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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ficulties and other health problems. In February, an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel showed that the TCEQ knows alm …"

"… their operations. This article is part of an ongoing investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and InsideClimate News into air emissions created during oil and gas …"

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 "Virginia":

"… ional Center for armed robbery. He’s doing his time at a medium-security Virginia state prison located 137 miles northwest of Johnson City, across the dips …"

"… e prison, for a total cost of less than $2. But in March of last year, the Virginia Department of Corrections informed her that JPay Inc., a private comp …"

"… less the person sending money fails to fill out the form properly. He said Virginia is especially efficient and processes money orders within 24 to 48 hours. …"

"… to make an extra dollar everywhere we can,” Shapiro said. Before JPay, Virginia prisons credited money orders to inmates’ accounts in roughly three days …"

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 "player":

"… thical presence as a political lobby, the NRA is still the best-positioned player in the debate by far, bringing in and spending hundreds of millions of dol …"

"… key, Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, said. Everytown, the newest player, has perhaps the biggest presence in the news and is the largest of the ad …"

"… ect our rights and freedoms,” she said. But these groups are still small players compared to the NRA. “The NRA is seen as the voice of gun owners. It d …"

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 "Mike Pence":

"… usly reported. And it's exponentially more than Indiana's Republican Gov. Mike Pence reported having in his campaign fund at 2013's end, which was about $1.4 m …"

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 "lobbyist":

"… s found sending sexually explicit messages to a congressional page. Now a lobbyist and political consultant whose clients include the Washington Na …"

"… -technically-active campaign account. In a phone interview, Gordon, now a lobbyist at the K&L Gates firm, categorically ruled out running for e …"

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 "special counsel":

"… e it difficult for him to sit among large groups. John Gill, the D.A.’s special counsel, said that office has been working more diligently with educators and soci …"

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 "Mississippi":

"… discussed “how to fix the states.” Lobbying firm executive and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and GOP stra …"

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 "Texas":

"… , D-Alaska; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Ki …"

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 "Fundraising":

"… f several of the super PACs say their committees’ spending is justified: Fundraising or advocacy work is often done by people whose salaries and consulting fee …"

"… cials did not return calls and emails. A couple of fundraisers, Strategic Fundraising and AB Data, hired by conservative and liberal groups, respectively, were …"

"… s. They were paid more than $4 million combined. A spokesman for Strategic Fundraising said the group specializes in raising money from small donors. As to the …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… allenging some of them already,” he said. Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia a …"

"… nor can financially support. Hours after the McCutcheon ruling came down, Massachusetts’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance announced it would “no long …"

"… individual may contribute to all candidates.” Spokesman Jason Tait said Massachusetts officials were also reviewing the current $5,000 aggregate limit that indi …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… s. Super PACs, which roared to life after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, differ from campaign committees and traditional political action …"

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.

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 "Democrats":

"… endorsed or opposed federal candidates. By and large, it worked to defeat Democrats and boost Republicans, although it did push for conservative candidates in …"

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 "Indiana":

"… information could divulge confidential corporate data. Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Wyoming, Rhode Island and Virginia have also created sim …"

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 "Sheldon Adelson":

"… super PAC of the anti-tax Club for Growth. Meanwhile, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson — who became a household name during the 2012 election for his deep …"

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 "Indiana":

"… ublican U.S. Senate candidates Josh Mandel of Ohio and Richard Mourdock of Indiana. McCutcheon also gave more than $300,000 to two conservative super PACs w …"

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 "Indiana":

"… vestment in a super PAC that backed moderate Republican Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana. The corporate super PAC donation, rare for a retail company, came during …"

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 "Georgia":

"… State Rep. Richard Smith, chairman of the House Insurance Committee in Georgia, and sponsor of a navigator bill there, said the laws are a matter of stat …"

"… igator program to the exchanges in each state. But in 34 states, including Georgia, the federal government will be running the exchange, at least in part. In …"

"… ution — and the recommendations forwarded by agent and broker groups. In Georgia, for example, the law calls for navigators to undergo background checks an …"

"… ows, who also works as an insurance agent and is a member of the Northwest Georgia Association of Health Underwriters, which helped write the bill, Smith sai …"

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 "National Toxicology Program":

"… cism for everything they do.” Birnbaum, who oversees the NIEHS’s National Toxicology Program, which has tested nearly 2,900 chemicals for carcinogenicity and other hea …"

"… nogens, a congressionally mandated document updated every few years by the National Toxicology Program. The hearing turned into a gripe session for proponents of styrene, a che …"

"… the witness lineup “very disappointing. In theory, we are examining the National Toxicology Program’s 12th Report on Carcinogens. In reality, we are hearing the o …"

"… half of the styrene research group, questioned the scientific rigor of the National Toxicology Program. The vice president of a small manufacturer of custom showers and vanity t …"

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 "Indiana":

"… according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. At a rally in Indianapolis on Saturday, protestors on Saturday also called for the creation of a …"

"… otestors on Saturday also called for the creation of a committee to review Indiana legislation that allows the use of deadly force to prevent themselves or s …"

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 "Georgia":

"… hat received a failing grade. The others were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississi …"

All the presidents' debt

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Party":

"… LaRouche PAC political action committee, could not be reached for comment. Democratic Party officials say they have no comment on LaRouche’s debt, as they maintain …"

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 "player":

"… berg, who founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2006, is a relatively new player in the gun debate but apparently wants to level the playing field. With a …"

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 "Hurricane Katrina":

"… m overcoming hardships. Kathryn’s mother and brother lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina. One of their daughters has had breast cancer. Tim Brown underwent heart s …"

Purdue University to slash government lobbying

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch Daniels":

"… ding.  Purdue's lobbying reductions hit as university President Mitch Daniels, Indiana's former governor, this week eliminated merit raises for senior a …"

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 "Judge":

"… p. Let him take care of things.’ ” Out of hand? Chief Juvenile Court Judge Steven Teske, of Clayton County, Ga., is not against police in schools, bu …"

"… s. As president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Nash sent a strongly worded letter to the Obama administration …"

Super PAC caters to Catholics

By Michael Beckel

Catholic-oriented super PAC mixes politics and religion.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… st sums aiding the unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidates Richard Mourdock of Indiana, Connie Mack of Florida and Tom Smith of Pennsylvania. All are Republicans …"

Club for Growth ranks congressional members

By Michael Beckel

Club for Growth touts lawmakers, ranks politicians with new scorecards.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tim Huelskamp":

"… three House members — Justin Amash, R-Mich., Paul Broun, R-Ga., and Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas. …"

Current gun debate may not help beleaguered ATF

By Alan Berlow

Federal gun cops handicapped by weak laws, stagnant budgets and Congressional restrictions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… r’s license. John Feinblatt, chief policy adviser to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said trace data is extremely useful in establishing “whether a dealer h …"

Democratic super PACs start year with cash advantage

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Democrats increasingly embracing super PACs despite previous opposition.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ed Gillespie":

"… the House.” The GOP juggernaut, co-founded by strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, raised more than $117 million during the 2012 election cycle, second only …"

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