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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… imits at the federal level in April, with its ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.  States such as Connecticut and Wisconsin have p …"

"… paigns. 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 …"

"… o given about $8 million to federal super PACs this year, according to the Federal Election Commission. In 2012, he was the largest Democratic donor to independent spending grou …"

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 "Republican Party":

"… d Nathan Haney, the chairman of the Louisville-based Jefferson County Republican Party. “And they’ve done a great job.” Haney added that he had “no idea …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… ests that proliferated after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision are routinely out-muscling and out-messaging the candidates thems …"

"… ording to a Center for Public Integrity review of filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission Thursday. NextGen Climate Action — a super PAC primarily funded by bill …"

Pennsylvania super PAC gets 'dark money' infusion

By Michael Beckel

Nonprofit Green Orchard Inc. is listed as the sole donor to new Prosperity for Pennsylvania super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… with “dark money,” according to a new campaign finance filing with the Federal Election Commission. The sole donor to Prosperity for Pennsylvania is listed as nonprofit Gre …"

Super PACs exploit disclosure loophole

By Dave Levinthal

Several political committees that materialized in recent days aren't required to reveal donors until after Election Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "UPS":

"… ocratic politicians. The PACs share an official address — a mailbox at a UPS Store along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The creator and treas …"

Center for Public Integrity hires Carrie Levine as federal politics reporter

By The Center for Public Integrity

Carrie Levine — former Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington research director — to investigate money in politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "research director":

"… our years before joining the Center for Public Integrity, Levine worked as research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, where she managed …"

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 …"

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 "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… PAC, the DSCC, conservative super PAC Ending Spending Action Fund and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The dynamic is unique and different and the number of third-party ads …"

Controversial Republican telemarketer forms super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

Gabriel S. Joseph III's past political efforts include an anti-Obama spam text message campaign that prompted legal complaints.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… ral election laws — and spamming legions of people with unsolicited anti-Barack Obama text messages — has created a new super PAC. Gabriel S. Joseph III regi …"

"… 10,000 worth of payments from the PAC to ccAdvertising to disseminate anti-Barack Obama "phone communication" messages, FEC records show. It also made a $27,500 …"

Eyeballs burn in North Carolina, Iowa ahead of U.S. Senate elections

By Michael Beckel

Last week, North Carolina, Iowa residents saw three political ads focused on contentious Senate elections every five minutes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… rolling scores of ads targeting down-ballot races that criticize President Barack Obama. In the Tar Heel State, embattled incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, i …"

Senate Democrats lead TV ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired more TV ads in key Senate races last week than any other group.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… than any other spender last week in the Senate races underway in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to Kantar Media/CMAG. The campai …"

"… .C., and Alison Lundergan Grimes — the Democrat challenging McConnell in Kentucky — each aired about 1,200 TV ads last week. That’s one ad about one ad …"

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 …"

Who’s trying to influence your vote?

By Chris Zubak-Skees, Kytja Weir and Dave Levinthal

A guide to our political TV ad trackers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Communications Commission":

"… to make it. And it only counts the ads once they air. Records filed at the Federal Communications Commission, for example, can show TV airtime that groups pay to reserve for the futur …"

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 "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… ding to the Center for Responsive Politics.  Topping the list is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the nation's most notable political forces that, through Tuesday, …"

In Kansas, Democratic donors invest in uncertainty

By Michael Beckel

Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman lures left-leaning donors despite uncertainty about whether he'll caucus with Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… Center for Responsive Politics and a Center for Public Integrity review of Federal Election Commission filings. He’s also given $1,000 to Orman. “Mr. Orman is a fundamental …"

Oops: Republican super PAC misidentifies source of massive donation

By Michael Beckel

Super PAC acknowledges a $300,000 gift came from parents of GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, not a wealth management firm.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… the Federal Election Commission. The group, co-founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove, listed the Glenmede Trust Company as giving it $300,000 on Aug. 29, part …"

'Ready for Warren' to change name

By Dave Levinthal

Federal regulators convince a pro-Elizabeth Warren super PAC to change its name.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… ns today told the Center for Public Integrity. The switch comes after the Federal Election Commission demanded the group ditch its original name because only committees authori …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… ourished in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling that loosened campaign spending rules for companies. Gen …"

"… ogress PAC has raised about $1.7 million this year, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Its largest donor? A limited liability company called Alcantara L …"

In New Hampshire, quixotic super PAC shaking up Republican primary

By Dave Levinthal

Big-spending Mayday PAC giving Jim Rubens an unexpected boost — and Scott Brown a headache — ahead of GOP primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… both elected her governor and senator, is nonetheless dogged by President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, and her backers are using all the time they have to butt …"

FEC not 'Ready for Warren'

By Dave Levinthal

The nation's election regulator is telling an upstart super PAC to change its name, saying it violates federal law.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Hillary Clinton":

"… id PAC that's raised millions of dollars to urge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president, doesn't violate federal political committee naming r …"

Can this 'dark money' group help the Democrats keep the Senate?

By Michael Beckel

Patriot Majority USA raises millions from unknown sources to play attack dog in the South.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… 7 million on political advertisements, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That makes it the largest Democratic-aligned dark money operation in the …"

"… ax code. However, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010, they are free to spend huge amounts of money advocating fo …"

"… ly known. But a Center for Public Integrity review of Department of Labor, Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service filings shows that 13 contributors have combi …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arkansas":

"… eir allies have aired more TV ads to date than their GOP rivals in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to data provided by Kan …"

"… pick up at least three seats. Meanwhile, Democratic incumbents in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina are bracing themselves against str …"

"… e, through late August, spent about $2.66 per eligible voter on TV ads. 2) Arkansas Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is fighting for a third term in a st …"

"… dn’t even field a challenger to Pryor, whose family is an institution in Arkansas politics. This election cycle, Pryor is being challenged by freshman Rep. …"

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 …"

Outsiders dominate Alaska's Senate race

By Michael Beckel

Washington, D.C.-based groups are dominating the airwaves in the Last Frontier, home to one of the nation's most contested Senate races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… profit outfit Crossroads GPS are tied to GOP strategist Karl Rove. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is headquartered across the street from the White House. Meanwhile, a pro …"

Decades old gun control debate reshaped by new advocacy groups

The gun control movement has made significant gains in recent years, but the NRA remains king of the hill

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mike Thompson":

"… and domestic violence bill was introduced in the House by Democratic Reps. Mike Thompson of California and Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut, whose district includes N …"

Watchdog files IRS complaint against Koch-connected 60 Plus Association

By Michael Beckel

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is asking the IRS to investigate the 60 Plus Association.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… n 2010 and 2012. During those elections, the 60 Plus Association told the Federal Election Commission that it spent millions of dollars on political ads that urged viewers to s …"

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 "spokesman":

"… g companies, management companies and investment management companies." A spokesman for the IRS did not respond to requests for comment. …"

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 "Virginia":

"… filings, a Center for Public Integrity review of documents indicates. The Virginia-based organization told the Federal Election Commission that it spent abou …"

"… l whose husband formerly served as the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Iconic singer and actor Pat Boone serves as its national spokesman. The …"

Campaign shenanigans are top targets for Office of Congressional Ethics

By Dave Levinthal

Office of Congressional Ethics investigates House members' campaign shenanigans more than any other alleged violation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… focus on election activity comes at a time when the frequently gridlocked Federal Election Commission, the government agency tasked with policing campaign matters, is slapping …"

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… icy battles, for their prolific output.    That’s because the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($28.8 million during second-quarter 2014 compared to $19.1 million during …"

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