Advisory panel tells Congress the nuclear weapons complex is too big and too old

By Douglas Birch

A congressional advisory panel says the nuclear weapons complex can be scaled down and modernized with less regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… Corporation to manage the Y-12 plant in Tennessee and the Pantex plant in Texas, where key nuclear weapons components are made. Panel co-chairman Richard …"

Analysis shows widespread discrepancies in staffing levels reported by nursing homes

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Analysis shows staffing levels lower than what's reported on public website.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington, D.C.":

"… rom 2008 to 2013. But Robyn Grant, director of public policy for the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Car …"

"… that are lower than those mandated by state laws. Thirty three states and Washington, D.C. had mandatory daily direct care staffing requirements that in 2010 ranged …"

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 …"

Megabanks have prison financial services market locked up

By Daniel Wagner

Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase & Co. avoid competitive bidding process in contracts serving federal prisoners.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Court of Appeals":

"… rate the facilities profitably or efficiently.” Twenty years later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned Treasury’s selection o …"

Politicos souring on FEC advice?

By Dave Levinthal

Requests for election law rulings plummet as ideological gridlock envelops commission.

Hobbled IRS can't stem 'dark money' flow

By Julie Patel

Budget and staffing cuts, endless congressional investigations keep IRS from investigating activities of political nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… e 2010 election. Then the IRS tea party scandal exploded. Republicans in Congress began waylaying the IRS over what they said was the systematic and inexcus …"

"… ng the names of their donors secret. The tea party scandal, combined with Congress systematically stripping the IRS of resources and clout over decades, has …"

"… their evolution. Responding to business complaints about the arrangement, Congress in 1950 passed a law levying taxes on nonprofits’ “unrelated business …"

"… lect tax dollars, the IRS itself is receiving fewer and fewer of them from Congress. The IRS’ approved budget for the 2014 fiscal year is $11.3 b …"

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Law":

"… in favor of young children benefitting from counsel in immigration court. Lawyers said the suit—one of the plaintiffs is originally from Mexico—was …"

Saving the penny makes cents for zinc-backed front group

By Erin Quinn

'Broad-based' group created to save the penny from extinction turns out to be backed by a company that supplies metal to make the coins.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ethics":

"… d Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog group. Sloan also believes the number …"

"… e deception easier, said George Johnson, chairman of the PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards. “As a new form of communication, a new set …"

"… new opportunities and new problems,” Johnson said. The PRSA’s Code of Ethics includes an entire section dedicated to disclosure of information. The cod …"

How cozy can candidates be with political groups?

By Rachel Baye

A Wisconsin probe into recall campaigns highlights murky rules nationwide about how much candidates and outside groups can coordinate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Law":

"… ent conservative nonprofits leading up to 2011 and 2012 recall elections. Laws vary widely when it comes to how tight candidates can be with political b …"

Happy birthday, super PAC!

By Marcelo Rochabrun

Name for 'independent expenditure-only committee' turns 4 years old, but still not fully integrated into common language.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… round for days or even hours to come up with this term,” Carney told the Center for Public Integrity, although she emphasized that she is particularly conscious of word choice …"

CPI-ABC black lung series wins Loeb award

A CPI-ABC News investigation of the flawed federal benefits system for miners with black lung on Tuesday won a Gerald Loeb award.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jim Morris":

"… award were Chris Hamby and Ronnie Greene, formerly of the Center; CPI’s Jim Morris and Chris Zubak-Skees; and ABC’s Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk. The inves …"

25 years, countless investigations and 935 lies

By Charles Lewis

Founder Chuck Lewis tells how the Center for Public Integrity came to be in this excerpt from his new book.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… ar,” which examined the major US government contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq, definitively revealing Halliburton and its subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown and …"

"… published by the Center for Public Integrity in January, 2008.  Iraq: The War Card, a 380,000-word chronology and analysis of the pre-war publi …"

"… atements” about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.  …"

FEC struggles to appoint top lawyer

By Dave Levinthal

Agency that enforces campaign laws has gone without a general counsel for nearly a year — and counting.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal election law":

"… e of two FEC staff officers (the other being staff director) prescribed by federal election law. No current staffer has been elevated to "acting" general counsel, either, …"

Labor Department unveils rule to protect coal miners following Center investigation

By Chris Hamby

Move is a direct response to disclosures that lawyers kept key evidence from sick miners, which caused some to lose benefits cases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Judge":

"… h amounts to misleading Judges and the firm’s other consulting doctors. Judges have called the firm’s actions “shocking” and “unconscionabl …"

Ex-FEC leader starts New Hampshire super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Former FEC Chairman David Mason establishes 'New Hampshire PAC to Save America'.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… quired to disclose when we’re required to disclose it,” Mason told the Center for Public Integrity. “No public announcements.” While Mason, the super PAC's treasurer, i …"

Federal judges plead guilty

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Judges acknowledge conflicts of interest Center found in 26 cases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal law":

"… y not sit on cases in which they have a financial interest, according to a federal law. A similar rule is also in place in the code of conduct established by the …"

How watchdog journalism makes a difference

By Bill Buzenberg

Impact from 'Breathless and Burdened' a textbook example of the power of relentless reporting.

