Mitch McConnell revs ad machine

By Michael Beckel

Kentucky’s embattled senior senator has aired roughly one campaign ad every five minutes since Labor Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "candidate":

"… mes’ campaign aired during the same period and more than any U.S. Senate candidate nationwide. But for Republicans, Kentucky’s big-money Senate contest is …"

"… ling that loosened campaign spending rules for companies. Generally, candidates themselves may only accept $2,600 per donor per election, with a primary …"

"… er PAC that advocates for campaign finance reform failed to propel favored candidate Jim Rubens to victory in a Republican primary that former U.S. Sen. Scott …"

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 "GOP primary":

"… chusetts who lost his seat in 2012, is expected to win the New Hampshire's GOP primary. Funded by thousands of small-dollar donations, Mayday PAC’s more than …"

"… tes. Ask former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, who’s also competing in Tuesday’s GOP primary. Despite serving New Hampshire in Congress for nearly two decades, includ …"

Is this super PAC subverting disclosure rules?

By Michael Beckel

Georgia's GOP Senate primary has attracted big money from a super PAC funded by two nonprofit groups tied to an Ohio lobbyist.

Excerpts from this story referencing "King":

"… rdue as a "conservative outsider" and attacked his GOP opponent, Rep. Jack Kingston, as "career politician." Through July 2, the super PAC has raised $2. …"

"… self has also spent more than $400,000 on advertisements in June attacKing Kingston as the "King of earmarks." The ads also urge viewers to call him and t …"

"… Because these ads did not explicitly tell viewers to vote for or against Kingston, and because they were aired more than 30 days before the July 22 runo …"

"… erdue, the former CEO of Dollar General, faces a runoff on July 22 against Kingston. The two men emerged as the top-two vote-getters in the state's May 20 …"

The 'McCutcheon' decision explained — more money to pour into political process

By Michael Beckel

The Supreme Court recently decided to eliminate 'aggregate limits' on contributions. We tell you what that means.

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

"… hat is pretty well saturated with it. So what does it all mean? We at the Center for Public Integrity shall try to provide some answers. What did the Supreme Court do? In ess …"

Mudslinging at the FEC over disclosure

By Julie Patel

Controversy brews at elections agency over whether a conservative group should reveal its donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ann Ravel":

"… odman and two of his fellow Republican colleagues skewered Vice Chairwoman Ann Ravel — a Democrat — on Thursday because she didn’t vote to defend the age …"

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 "Maryland":

"… We are challenging some of them already,” he said. Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the Distric …"

"… ntribute to party committees. Meanwhile, Jared DeMarinis, director of the Maryland Board of Elections’ candidacy and campaign finance division, told the Ce …"

Merriam-Webster makes 'super PAC' official

By Dave Levinthal

Merriam-Webster OKs shorthand term for the clunky 'independent expenditure-only committee.'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Stephen Colbert":

"… ke Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." In the name of satire, comedian Stephen Colbert created his own super PAC, using it as a vehicle to incessantly poke fun a …"

Billionaires use super PACs to advance pet causes

By Michael Beckel

Wealthy donors who bankrolled their own issue-focused super PACs dominated the 2013 fundraising game.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George Soros":

"… Giffords of Arizona. Then there’s Jonathan Soros, the son of financier George Soros. The younger Soros contributed more than $1 million last year to a hybrid …"

Cuomo calls for ethics reform in New York

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Governor uses budget address to call for more transparency.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… of, with one exception. “The one omission,” he said, “is ethics.” …"

"… of this state is, ‘I get it. I get that that’s wrong,’” he said. New York officials — legislators in particular — have been the focus in a rash …"

"… ter for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International. New York received Fs in four of fourteen categories, including ethics enforcement a …"

"… , said Susan Lerner, executive director of the advocacy group Common Cause New York. “This is big news,” she said. Lerner had high praise for Cuomo’s c …"

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 "John McCain":

"… 2008. Dodd’s campaign got its day before the FEC this year, on Feb. 7. John McCain’s 2008 presidential committee won dismissal of a case against it on May …"

"… Trevor Potter, who was FEC chairman in 1994 and now, after serving as Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign general counsel in 2008, leads the reformist Cam …"

Liberal heavyweight Patriot Majority USA fueled by secret, big-dollar donors

By Julie Patel

A dark money group expected to play defense for Democrats in the upcoming battle for the U.S. Senate should have plenty in its arsenal.

