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48 hours = six days?

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Disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures hold candidates accountable -- but after the votes are in, it's often too late for the scrutiny of watchdogs (and opponents) to make a difference. That's why in addition to quarterly reports, candidates must report large contributions made in the final days of the campaign within 48 hours of receiving them.

In the Massachusetts special Senate election, Martha Coakley and Scott Brown were required to file reports for contributions larger than $1,000 between December 31 through January 16. As of today, January 20, however, the most recent contributions available were made on ...

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Chiropractics lobbied for special student loans, defaulted in droves

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The chiropractic industry counted a win after it successfully lobbied for inclusion in a federal student loan program for those studying health-related professions. Decades later, though, significant numbers of chiropractors have defaulted on their loans, leaving Uncle Sam to make up the difference.

Fifty-three percent of healthcare providers barred from receiving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements from patients because they defaulted on Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL) are chiropractors, according to an analysis of the Department of Health and Human Services' exclusion list.

The data shows people well into middle age--even in their 60s--saddled with debt, sometimes as much as ...

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Texas politico rapidly rises to No. 1 overall donor, now No. 1 bundler

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What does the single largest donor in federal politics do when the maximum allowed by law just isn't enough? He collects contributions from others, becoming the single biggest bundler. What won't surprise you is that the person in question is a lobbyist. But what might surprise you is that he's based in Texas, and chances are good you've never heard of him.

Democratic supporter Ben Barnes, who is from faraway Austin, Texas, has quietly and rather suddenly become the premier political financier in America. He appeared on the Center for Responsive Politics' list of top 100 ...

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Muzzled under Bush, NASA Scientists Still Face Hurdles Publicizing Findings

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As President Barack Obama meets in Copenhagen with world leaders to address climate change, a recent government report notes that, even after NASA took steps to address the political considerations that led to the suppression or downplaying of studies of climate science from 2004 to 2006, researchers at the space agency are still unclear about whether they can share the results of their taxpayer-funded studies with the public.

A survey conducted earlier this year found that fewer researchers have tried to disseminate their research results than in 2007, and more researchers have had their requests to disseminate denied, according to ...

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Entering digital age an expensive proposition for GOP

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The Republican National Committee shelled out $1.4 million dollars over the last six months for Web sites and services, much of which was spent on GOP.com, the party's major Web presence that was unveiled this month, new Federal Election Commission expense reports show.

The figure is far higher than what experts estimate it should have cost, and five times the amount its Democratic counterpart spent to host and maintain Democrats.org.

The biggest disparity seems to be bandwidth costs--the RNC paid Smartech Corp., a Republican-focused hosting firm, more than a million dollars, plus $22,000 to Eloqua ...

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Entering digital age an expensive proposition for GOP

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The Republican National Committee shelled out $1.4 million dollars over the last six months for Web sites and services, much of which was spent on GOP.com, the party's major Web presence that was unveiled this month, new Federal Election Commission expense reports show.

The figure is far higher than what experts estimate it should have cost, and five times the amount its Democratic counterpart spent to host and maintain Democrats.org.

The biggest disparity seems to be bandwidth costs--the RNC paid Smartech Corp., a Republican-focused hosting firm, more than a million dollars, plus $22,000 to Eloqua, compared to the DNC's $203,000 to Sprint, Switch and Data and Servint Corp.--despite the fact that the two sites' traffic, which determines bandwidth usage and, largely, hosting costs, was the same.

But the design of the site itself was costly, too. In the months prior to the October 13 launch of GOP.com, the committee paid $328,000 to 11 firms for Web development. (The Democrats, which did not completely overhaul their site during that time period, spent $45,000 on Web development.)

Read the rest at Sunlight's Real Time Investigations

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Foster, now facing Hastert’s son, still dipping into personal wealth

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A bid by the son of longtime House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert to defeat the man who replaced his father is far from a sure thing, but if nothing else, a respectable showing by the younger Hastert could keep the incumbent, Bill Foster, from replenishing his personal bank account.

The abrupt resignation of the elder Hastert in 2008 triggered a special election that was characterized by the exceptional reliance on personal funds: Businessman and scientist Bill Foster loaned his campaign two million dollars to defeat Jim Oberweis, a dairy-products magnate who blew through $3.8 million in personal funds vying ...

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