GOP rides cavalry to U.S. Senate majority

By Michael Beckel, Dave Levinthal and Carrie Levine

Super PACs, 'dark money' nonprofits help make Election Day difference as Republicans seize a U.S. Senate majority

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… more on elections than the candidates themselves in 2012 — Virginia and Indiana — and there were no such races in 2010. This year, however, there could …"

"… outsiders has grown — dramatically. In 2012, candidates in Virginia and Indiana nearly matched dollar for dollar what outside groups spent in those contes …"

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 "Charlotte":

"… ing the final days of the state’s U.S. Senate campaign. At WSOC-TV 9 in Charlotte alone, Senate Majority PAC has reserved more than $218,300 worth of 11th-h …"

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 …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… Democratic super PACs reigned supreme through mid-October, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission Thursday. …"

"… , Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire and South Dakota, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG, an advertising tracking serv …"

"… o-called outside groups have aired more than 51,000 TV ads, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG. That’s nearly three of eve …"

Bloomberg helps Democratic governors' group close gap on Republicans

By Ben Wieder

The Republican Governors Association is outpacing its Democratic counterpart but Democrats are catching up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… n the first nine months of this year, but reports filed Wednesday with the Internal Revenue Service show that the gap is narrowing. Though the Republican Governors Associati …"

FEC's top Democrat takes show on road

By Dave Levinthal

Vice Chairwoman Ann Ravel will criss-cross the country in bid to boost her agency's profile and tout merits of disclosure.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ann Ravel":

"… rity, doesn't seem to care much about such people. That's Vice Chairwoman Ann Ravel's dour assessment about her often bedraggled agency's state of affairs — …"

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 "political analyst":

"… h that can come with a negative campaign, according to Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. “It’s prefe …"

Democrats seize air supremacy in Senate battlegrounds

By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

Liberals aired more TV ads last week than their conservative foils in seven of the nine top Senate battlegrounds races.

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

"… bottom line financial situation of media,” he said. …"

"… ive opponents in seven out of nine top battleground states, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of preliminary estimates from Kantar Media/CMAG, an advertis …"

"… Senate races in terms of TV ads, with about 6,400 aired, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG data. The North Carolina race, where in …"

"… TV ads ran from Tuesday, Sept. 30, through Monday, Oct. 6, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of Kantar Media/CMAG data. Nearly three-fourths of them aired in ni …"

Non-candidate spending increases in state elections

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Ben Wieder

TV ad spending in state elections since 2010 is down, but the portion ponied up by political nonprofits and state-level super PACs rises.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… million), Florida ($33.7 million), Illinois ($26.4 million) and New York ($14.5 million). Through Sept. 8, one day before the final five state pri …"

"… g the pack. Andrew Cuomo’s bid to remain the Democratic governor of New York put the Empire State fourth, with $13.2 million in spending, while bl …"

Secret politics pervade popular companies

By Dave Levinthal

Some well-known brands keep their political spending secret while others are more forthcoming, new survey shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… free speech," Chamber spokeswoman Blair Latoff Holmes said. Bruce Freed, president of the Center for Political Accountability, dismissed the criticism.  …"

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 "Democratic Party":

"… ages in battleground states this year. The DSCC is an official arm of the Democratic Party. It discloses its funders and can only accept contributions no larger than …"

Democrats embrace 'McCutcheon' decision

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Ahead of high-stakes battle for the Senate, Democrats create massive fundraising group blessed by contentious 'McCutcheon' decision.

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

"… rman of Open Society Foundations, which provides funding for the Center for Public Integrity. (For a full list of the Center's donors, visit this page o …"

Political nonprofits bungle IRS filings

By Michael Beckel

High-profile groups such as Crossroads GPS and Patriot Majority USA acknowledged mistakes after Center for Public Integrity inquiry.

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

"… of the group’s spending in 2012, as previously reported by the Center for Responsive Politics. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, an advocacy group, …"

Koch-backed seniors group low-balling election spending?

By Michael Beckel

The 60 Plus Association tells the IRS it barely spends money on politics — despite funding millions in candidate attack ads.

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

"… r year. This funding spike roughly aligns with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010, which allowed nonprofits like the 60 Plus Association to …"

Politicos souring on FEC advice?

By Dave Levinthal

Requests for election law rulings plummet as ideological gridlock envelops commission.

Excerpts from this story referencing "attorney":

"… Late last year, the FEC's three Democratic appointees blocked conservative attorney Dan Backer from obtaining a favorable ruling for a client, the Tea Party L …"

"… eir politicking is beyond FEC sanction. For Brett Kappel, an election law attorney at Arent Fox LLP, the entire commission has an image problem. "The public …"

"… opportunity to rule on a high-profile advisory opinion case. That's when attorneys representing political committees controlled by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a …"

Happy birthday, super PAC!

