National donors pick winners in state elections

By Ben Wieder, Kytja Weir, Reity O'Brien and Rachel Baye

Two giant D.C.-based players dominated political giving in 2014 state-level elections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… s Association, and more than $500,000 to state GOP parties in Illinois and Florida. A representative for Griffin declined to comment. Some of the top donor …"

"… lectric utility donated more than $210,000 to the Republican Party of Florida, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.  Duk …"

"… r fees for nuclear plants that do not — and may never — provide power. Florida’s governor and legislature are responsible for naming the members of the …"

Governors and oil industry work hand in hand in offshore drilling group

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Lobbying firm, advocacy organization did much of the work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bobby Jindal":

"… he federal government. The coalition’s first chairman was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who as a congressman in 2006 sponsored a bill that would have remove …"

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 "Democratic Governors Association":

"… ups were the Republican Governors Association ($28.5 million) and the Democratic Governors Association ($17.2 million), national committees that spend and raise millions to elec …"

Mega-donors give big to state candidates

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien and Ben Wieder

More than two dozen donors have given at least $1 million to state-level campaigns ahead of Nov. 4.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Governor":

"… unseat unpopular incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican; The Republican Governors Association, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that has given at le …"

"… ding at least $4.5 million from Griffin and $7 million from the Republican Governors Association. “The millions reassured prospective donors that the Repub …"

"… his running mate to accept more than $3.6 million from the Democratic Governors Association, more than $755,000 from Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner an …"

"… the five largest donors to the Washington, D.C.-based Republican Governors Association in the first nine months of this year, according to the …"

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 "hedge fund manager":

"… tion. Private equity head Mike Shannon and his wife, Mary Sue, along with hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin round out the group’s top five donors, at $2 million fro …"

Non-candidate spending increases in state elections

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Ben Wieder

TV ad spending in state elections since 2010 is down, but the portion ponied up by political nonprofits and state-level super PACs rises.

Excerpts from this story referencing "University of Oklahoma":

"… his year,” said Tyler Johnson, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma. “You have 20-plus governors running for re-election, so you’re immedi …"

"… ave long provided the “best of both worlds,” according to Johnson, the University of Oklahoma professor. “They get outsiders who are willing to attack and get those …"

"… at it removes curriculum control from local decision-makers. Johnson, the University of Oklahoma professor, said criticism of Barresi’s position on the policy ultimately …"

'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 "Paul Singer":

"… avid Koch, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and hedge fund manager Paul Singer, according to IRS filings. The Republican Governors Association also gave …"

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 "Romania":

"… exans for Public Justice. Bush tapped Taubman to be the U.S. ambassador to Romania, where he served from December 2005 through December 2008. Additionally, …"

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 "Democratic Party":

"… aturing then-U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat. It was paid for by Democratic Party committees. Nelson’s campaign argued the ad was legal mainly because it …"

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 "New Jersey":

"… nbsp;some concerns that the fundraising abilities of RGA Chairman and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie might be hampered by the so-called “bridgegate” sc …"

"… is Christie might be hampered by the so-called “bridgegate” scandal in New Jersey, the Christie-led RGA raised more than $22 million in the first three mont …"

Casinos and offshore companies battle for billions in online gambling push

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Congress, states and a rich mix of characters argue over regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington Post":

"… nt $320,000 on lobbying in Washington last year. But in November, the Washington Post reported that he was forming a group called the Coalition to Stop Int …"

Billionaires boost Republican governors group past Democrats in fundraising

By Ben Wieder

GOP governors' group outraises counterpart, but Democrats still expected to win a few races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harold Simmons":

"… of the RGA’s most reliable and generous donors — Texans Bob Perry and Harold Simmons — died in 2013. Perry was the RGA’s most generous benefactor, contribu …"

GOP governors group dwarfs Democrats in fundraising

By Ben Wieder and John Dunbar

This year features 36 governors' races; Republicans enter with a big fundraising advantage over Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Contran Corp.":

"… lf of 2013 include David Koch and deceased Republican donors Bob Perry and Contran Corp. owner Harold Simmons, each of whom contributed $1 million. The …"

RGA raises $50 million going into election year

By Ben Wieder

The top outside political spender of 2012 is preparing for a busy 2014, with 36 gubernatorial races this year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… n, according to the organization’s filings with the IRS and the state of Virginia. The group spent more than $8 million in Virginia in 2013 supporting the l …"

"… the IRS and the state of Virginia. The group spent more than $8 million in Virginia in 2013 supporting the losing campaign of Republican gubernatorial candida …"

"… ign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. In 2010, the RGA, under the leadership of then-Mis …"

'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 "Republican Governors Association":

"… on to the Republican State Leadership Committee and $1 million each to the Republican Governors Association and the Florida Jobs PAC. YG Network, the nonprofit arm of the “Young G …"

Methodology

By Ben Wieder

'Puppet states' project required collection of data from 38 states, plus extensive analysis.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… rom out-of-state donors and whether national political groups, such as the Republican Governors Association or Democratic Governors Association, were among the donors. Groups were c …"

Was the glut of outside spending in 2012 state races just the start?

