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 "Koch Industries":

"… nd cast ballots. Michael K. Morgan, a top government affairs consultant to Koch Industries who runs the group, declined to be interviewed by the Center for Public In …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… dependent groups, such as Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action Committee, the National Rifle Association and other Florida-specific political organizations. In Illinois, such ass …"

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 "American Future Fund":

"… ome entities active during 2010 have reappeared in 2014. For example, American Future Fund, a conservative group based in Iowa, aired ads in attorneys general races …"

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 "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee":

"… beneficiaries of air cover from other non-candidate groups, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and a super PAC known as the Senate Majority PAC, which is run by allies o …"

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 "University of Oklahoma":

"… his year,” said Tyler Johnson, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma. “You have 20-plus governors running for re-election, so you’re immedi …"

"… ave long provided the “best of both worlds,” according to Johnson, the University of Oklahoma professor. “They get outsiders who are willing to attack and get those …"

"… at it removes curriculum control from local decision-makers. Johnson, the University of Oklahoma professor, said criticism of Barresi’s position on the policy ultimately …"

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 …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… so a woman, Tara Mica-Reilly, the NRA state liaison for Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Mississippi. “I believe that women bring patience and logic and abi …"

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 "attorney general":

"… ear. SCC has also threatened to sue Georgia after a letter from the state attorney general’s office declared campus carry still illegal, SCC Southeast Director Rob …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… am Brownback. The measures often fizzle, even in conservative states. The National Rifle Association doesn’t support nullifying federal gun laws because that could undo 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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… lion; the NRA had spent nearly $2.7 million, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. With some groups’ finances remaining a mystery, the numbers are inconc …"

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 "Jim DeMint":

"… — a group founded by Heritage Foundation president and former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint — accounts for about $499,000 worth of these negative ads, which paint R …"

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 "Northrop Grumman":

"… deployed less legislative firepower, with contractors United Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Dynamics cutting lobbying spending. …"

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 Communications Commission":

"… l Institute on Money in State Politics, state campaign finance filings and Federal Communications Commission records. With 31 states electing an attorney general this year — and nin …"

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":

"… y spending to “increased collaboration in public policy, specifically in energy, trade and agriculture” as well as payment of annual dues to trade assoc …"

"… early 2013. Those cutting the most, percentage-wise, include a number of energy interests and defense contractors, such as Northrop Grumman, General Elect …"

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 "New York":

"… ded by a slew of billionaire donors, like philanthropist Eli Broad, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb and Netflix CEO Reed …"

"… tings, the Arnold family, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, former New York School Chancellor Joel Klein and DreamWorks Animation CEO J …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… on & Johnson and Kraft. And it has worked closely with groups like the National Rifle Association as well. It is the organization’s association with the NRA, in fact, tha …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… ndiary issue of guns. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, held a press conference one week after the shooting, calling on Cong …"

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 "Koch Industries":

"… rm Lockheed Martin and telecom giant Verizon Communications. FedEx Corp., Koch Industries, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Ford Motor Co., Visa Inc. and the American P …"

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 "Gabrielle Giffords":

"… trol proposals. Together, newly formed super PACs launched by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg brought in about $8.6 …"

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 "Alaska":

"… ce to prevent themselves or someone else from serious harm. In Anchorage, Alaska, demonstrators in on Sunday gathered signatures for a letter asking the le …"

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 "Senate":

"… Latoff Holmes said, noting that a major advertising campaign prior to the Senate’s successful vote last month on immigration reform factored into its sec …"

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 "state campaign finance laws":

"… the public. Those in the know aren’t talking and the disclosure rules in state campaign finance laws and federal tax codes mean they are not required to. “The average voter …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… nt expenditures totaling at least $11.6 million by activist New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and groups tied to Bloomberg — nothing to sneeze at, but still just a fr …"

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 "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… it Congress' definition of what constitutes formal lobbying activity. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this quarter retained its perennial perch atop the list of top lobbying sp …"

"… .5 million) led all others in overall first quarter spending. But like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Realtors report their lobbying activity broadly, and their first quar …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… bsp;   …"

"… levels, new filings with the U.S. Senate indicate. The NRA and affiliated National Rifle Association of America Institute for Legislative Action together spent at least $800,0 …"

"… d to spend at least another $100,000 lobbying on behalf of the NRA or National Rifle Association of America Institute for Legislative Action from January through March. C …"

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 "John Whitmire":

"… ts will result in a more positive outcome.” Texas state Democratic Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee, says it’s time to stop thes …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… r’s license. John Feinblatt, chief policy adviser to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said trace data is extremely useful in establishing “whether a dealer h …"

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 …"

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