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 "attorney":

"… predates Citizens United by about 30 years, according to Marcus Owens, an attorney and former director of the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organizations Divisions. Si …"

"… bsp;American Future Fund, a conservative group based in Iowa, aired ads in attorneys general races in Ohio, Iowa and Kansas in 2010 and returned to spend more …"

"… to boost Republican candidates in the Nebraska gubernatorial and Arkansas attorney general contests this cycle. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America, …"

"… irginia-based nonprofit was active in Michigan’s state supreme court and attorney general races in 2010. This time, it spent nearly $165,000 to attack one c …"

'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 "Florida":

"… same sources, going through different vehicles.” …"

"… AG. The phenomenon stems in part from a new campaign finance law that the Florida Legislature passed last year. The change made it easier for independent po …"

"… n Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall election campaign, for example. Yet in Florida, such coordination is not only legal, but the norm. “The idea that ther …"

"… ion,” said Dan Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida. Without firewalls, though, limits on how much money candidates can raise …"

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 "Finance":

"… rect the group, according to Rich Robinson, who runs the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which tracks outside spending in the state and advocates for bett …"

"… candidate for governor Jeff Johnson recently asked the state’s Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board to clarify whether he could raise money for an …"

The 'McCutcheon' decision explained — more money to pour into political process

By Michael Beckel

The Supreme Court recently decided to eliminate 'aggregate limits' on contributions. We tell you what that means.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Republican Congressional Committee":

"… lican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee have already formed a super-sized joint fundraising committee th …"

Issue ad or political ad? You be the judge

By Rachel Baye

Ads intended to influence elections often not reported because sponsors claim they are about issues.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Marcus Owens":

"… ity is considered partisan where 501(c)(3)’s are concerned, according to Marcus Owens, a former IRS director of exempt organizations. “It includes arguably a …"

Small-dollar donors boost pro-Obama Organizing for Action

By Michael Beckel

Small-dollar donors accounted for the bulk of pro-Obama nonprofit's 2013 receipts.

IRS sets its sights on political 'dark money'

By Michael Beckel

The Internal Revenue Service is proposing new rules that could curb the ability of social welfare nonprofits to influence elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… ve." …"

Obama taps Goldman Sachs executive as ambassador to Canada

By Michael Beckel

Goldman Sachs executive is 20th campaign bundler nominated for an ambassadorship by Obama this year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate Foreign Relations Committee":

"… post to join Obama’s re-election campaign. When he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this year, he pledged to “work every day to nurture and deepen …"

Lax state rules provide cover for sponsors of attack ads

By Alan Suderman

In 30 states it’s impossible to total how much money outside groups are spending on campaigns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New Hampshire":

"… na, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tenness …"

Political strategists praise power of online fundraising

By Michael Beckel

Former Obama and Romney campaign staffers dish about online fundraising strategies.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… eap financial rewards from it. Moffatt, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s digital director, points to Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rand P …"

Barack Obama

Obama bundlers closely tied to influence industry

By Michael Beckel

Top fundraisers closely tied to lobbying powerhouses despite president's anti-lobbyist pledge.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Caribbean":

"… s first term. Welters was appointed to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, a post from which she resigned last Novembe …"

Daily Disclosure: Koch-backed nonprofit ‘educates’ voters about Obama

By Rachael Marcus

Obama's 'failing agenda' subject of new negative ad blast from big outside-spending nonprofit.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… of ads that urge a yes or no vote, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The entire sum has been spent opposing Obama, but Americans for Prosperit …"

Daily Disclosure: Chamber of Commerce spends big on four-state ad blitz

By Rachael Marcus

The nation's No. 1 business lobby spends $1.1 million on ads, avoids disclosure of donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New Mexico":

"… he four spots are designed to aid Republican candidates in Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico and North Dakota — battleground races that could lead to GOP control of …"

"… ses Republican Senate candidate and former congresswoman Heather Wilson of New Mexico for “fighting for New Mexico energy,” ($220,901), countering an ad cam …"

