Corporations, advocacy groups spend big on ballot measures

By Liz Essley Whyte

Corporations and national advocacy groups are throwing big dollars behind TV ads before voters decide 158 state ballot measures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Francisco":

"… akers group has also backed a group trying to defeat a local initiative in San Francisco that would tax sugary drinks; so far the group has spent $1.8 million on a …"

GAO takes on Medicare Advantage spending

By Fred Schulte

GAO will investigate program spending.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… subsidiary of New-Jersey based Aveta, Inc., denied the allegations. …"

"… ars every year. The Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress, is conducting the probe at the request of the House Ways and Means Commit …"

"… care Advantage has grown explosively under the risk-scoring formula, which Congress put in place in 2004. Officials expect the program to cost taxpayers as mu …"

"… essive. The Medicare Advantage industry has enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress as the program has grown. In recent years, the industry has successfully l …"

Center for Public Integrity hires Carrie Levine as federal politics reporter

By The Center for Public Integrity

Carrie Levine — former Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington research director — to investigate money in politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… viously reported for The Charlotte Observer, The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Massachusetts, and The Sun of Lowell, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Boston Univers …"

"… erver, The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Massachusetts, and The Sun of Lowell, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Boston University and the Columbia University Gradua …"

A call for more scrutiny of private Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Researchers say aggressive billing by private plans may require more scrutiny

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicine":

"… . Graber, a physician and president of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.  “Patients don’t have any idea how they are being coded.” Gra …"

Obamacare helps millions, but falls short in many ways

By Wendell Potter

The Affordable Care Act has reduced the ranks of the uninsured, but cost of care must be addressed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… have still been joining the ranks of the insured since then. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the number of newly insured Americans wi …"

"… ons and drug makers in ways the White House and members of both parties in Congress were not willing to do in 2009 because of the political clout they have in …"

Investigators find Islamic State used ammo made in 21 countries, including America

By Julia Harte and R. Jeffrey Smith

A new report from an arms tracking group highlights how easily munitions shipped to the Middle East shift from one owner to another.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bashar al-Assad":

"… the report. Russia has been a major arms supplier to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, whose forces also have been battling the Islamic State. (article continue …"

Controversial Republican telemarketer forms super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

Gabriel S. Joseph III's past political efforts include an anti-Obama spam text message campaign that prompted legal complaints.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… 007 Iowa caucuses, the National Review reported the firm did work both for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign — and a group advocating for Romney's Republican …"

Megabanks have prison financial services market locked up

By Daniel Wagner

Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase & Co. avoid competitive bidding process in contracts serving federal prisoners.

Excerpts from this story referencing "DynCorp International":

"… of America and Treasury designated two subcontractors to perform the work: DynCorp International, a major military contractor based just outside of Washington; and Advance …"

Inside the virtual tollbooth at many U.S. prisons

By Daniel Wagner, Eleanor Bell and Sarah Whitmire

How Reporters Dan Wagner and Eleanor Bell investigated a fee structure that's oppressive for many inmates' families.

Excerpts from this story referencing "reporter":

"… ow did you first hear about this story? Dan Wagner: In 2012, when I was a reporter for The AP, I was looking into different ways that governments use prepaid …"

"… g he asked me was, “How did you get my number?” I replied, “I’m a reporter. It’s my job.” He kept talking to me over the past two years, more th …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… using the money for campaign donations. The company also sought to lobby Washington for access to the federal Bureau of Prisons’ 216,000 inmates — what Sh …"

"… State Bank Supervisors, a trade group that represents these regulators in Washington. “State banking regulators are concerned with ensuring that businesses …"

The 47-year-old nuclear elephant in the room

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

A growing number of U.S. experts say that feigning ignorance about Israel’s nuclear arsenal creates more trouble than it averts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… he referred to warheads as “kumquats” throughout his manuscript. Even Congress has been coy on the subject. When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee p …"

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 "Americans for Prosperity":

"… with the Democrats. The top-spending groups to aid Republicans have been Americans for Prosperity, the politically active nonprofit backed by conservative billionaires Char …"

"… s repeatedly blasted the Koch brothers, who support conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, for their involvement in the race. But the top sponsor of ads in this co …"

"… more than 9,500 ads in the race. That’s about 63 percent more ads than Americans for Prosperity, which has pummeled Hagan for her ties to Obama and her vote for the presi …"

"… for her ties to Obama and her vote for the president’s health care law. Americans for Prosperity’s ads don’t overtly call for Hagan’s defeat, thereby allowing the gr …"

Russian bank hires two former U.S. senators

By Alexander Cohen

U.S. sanctions against Russia are becoming a boon for Washington's lobbyists.

