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Thursday, August 16, 2018
Lois Beckett

Why Gun Control Groups Have Moved Away From An Assault Weapons Ban

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica. The morning after the Sandy Hook shootings, Shannon Watts, a mother of five and a former public relations executive, started a Facebook page called “One Million Moms for Gun Control.” It proved wildly popular and members quickly focused on renewing the federal ban on military-style assault weapons. “We all were outraged […]

September 9, 2014

Democrats Push To Restart CDC Funding For Gun Violence Research

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica. Two congressional Democrats are unveiling legislation this morning that would restart the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s gun violence research efforts. Since 1996, when a small CDC-funded study on the risks of owning a firearm ignited opposition from Republicans, the CDC’s budget for research on firearms injuries has shrunk to […]

May 21, 2014

Republicans Say No To CDC Gun Violence Research

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica. After the Sandy Hook school shooting, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) was one of the few congressional Republicans who expressed a willingness to reconsider the need for gun control laws. “Put guns on the table, also put video games on the table, put mental health on the table,” he said less than […]

April 22, 2014

Now, You Can’t Ban Guns At The Public Pool

by Lois Beckett, Pro Publica If you feel unsafe at a public pool in Charleston, WV, you may soon have the right to lie there on a towel with a handgun at your side. For 20 years, Charleston has been an island of modest gun restrictions in a very pro-gun-rights state. But its gun laws […]

June 3, 2013

Voter Information Wars: Will The GOP Team Up With Walmart’s Data Specialist?

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica The Republicans have admitted it: They need to get serious about collecting and analyzing voter data. Well, you can’t get much more serious than talking to Teradata, the “data warehousing” company that helps Walmart, Apple and eBay store massive amounts of information about the behavior of their customers. Teradata is just […]

April 9, 2013
credit cards Chase

Will Democrats Sell Your Political Opinions To Credit Card Companies?

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica. For years, state Democratic parties have been gathering information about individual voters’ political leanings. They have noted down the opinions voters shared with canvassers — which candidates they said they supported or their positions on policy issues. Now, the record of what people told Democratic volunteers may go up for sale […]

February 5, 2013

In Minnesota, Democratic Grandmas Gather Data About Their Neighbors

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica. In Minnesota, Democratic volunteers scour their local newspapers each morning for letters to the editor with a political slant. They pay attention to the names of callers on radio shows. They drive through their neighborhoods and jot down the addresses of campaign lawn signs. Then they feed the information into a […]

January 10, 2013

How Companies Have Assembled Political Profiles For Millions Of Internet Users

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica If you’re a registered voter and surf the web, one of sites you visit has almost certainly placed a tiny piece of data on your computer flagging your political preferences. That piece of data, called a cookie, marks you as a Democrat or Republican, when you last voted, and what contributions […]

October 22, 2012

Is Your Neighbor A Democrat? Obama Has An App For That

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica.   Curious how many Democrats live on your block? Just download the Obama campaign’s new mobile app. The app, released last week, includes a Google map for canvassers that recognizes your current location and marks nearby Democratic households with small blue flags. For each targeted address, the app displays the first […]

August 6, 2012

Dark Money Political Groups Target Voters Based On Their Internet Habits

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica Lauren Berns was browsing Talking Points Memo when he saw an ad with President Obama’s face. “Stop the Reckless Spending,” the ad read, and in smaller print, “Paid for by Crossroads GPS.” Berns was surprised. Why was Crossroads GPS, a group that powerful Republican strategist Karl Rove helped found, advertising on […]

July 27, 2012

Three Things We Don’t Know About Obama’s Massive Voter Database

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica. President Obama’s re-election campaign is reportedly building a massive database of information about potential supporters. The database seems to bring together information about supporters gathered from all branches of the campaign — everything from an individual’s donation records to volunteer activity to online interactions with the campaign — aimed at allowing the […]

March 28, 2012

How To Win Facebook Friends And Influence People

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica Instead of picketing outside company headquarters, an advocacy group is using Facebook ads to try to influence people whose profiles identify them as employees of Freddie Mac or JPMorgan Chase. The anti-foreclosure ad campaign, which launches today, asks Freddie and Chase employees to talk to their CEOs about a veteran — […]

March 13, 2012

New Arrests In Murdoch Bribery Scandal Raise Question Of U.S. Charges

by Lois Beckett, ProPublica This weekend, five more journalists from a Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid were arrested as part of an ongoing bribery investigation. The arrested journalists, all from The Sun, were later released, and have yet to be charged with any crimes. (As The Wall Street Journal explained last summer, arrests in the U.K. […]

February 14, 2012