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 "Illinois":

"… dia/CMAG, an advertising tracking service. Only the governor’s races in Illinois and Florida have seen more spending on TV ads. Neither Toomey nor Democra …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ther a candidate supports the Affordable Care Act.” …"

"… l political office so far in the run-up to Nov. 4, according to the latest Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from media tracking service Kantar Media/CMAG. …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… t a drop in the bucket,” he says. That may be changing. Last year, the Federal Communications Commission dusted off a 12-year-old petition filed by inmates’ families who argued …"

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 "Medicare":

"… ederal government works with insurers in the same way to handle claims for Medicare beneficiaries. Gifford also told me he’s in discussions with a number o …"

"… ompanies, to some extent. And he noted that government entities, including Medicare and state governments, are following a similar path. It’s a path that l …"

"… ey Peninsula in California, which earlier this year began offering its own Medicare Advantage plan to serve area seniors through a subsidiary called Aspire. …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ees can be traced in part to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, decided early in 2010. The ruling gave the green light to unions and corp …"

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 "Jerry Brown":

"… ety violations. Employee advocates herald the bill, which is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, as a blueprint for worker protection laws around the countr …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… ly describe its federal lobbying efforts on behalf of Xavier University of Louisiana, the firm used the vaguely worded phrase: “Hurricane Katrina related rec …"

"… e of earmarking appropriation bills.” In a lobbying proposal in 2008 to Louisiana-based building securities firm MBI Global, Patton Boggs said it could help …"

"… efforts would remove “a serious economic burden” from Xavier and other Louisiana schools, which she thanked for their “partnership.” Never mentioned i …"

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.

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 "Washington":

"… t the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonprofit group in Washington. The funds allocated to rebuild the country mostly went to “short-term a …"

"… hain.” The association had, moreover, forged close ties to officials in Washington. Its annual conference in Washington, typically held at a hotel on Capito …"

"… r, forged close ties to officials in Washington. Its annual conference in Washington, typically held at a hotel on Capitol Hill and co-hosted with agriculture …"

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 "Democratic Party":

"… way by lobbyists. Lobbyist Tony Podesta of the Podesta Group ranked as the Democratic Party’s top fundraising ally on K Street, records show, bundling about $550,00 …"

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

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

"… pments in 2010, the worst year in decades. And yet, from 1984 to 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cut initial fines for entrapment deaths by nearly 60 percent overall, an a …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… service to our fellow citizens is undiminished.” Four years later, the Indiana Democrat controls nearly $10 million in surplus campaign cash he could, by …"

"… rmative” is how Janet Baker, vice president of development for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, described what $1 million from Bayh or any other former po …"

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 "Colorado":

"… . “The AGs got the attention of corporate America in a big way,” said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, a member of the executive committee for the …"

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 "Court of Appeals":

"… ng Utah Judge Samuel D. McVey and Harris L. Hartz of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It’s unclear which judges — and how many of them — will be attendi …"

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 "Vermont":

"… Steakhouse in Minneapolis, Henri in Chicago and Michael’s on the Hill in Vermont. And even though it is an “independent expenditure-only committee” …"

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 "Republican State Leadership Committee":

"… lican Party. Casinos have also given more than $850,000 since 2010 to the Republican State Leadership Committee, a national group that distributes money to state politicians. In 2012, th …"

"… to candidates and to the Pennsylvania Republican Party. Jill Bader of the Republican State Leadership Committee said in an email that her group has created a “segregated account” for …"

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 "Florida":

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

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 "president":

"… nd that Rokkasho’s completion makes sound fiscal sense. Yoshihiko Kawai, president of Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd., the consortium of 85 utilities and other compa …"

"… ld donate — roughly $3,900 for top executives, $3,300 for executive vice presidents, and $1,700 for managing directors, the newspaper said. Kono alleged cont …"

"… rats from METI’s own Agency for Natural Resources and Energy became vice presidents at other electric utilities. The practice is known here by the amusing te …"

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 "assistant director":

"… adviser at the Federal Communications Commission; Lisa Kountoupes, former assistant director of the Office of Management and Budget; Shawn Whitman, former chief of sta …"

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 "Mitch McConnell":

"… Cochran, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, a former Republican …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… le, Md., a speck 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. Somet …"

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 "Hawaii":

"… disclosures have not hesitated to go online. California and Hawaii, among the top-scoring states for their relatively robust disclosure rules …"

"… isms to enforce disclosure rules for their top state judges. They are Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mi …"

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