By Marcelo Rochabrun

Name for 'independent expenditure-only committee' turns 4 years old, but still not fully integrated into common language.

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

"… round for days or even hours to come up with this term,” Carney told the Center for Public Integrity, although she emphasized that she is particularly conscious of word choice …"

Mississippi's super PAC-dominated Senate slugfest not over yet

By Dave Levinthal

Cochran and McDaniel prepare to square off again June 24 as outside groups spend millions in GOP's contested Senate primary.

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

"… e, generally through television, radio, mail and phone ads, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of federal disclosures. Cochran and McDaniel together controlled …"

"… in their own U.S. Senate primary races, according to data provided to the Center for Public Integrity by the Center for Responsive Politics. It happened just one time — in Ar …"

Limited liability companies power West Virginia super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Group funded by limited liability companies boosts West Virginia Republican Alex Mooney.

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

"… Republican Alex Mooney. And new campaign finance reports reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity show that three limited liability companies account for nearly all of the …"

"… at the management office of the building listed on the FEC filing told the Center for Public Integrity that there was no such tenant at that address. There is, however, a Flori …"

U.S. Chamber targets Dems in state attorney general races

By Ben Wieder

Why are powerful business interests underwriting ads in AG races in the states?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… ifle Association, was also active in 2002 state attorneys general races in Illinois and Kansas. It’s unknown whether the Chamber supported the LEAA’s spen …"

Montana state senators raise big bucks with secretive nonprofit

By Michael Beckel

Secretive group connected to GOP state Sens. Jason Priest and Ed Walker raised $900,000 in 2012, new documents show.

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

"… ised more than $900,000 in 2012, according to a tax filing obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. Five unnamed donors accounted for 70 percent of the Montana Growth Netwo …"

"… and a trial has been set for later this summer. In an interview with the Center for Public Integrity, Priest lambasted the state’s political practices commission as a “kan …"

"… a district judge widely viewed as the most conservative candidate, as the Center for Public Integrity previously reported. After McKinnon and attorney Ed Sheehy advanced to th …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… short answer is we don’t know. During the 2012 election, both President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney operated joint fundraising groups that often as …"

Super PAC leaders score perks from political donations

By Julie Patel

Super PAC founders enjoy fine dining, big salaries and a steady business for their consulting firms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rochester":

"… went to 50 groups. The biggest beneficiary of non-political expenses was Rochester, N.Y.-based Paychex, which received more than $3 million from liberal supe …"

Supreme Court opens door to flood of political cash — again

By Michael Beckel

Citing First Amendment concerns, 5-4 Supreme Court majority tosses out aggregate limits on campaign contributions.

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

"… regate limit on donations to candidates, according to data provided to the Center for Public Integrity by the Center for Responsive Politics. And about 1,700 people hit the aggr …"

"… to survive under the logic of the McCutcheon opinion,” Mitrani told the Center for Public Integrity.    …"

Ready for Hillary courts super PAC skeptics

By Michael Beckel

Ready for Hillary is courting 'Citizens United' skeptics — and finding success.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Party":

"… lary continues to win over grassroots donors, it is helping mainstream the Democratic Party’s embrace of super PACs. Even as Bremer Muggli — a die-hard Democrat …"

"… h the firm Rising Tide Interactive LLC, which is largely staffed by former Democratic Party campaign operatives. The super PAC also aided Democrat Terry McAulif …"

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 "Netflix":

"… meated popular culture, too, as key plot points in television serials from Netflix's "House of Cards" to ABC's "Castle." No single show, however, boosted pu …"

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 "American Crossroads":

"… of this sum. Another large spender has been the pro-Republican super PAC American Crossroads, which was co-founded by party strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, spe …"

Super PACs, nonprofits fueling GOP strife

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative super PACs, nonprofits spending millions to blast Republicans.

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

"… from the time show. Then, political groups were just making sense of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision that the Supreme Court dropped in late January 2010. It allowed c …"

Next up: 'Citizens United v. IRS'?

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative group promises to 'pull out all the stops' to fight proposed nonprofit regulations.

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

"… e and U.S. Senate.     …"

Billionaires boost Republican governors group past Democrats in fundraising

By Ben Wieder

GOP governors' group outraises counterpart, but Democrats still expected to win a few races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… $1 million to the group last year while tobacco company Reynolds American, Koch Industries and health insurer Wellpoint each contributed more than $500,000, accordin …"

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