Special interest groups

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, file photograph, a worker waters marijuana plants at the Colorado Harvest Company in Denver. Denver officials say a new program will make it easier for people to clear low level marijuana convictions prosecuted before its use became legal in Colorado. Under the partnership between the Denver district attorney, the city and the county, people seeking to clear their records will be led through the process by the offices' staff.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
January 09, 2019 - 2:57 pm
DENVER (AP) — Denver on Wednesday became the latest city in the nation to take steps to eliminate low-level marijuana convictions in places where the drug is now legal, acknowledging the barriers that such offenses pose to minority, low-income and other people. Denver officials said Colorado law...
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This Oct. 15, 2016 photo shows parents and grandparents from Memphis Lift speaking to Hilary Shelton, the Director to the NAACP's Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy, during the national NAACP board meeting in downtown Cincinnati. While some black leaders see charters as a safer, better alternative in their communities, a deep rift of opinion was exposed by a 2016 call for a moratorium on charters by the NAACP, a longtime skeptic that expressed concerns about school privatization and accountability issues surrounding charters. (The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)
December 24, 2018 - 7:18 pm
Amid fierce debate over whether charter schools are good for black students, the heirs to the Walmart company fortune have been working to make inroads with advocates and influential leaders in the black community. The Walton family, as one of the leading supporters of America's charter school...
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Allyson Schwartz, president of Better Medicare Alliance, speaks during an Interview with the Associated Press in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. The group, gaining influence in Washington as a champion for Medicare beneficiaries, is bankrolled by major health insurance companies that are trying to cash in on private coverage offered through the federal health insurance program.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
December 21, 2018 - 4:15 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — A group gaining influence in Washington as a champion for Medicare beneficiaries is bankrolled by major health insurance companies that are trying to cash in on private coverage offered through the federal health insurance program. The Better Medicare Alliance claims a far-flung...
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The U.S. Capitol Building Dome is seen before the sun rises in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
December 19, 2018 - 7:13 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — A criminal justice bill passed by the Senate late Tuesday would give judges more discretion when sentencing some drug offenders and would boost prisoner rehabilitation efforts and was hailed by scores of conservative and liberal advocacy groups. The sweeping bill addresses...
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The U.S. Capitol Building Dome is seen before the sun rises in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
December 18, 2018 - 9:03 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate passed a sweeping criminal justice bill Tuesday that addresses concerns that the nation's war on drugs had led to the imprisonment of too many Americans for non-violent crimes without adequately preparing them for their return to society. Senate passage of the bill by a...
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FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., finishes speaking to reporters at the Capitol in Washington. McConnell’s blockade of a popular criminal justice reform package has angered top senators. And it’s created an unusual rift with a longtime Republican ally, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
December 11, 2018 - 6:38 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Under pressure from President Donald Trump and many of his Republican colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he will bring legislation to the floor to overhaul the nation's federal sentencing laws. McConnell's decision comes after more than three...
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FILE - In this Wednesday, May 9, 2018 file photo, Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., left, speaks next to Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican incumbents were swept out of office in 2018 after a tally of late-arriving ballots. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
December 06, 2018 - 10:37 pm
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An investigation into whether political operatives in North Carolina illegally collected and possibly stole absentee ballots in a still-undecided congressional race has drawn attention to a widespread but little-known political tool called ballot harvesting. It's a practice...
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Letesha Case holds her daughter Aurora Case, 2, as they sit next to their sign Monday Dec. 3, 2018, at the Utah state Capitol in Salt Lake City. Lawmakers in conservative Utah passed sweeping changes Monday to a new voter-approved medical-marijuana ballot measure under a planned compromise that secured the support of the influential Mormon church but sparked a backlash from advocates. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
December 06, 2018 - 5:07 pm
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A pair of advocacy groups in Utah sued Thursday to block a compromise agreement legalizing medical marijuana, accusing the Mormon church of unconstitutional domination and interference in a process that led to the gutting of a measure approved by voters. The lawsuit alleges...
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In this Nov. 8, 2018 photo, the Capitol is framed amid colorful autumn leaves in Washington. Congressional aides and advocacy groups say lawmakers are close to an agreement on legislation designed to boost rehabilitation efforts for federal prisoners and give judges more discretion when sentencing some non-violent offenders. Aides from both parties say moving ahead depends largely on President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
November 13, 2018 - 6:40 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators have reached a tentative accord on the first major rewrite of criminal justice sentencing in a generation, but now it's up to President Donald Trump to decide if it's worth making a push for the sweeping bipartisan bill during the lame-duck session of Congress. The...
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In this Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, photo Judith LeBlanc, left, with Four Directions, a non-profit voting equality organization for Native Americans, helps local volunteers Jeff McLaughlin, middle, and Susan Bears Heart before going door-to-door looking for voters in Selfridge, N.D., and offering a free bus ride to the polling precinct. Recent changes to North Dakota’s voter identification requirements that some believe were aimed at suppressing the Native American vote didn’t cause widespread problems Election Day. Advocacy groups credit an intense effort to ensure a strong Native vote that included free qualifying IDs and free rides to the polls. (Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
November 07, 2018 - 3:49 pm
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Only a few dozen Native American voters appear to have been affected on Election Day by changes to North Dakota's voter identification requirements that many tribal members believed were aimed at suppressing their vote. Advocacy groups credited an intense effort to ensure a...
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