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

"… petitioning former colleagues on behalf of clients, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2008, they started a lobbying firm with their sons, Breaux Lott Leader …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… t. City-provided broadband widespread More than 130 cities from Norwood, Massachusetts, to Clallam County, Washington, currently offer fiber or cable Internet co …"

Lobbying disclosures leave public in the dark

By Marcelo Rochabrun and Dave Levinthal

Despite efforts to beef up laws regulating lobbyists, public is in the dark when it comes to what firms are up to in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Bar Association":

"… rone to manipulation. Tom Susman, director of governmental affairs for the American Bar Association and a longtime registered lobbyist, argued that such a measure would be to …"

State lawmakers take aim at federal gun control

By Justine McDaniel, Robby Korth and Jessica Boehm

A growing collection of state legislatures seeks to disqualify federal gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… am Brownback. The measures often fizzle, even in conservative states. The National Rifle Association doesn’t support nullifying federal gun laws because that could undo NRA …"

‘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 "reporter":

"… not,” said one rider on his morning commute, asked about the poster by a reporter. “I wonder who is putting up the ads and how factual they are?” Good …"

"… Public Integrity, suggesting an investigation of the society and directing reporters to the Humanewatch.org website. Hamilton calls the Humane Society “the …"

Washington's cynical misinformation game

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the role of distortion in health care politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ational Journal article about a new tactic used by the National Republican Congressional Committee to attack Democratic candidates. Earlier this year, the NRC …"

"… h insurers or that the spot was part of a continuing effort by AHIP to get Congress to eliminate a fee that was imposed on insurers to help offset the cost of …"

"… Washington with NFIB staff during which we planned a campaign to make sure Congress did not pass a Patient’s Bill of Rights. Insurers worried that a provisi …"

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 "Charles Lewis":

"… y year before. This year also marks the 25th Anniversary since our founder Charles Lewis started the Center from his guest bedroom.  But we still have a lot …"

Briefing the president but keeping the public in the dark

By James Arkin

Washington kept grim early estimates of the death and destruction from a nuclear war with Russia secret for more than half a century.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… rity Archive, a nonprofit historical research group affiliated with George Washington University, along with other previously classified documents about nu …"

How Medicare Advantage plans code for cash

By Fred Schulte

Federal study criticizes Medicare Advantage and calls for changes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… esearchers Richard Kronick and W. Pete Welch has attracted scant notice in Washington. It was quietly posted late last month on an online research site run by t …"

Watchdog files IRS complaint against Koch-connected 60 Plus Association

By Michael Beckel

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is asking the IRS to investigate the 60 Plus Association.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pat Boone":

"… ormerly served as the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Singer Pat Boone serves as its national spokesman. Officials with the IRS and DOJ declined …"

Nuclear weapons lab employee fired after publishing scathing critique of the arms race

By Douglas Birch

Los Alamos lets a 17-year employee go after retroactively classifying his published article.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… mos for the past 17 years. Before he joined the lab, he said, he wrote the Department of Energy’s strategic plan for keeping weapons-grade uranium and plutonium stored …"

Political nonprofits bungle IRS filings

By Michael Beckel

High-profile groups such as Crossroads GPS and Patriot Majority USA acknowledged mistakes after Center for Public Integrity inquiry.

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Francisco":

"… to understate a nonprofit’s political activity, said Greg Colvin, a San Francisco-based attorney who specializes in nonprofit tax law — although Colvin ad …"

Koch-backed seniors group low-balling election spending?

By Michael Beckel

The 60 Plus Association tells the IRS it barely spends money on politics — despite funding millions in candidate attack ads.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pat Boone":

"… the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Iconic singer and actor Pat Boone serves as its national spokesman. The association describes itself as non …"

Obama curbs nuclear security goals as bomb-building budget grows

By Douglas Birch

The White House rejected a confidential proposal to accelerate work on nuclear security problems despite a missed 2013 deadline.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… g nuclear arsenal. Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, at a March 5 Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing, called the White House’s pro …"

"… dgeting reflects excessive zeal to implement Obama’s pledge, made during Senate debate over ratification of a 2010 nuclear arms treaty with Russia, that h …"

"… modernize the nuclear weapons that remained after agreed reductions. At a Senate Energy and Water appropriations subcommittee hearing April 9, Sen. Diane F …"

Afghans don’t like soybeans, despite a big U.S. push

By Alexander Cohen and James Arkin

Washington ignored warnings that Afghans were unlikely to embrace protein-rich soy products.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… t the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonprofit group in Washington. The funds allocated to rebuild the country mostly went to “short-term a …"

"… hain.” The association had, moreover, forged close ties to officials in Washington. Its annual conference in Washington, typically held at a hotel on Capito …"

"… r, forged close ties to officials in Washington. Its annual conference in Washington, typically held at a hotel on Capitol Hill and co-hosted with agriculture …"

Congressman defends payday lending industry

By Daniel Wagner

Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., featured in Center investigation on the 'banking caucus.'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… wmakers on the Financial Services Committee. The members work closely with Washington’s 2,000 financial lobbyists, writing letters, proposing industry-friendl …"

Most senators wait to take e-filing leap

By Michael Beckel

Only a slice of the Senate has opted to e-file campaign finance documents as members debate mandating the practice.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… iled copies of their campaign finance reports.     …"

"… Unlike presidential hopefuls, U.S. House candidates and political groups, Senate candidates file campaign finance reports on paper with the Secretary of th …"

"… andidates file campaign finance reports on paper with the Secretary of the Senate. That office, in turn, scans them and forwards them to the FEC, which then …"

"… ation that would change that. And in June, Tester's bill — known as the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act — was incorporated into an appropriations …"

Saving the penny makes cents for zinc-backed front group

By Erin Quinn

'Broad-based' group created to save the penny from extinction turns out to be backed by a company that supplies metal to make the coins.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… t in service. …"

"… Common Cents is not a registered nonprofit, nor is it a business entity in Washington, D.C. In fact, it really only exists on paper and in cyberspace. ACC has t …"

"… he worked at B&D Consulting and, more recently, Dentons. These days, Washington reporters and policymakers can barely fire up their email without being be …"

"… Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog group. Sloan also believes the number of front grou …"

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