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 "Barack Obama":

"… me store. There, among monsters, ghouls and evil clowns, a vinyl President Barack Obama mask sells for $24.99 — the “scariest one of them all,” one shopper …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… Democratic super PACs reigned supreme through mid-October, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission Thursday. …"

"… , Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire and South Dakota, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG, an advertising tracking serv …"

"… o-called outside groups have aired more than 51,000 TV ads, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG. That’s nearly three of eve …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… rolling scores of ads targeting down-ballot races that criticize President Barack Obama. In the Tar Heel State, embattled incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, i …"

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 "Arkansas":

"… re TV ads than any other spender last week in the Senate races underway in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to Kantar Media/CMAG. …"

"… ut 1,300 TV ads last week — or about one ad every eight minutes. And in Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor’s campaign aired about 600 TV ads — or abo …"

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 "Florida":

"… 's corporate headquarters in Philadelphia but that of a beachside condo in Florida. Thomas Sullivan is the owner of the $3 million, 2,850-square-foot condo, …"

Iowa, Michigan bombarded with political ads

By Michael Beckel

Open-seat Senate battles in Iowa and Michigan have attracted a flurry of TV ads.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… attracted more ads from Tuesday, Sept. 9, through Monday, Sept. 15:  North Carolina, where viewers saw about 4,800 ads, according to estimates by Kantar Media …"

"… attleground states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina and New Hampshire. Since the beginning of 2013, Republicans and conservati …"

GOP’s Senate hopes energized by Koch network ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

How many TV ads have groups connected to the billionaire brothers aired in your state?

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… r Prosperity, acknowledged that “it’s very difficult to beat a sitting United States senator." "The incumbent Democrat senators who are up, their only chance …"

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 "Scott Brown":

"… Freshman Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen will likely face former GOP Sen. Scott Brown, who briefly represented Massachusetts and has now gone north to the Grani …"

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 "Utah":

"… ens Against Government Waste, and Royce Van Tassell, vice president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, wrote that an effort by Utah cities to build a muni …"

"… vice president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, wrote that an effort by Utah cities to build a municipal broadband network “has caused a spectacular …"

"… ulties. They include Ashland, Oregon; Burlington, Vermont; and the 11-city Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency. Some, such as Provo, Utah, …"

"… y Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency. Some, such as Provo, Utah, and Groton, Connecticut, have sold their networks. But proponents of mun …"

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 "Republican Party":

"… f the U.S. Senate.     …"

Hobbled IRS can't stem 'dark money' flow

By Julie Patel

Budget and staffing cuts, endless congressional investigations keep IRS from investigating activities of political nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… ssion argued that Crossroads GPS, co-founded by Republican operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, spent more on politics than anything else leading up to …"

Bush bundlers boost pro-Gillespie super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Co-chairman of U.S. Senate candidate's finance committee also helps bankroll supportive super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… ast elite political pedigrees. Two former campaign bundlers for President George W. Bush — Howard Leach and Nicholas Taubman — each contributed $25,000 in Apri …"

"… lican National Committee and as an adviser in the White House to President George W. Bush. Along with GOP strategist Karl Rove, Gillespie also helped found the sup …"

How cozy can candidates be with political groups?

By Rachel Baye

A Wisconsin probe into recall campaigns highlights murky rules nationwide about how much candidates and outside groups can coordinate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… al backers — what’s OK in one state may not be OK in another.  In Florida and Michigan, for example, candidates and supposedly independent groups se …"

"… ;             Florida’s law allows candidates to raise money for and work with outside groups. …"

"… nterpart — launched a Spanish-language ad in April. The ad features Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaking directly to the camera. “I’m not an expert i …"

"… g college on scholarships. It then boasts of his ability to create jobs in Florida. Scott was in the clear because the ad did not explicitly tell viewers to …"

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 "Tennessee":

"… d then started referring to it as IE for short,” said Adrian Eddleman, a Tennessee investment adviser who registered a super PAC called Conservatives for Tru …"

Conservative super PAC scores cash from entity tied to Arizona Cardinals

By Michael Beckel

GOP powerhouse American Crossroads got $50,000 from a limited liability company that shares its address with the Arizona Cardinals.

