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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 "Texas":

"… , D-Alaska; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Ki …"

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 "Texas":

"… t want to give money to anybody that’s not doing what they claim to,” Texas resident Abel Balboa said after hearing one of the hybrid PACs he donated …"

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 "Texas":

"… t’s initial interpretation of the Wire Act; in March, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina sent their own letters — each nea …"

Report offers grim predictions for South Texas air quality amid Eagle Ford oil boom

By Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

State-funded study projects dramatic increase in emissions from oil and gas development by 2018.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… te News. …"

"… A newly released but largely unnoticed study commissioned by the state of Texas makes some striking projections: The number of wells drilled in the 20, …"

"… amo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) in San Antonio and paid for by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The study was designed to dete …"

"… a series of reports about air quality in the Eagle Ford and found that the Texas regulatory system does more to protect the gas and oil industry than the p …"

Air monitoring in fracking areas fails to detect spikes in toxic emissions, new study says

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

A new study finds that common air monitoring methods are all but useless in capturing intense, short-term emissions from gas development.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ems have been reported by people who live in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, the subject of a recent investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, …"

"… Neil Carman, clean air director of the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter in Texas. "If the police had to use 24-hour averaging for enforcing speed limits, n …"

"… limits, nobody would ever speed. It would average out." The situation in Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, which spans an area nearly twice the size of Massachu …"

"… articularly problematic because there's little monitoring of any kind. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) — the state's environmental r …"

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 "Texas":

"… ildren, it says, now represent half the child population of California and Texas, the country’s most populous states. “By 2018,” the report says, …"

Inside the Koch brothers' campus crusade

By Dave Levinthal

The billionaire industrialists aren’t just investing in politicians, but also young hearts and minds.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… h as George Mason University in Virginia, Southern Methodist University in Texas, West Virginia University, Florida State University, Utah State University …"

"… nd (Calif.) School for the Arts and the Pasadena (Calif.) Waldorf School. Texas attorney Steve Mostyn, who with his wife, Amber, also donated more th …"

"… ted tens of thousands of dollars through his private foundation to various Texas school districts to aid children with special needs. Billionaire casino m …"

"… versity, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, Syracuse University and Texas Tech University are due to receive Koch foundation donations. …"

Tough new fracking rules in Colorado drawing keen attention in Texas, where boom rages on

By Zahra Hirji, Lisa Song and Jim Morris

Air pollution rules adopted last month in Colorado may have an impact on oil and gas drilling in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ndustry were approved only a month ago but already are making an impact in Texas, where lawmakers and energy companies have long resisted tightening air st …"

"… expressed interest in discussing whether Colorado’s rules make sense for Texas, according to Jim Marston, a vice president at EDF. Marston didn’t name …"

"… ston didn’t name the companies. “The companies are often ahead of the Texas state government,” said Marston, who works in the group’s Austin offic …"

"… y support the new regulations. Anadarko and DCP Midstream also operate in Texas. The Colorado Oil & Gas Association, a trade group, had strong object …"

Japan could be building an irresistible terrorist target, experts say

Japan has balked at U.S. security advice for its nuclear plants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… 2013 report by Alan Kuperman, a proliferation expert at the University of Texas-Austin, intruders have attempted to gain access to or blow up reactors or …"

Japan agrees to return some plutonium

By Douglas Birch

After years of resistance, Japan agrees to return a portion of plutonium to the U.S.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… t or wouldn’t post armed guards with security clearances at the sites in Texas, New Mexico, and California where most of its bomb fuels are stored. With …"

CPAC activists urged to fight IRS

By Michael Beckel and Julie Patel

Tax agency called a 'cancer' and 'criminal enterprise' at conservative convention.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… Internal Revenue Service. High-profile politicians from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to Mike Huckabee, the former GOP governor of Arkansas, suggested the agen …"

Super PACs, nonprofits fueling GOP strife

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative super PACs, nonprofits spending millions to blast Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Party":

"… Senate, and Republicans must win six seats to regain control of it. …"

"… ssently bashed. Asked if he's concerned his organization is weakening the Republican Party’s odds of a successful 2014 midterm election, Club for Growth spokesman …"

Natural gas boom advances with little study of public health effects, report finds

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

As a drilling boom continues in Texas and beyond, a new study spotlights a missing ingredient: A full assessment of public health impact.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… Ford Shale, where a lack of air monitoring and research is aggravated by a Texas regulatory system that often protects the gas and oil industry over the pu …"

"… tory hazards like hydrogen sulfide. While residents near drilling areas in Texas reported symptoms that are known to be caused by these chemicals, includin …"

'Close your doors and go away:' readers react to fracking investigation

By The Center for Public Integrity

Reader reaction to our South Texas fracking probe ranges from heartfelt thanks to charges of hysteria mongering.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… y's Jim Morris, InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel about the South Texas oil boom and the chemicals released into the air, continues to pour in. Mo …"

"… r in. Most of it has been positive: From a man who recently drove through Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale region on his way to Arizona: “I have never seen t …"

"… renewables…Thanks for your work, which may very well help a few folks in Texas.” From a man in one of the South Texas drilling areas: “Thank God …"

"… y very well help a few folks in Texas.” From a man in one of the South Texas drilling areas: “Thank God for Jim Morris and the Center for Public In …"

Tea party operative likely behind mysterious web blitz

By Daniel Wagner

The campaign against government crackdown on online payday lenders is likely created by a consultant to Sen. Ted Cruz.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… eveloped by the same company that built websites for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other tea party leaders. "Stop the Choke" is …"

"… preying on consumers.  The site includes dozens of images of Cruz, a Texas Republican and tea party leader. Cruz’s office told the Center that …"

The mysterious online war against a payday lending crackdown

By Daniel Wagner

Anonymous group called "Stop the Choke" says Obama crackdown on illegal online payments is "destroying the free market."

