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 "Illinois":

"… ign efforts, the group gave about $14 million to candidates including Illinois’ new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. It also gave more than $3 million to …"

"… $4.6 million before the election to the campaign committee of Rauner, the Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate, according to data from the National In …"

"… ican Governors Association, and more than $500,000 to state GOP parties in Illinois and Florida. A representative for Griffin declined to comment. Some of t …"

"… an half million dollars to Democrat Pat Quinn’s failed bid to retain the Illinois governorship, but saw more success with the $410,000 it gave to Wolf’s s …"

Ad war winners take governors' mansions

By Ben Wieder, Reity O'Brien and Rachel Baye

Three out of four races won by top spending candidates and their allies

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… Maine where it supported Democrats. Meanwhile former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC, which backed political moderates, found success …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… because they didn’t fully unleash the powers available to them in a post-Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission era of politicking. Senate Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC dedicat …"

Bloomberg helps Democratic governors' group close gap on Republicans

By Ben Wieder

The Republican Governors Association is outpacing its Democratic counterpart but Democrats are catching up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… n the first nine months of this year, but reports filed Wednesday with the Internal Revenue Service show that the gap is narrowing. Though the Republican Governors Associati …"

Democrats seize air supremacy in Senate battlegrounds

By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

Liberals aired more TV ads last week than their conservative foils in seven of the nine top Senate battlegrounds races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… Pryor’s campaign aired. Meanwhile, in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell battled Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. The state ranked No …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… Senate Majority PAC. This Democratic super PAC counts New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, media mogul Fred Eychaner of Chicago and environmentalist Tom Steyer of S …"

Decades old gun control debate reshaped by new advocacy groups

The gun control movement has made significant gains in recent years, but the NRA remains king of the hill

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… e Everytown for Gun Safety, the group backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, say they are moving the needle. “Now, for the first time in our countr …"

Manhattan just another island haven for dirty money

By Michael Hudson

Luxury Manhattan real estate has become a magnet for shady characters looking to funnel their wealth into the US.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… ory on    …"

Tobacco money fuels gay Republicans, business organizations

By Michael Beckel

Reynolds American gave thousands of dollars to politically active nonprofits such as the Log Cabin Republicans, Americans for Prosperity.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… on that lobbied against tobacco regulations proposed in 2013 by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City. Other notable Reynolds American payments included $60,0 …"

Education groups battle teachers unions in state races

By Rachel Baye

Groups funded by billionaires back state-level candidates who want to weaken teachers unions and promote charter schools.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Tepper":

"… ngton Post story that named billionaire New Jersey hedge fund manager David Tepper, a major Mitt Romney supporter, among StudentsFirst’s funders. The artic …"

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 "Texas":

"… sed its super PAC to funnel money to McAuliffe's campaign in Virginia, and Texas trial lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn, who mostly gave through their law fi …"

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

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 "Republican Party":

"… e Foundation. “We must remember that there is a distinction between the Republican Party and the conservative movement,” DeMint declared at the 2013 Conservative …"

Koch-backed governors group gives big to Cuccinelli in Virginia

By Rachel Baye

Cuccinelli slams McAuliffe for accepting out-of-state cash while raking in millions from governors association.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Governors Association":

"… e funds come primarily from out-of-state. McAuliffe’s top donor was the Democratic Governors Association’s PAC, DGA Action, which contributed nearly $6.5 million. According to I …"

Lobbying dips overall, but the beat goes on for guns, drugs and agriculture

By Dave Levinthal

But third-quarter expenditures are down for many special interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… them.” Mayors Against Illegal Guns, led in part by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, spent $500,000 from July 1 through September, down slightly from its all- …"

Booker burying Lonegan in super PAC cash dash

By Dave Levinthal

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful has derided outside money but is greatly benefiting from it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… million is this week on its way soon courtesy of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super PAC, the Independence USA PAC, the New York Times reported today. …"

Ex-SEC chief now helps companies navigate post-meltdown reforms

By Lauren Kyger, Alison Fitzgerald and John Dunbar

Former regulators profit from their experience with jobs, book deals and speaking fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Troubled Asset Relief Program":

"… ns. The succinct piece of legislation — which led to the creation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program — demanded there be no oversight or second-guessing of his plans. His e …"

"… of the law, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neil Barofsky. AIG’s counterparties — those that were owed — inclu …"

D.C. corruption probe spreads to Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign

By Michael Beckel and Alan Suderman

New York City businessman pleads guilty for work done in 2008 to support Hillary Clinton.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… ire McCaskill, D-Mo., Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as well as the Clinton Foundation.     …"

