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 "San Francisco":

"… akers group has also backed a group trying to defeat a local initiative in San Francisco that would tax sugary drinks; so far the group has spent $1.8 million on a …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… ng Republican challenger Scott Brown on his record as a politician in Massachusetts. For the third week in a row, with more than 800 ads, WMUR-TV 9  …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… viously reported for The Charlotte Observer, The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Massachusetts, and The Sun of Lowell, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Boston Univers …"

"… erver, The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Massachusetts, and The Sun of Lowell, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Boston University and the Columbia University Gradua …"

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 "Arnold Schwarzenegger":

"… olks hanging off the sides of the ship." …"

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 "oil and gas industry":

"… d by the state’s Railroad Commission, the primary regulator for the oil and gas industry. The agency considers the projects’ effects on water, but not on air qua …"

'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 "Occupational Safety and Health Administration":

"… slightly from 2012. The new tranche of data came on the same day that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a final revised rule requiring employers to notify OSHA with …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… ns to victory in a Republican primary that former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts easily won. He now faces incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in what …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… to a little-known challenger.  Scott Brown, the former senator from Massachusetts who lost his seat in 2012, is expected to win the New Hampshire's GOP prim …"

"… n wildly different. It’s massive departure from 2012 re-election bid in Massachusetts, as then, Brown cast himself as a novel kind of campaign finance reformer. …"

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 "Scott Brown":

"… ext month. Warren won her U.S. Senate office in 2012, defeating then-Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who's now attempting to win a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire. …"

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 "Americans for Prosperity":

"… with the Democrats. The top-spending groups to aid Republicans have been Americans for Prosperity, the politically active nonprofit backed by conservative billionaires Char …"

"… s repeatedly blasted the Koch brothers, who support conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, for their involvement in the race. But the top sponsor of ads in this co …"

"… more than 9,500 ads in the race. That’s about 63 percent more ads than Americans for Prosperity, which has pummeled Hagan for her ties to Obama and her vote for the presi …"

"… for her ties to Obama and her vote for the president’s health care law. Americans for Prosperity’s ads don’t overtly call for Hagan’s defeat, thereby allowing the gr …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… t. City-provided broadband widespread More than 130 cities from Norwood, Massachusetts, to Clallam County, Washington, currently offer fiber or cable Internet co …"

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 "reporter":

"… not,” said one rider on his morning commute, asked about the poster by a reporter. “I wonder who is putting up the ads and how factual they are?” Good …"

"… Public Integrity, suggesting an investigation of the society and directing reporters to the Humanewatch.org website. Hamilton calls the Humane Society “the …"

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 "bank":

"… orm law for failing to eliminate “too big to fail,” the situation when banks are so large that their failure would destabilize the U.S. financial syst …"

"… blessing of a Democratic Congress, created a $700 billion fund to bail out banks and other financial firms that were teetering on the brink of collapse. T …"

"… ers. Under the new rules, the Federal Reserve has the power to break up a bank if it doesn't believe it can go bankrupt or be wound down without harming …"

"… l Reserve has the power to break up a bank if it doesn't believe it can go bankrupt or be wound down without harming the overall financial system, said Al …"

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 "judge":

"… shipments. In response to evidence that surfaced in Blanco’s trial, the judge called for an investigation into CEO Garry Drummond and three other manage …"

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 "Washington":

"… ee, as the watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington previously noted. Tester spokeswoman Marnee Banks said she was "hopeful" …"

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 "Senate":

"… The Constitution allows presidents to make short-term appointments without Senate approval when Congress is not in session, and that is what Obama did. He a …"

"… xpire. Obama decided not to try again to get him confirmed after 42 of the Senate’s 47 Republicans, many of whom had claimed during the health care reform …"

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 "Senate":

"… economic earthquake from which the aftershocks continue today,” said the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in a 2011 report. Post-cris …"

"… so would have hurt their own revenues,” said the report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The investigations, including a …"

"… system for assigning ratings rather than having issuers bid for them. The Senate approved it in May 2010 by a vote of 64-35. Then-Senate Banking Committee …"

"… bid for them. The Senate approved it in May 2010 by a vote of 64-35. Then-Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and House Financial …"

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 "Boeing":

"… iness interests in the state: aircraft manufacturer and defense contractor Boeing. The company’s political action committee gave $25,000 to the super PAC …"

"… e PAC has also given the legal maximum of $10,000 to Graham’s campaign. Boeing spokeswoman Gayla Keller said the company “supports candidates with whom …"

"… es of importance.” For his part, Graham has been a staunch supporter of Boeing’s decision to open a non-union plant in South Carolina. The move was met …"

"… s met by criticism from the company’s union workers in Washington, where Boeing is headquartered, and garnered a complaint with the National Labor Relatio …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… their services as “revenue optimization.” Predilytics, a Burlington, Massachusetts, health information analytics firm, markets software to Medicare Advantage …"

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 "Medicaid":

"… ed Medicare Advantage (MA) data obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The data contained enrollment and payment information for …"

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 "Politics":

"… 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 "Anthem Blue Cross":

"… d by WellPoint, which owns and operates the state’s eight-million member Anthem Blue Cross company — have so far contributed $25.4 million to an industry campaign …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ril. Since super PACs sprang to life following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, corporate super PAC contributions have been relatively rare, with …"

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 "Barney Keller":

"… our resources can make an impact on the outcome of the race,” spokesman Barney Keller said. So far, tea party groups are off to a lousy start. Tea party-backed …"

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 "New Jersey":

"… or comment, and a representative of Stras and Gildea declined to comment. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been accused of playing politics by NOT appointing …"

"… Christie has been accused of playing politics by NOT appointing justices. New Jersey Supreme Court justices are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the …"

"… A Christie spokesman referred to the governor's past statements that the New Jersey Supreme Court had "overstepped its role." "Even before I officially becam …"

"… , Stuart Rabner, is believed to be at risk. Rabner’s term ends in June. New Jersey State Bar Association President Ralph Lamparello warned that Chr …"

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 "Thad Cochran":

"… ed this quarter were Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Dianne Feinstein, D- …"

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 "Sheldon Adelson":

"… s based in exotic locales like Costa Rica and Gibraltar. One casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, a prominent backer of conservative political causes, has pledged to spend …"

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