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 "American Future Fund":

"… iles its next annual tax return. …"

"… an $6.4 million in 2013, a non-election year.. This continues a trend for American Future Fund, one of several politically active nonprofits with ties to the Koch brothe …"

"… orts far less revenue in non-election years. About one third of the money American Future Fund received in 2013 came from two large contributors, one who gave $1.25 mill …"

"… lfare” nonprofit organized under section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code, American Future Fund is not required to disclose the identities of its donors, but must itemize …"

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 "United States":

"… to keep up with the ever-expanding array of chemicals made and used in the United States. The EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System – IRIS – has …"

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 "Verizon Communications":

"… Urban League’s board. Among its 33 trustees is Donna Epps, who manages Verizon Communications Inc.’s domestic public policy efforts. Epps formerly worked in the compa …"

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 "Ozone":

"… PA’s handling of Ozone, one of six compounds with federal air standards. Ozone is created primarily by fossil fuel emissions and is known to exacerbate r …"

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 …"

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

Who's responsible for the CIA's torture policy?

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Who's who in authorizing the CIA's brutal treatment of detainees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… News Bruce Jessen screengrab from ABC News …"

"… ton believed they were withholding information about future attacks on the United States. As it turned out, some of those who were harshly treated had no such info …"

'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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… We won the contract on the merits," AT&T spokesman Jim Greer told the Center for Public Integrity. "GSA has been a customer of ours for decades. As in the past, our work on …"

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 "Office of Management and Budget":

"… double what it was last year. Jamal Brown, deputy press secretary for the Office of Management and Budget, did not return calls for comment. But other sources said that the adminis …"

"… ut his campaign pledge to end the abuse of emergency funding. In 2009, the Office of Management and Budget set some firm criteria for OCO expenditures, and in 2010, it tightened the …"

"… Peroff, who was the deputy associate director of national security at the Office of Management and Budget until July 2013. And afterwards, the Pentagon sometimes sought — and got …"

"… associate director for national security and international affairs at the Office of Management and Budget in the 1990s and returned briefly to OMB as part of Obama’s transition t …"

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 "Health":

"… , an internal medicine specialist who sits on the Lubbock, Texas, Board of Health, reviewed the research herself and saw it as a call to action. “I think …"

"… ef-exposure guideline is even higher, at 180 parts per billion. The World Health Organization’s guidelines say “no safe level of exposure can …"

"… o effects. In 2012 the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences called for more low-dose testing to fill the void. The …"

"… logist working for the nonprofit Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, said his group’s measurements show emissions from wells and com …"

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 "American Chemistry Council":

"… itizens of the area that did not exist prior to the projects.” The American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade group, said the “new factories and …"

"… ants will get more and more efficient,” she said. In its statement, the American Chemistry Council said, “The new U.S. chemical industry production will be advanced, state …"

Senate report says CIA repeatedly misled policymakers about interrogation program

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Senate report says CIA repeatedly tried to mislead policymakers about interrogation program to escape scrutiny and criticism

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… w policies for detaining and aggressively interrogating such captives. The Senate Intelligence committee chairman, Bob Graham (D-Fla.), responded by sending …"

"… nstein (D-Calif.), the committee’s current chairwoman, said in a lengthy Senate floor speech unveiling the 2012 report that the CIA’s actions were “a …"

"… attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives.” Republicans from the Senate committee said in a lengthy minority report that they agreed with the CIA, …"

"… g the continued use of EIT. Then-CIA director Michael Hayden told the Senate committee in April 2007 that interrogators did not deliberately withhold m …"

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 "finance":

"… them under Luxembourg companies that are all served by internal corporate finance companies, akin to a company’s own bank. These internal lenders received …"

"… ents show.  At the center of the new structure is a third company, a finance arm initially called Wedco Participations SCA. The internal bank made loa …"

"… hidden capital contributions” from other Luxembourg subsidiaries to the finance company, totaling more than €650 million. Disney also set up a U.S. bra …"

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 "Benzene":

"… k said. “It’s an American tragedy.” Five million Americans at risk Benzene emissions in the United States have declined sharply since 1987, when fede …"

"… ey call it “universal” and “a basic petrochemical building block.” Benzene ranks 17th among the top 20 chemicals produced in the United States, accor …"

"… its four counterparts formed the Shanghai study’s official sponsor: the Benzene Health Research Consortium. Later, as consortium members tried to plug an …"

Peter Bale named new head of the Center for Public Integrity

By William Gray

Peter Bale, former Vice President and General Manager of Digital operations at CNN International, named Center's CEO.

