Who needs lobbyists? See what big business spends to win American minds

By Erin Quinn and Chris Young

Trade groups pay top PR, advertising firms $1.2 billion over five years to influence public.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau":

"… ency was behind a public affairs campaign targeting the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency birthed out of the 2008 financial crisis. The campaign on behal …"

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 "Monsanto":

"… e of opposition from groups backed by big food companies such as Pepsi and Monsanto. In Maui County, Hawaii, a ban on the growth of genetically modified …"

"… waii, a ban on the growth of genetically modified plants passed, despite a Monsanto-backed group buying TV ads worth about $2.7 million — or about $30.42 pe …"

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 "Maine":

"… oup’s opponents have spent about $134,000 on ads so far. In Maine, voters are considering a ballot measure that would ban traps, bait and do …"

"… t has spent about $860,000 on ads favoring the ban so far. The other side, Maine’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Council, has spent about $713,000 on …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ee, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and a Center for Public Integrity review of Federal Election Commission filings. He’s also given $1,000 to …"

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 "Texas":

"… air pollution caused by the fracking boom in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas. Despite hundreds of complaints from residents, many of them about noxious …"

"… and rarely fines companies for breaking emission laws. On our 11 trips to Texas we encountered many residents who asked what seemed to be a reasonable que …"

"… easonable question: If a state regulatory agency — in this case the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — isn’t doing much to curb the ind …"

"… eking on-the-record interviews with EPA officials in Washington, D.C., and Texas. Five months later, no such interviews have been granted. Instead, EPA pr …"

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 "North Dakota":

"… the Center for Public Integrity and InsideClimate News BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s Heritage Center makes for a jarring sight in this Midwestern prairie c …"

"… se drab Capitol grounds. Each cube features a gallery devoted to an era of North Dakota’s history, but the state’s present is everywhere. The legislature app …"

"… the boom. Energy companies have drilled more than 8,000 wells into western North Dakota’s rugged prairie since the beginning of 2010, quadrupling the state’s …"

"… l-funded sovereign wealth fund that will approach a balance of $3 billion. North Dakota is in the uncommon position of facing a labor shortage, spurring a state-r …"

'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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… staff has launched a new super PAC, according to paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission. The Protect the Harvest Political Action Committee told the elections re …"

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 "Democratic Party":

"… lary continues to win over grassroots donors, it is helping mainstream the Democratic Party’s embrace of super PACs. Even as Bremer Muggli — a die-hard Democrat …"

"… h the firm Rising Tide Interactive LLC, which is largely staffed by former Democratic Party campaign operatives. The super PAC also aided Democrat Terry McAulif …"

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 "Environment":

"… Act, an arrangement that is problematic in Texas, which has sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 18 times in the last decade. For the past eight month …"

"… eir emissions without reporting them to the state. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which regulates most air emissions, doesn’t even know …"

"… aron Bernstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University. Bernstein blames the information gap on a lack of m …"

"… a research associate with the University of Texas’ Center for Energy and Environmental Resources. San Antonio’s ozone levels have violated federal standards …"

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 "America":

"… clined requests for photographs or an on-camera interview. …"

"… n Depth, which is affiliated with the Independent Petroleum Association of America, was the only industry representative who agreed to appear on camera. Omar …"

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 "North Dakota":

"… 450 Minuteman III missiles deployed in four bases in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. The Air Force wants to modernize them over the next decade, at a cost est …"

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 "House Majority Whip":

"… f several GOP leaders, including House Minority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; House Energy and Natural Resources Committee Cha …"

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 "Wisconsin":

"… st coming this year, including Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Texas, Indiana and Wisconsin. (Illinois’ Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to sign that state’s law. Louisiana …"

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 "Homeland Security":

"… kamp, D-N.D., owns the most Apple stock among the 14 members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigati …"

"… ice, a spokeswoman said. “Senator Heitkamp was selected to serve on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee because of her unique position being fr …"

"… ial holdings.”  Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and an ex officio member on its Permane …"

"… rper's Apple holdings, which reads: “In his role as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Chairman Carper continues to make it a …"

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 "Senate":

"… s pushed a bill requiring greater disclosure by outside groups through the Senate three times (twice with unanimous approval) only to see it die in the stat …"

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 "David Keene":

"… ng in this game, he will undoubtedly make a difference. Says NRA President David Keene, “We can’t outspend Bloomberg.” Complex calculus That remains to be …"

'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 "New Mexico":

"… ng said. “This will always be a problem.” …"

"… rawl. In an interview after the committee vote, he said the bill would put New Mexico’s regulations out of line with those in other states. Ultimately the bil …"

"… a blessing that a few of us have some understanding of that industry.” New Mexico’s legislature meets for just 60 days each odd year and 30 days in even y …"

"… ternational, gave grades of D or F to 28 of the state ethics agencies. In New Mexico, there is no independent body for legislators to turn to for advice or to …"

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 "Nebraska":

"… state-based reporting projects in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. Recurring themes on the Frankl …"

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 "North Dakota":

"… re states have passed new measures. The latest actions come from Maine and North Dakota. In Maine, legislation to make it unlawful for state officials to leave th …"

"… several ethics bills expected to be debated this session. And lawmakers in North Dakota have introduced a package of ethics reform bills that would revamp the sta …"

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 "Texas":

"… Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Wyoming. Some states have different rules for members of the …"

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 "analyst":

"… s.“The money was not decisive in a lot of races,” said Kyle Kondik, an analyst at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “Candidates ma …"

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 "Claire McCaskill":

"… cy resulting from rape is "something God intended." And Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., fought back a challenge from Republican Rep. Todd Akin, who severe …"

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 "Bill Nelson":

"… D-N.J., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla. In Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson triumphed in his bid for a third term, holding off a challenge from Republ …"

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 "North Dakota":

"… Delaware and West Virginia. Chief executives of conservative North Dakota and Utah stayed in the Republican column with Tuesday's re-elections of po …"

"… r incumbents. They included Jack Dalrymple, who took over two years ago in North Dakota when John Hoeven resigned to move to the Senate. Dalrymple won his first f …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… rparts in the presidential race $84 million to $20 million, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Federal Election Commission records collected by the Sunlight …"

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