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

"… sly contributed to politicians — mostly Republicans — according to the Center for Responsive Politics. None of the Bidwills could be reached for comment this evening. The Card …"

Limited liability companies power West Virginia super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Group funded by limited liability companies boosts West Virginia Republican Alex Mooney.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… 00 to American Crossroads, the pro-GOP super PAC co-founded by strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie. Govoni himself donated the legal maximum of $2,600 to M …"

GOP civil war rages in Senate primary battles

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative nonprofits and super PACs have spent $10 million bashing Republicans to the delight of Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House Speaker":

"… arty-backed candidates failed Tuesday in a long-shot primary bid to unseat House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and win North Carolina’s U.S. Senate primary. But …"

GOP leaders, donors mix during secretive forum

By Michael Beckel

Documents shed light on closed-door confab featuring top politicians and donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John Bolton":

"… nt Dick Cheney, former CIA Director David Petraeus, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, former World Bank president and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowit …"

GOP official forms Montana-focused super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Republican accountant registers a new Montana-based super PAC as the state prepares for a heated Senate contest.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… rican Crossroads — the super PAC juggernaut co-founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove — has reported spending about $150,000 on ads attacking Walsh. And Amer …"

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” …"

Mudslinging at the FEC over disclosure

By Julie Patel

Controversy brews at elections agency over whether a conservative group should reveal its donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ann Ravel":

"… odman and two of his fellow Republican colleagues skewered Vice Chairwoman Ann Ravel — a Democrat — on Thursday because she didn’t vote to defend the age …"

Outside groups dwarf candidate spending in Florida special election

By Michael Beckel

Less than one-third of money pumped into House contest is controlled by Sink or Jolly.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chicago":

"… he Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and by Exelon, the Chicago-based company that operates the nation’s largest commercial nuclear flee …"

Next up: 'Citizens United v. IRS'?

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative group promises to 'pull out all the stops' to fight proposed nonprofit regulations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… ited amounts of money during elections. Conservative nonprofits including Karl Rove-founded Crossroads GPS and Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity r …"

American Crossroads revs up attacks on Dems

By Michael Beckel

Karl Rove's deep-pocketed group kicks into action after largely dormant 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… p. Bill Young. American Crossroads, co-founded in 2010 by GOP strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, has vowed to help the GOP wrest control of the U.S. Sena …"

Billionaires use super PACs to advance pet causes

By Michael Beckel

Wealthy donors who bankrolled their own issue-focused super PACs dominated the 2013 fundraising game.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… like those that last year aided President Barack Obama and his GOP rival, Mitt Romney. The latest iteration is the single-issue vanity super PAC — a group ba …"

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 "Congressional Leadership Fund":

"… uper PACs focused on helping the party retain control of the House — the Congressional Leadership Fund and the YG Action Fund —raised $1.1 million and $344,000, respectively. …"

"… naire Harold Simmons, who died in December, ranked as the top giver to the Congressional Leadership Fund, at $200,000. His company, Contran Corp., ranked as the No. 1 donor to Ame …"

Pro-gay marriage Republican group boosted by Karl Rove’s super PAC

By Julie Patel and Michael Beckel

Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer's 'American Unity' super PAC received $53,000 from American Crossroads last year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… ates who oppose marriage for gay couples. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, for example, has said that his view is that “marriage itself is a relat …"

IRS sets its sights on political 'dark money'

By Michael Beckel

The Internal Revenue Service is proposing new rules that could curb the ability of social welfare nonprofits to influence elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "GPS":

"… for politically engaged nonprofits from the Republican-aligned Crossroads GPS, which was co-founded by former Bush strategist Karl Rove, to the pro-Demo …"

"… hedule.” Representatives of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Crossroads GPS and Patriot Majority USA did not immediately respond to requests for comme …"

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 "president":

"… of The Advocacy Fund responded to requests for comment. Fred Wertheimer, president of campaign finance reform group Democracy 21, says he's disturbed that gr …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… ast year came in the form of negative ads against GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. One of its ads linked Romney to the death of a woman who lost her battle …"

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