High-stakes health care battle in the Green Mountain state

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: fate of Vermont single-payer initiative may depend on financing plan.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… insurance industry’s biggest opportunity to derail the state’s plans. Health insurers have reason to be concerned. Even though Vermont has just 627,000 …"

"… ide their involvement. We probably would never have known that America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s main trade group, funneled more than $10 …"

"… er their strategy, Shumlin last year formed a Business Advisory Council on Health Care Financing. The 21-member council “provides the governor with advice …"

"… chter, president of the nonprofit single-payer advocacy group Vermont Health Care for All, told me. “People need to be reminded that we will pay for …"

Washington's cynical misinformation game

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the role of distortion in health care politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ational Journal article about a new tactic used by the National Republican Congressional Committee to attack Democratic candidates. Earlier this year, the NRC …"

"… h insurers or that the spot was part of a continuing effort by AHIP to get Congress to eliminate a fee that was imposed on insurers to help offset the cost of …"

"… Washington with NFIB staff during which we planned a campaign to make sure Congress did not pass a Patient’s Bill of Rights. Insurers worried that a provisi …"

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 …"

Shameful coverage of Obamacare's real impacts

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obamacare coverage that doesn't inform.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate Commerce Committee":

"… the actual impact the law is having on our lives. The title of the May 21 Senate Commerce Committee hearing: “Delivering Better Health Care Value to Consumers: The First Th …"

Merriam-Webster makes 'super PAC' official

By Dave Levinthal

Merriam-Webster OKs shorthand term for the clunky 'independent expenditure-only committee.'

Excerpts from this story referencing "campaign finance system":

"… n super PAC, using it as a vehicle to incessantly poke fun at the nation's campaign finance system. But credit Roll Call reporter Eliza Newlin Carney, then writing for Nati …"

OPINION: hidden influence-peddling in Washington

By Wendell Potter

Lack of media interest allows hidden influence-peddling.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… eek after National Journal reporter Chris Frates disclosed how America’s Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry biggest PR and lobbying group, fun …"

"… operations of an outfit called the Stop the HIT Coalition. (HIT stands for Health Insurance Tax.) That’s the group that is fronting for the industry …"

Does the public favor defense budget cuts?

By Steve Kull

The more citizens think about the deficit, the less interested they are in keeping military spending at current levels

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… versity in March simply told respondents that defense, Social Security and Medicare together constitute more than half of the federal budget, 54% favored cutt …"

"… the least year asked respondents to choose where they would prefer to cut Medicare, social security or the military, 45-55 percent chose the military, 16-21 …"

"… security or the military, 45-55 percent chose the military, 16-21 percent Medicare, 13-17 percent Social Security.If respondents are given choices between la …"

FACT CHECK: Foreign policy themed GOP debate full of falsehoods

By FactCheck.Org

Republican presidential candidates stretch the truth on international issues in South Carolina debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Journal":

"… Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. It was sponsored by CBS News, the National Journal and the South Carolina Republican Party. The first hour of the 90-min …"

"… Base in Afghanistan.In a fact-check of the South Carolina debate, the National Journal — one of the debate sponsors — wrote that Bachmann’s claim that …"

"… nce operatives have no place to detain captured terrorists is simply false.National Journal: The Bush administration operated a network of secret prisons in Afghanist …"

EPA appears firm on limiting air toxics at coal power plants

By Evan Bush

Industry, Republicans aim to stall what agency considers life-saving limits on mercury and other emissions

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Journal":

"… licymakers, has downplayed the impact of EPA regulations to its investors, National Journal reported.Some power companies are more openly enthusiastic about the EPA's …"

Max Baucus — Senate Finance Committee

By Jeremy Borden

Raised on a Montana ranch, Sen. Max Baucus now wrangles tax policy as head of the powerful Finance Committee. The Big Sky State Democrat, 69

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iowa":

"… n air and green energy initiatives.Baucus has frequently collaborated with Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who was long the committee’s ranking mem …"

Jeff Bingaman — Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

By Aaron Mehta

As chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, New Mexico Democrat Jeff Bingaman has been in the middle of the contentious debate o

Excerpts from this story referencing "Natural Resources Committee":

"… elop a fingerprint capturing device for the army …"

"… st race, in 2006, with a comfortable 71 percent of the vote.The Energy and Natural Resources Committee covers a wide range of topics, from regulation of mineral leasing, mining …"

