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 "Lisa Murkowski":

"… is owed lands under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has sponsored a bill that would allow the company to acquire la …"

Mega-donors give big to state candidates

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien and Ben Wieder

More than two dozen donors have given at least $1 million to state-level campaigns ahead of Nov. 4.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Fred Eychaner":

"… ocratic Governors Association, more than $755,000 from Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner and millions from unions, including more than $1.2 million from a branch o …"

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 "Senate":

"… ting their own political campaigns are over. In the most competitive U.S. Senate races this year, big-money special interests that proliferated after the U …"

"… ns — routinely account for nearly one out of every two ads run in a U.S. Senate race. Most of the ads are decidedly negative, and they’ve collectively c …"

"… ort candidates who will help their preferred party win control of the U.S. Senate during the final two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. The Democratic …"

"… super PAC has raised more. Earning the No. 2 spot was Democratic-aligned Senate Majority PAC, a group run by allies of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, …"

Pennsylvania super PAC gets 'dark money' infusion

By Michael Beckel

Nonprofit Green Orchard Inc. is listed as the sole donor to new Prosperity for Pennsylvania super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bob Casey":

"… ida have seen more spending on TV ads. Neither Toomey nor Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is up for re-election in Pennsylvania this November.    …"

Secretive groups spend millions to influence state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits hit TV airwaves with attacks on state-level candidates, gaining traction since the U.S. Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… these politically active groups have had to disclose their donors. In North Carolina and Georgia, for example, some of these groups airing political …"

'Outside' groups swamp Florida's airwaves in race for governor

By Rachel Baye

Lax laws allow candidates to work so closely with outside groups, contribution limits become almost irrelevant.

Excerpts from this story referencing "hedge fund manager":

"… thers Charles and David Koch, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and hedge fund manager Paul Singer, according to IRS filings. The Republican Governors Associati …"

More than a dozen states could throw out donation caps after McCutcheon ruling

By Michael Beckel

A Supreme Court ruling elminating aggregate limits on campaign contributions invalidates similar rules in states.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… e limits on the political contributions of corporations and labor unions. Louisiana limits contributors from giving more than $100,000 to non-candidate commit …"

Outside groups dwarf candidate spending in Florida special election

By Michael Beckel

Less than one-third of money pumped into House contest is controlled by Sink or Jolly.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… reasingly common in the big-money era following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in January 2010. And the national stakes aren't even that high: …"

Zombie super PACs face termination

By Dave Levinthal

Federal regulators put hundreds of obscure political committees on notice for disclosure failures.

How Washington starves its election watchdog

By Dave Levinthal

Agency hamstrung by political bickering, case backlogs, staff departures — even Chinese hackers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican National Committee":

"… iley Rein LLP’s election law practice and former general counsel for the Republican National Committee and President George H. W. Bush’s 1988 campaign, suggests Capitol Hill i …"

Regulators to axe secretive super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

FEC says Texas-based group that won't file disclosures is violating the law.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… In a letter dated Dec. 4, the Federal Election Commission tells Secretive Politics that it faces "administrative termination" for what amounts to its refusal …"

"… ial disclosures. Since registering with the FEC in August 2012, Secretive Politics has lived up to its name. It's been incommunicado with federal regul …"

"… nting for their income, spending and debt. It's unclear whether Secretive Politics has engaged in political activity. It may have been raising and spending m …"

"… ions gave rise to such political committees. The FEC notes that Secretive Politics is still obliged to file reports with the FEC if it raises or spends money …"

Was the glut of outside spending in 2012 state races just the start?

By Bill Buzenberg

You can expect more money — and ads — pouring into state races next year based on new Center analysis of 2012 election.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… ycle. Our work analyzes data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP) and state elections offices. Pro-Democratic groups, many associat …"

Why 'McCutcheon' won't stop the influx of cash into politics

By Bill Buzenberg

Even if the FEC wins its Supreme Court case, super PACs and other groups will still be allowed to spend big in elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… per candidate is not thought to be in play, though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would do away with that as well. The aggregate contribution limit …"

Supreme Court 'McCutcheon' case could aid GOP

By Michael Beckel

Conservative donors who maxed out during the 2012 election far outnumbered liberals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sheldon Adelson":

"… super PAC of the anti-tax Club for Growth. Meanwhile, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson — who became a household name during the 2012 election for his deep …"

Five money-in-politics facts about John Lewis

By Michael Beckel

That's one of five money-and-politics facts you'll learn here about civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

A hyper-super PAC boosts McAuliffe in Virginia race

By Adam Wollner

Democratic group making donations — illegal at the federal level — to Virginia gubernatorial candidate McAuliffe.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Utah":

"… ups may raise and who may they receive money from are Missouri, Oregon and Utah, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The RGA outr …"

William Koch emerges from shadow of famous siblings

By Michael Beckel

William Koch's steadily increasing political activity has gotten relatively little notice compared to that of brothers Charles and David.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… n — went to Restore Our Future, the main super PAC supporting Republican Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful presidential bid. Meanwhile, $500,000 went to a group tha …"

State campaign contribution limits on the rise

By Adam Wollner

Individual campaign contribution limits are on the rise as states hedge against super PACs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kansas":

"… akers to revisit the issue next January. Six other states — California, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island — have seen lawmakers …"

Justice for sale in state supreme court elections?

By Bill Buzenberg

Outside groups are funneling more and more money into state races, which is a trend the Center will be following.

Without better laws, "dark money" groups will prosper in 2014 state races

By Bill Buzenberg

Without better campaign finance laws, "dark money" groups will prosper in 2014 state races

Lax state rules provide cover for sponsors of attack ads

By Alan Suderman

In 30 states it’s impossible to total how much money outside groups are spending on campaigns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… land, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin — received an “A” grade, meaning the state …"

Shaun McCutcheon hopes donation in S. Carolina election will be first of many nationwide

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Alabama man bent on campaign finance deregulation kicks off election cycle with South Carolina contribution.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jim DeMint":

"… ikki Haley elevated Scott to the U.S. Senate after the resignation of Sen. Jim DeMint, who now heads the Heritage Foundation. The frontrunner in the GOP primar …"

Donor profile: William S. Rose (Specialty Group)

By Michael Beckel

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012.

Donor profile: AFSCME

By Reity O'Brien

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012.

Donor profile: American Federation of Teachers

By Paul Abowd and Alexandra Duszak

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… at Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who won a House seat, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who won a U.S. Senate seat. In a statement soon after Obama’s re-elect …"

Donor profile: Plumbers and Pipefitters Union

By Paul Abowd

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… Hite criticized Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s choice of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate. In a sharply worded August press relea …"

Super PACs, nonprofits favored Romney over Obama

By Michael Beckel and Russ Choma

Funds from outside contributors neutralized Obama's fundraising advantage.

Donor profile: Joe Ricketts

By Reity O'Brien

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… ama supporters. But not all of the Ricketts clan is dissatisfied with the Obama administration. Laura Ricketts — the family’s openly gay daughter and Cubs co-owner …"

Donor profile: United Auto Workers

By Alexandra Duszak

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012.

The ‘Citizens United’ decision and why it matters

By John Dunbar

Sometimes donor disclosure reveals little.