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 "Prison":

"… sury, under which they provide financial services to the federal Bureau of Prisons. This piece is part of a joint investigation with CNBC, whose coverage ca …"

"… ash into Prisons, making it easier for corrections agencies to take a cut. Prisons do so directly, by deducting fees and charges before the money hits an in …"

"… Rodriguez-Barrera, an inmate at Virginia’s high-security Red Onion State Prison, wrote in a letter to Prisoners’ rights advocates in February. Faster to …"

"… ompany also sought to lobby Washington for access to the federal Bureau of Prisons’ 216,000 inmates — what Shapiro has called “the mother ship of all …"

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 "Mike Thompson":

"… and domestic violence bill was introduced in the House by Democratic Reps. Mike Thompson of California and Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut, whose district includes N …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… for Public Integrity analysis of federal campaign finance disclosures and Center for Responsive Politics data indicates. Dozens of other former members and congressional also-ran …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… to counsel for truants during court proceedings. In some states, such as Pennsylvania, counsel is automatic and can only be waived after multiple steps to ensur …"

"… waived after multiple steps to ensure children grasp what they are doing. Pennsylvania was rocked by a scandal a couple of years ago when two juvenile court judg …"

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 "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 "Arkansas":

"… t well with anybody,” said Herman Ahrens, a retired Air Force colonel in Arkansas who donated $235 to the Tea Party Leadership Fund last year. He recalled …"

"… nbsp;website, to vice president. Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, is a paid executive director of the super PAC “compe …"

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 "Wisconsin":

"… aid. Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia all currently have laws on the books …"

"… of a lawsuit.” Officials in Connecticut, Maine, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., also said they were reviewing the Supreme Court’s …"

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 "Oregon":

"… artin Heinrich of New Mexico, Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Ron Wyden of Oregon told the Center for Public Integrity that the campaign finance reports due …"

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 "Nevada":

"… lay a similar role. The state Department of Transportation, along with its Nevada counterpart, recently funded a study arguing the economic benefits of the …"

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 "lobbyist":

"… sed in 2012. (The true figure is likely far higher. Several states require lobbyists to report only spending ranges, and some disclose the amounts lobbyists s …"

"… re lobbyists to report only spending ranges, and some disclose the amounts lobbyists spent on lawmakers but not their full compensation). The associations al …"

"… 1,300 rooms. The lawmakers were joined on the fifth floor by more than 200 lobbyists and other representatives of insurance companies, law firms and industry …"

"… ers’ travel. For instance, NCOIL is explicitly exempted from Indiana’s lobbyist law. “I’m not going to say that legislators should not attend or shou …"

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 "Cal Dooley":

"… emicals from acetone to vinyl chloride, the council’s CEO and president, Cal Dooley, wrote in responses to questions from Rep. Edwards. The panels spring into …"

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 "Senate":

"… willing to yield to protestors’ demands, Florida’s Democratic minority Senate leader, Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale, said he’s calling for a hearing …"

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 "Wisconsin":

"… orth Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin — received an “A” grade, meaning the states’ laws were at least as …"

All the presidents' debt

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… out reaching a settlement” on the fines. At the end of 2004, weeks after George W. Bush secured a second term, Sharpton's campaign found itself in better shape th …"

"… residential primary and never seriously challenged neither eventual winner George W. Bush nor Sen. John McCain. His legacy? More than $300,000 in debt owed to a&nbs …"

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 "Environment":

"… wing and growing,” said Marylee Orr, executive director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, an advocacy organization based in Baton Rouge. “Myster …"

"… olitics,” said Lois Gibbs, executive director of Center for Health, Environment and Justice, a nonprofit based in Falls Church, Va., that works with commu …"

"… heavy metals from an abandoned former wood treating facility. By 1992, the Environmental Protection Agency said it excavated 225,000 cubic yards of con …"

"… around the sinkhole. So far, tests results by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality show “no harmful Environmental releases,” the state said. Y …"

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 "Arizona":

"… low designated teachers or other school staff to be armed include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Oklahoma and South Carolina. Texas …"

Super PAC caters to Catholics

By Michael Beckel

Catholic-oriented super PAC mixes politics and religion.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. government":

"… ood, Mich., Autocam and Autocam Medical. Last year, Kennedy sued the U.S. government over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare …"

Club for Growth ranks congressional members

By Michael Beckel

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Club for Growth":

"… being the lone U.S. senator to earn a score of zero from the conservative Club for Growth in its latest congressional scorecard, released today. The five-term …"

"… ing contest. During the 2012 election cycle, the Club's super PAC, called Club for Growth Action, spent nearly $17 million on advertisements that expressly advocate …"

"… idate who has announced her intentions to seek Rockefeller's seat. But the Club for Growth hopes she won't be the last. Last year, Club for Growth President Chris C …"

"… r's seat. But the Club for Growth hopes she won't be the last. Last year, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola issued a statement critizing Capito for having an …"

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 "Chuck Grassley":

"… ned with gun-control advocates and anti-gun activities.” Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the J …"

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 "David Donnelly":

"… s co-founded by Jonathan Soros, son of billionaire investor George Soros*, David Donnelly of Public Campaign Action and Ilyse Hogue, who was named the new president …"

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