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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… because they didn’t fully unleash the powers available to them in a post-Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission era of politicking. Senate Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC dedicat …"

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.

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 "Vermont":

"… Steakhouse in Minneapolis, Henri in Chicago and Michael’s on the Hill in Vermont. And even though it is an “independent expenditure-only committee” …"

Merriam-Webster makes 'super PAC' official

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… have become electoral politics' white-hot stars since the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010 helped facilitate their creation later that year. Togeth …"

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 "Internal Revenue Service":

"… spent?”    …"

"… fits that spent money on politics and did not report their activity to the Internal Revenue Service, as required. “That’s called playing with fire,” Marcus Owens, a fo …"

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 "GPS":

"… like that prescription. “It’s unfortunate that groups like Crossroads GPS have given c4 organizations a bad name because 501(c)(4) advocacy organiza …"

"… 0 on political ads this year to the FEC, while the conservative Crossroads GPS, which was co-founded by Karl Rove, has not spent a dime — although both …"

Methodology

By Ben Wieder

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Governors Association":

"… national political groups, such as the Republican Governors Association or Democratic Governors Association, were among the donors. Groups were classified as in-state or out-of-stat …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… million is this week on its way soon courtesy of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super PAC, the Independence USA PAC, the New York Times reported today. …"

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 "Democratic Governors Association":

"… ional Committee has received $3.2 million in direct contributions from the Democratic Governors Association’s super PAC, along with a series of in-kind donations for research and o …"

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 "Cato Institute":

"… uper PAC led by former Federal Election Commission Chairman Brad Smith and Cato Institute founder Ed Crane, raised $575,000 from the time the group launched in earl …"

"… vania-based options trader Jeffrey Yass, who also sits on the board of the Cato Institute. Washington, D.C., entrepreneur Philip Harvey donated an additional $50,0 …"

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 "West Virginia":

"… from a range of states including Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. It’s a practice Keller called “pretty common,” and that Club for G …"

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 "Florida":

"… ly trying to incentivize individual giving, which is more transparent.” Florida and Maryland lawmakers also sought to bring more transparency to their sta …"

"… al contribution limits as a tool to forge bipartisan compromise. The bill Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed into law May 1 increased caps on individ …"

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 "spokeswoman":

"… ion of the Avon money to fund its ads supporting Menendez and Upton. Avon spokeswoman Lindsay Blaker Fox declined to answer questions from the Center for Public …"

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 "Wall Street Journal":

"… he gave the super PAC more than $1.7 million in 2012. And on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that wealthy California vintner John Jordan, a longtime Republica …"

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 "House":

"… re than $12,000 into 11th-hour efforts to turn out the vote for Republican House candidate Jason Smith in Missouri, federal records show. But voters in th …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… cing campaigns proliferated in the wake of the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, adding about $1 billion in spending in federal races in the 2012 e …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… nfluence that’s increasingly commonplace following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which eliminated many restrictions on how outside political grou …"

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 "Bain Capital":

"… Committee for a Better Massachusetts.” That group’s largest donor was Bain Capital managing director Stephen Zide, who gave $25,000 of the $50,000 the group …"

Super PACs invest in D.C. Council race

By Michael Beckel

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Association of Realtors":

"… gistered with the city government. Both were active on Mara's behalf. The National Association of Realtors' super PAC spent $20,200 touting Mara, city records indicate. And a super …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… dvertisements. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010, Democrats garnered 59 votes for the DISCLOSE Act, one …"

"… tees, including super PACs, are required to disclosure their donors to the Federal Election Commission. But politically active nonprofits organized under sections 501(c)(4), 50 …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… activity not seen in U.S. politics prior to the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. Among Whitehouse's complaints about these nonprofits: Discre …"

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.

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.

Expenditure Profile: Mundy Katowitz Media

By Reity O'Brien

Quick stats on the media buying firm

Expenditure profile: Mentzer Media

By Alexandra Duszak

Quick stats on the media buying firm

Excerpts from this story referencing "Restore Our Future":

"… Year founded: 1991 Principals: Bruce Mentzer (founder) Clients: Restore Our Future Americans for Prosperity American Future Fund Crossroads GPS American …"

"… able customers during the 2012 election were the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future and the conservative super PAC American Crossroads, which was co-founded b …"

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 "Todd Akin":

"… ave suffered from “sub-optimal” candidates, in Collegio’s words.Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP Senate candidate in Missouri, saw his standing in the polls drop …"

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 "California":

"… has support against an insurgent.In the incumbent vs. incumbent matchup in California's 30th District, pitting Brad Sherman against Howard Berman, bot …"

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