12 ways 'Citizens United' has changed politics

By Michael Beckel and Jared Bennett

Here are 12 stories that illuminate the ways 'Citizens United' has changed the political landscape.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… A million-dollar donation in 2012 by a Canadian-owned corporation to a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC sparked legal concerns and opened up the Citizens United decisio …"

"… s, like those in 2012 that aided President Barack Obama and his GOP rival, Mitt Romney. The 2014 election cycle brought on the newest iteration: the single-issue …"

U.S. Supreme Court to rule on judicial campaign contributions

By Reity O'Brien

Florida free speech case before U.S. Supreme Court could overturn 30 states' bans on judicial candidates asking for campaign donations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Antonin Scalia":

"… of First Amendment protection.” Such a view was underscored by Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion in the 2002 ruling on The Republican Party …"

There are 153 presidential candidates running

By Dave Levinthal

Amid the 'undecided' Romneys and Bushes, a gaggle of unknowns has formally filed paperwork to run for president.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… e subject of a December fundraising solicitation send by the Rand Paul for Senate 2016 committee. While not specifically mentioning a presidential run, …"

"… Paul's case, he's considering running for president and the U.S. Senate simultaneously. In the meantime, for those already fed up with the jockey …"

Secretive nonprofits flourished — and succeeded — in 2014 state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits backed winning candidates, or bashed losers, in 63 percent of the state races in which they sponsored ads.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona":

"… is story. …"

"… e’s airwaves with ads running nearly 1,400 times. “Times are tough in Arizona, but Sandra Kennedy voted to hurt Arizona families. Kennedy voted for high …"

"… 00 times. “Times are tough in Arizona, but Sandra Kennedy voted to hurt Arizona families. Kennedy voted for higher sales taxes, but she didn’t even pay …"

"… primary purpose.”  So it’s nearly impossible for Kennedy or other Arizonans to prove who funded the attack ads that helped lead to her loss in Novem …"

Election ads were about issues, says 'Carolina Rising' chief

By Carrie Levine

'Dark money' nonprofit spends millions backing candidate but says ads are about issues.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… run electioneering communications, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. During the 2012 election cycle, 31 groups reported running such ads, down …"

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 "Senate":

"… Public Integrity tracked political advertising in races for the U.S. Senate, state-level offices and state ballot measures. Use th …"

"… s. They were right. On Tuesday night, Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate for the first time in eight years. In many of the states the GOP won Tues …"

"… ral Election Commission ruling in 2010. Democrats, who enjoyed a six-seat Senate majority going into Election Day, attempted to defend themselves from an e …"

"… als, and liberal donors dug deep to support a pro-Democratic super PAC — Senate Majority PAC — that became the top sponsor of Senate-focused campaign ad …"

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 "Senate":

"… dded in Senate Majority PAC’s DNA. …"

"… a post-Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission era of politicking. Senate Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC dedicated to holding the Senate, ha …"

"… g. Senate Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC dedicated to holding the Senate, has blasted out about 45,000 Senate-focused television ads this elec …"

"… per PAC dedicated to holding the Senate, has blasted out about 45,000 Senate-focused television ads this election cycle — more than any other outside …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… een honed working for the GOP presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. Jennings, a co-founder of the media relations firm RunSwitch PR, said he …"

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 "Senate":

"… ting their own political campaigns are over. In the most competitive U.S. Senate races this year, big-money special interests that proliferated after the U …"

"… ns — routinely account for nearly one out of every two ads run in a U.S. Senate race. Most of the ads are decidedly negative, and they’ve collectively c …"

"… ort candidates who will help their preferred party win control of the U.S. Senate during the final two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. The Democratic …"

"… super PAC has raised more. Earning the No. 2 spot was Democratic-aligned Senate Majority PAC, a group run by allies of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, …"

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 "Service Employees International Union":

"… rd-largest donors, giving $2.8 million and $2.5 million, respectively. The Service Employees International Union and United Commercial Workers International Union each has given more than …"

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 "attorney general":

"… to boost Republican candidates in the Nebraska gubernatorial and Arkansas attorney general contests this cycle. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America, another …"

"… irginia-based nonprofit was active in Michigan’s state supreme court and attorney general races in 2010. This time, it spent nearly $165,000 to attack one candidate …"

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 "North Carolina":

"… sponsored about 6,300 ads last week across nine states — from Alaska to North Carolina — buoyed by a nearly $25.3 million cash reserve and $5.1 …"

"… e Center for Public Integrity’s analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG data. The North Carolina race, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan faces GOP state House Spea …"

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 "Tennessee":

"… y $3.1 million spent to air ads in six states. Races to retain three Tennessee justices clocked in as the most expensive with about $1.4 million in …"

"… nders whose crimes had occurred before the provisions were enacted. Three Tennessee Supreme Court justices won retention elections — in which judges ran uno …"

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 "Business":

"… p;Center for Political Accountability and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… ding to estimates from Kantar Media/CMAG. In Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa and Louisiana, Democrats and their allies also edged out their rivals by narrower margin …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… and “stand against” 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 "Arizona":

"… where in the filings. For instance, the conservative Club for Growth paid Arizona-based political consulting firm Blue Point LLC about $660,000 in 2012 for …"

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 "Politics":

"… w 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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… aid, adding that strong, 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.

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 "Supreme Court":

"… ate committees to act as prominent forces in political races thanks to the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which a …"

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 "Federal Communications Commission":

"… l Institute on Money in State Politics, state campaign finance filings and Federal Communications Commission records. With 31 states electing an attorney general this year — and nin …"

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.

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 …"

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 "New York":

"… e dining establishments as Obelisk in Washington, D.C., and Tocqueville in New York City. A research-centered super PAC, American Bridge shelled out more tha …"

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 "Stephen Breyer":

"… argued the court should go even further. In a blistering dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that the majority’s conclusion relies on “faulty” legal analys …"

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 "New York":

"… PAC can already claim financial backers from every U.S. state — although New Yorkers and Californians account for nearly half of the money it raised in 2013 …"

"… rovided to the Center for Public Integrity by the super PAC. Residents of New York combined to give just shy of $1 million last year, as did residents of Cal …"

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