Obama administration let opponents define the Affordable Care Act

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obama administration let foes define Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… th about why reform was needed and how the final law would protect us from insurance industry abuses. Which, fortunately, it does. The problem is that most Ame …"

"… are system is not just a problem for the uninsured. Those who do have insurance have never had less security and stability than they do today. More a …"

"… at if you move, lose your job, or change your job, you'll lose your health insurance too. More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that the …"

"… o. More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that their insurance company has dropped their coverage when they get sick, or won't pay the fu …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… nt her on the Lone Star State’s airwaves $24 million to $15 million. In Pennsylvania, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf unseated unpopular incumbent Go …"

"… n Committee, backed by billionaire Tom Steyer, helped knock out Corbett in Pennsylvania but didn’t find success in Florida or Maine where it supported Democrats …"

Five-state study finds high levels of airborne chemicals near oil and gas sites

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

A study of air emissions near oil and gas wells found strikingly high levels of benzene and other dangerous chemicals in some locations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… nvestigating this topic, mostly in the Eagle Ford Shale formation of South Texas, for the past 18 months. A Yale University study released in September fo …"

"… tor of ShaleTest, an environmental data-collection nonprofit based in Texas. “And so we decided we would start doing some testing ourselves.” She …"

Mega-donors give big to state candidates

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien and Ben Wieder

More than two dozen donors have given at least $1 million to state-level campaigns ahead of Nov. 4.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Fred Eychaner":

"… ocratic Governors Association, more than $755,000 from Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner and millions from unions, including more than $1.2 million from a branch o …"

Pennsylvania congressman launches frack waste investigation

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Congressman Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, is asking state officials to review environmental exemptions for fracking waste.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… nsylvania into the third-largest state producer of natural gas behind Texas and Louisiana. In those two states and others, questions are increasingly …"

"… s have been reporting on air pollution from oil and gas production in Texas, including at waste disposal facilities. Cartwright also has introduced le …"

"… CLEANER—has gone nowhere. But in August, he scored a small victory when Texas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson became CLEANER's 70th co-sponsor. Cartwright s …"

Pennsylvania super PAC gets 'dark money' infusion

By Michael Beckel

Nonprofit Green Orchard Inc. is listed as the sole donor to new Prosperity for Pennsylvania super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bob Casey":

"… ida have seen more spending on TV ads. Neither Toomey nor Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is up for re-election in Pennsylvania this November.    …"

Ads in U.S. Senate contests turn nasty

By Dave Levinthal

More than seven in 10 U.S. Senate-focused television ads last week attacked or criticized a political candidate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sierra Club":

"… e — including conservative super PAC American Crossroads and the liberal Sierra Club — slung mud at either Ernst or Braley. Nonprofit organization Crossroad …"

Open pits offer cheap disposal for fracking sludge, but health worries mount

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Air emissions from oil and gas waste are among the least regulated, least monitored and least understood components of the fracking boom.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… possible impact on nearby residents. This gap can be traced to decisions Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made decades ago, when oil an …"

"… ted States has so much oil and gas, in fact, that the industry is lobbying Congress for permission to freely export it. It’s impossible to say exactly …"

"…   In May, more than 50 Texas community leaders urged Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett, whose district includes Austin, to co-sponsor the b …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… ional Center for armed robbery. He’s doing his time at a medium-security Virginia state prison located 137 miles northwest of Johnson City, across the dips …"

"… e prison, for a total cost of less than $2. But in March of last year, the Virginia Department of Corrections informed her that JPay Inc., a private comp …"

"… less the person sending money fails to fill out the form properly. He said Virginia is especially efficient and processes money orders within 24 to 48 hours. …"

"… to make an extra dollar everywhere we can,” Shapiro said. Before JPay, Virginia prisons credited money orders to inmates’ accounts in roughly three days …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… et magnate Tom Wolf has tapped his own considerable wealth to help blanket Pennsylvania's airwaves with more than $11 million worth of television ads, surgin …"

"… lf and also the political groups empowered by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Pennsylvania is on top of the heap for ad spending so far in state-level races in 2014, …"

"… t in 2010, but more money was provided by independent groups like those in Pennsylvania, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from media tr …"

"… sing and other election materials. The decision forced 24 states including Pennsylvania, which limited such spending, to change their laws. Even in some states, …"

Secret politics pervade popular companies

By Dave Levinthal

Some well-known brands keep their political spending secret while others are more forthcoming, new survey shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… t attention since 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision granted them powerful spending freedoms. Corporations may n …"

Bill aims to stop coal companies from denying benefits to miners with black lung

By Chris Hamby

Two coal-state senators plan to introduce legislation to reform the federal benefits program for black lung victims.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jay Rockefeller":

"… lation, sponsored by Sens. Robert Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, and Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia, aims to put a stop to those strategies. "T …"

Can this 'dark money' group help the Democrats keep the Senate?

