After big U.S. Supreme Court win, Montana nonprofit suffers string of losses

By Paul Abowd

Democrat Steve Bullock's gubernatorial win a low point for litigious conservative group.

Excerpts from this story referencing "ProPublica":

"… s a separate operation from ATP. He told the investigative reporting group ProPublica that they have “scrupulously endeavored” to avoid illegal coordination …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… with “dark money,” according to a new campaign finance filing with the Federal Election Commission. The sole donor to Prosperity for Pennsylvania is listed as nonprofit Gre …"

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 "Law Enforcement Alliance of America":

"… gubernatorial and Arkansas attorney general contests this cycle. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America, another Virginia-based nonprofit was active in Michigan’s state supreme …"

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 "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… ding to the Center for Responsive Politics.  Topping the list is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the nation's most notable political forces that, through Tuesday, …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokesman":

"… g companies, management companies and investment management companies." A spokesman for the IRS did not respond to requests for comment. …"

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 "Virginia":

"… filings, a Center for Public Integrity review of documents indicates. The Virginia-based organization told the Federal Election Commission that it spent abou …"

"… l whose husband formerly served as the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Iconic singer and actor Pat Boone serves as its national spokesman. The …"

How to fix the IRS nonprofit division

By Julie Patel

Employees, reformers offer three recommendations for improving the agency's flagging nonprofit division.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… There is a similar commission in Australia. Streckfus’s hope: President Barack Obama’s next State of the Union address highlights the need for a new regulato …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… cycle from next to nothing only a few years before, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Aghast, watchdog groups and politicos filed numerous complaints wit …"

"… cycle, a presidential election year, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.  Millions of dollars more have been spent by social welfare nonprof …"

"… o the FEC. Said Robert Maguire, a political nonprofit investigator at the Center for Responsive Politics: “The amount of 'dark money' this cycle will far eclipse what we saw in …"

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.

IRS says liberal group too political for 'social welfare' status

By Michael Beckel

Tax agency rejects pro-Blanche Lincoln group's application for tax-exempt status, calling it too focused on influencing elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arkansas":

"… nse spent $1.2 million on “radio and television time in order to educate Arkansas on key issues facing the state.” Based on records Arkansans for Common S …"

IRS chief promises stricter rules for 'dark money' nonprofit groups

By Julie Patel

Agency chief says he'll tackle exactly how political 'social welfare' groups can get.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… fare groups, are not required to disclose their donors.     …"

Who’s bankrolling secretive liberal group America Votes?

By Michael Beckel

A dozen anonymous donors accounted for most of the $12.7 million America Votes raised during its last fiscal year.

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

"… financially supported America Votes in the past, according research by the Center for Responsive Politics and a Center for Public Integrity review of tax filings maintained by Citi …"

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 "tobacco giant":

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

Why we have a gift acceptance policy, and what it means for you

By Robin Heller

Transparency is of the utmost importance to us, which is why we want to be upfront about our funding.

Montana state senators raise big bucks with secretive nonprofit

By Michael Beckel

Secretive group connected to GOP state Sens. Jason Priest and Ed Walker raised $900,000 in 2012, new documents show.

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

"… ly suing Montana to force the state to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which allowed corporations, unions and special interest groups to …"

CPAC activists urged to fight IRS

By Michael Beckel and Julie Patel

Tax agency called a 'cancer' and 'criminal enterprise' at conservative convention.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… more than President Barack Obama and his signature health care law is the Internal Revenue Service. High-profile politicians from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to Mike Huckabee, …"

Transfers allow nonprofits to spend more money on campaigns, experts say

By Julie Patel

Groups move money to maximize amount that can be used to advocate for or against candidates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "law":

"… a candidate.) Transfers are a way to get around that limitation, say tax lawyers. Say “Nonprofit A” has $1 million and “Nonprofit B” has $1 mi …"

"… lier effect.” Another advantage from the transfers is leverage, say tax lawyers that specialize in nonprofits. A big nonprofit could give $20 million …"

"… y for political campaigning,” Colvin, a principal at San Francisco-based law firm Adler & Colvin, told the Center for Public Integrity. In additio …"

