Center report spurs investigation of Bank of America, JPMorgan prison deals

By Daniel Wagner

No-bid contracts with Bank of America and JPMorgan under government scrutiny after Center report.

Excerpts from this story referencing "cent":

"… ” of the contracts with Bank of America and JPMorgan “in response to recent media reports concerning the selection of and high fees charged by these t …"

"… counts hold the money inmates earn from prison jobs paying as little as 12 cents an hour and supplemental funds sent by family and friends. Inmates u …"

"… ow JPay Inc., a Miami-based technology company, has gained access to 70 percent of U.S. offenders and holds a monopoly on transferring money into prisons …"

Senator questions Bank of America’s no-bid prison deal

By Daniel Wagner

After a Center report, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says Bank of America's no-bid prison banking deal "raises significant questions"

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

"… xpayers the most bang for the buck,” Grassley said in a statement to the Center for Public Integrity. “Any time the government avoids competitive bidding, the practice needs …"

Megabanks have prison financial services market locked up

By Daniel Wagner

Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase & Co. avoid competitive bidding process in contracts serving federal prisoners.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dallas":

"… versight of a program to deliver federal benefits on debit cards issued by Dallas-based Comerica Bank. The inspector general found that officials had failed …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Koch":

"… us Association, which are backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch; the Center for Individual Freedom, which has been funded by Crossroads GP …"

"… a prolific donor and is described as a close ally of Charles and David Koch. He is a former board member of the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity. A …"

Potential Sprint, T-Mobile marriage threatens consumer gains

By Allan Holmes

Sprint, T-Mobile fought to maintain competition, merger talks show they're giving in.

Name calling won't silence investigative reporting

By Bill Buzenberg

How a Verizon flack's tweet clinched more readers for our wireless investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wireless":

"… its investigation Friday morning, March 21st, under the headline: “Wireless companies fight for their futures: A rare auction of valuable frequencies …"

Wireless companies fight for their futures

By Allan Holmes

A rare auction of wireless spectrum may determine who controls your cell phone.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… luded committee members Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, Ed Whitfield from Kentucky, Billy Long from Missouri, and Robert Latta from Ohio, received among the …"

Comcast, Time Warner rivals may see opportunity in mega-merger

By Allan Holmes

The Comcast-Time Warner merger may be embraced by industry rivals who see an opportunity for their own deals.

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

"… lobbying in Washington in 2013, doling out $18.8 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Comcast also upped its campaign contributions, with its political action …"

"… k’s $1.5 million of lobbying spending in the same year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Public interest groups that oppose the merger because it will reduce com …"

Corporate subsidy deals don’t always deliver

By Julie Patel

Popular business incentive programs can help politicians win favor with voters and companies.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Boeing":

"… ises of jobs. Take Washington, which successfully clinched a deal to have Boeing build its planned 777X airplanes in-state thanks in part to an $8.7 billio …"

"… , which Good Jobs First says is “by far the largest in U.S. history.” Boeing has contributed millions of dollars in campaign contributions the past few …"

"… andidates, and two of the top three state subsidies over time have gone to Boeing from Washington. Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat who pushed for the recent ta …"

"… tax deal, received $58,718 in contributions for his 2012 campaign from the Boeing's political action commiteee and its employees — second most among …"

T-Mobile’s lobbying spending may be paying off

By Allan Holmes

The No. 4 wireless carrier sees its lobbying investments paying off in D.C.

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… tomers,” said Rick Hasen, an election law professor at the University of California, Irvine. “When customers can associate a store or company with a particu …"

"… another conservative-leaning beneficiary identified in corporate filings. California-based eBay Inc. paid ALEC $12,000 in 2012, while Google contributed an uns …"

AT&T buoyed in lobbying push against spectrum auction limits

By Allan Holmes

Expect telecom giant to fight FCC on spectrum auction limits following T-Mobile airwaves purchase.

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

"… obbying spender during 2012, at about $17.5 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2011, AT&T spent $20.2 million and ranked eighth. Verizon Communi …"

IMPACT: Treasury to open Comerica deal to new bids after CPI report

By Daniel Wagner

Multimillion-dollar government deal with Comerica will be re-bid in 2015 after reports of lack of transparency and competition.

Civil rights group's FCC positions reflect industry funding, critics say

By Jason McLure

Civil rights organization often agrees with industry backers on FCC issues.

Excerpts from this story referencing "NBC Universal":

"… Comcast's side on Net Neutrality, Honig publicly hailed its 2011 buyout of NBC Universal. Honig publicly hailed Comcast’s 2011 buyout of NBC Universal saying th …"

"… buyout of NBC Universal. Honig publicly hailed Comcast’s 2011 buyout of NBC Universal saying the $16.7 billion merger was “a win for all Americans, especially …"

"… ans and create 10 new television channels in partnership with minorities. NBC Universal contributed $150,000 to MMTC in 2010, and retained MMTC’s brokerage arm …"

"… der terms of the deal. “We supported MMTC's work for years prior to the NBC Universal transaction,” said Sena Fitzmaurice, a spokeswoman for Comcast, in an em …"

'Upset' emissions: Flares in the air, worry on the ground

By Kristen Lombardi and Andrea Fuller

Residents living along the chemical corridor of Texas and Louisiana often encounter 'upset' emissions -- triggering pollution, health fears.