Chamber seeks cash from insurers, financial firms for new effort

By Peter H. Stone

Even as it plowed tens of millions of dollars into ads this year to help mostly Republicans notch Congressional victories, the U.S. Chamber

Excerpts from this story referencing "reform law":

"… created by the recently enacted health care law. The Dodd-Frank financial reform law includes “320 required rulemakings, another 220 suggested rulemakings an …"

"… e. Some of the larger private-equity firms worry that under the Dodd-Frank reform law, they could be designated as posing systemic risks if they should fail, wh …"

Political inaction committees: How political action committees are spending your donations

By Josh Israel, Aaron Mehta and Gabriel Debenedetti

Jay Peters is a psychology instructor at a Durham, North Carolina, community college who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to conserv

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… o’s Future PACAfter a dozen years in the U.S. House, a year as President George W. Bush’s U.S. trade representative, and a stint as head of Bush’s Office of M …"

Blue Dogs fill their bowls with cash

By Josh Israel and Aaron Mehta

Whether the subject is health care reform, climate change, or pay-as-you-go budgeting rules, almost everyone, it seems, suddenly wants to ta

Excerpts from this story referencing "Blue Dog Coalition":

"… heir day.From Small PAC to Top Dogs Their beginnings were humble. The Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1995 following elections the previous fall that cost Democra …"

"… c ally: organized labor. Labor political action committees have filled the Blue Dog Coalition members’ campaign committee coffers with more than a million dollars so …"

"… ime.The PAC also helps expand their coalition. By a two-thirds vote of the Blue Dog Coalition, their PAC can endorse and contribute to like-minded Congressional hopeful …"

"… didates win seats, eight in Republican-held districts. All nine joined the Blue Dog Coalition. In addition to expanding the group, these new members provided half of th …"

Tracking lobbying giant PMA’s former clients

By Nick Schwellenbach

To say that Washington is a town built on relationships is an understatement. A recent example: In the wake of the embattled lobbying firm P

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Journal":

"… Rich Kaelin, Brian Morgan, Joseph Spata and Thomas Veltri. According to a National Journal story in February, “Two sources say that some clients have received comm …"

"… est for comment. However, Patrick Dorton, a spokesperson for PMA, told the National Journal, "It seems like clients are making their transition decisions based on the …"

Hidden Chamber of Commerce hand behind anti-Solis ad

By Aaron Mehta

There’s a new ad floating on the “BlogAds” network, and it’s quite a doozy. In giant font, the ad warns of “Obama’s ETHICAL Problem,” which

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Journal":

"… in 2007. The group does not disclose its backers, but according to a 2003 National Journal article (subscription only) “500 corporate and individual members help s …"

Koch's low profile belies political power

By Kevin Bogardus

Private oil company does both business and politics with the shades drawn

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… ens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that groups, including Citizens for a Sound Economy, the Bush/Che …"

Commentary: Political mugging in America

By Charles Lewis

Anatomy of an "independent" smear campaign

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… als ripped Dean over his positions or past record on gun rights, trade and Medicare growth. But the most inflammatory ad used the visual image of Osama bin La …"

Commentary: Lawsuit against Clean Air Act by members of Congress

By Curtis Moore

WASHINGTON, September 5, 2000 — For nearly a quarter-century, almost since the very day of his swearing in as a U.S. senator, Utah Republica

Excerpts from this story referencing "Administrator":

"… tandards “the attainment and maintenance of which in the judgment of the Administrator, based on (air quality) criteria, and allowing an adequate margin of safet …"

"… ticipated in a nationally televised debate over the EPA’s rules with EPA Administrator Carol Browner.”Gray’s many hatsIn a lengthy profile of Gray in 1997, T …"

Party machines, lobbyists and special interests: Part three

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2000 — The goal of Texas Governor George W. Bush's advisers in the early days of the campaign was to make him the man t

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… icy mavens have close connections to business, either serving on boards of directors or working as lobbyists. And some of his closest friends represent or wor …"

"… king for former Oklahoma Gov. Henry Bellmon as his Cabinet and legislative director. In 1994, Bush asked him to take over his gubernatorial campaign. Allbaugh …"

"… he quit the Democratic Party in 1983, and then serving as deputy regional director for the 1984 Reagan-Bush ticket.Playing the heavy has thrust Allbaugh into …"

"… ugh into the spotlight. In a 1999 lawsuit, Eliza May, the former executive director of the Texas Funeral Service Commission, accused Bush and Allbaugh of tryi …"