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 "John Walsh":

"… t.; Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; John Walsh, D-Mont; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; and Ron Wyden, D-Ore. Neither senato …"

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 "Lindsey Graham":

"… esentatives. In late March, the campaign scored a major victory when Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced a bill with the same …"

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 "Illinois":

"… tantial Asian populations, Asian kids did best in New Jersey, Maryland and Illinois. White kids scored highest in Massachusetts and New Jersey. And Latinos fa …"

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 …"

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 "spokeswoman":

"… ways at two different times could lead to discrepancies,” said Grassley spokeswoman Jill Gerber. “An electronic filing doesn't help promote transparency if …"

"… pokesman for Johnson. “There’s no reason not to.” Whitney Potter, a spokeswoman for Heinrich, said the senator “is an enthusiastic cosponsor” of Teste …"

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 "Connecticut":

"… s across all 26 square miles of a heavily wooded community in southwestern Connecticut, where wealthy New York suburbs start giving way to small-town New England …"

"… id. Agostine, 56, was born in Waterbury and has spent his entire career in Connecticut, working as a teacher, principal and superintendent at two other districts …"

"… erous a step to pursue. There’s a powerful sense of before and after in Connecticut (school administrators refer to the day, like 9/11, by it’s date, 12/14) …"

"… ay, like 9/11, by it’s date, 12/14). “I think given the events here in Connecticut and others across the country, it’s becoming not only more acceptable bu …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Oakland":

"… ry, gave bonuses averaging $1,100 each to 40 percent of its workforce. The Oakland, Calif., office, which shut its doors to retrain underperforming employees …"

"… x Falls, S.D., claims workers processed claims four times faster than both Oakland and Baltimore but less than one in 10 there received extra pay last year. …"

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 "Mark Begich":

"… beneficiary of $28,830 while Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (NRA C-) got $2,000. Mark Begich of Alaska (NRA A) and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota (NRA A) have received …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… dio ads during the third week of November in Colorado, Missouri, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Alaska. A second round of ads debuted Dec. 7.The ads target both Repub …"

South Dakota campaign funds move sideways

By Denise Ross

Campaign funds move sideways, effectively skirting individual giving limits

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mike Rounds":

"… undMost notably, former GOP governor and likely 2014 U.S. Senate candidate Mike Rounds moved $50,000 from his still-open governor's candidate campaign fund to a …"

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 "Secretary":

"… in 2011 when its law passed with bipartisan support.Arizona’s Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett added to the birther debate, largely tea party-driven …"

"… Bush’s campaign simultaneously,” he said.While serving as Florida’s Secretary of State under then-Gov. Jeb Bush, Harris was accused of partisan bias as …"

"… a, state law keeps some partisan politics out of the Secretary’s office. Secretary of State Tom Schedler can’t endorse candidates, serve on campaign commit …"

"… ign committees of candidates or make campaign contributions.In New Mexico, Secretary of State Dianna Duran has not endorsed candidates. Her office believes it …"

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 "South Carolina":

"… already understaffed and underfunded, the cuts are especially damaging. In South Carolina, the State Ethics Commission had a budget of $725,000 in 1999; now, it’s …"

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 "Florida Republican Party Committee":

"… invested and involved in congressional races.The organization showered the Florida Republican Party Committee with a total of $125,000 in donations between 2004 and 2010. That sum tops …"

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 "Rhode Island":

"… — among them, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.Access to broadband has become critical for anyone to keep up in American …"

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 "Michigan":

"… State Integrity Investigation along 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 "legislator":

"… last time the state issued a penalty on a vendor was 1999.A North Carolina legislator sponsored and voted on a bill to loosen regulations on billboard construct …"

"… ate contracts. When representatives of a biotech company took Montana legislators out to dinner, they neither registered as lobbyists nor reported the fact …"

"… n” lawmakers voting on bills that would benefit them directly. Scores of legislators turning into lobbyists seemingly overnight. Disclosure laws without much …"

