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 "Mitt Romney":

"… 007 Iowa caucuses, the National Review reported the firm did work both for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign — and a group advocating for Romney's Republican …"

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 "Prison":

"… side, and opportunities for private vendors inside Prisons. Eleanor Bell: Prisons and jails differ on what basic necessities they guarantee to inmates. Som …"

"… and even some small amount of stationery. Jack Donson, a former Bureau of Prisons employee we interviewed told us that inside Prisons, these kits are calle …"

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 "Prison":

"… sury, under which they provide financial services to the federal Bureau of Prisons. This piece is part of a joint investigation with CNBC, whose coverage ca …"

"… ash into Prisons, making it easier for corrections agencies to take a cut. Prisons do so directly, by deducting fees and charges before the money hits an in …"

"… Rodriguez-Barrera, an inmate at Virginia’s high-security Red Onion State Prison, wrote in a letter to Prisoners’ rights advocates in February. Faster to …"

"… ompany also sought to lobby Washington for access to the federal Bureau of Prisons’ 216,000 inmates — what Shapiro has called “the mother ship of all …"

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 "lawyer":

"… y his phone calls, I mean it’s all of that and then his court costs, his lawyer costs. Just for him to eat, they take his rent money out of his food mone …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… ndidate but don’t overtly call for the candidate’s election or defeat. Federal Election Commission records only capture ads containing overt advocacy, with the exception of …"

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 "North Carolina":

"… on, D.C., is considering requests from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina, to pre-empt state laws that block municipalities from building or expandi …"

"… uthern cities. Tullahoma, which has a broadband network, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, which doesn’t. City-provided broadband widespread More than 130 citie …"

"… on cycle was more than $370,000, almost five times what it was in 2000. In North Carolina, AT&T’s total campaign giving in the 2012 election cycle, including …"

"… ayetteville In Fayetteville, the story is different. Like Tullahoma, the North Carolina city is adjacent to a military base: Fort Bragg. But Fayetteville’s econ …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… als in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Wilson, N.C., simultaneously petitioned the Federal Communications Commission Thursday to pre-empt laws in their states that ban the cities from expandi …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… a Bailey, vice president of corporate communications for the EPB, told the Center for Public Integrity. “We continue to receive requests for broadband service from nearby com …"

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 "policy director":

"… ertainly would impact the combined company's ability to bid,” Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C., that supports the sp …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… agencies last year, the seventh-most of any corporation, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The company’s political action committee has raised $2.6 million so fa …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… to stay viable, or they don’t and they 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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… er for outside groups to operate thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which knocked aside bans that had existed in 24 states on politi …"

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.

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 "Verizon Communications":

"… FCC to write auction rules favorable to their company. AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. already own a combined 74 percent of the low-band signals, according …"

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 "Bill Clinton":

"… and Jonathan Orszag, also at Compass Lexecon, a former member of President Bill Clinton’s National Economic Council. The authors conclude the government would …"

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 "Advisors":

"… Jeff Silva, senior policy director for telecommunications at Medley Global Advisors in Washington, D.C. The FCC voted last month to proceed with pilot tests …"

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 "Netflix":

"… ose the values of their assets in broad ranges.     …"

"… g to disclosures filed with the U.S. Senate and U.S. House.  Much of Netflix's recent lobbying activity is focused on its support for "net neutrality," …"

"… eds or extra fees. The White House and Congress have both been targets of Netflix's governmental influence efforts. "We're not politically driven. We're dr …"

"… ticking up for what we believe is in the best interests of our customers," Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland told the Center for Public Integrit …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… the giants and attract new customers. It needed help in Washington to gain Federal Communications Commission approval to purchase other wireless companies and ensure new policies make …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… ng or slowing Internet traffic. But the court also suggested that the Federal Communications Commission can take another shot at the issue by reconsidering how it regul …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… ngestion on its networks in urban areas. The deals must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department. T-Mobile said it planned to buy more airwaves. …"

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 "Florida":

"… ups. Besides North Carolina, Iowa and Mississippi, our research focused on Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. The influenc …"

"… rial lawyers and business interests. Trial lawyers helped carry the day in Florida, Louisiana and Oklahoma, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it was su …"

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 "Florida":

"… ial lawyers and business interests. Trial lawyers helped carry the day in Florida, Louisiana and Oklahoma, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it was su …"

"… mall-dollar donors. *** The fallout from the 2010 Iowa election spread to Florida last year, where conservatives unhappy with a high court ruling to invalid …"

"… mall amounts in a campaign against the judges, and the Republican Party of Florida urged its members not to retain the justices. The initiative was opposed …"

"… buted $300,000 to Defend Justice, making it the single biggest donor. Nine Florida law firms each gave $100,000 or more. “The one thing we learned from Io …"

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 "Wiley Rein":

"… f MMTC’s board, former FCC Commissioner Henry Rivera, worked at law firm Wiley Rein, which represented T-Mobile in the merger. Julia Johnson, then MMTC’s tr …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and a dozen of his Republican colleagues have asked the Federal Communications Commission to resist implementing new rules targeting the makers of political adverti …"

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 "BP America":

"… es more than 500 companies, including major oil companies like ExxonMobil, BP America, Chevron and Shell Oil, as well as smaller suppliers and pipeline operator …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… Center for Public Integrity analysis of documents recently filed with the Federal Communications Commission. "Freedom means freedom for everyone," says Craig Stowell, a former Marin …"

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 "Reuters":

"… r $47,248 every second. So, Geithner’s figure was accurate at the time. (Reuters wrote a story a month after Geithner’s letter that cited the t …"

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 "Wayne LaPierre":

"… song "America, the Beautiful," along with 1999 congressional testimony by Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's current executive vice president and CEO …"