FEC gets modest budget boost

By Dave Levinthal

The election watchdog's 2015 funding level reverses years of cuts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ann Ravel":

"… ederal agencies for employee satisfaction. The FEC in 2015 will be led by Ann Ravel, a Democrat. Ravel's commission colleagues on Wednesday voted 5-0 to appoi …"

Urban League parrots telecom donors' net-neutrality stance

By Allan Holmes and John Dunbar

Civil rights group calls for lighter Internet regulation that would benefit telecommunications donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internet":

"… f “network neutrality” that aggravated activists but made providers of Internet services cheer. Morial’s column in The Hill newspaper reflected a posit …"

"… position on the issue — which is about whether all content sent over the Internet be treated equally — that was very much the same as that of David Cohen, …"

"… d Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest Internet service provider. It’s not unusual that Comcast would make that argumen …"

"… ecision to speak out had more to do with money and relationships than with Internet policy. It turns out that Cohen has sat on the Urban League’s board of …"

New FEC chief on 'dark money' mission

By Dave Levinthal

New Chairwoman Ann Ravel says she'll fight to out people behind secretive political cash, regardless of party.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Atlanta":

"… sive “listening tour” schedule that this year has taken her to Denver, Atlanta and Chicago.   “Dark money — it’s an issue that’s been of gr …"

A long-term blank check for 'war' spending

By Julia Harte

In the federal budget, emergency spending for combat operations is the new normal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… he OCO portion of the separate omnibus appropriations bill for 2015, which Congress is trying to pass before the holidays, another $1.2 billion is set aside f …"

"… a public hearing, based merely on written assent from the four chairmen of Congress’s defense-related committees. Their letters are rarely made public. On …"

"… tter that his panel was concerned that OCO funds, “which are provided by Congress specifically for ongoing combat operations and related efforts,” were be …"

"… gs like these are technically allowed only if some of the OCO funding that Congress has already approved suddenly turns out to be greater than necessary. And …"

Luxembourg tax deals for Disney, Koch brothers empires revealed

By Alison Fitzgerald and Marina Walker Guevara

New leak discloses secret tax agreements between major American companies and Luxembourg.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… aised more than $400 million in an unsuccessful effort to thwart President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election in 2012. They were back this year, supporting Repu …"

Koch-linked organization uses ‘dark money’ to fight political disclosure

By Michael Beckel

Most of the $13 million raised by American Commitment has come three Koch-backed groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… erican Commitment promoted Republican U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis of North Carolina in radio ads. In 2013, it backed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lo …"

Grover Norquist nonprofit funded pro-Republican women’s group

By Michael Beckel

Conservative-leaning Independent Women's Voice got 13 percent of its revenue last year from Americans for Tax Reform, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… lican political candidates, according to new tax documents reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity. In 2013, Americans for Tax Reform contributed $260,000 to Independent Wo …"

Koch-backed nonprofit raised $44 million in 2013

By Michael Beckel

ObamaCare-bashing Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, raised $44 million in 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… e U.S. tax code. It has emerged as one of the leading critics of President Barack Obama and his policies — particularly his “ObamaCare” health care reform l …"

GOP rides cavalry to U.S. Senate majority

By Michael Beckel, Dave Levinthal and Carrie Levine

Super PACs, 'dark money' nonprofits help make Election Day difference as Republicans seize a U.S. Senate majority

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… According to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics, just two Senate contests saw outside groups spend more on elections than …"

"… rted spending about $55 million to the FEC as of Tuesday, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (Party committees also reported spending an additional $14 million.) Sim …"

"… Tuesday — and parties spent an additional $19 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Hagan outraised Tillis by a ratio of more than 2-to-1 and liberals accou …"

Surprise! No. 1 super PAC backs Democrats

By Carrie Levine and Dave Levinthal

To the surprise of many, the top-spending super PAC this election backs Democrats, not Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… nate Majority PAC fundraiser in July that featured a dinner with President Barack Obama.   Another LLC contributor is listed as Elmendorf Strategies LL …"

Election 2014 by the numbers

By Michael Beckel

A new Center for Public Integrity money-in-politics index highlights key facts about the most expensive midterm in history.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alaska":

"… umber of Senate-focused TV ads aired this cycle on KTUU-TV 2 in Anchorage, Alaska: 12,300 Stations that have aired more: 0 Percentage of all Senate-focuse …"

Flush with mystery money, Kentucky nonprofit haunts Grimes’ Senate bid

By Michael Beckel

Formerly modest nonprofit becomes deep-pocketed, dark money benefactor of Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federalist Society":

"… aw. She was a founding member of the Louisville lawyer’s chapter of the Federalist Society, of which her husband, attorney John K. Bush, is the president. Her favori …"

Power shifts to outsiders in U.S. Senate fight

By Michael Beckel

Battle for control determined in large part by big-spending super PACs and nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… far aired in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire and South Dakota, according to a …"

Obamacare helps millions, but falls short in many ways

By Wendell Potter

The Affordable Care Act has reduced the ranks of the uninsured, but cost of care must be addressed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… born with. During the months that health care reform was being debated in Washington, I met many young people who told me they had not been able to buy an insu …"

"… were not willing to do in 2009 because of the political clout they have in Washington. Consequently, much more reform will have to be undertaken in years to com …"

Controversial Republican telemarketer forms super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

Gabriel S. Joseph III's past political efforts include an anti-Obama spam text message campaign that prompted legal complaints.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… ginia-based super PAC known as The Survey Group PAC, on Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission, new documents show. It's unclear what Joseph, who did not immediately re …"

