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Veteran political reporter Michael J. Mishak is joining the Center for Public Integrity’s state politics team to cover the influence of special interests on state government.

Mishak joins the Center for Public Integrity from National Journal, where he wrote about the 2016 presidential campaign. He was also previously a national political writer for the Associated Press in Miami, winning awards for his stories about former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio. Mishak also covered California government for the Los Angeles Times and politics and labor for the Las Vegas Sun, breaking stories in 2007 and 2008 about the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

“Reporting on state government is a vital and growing part of the Center for Public Integrity’s portfolio of investigative journalism. Michael brings a proven record of achievement in this area,” said Peter Bale, CEO.

This year the Who’s Calling the Shots in the States? project will examine lobbying in the states, with a comprehensive data-driven look at who is trying to influence state policies and to what ends. The project is part of a three-year, $2.88 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, one of the largest single grants in the Center’s history.

Since the awarding of the grant, the states team has examined lawmakers in South Carolina who paid themselves and their own companies nearly $100 million since 2009, detailed who was behind Ohio’s ballot measure to legalize marijuana and profiled Manoj Bhargava, the founder of 5-hour Energy, dubbing him the “political kingmaker nobody knows.”

Michael tweets at @mjmishak.

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