Unions dramatically increase super PAC donations

By Michael Beckel

Unions accounted for $1 out of every $6 raised by super PACs in first half of 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Governors Association":

"… e fourth- and fifth-largest super PAC donors so far this year — only the Democratic Governors Association, the late Bob Perry of Texas and billionaire New York City Mayor Michael B …"

Gun groups raising unprecedented cash in 2013

By Adam Wollner and Reity O'Brien

Advocates, opponents of firearms control gin up money machine as Congress debates legislation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… on from the beginning of January through the end of June, according to new Federal Election Commission filings. That was more than any other super PAC raised during that period. …"

Democrats seize super PAC crown

By Michael Beckel

Liberal groups outraised conservative counterparts 2-to-1 in first half of 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House":

"… 0 for Obama’s re-election efforts, and this spring, he visited the White House three times, records show. Additionally, New York City Mayor Michael Bloo …"

"… groups focused on expanding the ranks of Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and a union-funded operation. DGA Acti …"

"… h them to ballot boxes across the country.” Meanwhile, Democrat-backing House Majority PAC collected roughly $3.4 million; sister organization Senate Ma …"

"… s and Priorities USA Action, the super PAC started in 2012 by former White House aides to support Obama’s re-election — which itself is still sitting o …"

Pro-gun group dramatically ups influence spending

By Dave Levinthal

The nonprofit National Association for Gun Rights spent $3 million lobbying last quarter, far more than the better-known NRA.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… ent. (Update, 7:26 p.m.: In an email, National Association for Gun Rights spokeswoman Danielle Thompson said her organization will continue this year to "be a t …"

"… “continue to educate member of Congress on the importance of reform,” spokeswoman Blair Latoff Holmes said, noting that a major advertising campaign prior t …"

Gun lobby's money and power still holds sway over Congress

By Alan Berlow and Gordon Witkin

But lawmakers' fear may not be entirely justified.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… eople at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and President Obama promised tougher gun laws, the vote proved to be the latest in a long-runn …"

"… as LaPierre told a conservative audience in 2011, that President Obama, once re-elected, planned to “get busy dismantling and destroying our fi …"

"… rs, Keene now says the NRA has added an additional million since President Obama pleaded for new gun laws in the wake of the Newtown murders. Meanwhile th …"

Gun groups, defense contractors buck downward trend in lobbying

By Dave Levinthal

Gun groups, defense contractors, oil companies and Facebook increased spending on lobbying last quarter.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau":

"… reet reform law as well as the oversight capabilities of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Google’s lobbying expenditures had been on a torrid pace of late, as t …"

NRA spends record money on lobbying this year

By Dave Levinthal

Pro-gun organization increases influence effort as congressional debate rages.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… y previous year, according to data maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics, but spending during this year's first quarter puts it on pace to exc …"

The anatomy of a misleading fundraising email

By Dave Levinthal

Democrats' latest fundraising pitch rife with misleading rhetoric.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… it, along with a host of other outside groups, such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun super PAC, are the front-line warriors in a nationwide effort t …"

Gun groups hire new lobbyists to storm Capitol Hill

By Dave Levinthal

Pro-gun, anti-gun groups register new government affairs representatives.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… opposed to it — have registered new federal lobbyists, according to U.S. Senate filings made available this afternoon. The registrations come at a time w …"

"… g stable, tapping Maryland-based firm JBH Group to advocate on its behalf, Senate records show.  Firm President Jamie Brown Hantman, a former legislat …"

Bloomberg super PAC targets Jackson's former seat

By Dave Levinthal

Illinois special congressional election attracting millions in spending by super PACs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… 2.5 million through Tuesday — has been spent by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun super PAC Independence USA PAC, according to Federal Election C …"

Current gun debate may not help beleaguered ATF

By Alan Berlow

Federal gun cops handicapped by weak laws, stagnant budgets and Congressional restrictions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… the same number of agents that ATF had in 1972 when it separated from the Internal Revenue Service and became its own bureau. In a letter to Vice President Joe Biden’s Gun …"

Super Bowl ad cost Mayors Against Illegal Guns $100,000

By Michael Beckel

Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns drops $100K on ad during NFL's biggest game of the year, new records show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… Beautiful," along with 1999 congressional testimony by Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's current executive vice president and CEO. "The NRA once supported backg …"

Fix the Debt Coalition lobbies up

By Dave Levinthal

Fix the Debt Coalition hires government affairs professionals to press financial reform agenda.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michael Bloomberg":

"… -founders and co-chairmen of Campaign to Fix the Debt. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent; former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.; and former Pennsylvania G …"