Controversial Republican telemarketer forms super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

Gabriel S. Joseph III's past political efforts include an anti-Obama spam text message campaign that prompted legal complaints.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… wrong," said one of several messages that primarily targeted people in the Washington, D.C., area. "Obama supports homosexuality and its radical social agenda. …"

"… m. This prompted advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to file a formal complaint with the FEC accusing Joseph of violating discl …"

"… it's effective." The year before, responding to questions about from the Washington Times about text messages in Virginia political races, Joseph said, "Every …"

"… s. In its complaint to the FEC, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington slammed Americans in Contact PAC as a "scam" that "duped people into contr …"

Inside the virtual tollbooth at many U.S. prisons

By Daniel Wagner, Eleanor Bell and Sarah Whitmire

How Reporters Dan Wagner and Eleanor Bell investigated a fee structure that's oppressive for many inmates' families.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… ked carefully at their tools and authorities. There are two regulators in Washington that could have the authority to look at prison bankers’ monopolies, and …"

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 …"

Time is money: who's making a buck off prisoners' families?

By Eleanor Bell and Daniel Wagner

Video: How a web of prison bankers, private vendors and corrections agencies profit by shifting costs onto inmates' families.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Communications Commission":

"… ose not to hear from. I have chosen to listen.  Dan Wagner: The Federal Communications Commission stepped in last year and said "no way, you can’t just charge people as m …"

Who’s trying to influence your vote?

By Chris Zubak-Skees, Kytja Weir and Dave Levinthal

A guide to our political TV ad trackers.

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

"… r or call our statehouse reporters’ hotline at 202-750-0686. …"

"… ding as candidates or parties. Where does this information come from? The Center for Public Integrity analyzed data from Kantar Media/CMAG — CMAG stands for Campaign Media An …"

"… numbers updated? The trackers will be updated weekly on Thursdays, and the Center for Public Integrity will be writing stories about what we find — both on the state leve …"

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 "Washington":

"… Now the fight has gone national. The Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C., is considering requests from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, No …"

"… read More than 130 cities from Norwood, Massachusetts, to Clallam County, Washington, currently offer fiber or cable Internet connections to their communities, …"

Chattanooga asks FCC for help in spreading broadband

By Allan Holmes and Amirah Al Idrus

Industry-backed law prohibits expansion of cities' Internet service

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internet":

"… t laws in their states that ban the cities from expanding their high-speed Internet networks. Chattanooga’s Electric Power Board, which runs its network, h …"

"… A state law passed in 1999, however, prohibits Chattanooga from offering Internet service beyond the area where it provides electric power. North Carolina h …"

"… in challenging a state law that restricts local governments from offering Internet service to residents. There are similar restrictions in 20 states. The Cen …"

"… he wasn’t aware of the petition. More than 130 cities operate their own Internet networks, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Chattanooga …"

Chattanooga wants feds to pre-empt broadband ban

By Allan Holmes

Tennessee city seeks to expand municipal broadband service, pre-empting industry-backed state ban.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Institute":

"… aigns in the 2014 election cycle, the most for any state, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Comcast gave $76,800 during the same cycl …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Communications":

"… imed at making the combined company a more formidable competitor to giants Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., which together claim 68 percent of U.S. wireless s …"

Comcast-Time Warner deal may hinge on anemic low-cost Internet plan

By Allan Holmes

Comcast Corp. will use heavily criticized broadband program for the poor to persuade regulators to OK Time Warner buyout.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internet":

"… 86-year-old house where coal miners once lived — and where there’s an Internet connection. Ed, who comes here because he can’t afford the parking fees …"

"… here he’s got some experience, but he has yet to land a job. Without the Internet connection, he’d have no hope. “You can’t walk into a Wal-Mart with …"

"… use his last name because he fears employers may avoid hiring him. “The Internet today is like electricity. If you don’t have it, you’re screwed.” E …"

"… ast, wired broadband provider in the Scranton area, offered its low-priced Internet service to people like him. But the $9.95-a-month program, called Internet …"

AT&T, Verizon beat back limits on airwaves auction

By Allan Holmes

Wireless giants face few limits on their buying power at next year's auction of prime spectrum, which could hurt T-Mobile and Sprint.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Communications":

"… need to sell out,” he said. …"

U.S. Chamber targets Dems in state attorney general races

By Ben Wieder

Why are powerful business interests underwriting ads in AG races in the states?

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Institute":

"… RSLC, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics, state campaign finance filings and Federal Com …"

Center wins three awards from Society of Professional Journalists

Two days after the Center is honored with a Pulitzer Prize, it collects three more journalism awards.

