High court appears divided over whether judicial candidates can ask for cash

By Reity O'Brien

U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments over rights of judges to seek contributions; case could undo limits in 30 states

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… to come before the high court. Central to the case, Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar, is the question of whether Florida’s ban on judicial candidates fro …"

"… to the case, Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar, is the question of whether Florida’s ban on judicial candidates from personally soliciting contributions is …"

"… etter asking for contributions as she sought a county court judgeship. The Florida Supreme Court disciplined her with a reprimand and fine after The Florida …"

"… Florida Supreme Court disciplined her with a reprimand and fine after The Florida Bar argued that her letter violated the state judiciary’s personal solic …"

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 …"

Grover Norquist nonprofit funded pro-Republican women’s group

By Michael Beckel

Conservative-leaning Independent Women's Voice got 13 percent of its revenue last year from Americans for Tax Reform, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… f dollars backing Republican politicians such as 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Chris McDaniel, who unsuccessfully challe …"

Koch-backed nonprofit raised $44 million in 2013

By Michael Beckel

ObamaCare-bashing Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, raised $44 million in 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… for Prosperity ultimately aired more than 28,000 TV ads in contested U.S. Senate races, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided …"

"… political advertising. Just two other non-party groups aired more ads in Senate races — Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC operated by allies of Senate Ma …"

"… ising. Just two other non-party groups aired more ads in Senate races — Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC operated by allies of Senate Majority Leader Har …"

"… in Senate races — Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC operated by allies of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Crossroads GPS, a social welfare n …"

Koch foundation proposal to college: Teach our curriculum, get millions

By Dave Levinthal

Proposed gift from Koch foundation to Florida State University in 2007 came with strings attached.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… cipient of Charles Koch Foundation money. In a tax document filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the foundation described its Florida State University funding for 2012 as …"

"… million in assets, according to its most recent tax return filed with the Internal Revenue Service.  In his 2007 memo to colleagues, Benson acknowledged the school’s …"

GOP’s Senate hopes energized by Koch network ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

How many TV ads have groups connected to the billionaire brothers aired in your state?

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… er of Commerce has accused Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of “standing with insurance companies” by supporting President Barack Obama’s health care reform l …"

"… y Hagan of North Carolina, are “forcing” young adults to “buy health insurance.” And Democrat Gary Peters has been slammed by Americans for Prosperity …"

Fearing for the Second Amendment, militia groups grow in number

By Alex Lancial and Jim Tuttle

Fear of interference with Second Amendment rights and suspicion of elected officials have provoked a rise in self-described patriot militias

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bureau of Land Management":

"… ilarity between these events and the standoff between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management earlier this year in Bunkerville, Nevada. Bundy had been in a disagreemen …"

Kochs put a happy face on free enterprise

By Chris Young

Initiative spearheaded by billionaire brothers paints positive portrait of free-market system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… needs to be: Whose well-being are we talking about?” asks Tony Carrk, a director at the Center for American Progress, a liberal advocacy group that serves …"

"… oard member Paul Zak, aka “Dr. Love,” is a neuroeconomist and founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate U …"

Charles Koch's long history of education funding

By Dave Levinthal

The conservative billionaire's massive grant to United Negro College Fund is nothing new.

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

"… t on buying elections, it's status quo for the elder Koch sibling. As the Center for Public Integrity reported in March: In all, two of the six private charitable foundat …"

"… olleges and universities with more than $12.7 million, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Internal Revenue Service tax filings. The vast majority …"

Judge who stopped Wisconsin campaign finance probe tied to Koch-funded junkets

By Chris Young

Federal judge who attended Koch-funded conferences halts campaign finance investigation into Wisconsin group with Koch ties.

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

"… dation and large corporations like ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and Pfizer. A Center for Public Integrity investigation last year revealed that conservative foundations and corpora …"

Tobacco money fuels gay Republicans, business organizations

By Michael Beckel

Reynolds American gave thousands of dollars to politically active nonprofits such as the Log Cabin Republicans, Americans for Prosperity.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… ions are made in line with our business interests," said Reynolds American spokeswoman Jane Seccombe. On its website, Reynolds American states that it contribut …"

GOP civil war rages in Senate primary battles

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative nonprofits and super PACs have spent $10 million bashing Republicans to the delight of Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… ements and related expenditures primarily attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Cochran.  “Our ultimate goal is to pass policy that’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 "Antonin Scalia":

"… s was joined in the decision by Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia. Justice Clarence Thomas concurred, but he argued the court should go even …"

Inside the Koch brothers' campus crusade

By Dave Levinthal

The billionaire industrialists aren’t just investing in politicians, but also young hearts and minds.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… influence what we do,” university spokesman Michael Sandler said. “Our president [Angel Cabrera] has made clear that if any donor ever threatened our acade …"

"… climate of our student body,” said Jaywin Singh Malhi, student body vice president at Southern Methodist University. Billy Cerullo, Student Government Assoc …"

