Secretive nonprofits flourished — and succeeded — in 2014 state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits backed winning candidates, or bashed losers, in 63 percent of the state races in which they sponsored ads.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Public Integrity":

"… n November. The group, based in Phoenix, did not respond to the Center for Public Integrity for comment. Save Our Future Now is just one of 40 nonprofit groups that …"

"… vel elections while keeping their donors secret, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from media tracking service Kantar Media/CMAG. That’s …"

"… l parties, on the state level were successful, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis. Citizens United’s impact In 24 states including Ariz …"

"… ndustries who runs the group, declined to be interviewed by the Center for Public Integrity on the record.  Some conservatives, including Supreme Court Jus …"

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 "Florida":

"… outspent their opponents by more than $1 million. In some states, such as Florida, the successful candidates and their supporters outspent their rivals by h …"

"… former Gov. Charlie Crist and his allies. The heavy spending also made the Florida contest the most expensive TV ad war in the country this election. Scott …"

"… yer, helped knock out Corbett in Pennsylvania but didn’t find success in Florida or Maine where it supported Democrats. Meanwhile former New York City May …"

"… sp;But it struck out in Maryland, where it backed Brown, the Democrat. In Florida, Scott won re-election with help from more than $10 million in ads sponsor …"

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 "Carolina Rising":

"… able conservative nonprofit active in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race: Carolina Rising, which was formed in April by Dallas Woodhouse, the former North Carolina …"

"… lina state director of Koch-supported nonprofit Americans for Prosperity. Carolina Rising has spent more than $3 million on pro-Tillis issue ads, according to filin …"

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 "Arizona":

"… y spend their money, effectively masking who is really calling the shots. Arizona gubernatorial hopeful Christine Jones was on the receiving end of suc …"

"… h. Everybody’s motivated by something.” Citizens United did away with Arizona’s ban on the use of corporate and union money to influence elections,&nb …"

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 "Suicide":

"… Miller, who studies Suicide at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Suicide rates have been higher than homicide rates for as long as Miller remembers …"

"… t the U.S., according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Suicide by firearm has been loosely studied for the past 20 years by the American …"

"… large-scale national issue, which no one has the key to the lock yet.” Suicide generally stems from a buildup of depression and internal despair, said Ca …"

"… he trigger. Two weeks later, Johnson and his wife joined the Survivors of Suicide group. Three years later, they became facilitators to help others process …"

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 "Mayors Against Illegal Guns":

"… xpanded background checks. In 2013, Moms Demand Action partnered with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to form Everytown for Gun Safety to advocate for gun-contro …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… on campus, sometimes with the backing of larger gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association. For Sommer, 23, a computerized machining student who founded Idaho State …"

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 "Arizona State University":

"… ered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Across the country, a thriving dissatisfaction with the U.S. government …"

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 "New York":

"… y. Organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety, the group backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, say they are moving the needle. “Now, for …"

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 "Virginia":

"… t — has funded ads that expressly attack Roberts, federal records show. Virginia-based Senate Conservatives Action, the super PAC arm of the Senate Conserv …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… ps 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 "Koch Industries":

"… reporting more modest increases include the American Medical Association, Koch Industries, National Association of Broadcasters, defense contractor United Technolog …"

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 "Los Angeles":

"… reached unheard of heights, even at the school board level. The race for Los Angeles school board in May 2013 attracted nearly $4 million in spending on reform …"

"… of the pro-reform committee include Bloomberg, StudentsFirst and Broad, a Los Angeles resident. The organization was countered by roughly $2 million from labor …"

"… vocates. Before running for office, Johnson was the executive director of Los Angeles’ Larchmont Schools, a network of charter schools, and before that he was …"

"… ols, and before that he was the executive director of Teach for America in Los Angeles. He now works for the Teach for America-affiliated Leadership for Educatio …"

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 "Coca-Cola":

"… rs to as the “Prodigal Son Project” to woo back companies like Amazon, Coca-Cola, GE, Kraft and McDonald’s that have dropped their membership. Another …"

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 "American Federation of Teachers":

"… rong down here.” Linda Bridges, president of the Texas affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, opposes arming teachers, and she’s skeptical of districts’ claims tha …"

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 "president":

"… 012’s third quarter, when the Chamber invested heavily in the nation’s presidential and congressional elections. The Chamber typically records the nation …"

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 "Bloomberg":

"… y former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg brought in about $8.6 million during the first half of the year, a Center …"

"… as more than any other super PAC raised during that period. Additionally, Bloomberg has provided his group, Independence USA PAC, with more than $2 million du …"

"… co-founder Sean Parker. Giffords’ super PAC also received $250,000 from Bloomberg, who has been a leading figure in the gun control debate. Bloomberg’s s …"

"… from Bloomberg, who has been a leading figure in the gun control debate. Bloomberg’s super PAC has been most active this year in Illinois’ 2nd congressio …"

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 "Senate":

"… willing to yield to protestors’ demands, Florida’s Democratic minority Senate leader, Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale, said he’s calling for a hearing …"

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 "Lee Drutman":

"… the spending nosedive is spending cuts known as sequestration, noted Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, which analyzes po …"

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 "Michigan":

"… ile the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it was successful in North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio and Mississippi. *** In North Carolina, supreme court campaigns ar …"

"… says Judicial Crisis Network’s chief counsel, Carrie Severino. *** In Michigan, the Judicial Crisis Network spent more than $1 million on a last-minute a …"

"… .” McCormack wound up receiving the most votes in her race. Because of Michigan’s lax disclosure rules, the group did not have to report any of its spen …"

"… ny of its spending to state election officials. Instead, a watchdog group, Michigan Campaign Finance Network, collected filings from local TV stations to calc …"

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 "Senate races":

"… directly donated fully 28 times the amount of their opponents in House and Senate races, $7 million on the pro-gun side compared to $245,000 on the gun control si …"

"… 3. It endorsed 20 candidates, but only nine of them were victorious. In 15 Senate races during 2010 and 2012 in which the NRA made its largest contributions — $ …"

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 "America’s Health Insurance Plans":

"… American Medical Association, CTIA-The Wireless Association, AARP, Altria, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the National Association of Manufacturers also recorded mild to modera …"

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 "Senate":

"… vernment lobbying expenditures to record levels, new filings with the U.S. Senate indicate. The NRA and affiliated National Rifle Association of America In …"

"… ceded a major legislative victory Wednesday for gun advocates, as the U.S. Senate defeated a proposal to expand background checks on guy buyers. And it cam …"

"… ear, the NRA's lobbying efforts were exclusively directed at the House and Senate, according to federal disclosures. The group lobbied on numerous U.S. …"

"… ederal disclosures. The group lobbied on numerous U.S. House and Senate bills proposed by federal legislators. Among them: H.R. 751, the Prote …"

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 "Juvenile court":

"… ents 14 or younger in schools that parents said were more heavily policed. Juvenile court judges complained about a parade of children in court for infractions bett …"

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 "International Association":

"… have enacted laws that require such reporting within 24 to 48 hours. The International Association of Chiefs of Police supports these laws, arguing that quick reporting of s …"

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 "Mayors Against Illegal Guns":

"… l efforts than Mayors Against Illegal Guns or other gun control advocates. …"

"… h Federal Communications Commission requirements. Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told the Center for Public Integrity that his organization targeted Washi …"

"… wl, when the New York Giants were pitted against the New England Patriots, Mayors Against Illegal Guns also sponsored an ad. That message featured Bloomberg and Menino touting t …"

"… "keep guns out of the hands of criminals." Bloomberg and Menino launched Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2007, and the coalition now has more than 800 members, including mayors …"