American Future Fund: No election, little cash

By Carrie Levine

American Future Fund's income plummeted in 2013 — a non-election year — after massive haul in 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… about $20 million overtly advocating for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and against President Barack Obama, to less than $6.4 million in 2013, a n …"

Tennessee GOP leader drafts bill to ensure accused truants get attorneys

By Susan Ferriss

A Tennessee state legislator is concerned that accused truants can be prosecuted without having counsel to aid them in court

Excerpts from this story referencing "lawyer":

"… ty by county— for ensuring that children have the immediate benefit of a lawyer in court, even when facing minor infractions.   The costs of No …"

"… re violated when truants and other kids in Knox County faced court without lawyers.  The Justice Department did not respond to requests for information …"

"… had been labeled a delinquent. Other Knox County truants in court with no lawyers included a 13-year-old boy with diagnosed mental-health problems who was …"

One-stop science shop has become a favorite of industry—and Texas

By Rosalind Adams and Lisa Song

The EPA's sluggishness in assessing chemicals has created opportunities for a consulting firm with ties to chemical and tobacco interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… onsultant who once worked as a Health scientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.  "So there is a large potential for bias, …"

"… on said, according to minutes of a 1995 meeting of the American Industrial Health Council, a now-defunct trade group funded by  the tobacco industry. …"

"… d for industry groups such as Dow Chemical. Most of the rest were done for Health Canada, the Canadian national Health agency.   Unlike the indus …"

"… the industry studies whose funders are not clearly identified on ITER, the Health Canada studies that pass TERA's review are conspicuously labeled as Health …"

FEC gets modest budget boost

By Dave Levinthal

The election watchdog's 2015 funding level reverses years of cuts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… her FEC chairwoman.     …"

Urban League parrots telecom donors' net-neutrality stance

By Allan Holmes and John Dunbar

Civil rights group calls for lighter Internet regulation that would benefit telecommunications donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internet":

"… f “network neutrality” that aggravated activists but made providers of Internet services cheer. Morial’s column in The Hill newspaper reflected a posit …"

"… position on the issue — which is about whether all content sent over the Internet be treated equally — that was very much the same as that of David Cohen, …"

"… d Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest Internet service provider. It’s not unusual that Comcast would make that argumen …"

"… ecision to speak out had more to do with money and relationships than with Internet policy. It turns out that Cohen has sat on the Urban League’s board of …"

Texas weakens chemical exposure guidelines, opens door for polluters

By Lisa Song and Rosalind Adams

Amid a fracking boom, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has quietly weakened air pollution guidelines for toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harris County":

"… a TCEQ report linked 1,3-butadiene and benzene to elevated cancer risks in Harris County. The county is home to Houston and many refineries and petrochemical plant …"

"… obs and philanthropy in the region." The TCEQ increased air monitoring in Harris County, but Houston wanted more concrete action. Honeycutt met frequently with El …"

New FEC chief on 'dark money' mission

By Dave Levinthal

New Chairwoman Ann Ravel says she'll fight to out people behind secretive political cash, regardless of party.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lawyer":

"… rson. Her target audience: outside-the-Beltway folks who aren’t election lawyers or political practitioners, but are nevertheless concerned about big mone …"

"… le, morale on the agency’s dwindling staff, which has been without a top lawyer since mid-2013, is notoriously low. The FEC ranks among the worst places …"

"… onal Twitter handles. Ravel, who last decade served as the top government lawyer in Silicon Valley’s Santa Clara County, intends to infuse the agency wit …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… Arkansas secretary of state. In the past, the group has been backed by the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, though neither group has reported grants …"

Advisory panel tells Congress the nuclear weapons complex is too big and too old

By Douglas Birch

A congressional advisory panel says the nuclear weapons complex can be scaled down and modernized with less regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tennessee":

"… ons — and works with the Bechtel Corporation to manage the Y-12 plant in Tennessee and the Pantex plant in Texas, where key nuclear weapons components are ma …"

Jeb Bush explores White House bid — unconventionally

By Carrie Levine

Instead of traditional presidential exploratory committee, potential GOP candidate GOP to create a leadership PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Hillary Clinton":

"… ue his party's presidential nomination in a field that's likely to include Hillary Clinton. PAC money can’t be used for political campaign expenses, though it can …"

'I felt like I was getting pelted with excrement': Readers weigh in on political ads

By Sarah Whitmire

We asked readers if they found political TV ads to be informative, here's some of what they said.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… 't flooding the airwaves with negative campaign ads. From Sandra Holt of Florida: All ads are promoting a product. Political ads are advertising a person …"

"… ng. Their income from ads is just too great.  From Robert Boxold of Florida: [Ads had a] very negative impact, I have voted since the '60s and this …"

Koch group's income plummeted in non-election year

By Carrie Levine

Nonprofit Center to Protect Patient Rights raised in 2013 a tiny fraction of what it did during 2012, when federal political campaigns raged

Excerpts from this story referencing "consultant":

"… part of its campaign against solar and said it had given the money through consultant Sean Noble and his for-profit firm, DC London. The state’s energy regula …"

Charities risked tax-exempt status with political ads

By Rachel Baye

The IRS bans charities from participating in elections, but some groups pushed the envelope in 2014.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Natural Resources Defense Council":

"… midterm elections paid for ads that appeared to be campaign-related. The Natural Resources Defense Council, for example, is known as a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning it pays no inc …"

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 …"

