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 "Politics":

"… nsored tweets. David Keating, the president of the Center for Competitive Politics, which favors increased deregulation in elections, sees this as a positive …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… n pro-Tillis issue ads, according to filings in September submitted to the Federal Election Commission. It also aired a number of ads praising Tillis in August, but because the …"

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 "Mark Pryor":

"… — or about one ad every eight minutes. And in Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor’s campaign aired about 600 TV ads — or about one ad every 17 minutes. …"

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 "spokesman":

"… rican Crossroads to let them know of the misreporting." Paul Lindsay, the spokesman for American Crossroads, did not respond to questions about the apparent d …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… heen will likely face former GOP Sen. Scott Brown, who briefly represented Massachusetts and has now gone north to the Granite State in a bid to reclaim his politi …"

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 "North Carolina":

"… on, D.C., is considering requests from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina, to pre-empt state laws that block municipalities from building or expandi …"

"… uthern cities. Tullahoma, which has a broadband network, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, which doesn’t. City-provided broadband widespread More than 130 citie …"

"… on cycle was more than $370,000, almost five times what it was in 2000. In North Carolina, AT&T’s total campaign giving in the 2012 election cycle, including …"

"… ayetteville In Fayetteville, the story is different. Like Tullahoma, the North Carolina city is adjacent to a military base: Fort Bragg. But Fayetteville’s econ …"

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 "Paul Singer":

"… ne hedge fund alone — Elliott Management, which is led by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer — have given Sullivan's campaign about $119,000. Sullivan has also been …"

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 "John Koskinen":

"… ans after criticism from politicians and lobbyists. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says the agency he’s led since December is in peril. “We don’t …"

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 "Karl Rove":

"… in the White House to President George W. Bush. Along with GOP strategist Karl Rove, Gillespie also helped found the super PAC behemoth American Crossroads, w …"

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 "Club for Growth":

"… es of conservative political nonprofit organizations such as the Wisconsin Club for Growth, Citizens for a Strong America and Wisconsin Right to Life. Emails recent …"

"… George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove and R.J. Johnson, a Walker consultant and Club for Growth adviser. Walker has also acknowledged that he raised money for Club for Gr …"

"… for Growth adviser. Walker has also acknowledged that he raised money for Club for Growth. Walker has denied any wrongdoing and has not been criminally charged. W …"

"… didn’t explicitly say to “vote for” or “vote against.” Wisconsin Club for Growth argued they were “issue ads,” which are intended to express opinions o …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… round for days or even hours to come up with this term,” Carney told the Center for Public Integrity, although she emphasized that she is particularly conscious of word choice …"

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 "football":

"… ts address as the Tempe, Ariz., training facility of the Arizona Cardinals football team, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of campaign financ …"

"… ral Election Commission, which shares the address of the Arizona Cardinals football team's training facility, is also listed in business records as the addres …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ril. Since super PACs sprang to life following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, corporate super PAC contributions have been relatively rare, with …"

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 "Karl Rove":

"… arolina. Super PAC American Crossroads, founded in part by GOP strategist Karl Rove, has yet to launch negative attacks against Republicans. But it has involv …"

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 "Mississippi":

"… discussed “how to fix the states.” Lobbying firm executive and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and GOP stra …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… reenwood, the executive director of the Montana Republican Party, told the Center for Public Integrity that he was unaware of the new super PAC. “I’m afraid I don’t have …"

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 "media outlets":

"… l and the commission pays for, among other things, negotiating prices with media outlets, placing and creating ads, and providing consulting services: “It’s ho …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… reasingly common in the big-money era following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in January 2010. And the national stakes aren't even that high: …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… e and U.S. Senate.     …"

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 "Harold Simmons":

"… t donor last year included Contran Corp., the company of Texas billionaire Harold Simmons who died in December, which gave $1 million. Coal industry execu …"

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 "California":

"… o break the list of the top 10 super PAC donors in 2013 was John Jordan, a California vintner who ranked ninth overall after contributing $1.7 million to a supe …"

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 "Contran Corp.":

"… top giver to the Congressional Leadership Fund, at $200,000. His company, Contran Corp., ranked as the No. 1 donor to American Crossroads last year, having contri …"

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 "Karl Rove":

"… f the first super PACs, was co-founded by GOP strategists Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove, a former adviser to President George W. Bush. Gillespie himself is now ru …"

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 "Karl Rove":

"… can-aligned Crossroads GPS, which was co-founded by former Bush strategist Karl Rove, to the pro-Democratic Patriot Majority USA — as well as for ideological …"

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 "Congress":

"… midterm elections were held, and 2008, the last year when control of both Congress and the White House was at stake. “There was a lot at stake last year o …"

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 …"

'Citizens United' ruling helped unions win state elections

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

National unions, business groups focused on states in 2012 elections with unions gaining the edge, new analysis shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… he biggest beneficiary, however, was in California. Target Enterprises, a Los Angeles media buying firm, collected nearly $19 million and was the preferred vend …"

Pages