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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?

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 "California":

"… of the world’s largest online poker companies. The couple, both born in California, were living in Gibraltar at the time, and their company eventually entere …"

"… looking at Internet gambling this year, including Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Mississippi, where a bill was introduced bu …"

Report offers grim predictions for South Texas air quality amid Eagle Ford oil boom

By Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

State-funded study projects dramatic increase in emissions from oil and gas development by 2018.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… ve permanent air monitors in the region, which is nearly twice the size of Massachusetts, and all of them are on the fringes of the shale play, far from the heavy …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… allenging some of them already,” he said. Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia a …"

"… nor can financially support. Hours after the McCutcheon ruling came down, Massachusetts’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance announced it would “no long …"

"… individual may contribute to all candidates.” Spokesman Jason Tait said Massachusetts officials were also reviewing the current $5,000 aggregate limit that indi …"

Air monitoring in fracking areas fails to detect spikes in toxic emissions, new study says

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

A new study finds that common air monitoring methods are all but useless in capturing intense, short-term emissions from gas development.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… h research. Isobel Simpson, an atmospheric scientist at the University of California-Irvine who was not involved with the Pennsylvania study, said the group’ …"

New report ranks best, worst states for kids of all ethnicities

By Susan Ferriss

Ethnic minority children will be majority of U.S. kids in four years, but face barriers to success in some places.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… hics. Latino children, it says, now represent half the child population of California and Texas, the country’s most populous states. “By 2018,” the repor …"

Treasury to Comerica: Take our money, please!

By Daniel Wagner

Officials handed bank tens of millions, asked few question, in troubled card program.

Inside the Koch brothers' campus crusade

By Dave Levinthal

The billionaire industrialists aren’t just investing in politicians, but also young hearts and minds.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… ation, from Harvard University to American University to the University of California, Los Angeles.   In 2012, the Koch foundations sent six- or seven-fig …"

"… $387,000 to support drug addiction and recovery studies. The University of California, Los Angeles, for example, took in $300,000 to support programs  …"

Ready for Hillary courts super PAC skeptics

By Michael Beckel

Ready for Hillary is courting 'Citizens United' skeptics — and finding success.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… claim financial backers from every U.S. state — although New Yorkers and Californians account for nearly half of the money it raised in 2013, according to fig …"

"… ork combined to give just shy of $1 million last year, as did residents of California. Only in seven states — Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dako …"

A world awash in a nuclear explosive?

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

Japan is leading a global move towards dangerous reactors fueled by a nuclear explosive, Thomas Cochran and other experts say.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… ears since specks of plutonium were first synthesized at the University of California, Berkeley. Japan, still reeling from the nuclear reactor disaster at Fuku …"

Super PACs, nonprofits fueling GOP strife

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative super PACs, nonprofits spending millions to blast Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… of Congress, much of which focused on the special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts that Republican Scott Brown ultimately won. This year, groups have spent …"

New Fed study says health reform can reduce financial stress

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Massachusetts law eases financial stress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… icans who file for bankruptcy because of medical debt. A new study in Massachusetts is providing evidence that the reform law passed in that state in 200 …"

"… ucted by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, found that the Massachusetts reform law, often called RomneyCare after then GOP Gov. Mitt Romney, has r …"

"… years earlier. The Federal Reserve of Chicago researchers found that the Massachusetts reform law, which reduced the rate of uninsured residents from 8.4 percent …"

"… helped improve credit scores and reduce overall debt. “We find that the Massachusetts reform improved financial outcomes across many dimensions,” Federal Rese …"

American Crossroads revs up attacks on Dems

By Michael Beckel

Karl Rove's deep-pocketed group kicks into action after largely dormant 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… t backed Republican Gabriel Gomez during a special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts. Heading into 2014, American Crossroads reported about $2.7 million in th …"

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 "California":

"… o break the list of the top 10 super PAC donors in 2013 was John Jordan, a California vintner who ranked ninth overall after contributing $1.7 million to a supe …"

Massachusetts tackles next phase of health care reform: controlling costs

By Wendell Potter

Massachusetts leading the way in effort to control costs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… being implemented as Congress intended, or how to make sure it isn’t — Massachusetts legislators have focused their attention on the next phase of reform: heal …"

