An Oregon program designed to help those with mental health histories restore gun ownership rights currently operates with a $576,000 budget and has restored those rights to just three people, according to an investigation by The Oregonian. The program comes from federal money -- the result of lobbying efforts by the National Rifle Association -- but funds are expected to dry up and the state legislature has a pending bill that would shift the cost to the state's taxpayers.
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Extra Extra : Politics
A Center for Investigative Reporting analysis of more than 38,000 contributions to California Assembly Democrats in the 2011-12 campaign shows a link between donations to Speaker John A. Pérez's targeted races and a lawmaker’s prospects for important legislative assignments.
Among CIR's findings is that mega-donors to Pérez’s targets – three lawmakers who gave more than $250,000 – obtained positions of power.
"As the nation hurtled from one fiscal crisis to the next last year, Democrats and Republicans argued bitterly over the best solution - tax increases or spending cuts. But members of the U.S. House did agree on one thing: There was enough money for them to travel the globe at taxpayers' expense. At least 172 House members - 14 from Florida - spent more than $1.5 million in 2012, visiting more than 90 countries and every continent but Antarctica, a Herald-Tribune investigation has found," according to an investigation by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
"Payday lenders donate $126K to Senate majority leader, who denies having links to Utah scandal," according to an investigation by The Salt Lake Tribune.
"An American-Statesman analysis shows that, unlike Cole, other district attorneys, as well as judges and elected officials, have chosen to remain in office after their DWIs. In some cases, they have tried to separate their professional work from their personal mistakes. When Tarrant County state District Judge Elizabeth Berry was arrested for drinking and driving in 2008, other judges handled her DWI cases until charges against her were dropped, recalled Warren St. John, then president of the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association." Read the American-Statesman's full investigation here.
"Lobbyists and corporations that employ them can't give gifts to lawmakers—unless they funnel the money through a nonprofit," according to an investigation by Mother Jones.
"inewsource and KPBS audited ads in the U-T every day between Labor Day and Election Day 2012 and compared the list with campaign finance records. The results show varied payments for ads, indicating the U-T may have offered bargains to the anti-Filner campaign and to other candidates and issues the newspaper endorsed," according to the investigation.
"Politicians in New Jersey can receive more money while still keeping the names of their donors secret than those in any other state in the nation, masking the origins of millions of dollars in campaign contributions every year, a Star-Ledger analysis has found." Read the Star-Ledger's full investigation here.
Dozens of journalists working for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism sorted through millions of leaked records that "lay bare the names behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore hideaways."
International Consortium of Investigative Journalism reports that key findings include:
- Government officials and their families and associates in Azerbaijan, Russia, Canada, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Mongolia and other countries have embraced the use of covert companies and bank accounts.
- The mega-rich use complex offshore structures to own mansions, yachts, art masterpieces and other assets, gaining tax advantages and anonymity not ...
"Former U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) awarded his staff some of the largest salary increases in Congress last year as he left after one term in office. For the first three quarters of 2012, the Minnesota Republican’s staff payroll averaged a little over $197,000. In the final three months of the year, it shot up to $354,000, an 80 percent increase. For decades, departing members of Congress have awarded large bonuses and salary increases to longtime staff, but these raises were of a magnitude typically awarded by senior members of Congress," according to an investigation by ...Read more ...