Fearing for the Second Amendment, militia groups grow in number

By Alex Lancial and Jim Tuttle

Fear of interference with Second Amendment rights and suspicion of elected officials have provoked a rise in self-described patriot militias

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… as sparked in part by events in Ruby Ridge, Idaho and Waco, Texas, sieges that tuned in to deadly standoffs with federal agencies. He noted …"

Women become increasingly involved in gun groups

By Lauren Loftus and Natalie Krebs

Thanks in part to targeted marketing, more women are buying guns for protection and sport

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… graphics. Karen Callaghan, an associate professor of political science at Texas Southern University, who is writing a book on the organization, described …"

"… lf-defense is the common theme among women’s shooting groups. In Austin, Texas, Sure Shots women’s pistol league and monthly magazine focus a …"

"… to guns, she did not get directly involved in the industry until moving to Texas several years ago, she said. “I got a gun, started training with it, an …"

"… debate would covet,” she said. The only lobbyist for gun rights in the Texas Legislature is a woman named Alice Tripp. The membership of Texas Sta …"

Gun rights debate enters a new arena: the campus

By Wade Millward and Carmen Forman

The right to carry a firearm onto college campuses has become another issue in the gun control debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… carry licensees must be at least 21. SCC’s focus next year is Texas, Mueller said. As of September, students could store guns in cars on campu …"

"… id. Next year, he expects to help coordinate resistance to campus carry in Texas. Colleges that side with Pelosi fear on-campus gun theft, threats with gu …"

Stronger self-defense laws spread, despite limited measure of impacts

By Jon LaFlamme

Stand your ground laws expand American's right to self defense, but their impact varies from state to state

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… spected thieves who were shot to death as they tried to flee. In a recent Texas case, a woman is expected to claim self-defense for fatally shooting her n …"

"… which allows people greater leeway to act in self-defense in their homes. Texas and Louisiana, for example, passed laws that treat self-defense in workpla …"

"… sted in the form of a firearm,” said legal expert Geoffrey Corn of South Texas College of Law. “Stand your ground is now the majority rule in the Unite …"

"… based on a review of 200 cases in Michigan, Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Arizona — six of 31 states to recently expand their laws. The Duty t …"

Decades old gun control debate reshaped by new advocacy groups

The gun control movement has made significant gains in recent years, but the NRA remains king of the hill

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… s on their side,” said Karen Callaghan, a political science professor at Texas Southern University who is writing a book on the NRA. Their members are l …"

"… In May, the NRA called the tactics of another gun rights group, Open Carry Texas, “downright weird.” After protest from the group, which carries long g …"

"… r protest from the group, which carries long guns in public to protest the Texas ban on the open carry of handguns, the NRA pulled the release from its web …"

"… Heller, the NRA began opening up to new demographics, said Callaghan, the Texas Southern University political science professor. In the last few years, i …"

Ten major findings from our investigations so far this year

By Jared Bennett and Sarah Whitmire

Investigations from the first half of 2014

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… tal. Keep reading 5. “I believe if you're anti-oil and gas, you're anti-Texas” That's what Texas State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran had to say in referenc …"

"… I believe if you're anti-oil and gas, you're anti-Texas” That's what Texas State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran had to say in reference to one of America's b …"

"… water, but from the air they breathe. We wanted to know what, if anything, Texas was doing to monitor the potential health effects of residents who live ne …"

"… of residents who live near drilling sites. What did we find? Thousands of Texas oil and gas facilities are allowed to self-audit emissions without reporti …"

EPA: No comment on fracking air pollution

By Jim Morris and Lisa Song

No one at the Environmental Protection Agency has been willing to talk on the record about air pollution associated with fracking in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… air pollution caused by the fracking boom in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas. Despite hundreds of complaints from residents, many of them about noxious …"

"… and rarely fines companies for breaking emission laws. On our 11 trips to Texas we encountered many residents who asked what seemed to be a reasonable que …"

"… easonable question: If a state regulatory agency — in this case the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — isn’t doing much to curb the ind …"

"… eking on-the-record interviews with EPA officials in Washington, D.C., and Texas. Five months later, no such interviews have been granted. Instead, EPA pr …"

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… per PAC — Cochran, and Reps. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Pete Sessions, R-Texas, are favored politicos — and counts that money toward its lobbying outpu …"

