Lobbying disclosures leave public in the dark

By Marcelo Rochabrun and Dave Levinthal

Despite efforts to beef up laws regulating lobbyists, public is in the dark when it comes to what firms are up to in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jack Abramoff":

"… he Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, in the aftermath of the Jack Abramoff scandal. The bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared upon its …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… d for by the companies issuing the securities. Four years after President Barack Obama signed Dodd-Frank into law, many of the reforms to the credit rating indus …"

"… fe investment. Ratings are ‘opinions’ Just one day after President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank act into law on July 21, 2010, the credit ratings se …"

Home is where the money is for Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Medicare Advantage home visits may not improve health, but boost risk scores and cost taxpayers billions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chronic diseases":

"… rson a year, more for people in poor health, including those with multiple chronic diseases. The billing process is extremely complicated. More than 70 health condit …"

Skyrocketing salaries for health insurance CEOs

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: soaring compensation, rising stock prices don't justify higher premiums.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… tals were disclosed in the proxy statements those companies filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this spring. When I handled financial communications for Cigna, t …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… part of the giant Health and Human Services Department. The HHS Office of Inspector General is supposed to backstop CMS and act as a watchdog to make sure that taxpay …"

"… said, adding: “Even when we catch it, nobody gets spanked.”  HHS Inspector General’s Office spokesman Donald White wouldn’t comment on the audits except …"

"… plan attacked the auditors’ methodology in a December 2010 letter to an Inspector General’s Office official. The health plan said the auditors’ finding that it …"

"… Cosgrove said. Sympathetic ear While the industry clashed with the HHS Inspector General’s Office, it found a sympathetic ear at CMS. Rather than hammer the heal …"

New audits may recover missing millions — or not

By Fred Schulte

Secretive audits target some Medicare Advantage plans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Oregon":

"… 30 selected for review this year. Samaritan Health Plan, based in central Oregon with 6,500 members, also was picked, according to a company newsletter. He …"

Feds investigating allegations that Humana Inc. overcharged Medicare Advantage program

By Fred Schulte

Whistleblower suit at center of Medicare Advantage overbilling allegations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lawyer":

"… “This is a new area,” said Robert Trusiak, a former Justice Department lawyer. “It’s not that easy a concept.” Essentially, Medicare pays the hea …"

"… omment on pending cases. Court records show that U.S. Attorney’s Office lawyers in South Florida have tried for years to navigate the complex billing sys …"

"… he U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to join the case. However, government lawyers said their own investigation would continue. Moreno ordered the pleadings …"

"… e the redactions, court records detail years of back and forth with Humana lawyers over the allegations. Federal investigators in Miami notified the company …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Spencer Bachus":

"… g leapfrogged senior members to become committee chair last year when Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., stepped down because of term limits set by House Republicans. Op …"

Lauded public health researcher also worked for industry, revealing entanglements of science

By David Heath

A late UC Berkeley dean pushed public health reforms — while also working for industry, revealing the deep reach of corporate science.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… th several political heavyweights, including former Gov. James Thompson of Illinois, Clayton Yeutter, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, an …"

Facing lawsuits over deadly asbestos, paper giant launched secretive research program

By Jim Morris

Facing 60,000 asbestos claims over a product it once sold, Georgia-Pacific responded with a legal pushback — and secretive science.

Excerpts from this story referencing "radiation":

"… Stupino had a lung removed in January 2011, then endured chemotherapy and radiation treatments that were “like hell,” he testified. “I have almost perma …"

Wall Street favorite Rep. Garrett flirts with default

By Alison Fitzgerald

Will investment firms that deal in U.S. Treasury securities regret their support of GOP congressmen who are flirting with default?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… Congress failed to pass an increase in the limit. Lew refused. President Barack Obama has said that if Congress doesn’t pass a law to boost the amount the gov …"

Majority of funds recovered in Stanford Ponzi scheme spent by receiver

By Lauren Kyger and Alison Fitzgerald

Lawyer recovering funds for victims in Stanford Ponzi scheme spends $124 million to recover $235 million.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… y has been enmeshed in controversy regarding the Stanford liquidation. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which nominated Janvey and rarely has public disputes with receivers, won …"

Ex-SEC chief now helps companies navigate post-meltdown reforms

By Lauren Kyger, Alison Fitzgerald and John Dunbar

Former regulators profit from their experience with jobs, book deals and speaking fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Neil Barofsky":

"… rt by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neil Barofsky. AIG’s counterparties — those that were owed — including Goldman Sa …"

Subprime lending execs back in business five years after crash

By Daniel Wagner

Executives from all of the top 25 subprime lending firms are working in the mortgage business five years later.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington Mutual":

"… liff Rossi, who was a high-level risk management executive at Countrywide, Washington Mutual and Freddie Mac before the crisis. Rossi got his start during the savings …"

Ex-Wall Street chieftains living large in post-meltdown world

By Alison Fitzgerald

CEOs of banks that fueled the subprime crisis that led to the economic meltdown largely avoid consequences.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington Mutual":

"… the sales of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America, Wachovia to Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual to JPMorgan, thousands of hours and millions of pages have been filled try …"

Bear Stearns mortgage executives have plum jobs on Wall Street

By Lauren Kyger and Alison Fitzgerald

Executives from the mortgage finance division that helped sink Bear Stearns have similar jobs at major Wall Street banks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Goldman Sachs":

