Corporations, advocacy groups spend big on ballot measures

By Liz Essley 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 "Insurance":

"… time marijuana legalization advocate from Ohio and chairman of Progressive Insurance, who died in 2013. Another backer is the Drug Policy Alliance, an anti-dru …"

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 "WMUR-TV":

"… Massachusetts. For the third week in a row, with more than 800 ads, WMUR-TV 9 in New Hampshire last week led all stations nationwide in the numbe …"

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 "research director":

"… our years before joining the Center for Public Integrity, Levine worked as research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, where she managed …"

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 "Health and Human Services Secretary":

"… ented immigrants is nearly a billion dollars a year,” Schwarzenegger’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Kim Belshe, told PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill back then. “We are require …"

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 "spokesman":

"… barrels of waste were produced in 1995, before fracking began, but an API spokesman said those numbers haven’t been updated. The bulk of the waste is dirty …"

'Ready for Warren' to change name

By Dave Levinthal

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

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 "Jerry Brown":

"… ety violations. Employee advocates herald the bill, which is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, as a blueprint for worker protection laws around the countr …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… ding to estimates from Kantar Media/CMAG. In Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa and Louisiana, Democrats and their allies also edged out their rivals by narrower margin …"

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 "president":

"… at Buchanan over standard-bearing Sen. Bob Dole during the 1996 Republican presidential primary — during a year when a GOP luminary like House Majority Leade …"

"… he Senate spending spree translates into a deluge of messaging that rivals presidential election season, when New Hampshire hosts first-in-the-nation party pri …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Hillary Clinton":

"… id PAC that's raised millions of dollars to urge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president, doesn't violate federal political committee naming r …"

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 "Arkansas":

"… eir allies have aired more TV ads to date than their GOP rivals in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to data provided by Kan …"

"… pick up at least three seats. Meanwhile, Democratic incumbents in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina are bracing themselves against str …"

"… e, through late August, spent about $2.66 per eligible voter on TV ads. 2) Arkansas Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is fighting for a third term in a st …"

"… dn’t even field a challenger to Pryor, whose family is an institution in Arkansas politics. This election cycle, Pryor is being challenged by freshman Rep. …"

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 "general manager":

"… et, with Charter claiming about the same, estimates Brian Skelton, TUB’s general manager. The utility has paid off more than $3 million of the $16.9 million in bon …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… or 2012, the most recent year available, but Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island denied requests for statistics or could not …"

‘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 "ABC News":

"… used the AKC of blocking laws that would crack down on “puppy mills.” ABC News did a story on the report. In a statement released at the time, …"

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.

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.

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.

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 "Congress":

"… ws presidents to make short-term appointments without Senate approval when Congress is not in session, and that is what Obama did. He appointed Berwick as CMS …"

"… session, and that is what Obama did. He appointed Berwick as CMS head when Congress recessed for the July 4th holiday in 2010. He served until December of 201 …"

"… lth insurance industry’s friends on both sides of the political aisle in Congress would never have allowed that to happen — Berwick has not backed down fr …"

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 "Finance":

"… al Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Housing Finance Agancy are busy coming up with alternative ways to measure creditworthines …"

"… lly three or four ratings,” said Guy Cecala, CEO of Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication that tracks mortgage-backed securities. “You never …"

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 "South Carolina":

"… e from people like Catsimatidis — wealthy donors with few direct ties to South Carolina. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Ele …"

"… siness — has reported raising has come from donors who reside outside of South Carolina, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of FEC filings. The …"

"… selling homes across the country, does not have any business operations in South Carolina, according to the latest filing that his company, MDC Holdings, has submit …"

"… etto State contributed to the West Main Street Values PAC. One was former South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson. The other was Donald Finkell, the …"

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 "Dallas":

"… according to McCallum, a co-founder of CenseoHealth, who retired from the Dallas-based home visit company last year. McCallum stressed that home visits sh …"

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.

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 …"

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 "Health Net":

"… r insurers, including UnitedHealthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield and Health Net. Published reports show that they have been spending that money almost ex …"

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 "Al Gore":

"… include working as a surrogate spokesman for the presidential campaigns of Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama. “You have what I like to call the cuckoo c …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… ublican Scott Brown, who previously served in the U.S. Senate representing Massachusetts, last month launched a Senate campaign in the Granite State. Also seeking …"

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 "Iowa Supreme Court":

"… n-Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a Democrat, appointed attorney Brent Appel to the Iowa Supreme Court. Appel had never been a judge, but he gave roughly $30,000 to Vilsack’s …"

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, …"

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 "Entertainment":

"… sp;ban Internet gambling outright, while industry giants like Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts have taken the opposite tack, banding together in an effor …"

"… a small, Washington D.C.-based industry group called the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, met with state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a New Jersey …"

"… s, including overseas operators such as Gibraltar-based Bwin.party Digital Entertainment, to run the websites. The casinos, which were in favor of an Internet gam …"

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