Campaign shenanigans are top targets for Office of Congressional Ethics

By Dave Levinthal

Office of Congressional Ethics investigates House members' campaign shenanigans more than any other alleged violation.

Afghans don’t like soybeans, despite a big U.S. push

By Alexander Cohen and James Arkin

Washington ignored warnings that Afghans were unlikely to embrace protein-rich soy products.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Norm Coleman":

"… encies, as well as lawmakers such as Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, D-Ill., providing its co-sponsors with …"

Lobbyists boost Senate Democrats

By Michael Beckel

Democrats have outraised their GOP counterparts in terms of money coming from lobbyists doubling as fundraisers.

CPI-NPR collaboration wins Edward R. Murrow Award

A 2013 investigation of worker deaths in grain bins has won an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association

Outside money pouring into governors races

By Ben Wieder

Dem, GOP associations are spending more than double as much on governors' races in the 2014 cycle than at the same period in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… d $1.5 million to a committee supporting the Republican challenger in Illinois, Bruce Rauner, along with contributions to Republican groups in Texas …"

Nearly $100 million in campaign cash sits idle

By Dave Levinthal

What happens to campaign money of former congressional candidates? It often sits in accounts for years.

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 "Illinois":

"… ifle Association, was also active in 2002 state attorneys general races in Illinois and Kansas. It’s unknown whether the Chamber supported the LEAA’s spen …"

Koch brothers, major corporations sponsor pension reform seminar for judges

By Chris Young

Judges who may decide fates of public pension reform disputes to attend seminar sponsored by pro-business interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… enges. In some states and cities, reforms have already reached the courts. Illinois, for example, passed legislation in late 2013 that cut retirement benefits …"

"… ince filed several lawsuits, claiming that the pension changes violate the Illinois Constitution, which explicitly states that contractual pension benefits …"

"… nsion benefits “shall not be diminished or impaired.” Now the fate of Illinois’ pension reform efforts rests in the hands of the courts. How they rule …"

"… f the courts. How they rule could have nationwide implications. “If the Illinois Supreme Court says that what the Illinois legislature did is constitutiona …"

Super PAC leaders score perks from political donations

By Julie Patel

Super PAC founders enjoy fine dining, big salaries and a steady business for their consulting firms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… amined. The money went to 1911 United’s bus tour to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Louisiana to raise awareness about youth gun vio …"

Casinos and offshore companies battle for billions in online gambling push

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Congress, states and a rich mix of characters argue over regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… lotteries wanted to use that opening to sell tickets online. New York and Illinois asked the Justice Department whether such a move would be legal, and in la …"

"… nternet gambling this year, including Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Mississippi, where a bill was introduced but failed t …"

For problem gamblers, a powerful online rush 'like any drug addict feels'

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Critics fear Internet betting will lead to more problem gamblers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… In the 1990s, for example, Earl Grinols, an economist at the University of Illinois who now teaches at Baylor University, began comparing revenue brought in b …"

New report ranks best, worst states for kids of all ethnicities

By Susan Ferriss

Ethnic minority children will be majority of U.S. kids in four years, but face barriers to success in some places.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… tantial Asian populations, Asian kids did best in New Jersey, Maryland and Illinois. White kids scored highest in Massachusetts and New Jersey. And Latinos fa …"

Pro-transparency tea party activist trounced

By Michael Beckel

In primary, Rep. Adam Kinzinger defeats tea party foe who wants congressmen to display donors' corporate logos.

