Ad war winners take governors' mansions

By Ben Wieder, Reity O'Brien and Rachel Baye

Three out of four races won by top spending candidates and their allies

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pennsylvania":

"… nt her on the Lone Star State’s airwaves $24 million to $15 million. In Pennsylvania, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf unseated unpopular incumbent Go …"

"… n Committee, backed by billionaire Tom Steyer, helped knock out Corbett in Pennsylvania but didn’t find success in Florida or Maine where it supported Democrats …"

Secretive groups spend millions to influence state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits hit TV airwaves with attacks on state-level candidates, gaining traction since the U.S. Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… ansas and most other states. One group called the Alliance for Freedom, a Virginia-based conservative nonprofit, sponsored ads touting Brownback’s accompli …"

"… n, according to Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. “It’s preferred to have the outside group …"

"… contests this cycle. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America, another Virginia-based nonprofit was active in Michigan’s state supreme court and attorne …"

Eyeballs burn in North Carolina, Iowa ahead of U.S. Senate elections

By Michael Beckel

Last week, North Carolina, Iowa residents saw three political ads focused on contentious Senate elections every five minutes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… n pro-Tillis issue ads, according to filings in September submitted to the Federal Election Commission. It also aired a number of ads praising Tillis in August, but because the …"

Non-candidate spending increases in state elections

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Ben Wieder

TV ad spending in state elections since 2010 is down, but the portion ponied up by political nonprofits and state-level super PACs rises.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican governor":

"… its state-level subsidiaries has spent $11.4 million on ads to help elect Republican governors. The GOP governors’ group has also been the biggest donor to the secon …"

"… spent more than $10 million in ads to boost the re-election of Scott, the Republican governor. The organization functions differently than most so-called “outsi …"

"… r, has sponsored $2.3 million in ads criticizing the policies of incumbent Republican governors in Florida and Pennsylvania, sometimes widening its scope beyond environm …"

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 "Illinois":

"… eking suicide data for 2012, the most recent year available, but Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island denied requests fo …"

"… stics or could not be reached. The FBI received limited homicide data from Illinois and Alabama and none from Florida. That firearm suicides outnumbered fire …"

Women become increasingly involved in gun groups

By Lauren Loftus and Natalie Krebs

Thanks in part to targeted marketing, more women are buying guns for protection and sport

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… n & Social Media One of the strongest allies of the gun industry, the National Rifle Association, capitalized on the women and guns trend. In the last few years, the NRA h …"

Gun rights debate enters a new arena: the campus

By Wade Millward and Carmen Forman

The right to carry a firearm onto college campuses has become another issue in the gun control debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… carry licensees must be at least 21. SCC’s focus next year is Texas, Mueller said. As of September, students could store guns in cars on campu …"

"… id. Next year, he expects to help coordinate resistance to campus carry in Texas. Colleges that side with Pelosi fear on-campus gun theft, threats with gu …"

State lawmakers take aim at federal gun control

By Justine McDaniel, Robby Korth and Jessica Boehm

A growing collection of state legislatures seeks to disqualify federal gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… ifying federal gun laws because that could undo NRA legislative success in Washington. “I think that is a misguided distraction,” said Todd Rathner, an NRA …"

Decades old gun control debate reshaped by new advocacy groups

The gun control movement has made significant gains in recent years, but the NRA remains king of the hill

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… ttention on the topic have not been enough to change federal gun laws. The National Rifle Association, still the most powerful entity in the war over guns in America, no longer …"

Pat Roberts' merry band of boosters

By Dave Levinthal

Outside groups are using the power of positivity to help save career of Kansas' longtime U.S. senator.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… erican Hospital Association, American College of Radiology Association and National Rifle Association — have collectively spent $337,000 on ads and other messaging that promo …"

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… , including Southern Co., Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, Exelon Corp., Duke Energy and BP. A surprise lobbying spender of 2013 — the upstart National Asso …"

U.S. Chamber targets Dems in state attorney general races

By Ben Wieder

Why are powerful business interests underwriting ads in AG races in the states?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… ifle Association, was also active in 2002 state attorneys general races in Illinois and Kansas. It’s unknown whether the Chamber supported the LEAA’s spen …"

Chemical industry among big spenders on lobbying this quarter

By Dave Levinthal

New numbers indicate it's still good to be a lobbyist in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chevron Corp.":

"… fense contractors, such as Northrop Grumman, General Electric, ExxonMobil, Chevron Corp., Edison Electric Institute, BP and American Electrical Power. Ford Motor …"

Education groups battle teachers unions in state races

By Rachel Baye

Groups funded by billionaires back state-level candidates who want to weaken teachers unions and promote charter schools.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Education Association":

"… s no doubt about it.” Karen White, national political director for the National Education Association, traced the new dynamic to the aftermath of the Citizens United Supreme Co …"

"… anwhile, the California Teachers Association, the California branch of the National Education Association, spent nearly $467,000 opposing Johnson, and the campaign of Adrin Nazaria …"

Shining a light on ALEC's power to shape policy

By Wendell Potter

Conservative group's power has been under-covered.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… s corporate membership has included big names ranging from ExxonMobil and Wells Fargo to Johnson & Johnson and Kraft. And it has worked closely with groups …"

