Why industry is trying to tell you how to think

By Erin Quinn, Chris Young and Kimberley Porteous

How we investigated the top message peddlers influencing public policy — and why you should care.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… a bit about that. CY: Sure, this is a relatively new project at the Center for Public Integrity and it’s part of our “Consider the Source” team. It’s intended to …"

Who needs lobbyists? See what big business spends to win American minds

By Erin Quinn and Chris Young

Trade groups pay top PR, advertising firms $1.2 billion over five years to influence public.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lobbying":

"… overnment official, it need not report who it has hired to do the PR work. Lobbying firms generally must report how much they are paid, who their clients are …"

"… d by an overall drop in Lobbying spending, beyond the trade group sector. Lobbying expenditures peaked in 2010, when special interests spent $3.6 billion on …"

Secretive nonprofits flourished — and succeeded — in 2014 state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits backed winning candidates, or bashed losers, in 63 percent of the state races in which they sponsored ads.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… past, the group has been backed by the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, though neither group has reported grants to the LEAA on recent years’ t …"

High-stakes health care battle in the Green Mountain state

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: fate of Vermont single-payer initiative may depend on financing plan.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… insurance industry’s biggest opportunity to derail the state’s plans. Health insurers have reason to be concerned. Even though Vermont has just 627,000 …"

"… ide their involvement. We probably would never have known that America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s main trade group, funneled more than $10 …"

"… er their strategy, Shumlin last year formed a Business Advisory Council on Health Care Financing. The 21-member council “provides the governor with advice …"

"… chter, president of the nonprofit single-payer advocacy group Vermont Health Care for All, told me. “People need to be reminded that we will pay for …"

GOP rides cavalry to U.S. Senate majority

By Michael Beckel, Dave Levinthal and Carrie Levine

Super PACs, 'dark money' nonprofits help make Election Day difference as Republicans seize a U.S. Senate majority

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… successful strategy of linking Democratic candidates — from Colorado to North Carolina — to an increasingly unpopular President Barack Obama and his policies. …"

"… least one of every five ads in six of the hottest Senate races: Arkansas, North Carolina, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana and Michigan. According to a Center for Pu …"

"… mmittees also reported spending an additional $14 million.) Similarly, in North Carolina, incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and state House Speaker Thom Tillis, …"

"… st, yet Hagan still lost to Tillis on Tuesday night. In the final days of North Carolina’s race, which will likely go down as the most expensive Senate contest i …"

Flush with mystery money, Kentucky nonprofit haunts Grimes’ Senate bid

By Michael Beckel

Formerly modest nonprofit becomes deep-pocketed, dark money benefactor of Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ned rules on corporate electioneering following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision for Kentucky Opportunity Coalition’s unexpected rise. Certain t …"

Democrats seize air supremacy in Senate battlegrounds

By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

Liberals aired more TV ads last week than their conservative foils in seven of the nine top Senate battlegrounds races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… sponsored about 6,300 ads last week across nine states — from Alaska to North Carolina — buoyed by a nearly $25.3 million cash reserve and $5.1 …"

"… e Center for Public Integrity’s analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG data. The North Carolina race, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan faces GOP state House Spea …"

Eyeballs burn in North Carolina, Iowa ahead of U.S. Senate elections

By Michael Beckel

Last week, North Carolina, Iowa residents saw three political ads focused on contentious Senate elections every five minutes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… r Public Integrity is tracking political advertising in races for the U.S. Senate and state-level offices. Use these two, interactive features — with new …"

"… and those are just the ads targeting the states’ hyper-competitive U.S. Senate races. In all, U.S. Senate campaigns and various non-candidate political …"

"… targeting the states’ hyper-competitive U.S. Senate races. In all, U.S. Senate campaigns and various non-candidate political groups aired about 6,200 ads …"

"… tar Media/CMAG, an advertising tracking service. Across the country, U.S. Senate elections generated about 49,000 TV ads during the last week of Septe …"

Non-candidate spending increases in state elections

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Ben Wieder

TV ad spending in state elections since 2010 is down, but the portion ponied up by political nonprofits and state-level super PACs rises.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ees can be traced in part to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, decided early in 2010. The ruling gave the green light to unions and corp …"

Secret politics pervade popular companies

By Dave Levinthal

Some well-known brands keep their political spending secret while others are more forthcoming, new survey shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… received significant attention since 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision granted them powerful spending freedoms. Corporations may n …"

In New Hampshire, quixotic super PAC shaking up Republican primary

By Dave Levinthal

Big-spending Mayday PAC giving Jim Rubens an unexpected boost — and Scott Brown a headache — ahead of GOP primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… both elected her governor and senator, is nonetheless dogged by President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, and her backers are using all the time they have to butt …"

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 …"

Outsiders dominate Alaska's Senate race

By Michael Beckel

Washington, D.C.-based groups are dominating the airwaves in the Last Frontier, home to one of the nation's most contested Senate races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Americans for Prosperity":

"… uting the Republican frontrunner, Dan Sullivan. Three of these groups — Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners and the American Energy Alliance —  fall within c …"

‘Dr. Evil’ fuels dogfight between AKC, Humane Society

By John Dunbar and Erin Quinn

Public relations pro, food industry behind website, ads blasting Humane Society.

