Prison banker cuts fees after Center report

By Daniel Wagner

A prison financial services company cut the fees it charges inmates' families after Center report on high costs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ryan Shapiro":

"… about the decision to eliminate some fees. The company’s founder and CEO Ryan Shapiro earlier said The Center’s questions about money order deposit fees force …"

Running a five-star nursing home

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Top-rated homes had more nurses, less turnover

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… p; …"

"… omes, the studies said. Jack Wagoner, administrator of the Carlton Shores Health and Rehabilitation Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, said several of the n …"

"… nt, according to a 2012 report by nursing home industry group the American Health Care Association. Buckland estimated that half of the staff at Woodview ha …"

"… as about 55 percent for all of the homes analyzed. Bita Kash, professor of Health Policy and Management at Texas A & M University, said Medicaid’s com …"

Juvenile facilities strive to foster ‘family engagement’

States adopt programs to involve families in rehabilitation of young offenders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… Information Exchange. All the world’s a stage — even behind bars, in Massachusetts. Inside juvenile correctional facilities in The Bay State, young offenders …"

"… nile justice system: rehabilitation of youthful offenders. New mindset in Massachusetts  “A lot of the parents line up against custodial agencies. They se …"

"… perience with over a period of years,” Peter Forbes, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS), said in an interview.  “You ha …"

"… You have to be deliberate about how you’re going to break that down. In Massachusetts, we’ve definitely stepped away from the mindset that the parents are the …"

GOP rides cavalry to U.S. Senate majority

By Michael Beckel, Dave Levinthal and Carrie Levine

Super PACs, 'dark money' nonprofits help make Election Day difference as Republicans seize a U.S. Senate majority

Excerpts from this story referencing "Scott Brown":

"… he Granite State, incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen kept Republican challenger Scott Brown, who previously represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate, at bay. And …"

New air monitor planned for heavily fracked South Texas county

By Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

After a Center and InsideClimate News investigation, Texas regulators say they'll put an air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Judge":

"… called for improved air monitoring in the Eagle Ford. Karnes County Judge Richard Butler, the county’s top executive, said TCEQ officials told&nbs …"

"… eck their models against the real-life data, he said. In early September, Judge Nelson Wolff of Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, wrote a letter t …"

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 "Illinois":

"… ons, are known in the industry as “commissions.” JPay’s payments to Illinois last year came to about $4,000 a month, according to documents obtained un …"

"… s has non-financial costs too, says Brian Nelson, who spent 28 years in an Illinois state prison for murder. Nelson says he has “become an asset to society …"

"… Inmates’ need for money is inescapable, Nelson says. Those in northern Illinois are not issued cold-weather clothes, he says, leaving them vulnerable to f …"

Decades old gun control debate reshaped by new advocacy groups

The gun control movement has made significant gains in recent years, but the NRA remains king of the hill

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… ence bill was introduced in the House by Democratic Reps. Mike Thompson of California and Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut, whose district includes Newtown. It is …"

Evan Bayh's multi-million-dollar head start?

By Dave Levinthal

If Democrat Evan Bayh runs for governor, he could tap nearly $10 million parked in his old Senate campaign account.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… n 2005.     …"

"… all money raised for federal campaigns toward state-level political bids, Indiana Election Division Co-Director Trent Deckard confirmed in an email to the C …"

"… or Public Integrity previously reported. And it's exponentially more than Indiana's Republican Gov. Mike Pence reported having in his campaign fund at 2013' …"

"… I don't want to foreclose any possibilities at this time." Bayh served as Indiana's governor from 1989 to 1997, and as Jerry Brown in California has proven, …"

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 …"

Juvenile injustice: truants face courts, jailing without legal counsel to aid them

By Susan Ferriss

Court procedures leave minor offenders with few rights.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Minnesota":

"… an 14-year-pro-football career, 13 of those years as a tackle for the Minnesota Vikings. He has plenty of fans in Knoxville who admire his strong support …"

GOP leaders, donors mix during secretive forum

By Michael Beckel

Documents shed light on closed-door confab featuring top politicians and donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Scott Walker":

"… Marco Rubio of Florida, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ranked among the event’s headliners, according to an event program. The …"

Senate power players quarrel over fate of e-filing

By Michael Beckel

A growing number of senators voluntarily e-file their campaign finance reports. But will the practice ever be mandated?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harry Reid":

"… Tester’s legislation has 39 cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who signed on earlier this month. Senate Minority Leader Mitch M …"

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 "Obama administration":

"… a super PAC formed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, to oppose the Obama administration’s signature health care law and illegal immigration. Brewer drew sc …"

More than a dozen states could throw out donation caps after McCutcheon ruling

By Michael Beckel

A Supreme Court ruling elminating aggregate limits on campaign contributions invalidates similar rules in states.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… es aren’t the only ones that could be affected by the McCutcheon ruling. Indiana, for instance, imposes aggregate limits on the political contributions of …"

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 …"

Do senators fear the Internet?

