New FEC chief on 'dark money' mission

By Dave Levinthal

New Chairwoman Ann Ravel says she'll fight to out people behind secretive political cash, regardless of party.

Excerpts from this story referencing "politics":

"… titioners, but are nevertheless concerned about big money’s influence in politics. When reminded that she just spent the last year deadlocking with her Rep …"

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 "Kansas":

"… groups can hide their donors from voters with lags in filing deadlines. In Kansas, a state where a tight governor’s race attracted more ads from …"

"… tical activity will not be released by the IRS until 2015 — months after Kansas voters saw the anti-Davis ads and cast ballots. Michael K. Morgan, a top g …"

Jeb Bush explores White House bid — unconventionally

By Carrie Levine

Instead of traditional presidential exploratory committee, potential GOP candidate GOP to create a leadership PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… n limits,” said Kenneth Gross, a former associate general counsel of the Federal Election Commission who leads the political law practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & …"

"… uch leadership PACs can raise before Bush is officially a candidate, while Federal Election Commission regulations prohibit exploratory committees from raising “funds in exces …"

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 "Ed Gillespie":

"… GPS, co-founded by Republican political operative Karl Rove and strategist Ed Gillespie, has maintained it adheres to federal laws governing nonprofits. It repor …"

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 "California":

"… er our democracy,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. Disclosure “helps to ferret out corruption,” Hasen continued …"

FEC hunts political ghosts on Halloween

By Carrie Levine

On Halloween, the elections agency sent disclosure demands to hundreds of candidates — including those no longer alive.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ann Ravel":

"… med the agency sent out 372 such letters last Friday. FEC Vice Chairwoman Ann Ravel explained that the FEC is required by law to post the names of committees …"

Surprise! No. 1 super PAC backs Democrats

By Carrie Levine and Dave Levinthal

To the surprise of many, the top-spending super PAC this election backs Democrats, not Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… is a fraction of the close to $700 million the Center for Responsive Politics predicts outside groups will spend on the midterm elections. Overall,  …"

Election 2014 by the numbers

By Michael Beckel

A new Center for Public Integrity money-in-politics index highlights key facts about the most expensive midterm in history.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… state-level and U.S. Senate races that have mentioned President Barack Obama or the Obamacare health care reform law: 445,000 Minimum number of pro-Hi …"

Mega-donors give big to state candidates

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien and Ben Wieder

More than two dozen donors have given at least $1 million to state-level campaigns ahead of Nov. 4.

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

"… dependent spending groups, having given $14 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. A representative for Eychaner declined to comment. On the other side, G …"

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 "Kansas":

"… V ads that have so far aired in Alaska, ArKansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire and South Da …"

"… were responsible for 48 percent. And independents — namely Greg Orman in Kansas and Larry Pressler in South Dakota — were responsible for the rest. GOP …"

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 "Bob Casey":

"… ida have seen more spending on TV ads. Neither Toomey nor Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is up for re-election in Pennsylvania this November.    …"

Super PACs exploit disclosure loophole

By Dave Levinthal

Several political committees that materialized in recent days aren't required to reveal donors until after Election Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… e core of our campaign laws and our elections," said Larry Noble, a former Federal Election Commission general counsel who now advises election law reform group Campaign Legal C …"

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 "North Carolina":

"… these politically active groups have had to disclose their donors. In North Carolina and Georgia, for example, some of these groups airing political …"

Controversial Republican telemarketer forms super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

Gabriel S. Joseph III's past political efforts include an anti-Obama spam text message campaign that prompted legal complaints.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… 007 Iowa caucuses, the National Review reported the firm did work both for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign — and a group advocating for Romney's Republican …"

Non-candidate spending increases in state elections

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

TV ad spending in state elections since 2010 is down, but the portion ponied up by political nonprofits and state-level super PACs rises.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… n part to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, decided early in 2010. The ruling gave the green light to unions and corp …"

'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 …"

Secret politics pervade popular companies

By Dave Levinthal

Some well-known brands keep their political spending secret while others are more forthcoming, new survey shows.

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

"… o directly advocate for a candidate's election or defeat. In January, the Center for Public Integrity reported that top corporations had in one year funneled at least $173 mill …"

'Ready for Warren' to change name

By Dave Levinthal

Federal regulators convince a pro-Elizabeth Warren super PAC to change its name.

Excerpts from this story referencing "PAC treasurer":

"… fficially become the "Ready for Warren Presidential Draft Campaign," super PAC treasurer Erica Sagrans today told the Center for Public Integrity. The switch come …"

In New Hampshire, quixotic super PAC shaking up Republican primary

By Dave Levinthal

Big-spending Mayday PAC giving Jim Rubens an unexpected boost — and Scott Brown a headache — ahead of GOP primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… both elected her governor and senator, is nonetheless dogged by President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, and her backers are using all the time they have to butt …"

FEC not 'Ready for Warren'

By Dave Levinthal

The nation's election regulator is telling an upstart super PAC to change its name, saying it violates federal law.

How much money can a lobbyist make?

By Dave Levinthal and Marcelo Rochabrun

Hourly pay of four figures is possible at one D.C. firm, court filings show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "General Services Administration":

"… former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and administrator of the General Services Administration. In 2005, the Carmen Group said it would charge Louisiana Construction Sy …"

Lobbying disclosures leave public in the dark

By Marcelo Rochabrun and Dave Levinthal

Despite efforts to beef up laws regulating lobbyists, public is in the dark when it comes to what firms are up to in Washington.

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

"… efforts has also slipped each year since 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The drop, some have theorized, may be due to more lobbyists terminating …"

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 "Americans for Prosperity":

"… uting the Republican frontrunner, Dan Sullivan. Three of these groups — Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners and the American Energy Alliance —  fall within c …"

Pat Roberts' merry band of boosters

By Dave Levinthal

Outside groups are using the power of positivity to help save career of Kansas' longtime U.S. senator.

Excerpts from this story referencing "cent":

"… which are each headquartered in or near Washington, D.C., haven't spent a cent on messages that attack Wolf ahead of tonight's primary vote. Why? Succes …"

"… Of the $809,000 they've collectively spent, $588,000 of it — about 73 percent — has funded ads that expressly attack Roberts, federal records show. V …"

"… rget Wolf are sponsored by the Roberts' campaign itself. They include a recent television spot that pans Wolf, a radiologist by trade, for posting X-rays …"

"… PACs and nonprofits: Outside groups supporting Roberts have spent about 41 cents for every dollar spent by groups supporting Wolf or bashing Roberts, fede …"

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.

Koch-backed seniors group low-balling election spending?

By Michael Beckel

The 60 Plus Association tells the IRS it barely spends money on politics — despite funding millions in candidate attack ads.

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

"… Public Integrity review of federal tax documents and data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, five nonprofits that are part of the Koch brothers’ network supplied ne …"

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

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

"… ntegrity of analysis of new congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data. Spending by several others remained stagnant. Unlike last year …"

Most senators wait to take e-filing leap

By Michael Beckel

Only a slice of the Senate has opted to e-file campaign finance documents as members debate mandating the practice.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jon Tester":

"… upon their filing? Physically view paper copies at the U.S. Capitol. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has sponsored bipartisan legislation that would change that. An …"

Is this super PAC subverting disclosure rules?

By Michael Beckel

Georgia's GOP Senate primary has attracted big money from a super PAC funded by two nonprofit groups tied to an Ohio lobbyist.

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 "Democratic candidate":

"… and there’s a lot we can do to make Michigan’s economy better,” the Democratic candidate says. “Tell Gov. [Rick] Snyder his economic policies work for the wealth …"

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