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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… received significant attention since 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision granted them powerful spending freedoms. Corporations may n …"

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 "Congress":

"… een systematically weakened — stripped of resources and authority — by Congress. And it’s all but quit regulating politically active nonprofits in a mea …"

"… pped more than 8 percent, from 900 in 2010 to 824 in 2013. But relying on Congress for additional funding will likely prove futile, as demonstrated by many l …"

"… That was the intent of the tax, approved by law roughly 40 years ago. But Congress never appropriated the money for that cause. The tax could be applied to a …"

"… ffectively regulating [nonprofits]. Part of the reason, of course, is that Congress does not want effective regulation,” Paul Streckfus, who worked in …"

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 "inspector":

"… ongressional committees, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Treasury's inspector general. "Accordingly, it is inappropriate for the IRS to comment at this …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "candidate":

"… as also transferred money to a super PAC supporting Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton of Arkansas. Not only do the Jobs and Progress Fund and the Go …"

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 "GPS":

"… cally active social welfare nonprofits — such as conservative Crossroads GPS and liberal America Votes —  have largely operated without fear the …"

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 "lobbyist":

"… McCrory; and $50,000 to Keep Texas Working, a pro-business group headed by lobbyist Luke Bellsnyder. "Contributions are made in line with our business intere …"

United Nations report: 'Children on the Run' from violent homelands

By Susan Ferriss

Numbers of Central American and Mexico minors who say they're fleeing violence are surging.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mexico":

"… they fear armed criminal gangs, including drug cartels, and many kids from Mexico — 39 percent — said they feared recruitment into gangs involved in smu …"

"… after being turned back by Border Patrol agents who suggested he return to Mexico and provide information about smuggling routes first. In February, a repo …"

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 "Texas":

"… Internal Revenue Service. High-profile politicians from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to Mike Huckabee, the former GOP governor of Arkansas, suggested the agen …"

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 "spokesman":

"… ction and resources, said Stephanie Grisham, Horne’s press secretary. A spokesman for Washington, D.C., Attorney General Irvin Nathan declined to comment. T …"

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.

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.

Highlights of Offshore Leaks so far

By Kimberley Porteous and Emily Menkes

Highlights of ICIJ's offshore leaks investigation.

Center thankful for stellar reviews from charity watchdogs

By Bill Buzenberg

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

Business groups assail political transparency

By Dave Levinthal

Letter from U.S. Chamber, others charge Center for Political Accountability with laying 'disclosure trap' for corporations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wall Street Journal":

"… ations' letter coincides with an anti-disclosure op-ed piece Monday in the Wall Street Journal by Yale Law School professor Jonathan Macey and the launch of a public rel …"

CVS backs Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's NERD Fund

By Michael Beckel

Pharmacy chain's donation to Michigan governor's group offers a rare glimpse into the funding of politically active nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jones Day":

"… nyder under oath, including about whether the city’s bankruptcy law firm Jones Day, city restructuring firms or two creditor banks have donated to the NERD F …"

Companies disclosing more political spending

By Dave Levinthal

Study: Companies are increasingly volunteering information about their politicking, but 'severe' gaps remain.

Some charities claiming to support veterans spend heavily on overhead instead

By Chad Garland and Andrew Knochel

News21 investigation finds that some charities supposedly supporting veterans actually spending more to keep their program alive.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Disabled Veterans Services":

"… veterans returned home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a charity called Disabled Veterans Services of Pompano Beach, Fla., reported raising more than $8 million in cash and …"

"… land Center for Homeless Veterans can verify a gifts-in-kind donation from Disabled Veterans Services in 2009,” said Charlene Pontbriand, senior vice president for the nonpro …"

World Bank approves loan to sugar plantation amid concerns about kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

World Bank approved $15M loan to Nicaraguan sugar plantation, even as industry is ravaged by disease.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nicaragua":

"… ration, the World Bank approved a new loan to expand a sugar plantation in Nicaragua, renewing its support for an industry whose workers have been devastated b …"

"… tated by the disease. The $15 million loan to the Montelimar plantation in Nicaragua is estimated to create 1,300 new rural jobs, according to World Bank docum …"

"… sure. ICIJ’s initial report, Island of the Widows, focused on a leading Nicaraguan sugar plantation that received substantial loans in 2006 from the World B …"

"… upational health and safety.” The sugar industry is a major exporter in Nicaragua and elsewhere in Central America, and in some rural communities it is one …"

More corporations revealing 'dark money' donations

By Dave Levinthal

Corporations are still mostly mum about political contributions, but more and more are reporting donations to secretive nonprofits.