Excerpts from this story referencing "CEO":

"… tracting for management services with a business owned by that charity’s CEO atypical as compared to how other charities operate,” the organization w …"

Washington's cynical misinformation game

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the role of distortion in health care politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… nother organization insurers frequently call upon to front for them is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As the National Journal reported in 2012, AHIP funneled more th …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… ntegrity of analysis of new congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data. Spending by several others remained stagnant. Unlike last year …"

The beautification of Thad Cochran

By Dave Levinthal

Senator's supporters suddenly turn cheery in final bid to save Mississippi mainstay's job.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… mary since the 2010 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The winner of tonight's runoff faces Democrat Travis Childers, a former …"

Mississippi's super PAC-dominated Senate slugfest not over yet

By Dave Levinthal

Cochran and McDaniel prepare to square off again June 24 as outside groups spend millions in GOP's contested Senate primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… t forces in political races thanks to the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations, nonprofits, unions and special interests to r …"

GOP civil war rages in Senate primary battles

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative nonprofits and super PACs have spent $10 million bashing Republicans to the delight of Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… rious twist to the initially Republican-benefiting Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision of 2010, which led to the creation of super PACs and freed p …"

U.S. Chamber targets Dems in state attorney general races

By Ben Wieder

Why are powerful business interests underwriting ads in AG races in the states?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… er for outside groups to operate thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which knocked aside bans that had existed in 24 states on politi …"

Koch brothers, major corporations sponsor pension reform seminar for judges

By Chris Young

Judges who may decide fates of public pension reform disputes to attend seminar sponsored by pro-business interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pfizer":

"… tions — Ford Motor Co., General Electric Co., ConocoPhillips, drug maker Pfizer and the Dow Chemical Company also among them — are sponsoring the confer …"

Chemical industry among big spenders on lobbying this quarter

By Dave Levinthal

New numbers indicate it's still good to be a lobbyist in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… ntegrity of analysis of new congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data. These new numbers reverse — at least temporarily — top lob …"

Outside groups help boost David Jolly to victory

By Michael Beckel

Outside groups spent nearly $5 million aiding Republican in Florida's heated House race.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… aces, according to data provided to the Center for Public Integrity by the Center for Responsive Politics. The phenomenon was repeated two years later in more than two dozen House …"

"… will dominate the race,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “Outside groups may not determine the victor, but they'll very often d …"

Outside groups dwarf candidate spending in Florida special election

By Michael Beckel

Less than one-third of money pumped into House contest is controlled by Sink or Jolly.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Petroleum Institute":

"… ceived financial support in recent years from other nonprofits such as the American Petroleum Institute, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Republican Jewish Coali …"

Super PACs, nonprofits fueling GOP strife

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative super PACs, nonprofits spending millions to blast Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harold Simmons":

"… ed Tuesday. Late Republican super donors Bob Perry and Harold Simmons provided much of the organization's funding. Florida's 19t …"

Exelon amends reports concerning contributions to trade groups

By Michael Beckel

Nuclear giant says its political contribution reports overstated numerous payments to politically active nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… ns such as the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Edison Electric Institute and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The company additionally contributed a combined $317,500 to politically …"

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 "Business":

"… industry trade groups in the country — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers — penned a lett …"

"… nbsp;was signed by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue, Business Roundtable President John Engler and National Association of Manufacturers …"

"… orporations from the policy playing field altogether.” Why the secrecy? Businesses have an incentive to keep their political donations secret — despite t …"

"… utives serve on its “CEO steering committee,” “CEO Council” and “Business Leaders Council.” During its initial year, the Fix the Debt Coalition&n …"

Pulling back the veil on corporate contributions

By Michael Beckel and Erin Quinn

New database pulls back veil on corporate giving to politically active nonprofits and covert ways companies advance their agendas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… the flow of corporate cash. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010 allowed corporations to pay for political advocacy — or d …"

Top politics investigations from 2013

By The Center for Public Integrity

In case you missed it, here are some of our favorite politics investigations from 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… b? Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Keep reading Nearly $12 million spent by super PACs and nonprofits in s …"

League of Conservation Voters becoming 'dark money' heavyweight

By Michael Beckel

The liberal League of Conservation Voters is fast becoming one of the nation’s strongest 'dark money' forces.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… l financial support last year from a nonprofit started by two of President Barack Obama's former aides, as well as nonprofits dedicated to advocating for “progr …"

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