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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… cycle from next to nothing only a few years before, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Aghast, watchdog groups and politicos filed numerous complaints wit …"

"… cycle, a presidential election year, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.  Millions of dollars more have been spent by social welfare nonprof …"

"… o the FEC. Said Robert Maguire, a political nonprofit investigator at the Center for Responsive Politics: “The amount of 'dark money' this cycle will far eclipse what we saw in …"

The mysterious online war against a payday lending crackdown

By Daniel Wagner

Anonymous group called "Stop the Choke" says Obama crackdown on illegal online payments is "destroying the free market."

Excerpts from this story referencing "lawyer":

"… irst appeared publicly in a presentation by a Justice Department lawyer. The Facebook page says the group is a nonprofit. It features the sort of …"

"… federal law by facilitating fraudulent transactions,” Justice Department lawyer Peter Kadzik wrote in a letter to the American Bankers Association and Ele …"

Koch Industries PAC spending record cash

By Adam Wollner

Committee has biggest spending month ever during a non-election year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Americans for Prosperity":

"… ence elections and policy. For instance, the Koch brothers co-founded the Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy organization that was among the biggest spenders …"

Lobbying firm PACs start 2013 slow

By Dave Levinthal

Few raising or spending big money early in 2013 — if at all.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Al Franken":

"… atic U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark N.J., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., are among its four-figure recipients. On the right, Senate Minor …"

FEMA program finances dubious counter-terror toys

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Billions have been spent on an urban security program but no one knows if it produced any appreciable new security

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indianapolis":

"… “shoddy, rarely timely” reports on terror threats. …"

Issa committee accused of making 'sham' campaign ad

By Rachael Marcus

House oversight committee releases anti-Obama ad that's not an ad; watchdogs cry foul.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… of the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “It is one of the most outrageous abuses of official resources I’ve e …"

"… are attributed to unspecified “documents” in an October article in the Washington Examiner, the Web video’s only source.Democrats on the committee disavow …"

Issa wants to know if Dems are raising dollars for super PACs

By Michael Beckel

The House's chief investigator wants details of Obama officials campaign activities following Center report.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Representative":

"… nergy Secretary Steven Chu, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk all indicated that they were open to participation in super PAC f …"

Report: Countrywide won influence with discounts

By The Associated Press

Subprime lender Countrywide bought influence of Washington elite with mortgage discounts

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… ns of pieces of legislation that would have reformed Fannie" and its rival Freddie Mac, the committee said.Some of the discounts were ordered personally by forme …"

A 'Fast and Furious' fight in the House

By Gordon Witkin

ATF investigation that led to contempt vote has a complicated past

Excerpts from this story referencing "Eric Holder":

"… ely vote on a contempt of Congress recommendation against Attorney General Eric Holder. No sitting attorney general has ever faced a contempt vote.Against that b …"

Attorney General Holder, Issa square off over Fast and Furious documents

By The Associated Press

Chairman of House Oversight Committee faces off with Justice Dept. during Fast and Furious testimony

Excerpts from this story referencing "Associated Press":

"… e that his intention was to have guns released into Mexico," Cole wrote.By Associated Press writer Pete Yost. …"

Obama rainmakers enjoy White House invites, appointments and contracts

By Fred Schulte and Aaron Mehta

Dozens of the president's top fundraisers enjoy White House invites, administration appointments and government contracts

Excerpts from this story referencing "Penny Pritzker":

"… rs to such appointments as “key administration posts.”Chicago investor Penny Pritzker, an early Obama financial organizer and bundler, serves on the Kennedy Cen …"

EPA rules threaten older, coal-fired power plants

By The Associated Press

Coal plants servicing more than 22M houses will be shut down, likely raising electric bills

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coal":

"… t Virginia and Virginia — where dozens of units probably will be retired.Coal "is the fuel that is local to this area," said Leonard Hopkins, the fuel a …"

"… e sewing factory leave and doesn't understand why Coal has to do the same."Coal's Coal. If you are going to dig and ship it to China, you might as well bu …"

Half the members of Congress are millionaires

By Amy Biegelsen

The fabulously rich members of Congress

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… tus as millionaires, according to a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics.While the economy at home and abroad has limped along since 2008, Congress …"

Grassley puts hold on FCC nominees in tiff over LightSquared

By Fred Schulte

Senator holds up nominees until FCC answers questions about LightSquared

Excerpts from this story referencing "LightSquared":

"… less the agency turns over documents about controversial broadband company LightSquared.The Iowa Republican wants to know, among other things, if campaign contrib …"

"… wireless plans last January. That approval came despite concerns that LightSquared’s network could disrupt global positioning systems, posing dangers to ai …"

"… r records supporting the FCC’s decision. He also is seeking records from LightSquared’s principal owner, hedge fund Harbinger Capital which is run by New York …"

"… earlier  iWatch News report detailed numerous email contacts between LightSquared and White House aides. On the day that LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja made …"

FACT CHECK: Did Rep. Darrell Issa run 'political interference?'

