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In new battleground over toxic reform, American Chemistry Council targets the states

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This is a special report from The Center for Public Integerity, a member -- like the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group -- of the Investigative News Network.

 

HARTFORD, Conn. — In the bare-knuckle war over toxic chemicals, the fight between industry and activists has shifted noticeably from Washington, D.C., to state venues such as the golden-domed Capitol that rises over Hartford like a lordly manse.

What happened this year in Hartford shows how industry — fueled by the American Chemistry Council, a $100 million a year advocacy group glittered with Fortune 500 partners — is flexing its muscles from statehouse to statehouse to beat back ...

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Use Sunlight Tools to track civil rights issues

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As the nation focuses on the 50th anniversary of the historic March for Jobs and Freedom that culminated with Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, we decided to look at the subject of civil rights through the prism of some Sunlight tools:

It's a party affair. According to searches on our Capitol Words tool, which allows users to search text on the Congressional Record, Democrats talk more often about voting rights than Republicans do. Dems also own “Martin Luther King,” “redistricting,” “voter registration,” “civil rights” “Jim Crow,” “Selma,” and “March on Washington.” Republicans talk about ...

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Is Obama administration caving to industry pressure on overseas marketing of tobacco?

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This is a special report from FairWarning.org, a member -- like the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group -- of the Investigative News Network.

Facing vehement protest from tobacco state lawmakers and business groups, the Obama administration appears to have retreated from efforts to keep cigarette makers from using trade treaties to attack countries that adopt strong anti-smoking rules.

At issue is whether a pending free trade deal should include language protecting the authority of nations to adopt tough regulations to reduce smoking. In recent years, tobacco companies have invoked trade agreements to challenge the most stringent rules, such as requiring large graphic ...

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Obama’s nonprofit gets more big donors

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President Obama's nonprofit group released its donors for the second quarter on Friday, and the group is leaning more heavily on the megarich than it did in the first quarter, when it was launched.

The group also raised more money, bringing in $8.2 million in the second quarter compared to $4.8 million last time. Here is a downloadable .csv file of all the donors, though only those who gave $250 or more are included.

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Money, politics and the Missouri special election

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Ex-Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's resignation cost Missouri nearly $1 million

Voters are going to the polls today in southeastern Missouri to select a replacement for their former congresswoman, Jo Ann Emerson, and as is always the case, they've been preceded by monied interests trying to influence the outcome. So let's review the bidding:

Although Sunlight's Follow the Unlimited Money tracker shows that there are many other races (including some that won't take place until next year), there's still a bit of intrigue. On Monday, our colleagues over at the Center for Public Integrity revealed that Conservative Strikeforce Super PAC, the group spending in the race on behalf of the GOP standard-bearer (and odds-on favorite in the ruby Republican red corner of the Show-Me State) Jason Smith, timed the expenditure so that the donors won't have to be revealed until after Election Day. We've seen this trick before.

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Reading the big green tea leaves in Sanford-Colbert Busch race

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(Updated 4:45 p.m. ET)

Despite his capacity for self-sabotage and the public shunning of his own party, some well-heeled Republicans continue to believe that it's worth investing in former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's comeback bid in Tuesday's special election for a vacant congressional seat in the Palmetto State.

During the last three weeks of the campaign, the unexpectedly competitive contest in a heavily GOP district between Sanford and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch has become a magnet for big political spenders. Sanford, attempting a redemption run after a headline-making sex scandal that cost him his ...

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