Obama takes star turn in state political ads

By Ben Wieder

President and his policies take center stage in political ads, with more than 300,000 mentions, including in lower level state races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… te elections, where three political ads run every five minutes in Iowa and North Carolina.  For state-level races ranging from governor to state board of educa …"

Eyeballs burn in North Carolina, Iowa ahead of U.S. Senate elections

By Michael Beckel

Last week, North Carolina, Iowa residents saw three political ads focused on contentious Senate elections every five minutes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… rolling scores of ads targeting down-ballot races that criticize President Barack Obama. In the Tar Heel State, embattled incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, i …"

In Kansas, Democratic donors invest in uncertainty

By Michael Beckel

Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman lures left-leaning donors despite uncertainty about whether he'll caucus with Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… nd $200,000 for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and was later tapped by the president to serve on the board of trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for the P …"

The 47-year-old nuclear elephant in the room

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

A growing number of U.S. experts say that feigning ignorance about Israel’s nuclear arsenal creates more trouble than it averts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… be used due to the political sensitivity surrounding the topic. President Barack Obama made clear that this 4-decade-old U.S. policy would persist at his first W …"

In New Hampshire, quixotic super PAC shaking up Republican primary

By Dave Levinthal

Big-spending Mayday PAC giving Jim Rubens an unexpected boost — and Scott Brown a headache — ahead of GOP primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… pted political money system.” …"

"… hen lost a bid for governor. And he couldn’t even win back his old state Senate seat in 2000. But when a quixotic, out-of-state super PAC with a million- …"

"… less illustrates how a lone special interest group can scramble a critical Senate race in the post-Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission era of inc …"

"… mpshire victory in their bid to pick up six seats nationwide and control a Senate majority. To wit: Brown campaign manager Colin Reed this weekend fired a …"

GOP’s Senate hopes energized by Koch network ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

How many TV ads have groups connected to the billionaire brothers aired in your state?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Party":

"… ateful for the outside assistance. Kermit Parks, chairman of Union County Republican Party in Arkansas, called the anti-Obamacare ads from Americans for Prosperity t …"

"… rk Pryor “money well spent.” Steve Lux, chairman of the Saline County Republican Party in Arkansas, agrees. “Obviously everybody says they hate negative ads, …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Americans for Prosperity":

"… with the Democrats. The top-spending groups to aid Republicans have been Americans for Prosperity, the politically active nonprofit backed by conservative billionaires Char …"

"… s repeatedly blasted the Koch brothers, who support conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, for their involvement in the race. But the top sponsor of ads in this co …"

"… more than 9,500 ads in the race. That’s about 63 percent more ads than Americans for Prosperity, which has pummeled Hagan for her ties to Obama and her vote for the presi …"

"… for her ties to Obama and her vote for the president’s health care law. Americans for Prosperity’s ads don’t overtly call for Hagan’s defeat, thereby allowing the gr …"

Defeat of California initiative would protect insurers' profits

By Wendell Potter

Proposition 45 would allow California's insurance chief to block insurance rate hikes; insurers are spending millions to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… ent last week on an ad in Salon.com featuring a large picture of President Barack Obama and this message: “Protect Obamacare from Legal Attacks. Prop 45’s Dir …"

Lobbying disclosures leave public in the dark

By Marcelo Rochabrun and Dave Levinthal

Despite efforts to beef up laws regulating lobbyists, public is in the dark when it comes to what firms are up to in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… minating their registrations rather than doing less influencing. President Barack Obama’s executive actions against the profession may have prompted lobbyists t …"

State lawmakers take aim at federal gun control

By Justine McDaniel, Robby Korth and Jessica Boehm

A growing collection of state legislatures seeks to disqualify federal gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… ifying federal gun laws because that could undo NRA legislative success in Washington. “I think that is a misguided distraction,” said Todd Rathner, an NRA …"

U.S. now faces threat of U.S.-made weapons in Iraq

By Douglas Birch

Islamic State fighters seize U.S. military equipment in Iraq, become targets for U.S. warplanes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "officer":

"… hard to say where it will end up.” Michael Pregent, a former U.S. Army officer who speaks Arabic and has worked for the Defense Department in Iraq as a m …"

Political nonprofits bungle IRS filings

By Michael Beckel

High-profile groups such as Crossroads GPS and Patriot Majority USA acknowledged mistakes after Center for Public Integrity inquiry.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… of the group’s spending in 2012, as previously reported by the Center for Responsive Politics. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, an advocacy group, …"

Flurry of new legislation targets sexual assault on campus

By Kristen Lombardi

New legislation follows landmark Center series

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chuck Grassley":

"… Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, among others — has been drafting the legislation for months, co …"

Obama curbs nuclear security goals as bomb-building budget grows

By Douglas Birch

The White House rejected a confidential proposal to accelerate work on nuclear security problems despite a missed 2013 deadline.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… g nuclear arsenal. Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, at a March 5 Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing, called the White House’s pro …"

"… dgeting reflects excessive zeal to implement Obama’s pledge, made during Senate debate over ratification of a 2010 nuclear arms treaty with Russia, that h …"

"… modernize the nuclear weapons that remained after agreed reductions. At a Senate Energy and Water appropriations subcommittee hearing April 9, Sen. Diane F …"

Tea party scandal brews FOIA backlog at FEC

By Dave Levinthal

Media and public wait for information from election agency as Congress seeks IRS-related information.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… priority, except for the order in which requests come in."     …"

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