GOP rides cavalry to U.S. Senate majority

By Michael Beckel, Dave Levinthal and Carrie Levine

Super PACs, 'dark money' nonprofits help make Election Day difference as Republicans seize a U.S. Senate majority

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… on funding has changed since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010. Democrats, who enjoyed a six-seat Senate majority going i …"

"… ber, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of filings with the Federal Election Commission. Yet all outside groups active in Colorado had reported spending about $5 …"

Flush with mystery money, Kentucky nonprofit haunts Grimes’ Senate bid

By Michael Beckel

Formerly modest nonprofit becomes deep-pocketed, dark money benefactor of Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

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

"… ned rules on corporate electioneering following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision for Kentucky Opportunity Coalition’s unexpected rise. Certain t …"

Democrats seize air supremacy in Senate battlegrounds

By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

Liberals aired more TV ads last week than their conservative foils in seven of the nine top Senate battlegrounds races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… oved particularly dominant in the U.S. Senate races being waged in Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana and Michigan, where they bested Republicans by sponsoring hundr …"

Eyeballs burn in North Carolina, Iowa ahead of U.S. Senate elections

By Michael Beckel

Last week, North Carolina, Iowa residents saw three political ads focused on contentious Senate elections every five minutes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… strategist Karl Rove, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Tillis and groups aligned with his campaig …"

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 "Florida":

"… th more than $37 million already spent, followed by Texas ($36.8 million), Florida ($33.7 million), Illinois ($26.4 million) and New York ($14.5 mi …"

"… t groups so far are the Republican Governors Association at $11.4 million, Florida’s conservative Let's Get to Work political committee ($10.8 million), th …"

"… een gubernatorial races, with Pennsylvania ($35.5 million), Florida ($31.8 million) and Illinois ($26 million) leading the pack …"

"… the open seat being vacated by Gov. Martin O’Malley due to term limits. Florida has the second-most expensive governor’s race in the country despite the …"

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 "Energy":

"… a new route to political disclosure." Railroad giant CSX Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. — each with 68 points — led about three-dozen companies that …"

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 "League of Conservation Voters":

"… tee, a super PAC run by billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer. The League of Conservation Voters’ election arm has spent almost $400,000 to do the same. And the Democrat …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… ue. …"

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 "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… profit outfit Crossroads GPS are tied to GOP strategist Karl Rove. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is headquartered across the street from the White House. Meanwhile, a pro …"

‘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 "United States":

"… t the nation’s best-known animal rights group, the Humane Society of the United States. Featuring a baleful-looking caged dog, the ads accuse the Humane Society …"

"… his  story has been updated to clarify that the Humane Society of the United States was not a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Feld Entertainment and to note& …"

Washington's cynical misinformation game

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the role of distortion in health care politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… ingle penalty: immediate expulsion from the university.”  In 2009, Bank of America agreed to pay a $33 million fine after the SEC accused it of lying. Just l …"

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 "Energy":

"… , including Southern Co., Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, Exelon Corp., Duke Energy and BP. A surprise lobbying spender of 2013 — the upstart National Asso …"

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 …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… aces, according to data provided to the Center for Public Integrity by the Center for Responsive Politics. It happened just one time — in Arkansas — in 2010. It's easier than …"

U.S. Chamber targets Dems in state attorney general races

By Ben Wieder

Why are powerful business interests underwriting ads in AG races in the states?

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

"… er for outside groups to operate thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which knocked aside bans that had existed in 24 states on politi …"

GOP civil war rages in Senate primary battles

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative nonprofits and super PACs have spent $10 million bashing Republicans to the delight of Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "FreedomWorks":

"… ring these primaries,” said Russ Walker, national political director for FreedomWorks for America, which has this year spent more than $118,000 on advertisement …"

"… ate Sen. Chris McDaniel, who’s enjoyed heavy support from groups such as FreedomWorks for America and the Senate Conservatives Fund, as particularly troubling. …"

Koch brothers, major corporations sponsor pension reform seminar for judges

By Chris Young

Judges who may decide fates of public pension reform disputes to attend seminar sponsored by pro-business interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "The Washington Post":

"… Economics Center regularly organizes business-friendly judicial seminars. The Washington Post recently reported that conference funders provide more than just financial …"

Chemical industry among big spenders on lobbying this quarter

By Dave Levinthal

New numbers indicate it's still good to be a lobbyist in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… irm Amgen, Shell Oil, Prudential Financial, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Duke Energy, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, 3M Co. and the Securities …"

Outside groups help boost David Jolly to victory

By Michael Beckel

Outside groups spent nearly $5 million aiding Republican in Florida's heated House race.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… luding the National Republican Congressional Committee ($2.2 million), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($1.2 million), the American Action Network ($470,000) and American Crossr …"

Outside groups dwarf candidate spending in Florida special election

By Michael Beckel

Less than one-third of money pumped into House contest is controlled by Sink or Jolly.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Exelon":

"… backed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and by Exelon, the Chicago-based company that operates the nation’s largest commercial …"

Super PACs, nonprofits fueling GOP strife

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative super PACs, nonprofits spending millions to blast Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Club for Growth Action":

"… idates put forward, and we back candidates based on that." Super PAC Club for Growth Action, meanwhile, spent more than $317,000 in January and February campaigning a …"

"… he Mississippi Conservatives super PAC, which has pushed against Club for Growth Action and FreedomWorks for America by spending $342,000 to skewer McDaniel. Ano …"

Exelon amends reports concerning contributions to trade groups

By Michael Beckel

Nuclear giant says its political contribution reports overstated numerous payments to politically active nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Edison Electric Institute":

"… on in 2012 to trade associations such as the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Edison Electric Institute and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The company additionally contributed a comb …"

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Business":

"… industry trade groups in the country — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers — penned a lett …"

"… nbsp;was signed by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue, Business Roundtable President John Engler and National Association of Manufacturers …"

"… orporations from the policy playing field altogether.” Why the secrecy? Businesses have an incentive to keep their political donations secret — despite t …"

"… utives serve on its “CEO steering committee,” “CEO Council” and “Business Leaders Council.” During its initial year, the Fix the Debt Coalition&n …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… ical and lobbying expenditures for the largest 300 public companies in the United States, as ranked by Fortune magazine. The analysis found that roughly one-third …"

Top politics investigations from 2013

By The Center for Public Integrity

In case you missed it, here are some of our favorite politics investigations from 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… b? Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Keep reading Nearly $12 million spent by super PACs and nonprofits in s …"

League of Conservation Voters becoming 'dark money' heavyweight

By Michael Beckel

The liberal League of Conservation Voters is fast becoming one of the nation’s strongest 'dark money' forces.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… onservative groups have typically dominated. New documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity show the nonprofit League …"

Push against offshore secrecy an uphill battle

By Michael Hudson

Big players are taking unprecedented steps to stop offshore abuses, but financial crime fighters worry reforms don’t go far enough.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Russia":

"… share information on offshore bank accounts. At a summit in September in Russia, the “Group of 20” club approved a historic plan for automatic sharing …"

'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 "Supreme Court":

"… sociations — have played an outsized role in federal elections since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010 to all …"

'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 "Pat McCrory":

"… victory in North Carolina. GOP control In the Tar Heel State, Republican Pat McCrory easily defeated Democrat Walter Dalton with the help of several outside gr …"

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 "Business":

"… which is signed by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue, Business Roundtable President John Engler and National Association of Manufacturers …"

"… ity and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School's Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research. Index publisher Bruce Freed, the president of the Center …"

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