Pragmatic civics, shifting shorelines

Weekly Report: April 5, 2014

March 31 - April 5, 2014

The CT Mirror

March 31 - April 5, 2014

You know how Congress works as defined in the Constitution. But we try to show how Congress actually operates, day-to-day. Tune in to pragmatic civics, from Washington reporter Ana Radelat and data editor Alvin Chang.

Friday was Radelat’s story on a report that says Fairfield-based GE has employed 48 lobbyists to persuade Congress to extend a tax break that helps multinational companies avoid paying federal income taxes on income that comes from outside the U.S. A GE spokesman disputes a number of statements in the report, but Radelat notes that the government’s Lobbying Disclosure Act Database — available here – shows that GE has spent millions of dollars on in-house lobbyists to work on this and other issues.

Wednesday, we published her “revolving door” story, about the Washington phenomenon of lawmakers and staff leaving Capitol Hill for more lucrative lobbying jobs, sometimes returning to the Hill after working as a lobbying. Chang’s interactive graphic shows where current staff for the Connecticut delegation used to work.

In March, readers learned that just because members of Congress don’t have to run immediately for re-election doesn’t mean they stop campaigning – with another interactive from Chang – the “Campaign Spending Explorer” — that shows who’s spending how much and where.

In February, we had a story about Connecticut lawmakers using their own PACs to help other Democrats in Congress – increasing their own clout and influence along the way; and another about the free trips that our lawmakers and staff take, despite reforms.

Based on Federal Election Commission data, the duo showed that money from out-of-state individuals and PACs overwhelms the amount of contributions Connecticut voters give. Who’s giving what to whom? Check the “Connecticut Congressional donation finder.

We also now run “Washington Watch” Monday mornings — a look at things of importance or of particular interest to Connecticut readers in the week ahead.

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Don’t Miss:  This week, Chang teamed up with environmental writer Jan Ellen Spiegel for a close look at how Connecticut’s Long Island shoreline has changed in the past 134 years.

Experts from UConn, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Administration studied photos, drawings and charts going back to 1880 to show what’s changed, how, where, how much and how fast on the shore of the state’s greatest natural resource.

Chang’s interactive maps show what Spiegel writes about, which she calls the mantra of those who study these areas:  Shorelines move.

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Other Mirror stories this week include:

Rowland signs off at WTIC, citing ‘personal issues’ 

An old FBI agent gets the last word on Rowland, Wilson-Foley

Key CT legislator wary of proposed for-profit hospital moratorium

How much does the state owe your school district?

Connecticut’s charter school enrollment set to surge

Enjoy your weekend…..

Mirror Editor Jenifer Frank

 

 

 

 

 

 

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