Deadbeat politicos outrun federal enforcers

By Dave Levinthal

Sharpton, Gingrich committees among dozens that owe taxpayers money.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dan Backer":

"… he illegal fine imposed because of Lois Lerner's influence,” John said. Dan Backer, a conservative election law attorney who represents Combat Veterans for C …"

12 ways 'Citizens United' has changed politics

By Michael Beckel and Jared Bennett

Here are 12 stories that illuminate the ways 'Citizens United' has changed the political landscape.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… A million-dollar donation in 2012 by a Canadian-owned corporation to a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC sparked legal concerns and opened up the Citizens United decisio …"

"… s, like those in 2012 that aided President Barack Obama and his GOP rival, Mitt Romney. The 2014 election cycle brought on the newest iteration: the single-issue …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… ioners continue to serve despite the ends of their terms because President Barack Obama has not nominated, and the U.S. Senate has not approved, people to replace …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ad of candidate campaigns. Thanks to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and subsequent rulings, there is no limit to what a person, corporation o …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ned rules on corporate electioneering following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision for Kentucky Opportunity Coalition’s unexpected rise. Certain t …"

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 "Mitch McConnell":

"… report. …"

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 "NextGen Climate Action Committee":

"… than $1 million attacking Brown: liberal super PAC Senate Majority PAC and NextGen Climate Action Committee, a super PAC run by billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer. The Lea …"

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 "Georgia":

"… t's spent more than $2 million on ads boosting businessman David Perdue in Georgia's contentious Republican U.S. Senate primary, has come from two "social we …"

"… isclose their own donors renders federal disclosure laws meaningless." In Georgia, the Citizens for a Working America PAC has touted Perdue as a "conservati …"

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 "Federal Election Campaign Act":

"… ve that money to a single candidate. But the rules have changed since the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, when aggregate limits were introduced. Now, if one donor used a n …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… n activity. Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal contributed to this report. …"

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 "Alaska":

"… litical action committees during the final 21 days of a general election. Alaska restricts the percentage of money that can be raised from out-of-state don …"

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 "federal government":

"… mmittee," a.k.a., IEOPC — the formal name for a super PAC, so far as the federal government is concerned. Carney's creation sure stuck: News tracking service LexisNe …"

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.

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 "Andrew Cuomo":

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

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 "information technology":

"… r’s Chinese hacking incident. “FEC’s … decision to not fully adopt information technology best practices increases risk to the agency’s information and informatio …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American League of Lobbyists":

"… (88.3 percent). With poll numbers like this, it’s no wonder that the American League of Lobbyists recently changed its name to the National Association of Government Relati …"

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 "GPS":

"… for politically engaged nonprofits from the Republican-aligned Crossroads GPS, which was co-founded by former Bush strategist Karl Rove, to the pro-Demo …"

"… hedule.” Representatives of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Crossroads GPS and Patriot Majority USA did not immediately respond to requests for comme …"

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.

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 …"

Senate e-filing club grows by one

By Adam Wollner

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jon Tester":

"… l, D-Mo. Jack Reed, D-R.I. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Jon Tester, D-Mont. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Members of the Senate are currently …"

"… e filings to the agency’s searchable public online database.  Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced a bill in February — it has yet to gain significant …"

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 "Orrin Hatch":

"… law to publicly reveal its donors. Meanwhile, the leadership PACs of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, donated $10,000 to the American Future Fund, while the PAC of Sen …"

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 "New York":

"… did not make it out of committee.  Seven states – Iowa, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah – have attempted to lower limits a …"

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 "Montana":

"… , Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Penn …"

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 "campaign finance reports":

"… uring the campaign, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of campaign finance reports filed with the D.C. government. Mara raised about $151,000, and Frumin rai …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… $1,776 to Grooms on Friday, according to documents recently filed with the Federal Election Commission. It’s McCutcheon’s first federal-level donation of the 2013-14 electio …"

"… ve at least $2,500 to a federal candidate or committee. The McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case does not address the legality of maximum donations to individual cand …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… HARBOR, Md. — Three conservative attorneys had harsh words for the Federal Election Commission, the government agency tasked with regulating elections, during a campaign …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… aid that his organization, which reported about $550,000 in revenue to the Internal Revenue Service in 2011, relies on "grassroots giving" and that the average household dona …"