"… ing hold similar jobs at the most powerful banks on Wall Street: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. The fact they were able to emerge uns …"

"… of asset-backed securities,   was hired as managing director at Goldman Sachs in 2008 and then promoted to global head of mortgage trading in March 2012 …"

"… oted to global head of mortgage trading in March 2012. Andrew Williams, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, declined requests for comment. Verschleiser’s lawyer declined …"

"… t executives. The SEC has settled cases with a handful of banks, including Goldman Sachs, for sums that come to only a fraction of the companies’ quarterly profi …"

Canada buoyed by former U.S. ambassador

By Reity O'Brien

Former U.S. ambassador in Ottawa now representing Canadian governments, interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ambassador":

"… n’t anticipate any ongoing lobbying effort.”     …"

Report: Hundreds of former SEC employees representing clients before agency

By Dave Levinthal

Report: Hundreds of former agency employees representing private clients before body.

Excerpts from this story referencing "UBS":

"… leave the agency." The report cites high-profile financial firms such as UBS, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Alaska Air Group Inc. as benefiting fro …"

Investment managers top list of super PAC donors

By Rachael Marcus and Andrea Fuller

Hedge fund managers, other investors top donors by industry to super PACs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chemical manufacturing":

"… e and his company. Contran Corp. controls several subsidiaries involved in chemical manufacturing, waste disposal and other businesses.Topping Simmons’ agenda is minimizi …"

Top 5 super PAC donors by industry

Investing, casinos top list thanks to billionaires' donations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Association of Realtors":

"… EstateRank: 4Total: $23 millionFavorite candidate: Mitt RomneyTop donors: National Association of Realtors, Harlan Crow and Crow Holdings, Gary Morse and various Morse-owned corpora …"

"… - and Freddie-backed loans.Industry’s interests: Similar to those of the National Association of Realtors.HomebuildersRank: 5Total: $22 millionFavorite candidate: Mitt RomneyTop do …"

Growth of electronic medical records eases path to inflated bills

By Fred Schulte

Billing software helps medical professionals document higher fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… s for comment. A second “whistleblower” lawsuit filed in the state of Washington in 2006 alleged that Health Management Associates, a Florida-based hospita …"

"… lling practices that for years did not pay them enough. Robert Tennant, a Washington lobbyist with the Medical Group Management Association, which represents l …"

FACT CHECK: Is Romney to blame for cancer death?

By FactCheck.Org

Factcheck.org takes on a controversial new ad from the a pro-Obama super PAC

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… ed the union or competition from Asia. In a 1999 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company stated, “Distressed economic conditions in other countries, …"

AdWatch: Romney ad accuses Obama campaign of lies

By The Associated Press

AdWatch: Romney ad accuses Obama campaign of dishonest attacks on outsourcing

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… onship with those sources" in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed in March 1993, when Romney was at the company's helm.For B …"

Report: Countrywide won influence with discounts

By The Associated Press

Subprime lender Countrywide bought influence of Washington elite with mortgage discounts

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… Countrywide used the VIP loan program to cast a wide net of influence."The Securities and Exchange Commission in October 2010 slapped Mozilo with a $22.5 million penalty to settle char …"

OSHA rules on workplace toxics stalled

By Jim Morris

Rules that would reduce worker exposures to two well-known lung hazards, beryllium and silica, are stuck in the regulatory pipeline.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health":

"… nomenon. It was documented by the Greeks and the Romans centuries ago. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH, warned in 1974 that the silica exposure limit was too high and rec …"

Donor profile: Sheldon Adelson

By Alexandra Duszak

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sheldon Adelson":

"… C supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's failed presidential bid, Sheldon Adelson pivoted to support GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his primary su …"

"… d Israeli causes through several charitable foundations they have created. Sheldon Adelson, born in 1933, is of Jewish-Ukrainian descent, and Miriam Adelson has dual …"

Government can't keep up with information requests

By The Associated Press

Obama administration responded to more requests than ever in 2011, but still lags behind

Excerpts from this story referencing "Charles Grassley":

"… s that the government doesn't have the records when it actually does. Sen. Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, threatened to block …"

Energy-backed firms award bonuses, file bankruptcy

By Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk

The DOE financed green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy — but not before the firms awarded big executive bonuses

Excerpts from this story referencing "flywheel energy storage plant":

"… company, under new ownership, plans to continue operating the 20-megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York, a project the department said would “ensure&nb …"

FACT CHECK: Obama White House ‘full of Wall Street executives’?

By FactCheck.Org

Conservative super PAC runs ad on 'Obama's Wall Street Inner Circle'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… onth search by an outside firm. Storch went from Goldman Sachs to the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he heads up the Division of Enforcement. Obama did appoint&nbs …"

ANALYSIS: Taking the initiative in a struggle against excessive rate increases

By Wendell Potter

Insurance commissioner would gain new power if California effort succeeds

Excerpts from this story referencing "health insurance":

"… ve to give the California Insurance Commissioner power to reject excessive health insurance rate increases.Consumer advocates there decided to go the ballot initiativ …"

"… ver the past year alone.According to the California HealthCare Foundation, health insurance premiums in the state increased 153 percent from 2002 to 2011, more than f …"

"… e, a growing number of the state’s residents have been priced out of the health insurance market.And this is not a situation unique to California. A review of finan …"

"… hority, which regulators in several other states have, to block exorbitant health insurance hikes from taking effect.Feinstein said at the San Diego party conference …"