Ballot measure backers spend big, win big

By Liz Essley Whyte

Of the most expensive ballot races, top spenders won over voters in 21 of 25 contests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Dakota":

"… Planned Parenthood-backed organizations won on abortion-related issues in North Dakota and Colorado and lost in Tennessee, which passed a measure that declares t …"

Corporations, advocacy groups spend big on ballot measures

By Liz Essley Whyte

Corporations and national advocacy groups are throwing big dollars behind TV ads before voters decide 158 state ballot measures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coca-Cola":

"… ns of dollars in ads, but a who’s who of corporate America — soda king Coca-Cola, agriculture magnate Monsanto and malpractice insurer The Doctors Company …"

"… ical ad contests. The American Beverage Association, whose members include Coca-Cola and Pepsi, has pumped millions into a group opposing a Massachusetts ballo …"

"… e local measure in terms of television spots, behind Maui’s initiative. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are also teaming up with other big food businesses like Monsanto …"

In Kansas, Democratic donors invest in uncertainty

By Michael Beckel

Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman lures left-leaning donors despite uncertainty about whether he'll caucus with Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "businessman":

"… inal two years in office. Through mid-July, Orman, a wealthy, 45-year-old businessman, had raised more than $670,000 for his campaign war chest. Roberts, by con …"

EPA: No comment on fracking air pollution

By Jim Morris and Lisa Song

No one at the Environmental Protection Agency has been willing to talk on the record about air pollution associated with fracking in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… If a state regulatory agency — in this case the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — isn’t doing much to curb the industry's air pollution, why …"

"… ’t doing much to curb the industry's air pollution, why isn’t the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stepping in? The EPA, after all, is ultimately respons …"

"… ation in federal agencies.” The letter came shortly after the Society of Environmental Journalists protested the EPA's refusal to release the names of the tech …"

Energy influence in North Dakota is expanding — so what?

By Nicholas Kusnetz and Jared Bennett

A Q & A with reporter Nicholas Kusnetz about the oil and gas industries growing influence in North Dakota.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Dakota":

"… effective or not. …"

"… e things was the steep rise in the amount of money given to politicians in North Dakota. North Dakota is a small state. Running a political campaign is comparati …"

"… e steep rise in the amount of money given to politicians in North Dakota. North Dakota is a small state. Running a political campaign is comparatively cheaper, a …"

"… s elections and it really seemed to start changing politics in the state. North Dakota has seen similar booms in the past. In the 1970s it was coal mining and in …"

How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Industry has transformed the state, but at what cost?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Oregon":

"… icy is $500 to Ryan Taylor’s campaign from an Eileen Brady, of Portland, Oregon, who could not be reached for this article. Fuglie, the retired Democratic …"

'Radical animal rights movement' gets new foe

By Michael Beckel

An Iowa-based organization devoted to fighting 'the radical animal rights movement' has formed a super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "businessman":

"… or of Protect the Harvest, according to Iowa business records. Millionaire businessman Forrest Lucas, founder of Lucas Oil Products, serves as Protect the Harves …"

"… ords. Nor has Lucas. Last year, Roth, the attorney, contributed $1,000 to businessman Mark Jacobs, who is seeking to become the Republican Party’s nominee for …"

Air Force seeks less perfection in its nuclear missile corps

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The Air Force is having difficulties fielding missile officers who are not engaged in drug use, test cheating and deliberate disobedience.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… er is not the highly promising opportunity of the past era,” an internal Pentagon study concluded in 1998. By 2008, when the Defense Science Boar …"

Ready for Hillary courts super PAC skeptics

By Michael Beckel

Ready for Hillary is courting 'Citizens United' skeptics — and finding success.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George Soros":

"… donors who hit the self-imposed ceiling of $25,000. Billionaire investor George Soros*, Salesforce.Com CEO Marc Benioff and philanthropist Susie Tompkins Buell …"

As drilling ravages Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, residents 'living in a Petri dish’

By Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

In partnership with InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel, Center examines oil industry exploitation of Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… 1, memo. Hyde, now the TCEQ’s executive director, through an agency spokeswoman declined to comment. Since drilling came to Karnes County, Lynn Buehring …"

"… gnificantly impact air quality or pose a threat to human health,” agency spokeswoman Andrea Morrow wrote in an email. “While improperly operated facilities c …"

"… athon, hoping to get enough money to move away from the drilling. Marathon spokeswoman Lee Warren said in an email that the company “took corrective actions” …"

"… threat of a crippled well was enough to prod the operator into compliance, spokeswoman Ramona Nye wrote in an email. Another 32 percent were resolved after a sev …"

The story behind 'Big Oil, Bad Air'

By Jim Morris, David Hasemyer and Lisa Song

Texas regulators didn't make it easy to determine the environmental impacts of drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Dakota":

"… — fracking — in contrast to, say, Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale or North Dakota’s Bakken. This oddity, along with the sheer size of the play — 26 cou …"

Cold, damp, underground cheating

By R. Jeffrey Smith, Mattie Quinn and Douglas Birch

The ICBM force is not getting the Air Force’s high flyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… ssile force within the past year. The latest embarassment, disclosed at a Pentagon press briefing on Jan. 15, led to 34 intercontinental ballistic …"

"… 15 top Air Force, Navy and strategic forces commanders about the troubles. Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said later that Hagel would discip …"

"… ewly-appointed Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters at the Pentagon. But she also said she rejiggered her schedule to permit a visit to t …"

William Koch emerges from shadow of famous siblings

By Michael Beckel

William Koch's steadily increasing political activity has gotten relatively little notice compared to that of brothers Charles and David.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… n — went to Restore Our Future, the main super PAC supporting Republican Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful presidential bid. Meanwhile, $500,000 went to a group tha …"

Obamacare's hidden battle: insurance agents push state regulation of guides to new marketplaces

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Insurance agents talk state legislators into regulating Obamacare's consumer helpers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "executive director":

"… re difficult for community groups to be navigators,” said Laura Goodhue, executive director of Florida Chain, a statewide consumer health advocacy group that applied …"

"… iates. The staff — including Susan Nolan, who actually acts as NCOIL’s executive director — organizes three annual meetings and sends legislative alerts, wee …"

Senators investigating Apple own company stock

By Dave Levinthal and Reity O'Brien

Heitkamp, Carper report stock together worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Claire McCaskill":

"… ition to Carper, Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and Kelly …"

Lax state rules provide cover for sponsors of attack ads

By Alan Suderman

In 30 states it’s impossible to total how much money outside groups are spending on campaigns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Independent expenditure":

"… include non-broadcast expenditures like direct mail and print advertising. Independent expenditures refer to all expenditures used to support or oppose a candidate, includin …"

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 "Wayne LaPierre":

"… umbine High School shooting in Colorado, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre testified that “it’s reasonable to provide mandatory instant crim …"

'State Integrity Investigation' has blockbuster first year

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Sixteen states take Center's State Integrity Investigation to heart, initiate government reform

Excerpts from this story referencing "Global Integrity":

"… since. The project — a collaboration of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International, with cooperation from the Investigative Ne …"

"… cial documents in searchable format. Chafee's office has been working with Global Integrity, a partner in the State Integrity Investigation, to bolster open governmen …"

Conflicts of interest run rampant in state legislatures

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Legislation may overlap with business interests but part-time lawmakers vote anyway.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… now about,” he said. Last year, the government watchdog group Integrity Florida examined lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms in that state and discove …"

"… e. Attempts to make legislatures full-time have gathered little support in Florida and Texas, and some people have pushed to shorten sessions in California, …"

Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states

By Paul Abowd

Charity acts as screen for conservative foundations that feed network of state-based think tanks, media outlets.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George Soros":

"… Defense Council. Since 2010, the foundation has received $10 million from George Soros’ Foundation to Promote an Open Society, which has assets of $2.2 billion …"

IMPACT: More states seek reform after Center’s ‘State Integrity Investigation’

