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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… oup co-founded by Rove after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010. Both American Crossroads and the DSCC aired about 1,000 …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… V ads across eight, battleground states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina and New Hampshire. Since the beginning of 2013, …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… pending spree has included about 8,600 ads in North Carolina, 6,900 ads in Louisiana, 5,800 ads in Iowa, 4,900 ads in Michigan, 4,700 ads in Arkansas, 4,600 ad …"

"… chance to make a first impression.” When TV viewers see these ads, said Louisiana State University political science professor Johanna Dunaway, they may not …"

"… s early as possible,” added Chris Mann, a political science professor at Louisiana State University. Ads from non-candidate groups, Mann continued, can help …"

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 "Jeanne Shaheen":

"… n cash on hand. Best of the rest: New Hampshire Freshman Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen will likely face former GOP Sen. Scott Brown, who briefly represented Mass …"

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 "simulation":

"… g to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Arnold Air Force Base and its flight simulation development complex, as well as a regional medical center, are the primary …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… hat “Alaskans, not outsiders, should pick our elected officials.” But Federal Election Commission records show that about 95 percent of the $5.1 million Put Alaska First ra …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… he Internal Revenue Service would take action. After all, lawyers for the Federal Election Commission argued that Crossroads GPS, co-founded by Republican operatives Karl …"

"… welfare. It wasn’t until the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010, however, that politically active nonprofits — soc …"

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 "Republican Governors Association":

"… treasurer is attorney Michael G. Adams, who also serves as counsel to the Republican Governors Association and Republican Attorneys General Association. Paul Bennecke, a Georgia-bas …"

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 "presidential election":

"… . The greatest number of these mentions occurred during 2012 — the first presidential election year to feature super PACs. “I can’t remember when the last time was …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… Holding Co. LLC at a Boston address, but there is no company registered in Massachusetts with that name, according to state business records. Furthermore, an emplo …"

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 "Chris McDaniel":

"… ats. One cited Cochran’s June 3 primary fight with state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who’s enjoyed heavy support from groups such as FreedomWorks for Americ …"

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 "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 "media buyers":

"… mselves, more than 140 people and groups benefited from the spending, with media buyers ranking among the top. Three media buyers, Waterfront Strategies, SKDKnic …"

"… nefited from the spending, with media buyers ranking among the top. Three media buyers, Waterfront Strategies, SKDKnickerbocker, and Smart Media Group, collected …"

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 "Lee Goodman":

"… Levinthal contributed to this report. …"

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 "David Jolly":

"… sp;  …"

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 "bank":

"… Heading into 2014, American Crossroads reported about $2.7 million in the bank. Its largest donor last year included Contran Corp., the company of Texas …"

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 "Arizona":

"… -gun control super PAC founded by former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona. Then there’s Jonathan Soros, the son of financier George Soros. The y …"

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 "Chris McDaniel":

"… per PAC has spent more than $200,000 on ads backing Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is challenging Cochran. And the Senate Conservatives Fund, through it …"

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 "David Koch":

"… ocial welfare group with ties to the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch — the American Energy Alliance — told the FEC it spent $1.36 million o …"

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 "League of Conservation Voters":

"… ation Voters in 2012. Julie Patel contributed to this report. …"

"… Service and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity show the nonprofit League of Conservation Voters spent a record $36 million in 2012, of which more than 40 percent — near …"

"… l Hill and across the country,” said Jeff Gohringer, a spokesman for the League of Conservation Voters, which, as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit must annually file a tax return with the …"

"… particular ads — something that rarely happens. Repeatedly in 2012, the League of Conservation Voters told the FEC that all expenditures were paid for by money from its “gene …"

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 "League of Conservation Voters":

"… ups that share similar missions” included the Unity Fund ($750,000), the League of Conservation Voters ($650,000), People for the American Way ($550,000) and America’s Voice ( …"

'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 "Republican Governors Association":

"… prolific state-level outside spender and the DGA’s counterpart, the Republican Governors Association (RGA). Both groups are based in Washington, D.C. The RGA was the sole …"

"… outside spending campaigns, according to the Center’s analysis, was the Republican Governors Association. The RGA was responsible for at least $34 million of the $209 million in o …"

Libertarians declare 'mission accomplished' in Virginia — after super PAC help

By Michael Beckel

Libertarians pleased with showing in Virginia gubernatorial race, where super PACs bolstered their underdog candidate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… t only to the Libertarian Party, but also to Democrats including President Barack Obama. For instance, Andra Liemandt was credited by as bundling $326,000 for Ob …"