Federal complaint challenges Texas town's new ban on housing any border kids

By Susan Ferriss

Civil rights groups are challenging ordinances that prohibit cooperation with federal officials if they ask to shelter kids in towns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… shion. …"

"… n American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, and Appleseed, a Texas public-interest law group. Appleseed has researched dangers faced by Mexic …"

"… plaint argues that the ordinance — one of a number being contemplated in Texas — is discriminatory and violates the Fair Housing Act and the Civil Righ …"

"… that international health experts say is factually unfounded, as the Texas Observer reported.   The United Nations Children’s Fund reports tha …"

Lawmakers issue dueling Dodd-Frank reports

By Jared Bennett

Republicans say the financial reform law creates a bailout fund. Democrats says the 4-year-old law makes banks safer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… , written by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., denounced the financial reform law for faili …"

Families sick from fracking turn to scientists

By Lisa Song

A Pennsylvania nonprofit provides free health consultations to people who live near gas drilling sites and complain of health effects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… eld and looked like a refinery. "It [was] almost reminiscent of a Houston, Texas, kind of scene," she said. 'Drop in the bucket' Amelia Pare, a plastic s …"

Energy influence in North Dakota is expanding — so what?

By Nicholas Kusnetz and Jared Bennett

A Q & A with reporter Nicholas Kusnetz about the oil and gas industries growing influence in North Dakota.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… r flares have reported health issues, very similar to what was reported in Texas, and the state hasn’t done any testing of local issues like that, so the …"

How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Industry has transformed the state, but at what cost?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… tried to ban the practice, as they have in Colorado, Pennsylvania and even Texas. Residents are largely supportive of the oil industry — an industry-spon …"

"… limits are much less stringent than in other states — even oil-friendly Texas allows for just 10 days — but the Department of Mineral Resources has is …"

"… For one thing, drillers in North Dakota were looking for oil, not gas, and Texas has many gas fields and, therefore, a large infrastructure prepared to han …"

Four years after passage, House keeps trying to kill Dodd-Frank

By Jared Bennett

On the fourth anniversary of the passage of landmark financial reform law, opponents still trying to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ermine key provisions in the financial reform law. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, named by the Center’s April report as the captain of the banking caucus …"

Trains, amputations and the roots of why kids are on the run

By Susan Ferriss

Reports have long warned of chaos in Central America many minors say they want to escape.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… s sex workers, as the Center found in 2011. An in-depth report by the Texas legal aid group Appleseed, which led observations of such screenings, …"

Chattanooga wants feds to pre-empt broadband ban

By Allan Holmes

Tennessee city seeks to expand municipal broadband service, pre-empting industry-backed state ban.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… s including Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska, Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, wrote a letter warning Wheeler not t …"

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… onduran children turning themselves over to Border Patrol agents along the Texas-Mexico border. The network of pro bono attorneys willing to represent mino …"

Feds seek new authority to recoup Medicare Advantage overcharges

By Fred Schulte

Impact: Feds act to recoup overcharges following Center investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… om line costs,” said Geruso, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.  Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said that refining the pa …"

Will migrant kids lose access to child-welfare and legal specialists in rush to deport?

By Susan Ferriss

Child advocates are worried possible legal changes could cut off migrant kids' access to social workers, asylum lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… xpress fear of being returned.    A 2011 report by Appleseed, a Texas-based public-interest law group, also documented cases of Mexican kids rel …"

Kochs put a happy face on free enterprise

By Chris Young

Initiative spearheaded by billionaire brothers paints positive portrait of free-market system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… y William Inboden, a professor of public affairs at the University of Texas-Austin, and Chris Rufer, the president and founder of the Morning Star Com …"

Lobbyists boost Senate Democrats

By Michael Beckel

Democrats have outraised their GOP counterparts in terms of money coming from lobbyists doubling as fundraisers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ial Committee. And they raised nearly $1.1 million for Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the Senate Republican whip who many worried would see a competitive prima …"

"… eaped riches from lobbyist-bundlers. For instance, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, received $40,400 fro …"

How lobbyists helped build John Cornyn’s election war chest

By Michael Beckel

Lobbyists’ role in Senate GOP whip's campaign helped him avoid, in his own words, a “fair fight.”

