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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… people incarcerated in Indiana, Ohio and Oklahoma. The move comes after a Center for Public Integrity report showed that the families of hundreds of thousands of U.S. inmates h …"

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 "Missouri":

"… book detailing facility policies. Arya also points to the widely cited “Missouri Model” and lauds the state for putting a premium on family engagement an …"

"… engagement and for viewing “families as experts.” Among other things, Missouri’s Division of Youth Services state advisory board includes parents of tw …"

"… ithin days of sentencing and continuing throughout the youth’s time with Missouri’s DYS. The service coordinators even make home visits to meet with famil …"

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 "Karl Rove":

"… ive groups — including a cluster of groups tied to Republican strategist Karl Rove and a network of groups backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and D …"

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 "New York":

"… onsumer regulators. In response to questions for this story, however, the New York Department of Financial Services’ consumer division is reviewing the com …"

"… 2012 to hire Park Strategies, run by former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato of New York, in an effort to obtain the contract. That effort was not successful. Mor …"

"… . A couple of years out of college, he spent months driving around upstate New York, pitching JPay to “every sheriff, whether they had five inmates or 100 i …"

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 "Senate":

"… politics. An amendment expanding background checks came to a vote in the Senate in April 2013, something gun control advocates saw as a victory. It didn …"

"… crease funding for NICS by $19.5 million in 2015 passed the House, but the Senate has not taken it up. The amendment’s passage was seen as a victory by th …"

"… – but NICS funding will not actually increase unless the bill passes the Senate. The gun control movement also wants legislation addressing domestic abus …"

"… cate in Congress since the 1990s. “So many members in the House and the Senate started to stand up and speak, so there’s so many more voices out there …"

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 "California":

"… Bayh served as Indiana's governor from 1989 to 1997, and as Jerry Brown in California has proven, it's possible for a state's former chief executive to have a s …"

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 "Texas":

"… d Reps. Jerry Costello, D-Ill. ($1.38 million) and Jim Turner, D-Texas ($972,843). Ex-candidates cannot spend unused campaign money on themselve …"

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 "Knox County":

"… as A.G. screamed in disbelief. Guards forced the sobbing teen out of the Knox County Juvenile Court and clapped shackles on her legs. She had been struggling w …"

"… before A.G. pleaded guilty and was taken away and put into detention. The Knox County District Attorney’s office, which prosecutes truants, said children’s …"

"… om commenting on specific cases like A.G.’s. A continuing controversy in Knox County   Since late last year, the Center for Public Integrity has bee …"

"… ocuments that suggest a vigorous pattern of locking up status offenders in Knox County. Families and attorneys here have also alleged that accused truants with d …"

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 "Rick Scott":

"… the course of the weekend, documents indicate. For instance, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels discussed …"

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 "Senate":

"… t; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; and Ron Wyden, D-Ore. Neither senators nor Senate candidates are required to e-file their campaign finance reports — unlik …"

"… ust submit their campaign finance reports on paper to the secretary of the Senate, where they are scanned and then forwarded to the FEC. In a process that …"

"… 000 a year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Known as the “Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act,” Tester’s legislation has 39 cosponsor …"

"… closure Parity Act,” Tester’s legislation has 39 cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who signed on earlier this month. Sen …"

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 "Arizona":

"… he money of the people,” Skinner said. Jan PAC is a super PAC formed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, to oppose the Obama administration’s sign …"

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 "Senate":

"… key to the Democrats’ plans for this year’s congressional elections. Senate in play The Senate Majority PAC, which aims to help Democrats retain cont …"

"… s’ plans for this year’s congressional elections. Senate in play The Senate Majority PAC, which aims to help Democrats retain control of Congress’ u …"

"… ign ads as segments of damning video or audio — raised $5.9 million. “Senate Majority PAC is necessary because we have to fight back against the Koch b …"

"… e groups who are flooding millions of dollars into races trying to buy the Senate,” said spokesman Ty Matsdorf. “We can't fight with one arm tied behind …"

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 "campaign finance reports":

"… axpayers, the U.S. Senate has still yet to pass a requirement that it file campaign finance reports electronically. By Friday, presidential candidates, House candidates, pol …"

"… nkrolling senators’ campaigns. A requirement that senators e-file their campaign finance reports was included in the Senate version of a financial services bill that was f …"

"… cans and two independents. Of those 36 co-sponsors, 22 have not filed past campaign finance reports electronically. And 19 are expected to file the reports due this Friday on …"

"… kota and Ron Wyden of Oregon told the Center for Public Integrity that the campaign finance reports due by Friday would be e-filed. “In this day and age, it makes sense to …"

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 "Matt Kibbe":

"… at was slightly more than the $470,000 in compensation received in 2012 by Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks’ president and chief executive officer. FreedomWorks, whi …"

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 "Arizona":

"… Chris Zubak-Skees contributed to this report.   …"

"… ors run by the governor and Jerry Colangelo, who, after four decades as an Arizona sports and real estate mogul, is a local icon.  Sixteen other corpora …"

"… laws and, as of this year, from government audits. Other states, including Arizona, have applied ethics and freedom of information laws to the entities but h …"

"… charge to make decisions that were never elected,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “Is …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… 15 federal candidates, including contributions to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Ohio Republican and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel and Indiana Republi …"

"… the then-$46,200 aggregate limit — to 16 Republican candidates including Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McCo …"

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 "Lincoln":

"… ead the recommendations by testifying and lobbying at state capitals, from Lincoln to Columbus. The agent and broker associations have spent at least $683,0 …"

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 "Small Business Administration":

"… know that styrene causes cancer, don’t you?’ ” An official with the Small Business Administration warned that users of styrene faced tort lawsuits, higher insurance costs a …"

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 "Tennessee":

"… mpshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming. States were graded on a 100-point scale, based on how much i …"

All the presidents' debt

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "law":

"… 3,910 from his 2004 presidential bid. Donald J. McTigue, Kucinich’s lawyer and campaign treasurer, is due most of it. “The committee recogn …"

"…  to unpaid legal and consulting fees billed by Washington, D.C.-based law firm Ryan Phillips Utrecht & McKinnon. Edwards' campaign deb …"

"… r campaign management services. And Bachmann owes more than $6,200 to law and lobbying firm Patton Boggs for legal services. Smaller, stra …"

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 "Mayors Against Illegal Guns":

"… ps totals just $608,827. Mayor Mike and his forces Bloomberg, who founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2006, is a relatively new player in the gun debate but apparently wants …"

"… vision ads encouraging senators to vote for tougher background checks. And Mayors Against Illegal Guns is contemplating an ad campaign to make an example of Arkansas D …"

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 …"

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 "Law":

"… On Feb. 20, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the National Youth Law Center filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office …"

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