Mega-donors give big to state candidates

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien and Ben Wieder

More than two dozen donors have given at least $1 million to state-level campaigns ahead of Nov. 4.

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

"… han 19 times the country’s median household income. According to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data collected from state records by the nonpartisan Nati …"

"… e independently from candidates’ official campaigns, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from media tracking firm Kantar Media/CMAG. But man …"

Pennsylvania super PAC gets 'dark money' infusion

By Michael Beckel

Nonprofit Green Orchard Inc. is listed as the sole donor to new Prosperity for Pennsylvania super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… with “dark money,” according to a new campaign finance filing with the Federal Election Commission. The sole donor to Prosperity for Pennsylvania is listed as nonprofit Gre …"

Obama takes star turn in state political ads

By Ben Wieder

President and his policies take center stage in political ads, with more than 300,000 mentions, including in lower level state races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… te elections, where three political ads run every five minutes in Iowa and North Carolina.  For state-level races ranging from governor to state board of educa …"

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 …"

New types of health care delivery are improving the 'patient experience'

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: eliminating role of insurers could improve health care delivery.

Excerpts from this story referencing "University of Washington":

"… providing both coverage and care to many Boeing employees, along with UW (University of Washington) Medicine — without an insurance firm. Officials at Providence-Swedish t …"

Non-candidate spending increases in state elections

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Ben Wieder

TV ad spending in state elections since 2010 is down, but the portion ponied up by political nonprofits and state-level super PACs rises.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… aforementioned NextGen Climate Action Committee ($2.3 million), created by California hedge fund manager and environmentalist Tom Steyer. The increase in spendi …"

"… he same point in 2010, for example, the open gubernatorial contest in California alone had accounted for more than $100 million in estimated advertisi …"

Contractor, Hispanic worker deaths up in 2013, BLS says

By Talia Buford

The number of contractors and Hispanic workers who died on the job increased in 2013 even as the overall tally of worker deaths declined.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Occupational Safety and Health Administration":

"… slightly from 2012. The new tranche of data came on the same day that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a final revised rule requiring employers to notify OSHA with …"

Firearms more likely to be used in suicides than in homicides

By Carmen Forman and Jacob Byk

At least 50 people died per day from firearm suicide; 26 died from firearm homicides.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Delaware":

"… states seeking suicide data for 2012, the most recent year available, but Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island denied r …"

Lobbying disclosures leave public in the dark

By Marcelo Rochabrun and Dave Levinthal

Despite efforts to beef up laws regulating lobbyists, public is in the dark when it comes to what firms are up to in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… minating their registrations rather than doing less influencing. President Barack Obama’s executive actions against the profession may have prompted lobbyists t …"

Growing number of biosafety labs raises public health concern

By James Arkin

Construction of new biosafety labs a waste of money, possible threat to public health, say reports and experts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… oups, Nuclear Watch New Mexico and Tri-Valley CAREs, located in Livermore, California. In the environmental assessment, Los Alamos’ management said that rese …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… focus on election activity comes at a time when the frequently gridlocked Federal Election Commission, the government agency tasked with policing campaign matters, is slapping …"

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 "America":

"… an has a rich culinary tradition, but soybeans have not been a part of it. American agricultural experts who consider soybeans a superfood find this dismayin …"

"… (USDA) and implemented by the main trade association for the industry, the American Soybean Association. It encountered problems from the start. The first cr …"

"… ad been forced to use at least 4,000 metric tons of soybeans imported from America at a cost of more than $2 million. But its operation has been so hobbled b …"

"… n 26 provinces. Eventually, Kwon reached out to Jim Hershey, who runs the American Soybean Association’s longstanding effort to promote the use of soybean …"

Lobbyists boost Senate Democrats

By Michael Beckel

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… th disclosed bundling activity by the League of Conservation Voters, while Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes and West Virginia’s Natalie Tennant reported …"

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 "Georgia":

"… is in August. The RGA has also targeted races with ads in Arkansas, Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina and Wisconsin. Separately the D.C.-base …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… t year to the Compass Gay & Lesbian Community Center in Florida, for one — and has more than $1.26 million remaining as of Mar …"

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 …"

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 "Retirement":

"… Hank Kim, executive director of the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, said he’s tired of pension reform advocates claiming that state …"

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 …"

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 …"

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 "lobbyist":

"… the industry pressed Christie to veto the bill. David Satz, Caesars’ top lobbyist, was a member of Christie’s transition team in 2009 and helped write&nbs …"

"… gs on the issue. The Rational Group, the firm that owns PokerStars, hired lobbyists in at least six states last year, including New York, where the company …"

"… n at least six states last year, including New York, where the company’s lobbyist met with an adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November, according to a repor …"

"… s of thousands of dollars to Pennsylvania candidates last year, though the lobbyists represent many other clients as well. Pennsylvania lawmakers say that bec …"

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 "Virginia":

"… ren are faring especially poorly in Alabama, Rhode Island and Nevada. West Virginia and Mississippi showed the worst results for white kids. These are among t …"

"… Latinos fared best, among states with significant Hispanic populations, in Virginia, Maryland and Florida. Black kids did best in Massachusetts and Maryland, …"

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.

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

"… r’s campaign during the final stretch of the GOP primary, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of federal filings. For his part, Hale raised less than $10,000, n …"

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 "Tokyo":

"… ful suspenders, is popular within Kanagawa prefecture, part of the greater Tokyo area, where the residents gave him 186,770 votes in 2005. Kono says that w …"

"… listed the assistance of Matsutaro Shoriki, a former head of the notorious Tokyo police commission in the 1920s who had gone on to become a prominent publi …"

"… ound 96 percent of the nation’s power supply. The largest of these, the Tokyo Electric Power Company or Tepco, formally ended its direct corporate donat …"

"… illion in grants yearly under a special nuclear subsidy program created in Tokyo to promote the siting of nuclear energy facilities all over the country. T …"

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 …"

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 "Arizona":

"… -gun control super PAC founded by former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona. Then there’s Jonathan Soros, the son of financier George Soros. The y …"

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 "Alison Lundergan Grimes":

"… 000. Then there’s We Are Kentucky, a super PAC that is backing Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is vying for McConnell’s Senate seat. It raised $260,500 since its …"

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 "Maine":

"… epublican governor) Charlie Crist to incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Maine’s GOP Gov. Paul LePage, meanwhile, faces a three-way race without a clea …"

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 "West Virginia":

"… of a town of 142 families a few miles from the borders of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Dixon charged $10 or $20 for his brake jobs. Sometimes he accepted a …"

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 …"

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