National donors pick winners in state elections

By Ben Wieder, Kytja Weir, Reity O'Brien and Rachel Baye

Two giant D.C.-based players dominated political giving in 2014 state-level elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Koch":

"… s top 50 donor list: Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson; billionaire David Koch, who runs the Kansas-based Koch Industries with his brother; electricity g …"

IRS rarely audits nonprofits for politicking

By Julie Patel

New documents show the federal tax agency almost never audits nonprofit groups for illegal politicking.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Office of Personnel Management":

"… tax exempt and government entities division’s salary levels reflect the Office of Personnel Management’s broader federal pay scale, which rose by more than 42 percent from 200 …"

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 "Kentucky":

"… ficance, such as climate change or gun violence. Keep reading 11. Meet the Kentucky nonprofit using mystery money to attack Democrat Alison Grimes In his re …"

"… Alison Grimes In his re-election bid, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was aided by a “social welfare” nonprofit called the Kentucky Opportun …"

"… nnell of Kentucky was aided by a “social welfare” nonprofit called the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition. Advised by one of McConnell’s former top aides, t …"

"… portunity Coalition. Advised by one of McConnell’s former top aides, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition spent more than $14 million — and accounted for ab …"

Who needs lobbyists? See what big business spends to win American minds

By Erin Quinn and Chris Young

Trade groups pay top PR, advertising firms $1.2 billion over five years to influence public.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau":

"… ency was behind a public affairs campaign targeting the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency birthed out of the 2008 financial crisis. The campaign on behal …"

Liberal ‘dark money’ group could face IRS fine

By Michael Beckel

Union-backed Pennsylvanians for Accountability could face IRS fine after failing to file a mandatory tax return.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… ll not have a comment on this,” SEIU spokesman Beau Boughamer said. NEA spokeswoman Sara Robertson also declined to comment. saying the union had “no contro …"

"… n anything else." Lynsey Kryzwick of public relations firm BerlinRosen, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvanians for Accountability at the time, dismissed the criti …"

Federal politics findings you may have missed

By The Center for Public Integrity

Were you paying attention? Here are some of the major money-in-politics stories the Center helped bring to light in 2014.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ce of "dark money" on elections, we knew 2014 would be a busy year for the Center for Public Integrity's federal money-in-politics team. We launched a major project tracking sp …"

One-stop science shop has become a favorite of industry—and Texas

By Rosalind Adams and Lisa Song

The EPA's sluggishness in assessing chemicals has created opportunities for a consulting firm with ties to chemical and tobacco interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Frito-Lay":

"… ed to evaluate the chemical's oral cancer risk, was funded by Burger King, Frito-Lay and other food companies. Four of its eight authors were TERA scientists, …"

"… their results displayed on ITER. Those clients have included Dow Chemical, Frito-Lay and the International Copper Association. If the study passes TERA's revie …"

Urban League parrots telecom donors' net-neutrality stance

By Allan Holmes and John Dunbar

Civil rights group calls for lighter Internet regulation that would benefit telecommunications donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Europe":

"… ore rural residents having broadband connections in the U.S. compared with Europe, where Internet regulations are stiffer, and has “created 945,000 jobs f …"

Secretive nonprofits flourished — and succeeded — in 2014 state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits backed winning candidates, or bashed losers, in 63 percent of the state races in which they sponsored ads.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… elevision and said her consulting business has been hurt by the bad press. Politics has strained her family life, too.  A classmate of Kennedy’s 16-yea …"

Charities risked tax-exempt status with political ads

By Rachel Baye

The IRS bans charities from participating in elections, but some groups pushed the envelope in 2014.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… a charity, a hospital or university. Despite the risk, the NRDC lambasted North Carolina Republican state Sen. Bill Cook in a $700,000 ad campaign this spring. The …"

"… uld encourage New York, New Jersey and other states to dump their trash in North Carolina,” the voiceover says. “Tell Bill Cook attracting New York trash doesn …"

"… nvironmental Law Center and seven other charities under the name North Carolina Environmental Partnership to air ads criticizing four other stat …"

"… dates had primary opponents. Rob Perks, the campaign manager for NRDC’s North Carolina efforts, offered that as proof that the ads weren’t intended to influenc …"

Koch-linked operative mum on mystery millions

By Michael Beckel

Sean Noble oversaw a seven-figure grant to American Commitment, which says it wasn't the beneficiary. So where did the money go?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… significant because in 2011, the Center to Protect Patient Rights told the Internal Revenue Service it gave $1.6 million — one of its largest grants that year — to a soci …"

Election ads were about issues, says 'Carolina Rising' chief

By Carrie Levine

'Dark money' nonprofit spends millions backing candidate but says ads are about issues.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… esidency.” …"

"… er,” said one ad that aired more than 1,700 times. The ad also mentioned North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican who wasn’t on the ballot this year. In A …"

"… “Those are issue ads. Those are not political ads." Woodhouse, a former North Carolina state leader of Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit affiliated with bill …"

"… group to run positive ads, an approach that stood out in the negative North Carolina race. Larry Noble, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, said Caro …"

Pro-McConnell nonprofit hit with IRS complaint

By Michael Beckel

A watchdog organization wants the IRS to investigate a nonprofit that spent millions backing Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… cs in Washington has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a conservative nonprofit that spent millions of dol …"

