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 "National Rifle Association":

"… RS’s Tax Exempt Organizations Divisions. Since 1981, groups such as the National Rifle Association, AARP and Planned Parenthood — sometimes referred to as “501(c)(4 …"

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 "Democratic Governors Association":

"… s conservative Let's Get to Work political committee ($10.8 million), the Democratic Governors Association ($5.1 million), the union-backed Illinois Freedom Political Action Committ …"

"… he group and the candidate that would be illegal in most states. The Democratic Governors Association, which along with the Republican Governors Association advocates for the e …"

"… s money from the Republican Governors Association. On the other side, the Democratic Governors Association recently fired back by pouring more than $1.2 million into Connecticu …"

"… nsylvania, for example, NextGen Climate Action Committee and the Democratic Governors Association-backed PA Families First only jumped in after the May 20 primary …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… the firearms available, Berman said. “The problem of course is the NRA (National Rifle Association) and their interpretation that any attempt even to talk about safe storage …"

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 "Colorado":

"… led guns on campus if their college grants permission. Attempts to start a Colorado referendum to end campus carry there ended in failure. Groups like SCC, m …"

"… ols and some public buildings from concealed carry of guns. Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi and Wisconsin — and now Idaho — have laws on the …"

"… ents store guns in their cars to leaving policy decisions to the schools. Colorado courts sided with SCC in 2010 and 2012, ruling the state’s public univer …"

"… ated a 2003 state law giving the legislature sole gun regulation control. Colorado colleges still regulate guns in dorms, dining halls and event centers. Uni …"

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 "California":

"… r of the Tenth Amendment Center, a for-profit nullification group based in California. The Kansas law makes it a felony for federal officials to enforce U.S. fi …"

"… not stand up in court. Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that both types of nullification laws are unconstitutio …"

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 "Connecticut":

"… months after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, some would say little has changed when it comes to guns in America. Othe …"

"… ouse by Democratic Reps. Mike Thompson of California and Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut, whose district includes Newtown. It is still in committee. In the same m …"

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 "Chris McDaniel":

"… litician — Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who edged tea party favorite Chris McDaniel in an otherwise nasty GOP primary runoff. Super PACs and nonprofits backi …"

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 "White House":

"… g them: the tech and telecom industries, which have wrestled Congress, the White House and federal agencies on a variety of issues ranging from corporate mergers …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… er for outside groups to operate thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which knocked aside bans that had existed in 24 states on politi …"

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 "Energy":

"… irm Amgen, Shell Oil, Prudential Financial, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Duke Energy, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, 3M Co. and the Securities …"

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 "Walmart":

"… olitical action committees whose major donors included Broad, Hastings and Walmart founder Sam Walton’s granddaughter Carrie Walton Penner. Bloomberg, Hast …"

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 "ExxonMobil":

"… lthcare, ALEC’s corporate membership has included big names ranging from ExxonMobil and Wells Fargo to Johnson & Johnson and Kraft. And it has worked clos …"

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 "Kansas":

"… states, with six other states actually passing laws — Alabama, ArKansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas — according to NCSL. Some districts have …"

"… shoot a teacher holding a gun. EMC Insurance Companies, which covers most Kansas districts, reacted to a new law passed in that state by saying it would de …"

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 "Los Angeles":

"… e National Rifle Association helped defeat a bill by Sen. Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, who came up with the proposal in response to similar police shoo …"

"… ansparent bodies or in certain neon colors. The measure had the support of Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who invoked the tragic 2010 shooting of another …"

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 "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… peak of $2.45 million, a mark set during the year’s first quarter. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its subsidiary organizations again led all lobbying entities, spending …"

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 "Florida":

"… o the analysis. …"

"… ates long before this month’s jury acquittal of George Zimmerman — the Florida man who shot unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin dead in 2012 after calling …"

"… tors took their anger to Gov. Rick Scott and began camping in front of the Florida governor’s office. The protestors, mostly from the group “Dream Defend …"

"… tell protestors: "I agree with you, we should not have racial profiling." Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was adopted by Florida’s Legislature in 2005. …"

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 "Verizon Communications":

"… facturers of America, Google, Coca-Cola, the American Medical Association, Verizon Communications, drug maker Pfizer and defense firm Northrop Grumman. Even Facebook, whic …"

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 "Florida":

"… ial lawyers and business interests. Trial lawyers helped carry the day in Florida, Louisiana and Oklahoma, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it was su …"

"… mall-dollar donors. *** The fallout from the 2010 Iowa election spread to Florida last year, where conservatives unhappy with a high court ruling to invalid …"

"… mall amounts in a campaign against the judges, and the Republican Party of Florida urged its members not to retain the justices. The initiative was opposed …"

"… buted $300,000 to Defend Justice, making it the single biggest donor. Nine Florida law firms each gave $100,000 or more. “The one thing we learned from Io …"

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 "Ann Marie Buerkle":

"… for a House seat; and it helped unseat A-rated and NRA-endorsed Republican Ann Marie Buerkle in New York. In Orlando, Fla., Bloomberg’s super PAC spent $2 million in …"

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 "Wayne LaPierre":

"… he federal government during the first quarter, federal records show. Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's chief executive, was among 12 in-house NRA officials to lobby d …"

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 "Wayne LaPierre":

"… ood guy with a gun,” National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said after a young man shot his way into his former grammar school on Dec. …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… it laid out $12.6 million on lobbying, four times the amount spent by the National Rifle Association. David Fischer, a senior director at the ACC, defended the group’s resea …"

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 "Federal Bureau of Investigation":

"… and Explosives on the front lines of a major terrorism investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading the probe into the bombing at the Boston Marathon, but ATF is i …"

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 "Wayne LaPierre":

"… song "America, the Beautiful," along with 1999 congressional testimony by Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's current executive vice president and CEO …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"…   ATF criticized By contrast, some gun-rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, have blasted ATF oversight as arbitrary and unfair — and are lobbying t …"

Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns: 'Money is not all that matters'

By Michael Beckel

Mayors Against Illegal Guns sees 'intensity' on its side as its pitted against the National Rifle Association.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wayne LaPierre":

"… ittee hearing on gun violence, as did NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre. So, too, has Bloomberg created a super PAC, which is called "Independenc …"

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