Controversial Republican telemarketer forms super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

Gabriel S. Joseph III's past political efforts include an anti-Obama spam text message campaign that prompted legal complaints.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… created a new super PAC. Gabriel S. Joseph III registered an Alexandria, Virginia-based super PAC known as The Survey Group PAC, on Wednesday with the Feder …"

"… onding to questions about from the Washington Times about text messages in Virginia political races, Joseph said, "Everything that ccAdvertising does is legal …"

"… Joseph said, "Everything that ccAdvertising does is legal, per the law of Virginia and the laws of the land." Joseph's ccAdvertising firm — which is based …"

"… the land." Joseph's ccAdvertising firm — which is based in Centreville, Virginia, and formally registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission by …"

Obama takes star turn in state political ads

By Ben Wieder

President and his policies take center stage in political ads, with more than 300,000 mentions, including in lower level state races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… novel, according to Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. He attributes it, in part, to a growing partisan sp …"

Senate Democrats lead TV ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired more TV ads in key Senate races last week than any other group.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mark Pryor":

"… — or about one ad every eight minutes. And in Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor’s campaign aired about 600 TV ads — or about one ad every 17 minutes. …"

'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 "Republican Governors Association":

"… ame that year. The group’s biggest donor this election cycle is the Republican Governors Association, which gave $9 million since January 2013, according to state filings. Th …"

"… ince January 2013, according to state filings. The Washington, D.C.-based Republican Governors Association is a political powerhouse that spends tens of millions of dollars on gover …"

"… Adelson and hedge fund manager Paul Singer, according to IRS filings. The Republican Governors Association also gave $225,000 to the Republican Party of Florida in December, and the …"

In New Hampshire, quixotic super PAC shaking up Republican primary

By Dave Levinthal

Big-spending Mayday PAC giving Jim Rubens an unexpected boost — and Scott Brown a headache — ahead of GOP primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… ity’s honor code and propagating the “flat-out lie” that Brown was a lobbyist. It promised to leave “all our legal options on the table.” In respon …"

Can this 'dark money' group help the Democrats keep the Senate?

By Michael Beckel

Patriot Majority USA raises millions from unknown sources to play attack dog in the South.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mark Pryor":

"… Benton County Democratic Party in Arkansas, agrees. There, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is locked in a close race with Cotton, his Republican challenger. “You …"

Fearing for the Second Amendment, militia groups grow in number

By Alex Lancial and Jim Tuttle

Fear of interference with Second Amendment rights and suspicion of elected officials have provoked a rise in self-described patriot militias

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… our houses,” said Robert Mitchell, commander of the Citizens Militia of Mississippi. “That doesn't exist anymore. Maybe it sounds cliche, maybe it sounds li …"

"… A little over a year ago, Mitchell started the Citizens Militia of Mississippi, which now claims nearly 150 official members – a number that membe …"

Democrats embrace 'McCutcheon' decision

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Ahead of high-stakes battle for the Senate, Democrats create massive fundraising group blessed by contentious 'McCutcheon' decision.

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

"… and “stand against” McCutcheon and the 2010 campaign finance ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations to make unlimited expenditures for or against …"

Lobbying disclosures leave public in the dark

By Marcelo Rochabrun and Dave Levinthal

Despite efforts to beef up laws regulating lobbyists, public is in the dark when it comes to what firms are up to in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… ng with the Lobbying Disclosure Act, the public should seemingly know of a lobbyist’s attempts to secure forgiveness or modification of a taxpayer-funded lo …"

"… will increase when “the identity and the extent of the efforts of paid lobbyists to influence federal officials” is disclosed. Apart from the case of C …"

"… aw’s “full public disclosure of lobbying” section requires lobbyists to file disclosures electronically and do so quarterly instead of semiann …"

"… to comply with disclosure requirements. Despite the increased penalties, lobbyists routinely sidestep the law’s disclosure requirements. They also avoid t …"

Women become increasingly involved in gun groups

By Lauren Loftus and Natalie Krebs

Thanks in part to targeted marketing, more women are buying guns for protection and sport

Gun rights debate enters a new arena: the campus

By Wade Millward and Carmen Forman

The right to carry a firearm onto college campuses has become another issue in the gun control debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Oregon":

"… empt K-12 schools and some public buildings from concealed carry of guns. Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi and Wisconsin — and now Idaho — h …"

"… to colleges allowing concealed guns. A 2011 lawsuit by a division of the Oregon Firearms Federation led to a state court striking the Oregon state educati …"

"… vision of the Oregon Firearms Federation led to a state court striking the Oregon state education board’s ban against guns on campuses. The victories are …"

"… ampuses. The victories are not complete. As in other campus carry states, Oregon universities insist they can limit guns in buildings, and the Oregon state …"

White House faces Democratic Senate revolt over nuclear security cuts

By James Arkin

Members of the Senate are asking Obama to increase spending to secure global nuclear weapons stocks

Excerpts from this story referencing "Oregon":

"… hese programs in 2015. Dianne Feinstein of California and Jeff Merkley of Oregon were joined by 20 other Democrats, as well as two Republicans and two inde …"

