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 "Barack Obama":

"… ame candidate-specific super PACs, like those in 2012 that aided President Barack Obama and his GOP rival, Mitt Romney. The 2014 election cycle brought on the new …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… Rubio, R-Fla. and Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis.  But, according to Federal Election Commission records, there are no fewer than 153 people who've filed paperwork to beco …"

"… andidates with any semblance of support have, in a post-Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission political environment, discarded the traditional playbook for ea …"

Jeb Bush explores White House bid — unconventionally

By Carrie Levine

Instead of traditional presidential exploratory committee, potential GOP candidate GOP to create a leadership PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jeb Bush":

"… hip PAC, you’ll have to closely scrutinize what he is doing.” …"

Election 2014 by the numbers

By Michael Beckel

A new Center for Public Integrity money-in-politics index highlights key facts about the most expensive midterm in history.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… ponsored by dark money groups: 1/3 Amount of his own money Illinois Republican Bruce Rauner has sunk into his gubernatorial bid: $26 …"

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 "Internal Revenue Service":

"… c Integrity review of Department of Labor, Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service filings shows that 13 contributors have combined to give Patriot Majority …"

Who’s bankrolling secretive liberal group America Votes?

By Michael Beckel

A dozen anonymous donors accounted for most of the $12.7 million America Votes raised during its last fiscal year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Labor":

"… x filings with the Internal Revenue Service and documents submitted to the Department of Labor do provide some insight into the social welfare nonprofit’s funding. Th …"

"… on between October 2012 and September 2013, according to a filing with the Department of Labor. Other labor unions supporting America Votes include the Service Employee …"

Japan reaffirms its plan to produce plutonium

By Douglas Birch and Jake Adelstein

The Abe government’s new energy plan calls for completing the Rokkasho plutonium fuel factory despite U.S. concern it poses terrorism risks

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… te…the completion of Rokkasho,” the energy plan states. Publicly, the Obama administration has said little about Rokkasho, located on the Pacific Coas …"

"… n to proceed follows a joint announcement on March 24 by Abe and President Obama and Abe, at the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands, that Japan wou …"

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 "president":

"… as commander in chief. “Hillary Clinton deserves to be the first woman president,” Bremer Muggli told the Center for Public Integrity. “I wanted to jum …"

"… installments of $50 a month, according to FEC records. Paul Lemieux, the president of a beauty salon in Massachusetts, said he gave $500 to Ready for Hillary …"

"… e didn’t realize he was contributing to a super PAC. “I want her to be president.” The super PAC can already claim financial backers from every U.S. sta …"

Netflix stacking deck on Capitol Hill

By Dave Levinthal

'House of Cards' distributor is accelerating its own political efforts in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic National Committee":

"… D-N.Y. Hastings also contributed tens of thousands of dollars more to the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to federal campaig …"

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 "Republican Party":

"… e Foundation. “We must remember that there is a distinction between the Republican Party and the conservative movement,” DeMint declared at the 2013 Conservative …"

Pop-up pro-Clinton group fades after scrutiny

By Michael Beckel

Pro-Clinton super PAC linked to man sought by investigator regarding financial problems.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… ger operational, and a campaign finance document submitted Thursday to the Federal Election Commission says the group didn’t raise or spend a penny in 2013. The Time for Hill …"

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." …"

A challenging two-step: cutting costs and covering the uninsured

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the political challenges of both cutting costs and providing health care coverage.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… ll in a health plan or pay a penalty. Lawmakers in both Massachusetts and Washington came to the conclusion that expanding coverage and attacking health care c …"

"… h care costs.” The problem is that the current political environment in Washington makes it unlikely that more reforms can be enacted anytime soon. As long a …"

"… state capitals and private sector where the work just might get done, not Washington.  …"

By the numbers: a 2013 money-in-politics index

By Michael Beckel

A new Center for Public Integrity money-in-politics index highlights the year's top stories and key trends.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Club for Growth":

"… nges next year: 7 Number of Senate and House candidates the anti-tax Club for Growth has already endorsed: 5 Number of votes Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mi …"

‘Nonpartisan’ gun rights group boosted by Democratic-aligned America Votes

By Adam Wollner and Michael Beckel

Nearly all of 'nonpartisan' Bull Moose Sportsmen's funding has come from a Democratic-aligned nonprofit.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kay Hagan":

"… Sportsmen’s role in helping to craft new legislation introduced by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., known as the Sportsmen’s and Public Outdoor Recreation Traditio …"

Pro-Obama nonprofit boosted by undisclosed donors

By Julie Patel and Michael Beckel

Priorities USA Action raised $8.4 million in 2012, the bulk of which came from four unnamed donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… hours of work a week, according to the new filing. Records filed with the Federal Election Commission show that Burton was paid an additional $130,700 by Priorities USA Action …"