By Michael Beckel

Patriot Majority USA raises millions from unknown sources to play attack dog in the South.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… c Integrity review of Department of Labor, Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service filings shows that 13 contributors have combined to give Patriot Majority …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Time Warner Cable Inc.":

"… f municipal broadband networks. For more than a decade, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc., and CenturyLink Inc. have spent millions of dollars to lobby state legisl …"

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 …"

Firearms used in homicides often purchased illegally

By Kelsey Jukam, Aaron Maybin and Jordan Rubio

A News21 analysis of the FBI’s national database of supplementary homicide reports found that across the country, 17,422 black men between a

Excerpts from this story referencing "Angola":

"… There’s generally two answers,” Moore said. “The answer is either at Angola (prison) doing a life sentence for killing someone … or being dead.” …"

Growing number of biosafety labs raises public health concern

By James Arkin

Construction of new biosafety labs a waste of money, possible threat to public health, say reports and experts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… s needed, according to a report released last week by Department of Energy Inspector General Gregory Friedman. Friedman wrote that the $9.5 million proposal had been …"

"… ries of the national lab,” the assessment said. In his July report, DOE Inspector General Friedman wrote that the Los Alamos project would nearly double the NNSA’ …"

"… ext two years. It did not say which one. When asked for comment about the Inspector General’s report, representatives from both Los Alamos and the NNSA referred the …"

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 "North Dakota":

"… xtend far beyond Texas. Similar problems exist in the Bakken Shale of North Dakota, the Upper Green River Basin of Wyoming and the Marcellus Shale of Pe …"

Families sick from fracking turn to scientists

By Lisa Song

A Pennsylvania nonprofit provides free health consultations to people who live near gas drilling sites and complain of health effects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… his gap by forming a nonprofit — apparently the first of its kind in the United States — that provides free health consultations to local families near drillin …"

"… ntional natural gas drilling goes, we are the public health service of the United States right now," said Michael Kelly, the media liaison for the EHP. David Brow …"

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 …"

Medicare Advantage plans require more scrutiny

By Fred Schulte

Government inspector says private Medicare plans difficult to investigate due to lack of access to data.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… or says. Gary Cantrell, a deputy Inspector General with the Department of Health and Human Services said reviews are “hampered by a lack of accurate, tim …"

Credit rating industry dodges reforms, despite role in financial meltdown

By Alison Fitzgerald

Despite playing a central role in the economic collapse, firms that gave inflated ratings to toxic bonds remain untouched by reforms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… spent nearly $106 million on lobbying in 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. When the House and Senate got together to reconcile their versions of fi …"

Outside money pouring into governors races

By Ben Wieder

Dem, GOP associations are spending more than double as much on governors' races in the 2014 cycle than at the same period in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… iticized for his support of the federal stimulus package when he served in Congress. Michigan’s primary is in August. The RGA has also targeted races with …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government":

"… are accurate. James Cosgrove, who directs the health care division of the Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress, said that federal hea …"

Court reopens third case after Center uncovered judicial conflicts of interest

By Chris Young

Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reopens 2007 case after Center alerts judge that his wife owned ExxonMobil stock when he ruled on case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pennsylvania":

"… al appeals court has withdrawn a three-judge panel’s 2007 dismissal of a Pennsylvania man’s lawsuit against ExxonMobil Corp. after a Center for Public Integri …"

Comcast-Time Warner deal may hinge on anemic low-cost Internet plan

By Allan Holmes

Comcast Corp. will use heavily criticized broadband program for the poor to persuade regulators to OK Time Warner buyout.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… agencies last year, the seventh-most of any corporation, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The company’s political action committee has raised $2.6 million so fa …"

Who’s bankrolling secretive liberal group America Votes?

By Michael Beckel

A dozen anonymous donors accounted for most of the $12.7 million America Votes raised during its last fiscal year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… financially supported America Votes in the past, according research by the Center for Responsive Politics and a Center for Public Integrity review of tax filings maintained by Citi …"

Juvenile injustice: truants face courts, jailing without legal counsel to aid them

By Susan Ferriss

Court procedures leave minor offenders with few rights.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pennsylvania":

"… to counsel for truants during court proceedings. In some states, such as Pennsylvania, counsel is automatic and can only be waived after multiple steps to ensur …"

"… waived after multiple steps to ensure children grasp what they are doing. Pennsylvania was rocked by a scandal a couple of years ago when two juvenile court judg …"

Toomey discloses trip after inquiry

By Michael Beckel

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey failed to disclose a March trip to an exclusive, 'off-the-record' conference.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate Office of Public Records":

"… at a luxury resort in Georgia, he was supposed to file paperwork with the Senate Office of Public Records detailing the costs. Now, after questions from the Center for Public Inte …"

Super PAC leaders score perks from political donations

By Julie Patel

Super PAC founders enjoy fine dining, big salaries and a steady business for their consulting firms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "pilot":

"… ung people, most of whom had never set foot in an airport, said Skinner, a pilot. The super PAC gave away flags and toy planes at the event. “We’ve al …"

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