"… ators of the law suffer little more than a slap on the wrist. Arizona legislators admitted to violating the state’s financial disclosure policy when they …"

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 "Texas":

"… use Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, and f …"

"… former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, and former Sen. Rick Santorum o …"

"… would have created over 4,000 construction jobs next year in Oklahoma and Texas, pipe fitters, welders, mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators …"

"… n an economic impact analysis performed by The Perryman Group, a Texas company commissioned by TransCanada.But a closer examination of those job …"

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 "Professor":

"… e editorial page editors of the Wall Street Journal — they called him “Professor Cornpone” — a year ago, compelling him to declare, “I am not a …"

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 "Ameriloan":

"… ns worked the same way. The man from Puyallup, Wash., expected the lender, Ameriloan, to deduct $457 from his bank account on his next payday to pay off the lo …"

"… eeks after getting the loan last February, he was shocked to discover that Ameriloan had withdrawn only $105 and that he still owed $450 on his $350 loan. Coon …"

"… oons, like many borrowers, had not carefully read the fine print. In fact, Ameriloan was allowed to “renew” the loan every two weeks, withdrawing $105 seve …"

"… ouch with the state Department of Financial Institutions and was told that Ameriloan is not licensed in the state of Washington to make payday loans. As a res …"

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 "Maria Donatucci":

"… lic.”  Bukowski faced criticism from union officials and State Rep. Maria Donatucci of Philadelphia, who said that Sunoco “must look to safer alternatives. …"

ANALYSIS: Doctors treating sick in Africa now aid U.S. uninsured

By Wendell Potter

Nonprofit's free clinics in Chicago and other U.S. cities illustrate health system failures - and need for reform

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… who makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid and is not old enough for Medicare, was one of more than 2,000 people who came to RAM’s clinic at Malcolm X …"

Dueling op-eds capture Democratic, GOP views of year-old financial reform law

By Shirley Gao

Dueling op-eds by senators about financial reform law

Excerpts from this story referencing "Comptroller of the Currency":

"… artisan, process."State consumer laws preempted – The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency finalized a rule yesterday on when federal law can “preempt” or overri …"

House, Senate banking panels led by chairmen with modest personal wealth

By Julie Vorman

Annual disclosures reveal stocks, bonds, land, other assets held by Congress members

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alexandria":

"… xcess of $1,000 from The Spectrum Group, a consulting and lobbying firm in Alexandria, Va. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman, House Oversight and Gover …"

Newt Gingrich faces questions about consulting job and support for biofuels

By John Aloysius Farrell

Gingrich takes consulting fee from ethanol while getting big fossil fuel donations

Excerpts from this story referencing "writer":

"… his telephone. The former House Speaker, a leading conservative theorist, writer and speechmaker, is currently pondering a run for president.Gingrich has w …"

IMPACT: In Philadelphia, plea for safer alternative at refinery

By Jim Morris

IMPACT: No harm from clouds of toxic acid, refiner says — to skepticism

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maria Donatucci":

"… onomic benefits of the refinery but urged ending reliance on HF.State Rep. Maria Donatucci of Philadelphia said that Sunoco “must look to safer alternatives.”Dia …"

New oil refinery in South Dakota says it will use alternative to toxic acid

By Chris Hamby

The company planning to build the nation’s first new major oil refinery in 35 years will use a safer technology as a substitute for a highly

Excerpts from this story referencing "Canada":

"… it is designed to handle about 400,000 barrels per day of dense crude from Canada’s oil sands. Environmental groups say the extraction and processing of t …"

Telehealth bill aims to expand health IT access for home care providers

By Kimberly Leonard and Josh Israel

A proposed new Senate bill would give home care providers in rural areas access to Medicare payments for audio and video home monitoring. ..

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bureau of Labor Statistics":

"… day and a one-day stay at a hospital costs about $6,200, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics."It's a tough year in terms of spending money," said Neal Neuberger, execu …"