Secretive groups spend millions to influence state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits hit TV airwaves with attacks on state-level candidates, gaining traction since the U.S. Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "attorney general":

"… to boost Republican candidates in the Nebraska gubernatorial and Arkansas attorney general contests this cycle. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America, another …"

"… irginia-based nonprofit was active in Michigan’s state supreme court and attorney general races in 2010. This time, it spent nearly $165,000 to attack one candidate …"

'Outside' groups swamp Florida's airwaves in race for governor

By Rachel Baye

Lax laws allow candidates to work so closely with outside groups, contribution limits become almost irrelevant.

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

"… date participation in any governor’s race in the country, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from media tracking service Kantar Media/CMAG. The pheno …"

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 "Mississippi":

"… c buildings from concealed carry of guns. Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi and Wisconsin — and now Idaho — have laws on the books that allow stud …"

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 "Congress":

"… e he took over as chairman in November 2013, including in testimony before Congress, that he plans to pre-empt state laws that ban or place barriers on cities …"

"… als for any other state it has given to. The companies and Republicans in Congress will likely fight Chattanooga’s petition. Senators including Deb Fischer …"

How cozy can candidates be with political groups?

By Rachel Baye

A Wisconsin probe into recall campaigns highlights murky rules nationwide about how much candidates and outside groups can coordinate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Fundraising":

"… is made without the consent, authorization or cooperation of a candidate. Fundraising is part of the spending process because no group can spend money if it has …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… ent Barack Obama and his campaign’s early focus on attacking GOP nominee Mitt Romney.  “People looked at the Obama 2012 campaign and thought that early …"

Shameful coverage of Obamacare's real impacts

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obamacare coverage that doesn't inform.

Excerpts from this story referencing "West Virginia":

"… e toward the end of the hearing between Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, and GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin about whether the color of …"

Judge who stopped Wisconsin campaign finance probe tied to Koch-funded junkets

By Chris Young

Federal judge who attended Koch-funded conferences halts campaign finance investigation into Wisconsin group with Koch ties.

Excerpts from this story referencing "ExxonMobil":

"… like the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and large corporations like ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and Pfizer. A Center for Public Integrity investigation las …"

Tobacco money fuels gay Republicans, business organizations

By Michael Beckel

Reynolds American gave thousands of dollars to politically active nonprofits such as the Log Cabin Republicans, Americans for Prosperity.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… York City. Other notable Reynolds American payments included $60,000 to a Wisconsin-based nonprofit called the Jobs First Coalition, which has backed Republic …"

ICIJ guide to voter restrictions around the world

By Sasha Chavkin and Hamish Boland-Rudder

In light of the recent voter ID ruling in Wisconsin, ICIJ set out to learn more about voting restrictions outside of the U.S.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… ICIJ.org to continue reading.    …"

"… a blow in one of America’s most contentious legal battles. Finding that Wisconsin’s new law requiring that citizens show government-issued photo IDs in or …"

"… past or present discrimination,” Judge Adelman wrote in her decision on Wisconsin. The controversy over America’s restrictive voting laws — which suppo …"

GOP leaders, donors mix during secretive forum

By Michael Beckel

Documents shed light on closed-door confab featuring top politicians and donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… discussed “how to fix the states.” Lobbying firm executive and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and GOP stra …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association":

"… ken almost word-for-word from a list of suggested questions written by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and passed around to members of the committee. SIFMA — which represents …"

More than a dozen states could throw out donation caps after McCutcheon ruling

By Michael Beckel

A Supreme Court ruling elminating aggregate limits on campaign contributions invalidates similar rules in states.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Minnesota":

"… out-of-state donors. Additionally, other states — such as Kentucky and Minnesota — limit the amount of money a candidate can raise collectively from part …"

"… nconstitutional. “I don’t see McCutcheon directly affecting Minnesota at all,” said Gary Goldsmith, executive director of the state’s campai …"

"… nce and public disclosure board. Goldsmith said he would not characterize Minnesota’s law — which limits the combined amount of money a single candidate c …"

New report ranks best, worst states for kids of all ethnicities

By Susan Ferriss

Ethnic minority children will be majority of U.S. kids in four years, but face barriers to success in some places.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… African-American kids face especially daunting obstacles in Mississippi, Wisconsin and Michigan. Native American kids face the biggest challenges in South Da …"

Ready for Hillary courts super PAC skeptics

By Michael Beckel

Ready for Hillary is courting 'Citizens United' skeptics — and finding success.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… , as did residents of California. Only in seven states — Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming — did fewer than 100 pe …"

Education groups battle teachers unions in state races

By Rachel Baye

Groups funded by billionaires back state-level candidates who want to weaken teachers unions and promote charter schools.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Walton Family Foundation":

"… e 2011, the StudentsFirst Institute received $9 million in grants from the Walton Family Foundation, $7 million from billionaire philanthropists Laura and John Arnold, and $1 …"

Congress twists the relevant facts on purpose

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Congressional Budget Office report deliberately distorted.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… employers decide our services are no longer needed. As Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 GOP vice-presidential nominee, said during the Congressional deb …"