By Bill Buzenberg

You can expect more money — and ads — pouring into state races next year based on new Center analysis of 2012 election.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… e most prolific source of funds used in outside spending campaigns was the Republican Governors Association (RGA). The RGA was responsible for at least $34 million of the $209 millio …"

'Citizens United' ruling helped unions win state elections

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

National unions, business groups focused on states in 2012 elections with unions gaining the edge, new analysis shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… prolific state-level outside spender and the DGA’s counterpart, the Republican Governors Association (RGA). Both groups are based in Washington, D.C. The RGA was the sole …"

"… outside spending campaigns, according to the Center’s analysis, was the Republican Governors Association. The RGA was responsible for at least $34 million of the $209 million in o …"

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 "Republican Governors Association":

"… than 40 percent of funds raised by his campaign since Jan. 1 — from the Republican Governors Association (RGA), a Washington, D.C.-based group that funnels big contributions from …"

State pro-business organizations are publicly funded, but privately controlled

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Unelected business authorities operate on state funds, but disclose little.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona Republic":

"… ewer’s office did not respond to requests for comment. But when the Arizona Republic editorial board asked the governor if the Commerce Authority had a tr …"

"… jects that will create 15,262 jobs. Doug MacEachern, a member of the Arizona Republic editorial board, in August 2012 wrote that while the authority needed …"

A hyper-super PAC boosts McAuliffe in Virginia race

By Adam Wollner

Democratic group making donations — illegal at the federal level — to Virginia gubernatorial candidate McAuliffe.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… bility to help fill the campaign coffers of gubernatorial candidates. The Republican Governors Association has given a massive sum of money — nearly $5.7 million — to Virginia A …"

"… v. 5. Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the Republican Governors Association donated $1 million to Ken Cuccinelli's attorney general campaign account. …"

Before death, Bob Perry gave to tea party hero Cruz

By Michael Beckel

After spending $600,000 toward his 2012 defeat, Texas super donor backed Sen. Ted Cruz's re-election.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… n April, Bob Perry donated to the re-election campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a man the wealthy Houston home builder spent a small fortune opposing las …"

"… of the vote during the May 29 primary. A pro-Dewhurst super PAC called the Texas Conservatives Fund spent nearly $6 million on advertising during the two r …"

"… Perry donated to the campaigns of Reps. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; Randy Weber, R-Texas; and Bill Flores, R-Texas., as well as Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Meanwhi …"

"… aigns of Reps. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; Randy Weber, R-Texas; and Bill Flores, R-Texas., as well as Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Meanwhile, records filed with the …"

IRS fails to release political groups' financial filings

By Ben Wieder and Kytja Weir

Agency fails to explain why normally accessible political disclosures are being withheld.

Excerpts from this story referencing "online data":

"… quarters. Earlier this month, the already scandal-plauged IRS removed all online data for 527 political organizations after California-based nonprofit group Pub …"

Embattled McDonnell benefactor also boosted RGA

By Alan Suderman

Republican Governors Association got cash from embattled donor to Bob McDonnell.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bob McDonnell":

"… by Jonnie Williams Sr., the businessman whose gift giving to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has drawn the scrutiny of federal law enforcement officials, donated …"

Funds from Adelson-backed super PAC boost Georgia nonprofit

By Michael Beckel

Virginia super PAC wills its funds to nonprofit in Georgia for reasons unknown.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… er, Doug Chalmers, the attorney for Rise and Shine America, Inc., told the Center for Public Integrity that the nonprofit “does not intend to be involved in the Georgia U.S. S …"

"… d, but it's pure speculation and incorrect,” he wrote in an email to the Center for Public Integrity. Chalmers declined to specify how the money would be put to use. Incumbe …"

"… 0,000 during its first year, according to a new tax filing obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. As of June 30, 2012, at the end of its first fiscal year, the nonprofit …"

How governors' associations keep donations secret

By Paul Abowd

Political groups led by state executives increasingly raising undisclosed cash through nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Missouri":

"… 0 percent of its budget on ads in gubernatorial races in West Virginia and Missouri, according to IRS records. The RGA nonprofit, Republican Governors Associ …"

Governors’ groups rely increasingly on 'dark money' affiliates

By Paul Abowd

Powerful state governors' associations are pumping more funds into nonprofit arms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Family Association":

"… ghts. One of those nonprofits, the political arm of the Mississippi-based American Family Association, in turn gave money to support yet another political committee called Iowa …"

Sanford gets late boost from N.Y. millionaire

By Michael Beckel

School choice advocate Howard Rich gives Mark Sanford's congressional campaign a late boost.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Howard Rich":

"… Sen. Jim DeMint.     …"

"… our contribution to Sanford, who has also backed school choice measures. "Howard Rich has been pressing this agenda for years," Harpootlian said. "He's got more …"

RGA, DGA reap riches from corporate donors

By Michael Beckel

RGA, DGA reap riches from corporate donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… ontinue to churn. Between late November and the end of December, the Republican Governors Association pulled in nearly $2.7 million, while the Democratic Governors Association …"

Expenditure profile: Crossroads Media

By Alexandra Duszak

Quick stats on the media buying firm

Excerpts from this story referencing "Americans for Job Security":

"… Patti Heck (president) Clients: American Crossroads Crossroads GPS Americans for Job Security Cooperative of American Physicians Republican Governors Association Sus …"

"… , a longtime political player who is also president of the nonprofit group Americans for Job Security. The firm’s president is Patti Heck, a media buyer for more than 20 yea …"

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