State legislators' ties to nonprofit groups prove fertile ground for corruption

By Nicholas Kusnetz

New York scandals reveal corrupt ties between lawmakers, nonprofit groups

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… the lawmakers to help fund nonprofits with which they are associated. In Texas, one lawmaker who worked for a nonprofit wanted to solicit contributions f …"

"… who worked for a nonprofit wanted to solicit contributions for the group (Texas, like most states, has a part-time legislature). The Ethics Commission sai …"

Tobacco giant funded conservative nonprofits

By Dave Levinthal

Reynolds American donated big to secretive political nonprofits that lambasted Democrats in 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Americans for Prosperity":

"… form, a nonprofit led by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, and $50,000 to Americans for Prosperity, a free-market advocacy outfit heavily backed by billionaire brothers Char …"

"… cle, almost exclusively on negative advertising. Federal records show that Americans for Prosperity alone sponsored more than $33 million in attack ads that directly targeted …"

"… ials there doing so, adding that “the decision is up to the company.” Americans for Prosperity, which in 2011 reported to the IRS it received more than $25.4 million in …"

"… for or against a politician. Politically active nonprofit groups such as Americans for Prosperity and Crossroads GPS, which was co-founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove, toge …"

Conservative nonprofit seeks to oust IRS official

By Michael Beckel

American Future Fund, which has spent millions on political ads, wants IRS official to go.

Excerpts from this story referencing "primary":

"… to make election-related expenditures, so long as politics are not its “primary” purpose. Little is known about the donors to the American Future Fund. …"

IRS rarely denies 'social welfare' applications

By Michael Beckel

Agency approved 6,800 'social welfare' groups' during the past four years, rejected 20.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… the topic this week.     …"

Do nonprofits' names imply political activity?

By Michael Beckel and Ben Wieder

The names of most social welfare nonprofits don't contain overtly political words.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… hich advocates for stronger campaign finance regulations — says that the Internal Revenue Service is right to be on the lookout for organizations with a “significant amou …"

'Tea party' nonprofits rarely endorsed political candidates

By Michael Beckel

'Tea party'-branded nonprofits at heart of IRS scandal rarely endorsed political candidates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "primary":

"… ioning political candidates in broadcast advertisements immediately before primary or general elections. And one of those is, in fact, unabashedly liberal. …"

"… battle that year. A 2011 filing with the IRS describes the nonprofit’s primary purpose as seeking to “encourage a discussion of economic issues in the …"

IRS employees back Obama, Democrats

By Michael Beckel

IRS employees routinely open wallets for Democratic candidates and liberal groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… …"

IRS nonprofit division overloaded, understaffed

By Dave Levinthal

IRS accused of singling out conservative groups; claims of overwork may have merit.

Excerpts from this story referencing "GPS":

"… marily cried foul, accusing groups such as the Karl Rove-backed Crossroads GPS and Koch brothers-supported Americans for Prosperity of violating their ta …"

Environmental nonprofit makes big ad buy thanking senators

By Michael Beckel

Environmental Defense Fund shows gratitude to senators with a new six-figure ad campaign.

OPINION: insurers hiding political spending

By Wendell Potter

Insurance firms don't want to say how much they're spending on lobbying and campaigns

Excerpts from this story referencing "AHIP":

"… million came from “special assessments” contributed by Cigna and other AHIP member companies over and above their regular membership dues. We’ll nev …"

"… ful in persuading Cigna to disclose “special assessments” on behalf of AHIP and other groups, so the AFL-CIO submitted a shareholder resolution that w …"

"… and Lobbying Activity Report, Cigna stated that the total dues it paid to AHIP was $837,377, including “any special assessments” it might have paid l …"

"… the form of special assessments, and it has not disclosed how much it paid AHIP during the height of the health care reform debate in 2009 and 2010 when t …"