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    PNS Weekend Update - May 30, 20150 

    Among the issues on our nationwide rundown; President Obama pressing for Senate action this weekend as some domestic spying powers are set to expire Sunday night; some perspective on how the EPA’s Clean Water rule impacts the Midwest; and a climatologist talks about a hopeful side of climate change.

Campaign Finance Reform/Money in Politics

Photo: Disgraced former Republican State Assembly Leader Scott Jensen has been named "Influence Peddler of the Month," a new feature from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. WDC Executive Director Matt Rothschild says most people think Jensen disappeared from politics after his long legal fight against ethics charges, but Rothschild says Jensen still is one of the major power-brokers under the Capitol dome as a highly paid lobbyist. Photo credit: Wisconsin Blue Book

MADISON, Wis. - Saying the citizens have a right to know who's pulling the levers of power in the state Legislature, the nonpartisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has launched a new feature called "Influence Peddler of the Month." The feature will be part of the group's website,, according ...Read More

PHOTO: Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, right, with Will and Zeke Stewart at a recent Brunch with Bernie event in Manchester. Sanders is refusing super PAC money in his bid for the White House. Photo credit: W. Stewart

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Senator Bernie Sanders intends to win the White House by knocking on doors and supporters in the Granite State say don't underestimate the power of grassroots campaigns. Elizabeth Ropp hosted a "Brunch for Bernie" in Manchester. She says Sanders' average campaign contribution is ...Read More

PHOTO: A proposal to reform the nation's toxic chemical laws does not go far enough to protect the public, and could roll back some important protections currently in place, according to safety and environmental advocates. Photo credit: Andy Beecroft/Wikimedia Commons.

DENVER - The chemical industry is backing new legislation in the U.S. Senate to reform the way chemicals are regulated. Its proponents say it's time to loosen some of the current restrictions on chemicals, many of which show up in such everyday products as plastics and vinyl flooring. However, cons ...Read More

PHOTO: Conservation groups give Congress an "F" on the environment and say the first 100 days in the U.S. Senate was a prime example of that failure. Photo credit: C-Span.

AUGUSTA, Maine – Environmental groups in Maine and across the nation are giving Congress a failing grade on the environment. Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, says that failing grade especially is true for the first 100 days in the U.S. Senate under Majority Lea ...Read More

PHOTO: An amended gift limit is making the ethics bill just passed by the Virginia General Assembly more palatable to watchdogs. Photo of the state Capitol's interior courtesy of Wikimedia.

RICHMOND, Va. – After passing an ethics bill that drew criticism and amendments from the governor, the Virginia General Assembly has added lawmaker gift limits to legislation that is earning guarded praise. Embarrassed by the corruption trial of former Gov. Bob McDonnell, the assembly passed ...Read More

PHOTO: Advocates in New Hampshire and the nation say Congress deserves a failing grade on the environment for the first 100 days. They say that is especially true for the GOP-led Senate. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons - Scrumshus

CONCORD, N.H. - Congress marked its first 100 days in session on Wednesday, and environmental groups in New Hampshire and the nation say lawmakers deserve a failing grade on key issues. Republicans in Congress say they are trying to promote economic growth by easing regulations, but according to Ro ...Read More

PHOTO: Former Col. Lawrence Wilkerson is in the Granite State this week, warning about wasteful Pentagon spending and the corrupting influence of big money on the race for the White House. Courtesy: College of William and Mary

DURHAM, N.H. - The ranks of declared presidential candidates keeps growing and today a foreign policy expert is warning Granite Staters about what he calls wasteful military spending. Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired colonel who served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilk ...Read More

Photo: According to the non-partisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, outside interests spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to influence voting in Wisconsin's spring election. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

MADISON, Wis. - Although outside political money had a big impact on the referendum to change the way the Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice is selected, it did not have much impact on the state Supreme Court race. That's according to Matt Rothschild, executive director of the nonpartisan money-t ...Read More

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Campaign Finance Reform/Money in Politics by State