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.

'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":

"… n in excess of the legal limit, according to Matthew Sanderson, a campaign finance attorney with Caplin & Drysdale. Neither the DGA, nor Schauer’s cam …"

"… g. The court ruled against the DGA’s request to block the 2013 campaign finance law in June, and the DGA dropped the rest of its lawsuit. Similarly in Mi …"

"… is in dispute. The Wisconsin Club for Growth has challenged the campaign finance investigation as unconstitutional, and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appea …"

"… can convince the five-member majority that has swept away so many campaign finance regulations in recent years to do away with coordination laws.” …"

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 "Campaign finance":

"… ding with candidates. Why are some people so concerned about McCutcheon? Campaign finance reform advocates are concerned about a sort of systemic corruption that ma …"

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 "Comcast":

"… anization spent its money exists with the Colorado Secretary of State, and Comcast doesn’t have a record of Americans for Prosperity’s advertising purcha …"

"… the file for” issue ads, said Ariana Dobson, who sells political ads for Comcast in the Denver-area. According to Zvonek, the organization didn’t have t …"

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 "Virginia":

"… Alliance — told the FEC it spent $1.36 million on ads urging viewers in Virginia and Ohio to "stand with coal" and "vote no on Obama's failing energy polic …"

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 "Office of Management and Budget":

"… nance director, was nominated to be the next ambassador to Denmark. Former Office of Management and Budget head John Berry has been nominated to be the next ambassador to Australia. …"

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 "Connecticut":

"… outside spending groups. Fifteen states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon …"

Political strategists praise power of online fundraising

By Michael Beckel

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

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 "president":

"… kup at a Planned Parenthood clinic detected her cancer. The ad opposes GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has suggested cutting federal funding to the p …"

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.

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.

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 "Jonathan Collegio":

"… who himself owns community banks in Kentucky.American Crossroad spokesman Jonathan Collegio said that, because Duncan is on the state Republican committee, he is not …"

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 "Steven Law":

"… keep donors’ names secret.“2010 was only Crossroads’ opening act,” Steven Law, the group’s president, told the Center for Public Integrity. These two …"

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

A wealth of advice

By Sandy Bergo

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

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

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

Professional advice

By Alexander Cohen

State parties spend hundreds of millions on consulting

Excerpts from this story referencing "Greer Margolis Mitchell Burns":

"… 51 consulting firms accounted for about $346 million in spending, paced by Greer Margolis Mitchell Burns, a Democratic firm, and GOP consultant National Media Inc. Both worked on …"