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 "Politics":

"… ondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. “It’s preferred to have the outside group doing the really brutal st …"

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 "oil":

"… ve groups such as Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, a nonprofit chaired by oil executive Tim Dunn. The group typically does not air many television ads b …"

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 "president":

"… benefiting from the surge in female customers, including Gordon Bond, the president of Bond Arms in Granbury, Texas, which manufacturers double-barr …"

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 "Florida":

"… holsters to promote campus carry — from Washington state to Michigan to Florida. It operates with little funding, relying instead on volunteers and social …"

"… Hammer, a former NRA president and the organization's longtime lobbyist in Florida, said that NRA will use the state’s preemption law to push state legisla …"

"… g to fix that," said Hammer, one of 76 NRA board members. On July 30, the Florida Carry lobby lost its suit against the University of Florida over the unive …"

"… n July 30, the Florida Carry lobby lost its suit against the University of Florida over the university’s guns-in-cars policy and whether colleges must let …"

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 "Wyoming":

"… says federal regulation doesn’t apply to guns manufactured in the state. Wyoming, South Dakota and Arizona have had laws protecting “firearms freedom” …"

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 "General Dynamics":

"… ctors United Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Dynamics cutting lobbying spending. Many large oil and energy production interests …"

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 "The Washington Post":

"… is inclusion last year on a “top 10” list of rising political stars by The Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog, might explain the early interest in his race. Also …"

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 "ExxonMobil":

"… rests and defense contractors, such as Northrop Grumman, General Electric, ExxonMobil, Chevron Corp., Edison Electric Institute, BP and American Electrical Powe …"

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 "Walton Family Foundation":

"… e 2011, the StudentsFirst Institute received $9 million in grants from the Walton Family Foundation, $7 million from billionaire philanthropists Laura and John Arnold, and $1 …"

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 "Alaska":

"… o are being stationed in schools nationwide, in communities from Kotzebue, Alaska to New Orleans. Districts across the country have added thousands of such …"

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 Police":

"… 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 13-yea …"

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 "National Association of Realtors":

"… ominent companies spending less in this year’s third quarter include the National Association of Realtors, General Electric, the American Hospital Association, Google, aerospace co …"

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 "General Dynamics":

"… crosoft ($3 million), Wal-Mart Stores ($2 million) and defense contractors General Dynamics ($3.2 million) and Raytheon Co. ($2 million). Many of them, too, included …"

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 "Bill Clinton":

"… t spent money on state supreme court elections last year. Former President Bill Clinton even recorded a robocall for the group. America Votes, a D.C.-b …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… ories for gun rights activists, the firearms industry and particularly the National Rifle Association, the nation’s pre-eminent gun lobby. The power of the gun lobby is root …"

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 "Lockheed Martin":

"… efense contractors experienced lobbying growth early this year, Boeing and Lockheed Martin experienced slight spending declines during the first quarter compared to …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… control advocates  — from President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the families of children killed last …"

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 "official":

"… eeting. Nothing in the EPA’s public record reveals the conflict. Two EPA officials who were there say they cannot recall what Patierno said. Patierno himsel …"

"… PG&E lawsuit but doesn’t know if that work disqualified him. An EPA official said privately said that Costa’s work as an expert witness may have kept …"

"… edge of the relevant facts to question the expert’s ability to carry out official duties without bias or influence.” The handbook offers, as an example o …"

"… wers on the chromium (VI) panel, did not return emails and phone calls. An official at another company handling peer reviews, Versar Inc., said he was prohibi …"

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 "ATF":

"… tigation is leading the probe into the bombing at the Boston Marathon, but ATF is intimately involved because its agents are the government's top experts …"

"… t's top experts on explosives. As the Center reported in February, though, ATF remains an agency effectively handcuffed from performing its missions: Th …"

"… of a full-time director for the long-leaderless agency —widely known as ATF — and some of the new proposals do tacitly acknowledge a number of the a …"

"… “If you want an agency to be small and ineffective at what it does, the ATF is really the model,” says Robert J. Spitzer, author of The Politics of …"

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 "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 "National Rifle Association":

"… onn., Mayors Against Illegal Guns will be pitted against the deep-pocketed National Rifle Association. That doesn't faze Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Gu …"

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