Flush with mystery money, Kentucky nonprofit haunts Grimes’ Senate bid

By Michael Beckel

Formerly modest nonprofit becomes deep-pocketed, dark money benefactor of Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… a tremendous amount of legs in its early years,” said David Mast, a lobbyist who served on its board of directors when it first launched. But its curr …"

Power shifts to outsiders in U.S. Senate fight

By Michael Beckel

Battle for control determined in large part by big-spending super PACs and nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iowa":

"… used TV ads that have so far aired in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire and …"

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 "North Dakota":

"… ing clubs, is trailing behind, with only about $58,000 spent. In North Dakota, the Nature Conservancy and the Audubon Society, among others, have lent t …"

"… ould dedicate some of the state’s oil tax revenues to land preservation. North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks has ponied up nearly $485,400 for ad …"

Pennsylvania super PAC gets 'dark money' infusion

By Michael Beckel

Nonprofit Green Orchard Inc. is listed as the sole donor to new Prosperity for Pennsylvania super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Eric Cantor":

"… sed nonprofit closely aligned with former Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. It received $1 million. Its second-largest contribution: $900,000 to the …"

Suit against Kern County schools alleges disproportionate discipline for minorities

By Susan Ferriss

Litigation follows Center pieces highlighting harsh discipline for minorities.

Excerpts from this story referencing "media reports":

"… eral databases. The suit notes that the district — under scrutiny after media reports — did cut its expulsions from 2,040 in 2011 to 256 students in 2013. But …"

Sunshine state uses fees to prevent sun from shining on judicial records

By Alison Fitzgerald

In Florida, a court is charging massive fees for some public records.

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

"… rest. We are still awaiting records from several other districts. …"

"… added, without including estimates of staffer hours and hourly rates. The Center for Public Integrity refused to pay the amount, arguing that the fees were excessive. Charging …"

"… o has tried to get similar records from other Florida counties.  The Center for Public Integrity on July 15 requested documents related to how judges in the county were di …"

"… er the state implemented a new plan to cut a backlog of pending cases. The Center for Public Integrity's report on Florida foreclosures found that many judges were rushing cases …"

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 "Insurance":

"… years to come. Wendell Potter is the author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and …"

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 "Lt. Gen.":

"… ons like M16s. “You gotta accept some risk in this,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, who directed the training and equipping of Iraqi police a …"

Open pits offer cheap disposal for fracking sludge, but health worries mount

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Air emissions from oil and gas waste are among the least regulated, least monitored and least understood components of the fracking boom.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Matthew Cartwright":

"… y the people elected to set those standards.”  Last year, U.S. Rep. Matthew Cartwright, a first-term Democrat from Pennsylvania, drafted a bill that would remove …"

Obama takes star turn in state political ads

By Ben Wieder

President and his policies take center stage in political ads, with more than 300,000 mentions, including in lower level state races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maryland":

"… ive, with nine out of every 10 ads supportive of the president. In one ad, Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, touted …"

Eyeballs burn in North Carolina, Iowa ahead of U.S. Senate elections

By Michael Beckel

Last week, North Carolina, Iowa residents saw three political ads focused on contentious Senate elections every five minutes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… rolling scores of ads targeting down-ballot races that criticize President Barack Obama. In the Tar Heel State, embattled incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, i …"

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 "Illinois":

"… ons, are known in the industry as “commissions.” JPay’s payments to Illinois last year came to about $4,000 a month, according to documents obtained un …"

"… s has non-financial costs too, says Brian Nelson, who spent 28 years in an Illinois state prison for murder. Nelson says he has “become an asset to society …"

"… Inmates’ need for money is inescapable, Nelson says. Those in northern Illinois are not issued cold-weather clothes, he says, leaving them vulnerable to f …"

Time is money: who's making a buck off prisoners' families?

By Eleanor Bell and Daniel Wagner

Video: How a web of prison bankers, private vendors and corrections agencies profit by shifting costs onto inmates' families.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Google":

"… ’re going to catch a bad wrap here and there. Verizon catches a bad rap, Google, whomever the customer. Customers get upset. So I can’t satisfy everybod …"

Secret politics pervade popular companies

By Dave Levinthal

Some well-known brands keep their political spending secret while others are more forthcoming, new survey shows.