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ozens of photos and references to Tea Party favorite U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. A Cruz spokesman said the Facebook page “is not affiliated with the sen …"

As drilling ravages Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, residents 'living in a Petri dish’

By Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

In partnership with InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel, Center examines oil industry exploitation of Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ublic Integrity, InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel. KARNES CITY, Texas — When Lynn Buehring leaves her doctor’s office in San Antonio she mak …"

"… r red GMC pickup truck southeast on U.S. 181, toward her home on the South Texas prairie. About 40 miles down the road, between Poth and Falls City, drill …"

"… -mile-wide bacchanal of oil and gas extraction stretches from Leon County, Texas, in the northeast to the Mexican border in the southwest. Since 2008,&nbs …"

"… Buehrings can see, and often smell, evidence of the hell-bent rush to tap Texas oil. In addition to the wells near their home, there are at least nine oi …"

Saturated with oil money, Texas legislature saved industry from pollution rule

By David Hasemyer, Ben Wieder and Alan Suderman

An effort to impose stricter rules on Texas oil and gas operators in 2011 fizzled after the state legislature got involved.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… Sabrina Shankman and Marcus Stern contributed to this report. …"

"… ort. …"

"… new regulations from being applied in the Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas, the fastest-growing oil shale play in the nation and maybe the world. Sin …"

"… xic chemicals that drift into the air breathed by 1.1 million people. The Texas legislature’s rush to protect the oil and gas industry reflects a cultur …"

GOP megadonor Harold Simmons bankrolled liberal causes

By Dave Levinthal

The charitable foundation of the late Harold Simmons contributed big bucks to Planned Parenthood, other left-leaning causes in 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… the "most dangerous American alive." And ahead of the 2012 election, the Texas billionaire who died in December had gained notoriety for personally bankr …"

"… Parenthood Federation of America $200,000 and Planned Parenthood of North Texas $101,750, IRS filings show. The foundation also approved $800,000 in futu …"

"… renthood Federation of America and $300,000 to Planned Parenthood of North Texas, records indicate. Furthermore, Public Campaign, a nonpartisan outfit "de …"

"… e patently conservative causes Simmons himself favored. Among them: The Texas Tribune, an Austin, Texas-based nonprofit news organization that's routine …"

Closing a troubled symbol of Texas juvenile justice

By Maurice Chammah

Closure of Corsicana juvenile facility brings curtain down on a troubling history.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… we’ll all be gone and they can do whatever they want.”  …"

"… cility, the authors presented an arresting image. The campus in Corsicana, Texas, they wrote, “continues to pose a risk to the vulnerable youth populatio …"

"… "warrant complete replacement." When Corsicana was finally emptied by the Texas Legislature in December 2013, many in the world of juvenile justice reform …"

"… Over the last 124 years, ever since it was founded by an 1887 bill in the Texas Legislature as the Texas Orphan Asylum, this facility’s particular histo …"

American Crossroads revs up attacks on Dems

By Michael Beckel

Karl Rove's deep-pocketed group kicks into action after largely dormant 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… e bank. Its largest donor last year included Contran Corp., the company of Texas billionaire Harold Simmons who died in December, which gave $1 m …"

Billionaires use super PACs to advance pet causes

By Michael Beckel

Wealthy donors who bankrolled their own issue-focused super PACs dominated the 2013 fundraising game.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… sed its super PAC to funnel money to McAuliffe's campaign in Virginia, and Texas trial lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn, who mostly gave through their law fi …"

"… ved $2 million. That group has actively worked to help Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, fend off a conservative primary challenger. Many of the deep-pocketed GO …"

Democrats easily outpace Republicans in super PAC fundraising race

By Michael Beckel

Democrats are fully embracing the independent political money groups they once derided in an effort to retain the Senate this year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Party":

"… e Foundation. “We must remember that there is a distinction between the Republican Party and the conservative movement,” DeMint declared at the 2013 Conservative …"

Delay of long-awaited refinery accident report signals divisions at Chemical Safety Board

By Chris Hamby

A last-minute change to a public meeting on a 2010 explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Washington State has board members "embarrassed."

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… n the Gulf of Mexico in 2010; the explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, last April; and the release of toxic substances into the Elk River near C …"

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 "Texas":

"… s, D-Mont.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Ki …"

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Party":

"… said Binkley, who ultimately was defeated, despite backing from the Ohio Republican Party. He added that he isn’t happy about the Citizens United rulin …"

West Virginia chemical spill probe falls to overburdened Chemical Safety Board

By Chris Hamby and Ronnie Greene

Massive chemical spill in W.Va. adds to a growing backlog for the troubled Chemical Safety Board.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… inery in Richmond, Calif., in 2012 and the explosion at West Fertilizer in Texas last April. Read the Center probe in full: As critics press for action, C …"

New federal guidelines aimed at stopping explosion in harsh school discipline

By Susan Ferriss

Departments of Education and Justice team up to produce resource for school discipline and role of school police.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ts Data Collection. Longitudinal research, including a major study in Texas, found that suspensions were linked to academic failure and higher ri …"

Stockman ditching troubled campaign committee

By Dave Levinthal

Congressman with history of campaign finance troubles forms new fundraising entity in U.S. Senate battle against John Cornyn.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… brought the bitcoin case to the FEC.     …"

Top environment investigations from 2013

By The Center for Public Integrity

In case you missed it, here are some of our favorite environment and workers' rights investigations from 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… air, worry on the ground Residents living along the chemical corridor of Texas and Louisiana often encounter 'upset' emissions — triggering pollution, …"