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 "Democratic Party":

"… .S. Senate during the final two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. The Democratic Party is defending more than a half-dozen seats on Republican-friendly turf. The …"

"… rties or parties working jointly with candidates. The official arm of the Democratic Party focused on Senate elections — the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committ …"

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 "American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees":

"… ll. The top five donors to the Democratic group are all labor unions. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, has given $3.7 million to the Democratic governors’ group th …"

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 "Democratic National Committee":

"… -leaning colleagues to cobble together a 4-2 ruling, requested by both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee, that will allow the two committees to r …"

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 "Nebraska":

"… returned to spend more than $360,000 to boost Republican candidates in the Nebraska gubernatorial and Arkansas attorney general contests this cycle. The  …"

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 "Jeanne Shaheen":

"… in Denver; and KTUU-TV 2 in Anchorage, Alaska. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen accounted for 220 of WMUR’s Senate-focused ads, while Republican challen …"

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 "Illinois":

"… dy spent, followed by Texas ($36.8 million), Florida ($33.7 million), Illinois ($26.4 million) and New York ($14.5 million). Through Sept. 8, one d …"

"… on), the Democratic Governors Association ($5.1 million), the union-backed Illinois Freedom Political Action Committee ($4.9 million) and the aforementioned N …"

"… ollowed by Maryland ($3.48), Nebraska ($3.12) and Illinois ($2.94). Spending in all five states is significantly higher than wha …"

"… nsylvania ($35.5 million), Florida ($31.8 million) and Illinois ($26 million) leading the pack. Andrew Cuomo’s bid to remain the De …"

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 "Politics":

"… r against federal-level candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  Topping the list is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the natio …"

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 …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… the territory opened up in April after the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling. That decision eviscerated the so-called “aggregate” camp …"

"… nancially support at the maximum level. Paperwork recently filed with the Federal Election Commission indicates 26 Democratic candidates and party committees stand to benefit f …"

"… inst” McCutcheon and the 2010 campaign finance ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations to make unlimited expenditures for or against …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… Public Integrity review of federal tax documents and data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, five nonprofits that are part of the Koch brothers’ network supplied ne …"

Politicos souring on FEC advice?

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… d to be that you'd file what's called an advisory opinion request with the Federal Election Commission. Advisory opinions, according to the FEC, are "official commission respons …"

"… rong, deregulatory federal court rulings this decade in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and others give many political actors courage that their politicking is be …"

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 "National Journal":

"… orter for coining “super PAC” as it’s known today. Then writing for National Journal, Eliza Newlin Carney first used the term in a column published on June 26, …"

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 Responsive Politics":

"… aces, according to data provided to the Center for Public Integrity by the Center for Responsive Politics. It happened just one time — in Arkansas — in 2010. It's easier than …"

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 "Alex Mooney":

"… tion Network” has spent more than $80,000 on mailings touting Republican Alex Mooney. And new campaign finance reports reviewed by the Center for Public Integ …"

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 "Kansas":

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

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 "energy":

"… overall on “mailings and advertising” related to “judicial fairness, energy and the environment, taxes and the economy and healthcare.” The bulk of …"

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 …"

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 "Mississippi":

"… went to 1911 United’s bus tour to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Louisiana to raise awareness about youth gun violence, said Sinclair S …"

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 Responsive Politics":

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

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… nnie Sweet-Cushman, a political science professor at Chatham University in Pennsylvania. “It is crucial that women do more to support candidates financially.” …"

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 …"

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 "Republican Jewish Coalition":

"… can Petroleum Institute, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Republican Jewish Coalition, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics. It has also …"

Super PACs, nonprofits fueling GOP strife

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative super PACs, nonprofits spending millions to blast Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harold Simmons":

"… ed Tuesday. Late Republican super donors Bob Perry and Harold Simmons provided much of the organization's funding. Florida's 19t …"

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.     …"

Democrats easily outpace Republicans in super PAC fundraising race

By Michael Beckel

Democrats are fully embracing the independent political money groups they once derided in an effort to retain the Senate this year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… y conservative. Republicans vs. Republicans The potential targets include Mississippi’s Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senate Mi …"

"… Club for Growth’s super PAC has spent more than $200,000 on ads backing Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is challenging Cochran. And the Senate Cons …"

"… School in Los Angeles. That phenomenon is already unfolding in Kentucky, Mississippi and South Carolina — and a host of other states from Alaska to North Car …"

"… eing. And in mid-January, Cochran’s backers launched a super PAC called Mississippi Conservatives. That group has not yet disclosed any of its funders, but it …"

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 "Tom Corbett":

"… ow that fewer than one in four Pennsylvania voters believe Republican Gov. Tom Corbett deserves a second term, while 46 percent of Florida voters prefer Democrat …"

Hillary Clinton: the 'Citizens United' candidate

By Dave Levinthal

Era of super PACs, unlimited fundraising boosts Clinton as she mulls a presidential run.

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

"… t we want to accomplish." …"

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Business":

"… industry trade groups in the country — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers — penned a lett …"

"… nbsp;was signed by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue, Business Roundtable President John Engler and National Association of Manufacturers …"

"… orporations from the policy playing field altogether.” Why the secrecy? Businesses have an incentive to keep their political donations secret — despite t …"

"… utives serve on its “CEO steering committee,” “CEO Council” and “Business Leaders Council.” During its initial year, the Fix the Debt Coalition&n …"

Top politics investigations from 2013

By The Center for Public Integrity

In case you missed it, here are some of our favorite politics investigations from 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "ExxonMobil":

"… inal Law.” Who picked up the tab? Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Keep reading Nearly $12 …"

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