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

"… ertly advocating for or against federal-level candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  Topping the list is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the natio …"

In Kansas, Democratic donors invest in uncertainty

By Michael Beckel

Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman lures left-leaning donors despite uncertainty about whether he'll caucus with Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for being "too partisan." And he's suggested that Democratic Sen. …"

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 "United States":

"… world’s “worst-kept secrets” dates from a political deal between the United States and Israel in the late 1960s. Its consequence has been to help Israel main …"

"… pons, a widespread consensus exists in the region and among experts in the United States that Israel possesses a number of nuclear weapons. For Israel’s neighbor …"

"… ould not test its nuclear weapons or announce it possessed them, while the United States wouldn’t press Israel to give them up or to sign the Non-Proliferation T …"

"… ma’s top advisor on nuclear nonproliferation from 2009 to 2013, said the United States has long preferred that Israel hold to its policy of amimut, out of concer …"

DOE official seeks probe of dissident analyst’s dismissal by nuclear weapons laboratory

By Douglas Birch

The overseer of U.S. nuclear weapons production requests an Inspector General’s review of the firing of Los Alamos analyst James Doyle.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Daniel Poneman":

"… the review of Doyle’s  2013 whistleblower case to Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman. Poneman, Marmolejos said, had ruled against Doyle’s claim that Los Alam …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

In New Hampshire, quixotic super PAC shaking up Republican primary

By Dave Levinthal

Big-spending Mayday PAC giving Jim Rubens an unexpected boost — and Scott Brown a headache — ahead of GOP primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee":

"… n Voters’ election arm has spent almost $400,000 to do the same. And the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee just launched a multimillion-dollar ad blitz blasting Brown’s record dur …"

FEC not 'Ready for Warren'

By Dave Levinthal

The nation's election regulator is telling an upstart super PAC to change its name, saying it violates federal law.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… med that "the goal of our campaign is to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016."  Sagrans noted that candidate draft committees aren't subj …"

"… ates it's a draft committee. Warren has repeatedly said she won't run for president in 2016, and last month, her election attorney, Marc Elias, disavowed the …"

"… ns of dollars to urge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president, doesn't violate federal political committee naming rules because Clinton …"

GOP’s Senate hopes energized by Koch network ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

How many TV ads have groups connected to the billionaire brothers aired in your state?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… this election cycle in an attempt to help Republicans take control of the Senate in the upcoming November election. That amounts to nearly one out of ever …"

"… at amounts to nearly one out of every 10 TV ads in the 2014 battle for the Senate according to a new Center for Public Integrity analysis of data provided b …"

"… eground states — accounting for about one out of every 16 ads across all Senate races, according to Kantar Media/CMAG. Koch-connected groups reportedly i …"

"… families. The top six Koch-connected nonprofits have hammered Democratic Senate candidates on an ever-expanding geographic field. Through the end of Augu …"

Can this 'dark money' group help the Democrats keep the Senate?

By Michael Beckel

Patriot Majority USA raises millions from unknown sources to play attack dog in the South.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate races":

"… ed against “hidden dark money which is corrupting our elections.” The Senate races raging in Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina are of particular interes …"

"… tedly criticized the Koch brothers’ nonprofits for spending big in their Senate races. “We can’t let our Democratic Senate be bought,” pleaded one recent …"

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 "Scott Brown":

"… Freshman Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen will likely face former GOP Sen. Scott Brown, who briefly represented Massachusetts and has now gone north to the Grani …"

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 …"

Defeat of California initiative would protect insurers' profits

By Wendell Potter

Proposition 45 would allow California's insurance chief to block insurance rate hikes; insurers are spending millions to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dave Jones":

"… e coverage options in a timely fashion. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who is up for re-election this year, rejects that argument. In a letter t …"

Enforcement of gun laws hinges on local sheriffs' interpretation of Second Amendment

Rural sheriffs across the country are by protesting gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… ir positions, whereas state and city police are appointed. When Lewis was president of the Maryland Sheriffs’ Association, he testified with other sheriffs …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… from offering Internet to residents. Now the fight has gone national. The Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C., is considering requests from Chattanooga, Tennessee, …"

Firearms more likely to be used in suicides than in homicides

By Carmen Forman and Jacob Byk

At least 50 people died per day from firearm suicide; 26 died from firearm homicides.

Excerpts from this story referencing "energy":

"… ms to people who are not at risk,” Turner said. “All the time and energy put into limiting access to firearms could be put into improving our menta …"

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 "Politics":

"… ped each year since 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The drop, some have theorized, may be due to more lobbyists terminating …"

Women become increasingly involved in gun groups

By Lauren Loftus and Natalie Krebs

Thanks in part to targeted marketing, more women are buying guns for protection and sport

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… n & Social Media One of the strongest allies of the gun industry, the National Rifle Association, capitalized on the women and guns trend. In the last few years, the NRA h …"

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