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 "Lynn Buehring":

"… is starting to respond now," he said. "I think we're on the right track." Lynn Buehring, who lives a few miles outside of Karnes City with her husband Shelby, is …"

"… I think it’s a good idea they are doing this, [installing the monitor]," Lynn Buehring said. “I hope they see what this monitor tells them backs up what we hav …"

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 "Maryland":

"… to Republican candidates and also lobbies for for-profit universities. In Maryland, JPay hired Bruce Bereano, one of the state's best-paid lobbyists, who was …"

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 "Minnesota":

"… rad Leeser, 58, a member of the NRA and Gun Owners of America in Moorhead, Minnesota. Gun rights voters tend to be single-issue voters, meaning they prioritiz …"

"… es passed laws this year to help remove firearms from domestic abusers. In Minnesota Everytown helped draft the bill. Since the Heller ruling, the NRA has hel …"

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 "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 …"

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 "Congress":

"… g these minors exposes them to danger and bad influences. In 1980, though, Congress amended the 1974 federal Act to allow judges a significant federal excepti …"

"… ouncil of Juvenile and Family Court Judges took another approach by urging Congress to eliminate the valid court order exception as part of a long-overdue rea …"

"… ile justice act. Back in 1980, it was this same judges’ group that urged Congress to include the valid court order exception. In 2009, Sen. Patrick Leahy, …"

"… sed eliminating this exception in the reauthorization of the act — which Congress has still failed to do. And in March of this year, Rep. Tony Cardenas, Dem …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… an exclusive, “off-the-record” retreat. GOP 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Budg …"

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 "Elizabeth Warren":

"… D-R.I.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; John Walsh, D-Mont; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; and Ron Wyden, D …"

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” …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… e limits on the political contributions of corporations and labor unions. Louisiana limits contributors from giving more than $100,000 to non-candidate commit …"

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 "Republican Party":

"… e Foundation. “We must remember that there is a distinction between the Republican Party and the conservative movement,” DeMint declared at the 2013 Conservative …"

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 "Thad Cochran":

"… makers were Tester and Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Dianne Feinstein, D- …"

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 "Republican Party":

"… vid Dewhurst, Texas’ lieutenant governor and the favorite of many of the Republican Party’s establishment. The super PAC also went after incumbent Sen. Orrin Hat …"

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 "George W. Bush":

"… nd has run the U.S.A. national basketball program. In 2006, President George W. Bush named him to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. …"

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 "Republican Party":

"… candidate Richard Mourdock. McCutcheon also contributed about $30,000 to Republican Party committees, including $20,000 to the Alabama Republican Party. He furtherm …"

"… t $30,000 to Republican Party committees, including $20,000 to the Alabama Republican Party. He furthermore gave more than $300,000 to two super PAC operations with w …"

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 "Republican Party":

"… me Court will soon consider, made an excessive contribution to the Alabama Republican Party’s federal political committee last year, records show. McCutcheon, a ge …"

"… McCutcheon, a general contractor by trade, donated $1,000 to the Alabama Republican Party on Nov. 12, 2012, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of cam …"

"… to advise them to redesignate or refund.” Mallory Jackson, the Alabama Republican Party’s treasurer, told the Center for Public Integrity that “there is softw …"

"… rds filed with the FEC show that McCutcheon donated $26,000 to the Alabama Republican Party’s federal committee in January 2012 and another $250 four months later. …"

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 "Roll Call":

"… in the 1986 election cycle, the PAC doled out about $120,000, according to Roll Call. The PAC hasn't spent more than $32,000 during a two-year election cycle s …"

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 "Michigan":

"… id not specify what they should be.) Lawmakers introduced similar bills in Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania that have not passed. Most of the laws c …"

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 "ExxonMobil":

"… ouncil, a trade association that represents companies such as Dow and ExxonMobil, had 53 panels devoted to chemicals from acetone to vinyl chloride, the co …"

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 "Rick Scott":

"… llowing Zimmerman’s acquittal, youth protestors took their anger to Gov. Rick Scott and began camping in front of the Florida governor’s office. The protest …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… tana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming. States were graded on a 100-point …"

All the presidents' debt

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican presidential primary":

"… e back story: Keyes collected about 5 percent of all votes during the 2000 Republican presidential primary and never seriously challenged neither eventual winner George W. Bush nor …"

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 "Montana":

"… $30,830 in total funding from gun rights groups since 2000. Max Baucus of Montana (NRA A+) was the beneficiary of $28,830 while Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (NR …"

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 "Indiana":

"… ays wanted to be on the water,” said Brown, originally from French Lick, Indiana. “We’ve got too much invested in our home to try to move. … Once you …"

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 "Los Angeles Unified School District Police":

"… r student citations and arrests. The Center for Public Integrity analyzed Los Angeles Unified School District Police records and found that from 2009 through 2011, officers issued about 10,00 …"

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 "Jay Rockefeller":

"… 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 "Dianne Feinstein":

"… requirements of the NFA. The assault weapons ban recently proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. includes no registration language. Background checks miss many b …"

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 "George Soros":

"… . The group was co-founded by Jonathan Soros, son of billionaire investor George Soros*, David Donnelly of Public Campaign Action and Ilyse Hogue, who was named …"

"… ntly joined public affairs firm Global Strategies Group as an executive. *George Soros is the chairman of the Open Society Foundation, which provides funding for …"