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 "Internet":

"… way. It began when Senior Reporter Allan Holmes, who covers broadband and Internet governance, was working on an investigation into corporate concentration i …"

T-Mobile, Sprint score one in wireless war

By Allan Holmes

Revenue from early auctions boosts T-Mobile's and Sprint's campaign for limits on big wireless companies' airwaves access.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Phil Verveer":

"… fighters and medical technicians can use during emergencies, according to Phil Verveer, senior counsel to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Verveer’s comments were pub …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… million for lobbying on a range of issues, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks lobbying spending. AT&T spent the 11th largest amount of …"

Comcast Foundation's giving to minority groups likely to aid approval of Time Warner buyout

By Jason McLure

Support of minority groups key to cable deal's approval, Comcast foundation has dealt out millions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Business":

"… spanic groups have supported Comcast’s acquisitions. In 2010, the Latino Business Chamber of Los Angeles wrote to the FCC to oppose Comcast’s acquisition …"

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 "Internet":

"… stead of fighting the deal — which would create a cable TV and broadband Internet provider with 30 million customers and a television network — rivals lik …"

"… such deals, may trade off having a smaller number of cable television and Internet service providers for agreements that the remaining companies won’t bloc …"

"… roviders for agreements that the remaining companies won’t block or slow Internet traffic for their personal gain. That’s the guarantee of a free and open …"

"… traffic for their personal gain. That’s the guarantee of a free and open Internet that President Obama has pursued since being first elected in 2008. Chart …"

Netflix stacking deck on Capitol Hill

By Dave Levinthal

'House of Cards' distributor is accelerating its own political efforts in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Apple":

"… mittee. Comparatively, well-known tech or entertainment companies such as Apple ($3.37 million) and eBay ($2.24 million) spent more than Netflix on federa …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Communications":

"… . 2 wireless carrier AT&T spent $15.9 million on lobbying in 2013, and Verizon Communications Inc., the largest, doled out $13.4 million. T-Mobile's sharp increases be …"

Network neutrality debate may be headed back to FCC

By Allan Holmes

An appeals court Tuesday tossed out rules regulating the Internet, but a new battle might take place at the agency level.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Comcast":

"… ed more than 350 lobbyists, 14 of whom were former members of Congress. Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable operator, spent almost $14 million dur …"

"… s is the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, which includes Comcast and Time Warner Cable Inc. as members. NCTA spent $13.3 million in the fir …"

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 "Verizon Communications":

"… onsive Politics. In 2011, AT&T spent $20.2 million and ranked eighth. Verizon Communications was close behind, having spent $15.2 million in 2012 and placing 15th on t …"

Justice for sale in state supreme court elections?

By Bill Buzenberg

Outside groups are funneling more and more money into state races, which is a trend the Center will be following.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Communications Commission":

"… ysis of campaign finance reports, tax records and documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission. Tracking all outside spending is nearly impossible thanks to lax state d …"

D.C.-based groups bombarded state high court races with ads

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

Nearly $12 million spent by super PACs and nonprofits in 2012-13 state supreme court races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Association of Realtors":

"… ing to FCC records. The group is not required to disclose its donors. The National Association of Realtors, based in Chicago, spent at least $206,000 supporting Roggensack via the o …"

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 "Time Warner":

"… ributions and sponsorships from network neutrality foes including Verizon, Time Warner, and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, according to M …"

GOP senators urge FCC to avoid new disclosure rules

By Michael Beckel

13 Republican senators urge FCC to implement no new disclosure rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Party":

"… mendment." The letter also admonishes the FCC not to become an arm of the Democratic Party. "The FCC has a long tradition of being nonpartisan," the letter states. …"

Oil industry trade group takes to D.C. airwaves

By Michael Beckel

Ad campaign by American Petroleum Institute targets D.C. media market, records show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alaska":

"… kers: $1,000 a piece to Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who won't stand for re-election until 2016.     …"

Marriage equality proponents take arguments to the airwaves, courts

By Michael Beckel

Advocates hit D.C. television market with $49,000 blast.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Vice President":

"… nal Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman and Mary Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. The legal case in support of DOMA has been spearheaded by th …"

FACT CHECK: Conservative response to the State of the Union

By FactCheck.Org

How accurate were Marco Rubio and Rand Paul?

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal law":

"… age 26 have been able to stay on their parents’ insurance under the federal law. And while some workers are expected to lose an offer of insurance from th …"

Super Bowl ad cost Mayors Against Illegal Guns $100,000

By Michael Beckel

Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns drops $100K on ad during NFL's biggest game of the year, new records show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Communications Commission":

"… c Integrity analysis of documents filed by the station to comply with Federal Communications Commission requirements. Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told t …"