State lawmakers take aim at federal gun control

By Justine McDaniel, Robby Korth and Jessica Boehm

A growing collection of state legislatures seeks to disqualify federal gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… ifying federal gun laws because that could undo NRA legislative success in Washington. “I think that is a misguided distraction,” said Todd Rathner, an NRA …"

Evolution of public-carry laws expands gun rights

By Kristen Hwang and Kate Murphy

Public-carry has moved from rare to widespread in the wake of recent shooting incidents

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 …"

‘Dr. Evil’ fuels dogfight between AKC, Humane Society

By John Dunbar and Erin Quinn

Public relations pro, food industry behind website, ads blasting Humane Society.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… s vice president of public affairs for Wal-Mart and served as the top lobbyist for Darden Restaurants, according to a biography from the Edgewa …"

"… g. As president, he argued for "tolerance of social drinking.” He was a lobbyist for the American Beverage Institute from 1999 through 2005, according to f …"

Washington's cynical misinformation game

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the role of distortion in health care politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mark Pryor":

"… n of Independent Business, to pay for a TV ad targeting Democratic senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas. The ad blames Pryor for making it harder for small businesses …"

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 "player":

"… thical presence as a political lobby, the NRA is still the best-positioned player in the debate by far, bringing in and spending hundreds of millions of dol …"

"… key, Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, said. Everytown, the newest player, has perhaps the biggest presence in the news and is the largest of the ad …"

"… ect our rights and freedoms,” she said. But these groups are still small players compared to the NRA. “The NRA is seen as the voice of gun owners. It d …"

Message-maven culture killing compromise in Washington

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Political foes prefer to score points rather than work together on solutions.

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Association of Realtors":

"… quarter 2014 compared to $19.1 million during second-quarter 2013) and the National Association of Realtors ($16.5 million versus $9.1 million) opt to disclose state- and grassroots- …"

Most senators wait to take e-filing leap

By Michael Beckel

Only a slice of the Senate has opted to e-file campaign finance documents as members debate mandating the practice.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… ee, as the watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington previously noted. Tester spokeswoman Marnee Banks said she was "hopeful" …"

Bush bundlers boost pro-Gillespie super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Co-chairman of U.S. Senate candidate's finance committee also helps bankroll supportive super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… ast elite political pedigrees. Two former campaign bundlers for President George W. Bush — Howard Leach and Nicholas Taubman — each contributed $25,000 in Apri …"

"… lican National Committee and as an adviser in the White House to President George W. Bush. Along with GOP strategist Karl Rove, Gillespie also helped found the sup …"

The beautification of Thad Cochran

By Dave Levinthal

Senator's supporters suddenly turn cheery in final bid to save Mississippi mainstay's job.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… areer tonight, moneyed allies of the six-term Republican U.S. senator from Mississippi have invested in sunshine and rainbows. During the three weeks since June …"

"… e 4, when Cochran and tea party-backed opponent Chris McDaniel advanced to Mississippi's GOP primary runoff, super PACs and nonprofits have spent $1.25 million o …"

"… Congressional Fund, social welfare nonprofit Main Street Advocacy and the Mississippi Conservatives super PAC have led Cochran's positivity parade. The U.S. Ch …"

"… depicted Cochran as an upbeat political veteran who "can do more for Mississippi." The National Republican Senatorial Committee — an official GOP party …"

Lobbyists boost Senate Democrats

By Michael Beckel

Democrats have outraised their GOP counterparts in terms of money coming from lobbyists doubling as fundraisers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Oregon":

"… ated with ideological groups that also lobby. Hawaii’s Brian Schatz and Oregon’s Jeff Merkley both disclosed bundling activity by the League of Conserv …"

How lobbyists helped build John Cornyn’s election war chest

By Michael Beckel

Lobbyists’ role in Senate GOP whip's campaign helped him avoid, in his own words, a “fair fight.”

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… st a pesky and potentially dangerous tea party challenger, a small army of lobbyists volunteered. Government influencers representing Goldman Sachs, Koch Ind …"

"… al campaign finance filings. No other politician raised a larger sum from lobbyist-bundlers. And only Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who collecte …"

"… es, friends or business associates are known as “bundlers.” Registered lobbyists who bundle campaign contributions above a convoluted financial threshold …"

"… ng access through fundraising activity. In 2007, Congress itself required lobbyist-bundlers to disclose their activity following the Jack Abramoff corruption …"

Outside money pouring into governors races

By Ben Wieder

Dem, GOP associations are spending more than double as much on governors' races in the 2014 cycle than at the same period in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… all as they duel over governorships in 36 states. Through March, the Republican Governors Association has spent five times more around the country than it did at the …"

Republicans to target Van Hollen in FEC complaint

By Dave Levinthal

Party official: Republicans to file an FEC complaint about the Democratic congressman's pro bono legal aid.

Mississippi's super PAC-dominated Senate slugfest not over yet

By Dave Levinthal

Cochran and McDaniel prepare to square off again June 24 as outside groups spend millions in GOP's contested Senate primary.

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

"… t forces in political races thanks to the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations, nonprofits, unions and special interests to r …"

Shameful coverage of Obamacare's real impacts

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obamacare coverage that doesn't inform.

GOP challengers get boost from 'jumbo joint'

By Michael Beckel

New jumbo joint fundraising committee to aid 10 Republican ‘young guns’ and the NRCC.