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 "Barack Obama":

"… me store. There, among monsters, ghouls and evil clowns, a vinyl President Barack Obama mask sells for $24.99 — the “scariest one of them all,” one shopper …"

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 "Republican Governors Association":

"… h the Internal Revenue Service show that the gap is narrowing. Though the Republican Governors Association raised about $68 million through the end of September, the Democratic Gove …"

"… Bhargava each contributed $2.5 million through the end of September to the Republican Governors Association. Private equity head Mike Shannon and his wife, Mary Sue, along with hedg …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… -awaited measure that aligns FEC regulations with the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. (A similar measure addressing the more recent McCutcheon v. Fede …"

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 "Law Enforcement Alliance of America":

"… gubernatorial and Arkansas attorney general contests this cycle. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America, another Virginia-based nonprofit was active in Michigan’s state supreme …"

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 "Mitch McConnell":

"… Pryor’s campaign aired. Meanwhile, in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell battled Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. The state ranked No …"

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 "primary":

"… $11 million worth of television ads, surging ahead of a crowded Democratic primary field and opening up a lead in the general election polls against incumben …"

"… ork ($14.5 million). Through Sept. 8, one day before the final five state primary elections, more than $280 million nationwide was spent on television ads p …"

"… rney General Jon Bruning to win the GOP nomination for governor in the May primary. “Nebraska has never seen the kind of third-party spending like it saw …"

"… he most spent per eligible voter thanks to an especially fierce Democratic primary contest on Sept. 9 for the seat opened up by Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who is n …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… received significant attention since 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision granted them powerful spending freedoms. Corporations may n …"

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. …"

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 "Senate":

"…  this page on the Center's website.)       …"

"… tory Project 2014, which would distribute the funds among its 26 members. Senate Democrats' de facto reversal on McCutcheon comes as they brace for a midte …"

"… ce for a midterm election that will determine whether they cling to a slim Senate majority or lose it to Republicans. The GOP must pick up six seats to win …"

"… West Virginia State Democratic Executive Committee Fourteen Democratic Senate candidates will also benefit: Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska Sen. Al Frank …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… nbsp;first reported Wednesday. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010, social welfare nonprofits — which are organize …"

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 "director":

"… to the reporting position they’ve taken,” said Marcus Owens, a former director of the IRS exempt organizations division. “It’s kind of a thumb in the …"

Politicos souring on FEC advice?

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington, D.C.":

"… ommission Democrats sharply disagreed. The FEC ultimately didn't prohibit Washington, D.C.-based Revolution Messaging, whose generally left-leaning clients include o …"

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 "Tennessee":

"… d then started referring to it as IE for short,” said Adrian Eddleman, a Tennessee investment adviser who registered a super PAC called Conservatives for Tru …"

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 "FreedomWorks":

"… a party super PACs Club for Growth Action, Senate Conservatives Action and FreedomWorks for America investing the most. But their often negative ad barrages forc …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ril. Since super PACs sprang to life following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, corporate super PAC contributions have been relatively rare, with …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… er for outside groups to operate thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which knocked aside bans that had existed in 24 states on politi …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ly suing Montana to force the state to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which allowed corporations, unions and special interest groups to …"

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.

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 "Vermont":

"… Steakhouse in Minneapolis, Henri in Chicago and Michael’s on the Hill in Vermont. And even though it is an “independent expenditure-only committee” …"

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 "Sonia Sotomayor":

"… was joined in his dissent by Justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. Until today, an individual donor could contribute no more than $2,600 pe …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… Hillary can trace its origins to the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010, which helped paved the way for political action committe …"

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 "Politics":

"… ion during the 2012 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. These groups already have spent tens of millions of dollars more during t …"

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 "Chicago":

"… he Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and by Exelon, the Chicago-based company that operates the nation’s largest commercial nuclear flee …"

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 "Karl Rove":

"… ited amounts of money during elections. Conservative nonprofits including Karl Rove-founded Crossroads GPS and Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity r …"

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 "Congressional Leadership Fund":

"… uper PACs focused on helping the party retain control of the House — the Congressional Leadership Fund and the YG Action Fund —raised $1.1 million and $344,000, respectively. …"

"… naire Harold Simmons, who died in December, ranked as the top giver to the Congressional Leadership Fund, at $200,000. His company, Contran Corp., ranked as the No. 1 donor to Ame …"

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 "CEO":

"… e fund chief Paul Singer, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and Leslie Wexner, CEO of the Limited Brands, each donated more than $1 million to the group last …"

"… relies more on labor unions, but also sees its share of corporate money as CEOs hedge their bets. Even without Perry and Simmons, the RGA has plenty of …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… lish." …"

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