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 "lobbyist":

"… a tremendous amount of legs in its early years,” said David Mast, a lobbyist who served on its board of directors when it first launched. But its curr …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… s of groups have flourished in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling that loosened campaign spending rules for companies. Gen …"

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 "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee":

"… n Voters’ election arm has spent almost $400,000 to do the same. And the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee just launched a multimillion-dollar ad blitz blasting Brown’s record dur …"

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 "California":

"… represents clients including the Ohio Ready Mixed Concrete Association and California-based Optivus Proton Therapy Inc., a company that specializes in proton ra …"

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 "Campaign finance":

"… ding with candidates. Why are some people so concerned about McCutcheon? Campaign finance reform advocates are concerned about a sort of systemic corruption that ma …"

Mudslinging at the FEC over disclosure

By Julie Patel

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

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 "Kentucky":

"… e raised from out-of-state donors. Additionally, other states — such as Kentucky and Minnesota — limit the amount of money a candidate can raise collecti …"

"… w overturned by McCutcheon. And Sarah Jackson, executive director of Kentucky’s Registry of Election Finance, said that “there doesn’t seem to be …"

"… have a law that’s exactly like what was struck down,” she continued. Kentucky’s rules prohibit candidates from collecting more than 50 percent of thei …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… have become electoral politics' white-hot stars since the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010 helped facilitate their creation later that year. Togeth …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… endent funding his own issue-driven super PAC. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg contributed $8.7 million to super PACs last year, mostly to his own Indepe …"

Cuomo calls for ethics reform in New York

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Governor uses budget address to call for more transparency.

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 "George W. Bush":

"… n whether someone broke a law. In 2002, Congress passed — and President George W. Bush signed — the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which among other reforms b …"

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 "U.S. Supreme Court":

"… re both "nakedly obvious in this latest move." …"

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 "U.S. Supreme Court":

"… thers — serve an important role in our democracy,” he said. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling in 2010 and a related lower court ruling …"

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 "Twitter":

"… rican Future Fund was first noted by the New York Times’ Derek Willis on Twitter. Since it was created in 2008, the American Future Fund has become one of …"

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 "Montana":

"… e up the bill before the end of the legislative session. Both chambers in Montana’s state legislature considered increasing contribution limits, but the H …"

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 "Alabama":

"… year, were among 26 states that received a failing grade. The others were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, M …"

"… ds, often negative and misleading, just before an election. Six states — Alabama, Indiana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota and South Carolina — didn …"

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 "National Association of Realtors":

"… gistered with the city government. Both were active on Mara's behalf. The National Association of Realtors' super PAC spent $20,200 touting Mara, city records indicate. And a super …"

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 "Foster Friess":

"… itical comeback, with donors including businessman David Koch and investor Foster Friess, who each gave $2,500. For his part, McCutcheon's preferred candidate, Gr …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harvard University":

"… ugh an arrangement with Harvard University, facilitated by Lessig.   …"

"… e Center for Public Integrity receives funding through an arrangement with Harvard University, facilitated by Lessig.   …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… clean energy. While the Kentucky-based super PAC has registered with the Federal Election Commission like other super PACs, it's unlike most of its brethren in that its o …"

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 "California":

"… cadre of wealthy business executives and conservative groups tried to sell California voters on new campaign finance reforms. Couched in lofty rhetoric about t …"

"… cannot be its primary purpose. The American Future Fund’s investment in California was part of a nationwide, political advertising spree in 2012 that exceede …"

"… n Future Fund spent money in 20 congressional elections in 2012, including California’s 26th Congressional District, where it spent $500,000 attacking Democra …"

"… ons who have a differing or conservative point of view.” Proposition 32 California’s campaign finance rules require major donors to groups that pay for pol …"

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 "Eric Schultz":

"… o nominate well-qualified candidates” to the FEC, according to spokesman Eric Schultz. But when pressed for specifics on timing, Schultz said he was “not goin …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… uling that campaign finance reformers had cheered. The case, Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission, is challenging whether groups that run issue ads ahead of an election mus …"

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