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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… including $208,000 in unpaid civil penalties owed to the FEC itself. …"

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 "Alaska":

"… umber of Senate-focused TV ads aired this cycle on KTUU-TV 2 in Anchorage, Alaska: 12,300 Stations that have aired more: 0 Percentage of all Senate-focuse …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… far aired in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire and South Dakota, according to a …"

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 "law requiring":

"… ng firm Aristotle, disagrees. He argues that Congress would need to pass a law requiring late-filing super PACs to disclosue donors before Election Day. In the me …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… S. Senate-focused attack ads splashed across Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina. The National Republican Senatorial Committee produced …"

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 "Americans for Prosperity":

"… with the Democrats. The top-spending groups to aid Republicans have been Americans for Prosperity, the politically active nonprofit backed by conservative billionaires Char …"

"… s repeatedly blasted the Koch brothers, who support conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, for their involvement in the race. But the top sponsor of ads in this co …"

"… more than 9,500 ads in the race. That’s about 63 percent more ads than Americans for Prosperity, which has pummeled Hagan for her ties to Obama and her vote for the presi …"

"… for her ties to Obama and her vote for the president’s health care law. Americans for Prosperity’s ads don’t overtly call for Hagan’s defeat, thereby allowing the gr …"

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 "Washington":

"… ifying federal gun laws because that could undo NRA legislative success in Washington. “I think that is a misguided distraction,” said Todd Rathner, an NRA …"

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 "campaign finance reports":

"… -Ore. Neither senators nor Senate candidates are required to e-file their campaign finance reports — unlike the thousands of political action committees, presidential cand …"

"… the U.S. House of Representatives. Currently, senators must submit their campaign finance reports on paper to the secretary of the Senate, where they are scanned and then f …"

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 "Senate":

"… ndustry, and casinos have responded with a cry for help. In December, the Senate funded a study that will look at updating the state’s gambling regulatio …"

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 "Baltimore":

"… clusions of “The Race for Results” report released Tuesday by Casey, a Baltimore-based nonprofit organization dedicated to solving problems faced by famili …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… Hillary can trace its origins to the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010, which helped paved the way for political action committe …"

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 "Jack Reed":

"… -N.Y.; Angus King, I-Maine; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Elizabeth Warren, D …"

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 "Rick Perry":

"… was about school safety. Within weeks of the shooting at Sandy Hook, Gov. Rick Perry indicated his support for allowing more guns in schools. Lt. Gov. David De …"

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 "Agent Orange":

"… th conditions that veterans could claim as a result of the toxic chemical, Agent Orange. In addition, more than 830,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans returnin …"

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 Pryor":

"… cus of Montana (NRA A+) was the beneficiary of $28,830 while Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (NRA C-) got $2,000. Mark Begich of Alaska (NRA A) and Heidi Heitkamp of N …"

"… ;contemplating an ad campaign to make an example of Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor because of his vote against the background check proposal. Most of Bloomb …"

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 "Health":

"… ud and abuse from errant billing, a process known as “upcoding.” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric H …"

"… titled “REBOOT: Re-examining the Strategies Needed to Successfully Adopt Health IT” was released on Tuesday by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Lamar Alexa …"

Report reveals dramatic decline in youth incarceration

By Susan Ferriss

U.S. still tops, but rates have declined

Excerpts from this story referencing "Baltimore":

"… ve 41 percent between 1995 and 2010 to 225 per 100,000. The report by the Baltimore-based foundation also notes that the reduction in incarceration rates has …"

'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 "North Carolina":

"… ging Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Tim Johnson of South Dakota to “stop the spending.”All four senato …"

South Dakota campaign funds move sideways

By Denise Ross

Campaign funds move sideways, effectively skirting individual giving limits

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… ACs.Rounds and roundMost notably, former GOP governor and likely 2014 U.S. Senate candidate Mike Rounds moved $50,000 from his still-open governor's candida …"

"… to simply distribute funds from his candidate committee. The former state Senate majority leader said it's healthier for the Republican Party if a team of …"

"… Party, contributed $1,000 to a state Senate candidate and $1,000 to a U.S. Senate candidate. According to the most recent campaign finance reports, the GPS …"

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 "Kansas":

"… .The most aggressive of this new group are Republicans Kris Kobach, 46, of Kansas and Scott Gessler, 47, of Colorado.They have been leaders in efforts to en …"

"… been leaders in efforts to enact strict voter registration requirements in Kansas and to purge voting rolls in Colorado. Both say they want to stop voter fr …"

"… ublic policy issues such as immigration and voter ID.Kobach was elected as Kansas secretary of state in 2010 after a two-year stint as Republican Party chai …"

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 "Vermont":

"… — Arizona, Idaho, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming — implement ethics rules through various governmen …"

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 "South Dakota":

"… -protection agency has also filed lawsuits against Payday Financial LLC of South Dakota for trying to garnish wages of its borrowers and threatening to sue them i …"

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 "Mitch Daniels":

"… y lawmakers benefited from NRA support. In Indiana, for instance, GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels, who took office in 2005, received $12,400 in NRA donations between 2004 a …"

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 "Broadband":

"… This project was made possible in part by funding from the Ford Foundation. …"

"… out 66,000 tracts. Each tract represents between 1,500 and 8,000 people.“Broadband” is defined by how fast data streams to your computer.An old-style dial- …"

"… .John Dunbar is the former director of Connected, The Workshop's Media and Broadband Project. He is now at the Center for Public Integrity, which is co-publish …"

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 "Democracy Rising PA":

"… lem,” said Tim Potts, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Democracy Rising PA, which works to inspire citizen trust in government. “A good law isn’t …"

"… and the illusion of strong laws in place.”In Pennsylvania, said Potts of Democracy Rising PA, the amount of money allocated for enforcement of ethics rules is consider …"

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 "Medicare":

"… “Meet the Press” host David Gregory asked two questions about Ryan’s Medicare plan. First, Gregory asked whether it was smart to “buck the public oppo …"

"… “buck the public opposition and really move forward to completely change Medicare,” describing Ryan’s plan in some detail (“a voucher program where yo …"

"… to buck the public opposition and really move forward to completely change Medicare, turn it into a voucher program where you give seniors…"Gingrich: "Right …"

"… ety to operate. I think we need a national conversation to get to a better Medicare system with more choices for seniors. But there are specific things you ca …"

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 "South Dakota":

"… rgy was founded in late 2008 by the world’s top ethanol producer — the South Dakota based POET group — and other fuel companies to promote the use of the al …"

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 "Online Lenders Alliance":

"… y to them. Lisa McGreevy, the president and chief executive officer of the Online Lenders Alliance, said members of her organization utilize “an array of legal business mo …"

"… r alternatives, such credit unions or small-loan companies. Even the Online Lenders Alliance offers consumers advice, such as be sure to read the terms of the loa …"

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 …"

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