Plutonium fever blossoms in Japan

Cronyism, influence-buying and a stifling of dissenting voices have kept the Japanese nuclear industry going strong after Fukushima.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… es. Paul Dickman, a senior policy fellow at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, the center of U.S. breeder reactor research, said Rokkasho is “a great …"

Netflix stacking deck on Capitol Hill

By Dave Levinthal

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

Billionaires use super PACs to advance pet causes

By Michael Beckel

Wealthy donors who bankrolled their own issue-focused super PACs dominated the 2013 fundraising game.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… bid to be Virginia's governor. It was also active in a U.S. House race in Illinois and the special U.S. Senate election in New Jersey. Bloomberg has said th …"

Democrats easily outpace Republicans in super PAC fundraising race

By Michael Beckel

Democrats are fully embracing the independent political money groups they once derided in an effort to retain the Senate this year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… , giving $1 million. Meanwhile, investor Virginia James of New Jersey and Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein each gave $500,000 to the Club for Growth’s …"

Billionaires boost Republican governors group past Democrats in fundraising

By Ben Wieder

GOP governors' group outraises counterpart, but Democrats still expected to win a few races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… overning magazine. The most vulnerable Democrats, meanwhile, appear to be Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, according to recent po …"

Lauded public health researcher also worked for industry, revealing entanglements of science

By David Heath

A late UC Berkeley dean pushed public health reforms — while also working for industry, revealing the deep reach of corporate science.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… th several political heavyweights, including former Gov. James Thompson of Illinois, Clayton Yeutter, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, an …"

Pro-lesbian super PAC founder and Obama bundler named to top arts post

By Michael Beckel

Pro-lesbian super PAC founder and Obama campaign bundler Laura Ricketts named Kennedy Center trustee.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… the mayor of Houston and the enactment of marriage equality legislation in Illinois, among other activities. Ricketts herself has also donated an additional …"

State supreme court judges reveal scant financial information

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Despite universally poor disclosure rules, Center finds numerous conflicts among state high court judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… ot need the types of disclosure rules that are necessary in states such as Illinois or New York. “You really have to watch public officials in those states …"

'Citizens United' ruling helped unions win state elections

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

National unions, business groups focused on states in 2012 elections with unions gaining the edge, new analysis shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… ow. Major Democratic donor Fred Eychaner gave $215,000 to one in Illinois called Personal PAC Independent Committee. For candidates on the receivin …"

FEC: Prison is no excuse for campaign filing failures

By Dave Levinthal

Jailed ex-congressmen Jesse Jackson Jr., William Jefferson must still file disclosure reports, agency says.

Supreme Court 'McCutcheon' case could aid GOP

By Michael Beckel

Conservative donors who maxed out during the 2012 election far outnumbered liberals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… g the 2012 election cycle, including hedge fund executive John Canning and Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein, a major donor to conservative causes such as …"

Top Democratic donor breached aggregate contribution limit last year

By Michael Beckel

Fred Eychaner, the top Democratic super PAC donor in 2012, gave more money to federal candidates than legally allowed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.; and Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat who won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Durin …"

Defense Department poorly managed design, construction of F-35 fighter, auditor says

By Douglas Birch

A detailed new report offers some insight into why the most costly weapon system in U.S. history has so many problems and defects.

In new battleground over toxic reform, American Chemistry Council targets the states

By Ronnie Greene

The fight between industry and activists over regulation of toxic chemicals has shifted from Washington, D.C., to state venues.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… ce was not unique. The ACC model was introduced in state houses in Oregon, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, Michigan and Texas — and adopted, in some form, in Mi …"

"… higan and Texas — and adopted, in some form, in Michigan, New Jersey and Illinois but not in other states, the Center found. In Iowa, several other toxic r …"

Unions dramatically increase super PAC donations

By Michael Beckel

Unions accounted for $1 out of every $6 raised by super PACs in first half of 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… 2. Emily E. LaBarbera Twarog, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s school of labor and employment relations, says the …"

Is the Veterans Affairs Dept. too stringent on veteran-owned companies?

By Steven Rich

News21 investigation details the complex verification process for contracts aimed at veteran-owned companies.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… ia man was indicted on fraud charges for posing as a SDVOSB. Last year, an Illinois man was charged with defrauding the government. Just a few months ago, two …"

Hearing loss widespread among post-9/11 veterans

By Kay Miller

News21 investigation finds that 414,000 post-9/11 veterans have returned home with hearing loss or "ringing in the ears."

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