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 "Illinois":

"… 2.25 on TV ads per vote in the losing effort. Other top spenders included Illinois Republican Bruce Rauner, who, along with his allies, spent almost $21 per …"

"… Rifle Association and other Florida-specific political organizations. In Illinois, such assistance from outside groups helped Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn near …"

"… e popularity was waning. Quinn fought back with help from the labor-funded Illinois Freedom PAC to almost match Rauner’s camp, yet still lost. “When one …"

"… ,” said Brian Gaines, a political science professor at the University of Illinois. By the day before the election, both sides had each spent just over $36 …"

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 "Scott Brown":

"… Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and her Republican challenger, former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Even though Brown had yet to secure the GOP nomination …"

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 "Senate":

"… r Public Integrity is tracking political advertising in races for the U.S. Senate and state-level offices. Use these two, interactive features — with new …"

"… e shots and where the money is being spent. When it comes to winning U.S. Senate races’ television ad wars, Team Blue has seized the advantage a month be …"

"… sing tracking service. Democrats proved particularly dominant in the U.S. Senate races being waged in Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana and Michigan, where they b …"

"… ats were producing more TV ads than Republicans, overall, in key Senate battleground states​​. As September wore on, however, the GOP ate …"

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 Responsive Politics":

"… s associated with the securities and investment industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s more than any other industry. Employees of one hedge fund alone …"

"… . Begich’s largest funder has been the legal industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, whose employees and PACs have given about $670,000, or 8 percent of his t …"

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 "California":

"… ence bill was introduced in the House by Democratic Reps. Mike Thompson of California and Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut, whose district includes Newtown. It is …"

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 "Reynolds American Inc.":

"… do they have in common? All received financial support from tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc. in 2013, according to a document released by the company and reviewed by t …"

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 "teacher":

"… m” organizations, funded largely by wealthy donors, that are challenging teachers’ unions and supporting mostly conservative candidates up and down the t …"

"… rter schools, voucher programs and weakening of employment safeguards like teacher tenure, all ideas bitterly opposed by unions. StudentsFirst flooded at le …"

"… s goal, she said, would be to provide some much-needed opposition to the teachers unions’ political power. “The problem to date has been that you’ve …"

"… The problem to date has been that you’ve had these incredibly powerful teachers unions that have lots of resources, and they use those resources to have …"

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 "Alison Lundergan Grimes":

"… 000. Then there’s We Are Kentucky, a super PAC that is backing Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is vying for McConnell’s Senate seat. It raised $260,500 since its …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… the Cuccinelli campaign noted McAuliffe has been helped by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC and San Francisco environmentalist Tom Steyer’s …"

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 "American Chemistry Council":

"… er large lobbying forces with prominent health care interests, such as the American Chemistry Council ($4.75 million), American Medical Association ($4.27 million) and the Biot …"

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 "primary":

"… at we're stronger than this challenge." Upon winning his Democratic party primary, Booker warned of "increased hostile spending from right-wing super PACs." …"

"… he first announced his candidacy in June, with the bulk coming during the primary election that he easily won, according to a Center for Public Integrity an …"

"… assing. All of its pro-Booker spending occurred prior to Booker's Aug. 13 primary. The group did not return several requests for comment. Another super PAC …"

"… e more than $34,000 in pro-Booker independent expenditures, all during his primary race. The group, which did not return requests for comment, has promised t …"

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 "Face the Nation":

"… hived on YouTube: Paulson forcefully advocating the bailout plan on CBS’ Face the Nation; appearing near panic when it first failed in a House vote a week later; c …"

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 "Politics":

"… d political contributions.  Sign up now to receive our Money in Politics newsletter. ------------------------- Attendees at that event descr …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… sociation, the late Bob Perry of Texas and billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave more. Thomas Flynn, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… unched by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg brought in about $8.6 million during the first half of the year, a Center …"

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 "American Crossroads":

"… he re-election of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Likewise, American Crossroads, the behemoth co-founded in 2010 by GOP strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gille …"

"… oma-based Rooney Holdings ($150,000). Jonathan Collegio, the spokesman of American Crossroads, predicted that “enthusiasm about the opportunity to win control of the …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… is the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund, led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Tom Menino. The group spent $580,000 on lobbying last qua …"

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 "Senate election":

"… o contributed $500,000 to a political action committee supporting the 2012 Senate election of Maine Independent Angus King. Bloomberg has said he’s prepared to ta …"

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 "Boeing":

"… hile many defense contractors experienced lobbying growth early this year, Boeing and Lockheed Martin experienced slight spending declines during the first …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… control advocates  — from President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the families of children killed last …"

The anatomy of a misleading fundraising email

By Dave Levinthal

Democrats' latest fundraising pitch rife with misleading rhetoric.

Excerpts from this story referencing "University of California":

"… marketing gimmick," said Rick Hasen, an election law professor at the University of California-Irvine. Say a wealthy person did pledge to match contributions 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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… (c)(4) arm of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Among the issues on which Mayors Against …"

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 "Bloomberg":

"… ;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 …"

"… nson dropped out and endorsed Kelly. Halvorson, who has accused Bloomberg of attempting to buy the election, had spent $34,560 as of Feb. 6, her mos …"

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 "Mayors Against Illegal Guns":

"… so the public can’t see what’s really going on.” In a recent report, Mayors Against Illegal Guns charged the gun lobby with “blindfolding law enforcement” by limiting …"

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 "Bloomberg":

"… ton, D.C., audience. The nonprofit, headed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Tom Menino, paid $100,000 to run the spot on CBS aff …"

"… s, Mayors Against Illegal Guns also sponsored an ad. That message featured Bloomberg and Menino touting their citie's NFL teams as well as the need for "common …"

"… for "common sense reforms" to "keep guns out of the hands of criminals." Bloomberg and Menino launched Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2007, and the coalition …"

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 …"

Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns: 'Money is not all that matters'

By Michael Beckel

Mayors Against Illegal Guns sees 'intensity' on its side as its pitted against the National Rifle Association.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bloomberg":

"… Illegal Guns, a nonprofit launched in 2007 by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. "Money is not all that matters," Gla …"

"… as did NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre. So, too, has Bloomberg created a super PAC, which is called "Independence USA PAC." Bloomberg’ …"

"… as Bloomberg created a super PAC, which is called "Independence USA PAC." Bloomberg’s group, which was formed last October, spent more than $8 million on ad …"