FEC hunts political ghosts on Halloween

By Carrie Levine

On Halloween, the elections agency sent disclosure demands to hundreds of candidates — including those no longer alive.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… r Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., which has missed every filing deadline since the Illinois Democrat pleaded guilty to a count of felony fraud in February 2013. He wa …"

Election 2014 by the numbers

By Michael Beckel

A new Center for Public Integrity money-in-politics index highlights key facts about the most expensive midterm in history.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… , on average, sponsored by outside spending groups: 38 Percentage in North Carolina’s Senate race: 55 Chance that a Senate-focused TV ad sponsored by a cand …"

"… th Dakota’s Senate race: 61 Percentage of positive TV ads aired in North Carolina’s Senate race: 18 Number of key Senate races in which “dark money” …"

"… tic-aligned dark money groups have aired more ads than GOP ones: 0 Amount North Carolina’s two major Senate candidates have raised as of mid-October: $32 million …"

"… utside groups have told the Federal Election Commission they’ve spent on North Carolina’s Senate race: $76 million Ratio by which Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., …"

Power shifts to outsiders in U.S. Senate fight

By Michael Beckel

Battle for control determined in large part by big-spending super PACs and nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire and South Dakota, according to a Center for Public Integrit …"

"… ng processed by the government. Nevertheless, some races stand out. Take North Carolina, for instance, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican ch …"

"… ore ads from groups that are neither candidate committees nor parties than North Carolina. Of the 90,000-plus Senate-focused TV ads that have aired in the Tar Heel …"

Super PACs exploit disclosure loophole

By Dave Levinthal

Several political committees that materialized in recent days aren't required to reveal donors until after Election Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Dakota":

"… titutional Veterans for Freedom Super PAC of Wilmer, Texas. Futhermore, a South Dakota-based super PAC calling itself Many True Conservatives sprung into existen …"

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 "South Dakota":

"… e most upbeat Senate race last week? The suddenly white-hot South Dakota contest, which attracted more than 1,700 Senate-focused ads last week — …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… a dozen states, with the battlefield stretching from Alaska to Colorado to North Carolina. Democratic candidates and their allies have aired more TV ads to date th …"

"… to date than their GOP rivals in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG. Republican candidates a …"

"… nwhile, Democratic incumbents in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina are bracing themselves against strong Republican challengers. And hotly c …"

"… chamber of Congress during the final two years of Obama’s presidency. 1) North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is running for re-election against Republican s …"

State lawmakers take aim at federal gun control

By Justine McDaniel, Robby Korth and Jessica Boehm

A growing collection of state legislatures seeks to disqualify federal gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Dakota":

"… ral regulation doesn’t apply to guns manufactured in the state. Wyoming, South Dakota and Arizona have had laws protecting “firearms freedom” from the U.S. …"

Senate power players quarrel over fate of e-filing

By Michael Beckel

A growing number of senators voluntarily e-file their campaign finance reports. But will the practice ever be mandated?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Claire McCaskill":

"… h, D-N.M., Angus King, I-Maine; Tim Johnson, D-S.D.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; J …"

Casinos and offshore companies battle for billions in online gambling push

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Congress, states and a rich mix of characters argue over regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Andrew Cuomo":

"… uding New York, where the company’s lobbyist met with an adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November, according to a report by Capital New York. In late March …"

New report ranks best, worst states for kids of all ethnicities

By Susan Ferriss

Ethnic minority children will be majority of U.S. kids in four years, but face barriers to success in some places.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Annie E. Casey Foundation":

"… education and job preparation in certain states, says a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. African-American kids face especially daunting obstacles in Mississippi, …"

"… ob creation. The Center for Public Integrity has received grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to pursue independent reporting. …"

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 "New York":

"… PAC can already claim financial backers from every U.S. state — although New Yorkers and Californians account for nearly half of the money it raised in 2013 …"

"… rovided to the Center for Public Integrity by the super PAC. Residents of New York combined to give just shy of $1 million last year, as did residents of Cal …"

Do senators fear the Internet?

By Rachel Baye

Nearly one-fifth of upper chamber members say they support e-filing campaign finance reports — but won't be this week.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chuck Grassley":

"… to file the reports due this Friday only in hard copy. Among them: Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; and Mark Udall, D-Colo. “Sen. Grassley is n …"

A year after Newtown, searching for answers in the nation’s schools

By Nicholas Kusnetz

A year after Newtown, communities searching for answers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "sheriff":

"… oryell and Hamilton counties, and it’s more than 15 miles to the nearest sheriff’s department. The town is unincorporated, so it has no government and no …"

"… ers for the program before buying them standard guns and tapping the local sheriff to help with training. The district has kept their identities secret to pr …"

Claims processors received bonuses while backlog more than doubled

By Mary Shinn, Daniel Moore and Steven Rich

Veterans Affairs processors shared millions in awards while claims piled high, News21 investigation finds.