"… thern Methodist University. Billy Cerullo, Student Government Association president at Suffolk University in Boston, says the $44,700 donation his school rece …"

"… r amount should be published on an easily accessible list.” Nick Mahon, president of the University of Arizona Young Democrats, says he’s not concerned wi …"

Issue ad or political ad? You be the judge

By Rachel Baye

Ads intended to influence elections often not reported because sponsors claim they are about issues.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Marcus Owens":

"… ity is considered partisan where 501(c)(3)’s are concerned, according to Marcus Owens, a former IRS director of exempt organizations. “It includes arguably a …"

Super PACs, nonprofits fueling GOP strife

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative super PACs, nonprofits spending millions to blast Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John Cornyn":

"… a Conservative Majority, a hybrid PAC formed to defend Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, against a primary challenge from Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas. …"

Shining a light on ALEC's power to shape policy

By Wendell Potter

Conservative group's power has been under-covered.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… s corporate membership has included big names ranging from ExxonMobil and Wells Fargo to Johnson & Johnson and Kraft. And it has worked closely with groups …"

Anti-Obama nonprofit tells IRS it's not 'political'

By Michael Beckel

Meet the pro-coal group that spent millions attacking Obama while telling the IRS it wasn't engaged in candidate elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… Energy Alliance — says the messages weren’t designed to aid Republican Mitt Romney in his bid to unseat President Barack Obama. In a new tax return filed Fr …"

'Dark money' groups fueled by cable industry

By Julie Patel

Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform among beneficiaries, new disclosure shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tim Kaine":

"… d Carmona. American Commitment also spent some of its money to oppose Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Obama. American Commitment Founder and President Phil Kerpen i …"

Koch-backed nonprofit spent record cash in 2012

By Michael Beckel

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative nonprofit, spent $122 million last year — exponentially more than it ever has.

ALEC gets gift from Nuclear Energy Institute

By Michael Beckel

Controversial pro-business think tank received $10,000 from Nuclear Energy Institute last year, new documents show.

Supreme Court mulls axing campaign donation limits in 'McCutcheon' case

By Michael Beckel

Nine justices appeared divided on 'McCutcheon' campaign money case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… named for its lead plaintiff Shaun McCutcheon, a Republican activist from Alabama. McCutcheon's lawyers today argued that such limits, which are indexed to …"

Top investigations from 2013 that you may have missed

By Sarah Whitmire

We compiled our favorites from the year's investigative work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pennsylvania":

"… ble damage due to a coal mine that snakes beneath 144 square miles of Pennsylvania terrain. In 2005, a 62-acre lake turned into a grassy meadow after a massi …"

Wendy Davis kicks fundraising into top gear

By Adam Wollner

State senator from Texas raising profile — and big money — in D.C. as she mulls gubernatorial bid.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barbara Boxer":

"… ures. Headlining Davis’ first event: Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Mazie Hirono, …"

Marco Rubio backs conservative super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Sen. Marco Rubio gave $30,000 to a prominent super PAC ahead of immigration reform push.

Sarah Palin PAC takes fundraising nosedive

By Adam Wollner

Former Alaska governor's political committee is raising significantly less money these days.

Koch Industries PAC spending record cash

By Adam Wollner

Committee has biggest spending month ever during a non-election year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… 08, records show.       …"

"… t month also gave $9,000 to the campaign of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. A Koch Industries official could not immediately be reached for comment. ------------------ …"

"… nclear exactly how much financial support the Kochs have given the group. Koch Industries has also spent more than $62 million on efforts to lobby the federal gover …"

Mystery money in Missouri election not local

By Adam Wollner

Super PAC exclusively used out-of-state cash to influence Missouri special election.

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… se abortion. He also contributed $5,000 to a super PAC called Coalition of Americans for Political Equality PAC, a group some Republicans have called decepti …"

"… f Conservative StrikeForce’s donors also cut checks for FreedomWorks for America, the super PAC arm of a nonprofit group formed by conservative benefactor …"

"… e StrikeForce in April following a $9,800 contribution to FreedomWorks for America last fall. San Diego retiree Edward Wong, who donated $725 to Conservative …"

"… s goal “is to organize, motivate and mobilize the conservative voters of America to help elect and support candidates who share our same goals and values. …"

Koch Industries PAC bolts to fast start in 2013

By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

Energy company's PAC has donated more than $500,000 to politicians in five months.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rand Paul":

"… ed the same amount. The leadership PACs of Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rand Paul, R-Ky. — both potential 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls — each also col …"

Majority of Supreme Court members millionaires

By Reity O'Brien and Chris Young

At least five and as many as eight of nine U.S. Supreme Court justices are millionaires, filings show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Vienna":

"… eek Wake Forest School of Law summer seminar held in Venice, Italy, and in Vienna, Austria. The bulk of Breyer’s holdings are in mutual funds, retirement …"

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