Deadbeat politicos outrun federal enforcers

By Dave Levinthal

Sharpton, Gingrich committees among dozens that owe taxpayers money.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dan Backer":

"… he illegal fine imposed because of Lois Lerner's influence,” John said. Dan Backer, a conservative election law attorney who represents Combat Veterans for C …"

Senate transparency push gets new GOP allies

By Michael Beckel

A bipartisan group of lawmakers will soon introduce a bill requiring Senate candidates to electronically file campaign finance documents.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… nts — choose to e-file copies of their campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission.     …"

National donors pick winners in state elections

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

Two giant D.C.-based players dominated political giving in 2014 state-level elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maryland":

"… ourse, and a lack of funds doesn’t necessarily foretell a loss. In Maryland’s governor’s race, former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, a Democrat, outraise …"

"… g to Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. And because Hogan accepted public funds for his campaign, he was limited …"

Why industry is trying to tell you how to think

By Erin Quinn, Chris Young and Kimberley Porteous

How we investigated the top message peddlers influencing public policy — and why you should care.

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Francisco":

"… erican Beverage Association, it played out most recently in California, in San Francisco and Berkeley, both those cities were asking voters whether they favored or …"

"… they favored or opposed taxes on sugary drinks. On Election Day, voters in San Francisco rejected a soda-tax ballot measure, but a similar tax ended up passing in …"

There are 153 presidential candidates running

By Dave Levinthal

Amid the 'undecided' Romneys and Bushes, a gaggle of unknowns has formally filed paperwork to run for president.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… s this: Potential candidates with any semblance of support have, in a post-Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission political environment, discarded the traditional playbook for ea …"

Guess who's behind 2015's first super PAC?

By Michael Beckel

Curiously, it’s not the anticipated group backing a Jeb Bush presidential run.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… A super PAC called “We the People, Not Washington” registered with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, according to new documents released by the agency. Its treasur …"

'I Can't Breathe' now a federal super PAC

By Liz Essley Whyte

A New York activist wants to honor Eric Garner, who died in police custody, though a new political committee.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… a visual communications strategist for Outfront Media and a volunteer for Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign, filed paperwork registering the group. The …"

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 "Barack Obama":

"… ioners continue to serve despite the ends of their terms because President Barack Obama has not nominated, and the U.S. Senate has not approved, people to replace …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… spending a combined $176.4 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 …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… According to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics, just two Senate contests saw outside groups spend more on elections than …"

"… rted spending about $55 million to the FEC as of Tuesday, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (Party committees also reported spending an additional $14 million.) Sim …"

"… Tuesday — and parties spent an additional $19 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Hagan outraised Tillis by a ratio of more than 2-to-1 and liberals accou …"

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 "Illinois":

"… r Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., which has missed every filing deadline since the Illinois Democrat pleaded guilty to a count of felony fraud in February 2013. He wa …"

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 "Kay Hagan":

"… t on North Carolina’s Senate race: $76 million Ratio by which Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., has out-raised Republican Thom Tillis: 2.5-to-1 Hagan’s averag …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ad of candidate campaigns. Thanks to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and subsequent rulings, there is no limit to what a person, corporation o …"

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 "Karl Rove":

"… ter the Citizens United ruling in 2010 with assistance from GOP strategist Karl Rove. The Freedom Partners Action Fund, the super PAC backed by conservative b …"

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 "Tom Corbett":

"… s race is also among the hottest in the country. Incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is facing a stiff challenge from Democrat Tom Wolf. The gubernatorial con …"

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 "Kansas":

"… te citizens." Other super PACs that have formed since Oct. 15 include the Kansas Ag Communities Coalition of Topeka, Kansas, and Constitutional Veterans fo …"

"… ormed since Oct. 15 include the Kansas Ag Communities Coalition of Topeka, Kansas, and Constitutional Veterans for Freedom Super PAC of Wilmer, Texas. Futh …"

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 "Michigan":

"… cement Alliance of America, another Virginia-based nonprofit was active in Michigan’s state supreme court and attorney general races in 2010. This time, it …"

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 "Mike Huckabee":

"… al campaign — and a group advocating for Romney's Republican primary foe Mike Huckabee. In recent years, ccAdvertising has also been paid for work on behalf of …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ees can be traced in 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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… date participation in any governor’s race in the country, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from media tracking service Kantar Media/CMAG. The pheno …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… received significant attention since 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision granted them powerful spending freedoms. Corporations may n …"

'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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… idential Draft Campaign," super PAC treasurer Erica Sagrans today told the Center for Public Integrity. The switch comes after the Federal Election Commission demanded the grou …"

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 "NextGen Climate Action Committee":

"… than $1 million attacking Brown: liberal super PAC Senate Majority PAC and NextGen Climate Action Committee, a super PAC run by billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer. The Lea …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Scott Brown":

"… ext month. Warren won her U.S. Senate office in 2012, defeating then-Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who's now attempting to win a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire. …"

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 "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 …"

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