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 "Pat Toomey":

"… e background check amendment — Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat and Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican — illustrate some of those complexities. Bot …"

GOP senators call for overhaul of electronic health records program

By Fred Schulte

Report says $35 billion Obama administration stimulus program not working

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coordinator":

"… ing for the same procedures.” The administration’s Office of National Coordinator, which oversees the program, referred a request for comment on the report …"

Report reveals dramatic decline in youth incarceration

By Susan Ferriss

U.S. still tops, but rates have declined

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Dakota":

"… states still show relatively higher propensities for locking up youths – South Dakota is one – and across the country, black youth are nearly five times more …"

'Fiscal cliff' ads target candidates in 2014

By Rachael Marcus

Rove-affiliated nonprofit runs 'fiscal cliff' ads targeting vulnerable Senate Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… and the National Education Association to convince legislators not to cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and education.The trio opened its campaign with …"

"… ealthy?” said Kusler in a press release.Kusler also told the Center that Medicare is of special interest to the NEA, which primarily deals with education is …"

"… ich primarily deals with education issues, because when federal funding to Medicare is cut, states must make up the difference, often by cutting education bud …"

"… en by cutting education budgets.AARP is also defending Social Security and Medicare in a big way — a seven-figure ad campaign called “You’ve Earned a Sa …"

South Dakota campaign funds move sideways

By Denise Ross

Campaign funds move sideways, effectively skirting individual giving limits

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ed Bender":

"… finance regulation that allows money to effectively move "sideways," says Ed Bender, executive director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics.S …"

Secretaries of state lead charge for strict voter requirements

By Joe Henke and Emily Nohr

Activist state election officers are changing the role of a traditionally non-partisan job.

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Dakota":

"… in, a Democrat, hasn’t endorsed a candidate since he took office in 1995.South Dakota’s two previous secretaries of state, Chris Nelson and Joyce Hazeltine, s …"

"… e Galvin, they personally choose to never endorse a candidate.But in June, South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant, a Republican, endorsed then-Republican pres …"

"… ublican, endorsed then-Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum and South Dakota Republican state senate candidate Val Rausch.“The operation of elections …"

Policing the politicians; state ethics commissions lack muscle

By Caitlin Ginley

Underfunded, politically crippled commissions frequently do little more than slap wrists

Excerpts from this story referencing "Duke Energy":

"… llow the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s general counsel to join Duke Energy, soon after he made several rulings at IURC that would benefit the energy …"

"… , policy director of the Indiana chapter of Common Cause, referring to the Duke Energy scandal. She said it has become common practice for government officials t …"

IMPACT: Tribal payday lender sued by Federal Trade Commission

By David Heath

Auto racer Scott Tucker accused of deceptive lending practices.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Scott Tucker":

"… ts about the business, the FTC says.Among the defendants in the lawsuit is Scott Tucker, a professional race-car driver from Kansas City, Kan. Tucker became a mil …"

NRA pushed 'stand your ground' laws across the nation

By Susan Ferriss

Gun-rights group used endorsements, campaign cash and political pressure to spread laws nationwide.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… A said in an Aug. 12, 2005 website posting, it approached the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, which drafts legislation for like-minded state lawmakers. ALEC, as it is …"

Poverty stretches the digital divide

Those without a broadband connection likely to be lower on economic ladder, and are falling farther behind.

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Dakota":

"… ked 48th in population density, jumped 14 percentage points to 55 percent. South Dakota, 46th in density, jumped 11.1 percentage points to 61 percent.Two states d …"

IMPACT: A call for ethics reform in South Carolina

By Caitlin Ginley

Palmetto State legislators react to failing grade from State Integrity Investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Dakota":

"… with seven other states: North Dakota, Michigan, Maine, Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota and Georgia. …"

Grading the nation: How accountable is your state?

By Caitlin Ginley

Our State Integrity Investigation reveals corruption risks in all 50 states

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bobby Jindal":

"… s toughest anti-pay-to-play laws for contractors. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, in an attempt to shed the state of its scandalous political history, enac …"

FACT CHECK: Final fight for GOP in Iowa

By FactCheck.Org

With the Iowa Caucus just around the corner, Gingrich, Bachmann make factual errors in Sioux City debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… frequently by proponents of the pipeline.Alex Pourbaix, president of Energy and Oil Pipelines for TransCanada Corp., the company proposing the pi …"

"… rabia has oil. But that’s not accurate, according to Steven Grape of the Energy Information Administration.Huntsman: "We wake up to the reality in th …"

"… s nuclear weapon capability. Bachmann said that the International Atomic Energy Agency said that “Iran is within just months” of being able to have a …"

Gingrich earned twice as much as previously disclosed from ethanol lobbying group

By John Aloysius Farrell

Gingrich brings in double the cash from what was disclosed from ethanol lobbying group

Excerpts from this story referencing "Newt Gingrich":

"… recalculated totals, which were disclosed in a recent story in USA Today. …"

In trouble from an online payday loan? You might not have to repay it

By David Heath

Regulators urge people not to repay illegal online payday loans

Excerpts from this story referencing "head":

"… to get a payday loan online, “Just don’t do it.” Rick Brinkley, the head for Better Business Bureau of Eastern Oklahoma, agreed. He’s heard from …"

Fourth fire this year strikes refinery that relies on toxic acid

By Chris Hamby

Company reports no chemical releases, but event underscores risks to nation's aging fuel factories

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Dakota":

"… able, proponents say.  A company preparing to build a new refinery in South Dakota recently said it was planning to use an HF alternative based on solid acid …"