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 "Politics":

"… nsored tweets. David Keating, the president of the Center for Competitive Politics, which favors increased deregulation in elections, sees this as a positive …"

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 "Congress":

"… eir donors during the final weeks of a major election, when the control of Congress is at stake, is "damaging" and undermines the core of our campaign laws an …"

"… ompliance at campaign consulting firm Aristotle, disagrees. He argues that Congress would need to pass a law requiring late-filing super PACs to disclosue don …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… viously reported for The Charlotte Observer, The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Massachusetts, and The Sun of Lowell, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Boston Univers …"

"… erver, The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Massachusetts, and The Sun of Lowell, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Boston University and the Columbia University Gradua …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… ned to comment on her travels. …"

"… at 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 …"

"… sion decision. (A similar measure addressing the more recent McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission decision passed unanimously — with the understanding that the FEC will c …"

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 "Kay Hagan":

"… Media/CMAG data. The North Carolina race, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan faces GOP state House Speaker Thom Tillis, ranked No. 1, attracting about …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… 007 Iowa caucuses, the National Review reported the firm did work both for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign — and a group advocating for Romney's Republican …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… n pro-Tillis issue ads, according to filings in September submitted to the Federal Election Commission. It also aired a number of ads praising Tillis in August, but because the …"

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 "Kay Hagan":

"… and North Carolina, according to Kantar Media/CMAG. The campaigns of Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Alison Lundergan Grimes — the Democrat challenging McConnel …"

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 …"

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 "media markets":

"… dia/CMAG monitors television ads that run on local broadcast TV in all 210 media markets, as well as national network and national cable TV, but it doesn’t monit …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… ertly advocating for or 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 …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… emocratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and a Center for Public Integrity review of Federal Election Commission fi …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… ns to victory in a Republican primary that former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts easily won. He now faces incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in what …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… to a little-known challenger.  Scott Brown, the former senator from Massachusetts who lost his seat in 2012, is expected to win the New Hampshire's GOP prim …"

"… n wildly different. It’s massive departure from 2012 re-election bid in Massachusetts, as then, Brown cast himself as a novel kind of campaign finance reformer. …"

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 "Scott Brown":

"… ext month. Warren won her U.S. Senate office in 2012, defeating then-Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who's now attempting to win a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire. …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… n — was first identified as a contributor to Patriot Majority USA by the Center for Responsive Politics. Greg Crist, a spokesman for the American Health Care Association, declin …"

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 "Americans for Prosperity":

"… with the Democrats. The top-spending groups to aid Republicans have been Americans for Prosperity, the politically active nonprofit backed by conservative billionaires Char …"

"… s repeatedly blasted the Koch brothers, who support conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, for their involvement in the race. But the top sponsor of ads in this co …"

"… more than 9,500 ads in the race. That’s about 63 percent more ads than Americans for Prosperity, which has pummeled Hagan for her ties to Obama and her vote for the presi …"

"… for her ties to Obama and her vote for the president’s health care law. Americans for Prosperity’s ads don’t overtly call for Hagan’s defeat, thereby allowing the gr …"

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 "San Francisco":

"… g, media mogul Fred Eychaner of Chicago and environmentalist Tom Steyer of San Francisco among its top donors. Put Alaska First’s spending spree has augmented B …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… ttention on the topic have not been enough to change federal gun laws. The National Rifle Association, still the most powerful entity in the war over guns in America, no longer …"

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 "San Francisco":

"… to understate a nonprofit’s political activity, said Greg Colvin, a San Francisco-based attorney who specializes in nonprofit tax law — although Colvin ad …"

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 "Pat Boone":

"… the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Iconic singer and actor Pat Boone serves as its national spokesman. The association describes itself as non …"

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 "National Rifle Association":

"… than $3 million during last year’s second quarter and easily trumped the National Rifle Association in this regard — invested $1.24 million during this year’s second quar …"

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 …"

Tea party scandal brews FOIA backlog at FEC

By Dave Levinthal

Media and public wait for information from election agency as Congress seeks IRS-related information.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… hich requests come in."     …"

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