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By Lois Beckett, ProPublica datadisc

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 — and not just to political groups. Democrats are looking into whether credit card companies, retailers like Target or other commercial interests may want to buy the information.

By Fred Schulte, Center for Public Integrity 

The federal agents who visited Scott Taylor’s rural Pennsylvania gun shop in early January 2010 — to conduct the store’s first inspection in more than three decades — found thousands of violations of firearm sales laws.

Taylor couldn’t properly account for more than 3,000 guns he had bought or sold during the previous three years, according to agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. These and other violations led ATF to revoke his license to sell guns in November 2011. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Far from it.