Corporations, advocacy groups spend big on ballot measures

By Liz Whyte

Corporations and national advocacy groups are throwing big dollars behind TV ads before voters decide 158 state ballot measures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… and medium-information voters.” Gambling is also on the ballot in Massachusetts, with a casino-backed group spending about $3.3 million on ads. In total, …"

"… s include Coca-Cola and Pepsi, has pumped millions into a group opposing a Massachusetts ballot measure that would raise fees for beverage distributors and expand …"

North Carolina's state of political hate

By Dave Levinthal

North Carolina's U.S. Senate race is the nation's nastiest — and few are particularly friendly affairs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… Thomas Mills, who publishes political commentary and analysis website PoliticsNC.com. “Other than watching the World Series playoffs, I haven’t even …"

Center for Public Integrity hires Carrie Levine as federal politics reporter

By The Center for Public Integrity

Carrie Levine — former Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington research director — to investigate money in politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Carrie Levine":

"… for investigative journalism.  …"

California coverage plan for undocumented echoes earlier call by Schwarzenegger

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former governor supported plan allowing coverage for undocumented residents.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… rmer California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, Democrats in Congress decided as they worked on health care reform that providing coverage to th …"

Open pits offer cheap disposal for fracking sludge, but health worries mount

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Air emissions from oil and gas waste are among the least regulated, least monitored and least understood components of the fracking boom.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pollution":

"… ity. They formed a grassroots opposition group called Concerned About Pollution, or CAP, and held their first meeting under the gazebo in Nordheim’s Jub …"

'Ready for Warren' to change name

By Dave Levinthal

Federal regulators convince a pro-Elizabeth Warren super PAC to change its name.

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… herself from any presidential draft effort and said she won't run for the White House in 2016.     …"

Contractor, Hispanic worker deaths up in 2013, BLS says

By Talia Buford

The number of contractors and Hispanic workers who died on the job increased in 2013 even as the overall tally of worker deaths declined.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… ned, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In all, 4,405 workers died from injuries sustained on the job …"

Mitch McConnell revs ad machine

By Michael Beckel

Kentucky’s embattled senior senator has aired roughly one campaign ad every five minutes since Labor Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alaska":

"… g Labor Day, Democrats and their allies aired significantly more TV ads in Alaska, Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina, according to estimates from Kantar …"

In New Hampshire, quixotic super PAC shaking up Republican primary

By Dave Levinthal

Big-spending Mayday PAC giving Jim Rubens an unexpected boost — and Scott Brown a headache — ahead of GOP primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Joe Ricketts":

"… and super PAC Ending Spending Action Fund, formed by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts— are based in states other than New Hampshire. Mayday PAC is headquarter …"

FEC not 'Ready for Warren'

By Dave Levinthal

The nation's election regulator is telling an upstart super PAC to change its name, saying it violates federal law.

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "West Virginia":

"… an and Montana. Thanks to retirements of Democratic lawmakers in Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota, the GOP looks poised to pick up at least three seats. M …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internet connections":

"… ssachusetts, to Clallam County, Washington, currently offer fiber or cable Internet connections to their communities, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, …"

Firearms more likely to be used in suicides than in homicides

By Carmen Forman and Jacob Byk

At least 50 people died per day from firearm suicide; 26 died from firearm homicides.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… of firearm suicide generally have high gun ownership. Alan Berman, former director of the American Association of Suicidology, said there is a direct correla …"

"… ogress for help to curb suicides. Now, Flatt is amazed the office and its director, Richard Egan, are addressing it. After her 25-year-old son, Paul Tilland …"

‘Dr. Evil’ fuels dogfight between AKC, Humane Society

By John Dunbar and Erin Quinn

Public relations pro, food industry behind website, ads blasting Humane Society.

Excerpts from this story referencing "speaker":

"… tion. At “Iowa Swine Day” in 2013 he was voted the most effective speaker. He specifically defends the use of “gestation crates” — tiny pens …"

Lawmakers issue dueling Dodd-Frank reports

By Jared Bennett

Republicans say the financial reform law creates a bailout fund. Democrats says the 4-year-old law makes banks safer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… , written by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., denounced the financial reform law for faili …"

Is this U.S. coal giant funding violent union intimidation in Colombia?

