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 "Iowa":

"… for providing clients with aggressive robocall services. Ahead of the 2007 Iowa caucuses, the National Review reported the firm did work both for Mitt Rom …"

"… also been paid for work on behalf of clients including Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa; Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas; the Republican Party of Alaska; the Nationa …"

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 "Ryan Shapiro":

"… learned that JPay was far and away the biggest player in this field. I got Ryan Shapiro on the phone. The first thing he asked me was, “How did you get my numb …"

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 "Ryan Shapiro":

"… ck Donson: There is plenty of money to be made out of that unfortunately. Ryan Shapiro, JPay CEO: I know who’s making money down to the penny and I can tell yo …"

"… ers. And one company has come to dominate 70 percent of that market. Ryan Shapiro: When I was 23 years old the internet was starting to take its hold on a l …"

"… oved about a billion dollars, generating tens of millions in fee revenue. Ryan Shapiro, the company’s founder, literally invented this business back in 2002 an …"

"… ly invented this business back in 2002 and he hasn’t slowed down since. Ryan Shapiro: What does my morning my routine look like? I wake up, I help my kids with …"

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 "Georgia":

"… rceration. “The Jail Cats program at Gwinnett County Detention Center in Georgia is rescuing kittens and helping to rehabilitate incarcerated women,”&nbs …"

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 "lobbyist":

"… rful lobbying presence in Tennessee, AT&T is a 12,” said a long-time lobbyist in Nashville who asked not to be identified so he could speak candidly abo …"

"… ” AT&T spent between $250,000 and $300,000 this year hiring 15 lobbyists, ranking it among the largest spenders, according to the Tennessee E …"

"… ng for comment. ‘We should be so powerful…’ Numerous lawmakers and lobbyists said they suspect the bill was heavily influenced by Time Warner Cable, i …"

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 "mayor":

"… to discuss the city’s plans for expanding its network. Wheeler told the mayor that any pre-emption of state laws would have to come out of the public ut …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… me frequencies that can travel long distances and penetrate buildings. The Center for Public Integrity reported on the high stakes of the spectrum auction in March. The Sprint …"

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 "federal government":

"… d by the Census Bureau, not people. …"

"… entials seems to be, I’d predict sometime in the future local, state and federal governments will realize that government intervention is needed,” said Blair Levin, …"

"… percentage points less than it was in 2009, according to Pew, despite the federal government spending $7.2 billion in 2009 economic stimulus money to build out broadba …"

"… s service area earn less than the amount that would qualify them for the federal government’s free and reduced-price lunch program. But that number also includes ch …"

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 "Sprint Corp.":

"… by consumer groups and smaller wireless carriers such as T-Mobile Inc. and Sprint Corp. to cap the amount of spectrum the wireless giants could buy so as to ensur …"

"… ts believe the companies will have an unfair competitive advantage against Sprint Corp., the third-largest wireless carrier, and T-Mobile USA Inc., the fourth lar …"

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 "Maine":

"… General Program at Columbia Law School and the former attorney general of Maine. Second, attorneys general are charged with bringing consumer protection …"

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.

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

"… The current program began in 1939 as the Distinguished Service 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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… ion just got a shot in the arm. A spectrum auction held last month by the Federal Communications Commission, and another planned for the fall will likely raise the $7 billion needed …"

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 "Yale":

"… t team of consultants and economists, most from top universities including Yale, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania. One of the key studies the …"

"… ter’s research, was conducted by Philip Haile, an economics professor at Yale University, with co-authors Maya Meidan, an economist at the consulting fi …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… BC/Universal. As tax data analyzed as part of a collaboration between the Center for Public Integrity and the New York Times show, 55 such groups both accepted funds from Comca …"

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 "U.S. Court of Appeals":

"… ince Comcast to agree to follow the FCC’s Open Internet rules, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned last month. The so-called …"

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 "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee":

"… tens of thousands of dollars more to the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to federal campaign filings. And it's not just Netflix showing …"

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 "U.S. Court of Appeals":

"… t the issue by reconsidering how it regulates the Internet. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the FCC doesn’t have the …"

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 "Miami":

"… we were not going to allow that to happen in Florida,” says Neal Roth, a Miami attorney and former head of the state’s trial lawyer association. Voters …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… unbar contributed to this report.     …"

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 "Senate Commerce Committee":

"… ators' message comes a month after FCC officials testified before the Senate Commerce Committee about political advertisements. At the time, Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., an …"

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 "Chevron":

"… 500 companies, including major oil companies like ExxonMobil, BP America, Chevron and Shell Oil, as well as smaller suppliers and pipeline operators. In re …"

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 "Timothy Geithner":

"… ly higher earlier in the Obama administration. In fact, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote a letter to Congress on April 4, 2011 that said: “On ave …"

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 …"

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