More states proposing new legislation after receiving poor grades

Excerpts from this story referencing "Global Integrity":

"… he Center launched the State Integrity Investigation in collaboration with Global Integrity and PRI/Public Radio International, more than 12 states have proposed new …"

Package of bills seeks ethics reform in North Dakota

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Poor grades from State Integrity Investigation yield push for changes

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Dakota":

"… said the Sunshine Act has bipartisan support.     …"

"… he state’s poor showing in the State Integrity Investigation, which gave North Dakota an overall grade of F, and announced he would introduce several bills once …"

"… dy was an eye-opener," Mock told The Huffington Post in August. In March, North Dakota received an F in eight of 14 categories from the State Integrity Investiga …"

"… Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International, placed North Dakota 43rd out of 50 states. The lack of an ethics commission and lax campaign f …"

Revolving door swings freely in America's statehouses

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Anything goes in some states; lawmakers skirt rules in others

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… ssion has ended (most legislatures meet for only part of the year). But in North Carolina, the timing can help circumnavigate the state’s six-month cooling off pe …"

"… I come visit you in the future, just say ‘Yes.’”The move shows that North Carolina’s six-month cooling off period, which advocates won only after a hard ba …"

"… in 2005, is “badly in need of change,” said Jane Pinsky, who heads the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform. State Sen. Richard Stevens s …"

"… campaign funds. Lobbyists are barred from making campaign contributions in North Carolina, but there’s nothing saying a future lobbyist can’t. Brubaker still ha …"

Last-minute mega-donations fueled super PAC attacks

By Michael Beckel

Sheldon Adelson, Michael Bloomberg among eleventh-hour donors to unlimited spending groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sheldon Adelson":

"… ,”  said Stabenow spokesman Cullen Schwarz. …"

Rove-affiliated groups spend $175 million, lose 21 of 30 races

By Michael Beckel and Reity O'Brien

Super PAC American Crossroads goes 3-10, nonprofit Crossroads GPS goes 7-17

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… isive in a lot of races,” said Kyle Kondik, an analyst at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “Candidates matter too.”Despite the Cro …"

Elizabeth Warren, Bruce Mann

Democrats expand Senate grip but fail to win House

By The Associated Press

Democrats solidify their Senate rule but Republicans will still run House in 2nd Obama term

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Dakota":

"… caucus. They picked up another seat Wednesday when Republican Rick Berg in North Dakota conceded his loss to Democrat Heidi Heitkamp. Sen. Bernie Sa …"

Democrats maintain control of Senate

By The Associated Press

Dems win GOP seats in Indiana, Massachusetts; McCaskill survives in Missouri

Excerpts from this story referencing "Angus King":

"… es of Senate seats in Massachusetts and Indiana, combined with independent Angus King's victory in the Republican-held Maine seat, put the GOP too far down in t …"

"… s 44 with three races still outstanding and one newly elected independent, Angus King of Maine, saying he hasn't decided which party he will align with. …"

"… osely linked to the presidential race. In Maine, independent Angus King prevailed over Republican Charlie Summers and Democrat Cynthia Dill in the …"

Walter Dalton

Republicans try to pick up more governors' offices

By The Associated Press

Republicans win NC governor's race in bid to broaden party's hold on governorships nationwide

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… Carbondale. Kate Hansen, a Democratic Governors Association spokeswoman, said 2012 was a difficult year for Democrats, since they have more seats …"

Super PACs spend big for Romney in final weeks of campaign

By Michael Beckel and Andrea Fuller

Super PACs and nonprofits spent $190 million in the last three weeks of the election on the presidential race

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… hotly contested Senate races — Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.Conservative groups account for 62 percent of the spending, the analysis f …"

Redistricting: GOP and Dems alike have cloaked the process in secrecy

By Nicholas Kusnetz

GOP, Dems alike have cloaked process in secrecy

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… nation. One early attempt was driven by Elbridge Gerry, who as governor of Massachusetts approved new district lines in 1812 to solidify his party’s reign over t …"