Koch-backed governors group gives big to Cuccinelli in Virginia

By Rachel Baye

Cuccinelli slams McAuliffe for accepting out-of-state cash while raking in millions from governors association.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Governors Association":

"… e funds come primarily from out-of-state. McAuliffe’s top donor was the Democratic Governors Association’s PAC, DGA Action, which contributed nearly $6.5 million. According to I …"

Pro-Clinton super PAC creators have dubious pasts

By Michael Beckel

People behind pro-Clinton super PAC have histories of legal troubles and bankruptcy.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… ver paid the company. “We left on very bad terms,” said Ria Romano of Florida-based RPR Public Relations, adding that Worthington “didn’t pay his bi …"

Federal Election Commission gets new blood

By Dave Levinthal

The U.S. Senate approves Obama's Federal Election Commission picks by unanimous consent.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John McCain":

"… fforts.  In 2008, Goodman contributed $1,000 to Republican John McCain’s presidential campaign. He did not make campaign contributions to any …"

Legal fight brewing over 'Stop Pelosi PAC'

By Dave Levinthal

Political committee is pushing legal limits by naming itself after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Francisco":

"… speech of those who have the audacity to not support the dear leader from San Francisco," Backer told the Center for Public Integrity. "FEC regulations are being …"

Audit: U.S. lacks anti-corruption plan for Afghan aid

By Douglas Birch

Audit says U.S. lacks blueprint to assure Afghan assistance is well-spent

Excerpts from this story referencing "Hillary Clinton":

"… han corruption in 2010, but it was never signed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to the report, State Department officials told auditors they d …"

D.C. corruption probe spreads to Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign

By Michael Beckel and Alan Suderman

New York City businessman pleads guilty for work done in 2008 to support Hillary Clinton.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… ire McCaskill, D-Mo., Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as well as the Clinton Foundation.     …"

Super PAC forms to 'draft' Ben Carson for president

By Adam Wollner

Group led by John Philip Sousa descendant wants neurosurgeon, Obamacare critic in White House.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… l Draft Ben Carson for President Committee” recently registered with the Federal Election Commission and launched a website to go along with its formation — RunBenRun.o …"

'America Votes' spent nearly $1 million on Wisconsin recall

By Adam Wollner

Progressive nonprofit, fueled by unions, targeted Wisconsin recall elections in 2011 and 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Supreme Court":

"… measure. Neuroh said America Votes is also surveying the fallout over the U.S. Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Act decision, which has led to lawmakers in a number of …"

The slow deaths of presidential super PACs

By Dave Levinthal

Once mighty political committees are failing to reinvent themselves in 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… king the likes of Democrat Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Like Priorities USA Action and Restore Our Future, the formerly pr …"

Democrats seize super PAC crown

By Michael Beckel

Liberal groups outraised conservative counterparts 2-to-1 in first half of 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Governors Association":

"… t fundraising hauls so far in 2013 include a super PAC affiliated with the Democratic Governors Association, three groups focused on expanding the ranks of Democratic lawmakers in th …"

Ready for Hillary? Not in Middle America

By Michael Beckel

New Yorkers, Californians give big bucks to pro-Clinton super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "PAC":

"… but relatively few folks in Middle America — are already backing a super PAC designed to boost Democrat Hillary Clinton should she run for president in …"

"… ia have combined to give more than $500,000 to the Ready for Hillary super PAC over the first six months of the year, according to a Center for Public In …"

"… d for campaign cash by politicians on both sides of the aisle. While super PACs are legally allowed to collect donations of any size, Ready for Hillary h …"

"… o, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis, though super PAC spokesman Seth Bringman noted that the group has received financial suppor …"

IMPACT: Delaware governor, Atlanta mayor forward tainted donations to charity

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

IMPACT: D.C. man's donations to Delaware governor, Atlanta mayor given to charity following Center story.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Thompson":

"… s office said Thursday that he will give $28,050 he received from Jeffrey Thompson to several charities, including the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware. Thomp …"

"… mpson to several charities, including the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware. Thompson’s former accounting firm was referred to by federal prosecutors as an …"

"… sim Reed’s spokeswoman Sonji Jacobs said that the mayor has also donated Thompson-related funds to various local and national charities. She offered no furt …"

"… s received from the D.C. businessman and employees of his accounting firm, Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates. Markell and Reed join several other poli …"

Super PACs swarming New Jersey special election

By Adam Wollner

Front-runner Cory Booker gets boosted — and bashed — by outside groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Francisco":

"… he early flow of outside money into New Jersey is unlikely to subside. The San Francisco-based group Pac Plus pledged last month to spend $2 million in support of …"