By Rachel Baye

Nearly one-fifth of upper chamber members say they support e-filing campaign finance reports — but won't be this week.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kirsten Gillibrand":

"… as; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Angus King, I-Maine; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo …"

Tea party-aligned FreedomWorks fueled by elite donors

By Michael Beckel

Four unnamed contributors provided most of the $15 million raised last year by the tea party-aligned nonprofit.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… e floor against Obamacare. Earlier this month, the group urged members of Congress to reject the bipartisan legislation developed that re-opened the federal …"

State pro-business organizations are publicly funded, but privately controlled

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Unelected business authorities operate on state funds, but disclose little.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Europe":

"… ,500 to buy business class seats for Brewer and an aide on flights to Europe for an economic development trip last year, for example. Team ACA ha …"

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 "Ohio":

"… ndidates, including contributions to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Ohio Republican and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel and Indiana Republican an …"

"… Republican candidates including Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. On the other side of t …"

Supreme Court plaintiff McCutcheon exceeded campaign contribution limit

By Michael Beckel

Lead plaintiff in upcoming Supreme Court campaign finance case gave Alabama GOP more money than federal law allows, records show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… 15 federal candidates, including contributions to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Republican U.S. Senate candidates Josh Mandel of Ohio and Richard Mour …"

7-Eleven takes political big gulp

By Michael Beckel

The high-profile retailer that made a corporate super PAC donation last year has launched a new company PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… ts corporate political action committee. Paperwork received Monday by the Federal Election Commission indicates Keith Jones, 7-Eleven’s senior director of government affairs, …"

"… n 2012, arose in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010 and a subsequent lower court ruling called …"

"… cision in 2010 and a subsequent lower court ruling called v. Federal Election Commission. The high-octane political committees are legally allowed to accept contr …"

Obamacare's hidden battle: insurance agents push state regulation of guides to new marketplaces

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Insurance agents talk state legislators into regulating Obamacare's consumer helpers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgetown University":

"… Tricia Brooks, a senior fellow at the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. The idea is that health care is complicated, so having someone walk you …"

Industry muscle targets federal 'Report on Carcinogens'

By Jim Morris and Chris Hamby

Chemical industry groups are pursuing hearings and legal fights challenging a government cancer report — part of a growing rift with HHS.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… ion did not sit well with Reps. Paul Broun of Georgia and Larry Bucshon of Indiana. “Some of Dr. Birnbaum’s statements sound less like a presentation of …"

Youth: Stand Your Ground laws put us at risk

By Susan Ferriss and Joy Crane

Youths in Florida and other states speak out against Stand Your Ground laws, racial profiling, following Zimmerman verdict.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… o the analysis. …"

"… ates long before this month’s jury acquittal of George Zimmerman — the Florida man who shot unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin dead in 2012 after calling …"

"… tors took their anger to Gov. Rick Scott and began camping in front of the Florida governor’s office. The protestors, mostly from the group “Dream Defend …"

"… tell protestors: "I agree with you, we should not have racial profiling." Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was adopted by Florida’s Legislature in 2005. …"

Lax state rules provide cover for sponsors of attack ads

By Alan Suderman

In 30 states it’s impossible to total how much money outside groups are spending on campaigns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Institute":

"… to federal contests. That’s according to a new 50-state analysis by the National Institute on Money in State Politics, which graded the states on disclosure requirem …"

"… isements are not required to be reported, according to the analysis by the National Institute. The term “electioneering communications” came to be with the passage …"

"… quirements for outside groups once the law goes into effect August 1. The National Institute’s rankings focus solely on spending and not on donors to the groups that …"

"… endent expenditure groups to list their top donors in political ads. The National Institute’s rankings also factor whether states require independent spending group …"

All the presidents' debt

By Dave Levinthal

Gaggle of former White House hopefuls still owe creditors millions of dollars.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York City":

"… ative after all. His own campaign committee is debt free. 4.) Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Republican Election year: 2008 Debt: $1,756,98 …"

Gun lobby's money and power still holds sway over Congress

By Alan Berlow and Gordon Witkin

But lawmakers' fear may not be entirely justified.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate election":

"… o contributed $500,000 to a political action committee supporting the 2012 Senate election of Maine Independent Angus King. Bloomberg has said he’s prepared to ta …"

Louisiana sinkhole shatters calm, prompts buyouts on the bayou

By Ronnie Greene

A massive sinkhole roils a Louisiana bayou community — forcing many to seek buyouts, part of a U.S. trend of communities fighting to leave.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lockheed Martin":

"… lume of cancer-causing TCE and other toxins in a town of 1.5 square miles. Lockheed Martin, the property owner at the time, discovered the leaching and set out to cl …"

"… t like that eight, 10 years ago, and we still feel that way.” Meantime, Lockheed Martin’s cleanup will unfold over decades. The company vows to “con …"

Purdue University to slash government lobbying

By Dave Levinthal

University will shrink government affairs efforts in cost-cutting measure.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… borah Hohlt, a D.C.-based lobbyist whose recent clients have included Indiana's state government and Indiana University Health, Inc., will lob …"

"… recent clients have included Indiana's state government and Indiana University Health, Inc., will lobby on Purdue's behalf on a contractual ba …"

"… rdue's lobbying reductions hit as university President Mitch Daniels, Indiana's former governor, this week eliminated merit raises for senior administra …"

Controversy over cops in schools flares anew

By Susan Ferriss

Push for more police post-Newtown runs up against concern about 'school-to-prison pipeline'

Excerpts from this story referencing "John Boehner":

"… evention package for fiscal year 2014. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the president’s proposals would go to appropriate committe …"