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 "Thom Tillis":

"… e, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan faces GOP state House Speaker Thom Tillis, ranked No. 1, attracting about 7,300 TV ads last week. That amounted to m …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… n pro-Tillis issue ads, according to filings in September submitted to the Federal Election Commission. It also aired a number of ads praising Tillis in August, but because the …"

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 "Democratic Governors Association":

"… s conservative Let's Get to Work political committee ($10.8 million), the Democratic Governors Association ($5.1 million), the union-backed Illinois Freedom Political Action Committ …"

"… he group and the candidate that would be illegal in most states. The Democratic Governors Association, which along with the Republican Governors Association advocates for the e …"

"… s money from the Republican Governors Association. On the other side, the Democratic Governors Association recently fired back by pouring more than $1.2 million into Connecticu …"

"… nsylvania, for example, NextGen Climate Action Committee and the Democratic Governors Association-backed PA Families First only jumped in after the May 20 primary …"

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 …"

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 "media outlets":

"… al Sen. John E. Sununu. For example, after Smith’s campaign chided media outlets last week for ignoring a concert event it hosted — “the media was …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… heen will likely face former GOP Sen. Scott Brown, who briefly represented Massachusetts and has now gone north to the Granite State in a bid to reclaim his politi …"

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 "Paul Singer":

"… ne hedge fund alone — Elliott Management, which is led by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer — have given Sullivan's campaign about $119,000. Sullivan has also been …"

‘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 "Charles G. Koch":

"… s is chaired by billionaire industrialist and conservative political donor Charles G. Koch. Pacelle said the Humane Society goes after “institutionalized cruel …"

Washington's cynical misinformation game

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the role of distortion in health care politics.

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

"… nother organization insurers frequently call upon to front for them is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As the National Journal reported in 2012, AHIP funneled more th …"

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 "White House":

"… g them: the tech and telecom industries, which have wrestled Congress, the White House and federal agencies on a variety of issues ranging from corporate mergers …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… mmunications that specifically promote Cochran's candidacy, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of federal spending disclosures. In contrast, such groups spent …"

"… during the months leading up to the race's June 3 primary election, the Center for Public Integrity's analysis indicates. During the runoff period, the U.S. Chamber of Comme …"

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 …"

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 "Karl Rove":

"… arolina. Super PAC American Crossroads, founded in part by GOP strategist Karl Rove, has yet to launch negative attacks against Republicans. But it has involv …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… conomics Center, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. As the Center for Public Integrity reported last year, George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center …"

"… to requests for comment. Mercatus Center spokesman Kyle Precourt told the Center for Public Integrity in an email that Norcross is “entrenched in research now and not availab …"

"… than what is spent each year on subsidies to business,” Sirota told the Center for Public Integrity. “And business likes that imbalance.” Critics of pension reform worry …"

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 "Bill Young":

"… ction was held to fill the vacancy created by the death of Republican Rep. Bill Young, who died in October. Barack Obama carried Florida's 13th Congressional D …"

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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… reasingly common in the big-money era following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in January 2010. And the national stakes aren't even that high: …"

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":

"… 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 campai …"

"… ening the Republican Party’s odds of a successful 2014 midterm election, Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller simply said, "no." But he indicated his group's ad …"

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

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 "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… ns such as the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Edison Electric Institute and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The company additionally contributed a combined $317,500 to politically …"

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 "North Carolina":

"… was founded in 2012 by former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and North Carolina Democrat Erskine Bowles, who served in the Clinton administration. Scores …"

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 "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… oundations, such as Third Way, the Republican Main Street Partnership, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Heritage Foundation and the Congressional Black Caucus Political Educ …"

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 "ExxonMobil":

"… inal Law.” Who picked up the tab? Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Keep reading Nearly $12 …"

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 "Congress":

"… midterm elections were held, and 2008, the last year when control of both Congress and the White House was at stake. “There was a lot at stake last year o …"

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 "UBS":

"… on from a whistleblower, U.S. authorities charged that Swiss banking giant UBS maintained some 17,000 undisclosed accounts for U.S. citizens. UBS eventua …"

"… g giant UBS maintained some 17,000 undisclosed accounts for U.S. citizens. UBS eventually turned over the names of nearly 5,000 clients and pai …"

"… ettle charges that it had carried out a scheme to defraud the U.S. As the UBS case was playing out, governments around the globe were becoming increasin …"

'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 "Verizon Communications Inc.":

"… ts board of directors, which includes representatives of companies such as Verizon Communications Inc., Phillips 66 Company, Xerox Corp., Alcoa Inc., IBM, United Parcel Service, …"

'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 "Los Angeles":

"… he biggest beneficiary, however, was in California. Target Enterprises, a Los Angeles media buying firm, collected nearly $19 million and was the preferred vend …"

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 …"

Lobbying dips overall, but the beat goes on for guns, drugs and agriculture

By Dave Levinthal

But third-quarter expenditures are down for many special interests.

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

"… peak of $2.45 million, a mark set during the year’s first quarter. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its subsidiary organizations again led all lobbying entities, spending …"

Pro-gun group dramatically ups influence spending

By Dave Levinthal

The nonprofit National Association for Gun Rights spent $3 million lobbying last quarter, far more than the better-known NRA.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Communications":

"… facturers of America, Google, Coca-Cola, the American Medical Association, Verizon Communications, drug maker Pfizer and defense firm Northrop Grumman. Even Facebook, whic …"

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