Excerpts from this story referencing "law":

"… byzantine federal benefits system that often favors coal companies and the lawyers and doctors they enlist. I believe the key reason Solicitor of Labor …"

"… n Ross Investigative Unit of ABC News, the series revealed how doctors and lawyers, working on behalf of coal companies, have helped defeat hundreds of c …"

"… ing shortly after our stories were published. In a similar way, the go-to law firm for many of the coal industry’s giants when they want to beat back …"

"… after the Center revealed its practice of withholding key evidence. This law firm, Jackson Kelly PLLC, has served the coal industry for almost &nb …"

Lawyer selected for Czech ambassadorship also major Obama fundraiser

By Michael Beckel

Attorney Andrew Schapiro has become the latest of the president's campaign bundlers tapped for a top diplomatic post.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Argentina":

"… tries where they may soon represent U.S. interests. Nominees for posts in Argentina, Iceland and Norway admitted before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee …"

Nonprofits spend money on campaigns despite benefactors' warnings

By Julie Patel

Despite warning, four nonprofits spent money on 2012 elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nick Ryan":

"… d emails seeking comment. The Iowa-based American Future Fund, founded by Nick Ryan, a GOP consultant, received a $49.2 million grant from the Center to Prote …"

Transfers allow nonprofits to spend more money on campaigns, experts say

By Julie Patel

Groups move money to maximize amount that can be used to advocate for or against candidates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… And they don’t have to reveal their donors. But there’s a downside. Internal Revenue Service rules are generally interpreted to mean 501(c)(4) social welfare groups mu …"

Saturated with oil money, Texas legislature saved industry from pollution rule

By David Hasemyer, Ben Wieder and Alan Suderman

An effort to impose stricter rules on Texas oil and gas operators in 2011 fizzled after the state legislature got involved.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… too far. State Sen. Glenn Hegar, a Republican, led the opposition in the Senate while Craddick led the fight in the House. SB1134 prohibited the TCEQ from …"

"… ompted him to support the commission reforms. With Hegar’s support, the Senate voted 29 to 2 to approve the restructuring of the Railroad Commission. But …"

"… e full House, voted to keep three elected commissioners, but the House and Senate could agree only to defer the issue for two years. Last year the Sunset C …"

"… gas projects. Williams left the commission in 2011 to campaign for a U.S. Senate seat. He soon switched gears to run for an open U.S. House seat instead, b …"

Billionaires use super PACs to advance pet causes

By Michael Beckel

Wealthy donors who bankrolled their own issue-focused super PACs dominated the 2013 fundraising game.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Joe Ricketts":

"… during the previous election cycle. Similarly quiet were GOP mega-donors Joe Ricketts, Robert Rowling and William Koch, the lesser-known brother of billionaire …"

Federal appeals court sides with law firm in black lung case, but finds actions 'hardly admirable'

By Chris Hamby

Coal law firm's withholding of evidence not "fraud on the court," appeals court rules, shifting long-standing battle to West Virginia.

Highlights of Offshore Leaks so far

By Kimberley Porteous and Emily Menkes

Highlights of ICIJ's offshore leaks investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank":

"… cloaked offshore companies in the Caribbean and Asia. Raiffeisen Bank International chief executive Herbert Stepic said he was stepping aside to …"

"… efore he went missing, documents contained in the ICIJ data cache show. Bankrupt real estate mogul Hans Thulin had as much as $17 million she …"

"… llion he helped Hogan hide offshore in Switzerland.   Clariden Bank, part of Credit Suisse, sought highly-secretive structures and p …"

"… ternal documents reveal he was advised by the Singapore branch of Deutsche Bank to do business with Portcullis TrustNet. When interviewed by L’Espr …"

Rising caseload, fewer Labor Department judges triggers painful mix for suffering laborers

By Jim Morris

A federal worker compensation program once viewed as a model now suffers rising caseloads — but fewer judges, triggering frustration.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Law":

"… ago. Yet new cases filed with the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges have risen by 68 percent in the past five years, with a 134-percent …"

"… tired Labor Department Lawyer who runs the Longshore Claimants’ National Law Center in Washington. “They can’t hold out for another year or two or …"

"… medical care he needed, Bouhout believes. “He might be alive today.” Lawyer Dupree, representing Ratliff’s estate, and Chartis — now known simp …"

"… rallels the underfunding” of the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges. When insurers don’t pay, claimants’ medical costs are transfe …"

How Washington starves its election watchdog

By Dave Levinthal

Agency hamstrung by political bickering, case backlogs, staff departures — even Chinese hackers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chris Dodd":

"… e had no money. Another involves the presidential committee of former Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., who dropped out of the presidential race in early 2008. Dodd’s …"

Days after investigation, coal miners' safety net scrutinized

By Bill Buzenberg

Center's 'Breathless and Burdened' series leads U.S. senators to call for changes, major hospital to halt program and review practices.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coal":

"… thing miners and their families in the Coal fields have known for decades. Coal companies, their lawyers and their hand-picked doctors will go to any leng …"

Inside a coal company exam

By Chris Hamby

Gathered in a hospital in southwestern Virginia, miners wait their turn for a black lung exam by a doctor chosen by the coal company.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ansas motel room but didn’t have a license to practice in the state, the Center for Public Integrity found. Asked about the exam, Labor Department officials said they weren’ …"

Center series digs into the 'epidemic' of deadly black lung disease

By Bill Buzenberg

Three-part series finds coal industry law firm playing role in denying benefits to dying miners.

Coal industry's go-to law firm withheld evidence of black lung, at expense of sick miners

By Chris Hamby

In part 1 of a series, the Center details how a major law firm withheld evidence of black lung, helping defeat miners' claims for benefits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Law":

"… d by the Center, the firm has argued that its tactics are entirely proper. Lawyers and judges have said the behavior revealed in these known cases likely …"

"… orm of the disease. But federal black lung cases are almost never simple. Lawyers like those at Jackson Kelly thrive on medical uncertainty and alternat …"

"… clearly indicates that this is not complicated disease.” Administrative Law Judge Miller made it clear that the pathology report was vital in his  …"

"… s whose rulings it didn’t like. In a pair of cases before Administrative Law Judge Fletcher Campbell in 2004, the firm refused to answer questions abou …"