Don’t support ‘campaign finance reform’? Try combating ‘corruption’

By Michael Beckel

Don’t support ‘campaign finance reform’? Try combating ‘corruption’ instead.

IRS sets its sights on political 'dark money'

By Michael Beckel

The Internal Revenue Service is proposing new rules that could curb the ability of social welfare nonprofits to influence elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "communications director":

"… ters and Americans for Prosperity declined to comment. Benjamin Cole, the communications director of the pro-coal American Energy Alliance, said his group was “looking cl …"

League of Conservation Voters becoming 'dark money' heavyweight

By Michael Beckel

The liberal League of Conservation Voters is fast becoming one of the nation’s strongest 'dark money' forces.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… to the FEC, while the conservative Crossroads GPS, which was co-founded by Karl Rove, has not spent a dime — although both groups significantly outspent the …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… ican Speaker of the House John Boehner and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. An aggregate limit on political contributions was enshrined into law by …"

Senate e-filing club grows by one

By Adam Wollner

But vast majority of senators still submit campaign finance disclosures on paper.

GOP leadership PACs boost American Future Fund

By Michael Beckel

Republican senators steered donations to a nonprofit group touting their GOP colleague in May.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… ter, a conservative nonprofit — funded in part by some of Ayotte’s own Senate colleagues, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of campaign …"

"… yo., gave the same amount. In the following weeks, the leadership PACs of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, each contri …"

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 "Vermont":

"… e’s House Democratic Caucus, in a press release following the vote. The Vermont legislature came close to reaching a deal that would have slightly increas …"

"… ials couldn’t agree on all the details before the session ended in May. Vermont Sen. Jeanette White, a Democrat who co-sponsored the legislation, said she …"

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 "New Hampshire":

"… na, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tenness …"

Super PACs invest in D.C. Council race

By Michael Beckel

Two groups boosted Republican Patrick Mara during unsuccessful D.C. Council bid.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees":

"… ndidates. Bonds' candidacy was endorsed by the D.C. Democratic Party, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees labor union and several local political heavyweights, including Marion Bar …"

Obama nonprofit not disclosing all donor data

By Dave Levinthal

Obama's new nonprofit does not intend to disclose all information it collects from donors.

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.

CPAC panel: Shrink the Federal Election Commission

By Michael Beckel

Lawyers propose shutting down campaign finance agency, or at least limiting its reach.

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

"… ehave like a federal agency should," added panelist Allen Dickerson of the Center for Competitive Politics. "I see a very big difference between the FEC and other agencies." Dicker …"

Center report prompts request for FEC hearing on super PACs

By Dave Levinthal

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig cites Center article in calling for FEC hearing.

Opponents of coal influence elections anonymously

By Michael Beckel

Clean energy-focused nonprofit provided more than 99 percent of super PAC's money.

Nonprofit spends big on politics despite IRS limitation

By Michael Beckel

Questions raised about whether nonprofits like Koch-connected American Future Fund are primarily about politics.

Gridlocked election commission awaits action by Obama

By Michael Beckel

Despite a high court ruling leaving campaign finance rules up in the air, partisan FEC fails to act.

Campaign finance reformers gain new ally

By Michael Beckel

Moderate ex-senator Byron Dorgan joins ranks of campaign finance reforms endorsing public financinig.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Van Hollen":

"… ederal court ruling that campaign finance reformers had cheered. The case, Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission, is challenging whether groups that run iss …"

Obama rails against those trying to 'buy this election'

By Michael Beckel

The president blasted big-money politics in his acceptance speech as a Democratic super PAC scrambled to raise more funds.

Bailed-out banks, Freddie Mac, AIG gave $6 million to 2008 conventions

By John Dunbar and Michael Beckel

Corporate donors to 2008 party conventions included financial institutions bailed out by government.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… oldman Sachs and Citigroup; $150,000 from Morgan Stanley and $100,000 from Bank of America.Most of the banks and other institutions that made contributions to the co …"