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 "New York":

"… tate teachers union, gave $500,000 to Wolf’s gubernatorial campaign. In New York, wealthy individuals can donate through multiple limited liability corpora …"

"… rew Cuomo using this method, according to a recent report by the New York Public Interest Research Group. The original sources of such contribu …"

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 "politician":

"… on of McConnell or defeat of Grimes. Issue ads that praise or criticize a politician but fall short of overtly urging people to vote for or against them do not …"

"… h previously could not call directly for the election or defeat of federal politicians. They may now also raise unlimited amounts of money to fund such overt po …"

"… whose political network has spent millions of dollars aiding GOP politicians across the country this year. In the home stretch of the campa …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… e, one TV ad every five minutes — about 2,200 ads in all, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG, an advertising tracking serv …"

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 "Florida":

"… e U.S. Senate, his latest political comeback — he ran for U.S. Senate in Florida during 2004 and 2010 — has floundered, his campaign cash starved and see …"

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 "campaign spokesman":

"… he vote. The winner will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in November. Perdue campaign spokesman Derrick Dickey said he did not know who was behind the nonprofits funding …"

"… the campaign, so you probably know as much as I do." Meanwhile, Kingston campaign spokesman Chris Crawford argued that television ads from Perdue's "shady, out-of-sta …"

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.

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 "strategist":

"… ts Policy Strategies, a conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofit co-founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove. As a “social welfare” nonprofit, Crossroads GPS is not req …"

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 "Maine":

"… mpaign finance law safe with this Supreme Court.” …"

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

"… action “might be the result of a lawsuit.” Officials in Connecticut, Maine, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., also said they we …"

Merriam-Webster makes 'super PAC' official

By Dave Levinthal

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

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 "Virginia":

"… message that politicians need to take action on global warming during the Virginia gubernatorial race and the special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts. …"

"… The outfit backed Democrat Terry McAuliffe in his winning 2013 bid to be Virginia's governor. It was also active in a U.S. House race in Illinois and the sp …"

"… hich largely used its super PAC to funnel money to McAuliffe's campaign in Virginia, and Texas trial lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn, who mostly gave through t …"

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 "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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Labor":

"… $2.3 million to Patriot Majority USA last year, based on calculations from Department of Labor filings. The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, a trade association, …"

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 "Bush":

"… from the Republican-aligned Crossroads GPS, which was co-founded by former Bush strategist Karl Rove, to the pro-Democratic Patriot Majority USA — as we …"

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 "Ed Markey":

"… ear, as it poured more than $800,000 into efforts to boost Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, a longtime advocate against global warming, during Massachusetts' special …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House":

"… ing their senators’ campaigns. Unlike Senate hopefuls, presidential and House candidates, as well as political action committees and super PACs, must fi …"

GOP leadership PACs boost American Future Fund

By Michael Beckel

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

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 Hampshire":

"… t the issue next January. Six other states — California, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island — have seen lawmakers this year introduce l …"

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 "Democratic Party":

"… ot coordinated with candidates. Bonds' candidacy was endorsed by the D.C. Democratic Party, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees labor un …"

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 "Nikki Haley":

"… st today in the Republican primary to replace Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley elevated Scott to the U.S. Senate after the resignation of Sen. Jim DeMint …"

CPAC panel: Shrink the Federal Election Commission

By Michael Beckel

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

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… nding in the 2012 federal election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, trailing only the Karl Rove-affiliated Crossroads GPS and Americans for P …"

"… ericans for Prosperity, as was first reported by the Center for Responsive Politics. In addition to Noble, there is another Koch connection. In 2008, Trent …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Meredith McGehee":

"… ar the kind of coordination and links that would not be permitted,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center. ”You could have had an FE …"

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 "Integrity":

"… hink we’ve reached a tipping point,” Dorgan told the Center for Public Integrity in a telephone interview.“I hope both political parties and people of al …"

"… quire greater disclosure of campaign spending,” as the Center for Public Integrity previously reported.The Citizens United ruling has also become a rallying …"

"… five times in a direct mail solicitation obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.“Please do not let the hundreds of millions in Citizens United corporate …"