By FactCheck.Org

Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace suggests Rep. Issa may have advocated for a Solyndra-like green company

Excerpts from this story referencing "Darrell Issa":

"… not hear back. If we do, we will update this item. – Eugene Kiely …"

Senator asks LightSquared to release all communications with White House

By Fred Schulte

LightSquared pressured to release all communications with White House

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… te House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement.Schultz noted that the Obama administration has taken the position that LightSquared should not “be allowed to move …"

The weekly watchdog: Sept. 19 - Sept. 23

By Bill Buzenberg

In case you missed them, catch up on this week's top investigations from iWatch News

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… rs buying access and favors from the government.Insurers Push to Privatize MedicareThis week, News Analyst Wendell Potter discusses a new insurance industry p …"

"… nalyst Wendell Potter discusses a new insurance industry push to privatize Medicare. Insurers have salivated for years over the massive revenue stream they co …"

"… down the ‘slippery slope’ toward a complete corporate takeover of the Medicare program. (Insurers and their allies for years have warned Americans that e …"

House Republicans scrutinizing decisions benefiting Obama donors

By Fred Schulte

Congressional committee to explore White House role in aiding fundraisers tied to companies such as LightSquared

Excerpts from this story referencing "Charles Grassley":

"… moved quickly to respond to any red flags before getting this far,” Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement released to iWatch News. “If not, the …"

Fallout from Fast and Furious probe claims two high-level victims

By Corbin Hiar

Two federal officials lose their jobs in the aftermath of a controversial federal gun investigation

Excerpts from this story referencing "senior adviser":

"… wing so many weapons to cross the border, will take a less visible job, as senior adviser on forensic science policy issues at the Justice Department.There was no w …"

Darrell Issa's tangled business and congressional interests

By Jeremy Borden

Do Darrell Issa's personal and congressional interests intersect?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Charles Koch":

"… p ties to industry, including conservative billionaire activists David and Charles Koch and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, iWatch News reported in Febr …"

House hearing probes 'Fast and Furious' missteps, reveals White House link

By Corbin Hiar

GOP investigators criticize ATF gun-running probe, reveal White House link

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. embassy in Mexico City":

"… F executives involved in Fast and Furious and the agency's staffers at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City. Carlos Canino, ATF’s acting attaché to Mexico, said that "as a result …"

CFPB has no plan to ban financial products, Warren tells GOP-led committee

By Shirley Gao

Elizabeth Warren says new consumer agency doesn't plan to ban any products

Excerpts from this story referencing "Commodity Futures Trading Commission":

"… from controlling more than 20 percent of any one derivatives exchange.The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is now privately discussing a lower cap after aggressive lobbying by Wall …"

Consumer advocate Warren returns to ring for more sparring with GOP-led panel

By Julie Vorman

Elizabeth Warren returns to GOP-led hearing for more sparring over consumer agency

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… uld eliminate a government-sponsored enterprise charter for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and would also limit legal fees paid by Fannie and Freddie to defend form …"

Family, agents decry "reckless" ATF gun operation on Mexican border

By Amy Biegelsen

Family of slain ATF agent testify at Congressional hearing on how guns slipped across border

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rhode Island":

"… tement.Joined by Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Feinstein called on Congress to restore the ban on assault weapons passed …"

House, Senate banking panels led by chairmen with modest personal wealth

By Julie Vorman

Annual disclosures reveal stocks, bonds, land, other assets held by Congress members

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alexandria":

"… xcess of $1,000 from The Spectrum Group, a consulting and lobbying firm in Alexandria, Va. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman, House Oversight and Gover …"

Stimulus watchdog says combining data from 25-30 government contract agencies could save millions

By Peter H. Stone

INTERVIEW: Stimulus oversight chair says transparency kept fraud to a minimum

Excerpts from this story referencing "Devaney":

"… reporting model under one umbrella.In an interview with iWatch News, Earl Devaney, the chairman of Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, said the …"

"… d achieve savings of about $50 million a year if his proposals are adopted.Devaney said government agencies currently spend “well north” of $100 million …"

"… r to collect and display spending data across 25 to 30 government websites.Devaney estimated that by consolidating the collection and display systems into on …"

"… $2 million of fraud. Currently there are more than 1,200 probes under way.Devaney made his umbrella proposal in a white paper to Vice President Joe Biden. D …"

As Fannie, Freddie flounder, six top execs receive handsome rewards

By John Solomon and Julie Vorman

Obama administration approves $34 million in compensation without market analysis of executive pay

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… ation to the top six executives of the financially troubled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage giants while lacking basic protections to ensure such compensatio …"

"… Senate last year to watch over federal housing programs. “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have received almost $154 billion in taxpayer funding to support the still …"

"… n package of $4.5 million for the two years, the inspector general said.At Freddie Mac, Chief Executive Charles Haldeman had a two-year compensation package tota …"

Assistant attorney general's office approved wiretap in controversial gun probe

By John Solomon and David Heath

High-level Justice Department officials approved wiretap in controversial gun probe

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona":

"… cutors, allowed more than 1,700 weapons to be sold from federal dealers in Arizona to suspected straw buyers for Mexican drug and gun gangs.  More than …"

"… s to leave investigations in an “uncontrolled manner.” Holder said the Arizona probe conducted by ATF is under investigation by the department’s intern …"

"… ico.   The memo also divulged that the top federal prosecutor in Arizona, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, approved of the strategy along with the ATF a …"

Rep. Issa, Attorney General Holder clash over ATF gun trafficking probe

By David Heath

ATF is still on the hot seat for Fast and Furious investigation

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona":

"… covered near the scene of the murder of border patrol agent Brian Terry in Arizona last December;  ATF has said that the murder weapon was not a gun fro …"

IMPACT: Issa threatens ATF with contempt for withholding documents in gun probe

By David Heath

Issa threatens ATF with contempt for not producing documents

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

"… ee, made the threat in a lettter to Kenneth Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was the first time since 2008 that the committee cited its contempt au …"