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 "Cato Institute":

"… pen — a veteran of Americans for Prosperity, the Club for Growth and the Cato Institute — American Commitment has vigorously opposed efforts to force donor disc …"

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 "Politics":

"… 76.4 million on the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Roughly $70 million of that was spent by Crossroads GPS. The groups’ mo …"

Koch-backed nonprofit raised $44 million in 2013

By Michael Beckel

ObamaCare-bashing Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, raised $44 million in 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… e U.S. tax code. It has emerged as one of the leading critics of President Barack Obama and his policies — particularly his “ObamaCare” health care reform l …"

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 "Senate contests":

"… ty review of data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics, just two Senate contests saw outside groups spend more on elections than the candidates themselves …"

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 "Internal Revenue Service":

"… al welfare nonprofits in Kentucky — bringing in more money, according to Internal Revenue Service records, than some of Kentucky’s more high-profile nonprofits, such as t …"

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 "director":

"… s here to stay,” says political science professor Erika Franklin Fowler, director of the Wesleyan Media Project, which monitors political advertising. No U …"

"… the incumbent’s record.” But Michael Malbin, co-founder and executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., …"

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 "bank":

"… ndraising hiccups: the NRSC ended August with about $5 million less in the bank than the DSCC, according to the groups’ most recent campaign finance fil …"

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 "Crossroads":

"… o-founder Bernard Marcus, who gave $500,000. …"

"… ompany as giving it $300,000 on Aug. 29, part of the $1.7 million American Crossroads raised in August. But Glenmede spokeswoman Melissa Stonberg says the weal …"

"… r wealthy individuals, families and foundations — didn’t give American Crossroads a penny. "The Glenmede Trust Company, N.A. did not make any donations to …"

"… "The Glenmede Trust Company, N.A. did not make any donations to American Crossroads," Stonberg told the Center for Public Integrity. "We have contacted Americ …"

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 "Iowa":

"… It’s just so expensive to get on TV,” he said. …"

"… g service. That’s nearly one ad every two minutes. The Senate races in Iowa and Michigan — both are open-seat contests because Democratic incumbents …"

"… aid Barbara Trish, a professor of political science at Grinnell College in Iowa. “You can pretty much saturate [Iowa],” she added, “for a lot less …"

"… cal science at Grinnell College in Iowa. “You can pretty much saturate [Iowa],” she added, “for a lot less money” than many other parts of the co …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… Begich of “standing with insurance companies” by supporting President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. Meanwhile, Generation Opportunity, a Koch gro …"

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 "Comcast":

"… ’s three largest telecommunications companies — AT&T, Charter, and Comcast Corp. — tried to convince Republican leaders to relegate the measure to …"

"… spread of municipal broadband networks. For more than a decade, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc., and CenturyLink Inc. have spent millions of dolla …"

"… m not saying we haven’t,” Stephenson said. “I just don’t know.” Comcast, the second-largest campaign contributor among telecommunications companie …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… r that receive the bulk of their funding from non-Alaskans, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of advertising data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG. That’s more t …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… aid the only inappropriate pressure exerted on the agency was by President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats, who repeatedly criticized political spendi …"

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 "attorney":

"… ess of the legal limit, according to Matthew Sanderson, a campaign finance attorney with Caplin & Drysdale. Neither the DGA, nor Schauer’s campaign ret …"

"… nyone or include the phrase “Scott for governor,” said Mark Herron, an attorney who specializes in elections for the Florida law firm Messer Caparello. T …"

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 "Bush":

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

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… ACs 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 …"

"… C? It’s not immediately clear from Freedom Frontier’s filing with the Federal Election Commission. The super PAC lists Boston Holding Co. LLC at a Boston address, but ther …"

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 "Al Gore":

"… include working as a surrogate spokesman for the presidential campaigns of Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama. “You have what I like to call the cuckoo c …"

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 "Sheldon Whitehouse":

"… n attendance, according to the program: Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. Seth Larson, a spokesman for Whitehouse, said the Rhode Island De …"

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 "lieutenant governor":

"… at Montana will be one of them. Democrat John Walsh, the state’s former lieutenant governor, is currently serving as the interim senator. He faces a primary challenge …"

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 "Mississippi":

"… went to 1911 United’s bus tour to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Louisiana to raise awareness about youth gun violence, said Sinclair S …"

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 "Karl Rove":

"… trategies, a conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofit co-founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove. As a “social welfare” nonprofit, Crossroads GPS is not required to p …"

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 "Jewish Democratic Council":

"… ouse Majority PAC has spent about $956,000. One nonprofit — the National Jewish Democratic Council — has reported spending about $9,200 on Sink’s behalf in the race. Fo …"

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 "Gabriel Gomez":

"… did transfer $53,000 to another super PAC that backed Republican Gabriel Gomez during a special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts. Heading into 2014 …"

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 "John Cornyn":

"… ty, which received $2 million. That group has actively worked to help Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, fend off a conservative primary challenger. Many of the deep-po …"

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 "Mitt Romney":

"… s was Restore Our Future, the super PAC that attempted to boost Republican Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential race, that gave it $100,000. Texas bill …"

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