"… check and spend a near equal amount on campaigning. The irony is that by law, both grantors and grantees exist primarily to serve the common good — n …"

Nonprofits' failure to report political activity to IRS raises questions

By Julie Patel

Nonprofits are required to report poltical activity to the IRS — Center finds three that did not and one that underreported.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John Murtha":

"… the special election that spring for the seat of longtime Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania who died in February 2010. Burns lost. Representatives of …"

Nonprofits spend money on campaigns despite benefactors' warnings

By Julie Patel

Despite warning, four nonprofits spent money on 2012 elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "law":

"… ation's general treasury and we are in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations” as well as commitments to donors. Americans for Tax R …"

"… The IRS can take away tax-exempt status if a nonprofit violates a non-tax law; so here the IRS might argue the grantee is violating state law relating t …"

"… a non-tax law; so here the IRS might argue the grantee is violating state law relating to donor intent,” he wrote in an email. Representatives of sev …"

"… ofits err on the side of caution, said Ronald Jacobs, a partner at Venable law firm and co-chairman of its political law practice. He said he works with …"

Next up: 'Citizens United v. IRS'?

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative group promises to 'pull out all the stops' to fight proposed nonprofit regulations.

Corporate cash helps politicians party on

By Michael Beckel

Inauguration, convention-related groups boosted by corporate contributions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Delaware":

"… ntributed to nonprofits linked to gubernatorial inauguration activities in Delaware and Washington state, according to company documents. Paul Breazeale, the …"

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… 0 politically active nonprofits, from major trade associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to pro-business alliances such as the Fix the Debt Coalition. Many such tr …"

"… s on this is in their self-interest.” Chamber backers revealed The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a vocal opponent of more robust corporate disclosure, was the most freque …"

"… s largest nuclear power plant operator, which contributed $250,000 to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2012, according to a company document. Exelon reported doling out $13. …"

"… oreover, three of the largest industry trade groups in the country — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers — …"

Dow Chemical backed anti-union nonprofit with $2 million donation

By Michael Beckel and Erin Quinn

Nonprofit opposed pro-union ballot measure in Michigan with help of $2 million from chemical giant.

Excerpts from this story referencing "energy":

"… ccording to tax records. Corporate donors to the group that year included energy company Exelon Corp. ($10,000), Aetna ($2,250), Pfizer Inc. ($2,000), John …"

Pulling back the veil on corporate contributions

By Michael Beckel and Erin Quinn

New database pulls back veil on corporate giving to politically active nonprofits and covert ways companies advance their agendas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… 2012. That means if you are interested in trade associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers or the Business Roundtable, you …"

Top politics investigations from 2013

By The Center for Public Integrity

In case you missed it, here are some of our favorite politics investigations from 2013.

Negative ads make Peterson 'more inclined' to run

By Michael Beckel

Democratic lawmaker Collin Peterson says a secretive nonprofit's media blitz makes him more likely to seek re-election.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Koch":

"… secretive, conservative nonprofit tied to billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch has commenced a media attack against Rep. Collin Peterson, the 12-ter …"

Liberal heavyweight Patriot Majority USA fueled by secret, big-dollar donors

By Julie Patel

A dark money group expected to play defense for Democrats in the upcoming battle for the U.S. Senate should have plenty in its arsenal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… for ads against Republicans running for U.S. Senate seats in Arkansas and Kentucky, according to Federal Election Commission records. Michael Beckel contrib …"

Center thankful for stellar reviews from charity watchdogs

By Bill Buzenberg

Nation's leading nonprofit evaluators give us accountability rankings to be thankful for.

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 "Karl Rove":

"… to the FEC, while the conservative Crossroads GPS, which was co-founded by Karl Rove, has not spent a dime — although both groups significantly outspent the …"

'Dark money' groups give big to similar nonprofits

By Julie Patel

Politically active nonprofits frequently share money with one another while hiding donors, new tax filings show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Terry McAuliffe":

"… The super PAC spent more than $400,000 on advertisements opposing Democrat Terry McAuliffe before he was elected governor of Virginia this month, and supporting McAu …"

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