"… iolations of tax law and head off others from copying it.” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who is set to become the Senate majority leader next year, face …"

"… rom Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. Ahead of the November election, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition spent more than $14 million on advertisements, accor …"

"… al consultant who serves as its spokesman. That spending spree earned the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition the distinction of being the top-spending group in t …"

Conservative group fumbles disclosure in new tax document

By Michael Beckel

Koch-linked nonprofit American Commitment to amend tax documents after questions from the Center for Public Integrity.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… of money all the more difficult," said Robert Maguire, a researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics, which monitors money in politics. "When organizations aren't careful how …"

Koch-linked organization uses ‘dark money’ to fight political disclosure

By Michael Beckel

Most of the $13 million raised by American Commitment has come three Koch-backed groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… American Commitment, it has done so without disclosing its funders. …"

Crossroads GPS' cash plummeted in 2013

By Carrie Levine

Conservative nonprofit's income drop coincided with a non-election year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Crossroads GPS":

"… ober quoted Lindsay as saying the group had raised $75 million. …"

"… according to new tax filings reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity. Crossroads GPS reported spending slightly more than $4 million in 2013. The bulk of the …"

"… percent of its funding. Its largest donation that year was $22.5 million. Crossroads GPS told the IRS it spent no money on political activities in 2013, another co …"

"… lfare” nonprofit organized under section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code, Crossroads GPS is not required to disclose the identities of its donors. By law, it may n …"

Grover Norquist nonprofit funded pro-Republican women’s group

By Michael Beckel

Conservative-leaning Independent Women's Voice got 13 percent of its revenue last year from Americans for Tax Reform, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… f dollars backing Republican politicians such as 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Chris McDaniel, who unsuccessfully challe …"

GOP rides cavalry to U.S. Senate majority

By Michael Beckel, Dave Levinthal and Carrie Levine

Super PACs, 'dark money' nonprofits help make Election Day difference as Republicans seize a U.S. Senate majority

Excerpts from this story referencing "Law":

"… current occupant of the White House decided the 2014 election, said Steven Law, president of American Crossroads. “This election was about President O …"

"… nt of American Crossroads. “This election was about President Obama,” Law said in a statement. Levi Russell, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperi …"

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 "U.S. Postal Service":

"… canvassing operation, no office or headquarters at all — just a scuffed U.S. Postal Service box nestled inside a suburban shopping plaza about 10 miles from downtown …"

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 "Internal Revenue Service":

"… en Orchard’s sole director and treasurer on its 2013 tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. When asked by the Center for Public Integrity about Green Orchard recent …"

Bloomberg helps Democratic governors' group close gap on Republicans

By Ben Wieder

The Republican Governors Association is outpacing its Democratic counterpart but Democrats are catching up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "hedge fund manager":

"… tion. Private equity head Mike Shannon and his wife, Mary Sue, along with hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin round out the group’s top five donors, at $2 million fro …"

Secretive groups spend millions to influence state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits hit TV airwaves with attacks on state-level candidates, gaining traction since the U.S. Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nebraska":

"… returned to spend more than $360,000 to boost Republican candidates in the Nebraska gubernatorial and Arkansas attorney general contests this cycle. The  …"

'Outside' groups swamp Florida's airwaves in race for governor

By Rachel Baye

Lax laws allow candidates to work so closely with outside groups, contribution limits become almost irrelevant.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Paul Singer":

"… avid Koch, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and hedge fund manager Paul Singer, according to IRS filings. The Republican Governors Association also gave …"

Koch foundation proposal to college: Teach our curriculum, get millions

By Dave Levinthal

Proposed gift from Koch foundation to Florida State University in 2007 came with strings attached.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… cipient of Charles Koch Foundation money. In a tax document filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the foundation described its Florida State University funding for 2012 as …"

"… million in assets, according to its most recent tax return filed with the Internal Revenue Service.  In his 2007 memo to colleagues, Benson acknowledged the school’s …"

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 "Service Employees International Union":

"… d seven-figure sums from at least two labor unions: $1.14 million from the Service Employees International Union, including $280,000 from the SEIU’s state council in Pennsylvania, and $ …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Communications Inc.":

"… sse. He received $16,750 from AT&T, CenturyLink, Time Warner Cable and Verizon Communications Inc. in the 2012 election cycle, the third-largest amount among North Carolina …"

‘Dr. Evil’ fuels dogfight between AKC, Humane Society

By John Dunbar and Erin Quinn

Public relations pro, food industry behind website, ads blasting Humane Society.

Excerpts from this story referencing "judge":

"… newatch.org site has gotten the attention of people like Carol Hamilton, a judge at dog shows,  an occasional dog breeder and a vociferous critic of t …"

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 "Internal Revenue Service":

"… ization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the 60 Plus Association, a conservative advocacy group fund …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… nbsp;first reported Wednesday. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010, social welfare nonprofits — which are organize …"

Unpaid tax debts surprisingly frequent among those with U.S. security clearances

By Alexander Cohen

Being a deadbeat does not mean you cannot read secret documents.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government":

"… f them managed to get high-level clearances while having unpaid taxes, the Government Accountability Office reported on July 28. The grand total of these delinq …"

"… sons who owe so much”, said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, and an expert on classif …"

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