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 "Fred Wertheimer":

"… s this kind of work into account as they come up with new rules.”  Fred Wertheimer, president of reform group Democracy 21, added in an email to support …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… cycle from next to nothing only a few years before, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Aghast, watchdog groups and politicos filed numerous complaints wit …"

"… cycle, a presidential election year, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.  Millions of dollars more have been spent by social welfare nonprof …"

"… o the FEC. Said Robert Maguire, a political nonprofit investigator at the Center for Responsive Politics: “The amount of 'dark money' this cycle will far eclipse what we saw in …"

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 "Arkansas":

"… y to a super PAC supporting Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton of Arkansas. Not only do the Jobs and Progress Fund and the Government Integrity Fund …"

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.

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.

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 "Washington, D.C.":

"… er with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees’ U.S. regional office in Washington, D.C. She spoke at an unveiling of the report Wednesday at the Migration Policy …"

"… at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington, D.C. During or after October 2011, U.N. researchers interviewed more than 400 …"

"… rovide information about smuggling routes first. In February, a report by Washington, D.C.-based Kids in Need of Defense, “Treacherous Journey,” outlined the cha …"

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 "Arkansas":

"… from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to Mike Huckabee, the former GOP governor of Arkansas, suggested the agency should be outright abolished. And numerous top cons …"

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 "Arizona":

"… t.” …"

"… from four so-called “dark money” nonprofits. Then-Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona and incumbent Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada benefited from $3.1 million in sp …"

"… he Democratic contenders, Shelley Berkley in Nevada and Richard Carmona in Arizona, it turns out one of the groups’ nonprofit benefactors explicitly warned …"

"… Commission documents shows that the four groups involved in the Nevada and Arizona races received almost $79 million, or most of the $112 million the Center …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "law":

"… for offshore tax evasion,” as well as more than 200 UK accountants, lawyers and other middlemen who helped set up the offshore structures. A …"

"… know where the Virgin Islands  are located.”   Zurich-based law firm Lenz & Staehlin has aided some of Europe's richest …"

"… p;listed in the records, at least 30 are American citizens accused in lawsuits or criminal cases of fraud, money laundering or other serious financi …"

"… ffshore trusts and an offshore company.   A prominent Canadian lawyer, husband to a Liberal senator, moved CA$1.7 million (US$1.1 million) to …"

Center thankful for stellar reviews from charity watchdogs

By Bill Buzenberg

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "fundraising":

"… ok closely at the Center’s operations, fiscal management, leadership and fundraising. I’m happy to report these charity watchdogs all like what they see here …"

"… n particular, is a highly influential evaluator of nonprofits that conduct fundraising. Its mission and website aim to assist donors in making informed judg …"

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 "Norfolk Southern Corp.":

"… rs, including pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. (both), railroad operator Norfolk Southern Corp. (both) and United Parcel Service Inc. (U.S. Chamber only). National Assoc …"

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.

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.

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.

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

Tobacco giant funded conservative nonprofits

By Dave Levinthal

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

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.

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 "Senate Finance Committee":

"… rocess all of the applications its tax-exempt unit has received. Both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are planning heari …"

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.

'Tea party' nonprofits rarely endorsed political candidates

By Michael Beckel

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

IRS employees back Obama, Democrats

By Michael Beckel

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… lection, IRS employees collectively gave Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney about $25,000 — less than half the amount received by Obama. For his par …"

IRS nonprofit division overloaded, understaffed

By Dave Levinthal

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

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

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