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 "Arkansas":

"… n September from an outfit called HFNWA LLC. It has addresses in Arkansas and Washington, D.C., and is managed, according to Arkansas Secretary of S …"

"… s addresses in Arkansas and Washington, D.C., and is managed, according to Arkansas Secretary of State records, by Franklin L. Haney, a Democratic politi …"

"… st in Michigan and second in Colorado, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas and West Virginia. It’s third in Iowa. Put Alaska First, the Senate Maj …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… at the two are different kinds of organizations. In a photo caption about Karl Rove, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote: “Karl Rove: ‘Bush’s …"

"… aption about Karl Rove, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote: “Karl Rove: ‘Bush’s brain’ helped organize the super-PAC Crossroads GPS, a ‘n …"

Singularity University disavows super PACs

By Dave Levinthal

University disavows super PACs formed in its name by a school official.

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 "Karl Rove":

"…  tax return. American Crossroads, co-founded by Republican operative Karl Rove, is among the highest-spending super PACs. The percentage of its overall e …"

Merriam-Webster makes 'super PAC' official

By Dave Levinthal

Merriam-Webster OKs shorthand term for the clunky 'independent expenditure-only committee.'

Nonprofits' failure to report political activity to IRS raises questions

By Julie Patel

Nonprofits are required to report poltical activity to the IRS — Center finds three that did not and one that underreported.

Excerpts from this story referencing "leader":

"… Owens noted that the Department of Justice successfully prosecuted the leader of the Fiesta Bowl organization, a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit, a few y …"

League of Conservation Voters becoming 'dark money' heavyweight

By Michael Beckel

The liberal League of Conservation Voters is fast becoming one of the nation’s strongest 'dark money' forces.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… res during the 2012 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And the League has retained its preeminent position this year, as it pou …"

Methodology

By Ben Wieder

'Puppet states' project required collection of data from 38 states, plus extensive analysis.

Booker burying Lonegan in super PAC cash dash

By Dave Levinthal

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful has derided outside money but is greatly benefiting from it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic primary":

"… -Mass., signed such a pledge during their election last year, and Booker's Democratic primary opponent, Rep. Frank Pallone, had unsuccessfully pushed for one. Booker's …"

A hyper-super PAC boosts McAuliffe in Virginia race

By Adam Wollner

Democratic group making donations — illegal at the federal level — to Virginia gubernatorial candidate McAuliffe.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… 3.6 million to 13.4 million in the first half of 2012, according to recent Internal Revenue Service reports. But as far as the groups’ super PACs are concerned, DGA Action …"

Libertarian-leaning super PAC raising big money

By Adam Wollner

New group is led by the Cato Institute's founder and a former FEC chairman.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Party":

"… that generally agree with the super PAC’s ideology “tend to be in the Republican Party at this point in time.” Smith also said he was pleased with Purple PAC …"

D.C.-based groups spent big in special elections

By Dave Levinthal

Special interest super PACs and nonprofits from D.C. region poured millions into special elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… of dollars in outside spending from political groups based in California, New York and Florida. Organizations in Illinois, meanwhile, spent precisely zero d …"

"… hat figure jumps to nearly 72 percent when factoring in organizations from New York City and the D.C. suburbs. Even homegrown groups usually outsource their …"

"… al interest that reach far behind district boundaries or state lines. The New York City-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit 350.org Action Fund, which advocates for fi …"

State campaign contribution limits on the rise

By Adam Wollner

Individual campaign contribution limits are on the rise as states hedge against super PACs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Vermont":

"… e’s House Democratic Caucus, in a press release following the vote. The Vermont legislature came close to reaching a deal that would have slightly increas …"

"… ials couldn’t agree on all the details before the session ended in May. Vermont Sen. Jeanette White, a Democrat who co-sponsored the legislation, said she …"

Trade group to FEC: ‘Corporate funds’ financed campaign ads

By Michael Beckel and Adam Wollner

Direct Selling Association tells FEC it used "corporate funds" to bankroll political ads last year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal law":

"… must publicly disclose the names of people who contribute more than $200, federal law only requires nonprofit groups to disclose donors who give contributions e …"

Groups pump millions into Mass. special election

By Michael Beckel

Political groups dump more than $5 million into ads ahead of special U.S. Senate election.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee":

"… er the race’s primary elections concluded, attacks by groups such as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Senate Majority PAC went unanswered. During the GOP primary, Gome …"

Stealthy super PAC strikes in Mo. special election

By Michael Beckel

Super PAC launches last-minute effort in Missouri, won't disclose donors before special election.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Scott B. Mackenzie":

"… placed today and Tuesday. When the Center for Public Integrity contacted Scott B. Mackenzie, the group’s treasurer, he declined to comment, saying, “I really don …"

Lax state rules provide cover for sponsors of attack ads

By Alan Suderman

In 30 states it’s impossible to total how much money outside groups are spending on campaigns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act":

"… erm “electioneering communications” came to be with the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. The federal law requires such expenditures be reported, but it ap …"

Negative ad blitz can't stop Mark Sanford in S.C.