A year after Newtown, searching for answers in the nation’s schools

By Nicholas Kusnetz

A year after Newtown, communities searching for answers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Oregon":

"… used was intended for private security guards only. Districts in Colorado, Oregon and Ohio have taken similar steps, and schools in several other states are …"

Police killing of boy, 13, with pellet gun spotlights foiled attempts to regulate replicas

By Susan Ferriss

Andy Lopez, 13, was shot dead by deputies in California who came upon him walking with a pellet gun shaped like an AK-47.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… r for Public Integrity reported on how pressure from retail stores and the National Rifle Association helped defeat a bill by Sen. Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, who ca …"

Lobbying dips overall, but the beat goes on for guns, drugs and agriculture

By Dave Levinthal

But third-quarter expenditures are down for many special interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Chemistry Council":

"… er large lobbying forces with prominent health care interests, such as the American Chemistry Council ($4.75 million), American Medical Association ($4.27 million) and the Biot …"

Gun groups raising unprecedented cash in 2013

By Adam Wollner and Reity O'Brien

Advocates, opponents of firearms control gin up money machine as Congress debates legislation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… did not top $70,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The National Rifle Association has also had a big year, raising more than three times the money this year …"

Youth: Stand Your Ground laws put us at risk

By Susan Ferriss and Joy Crane

Youths in Florida and other states speak out against Stand Your Ground laws, racial profiling, following Zimmerman verdict.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The proposal was pushed by the National Rifle Association, which contributed heavily to Republican legislators running for office an …"

Pro-gun group dramatically ups influence spending

By Dave Levinthal

The nonprofit National Association for Gun Rights spent $3 million lobbying last quarter, far more than the better-known NRA.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… ly four times the second-quarter lobbying expenditures of the better-known National Rifle Association, which itself spent a near-record $840,000 during the year’s second quar …"

D.C.-based groups bombarded state high court races with ads

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

Nearly $12 million spent by super PACs and nonprofits in 2012-13 state supreme court races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… o weeks leading up to the election. Founded in 1991 with support from the National Rifle Association, which has long been a partial financial backer, the LEAA frequently pays …"

Gun lobby's money and power still holds sway over Congress

By Alan Berlow and Gordon Witkin

But lawmakers' fear may not be entirely justified.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Dakota":

"… r (NRA C-) got $2,000. Mark Begich of Alaska (NRA A) and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota (NRA A) have received no money from gun rights groups. As for the 54 sena …"

Gun groups, defense contractors buck downward trend in lobbying

By Dave Levinthal

Gun groups, defense contractors, oil companies and Facebook increased spending on lobbying last quarter.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… nal disclosures show. As debate over gun control raged in the Senate, the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Mayors Against Illegal Guns e …"

"… increases. While not among the nation’s biggest lobbying spenders, the National Rifle Association spent $810,000 during the first three months of the year to lobby the fede …"

NRA spends record money on lobbying this year

By Dave Levinthal

Pro-gun organization increases influence effort as congressional debate rages.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… guy buyers. And it came as gun control advocates  — from President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and …"

Controversy over cops in schools flares anew

By Susan Ferriss

Push for more police post-Newtown runs up against concern about 'school-to-prison pipeline'

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… rove “counterproductive” to this effort.    On Jan. 16, the White House announced it would seek congressional authorization for a $385 million sch …"

"… support a law to put an armed guard in every school. A centerpiece of the White House proposal is the request for $150 million to help schools hire up to 1,000 …"

EPA unaware of industry ties on cancer review panel

By David Heath and Ronnie Greene

An EPA panel appointed to study hexavalent chromium included scientists who had consulted for industry in lawsuits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chemicals":

"… EPA to wait for more research, a common practice to delay action on toxic chemicals. However, Vincent Cogliano, the soft-spoken head of EPA’s chemical-asses …"

"… t the ACC lobbied the EPA on its assessments of three highly controversial chemicals: dioxin, formaldehyde and chromium (VI). The group boasts on its …"

"… her it’s EPA or others — to answer questions that might be posed about chemicals that we manufacture,” he said. Asked if any of the ACC’s studies had …"

"… gency said in a statement. The ‘pure science’ bottleneck Some 700 new chemicals hit the market each year, adding to the tens of thousands already in use. …"

Current gun debate may not help beleaguered ATF

By Alan Berlow

Federal gun cops handicapped by weak laws, stagnant budgets and Congressional restrictions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dianne Feinstein":

"… requirements of the NFA. The assault weapons ban recently proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. includes no registration language. Background checks miss many b …"

Super Bowl ad cost Mayors Against Illegal Guns $100,000

By Michael Beckel

Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns drops $100K on ad during NFL's biggest game of the year, new records show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… Beautiful," along with 1999 congressional testimony by Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's current executive vice president and CEO. "The NRA once supported backg …"

ATF's struggle to close down firearms dealers

By Fred Schulte

Agency's crippled oversight of the industry means troubled gun dealers can stay open for years.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… n then sell without doing background checks of prospective buyers. As the Obama administration presses for stricter gun controls in response to the killings of 20 school …"

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