Romney's top fundraisers consider bailing

By Carrie Levine

As the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee considers another bid, Jeb Bush and other 2016 hopefuls try to poach top fundraisers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… Yankees, supported Romney is 2012 but is currently uncommitted. Texas developer Harlan Crow, a major donor in 2012 to Restore Our Futu …"

"… yone out’ Gaylord T. Hughey Jr., a prominent campaign cash bundler from Texas, said he has heard from and met with “several” potential presidential …"

"… ,000 for Romney’s 2012 campaign. He also raised money for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, another possible 2016 presidential candidate, when Perry …"

"… 2004 campaign. Hughey has also contributed to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who is also reportedly eyeing a presidential run. Asked about the number …"

Who needs lobbyists? See what big business spends to win American minds

By Erin Quinn and Chris Young

Trade groups pay top PR, advertising firms $1.2 billion over five years to influence public.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Insurance":

"… tor was led by the National Association of Realtors and America’s Health Insurance Plans. The Most Organization, based in Orange County, California, earned …"

"… co in 2012 after serving as executive vice president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group that represents health insurers. On behalf of AHIP, …"

"… y from 2008 through 2012, almost all of which came from America’s Health Insurance Plans. It’s unclear what exactly the agency did on the Insurance group …"

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 "Florida":

"… t funds sent by mail but most offer money order deposits as a free option. Florida, an outlier, charges its own processing fee for money order deposits. Befo …"

"… with Kansas to eliminate the fee for money order deposits in that state. Florida also charges a 50 cent fee for money order deposits, according to the stat …"

Running a five-star nursing home

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Top-rated homes had more nurses, less turnover

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… site Nursing Home Compare than the average daily levels calculated through Medicare cost reports that are largely out of public view. In 2005 the Centers for …"

"… cost reports that are largely out of public view. In 2005 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency responsible for nursing home oversight, …"

"… id the Medicaid cost reports that have much of the same information as the Medicare documents are generally more accurate than the self-reported data found on …"

Juvenile facilities strive to foster ‘family engagement’

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "transportation":

"… aced within 50 miles of their homes, with flexible visitation policies and transportation offered to families. But nationally, Arya writes, “There is widespread …"

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 "lobbyist":

"… unexpectedly close race with Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, a former lobbyist and ex-chairman of the Republican National Committee. The Virginia contes …"

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 "Environment":

"… air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will install the monitor in Karnes County, the epice …"

"… ired air monitoring expert with more than 30 years' experience at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the new monitor is "a very general thing that's …"

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 "Florida":

"… ment of Corrections informed her that JPay Inc., a private company in Florida, would begin handling all deposits into inmates’ accounts. Sending a mo …"

"… t year, when her son was sentenced to 20 days in jail in St. Lucie County, Florida, for reckless driving, Linda wanted to buy him a second pair of underwear …"

"… r, she was instructed to make the money order out to JPay and send it to a Florida post office box. The company would credit it to Eddie’s account. Under …"

"… e fees related to his business. He said he did not know, for example, that Florida now charges its own fee for money order deposits after JPay processes the …"

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 "Mayors Against Illegal Guns":

"… Solutions. In December 2013, Moms Demand Action formed a partnership with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded in 2006 by Bloomberg and former Boston Mayor Thomas Menin …"

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 "federal candidate":

"… n excess of $1,000 that were raised by a principal campaign committee of a federal candidate." For better or worse, thank the federal government for the chasm between …"

"… between these two extremes. Federal campaign finance law doesn't restrict federal candidates' use of campaign cash for state-level races, declaring plainly: "Contribu …"

"… ampaign cash for state-level races, declaring plainly: "Contributions from federal candidate committees to state or local candidate committees are subject to state law …"

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 "Goldman Sachs":

"… thanks in part to dividends, interest and changes in market values in the Goldman Sachs investment accounts in which it lies. In mid-1999, the year he left office …"

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 "Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act":

"… ric hospital. Unraveling the rules Forty years ago, a federal law — the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act—actually barred states that receive federal juvenile-justice f …"

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 "Mitch McConnell":

"… ry Reid, D-Nev., who signed on earlier this month. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., however, has “objected to passing the bill by unanimous consent, …"

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 "Alaska":

"… litical action committees during the final 21 days of a general election. Alaska restricts the percentage of money that can be raised from out-of-state don …"

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 "Virginia James":

"… or to Senate Conservatives Action, giving $1 million. Meanwhile, investor Virginia James of New Jersey and Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein each gave $500,000 …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… s and super PACs must file their fourth-quarter financial reports with the Federal Election Commission electronically. Senate campaigns, however, must submit their reports on p …"

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 "Indiana":

"… ade just one grant to another nonprofit organization last year: $30,000 to Indiana Right to Life, an affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee, which …"

"… liate of the National Right to Life Committee, which is seeking to “make Indiana inhospitable to abortion on demand.” The revelations about FreedomWorks …"

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 "Jan Brewer":

"… etting business do business The Arizona Commerce Authority is one of Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature achievements, but its public face has been Jerry Colangelo, …"

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 "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 "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 "Insurance":

"… integral to previous health care initiatives like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, said Tricia Brooks, a senior fellow at the Center for Children an …"

"… sked Wes Bissett, senior counsel for government affairs at the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. “What are the activities the different gr …"

"… ferent groups will do?” State Rep. Richard Smith, chairman of the House Insurance Committee in Georgia, and sponsor of a navigator bill there, said the laws …"

"… navigator bill there, said the laws are a matter of states’ rights. “Insurance is one of those few items that the states regulate,” he said. “We want …"

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 "Carcinogen":

"… partment of Health and Human Services — in particular, HHS’s Report on Carcinogens. Two lobby groups sued the agency after two widely used chemicals were li …"

"… e and Technology convened to examine the science behind the Report on Carcinogens, a congressionally mandated document updated every few years by the Natio …"

"… aring by saying that “concerns have been raised about how the [Report on Carcinogens] is developed and how its findings are communicated.” He called it a …"

"… are examining the National Toxicology Program’s 12th Report on Carcinogens. In reality, we are hearing the objections of one industry to the listing …"

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 "Montana":

"… , Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Penn …"

All the presidents' debt

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… mpaign, which finally petered out in April 2012 when it became clear rival Mitt Romney would capture the GOP banner. Among the dozens of debts totaling …"

"… mmunications Director Brad Woodhouse promised. Vanquished Republican rival Mitt Romney turned out to be a fiscal conservative after all. His own campaign committ …"

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 "Indiana":

"… p, the two Democrats mentioned earlier, as well as Republican Dan Coats of Indiana — nonetheless voted against expanded background checks last month. Overa …"

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 "Natural gas":

"… Courreges, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Natural gas filtered into the aquifer, and crude oil floated to the top of the sinkhol …"