"… and former congresswoman Heather Wilson of New Mexico for “fighting for New Mexico energy,” ($220,901), countering an ad campaign that began yesterday from …"

Nonprofit profile: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

By Alexandra Duszak

Quick stats on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Chamber, GOP block election ad transparency bill

By Rachael Marcus and John Dunbar

Bill would force underwriters of attack ads to come out of the shadows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican operative":

"… rding to a Center for Public Integrity study.Crossroads GPS, co-founded by Republican operative Karl Rove, is one of the most active nonprofits. In 2010 and 2011, it rais …"

One House seat in Kentucky embodies how outside groups dominate politics — with money

By Anne Farris Rosen

Candidates become mere pawns as big-money groups duke it out with attack ads

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Crossroads":

"… ads targeting Chandler and 11 other House Democrats.GPS and its affiliated American Crossroads were among the nation’s big spenders in the 2010 mid-term elections. Cro …"

"… es who maneuver for control of Congress and the White House.Among those is American Crossroads, a Super PAC  formed with the help of Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, for …"

"… ding farm in Chandler’s district. Hughes has contributed $3.5 million to American Crossroads and $2,400 to Barr’s 2010 campaign. Barr told iWatch News he does not kn …"

"… iture committee that ran ads against Chandler in 2010 and coordinates with American Crossroads and other groups supporting Republicans.Other Kentucky-related donors made …"

Small donors vs. big money in 2012

By Alexis Simendinger

Donors who gave under $200 to Obama are disillusioned by the flood of large contributions that will swamp the 2012 elections.

Democrats desperately seek their own Rove

By Peter H. Stone

For chastened Democrats, ‘a lesson and a beating’; Republicans hone tactics that brought in secretive millions last year...

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees":

"… group money chase. But by fall, as the U.S. House began to slip away, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees jumped in with $91 million, which led spending by all groups. AFSCME presi …"

Obama’s first choice for FEC raises questions about stance on 527s

By Josh Israel

A few days ago, President Obama made attorney John Sullivan his first nomination to fill one of the three vacant seats on the Federal Electi

New Media Communications

By Chris Landers

Consultant profile: Major Clients in 2003-2004: George W. Bush (R), Republican National Committee

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… Web designer for the official, federally funded Web pages of 37 members of Congress. And the following year, according to House financial statements, GovTech …"

A wealth of advice

By Sandy Bergo

Nearly $2 billion flowed through consultants in 2003-2004 federal elections

Excerpts from this story referencing "Costa Rica":

"… ards that depict him as a tourist wearing a loud shirt and shorts in Rome, Costa Rica, and Antigua — with all expenses paid by "Washington special interests." …"

Consultant profile: Hal Malchow (MSHC Partners)

By Chris Landers

Major clients in include Democratic National Committee, Sierra Club Voter Education Fund, and John Kerry

Campaign Consultants methodology

By The Center for Public Integrity

How we did it: anatomy of an investigation

Airtime Is money

By Sandy Bergo, Agustín Armendariz and John Perry

Basing pay on ad spending could create a consulting conflict of interest

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… during the election cycle studied by the Center. They included Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rahm Emanuel. His campaign committee paid …"

"… blic entitled to know?"Professor James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, firmly believes that …"

"… ic race, Jim Humphreys was such a candidate. In 2002, the Democrat ran for Congress from West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District and aired hundreds of comm …"

"… candidate. In 2002, the Democrat ran for Congress from West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District and aired hundreds of commercials on Washington, D.C., telev …"

Fund-raising groups at a glance

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2006 — Politicians spend much of their time and energy raising money to fund ever-more-costly election campaigns. They

Cautious about hard money

By Neil Gordon

County party organizations shying away from federal activities

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ohio":

"… fornia.County parties in three other states key to the presidential race—Ohio, Arizona and Michigan—raised a combined total of less than $600,000, of …"

Professional advice

By Alexander Cohen

State parties spend hundreds of millions on consulting