the one enacted in Massachusetts under then-Governor Mitt Romney. Schwarzenegger’s plan had one notable difference: it would have require …"

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 "United States":

"… om violence so chilling her family thought it better to smuggle her to the United States in the spring of 2013. “Two years ago a friend of mine died in a very c …"

"… whatever they need to say to get to stay here because the President of the United States has told them, in no uncertain terms: If they get here, he won’t enforce …"

"… illed him. She also said she was threatened for testifying and fled to the United States. Her case had previously reached the Board of Immigration Appeals, the BI …"

"… , fearing his son would be killed, arranged to have him smuggled up to the United States. The asylum officer asked Francisco details about various parts of his st …"

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 "Lt. Gen.":

"… ons like M16s. “You gotta accept some risk in this,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, who directed the training and equipping of Iraqi police a …"

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 "Florida":

"… ment of Corrections informed her that JPay Inc., a private company in Florida, would begin handling all deposits into inmates’ accounts. Sending a mo …"

"… t year, when her son was sentenced to 20 days in jail in St. Lucie County, Florida, for reckless driving, Linda wanted to buy him a second pair of underwear …"

"… r, she was instructed to make the money order out to JPay and send it to a Florida post office box. The company would credit it to Eddie’s account. Under …"

"… e fees related to his business. He said he did not know, for example, that Florida now charges its own fee for money order deposits after JPay processes the …"

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 "California":

"… ompanies. One example: the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in California, which earlier this year began offering its own Medicare Advantage plan to …"

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 "Maine":

"… from small, seemingly state-specific groups, such as the Campaign for Maine political action committee, to sprawling national political machines …"

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 "Florida":

"… hool districts large and small, from California, Texas, Nevada and Utah to Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Michigan.   In California, the San Diego Unifie …"

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 "transportation accidents":

"… a, the majority of workers killed on the job in 2013 — 1,740 — died in transportation accidents; 717 died via contact with objects and equipment; 699 died from falls, sli …"

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 "California":

"… en’s ask “self-serving,” noting she was off on a fundraising trip in California. And national Republicans argued that liberal outside groups had …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… lizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to seek the presidency. In a letter Sunday, the Federal Election Commission explained to Chicago-based "Ready for Warren PAC" that only committees aut …"

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 "Health":

"… millions of dollars to an organization called Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs. If you think the companies’ CEOs opened their personal check …"

"… that are paying for the propaganda campaign. Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs (CAHHCC) is not a grassroots, consumer-led organization as the …"

"… the state: Anthem/WellPoint; Blue Shield of California; Kaiser Foundation Health Plan; Health Net; and UnitedHealthcare. Of $37.9 million donated to CAHHC …"

"… nthem/WellPoint; Blue Shield of California; Kaiser Foundation Health Plan; Health Net; and UnitedHealthcare. Of $37.9 million donated to CAHHCC as of Augus …"

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 "California":

"… s Constitution,” said Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Second Amendment expert. “Its great generalities are …"

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 "Medicaid":

"… iscounts on prescription medicines for people covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. According to the advocacy groups, elimination of that program “resulted …"

"… As reported in POLITICO Magazine last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Commit …"

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 "Oregon":

"… hese programs in 2015. Dianne Feinstein of California and Jeff Merkley of Oregon were joined by 20 other Democrats, as well as two Republicans and two inde …"

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 "Senate":

"… I think the president and the majority of Congress, both in the House and Senate, are just completely out of touch with how people feel about Second Amendm …"

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 "Government Accountability Office":

"… y Kingsbury, the managing director for applied research and methods at the Government Accountability Office, said federal biosafety labs have been constructed by multiple government …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… e Everytown for Gun Safety, the group backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, say they are moving the needle. “Now, for the first time in our countr …"

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 "California":

"… ould destroy 169,000 square miles of land, a larger area than the state of California. A lethal blanket of radiation would cover up to half the nation for weeks …"

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 "California":

"… Carolyn de la Pena, a professor of American studies at the University of California at Davis, wrote in her 2010 book “Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artifici …"

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 "California":

"… cluded a story on a prominent public-health scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, who quietly made millions of dollars working for chemical compa …"

Flurry of new legislation targets sexual assault on campus

By Kristen Lombardi

New legislation follows landmark Center series

Excerpts from this story referencing "Susan Davis":

"… Two additional lawmakers — Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in the Senate, and Susan Davis, D-San Diego, in the House — also introduced their own legislation to ad …"

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 "Adam Kinzinger":

"… h as Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, D-Ill., providing its co-sponsors with coveted access to key decision-mak …"

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 "cancer":

"… lier, doctors had seen a mass in his lungs and removed a piece to rule out cancer. The local pathologist did just that and made the vague diagnosis of "infl …"

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 "Drummond Co.":

"… ramienergetica, a labor union in Colombia that represents the employees of Drummond Co.pany, a U.S.-based coal-mining firm, in a country known for some of the wor …"

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 "Harold Hamm":

"… be thanking the industry every day and working with it, not against it.” Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, warned that the company’s commitment to t …"

"… ith each lab sporting Hess’s name. Right next door is the university’s Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering, a renaming of its geology de …"

"… oners, decided not to fine Hiland Operating, a pipeline company chaired by Harold Hamm, after discovering it had been operating a pipeline in the state for two y …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… aid the only inappropriate pressure exerted on the agency was by President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats, who repeatedly criticized political spendi …"

Pages