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 "Ohio":

"… the family of Peter Lewis, a longtime marijuana legalization advocate from Ohio and chairman of Progressive Insurance, who died in 2013. Another backer is …"

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 "North Dakota":

"… "too partisan." And he's suggested that Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota or Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska should be considered as the ne …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… ta, the Upper Green River Basin of Wyoming and the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania. Our first attempt at an on-the-record interview was with Ron Curry, the …"

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 "energy":

"… going to be effective or not. …"

"… oing on in North Dakota is arguably the biggest thing going on in the U.S. energy scene today, and to a large degree, is responsible for the record surge in …"

"… ay, and to a large degree, is responsible for the record surge in domestic energy. What was interesting to me is that this is happening in people's backyard …"

"… ually interviewed because he is a Republican who previously worked for the energy industry. He is one of those people who saw this flaring issue and felt he …"

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 "American Future Fund":

"… p;show that $300,000 came from a conservative, Iowa-based nonprofit called American Future Fund, a prominent player in national politics. The organization is not required …"

'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 "John Boehner":

"… epublicans such as 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney and House Speaker John Boehner in the past, he has not made any contributions to Iowa politicians this el …"

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 "North Dakota":

"… ors forty to sixty feet below remote fields in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, and Nebraska in rote preparation for improbable nuclear Armageddon. They …"

"… opulations, Col. Robert Vercher, the commander of a missile wing in Minot, North Dakota, told the Air Force's news service in February that “there is no other A …"

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 "North Dakota":

"… California. Only in seven states — Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming — did fewer than 100 people donate to Ready fo …"

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 …"

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 "X-ray":

"… TCEQ, untold others suffer in silence. Among them: Mary Alice Longoria, an X-ray technician at a state prison who lives with her husband in a mobile home n …"

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 "Congress":

"… otals. During the first half of 2013 alone, Oxbow spent $620,000 lobbying Congress and the Department of Interior on a range of business concerns. Among them …"

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 "Iowa":

"… that passed navigators laws in 2013, as well as $62,010 spent last year in Iowa, where a similar law passed in 2012. (The true figure is likely far higher …"

Senators investigating Apple own company stock

By Dave Levinthal and Reity O'Brien

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

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 "Delaware":

"… s to disclose which candidate they are targeting. Two states, Florida and Delaware, require that spending be made public but not the targets or the purpose o …"

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 "Ann Marie Buerkle":

"… for a House seat; and it helped unseat A-rated and NRA-endorsed Republican Ann Marie Buerkle in New York. In Orlando, Fla., Bloomberg’s super PAC spent $2 million in …"

'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 "Delaware":

"… reform efforts have been initiated in 16 states. Four of those states — Delaware, Iowa, Maine and Rhode Island — have passed laws or issued executive ord …"

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 "Integrity Florida":

"… I don't know about,” he said. Last year, the government watchdog group Integrity Florida examined lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms in that state and discove …"

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 "Florida":

"… used the money to incubate think tanks in Arkansas, Rhode Island and Florida, where it hosted its yearly gathering in November. One workshop touted pri …"

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 "Ethics Commission":

"… lis Business Journal examined 27 cases since 2006 and found that the state Ethics Commission enforced the one-year cooling off period in only three of those cases. The …"

"… dy had known of the Duke dealings. After a complaint was brought, the same Ethics Commission that had allowed Storms to go to Duke ended up fining him $12,000 and barr …"

"… is now awaiting trial on charges of misconduct over the case.However, the Ethics Commission did not find Storms to have violated the post-employment rule. While he di …"

"… forced the law, pointing to 47 cases in which his office, which staffs the Ethics Commission, has issued 117 restrictions since the revolving-door law was enacted in 2 …"

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 "North Dakota":

"… election, mostly attacking incumbent Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp.Both Democrats prevailed in their hotly co …"

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 "Virginia":

"… id Kyle Kondik, an analyst at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “Candidates matter too.”Despite the Crossroads organizations not havi …"

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 "CNN":

"… important to realize that it was a decisive election," Van Hollen said on CNN Wednesday. "And one of the big issues in this election was whether or not …"

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 "Arizona":

"… e, many of them familiar from the House. Republican Rep. Jeff Flake won in Arizona and will join Democratic Reps. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Martin Heinrich …"

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 "West Virginia":

"… Democratic hands Tuesday, as did those in Missouri, Vermont, Delaware and West Virginia. Chief executives of conservative North Dakota and Utah stay …"

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 "Virginia":

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

"… n up spending” and endorsed “defense cuts that could kill over 200,000 Virginia jobs,” according to one attack ad.Meanwhile, VoteVets Action Fund, a Dem …"

"… len has repeatedly “turned his back” on veterans, a key voting bloc in Virginia.“If George Allen thinks veterans’ programs are a waste, maybe voting 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 "California":

"… 960s, Los Angeles County’s population was 422 times greater than that of California’s least populous district, yet each had only one representative in Congr …"

"… l government must approve (“preclear”) new maps.Some states, including California and Arizona, have placed redistricting in the hands of nonpartisan or bipa …"

"… es by removing redistricting from the control of the legislature. In 2008, California voters passed a referendum creating an independent citizen commission to h …"

"… help shape their proposals.Advocates for redistricting reform have praised California, but it’s unclear how much the new system really changed the results. De …"

Donor profile: Republican Governors Association

By Alexandra Duszak and John Dunbar

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… an Party: former President Ronald Reagan, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.Over the past few months, the Center for Public Integri …"