By Rosalind Adams

Lawsuits allege Alabama-based Drummond Co., which mines coal in Colombia, has financial ties to groups that have threatened union leaders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… the United States signed a Free Trade Agreement with the country in 2006, Congress hesitated to enact the agreement because of Colombia’s poor labor rights …"

Most senators wait to take e-filing leap

By Michael Beckel

Only a slice of the Senate has opted to e-file campaign finance documents as members debate mandating the practice.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Thad Cochran":

"… on filings. Only 21 senators — a bipartisan group that ranges from Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — voluntarily e-filed unoffi …"

Praise for UK-style health system vindicates spurned nominee

By Wendell Potter

Former Medicare chief's support for UK's health care system may win votes in race for governor of Massachusetts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… dely respected physician and health policy expert, to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Despite having broad support among other heal …"

Credit rating industry dodges reforms, despite role in financial meltdown

By Alison Fitzgerald

Despite playing a central role in the economic collapse, firms that gave inflated ratings to toxic bonds remain untouched by reforms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… d for by the companies issuing the securities. Four years after President Barack Obama signed Dodd-Frank into law, many of the reforms to the credit rating indus …"

"… fe investment. Ratings are ‘opinions’ Just one day after President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank act into law on July 21, 2010, the credit ratings se …"

After Lindsey Graham met billionaire, supportive super PAC secured donation an hour later

By Marcelo Rochabrun

Sen. Lindsey Graham and a super PAC supporting him pitched a billionaire donor at same place an hour apart from one another other.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… airman, donated $10,000, and Robert Kargman, a board member and owner of a Massachusetts real estate firm, gave $25,000, according to campaign finance records. Wh …"

Home is where the money is for Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Medicare Advantage home visits may not improve health, but boost risk scores and cost taxpayers billions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid Services":

"… posal to restrict these visits. Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington refused numerous requests for comment and declined to answer …"

"… driving up Medicare’s costs. In February 2013, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials proposed flagging diagnoses written up from a home visit with an …"

Methodology for 'Medicare Advantage Money Grab'

By David Donald and Erin Durkin

A behind-the-scenes look at the data analysis for the 'Medicare Advantage Money Grab' investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George Washington University":

"… a. Brian Biles, an MD and professor in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University, and Giselle Casillas, an MPP and senior research assistant at the GWU, of …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… e, Ken Lane, said of the campaign money. Former Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, a Massachusetts Democrat who hasn’t served in Congress in 15 years, has almost $2.6 …"

"… n for former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. The Urban League of Springfield in Massachusetts received $5,000. But Meehan, now the chancellor of the University of Mass …"

"… etts received $5,000. But Meehan, now the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, still reported nearly $4.6 million remaining in his campaign coffe …"

"… nuary and donated the last of its cash — $8,698 — to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He had given away tens of thousands of dollars to other politic …"

Insurers following 'the playbook' in opposing California ballot initiative

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: multi-faceted effort to defeat California ballot initiative.

Excerpts from this story referencing "WellPoint":

"… The Los Angeles Times reported last week that health insurers — led by WellPoint, which owns and operates the state’s eight-million member Anthem Blue Cr …"

"… to an industry campaign aimed at defeating the rate regulation initiative. WellPoint contributed $12.8 million itself, and has been joined by other insurers, i …"

"… ned Sacramento-based Redwood Pacific Public Affairs, whose clients include WellPoint. The firm is headed by Rick Claussen, who is also a partner in the Washing …"

Limited liability companies power West Virginia super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Group funded by limited liability companies boosts West Virginia Republican Alex Mooney.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… Holding Co. LLC at a Boston address, but there is no company registered in Massachusetts with that name, according to state business records. Furthermore, an emplo …"

GOP civil war rages in Senate primary battles

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative nonprofits and super PACs have spent $10 million bashing Republicans to the delight of Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… rogate spokesman for the presidential campaigns of Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama. “You have what I like to call the cuckoo caucus going against hardened …"

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 "GPS":

"… activist Karen Testerman. Big-money groups such as the pro-GOP Crossroads GPS and the pro-Democratic Senate Majority PAC have already made expenditures …"

Donors, friends of governors often get state supreme court nod

By Rachel Baye

Judicial elections are often criticized for corrupting influence, but appointment process has problems too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… es an appointment that is later confirmed by a three-member commission. In Massachusetts, the governor can reject the list of nominees and ask for more. In two st …"

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 "Texas":

"… , D-Alaska; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Ki …"

Casinos and offshore companies battle for billions in online gambling push

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Congress, states and a rich mix of characters argue over regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Gibraltar":

"… e established online companies based in exotic locales like Costa Rica and Gibraltar. One casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, a prominent backer of conservative pol …"

"… rally partnered with other companies, including overseas operators such as Gibraltar-based Bwin.party Digital Entertainment, to run the websites. The casinos, …"

"… line poker companies. The couple, both born in California, were living in Gibraltar at the time, and their company eventually entered into a “non-prosecutio …"

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