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 "Koch Industries":

"… nd cast ballots. Michael K. Morgan, a top government affairs consultant to Koch Industries who runs the group, declined to be interviewed by the Center for Public In …"

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 "Bobby Jindal":

"… he federal government. The coalition’s first chairman was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who as a congressman in 2006 sponsored a bill that would have remove …"

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 "Mitch McConnell":

"… for Tax Reform itself spent $122,500 on ads backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst of Iowa, according …"

Nursing homes serving minorities offering less care than those housing whites

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Nursing homes serving blacks, Latinos provide less daily registered nurse care than those housing whites.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… ularly high in several Midwestern states, including Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.  Among metropolitan areas with at least five facilities where black …"

Mega-donors give big to state candidates

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien and Ben Wieder

More than two dozen donors have given at least $1 million to state-level campaigns ahead of Nov. 4.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… isan National Institute on Money in State Politics, top donors include: Illinois Republican candidate Bruce Rauner, who has given more than $26 million, mo …"

"… ger Ken Griffin, who has given more than $4.7 million, mostly to Rauner in Illinois. The analysis is preliminary — the totals will only go up as more cont …"

"… said Brian Gaines, a political science professor at the University of Illinois. Limitations on influence But other donors who give directly to candidat …"

"… tical action committees can give candidates as much as they want, and Illinois, whose governor’s race allows unlimited contributions this cycle. Six-f …"

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 "Law Enforcement Alliance of America":

"… gubernatorial and Arkansas attorney general contests this cycle. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America, another Virginia-based nonprofit was active in Michigan’s state supreme …"

'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 "Florida":

"… same sources, going through different vehicles.” …"

"… AG. The phenomenon stems in part from a new campaign finance law that the Florida Legislature passed last year. The change made it easier for independent po …"

"… n Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall election campaign, for example. Yet in Florida, such coordination is not only legal, but the norm. “The idea that ther …"

"… ion,” said Dan Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida. Without firewalls, though, limits on how much money candidates can raise …"

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 "Texas":

"… carry licensees must be at least 21. SCC’s focus next year is Texas, Mueller said. As of September, students could store guns in cars on campu …"

"… id. Next year, he expects to help coordinate resistance to campus carry in Texas. Colleges that side with Pelosi fear on-campus gun theft, threats with gu …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… a Bailey, vice president of corporate communications for the EPB, told the Center for Public Integrity. “We continue to receive requests for broadband service from nearby com …"

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 "campaign finance law":

"… urt filing. The court ruled against the DGA’s request to block the 2013 campaign finance law in June, and the DGA dropped the rest of its lawsuit. Similarly in Minnes …"

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 "Democratic Governors Association":

"… nd the country than it did at the same point four years ago while the Democratic Governors Association's overall spending is double what it was in 2010, according to data from t …"

Shameful coverage of Obamacare's real impacts

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obamacare coverage that doesn't inform.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jay Rockefeller":

"… was a brief exchange toward the end of the hearing between Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, and GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin about whe …"

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 "Rudolph Randa":

"… nst campaign finance reform. In a 26-page decision issued on May 6, Judge Rudolph Randa of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin ordered p …"

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 "New Mexico":

"… ical network. A group that’s been called “a secretly funded arm” of New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez’s re-election campaign. The nation’s largest GO …"

"… while it gave $11,000 to the pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans and $10,000 to New Mexico Competes, a conservative advocacy group whose first executive director was …"

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 "John Bolton":

"… nt Dick Cheney, former CIA Director David Petraeus, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, former World Bank president and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowit …"

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 "vice chairman":

"… ict voiceless to say: this rule is going to hurt us,” said Duffy, who is vice chairman of Capito’s consumer credit subcommittee. Goldman Sachs has donated mor …"

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 "Indiana":

"… es aren’t the only ones that could be affected by the McCutcheon ruling. Indiana, for instance, imposes aggregate limits on the political contributions of …"

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 "South Dakota":

"… isconsin and Michigan. Native American kids face the biggest challenges in South Dakota. Latino children are faring especially poorly in Alabama, Rhode Island and …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… Hillary can trace its origins to the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010, which helped paved the way for political action committe …"

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 "Los Angeles":

"… reached unheard of heights, even at the school board level. The race for Los Angeles school board in May 2013 attracted nearly $4 million in spending on reform …"

"… of the pro-reform committee include Bloomberg, StudentsFirst and Broad, a Los Angeles resident. The organization was countered by roughly $2 million from labor …"

"… vocates. Before running for office, Johnson was the executive director of Los Angeles’ Larchmont Schools, a network of charter schools, and before that he was …"

"… ols, and before that he was the executive director of Teach for America in Los Angeles. He now works for the Teach for America-affiliated Leadership for Educatio …"

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 "New Jersey":

"… cash advantage is welcome given the challenges facing the RGA’s leader. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the RGA chairman, is embroiled in an ongoing scandal …"

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 "George W. Bush":

"… GOP strategists Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove, a former adviser to President George W. Bush. Gillespie himself is now running for the U.S. Senate in Virginia. Federa …"

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 "Norm Coleman":

"… ps such as the American Action Network, whose chairman is former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and the Hispanic Leadership Alliance, which was co-founded by Ge …"

‘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 "Wisconsin":

"… f dollars promoting Democrats and attempting to defeat Republicans such as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — was created in 2004 by a group of liberal political …"

"… ed nearly $1 million into groups supporting recall efforts against Walker, Wisconsin’s governor, and other Republican lawmakers. More recently, the group tu …"

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 "South Carolina":

"… as “a solution looking for a problem,” according to The Argus Leader. South Carolina Chief Justice Jean Toal called the Center’s study “very flawed,” acc …"

"… h,” Campsen said. “There are protections in place.” The Center gave South Carolina a failing grade largely because the materials available to the commission …"

"… ected. Room for improvement? There were also a few calls for reform. “South Carolina's judicial ethics standards are clearly lacking,” noted The Po …"

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 "Judge":

"… th people who are likely to end up appearing in the Judges’ courtrooms. Judges can avoid conflicts by investing in mutual funds rather than individual s …"

"… Donahue. State court systems generally don’t have such formal programs. Judges can request help from state or local law enforcement agencies, though. S …"

'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 "West Virginia":

"… ups also had success helping to elect GOP attorneys general in Montana and West Virginia, which both elected Democratic governors last year. The RSLC reported spe …"

"… grates our system; I don’t think it was a clean or fair election.” In West Virginia, Patrick Morrisey became the state’s first Republican attorney general i …"

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 "George W. Bush":

"… nd has run the U.S.A. national basketball program. In 2006, President George W. Bush named him to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. …"

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