By Michael Beckel

Cash from national Democrats couldn't stop Republican Mark Sanford in special election.

Excerpts from this story referencing "FreedomWorks":

"… ord's election or Colbert Busch's defeat. Sanford-aligned groups included FreedomWorks, Independent Women’s Voice and the National Right to Life Committee. So …"

Colbert Busch backed by D.C.-based groups

By Dave Levinthal

Nearly all independent expenditures made in S.C. special election come from beltway benefactors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Columbia":

"… d (pro-Sanford) and the Votevets.org Action Fund (pro-Colbert Busch). The Columbia, S.C.-based South Forward IE PAC is the lone outside group not from D.C. t …"

Environmentalists boost ally in Massachusetts special election

By Michael Beckel

League of Conservation Voters goes to bat for Democrat Ed Markey in Massachusetts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… vacated by Sen. John Kerry, who was tapped earlier this year by President Barack Obama to serve as secretary of state. Gomez won the GOP primary Tuesday with so …"

Super PACs invest in D.C. Council race

By Michael Beckel

Two groups boosted Republican Patrick Mara during unsuccessful D.C. Council bid.

GOP senators urge FCC to avoid new disclosure rules

By Michael Beckel

13 Republican senators urge FCC to implement no new disclosure rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ted Cruz":

"… urden of disclosing most or all of their contributors.     …"

Dem senator: Campaign finance laws a 'mockery'

By Reity O'Brien

Sheldon Whitehouse spars with Justice officials, Ted Cruz over political money.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ted Cruz":

"… of these organizations as an end-run around contribution limits.” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas — the only other committee member present — provided conserva …"

John Bolton forms super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

Former U.N. ambassador forms pair of political committees

DCCC's most vulnerable House members reaped millions in 2012

By Michael Beckel

DCCC identifies its most vulnerable House members, politicians the group spent millions to elect in 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House races":

"… w Hampshire Scott Peters of California Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona These House races are again expected to be some of the most competitive electoral contests. …"

NYC public advocate: State, local governments must lead efforts to regulate dark money

By Michael Beckel

New York City's public advocate and the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending want more regulation of political nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "advocate":

"… which in part granted nonprofit corporations the ability to expressly advocate for the election or defeat of federal elections. According to the report, …"

"… to know where their money is going." The office of New York City's public advocate and the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending also discovered …"

"… ricans for Tax Reform, which ranked No. 2. Prior to serving as the public advocate, De Blasio managed Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate campaign in 2000 and was …"

"… New York City Council. He's currently a mayoral candidate. As the public advocate, he's championed reforms regarding corporate politicking and has repeatedl …"

Expenditure Profile: Mundy Katowitz Media

By Reity O'Brien

Quick stats on the media buying firm

Excerpts from this story referencing "PAC":

"… at its Washington, D.C., office. Clients: Priorities USA Action FSA PAC LCV Victory Fund Progress for Washington Background: Founded in 2002, …"

"… s top client during the 2012 election was Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election. MKM — run by veteran …"

"… ion cycle. The firm’s other clients included LCV Victory Fund, the super PAC arm of the pro-environment League of Conservation Voters, and FSA PAC, ano …"

"… uper PAC arm of the pro-environment League of Conservation Voters, and FSA PAC, another pro-environment group that placed ads favoring Democrats. The fi …"

Expenditure profile: Mentzer Media

By Alexandra Duszak

Quick stats on the media buying firm

Rove-affiliated groups spend $175 million, lose 21 of 30 races

By Michael Beckel and Reity O'Brien

Super PAC American Crossroads goes 3-10, nonprofit Crossroads GPS goes 7-17

Excerpts from this story referencing "GOP Senate":

"… om “sub-optimal” candidates, in Collegio’s words.Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP Senate candidate in Missouri, saw his standing in the polls drop after he said wo …"

"… independent expenditures.The NRSC’s independent spending supported nine GOP Senate candidates, seven of whom lost on Election Night. Eleven of 13 candidates …"

House candidates draw one-campaign super PACs

By Russ Choma

Super PACs devoted solely to supporting a congressional candidate spent $28 million in the 2012 election.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… expenditures, all of it during the Texas GOP primary battle for U.S. Senate.The money was spent in opposition to Ted Cruz, the tea party candidate, in …"

"… to Independence Virginia PAC, a super PAC targeting Virginia's Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine, with $2.5 million — the group has only raised $2.6 …"

"… on advertising in support of Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., who is running for Senate. Perry has given the group $250,000 while Rick Santorum-backer Foster Frie …"

"… l.End the Gridlock targeted Deb Fischer, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Nebraska. She faces former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey, who is trying to get …"

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