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Major fight looms over defense spending

President Obama and Congress now have just over seven weeks to reach an agreement on the federal budget that would avert a round of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts in defense and social programs that members of both parties have depicted as draconian.... Read more»

Analysis

Crossroads: Rove-affiliated groups lose big in election

If Karl Rove was an NFL coach and not a political strategist, he would probably be looking for a new job about now. Organizations co-founded by the GOP’s most effective fundraiser spent more than $175 million only to see President Barack Obama win a second term and Democrats actually gain seats in the U.S. Senate.... Read more»

Mystery firm is election's top corporate donor at $5.3 million

The biggest corporate contributor in the 2012 election so far doesn’t appear to make anything — other than very large contributions to a conservative super PAC.... Read more»

Commentary

Potter: A bit of truth-telling on Obamacare

Wouldn’t it be great if our candidates had to take a dose of truth serum every morning before hitting the campaign trail? If they did, those of us who will be voting tomorrow wouldn’t be nearly as confused about what Obamacare is and what it isn’t, what it will do and what it won’t.... Read more»

Investment managers top list of super PAC donors

Despite his vast wealth, Sheldon Adelson was not exactly a household name when the Republican presidential primary campaign got under way. But the casino magnate’s multimillion-dollar contributions to a pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC ended that.... Read more»

Feds step up enforcement of rules to prevent black lung

A federal enforcement blitz targeting coal mines with potentially dangerous levels of dust found a host of violations at more than a dozen sites where conditions left miners at risk for developing black lung disease.... Read more»

Redistricting: GOP and Dems alike cloaked process in secrecy

Calls for reform of redistricting — the once-a-decade process when states draw new district maps for Congress and state legislatures — have gone largely unheeded as legislators manipulate Census numbers for partisan gain.... Read more»

Super PACs, nonprofits favored Romney over Obama

Super PACs and nonprofits unleashed by Citizens United have spent more than $840 million on the 2012 election, with the overwhelming majority favoring Republicans.The Supreme Court decision helped Romney neutralize Obama’s fundraising advantage.... Read more»

Commentary

Potter: Who wins with Medicare Advantage?

The big five health insurance companies have begun reporting their third quarter 2012 earnings and so far, they are pleasing their shareholders with profits that are better than Wall Street expected, in large part because they are doing especially well in one key area: Medicare.

... Read more»

Ameritrade founder, auto union among top super PAC donors

Joe Ricketts, a billionaire who pioneered online stock trading by founding TD Ameritrade Inc., was far and away the biggest donor to super PACs last month, having given $11.4 million to the Ending Spending Action Fund.... Read more»

Dark-horse presidential candidates berate role of money in politics

While President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, heartily disagree about the role of money in politics, campaign finance reform was never breached in any of the three presidential debates this month.... Read more»

Commentary

Potter: Voices of the uninsured

When people find out I used to work for an insurance company, many of them ask if I can help find them a decent policy that won’t bust their budgets. Many others ask if I would consider going to bat for them after their insurer has denied coverage for a potentially life-saving treatment. And a lot of folks have reached out just to tell me their stories, just to get someone to listen.... Read more»

‘Citizens United’ and why it matters

By now most folks know that the U.S. Supreme Court did something that changed how money can be spent in elections and by whom, but what happened and why should you care?... Read more»

D.C.-based governors' groups provide back door to corporate donors

The Republican Governors Association routinely accepts six- and seven-figure contributions and deals out the funds to state candidates and parties. In states like Pennsylvania, where corporate contributions are banned, the group appears to be skirting the law.

... Read more»

Dizzying twists in immigration laws

Given the white-hot politics of immigration, it’s perhaps not surprising that President Obama instantly drew fire with a proposal in January to help undocumented spouses of American citizens obtain legal status — without being ousted from the U.S. for years as punishment.... Read more»1

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