Warehouse worker lawsuit targets Walmart

By Jim Morris and Adithya Sambamurthy

Warehouse laborers, citing oppressive conditions and unpaid wages, contend Walmart is among those responsible.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… about inaccurate pay stubs, investigators with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement raided the complex Oct. 12, 2011. The agency cited S …"

"… know what they had earned for the work that they were doing,” California Labor Commissioner Julie Su, who ordered the raid, said in an interview. “We f …"

Surveillance requests to cellphone carriers surge

By The Associated Press

Police agencies made 1.3 million surveillance requests to US cellphone carriers in 2011

Judge in Citigroup case has bucked trend of rubber stamping SEC settlements

SEC has long history of settling cases without requiring companies to admit guilt

Heart testing bill signed by Perry required unnecessary tests, critics charge

By Rochelle Sharpe

Medical experts say measure signed by Perry requires unnecessary testing

Excerpts from this story referencing "Morteza Naghavi":

"… ome scientists in the group could profit from a surge in imaging tests.Dr. Morteza Naghavi, SHAPE's founder, has launched several medical companies including CardioN …"

As they lobby for a tax holiday, some big multinational players say they've got plenty of cash on hand

By John Aloysius Farrell and Aaron Mehta

Big corporations seeking tax holiday are sitting on billions in U.S.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Google Inc.":

"… e bonds and U.S. mortgage-backed securities.The story was much the same at Google Inc., which reported its corporate coffers held $42.6 billion, with $20.2 billi …"

Charities supporting AT&T’s buyout of T-Mobile have financial incentive

By Jason McLure

Charities that received big dollars from AT&T supporting phone giant's buyout of T-Mobile

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wireless":

"… that much smaller companies such as Cellular South, U.S. Cellular and Leap Wireless provide additional competition. The expansion of its next-generation data …"

"… AT&T and T-Mobile would give the merged company and competitor Verizon Wireless nearly 80 percent of the Wireless market.In filing suit, the Justice Depar …"

Mortgage industry tanks, fraud continues at Countrywide

By Michael Hudson

As the mortgage industry melted down, fraud investigator kept up the pressure, soon lost her job

Excerpts from this story referencing "Loans":

"… as a vice president in the Houston, Texas, division of Countrywide KB Home Loans. The lender was owned by Countrywide as part of a joint venture between Co …"

"… KB Home, one of the nation’s largest home builders. Countrywide KB Home Loans provided the credit that allowed home buyers to purchase houses being cons …"

"… h by his supervisor.” Instead, Zachary charged, Countrywide KB Home Loans began OK’ing applications through a backdoor process in which Loans were …"

"… agree to pay $108 million to settle fraud charges against Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, the same unit Foster says forced her to stop highlighting its c …"

Windfalls of war: Taxpayers get hammered by Pentagon attempts to "one-stop-shop"

By Sharon Weinberger

Pentagon abused its sole-source authority on weapons from tankers to choppers

Excerpts from this story referencing "Boeing":

"… und. The service drew up a plan to lease 100 aerial refueling tankers from Boeing, saying it had an urgent need to replace its aging, Eisenhower-era KC-135 …"

"… d to award the multi-billion-dollar contract for a new tanker based on the Boeing 767 as a “sole source,” meaning there would be no opportunity for a fo …"

"… l involved with the tanker negotiations, had also conducted job talks with Boeing’s then-chief financial officer, breaking federal conflict-of-interest la …"

"… nd was later sentenced to nine-months in prison, also admitted to allowing Boeing to negotiate an inflated price as part of the deal. The Air Force did even …"

Dodd-Frank author is proudest of "skin in the game" requirement for mortgage securitizers

By Shirley Gao

Rep. Barney Frank defends Dodd-Frank law as first anniversary nears

Excerpts from this story referencing "Morgan Stanley":

"… nk of America Corp., Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup Inc. will, on average, report a 25 percent fall in core tra …"

DuPont considered, then rejected, safer handling method for chemical that killed worker

By Jim Morris

DuPont ignored near-miss accidents, poor maintenance at W. Virginia planted to poor maintenance

Excerpts from this story referencing "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention":

"… ived a lethal dose of the chemical in less than one-tenth of a second. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that serious phosgene-related effects, including heart failure a …"

Boeing pocketed millions by overcharging Army, IG report finds

By Ben Wieder

Boeing overcharged the Army $13 million for helicopter parts

Excerpts from this story referencing "Air Force":

"… dy in its inventory, the report indicates, pointing to a 2010 audit of the Air Force which found $70 million worth of inventory went unused as the Air Force bo …"

"… he Air Force which found $70 million worth of inventory went unused as the Air Force bought the same parts from outside contractors.While Pentagon policy encou …"

Bank of America, tech VP clash over money-laundering detection

By Michael Hudson

Bank of America Corp. faces myriad disputes with whistleblowers, state attorneys general, and homeowners after surviving the U.S. financial

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… owed two wealthy entrepreneurs, brothers Samuel and Charles Wyly, to avoid Internal Revenue Service scrutiny by funneling money into the bank through offshore entities. (In 2 …"

Customers close accounts to protest Wall Street, abusive lending practices

Angry at Wall Street over the financial crisis and consumer credit practices seen as predatory, some consumers have opted to close their acc

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

"… I just can’t trust them,” she said.Editor's note: Late last year, The Center for Public Integrity merged with the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, which was chaired by A …"

Obama’s new chief of staff sought to loosen post-Enron corporate reforms

By Michael Hudson

William M. Daley, President Barack Obama's new chief of staff, is a major Wall Street player who sought to loosen corporate reform laws and

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

"… e to the economy – being recycled into government,” Rheingold told the Center for Public Integrity. “What’s amazing about Washington is the short-term memory. History is …"

"… es that sparked the financial crisis, though.JPMorgan ranked No. 12 on the Center for Public Integrity's “Subprime 25” list of the biggest players in the market for high-cos …"

Reform reading: Big banks take on CFTC over policing of derivatives

By Julie Vorman

A roundup of news and commentary to help consumers monitor the transparency and accountability of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. ...