"… e focused their attention on the next phase of reform: health care costs. Massachusetts is where the nation’s most sweeping reform bill was enacted in 2006 — …"

"… ER — neither Romneycare nor Obamacare went far enough. Now, once again, Massachusetts lawmakers are leading the nation, or at least trying to. And this year, we …"

"… ast month that between 21 percent and 39 percent of all health spending in Massachusetts in 2012 could be considered wasteful. The panel found, for example, that t …"

Pro-gay marriage Republican group boosted by Karl Rove’s super PAC

By Julie Patel and Michael Beckel

Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer's 'American Unity' super PAC received $53,000 from American Crossroads last year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… AC in the last 10 days of the special election for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts,” Collegio wrote in an email. American Crossroads has backed many more …"

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.

Pro-Republican super PAC goes sour

By Michael Beckel

A pro-GOP super PAC funded by a California vintner has ceased operations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… ublican Gabriel Gomez during last year’s special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts has been disbanded, according to paperwork recently filed with the Federal …"

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

A challenging two-step: cutting costs and covering the uninsured

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the political challenges of both cutting costs and providing health care coverage.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… the same focus of the bill former governor Mitt Romney signed into law in Massachusetts in 2006, which is why there are so many similarities between “Romneycare …"

"… st folks must enroll in a health plan or pay a penalty. Lawmakers in both Massachusetts and Washington came to the conclusion that expanding coverage and attackin …"

"… t lost. Progress can be made to control health care costs. And once again, Massachusetts might be able to lead the way, although a few other states are also settin …"

"… al spending. But first, the bad news. A report released last week by the Massachusetts’ Health Policy Commission said health care costs are higher in the Bay S …"

Top GOP donor Harold Simmons dead at 82

By Dave Levinthal

Texas billionaire ranked among top donors to Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… million to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group whose ads helped sink Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Most recently, …"

Lauded public health researcher also worked for industry, revealing entanglements of science

By David Heath

A late UC Berkeley dean pushed public health reforms — while also working for industry, revealing the deep reach of corporate science.

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 "Massachusetts":

"… involved in two special elections — New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race and Massachusetts’ 5th District congressional contest — to file disclosure reports. In d …"

State supreme court judges reveal scant financial information

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Despite universally poor disclosure rules, Center finds numerous conflicts among state high court judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… ecide? The answer varies from judge to judge, and court to court. In Massachusetts, judges evaluate both the dollar value of the financial interest and wheth …"

"… determine whether an investment requires stepping aside from a case, said Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court spokeswoman Jennifer Donahue. The federal recusal …"

League of Conservation Voters becoming 'dark money' heavyweight

By Michael Beckel

The liberal League of Conservation Voters is fast becoming one of the nation’s strongest 'dark money' forces.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… ocratic Rep. Ed Markey, a longtime advocate against global warming, during Massachusetts' special U.S. Senate election. By contrast, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce …"

The mess gets worse at Hanford’s nuclear site

By Rebecca LaFlure

A scientific dispute over cleanup of one of the most polluted sites in the country threatens to ensnare the Energy Department’s leaders.

Obama campaign pocketed Ponzi schemer cash

By Alison Fitzgerald

Obama's campaign — and 38 others — have not returned political money from Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford

Opponents' missteps locked in Obamacare's future

By Wendell Potter

COMMENTARY: Republicans overplayed their hand, just as WellPoint did in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… what was thought to be a safe seat for Democrats in a special election in Massachusetts on January 19 to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Reform advocates were …"

Idled FEC recalling workers to fix computing crash

By Dave Levinthal

Idled FEC is recalling furloughed workers to fix computer crashes that shut down key disclosure databases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… p;"essential" on the job. Candidates and political committees involved in Massachusetts' 5th District special congressional election and New Jersey's special U.S. …"

"… In a recent tweet, Weintraub recommended that committees involved in the Massachusetts special election post disclosure reports to their own websites given …"

Booker burying Lonegan in super PAC cash dash

By Dave Levinthal

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful has derided outside money but is greatly benefiting from it.