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

"… ations at CNN International, has been named Chief Executive Officer at the Center for Public Integrity, the global nonprofit investigative journalism organization based in Washi …"

"… hless and Burdened.  “We are thrilled to have Peter Bale join the Center for Public Integrity as our new Chief Executive Officer," said Bruce Finzen, the Center’s Boa …"

"… his tenure heading teams in Atlanta, London, Dubai and Hong Kong. “The Center for Public Integrity is a powerful force for good. I am hugely privileged to join,” said …"

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 "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 …"

Governors and oil industry work hand in hand in offshore drilling group

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Lobbying firm, advocacy organization did much of the work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… ing process that focused on the Atlantic. Officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources told journalists and Environmental groups that …"

U.S. companies supply eavesdropping gear to Central Asian autocrats

By Julia Harte

Surveillance gear generally falls outside U.S. export controls.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… ers in 180 nations, in turn sought decryption technology made by a firm in California, Netronome, as it helped the Uzbek government attempt to crack the encrypt …"

PR firm busts disclosure deadline while representing Burkina Faso

By Carrie Levine

CD Global Strategies took months — instead of 10 days — to inform the Justice Department of its work for Burkina Faso.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… the capital of Burkina Faso, is home to a strategically important base for Pentagon surveillance missions. The country, long viewed as stable, has recently be …"

Crossroads GPS' cash plummeted in 2013

By Carrie Levine

Conservative nonprofit's income drop coincided with a non-election year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… 76.4 million on the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Roughly $70 million of that was spent by Crossroads GPS. The groups’ mo …"

Grover Norquist nonprofit funded pro-Republican women’s group

By Michael Beckel

Conservative-leaning Independent Women's Voice got 13 percent of its revenue last year from Americans for Tax Reform, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… “engage more women in the political process.” The nonprofit told the Internal Revenue Service it spent nearly $960,000 on all “direct and indirect political campaign …"

Congress' never-ending political money chase

By Dave Levinthal

Congressional lawmakers are hard at work raising campaign cash in D.C. as lame duck session begins.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington, D.C.":

"… oof that U.S. elections never end than the fundraising scene this month in Washington, D.C. No matter that Election Day 2014 isn't even two weeks past and Election D …"

Slow start to Landrieu's runoff campaign

By Dave Levinthal

Louisiana's incumbent U.S. senator goes dark as runoff opponent Bill Cassidy airs hundreds of post-Election Day TV ads

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bill Cassidy":

"… re-election began with a decidedly sluggish start, as Republican opponent Bill Cassidy and his allies last week pummeled her — effectively uncontested — with …"

Nuclear weapons lab used taxpayer funds to obtain more taxpayer funds

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A government auditor uncovers a textbook case of lobbying by a contractor at federal expense.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… ontinue to do so. Lockheed Martin will cooperate fully with Sandia and the Department of Energy as needed." Sandia spokeswoman Heather Clark said that while the labs are …"

Poorly rated nursing homes got HUD-guaranteed mortgages anyway

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Hundreds of poorly rated facilities received mortgage guarantees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokesman":

"… the Inspector General — don’t seem to have made much difference. HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan wrote in an email that the average overall quality rating o …"

"… programs in the near future,” the GAO wrote in 1995. But HUD spokesman Sullivan said the agency’s management of the program has indeed improved …"

Prison banker cuts fees after Center report

By Daniel Wagner

A prison financial services company cut the fees it charges inmates' families after Center report on high costs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… t funds sent by mail but most offer money order deposits as a free option. Florida, an outlier, charges its own processing fee for money order deposits. Befo …"

"… with Kansas to eliminate the fee for money order deposits in that state. Florida also charges a 50 cent fee for money order deposits, according to the stat …"

Koch-backed nonprofit raised $44 million in 2013

By Michael Beckel

ObamaCare-bashing Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, raised $44 million in 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… e U.S. tax code. It has emerged as one of the leading critics of President Barack Obama and his policies — particularly his “ObamaCare” health care reform l …"

Juvenile facilities strive to foster ‘family engagement’

States adopt programs to involve families in rehabilitation of young offenders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… e Bard’s works before parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles. In Texas, incarcerated youths lead their relatives to schools inside juvenile facil …"

"… he examples are few and far between.” As Arya noted in her article, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department has made family engagement a “top priority …"

Gillespie's rich friends leave him hanging

By Carrie Levine

Consummate GOP insider Ed Gillespie nearly wins Virginia Senate seat, no thanks to his deep-pocketed friends.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… rossroads co-founder, former Republican National Committee chairman and ex-lobbyist would have trouble attracting big money. Conventional wisdom was off on b …"

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 …"