'Revolving door' spins between AT&T, GSA

By Dave Levinthal

AT&T hires a top GSA official, then and scores a lucrative service contract with the agency.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… not involve a communication to or an appearance before an employee of the United States.” Coleman, whose official title is client executive vice president of A …"

A long-term blank check for 'war' spending

By Julia Harte

In the federal budget, emergency spending for combat operations is the new normal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Air Force":

"… , includes $55 million to retain the “air superiority presence” of the U.S. Air Force. Another $351 million of OCO funds would go to Israel for its Iron Dome mi …"

Health worries pervade North Texas fracking zone

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

Some residents of the heavily fracked Barnett Shale in North Texas blame their health problems on toxic oil and gas emissions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… agreed to be interviewed. One referred questions to the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, but that industry trade group did not respond to repeat …"

"… ing to talk directly is Chris Faulkner, CEO of Dallas-based Breitling Energy and a passionate defender of fracking. “With proper setbacks, prop …"

"… ths before the rigs came to Bush’s neighborhood. But operator EagleRidge Energy contended that it was grandfathered under older rules, and Denton official …"

Building a tax fairyland in Luxembourg in five not-so-easy steps

By Alison Fitzgerald and Kimberley Porteous

How The Walt Disney Co. gathered ownership of its empire, from Australia to Denmark to the Cayman Islands, into Luxembourg.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Denmark":

"… ps, is how the company gathered ownership of its empire, from Australia to Denmark to the Cayman Islands, into Luxembourg. The documents are in the original …"

Five transactions and five tax exemptions for Koch in Luxembourg

By Alison Fitzgerald and Kimberley Porteous

A close look at some of the transactions included in the restructuring that the Luxembourg government agreed would be exempt from tax.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mexico":

"… Luxembourg, and then, on the same day, moves them to another subsidiary in Mexico. Luxembourg officials determine that any capital gains on that property is …"

Plant expansions fueled by shale gas boom to boost greenhouse gas, toxic air emissions

By Talia Buford

At least 120 planned plant expansions driven by the fracking boom collectively could release 130 million tons per year of greenhouse gases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… said Doug Vine, a senior Energy fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a think tank. If the emissions do rise, he said, “We’re goi …"

Koch-linked operative mum on mystery millions

By Michael Beckel

Sean Noble oversaw a seven-figure grant to American Commitment, which says it wasn't the beneficiary. So where did the money go?

Excerpts from this story referencing "lawyer":

"… ies by the Center for Public Integrity over two weeks, Jason Torchinsky, a lawyer who represents the Center to Protect Patient Rights, said he and his clien …"

Luxembourg tax deals for Disney, Koch brothers empires revealed

By Alison Fitzgerald and Marina Walker Guevara

New leak discloses secret tax agreements between major American companies and Luxembourg.

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

"… publicans’ successful bid to gain control of the U.S. Senate.  The Center for Responsive Politics calculated that David Koch and his wife Julia contributed at lea …"

Fired: Texas regulators say they tried to enforce rules, lost jobs

By David Hasemyer

Two former inspectors with the Texas Railroad Commission say they were fired for being too strict with the oil and gas industry.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Institute":

"… ustry during the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, according to data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Gov. Rick Perry collected a little less than $ …"

New battlefront for petrochemical industry: benzene and childhood leukemia

By Kristen Lombardi

Jarrett McElheney grew up near a cluster of petroleum storage tanks. His parents believe benzene in drinking water gave him cancer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Shanghai":

"… nancial support for an unparalleled study of workers exposed to benzene in Shanghai, China, delivering what amounted to a sales pitch for the project. They to …"

Don't wait 'til last minute to enroll in Obamacare

By Wendell Potter

Not all health insurance plans are created equal. Shoppers should get to work now on finding the right policy.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

Benzene and worker cancers: 'An American tragedy'

By Kristen Lombardi

Previously secret documents illuminate a 10-year effort by petrochemical titans to counteract damning science on the carcinogen benzene.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chemistry":

"… tute but has gotten $100,000 for a small benzene project from the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main lobby group. Defenders of the Sha …"

Internal documents reveal industry 'pattern of behavior' on toxic chemicals

By David Heath and Jim Morris

A new archive created by the Center and two universities will feature a trove of previously secret industry documents on toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pollution":

"… ents and have written Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution and other books and articles based on them. This is not the first databas …"

Mary Landrieu abandoned on airwaves

By Dave Levinthal

Republicans bombard Democratic senator ahead of U.S. Senate runoff vote.

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

"… oned her during her runoff against Republican Bill Cassidy, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from Kantar Media/CMAG, an ad tracking service. Groups b …"

Exploding the myths about American health care

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: new film takes on 'world's best' medical system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… n’t agree with Romney and Obama health care advisor Jonathan Gruber that Americans are stupid, but there is abundant evidence that we’re incredibly gulli …"

"… truth: that when it comes to access to affordable health care, millions of Americans might as well be living in a third world country. And that’s still tru …"

"… ars ago to fly doctors to remote villages along the Amazon. “Welcome to America,” Brock says early in the film as thousands of people wait patiently in …"

"… is medical “expeditions,” as he calls them, were to countries in South America, Africa and the Caribbean. While Remote Area Medical (RAM) still conducts …"

Election ads were about issues, says 'Carolina Rising' chief

By Carrie Levine

'Dark money' nonprofit spends millions backing candidate but says ads are about issues.

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

"… on cycle that chose to run electioneering communications, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. During the 2012 election cycle, 31 groups reported running such ads, down …"

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