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… d. “That’s human nature.”    …"

"… rding to the analysis. Cornyn ultimately bulldozed Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, and several lesser-known challengers in a March 4 intra-party battle. Bu …"

"… t initially guaranteed. A June 2013 poll sponsored by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune, for example, found that only 54 percent of Republicans …"

"… lly guaranteed. A June 2013 poll sponsored by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune, for example, found that only 54 percent of Republicans viewed Cor …"

Outside money pouring into governors races

By Ben Wieder

Dem, GOP associations are spending more than double as much on governors' races in the 2014 cycle than at the same period in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… inois, Bruce Rauner, along with contributions to Republican groups in Texas, Maine, Pennsylvania and Kansas. So far this cycle, the DGA has put up ad …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… early $650 million for 2007 alone — just for those six plans. One major Texas health plan was paid to care for a man it said had brain cancer. But his m …"

"… contractor, hotly disputed audit findings for its plans in California and Texas.   Auditors had deemed the risk scores for 45 of 100 California …"

States urged to embrace alternatives to school discipline criminalizing kids

By Susan Ferriss

The Council of State Governments warns that harsh school dicipline disproportionately harms ethnic minority, disabled and LBGT students.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… e Governments released a longitudinal study finding that 60 percent of all Texas students had been suspended at least once, with punishment falling particu …"

"… nal justice system — not straighten out and get engaged in school.  Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, a Democrat from the Houston area, told reporters …"

"… f-school suspensions rarely accomplish anything.”  As chair of the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee, Whitmire said he tells his colleagues i …"

"… “you pay later” with higher incarceration costs. Whitmire said kids in Texas have been accused of misdemeanors for infractions as minor as throwing an …"

State Senate leader reacts to Center report, urging counsel for truants

By Susan Ferriss

A majority state Senate leader in Tennessee says he is troubled by a Center report on accused truants prosecuted, jailed with no lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… l’s own research — including a longitudinal project tracking suspended Texas students over time — has found that “when students are removed from th …"

Texas fracking verdict puts industry on notice about toxic air emissions

By David Hasemyer

A nearly $3 million jury verdict against a Texas oil and gas company highlights regulatory failures and health risks linked to fracking.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… air pollution from gas and oil operations near their ranch in Wise County, Texas. Sometimes they had trouble breathing, they told the Texas Commission on E …"

"… in Wise County, Texas. Sometimes they had trouble breathing, they told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). They also experienced nausea, …"

"… 7 complaints from Wise County, in the Barnett Shale drilling area in North Texas. One said the odor was so powerful that the complainant “couldn’t go o …"

"… jury found that Aruba Petroleum, a privately owned company based in Plano, Texas, “intentionally created a private nuisance” that affected the family's …"

Nearly $100 million in campaign cash sits idle

By Dave Levinthal

What happens to campaign money of former congressional candidates? It often sits in accounts for years.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… d Reps. Jerry Costello, D-Ill. ($1.38 million) and Jim Turner, D-Texas ($972,843). Ex-candidates cannot spend unused campaign money on themselve …"

Foul air in heavily fracked Texas county has couple looking for a way out

By Lisa Song

After 23 years in once-placid Karnes County, Texas, Lynn and Shelby Buehring say they're moving to escape toxic fumes from a fracking boom.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… r Channel. Lisa Song is a reporter with InsideClimate News. …"

"… eClimate News. …"

"… Channel revealed that despite hundreds of complaints from local residents, Texas regulators know little about air quality in the 26-county Eagle Ford regio …"

"… nbsp;went house-hunting in Tivoli, a small town in Refugio County near the Texas Gulf Coast. It was the first time in two months that Lynn could breathe ou …"

Oil giant Citgo gets off easy in criminal case

By Priscila Mosqueda

Residents of Corpus Christi, Texas, who say they were sickened by emissions from the Citgo refinery decry a judge's denial of restitution.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… isti for at least a decade. …"

"… ride, a deadly gas, into the neighborhoods. Residents’ complaints to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — more than 200 of them during the 1 …"

"… the first place,” says Melissa Jarrell, a criminal justice professor at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi who studies environmental crime. “Why that’s co …"

"… idn’t.” Too big to punish Rainey, a former director of the Angleton, Texas, Chamber of Commerce, was appointed to federal judgeship by President Geor …"

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