Billionaires boost Republican governors group past Democrats in fundraising

By Ben Wieder

GOP governors' group outraises counterpart, but Democrats still expected to win a few races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… to step down, Christie may have trouble matching the Midas touch of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who raised a staggering $87 million to help the party …"

Pro-gay marriage Republican group boosted by Karl Rove’s super PAC

By Julie Patel and Michael Beckel

Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer's 'American Unity' super PAC received $53,000 from American Crossroads last year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… or a U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Thompson, who has opposed gay marriage measures, was defeated by Democrat …"

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 "Microsoft Corp.":

"… rgy giant Exelon Corp., health insurer WellPoint Inc. and technology titan Microsoft Corp. The millions of dollars in corporate expenditures highlighted by the Cent …"

"… which reported giving $19.2 million to 15 trade associations in 2012, and Microsoft Corp., which doled out $12.5 million to more than three dozen groups between Jul …"

‘Nonpartisan’ gun rights group boosted by Democratic-aligned America Votes

By Adam Wollner and Michael Beckel

Nearly all of 'nonpartisan' Bull Moose Sportsmen's funding has come from a Democratic-aligned nonprofit.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mark Udall":

"… Gaspar Perricone and Tim Mauck, both former staffers of Colorado Democrat Mark Udall, now the state’s senior U.S. senator. It touts a membership of 5,000 hu …"

State judges: We don't need no stinkin' disclosure

By John Dunbar, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Officials defend limited financial disclosure for high court judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Atlantic City":

"… said the state was wrongly criticized for asking only about real estate in Atlantic City, a question intended to screen out conflicts relating to the heavily regul …"

"… though, and does not cover property that is not rented but lies outside of Atlantic City. Land that is being developed or farmed, for example, would not need to be …"

State supreme court judges reveal scant financial information

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Despite universally poor disclosure rules, Center finds numerous conflicts among state high court judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… ets the error,” said court spokesman Cathal Conneely. …"

"… ter for Public Integrity learned of Werdegar’s financial stake thanks to California’s relatively strong financial reporting requirements for justices. But C …"

"… a’s relatively strong financial reporting requirements for justices. But California’s law is an exception. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia re …"

"… the federal system’s score. The two highest-scoring states — California and Maryland — got Cs. Six other states earned a D, while …"

'Citizens United' ruling helped unions win state elections

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

National unions, business groups focused on states in 2012 elections with unions gaining the edge, new analysis shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pat Stryker":

"… n 2004 after four wealthy liberals — tech entrepreneur Tim Gill, heiress Pat Stryker, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis, and former gubernatorial candidate Ru …"

State pro-business organizations are publicly funded, but privately controlled

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Unelected business authorities operate on state funds, but disclose little.

Excerpts from this story referencing "owner":

"… ure achievements, but its public face has been Jerry Colangelo, the former owner of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks. Colangelo is widely praised …"

"… porter visited in September, a receptionist said Cardon is a friend of the owner and that he briefly rented the space but left years ago. According to its …"

'America Votes' spent nearly $1 million on Wisconsin recall

By Adam Wollner

Progressive nonprofit, fueled by unions, targeted Wisconsin recall elections in 2011 and 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… ral nonprofit group with significant union funding, made the 2011 and 2012 Wisconsin recall elections a top priority, providing a major cash infusion to a hand …"

"… e Center for Public Integrity. Of the total, $725,400 went to the Greater Wisconsin Committee and $150,000 went to We Are Wisconsin, a nonprofit launched shor …"

"… 25,400 went to the Greater Wisconsin Committee and $150,000 went to We Are Wisconsin, a nonprofit launched shortly after Walker announced his controversial leg …"

"… e bargaining. America Votes also gave nearly $45,000 to Citizen Action of Wisconsin and $20,000 to Wisconsin Progress. America Votes is a “social welfare …"

Obamacare's hidden battle: insurance agents push state regulation of guides to new marketplaces

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Insurance agents talk state legislators into regulating Obamacare's consumer helpers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… Wisconsin. (Illinois’ Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to sign that state’s law. Louisiana, not included in this list, passed a life insurance bill including a claus …"

Super PAC forms to elect liberal women governors

By Adam Wollner

Former EMILY's List official starts group to boost liberal, female gubernatorial candidates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Terry McAuliffe":

"… y General Ken Cuccinelli and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe are vying for the state’s top job. In 2014, 36 states will hold guberna …"

State campaign contribution limits on the rise

By Adam Wollner

Individual campaign contribution limits are on the rise as states hedge against super PACs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… expects lawmakers to revisit the issue next January. Six other states — California, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island — have seen l …"

Wisconsin justice's spouse head of union-busting law firm

By Chris Young

Wisconsin Supreme Court justice married to head of firm that battles unions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ann Walsh Bradley":

"… firm that helps employers keep their workplaces “union-free.” Justice Ann Walsh Bradley’s husband is Mark J. Bradley, a lawyer for Ruder Ware, a Wisconsin-based …"

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