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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… bottom line financial situation of media,” he said. …"

"… ive opponents in seven out of nine top battleground states, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of preliminary estimates from Kantar Media/CMAG, an advertis …"

"… Senate races in terms of TV ads, with about 6,400 aired, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG data. The North Carolina race, where in …"

"… TV ads ran from Tuesday, Sept. 30, through Monday, Oct. 6, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of Kantar Media/CMAG data. Nearly three-fourths of them aired in ni …"

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 "oil":

"… ve groups such as Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, a nonprofit chaired by oil executive Tim Dunn. The group typically does not air many television ads b …"

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 "Politics":

"… r against federal-level candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  Topping the list is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the natio …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… t group can scramble a critical Senate race in the post-Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission era of increasingly deregulated political money and campaign finance exoti …"

"… hand than Brown’s campaign, $4.27 million to $1.19 million, according to Federal Election Commission filings. “If Brown doesn’t come out of the primary with a fairly reso …"

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 "West Virginia":

"… an and Montana. Thanks to retirements of Democratic lawmakers in Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota, the GOP looks poised to pick up at least three seats. M …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… hat “Alaskans, not outsiders, should pick our elected officials.” But Federal Election Commission records show that about 95 percent of the $5.1 million Put Alaska First ra …"

‘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 "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… lobbying and consulting firm. Berman is a former labor lawyer with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Berman and Co. was created in 1986, according to the company fact sheet. …"

Washington's cynical misinformation game

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the role of distortion in health care politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ational Journal article about a new tactic used by the National Republican Congressional Committee to attack Democratic candidates. Earlier this year, the NRC …"

"… h insurers or that the spot was part of a continuing effort by AHIP to get Congress to eliminate a fee that was imposed on insurers to help offset the cost of …"

"… Washington with NFIB staff during which we planned a campaign to make sure Congress did not pass a Patient’s Bill of Rights. Insurers worried that a provisi …"

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 "General Dynamics":

"… ctors United Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Dynamics cutting lobbying spending. Many large oil and energy production interests …"

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 "congressman":

"… . The winner of tonight's runoff faces Democrat Travis Childers, a former congressman, in November's general election.     …"

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 "Mississippi":

"… ng spending by a gaggle of outside organizations — some with few ties to Mississippi, a state of fewer than 3 million people — that have dominated the race. …"

"… illion, Team McDaniel about $6.5 million. Most of the outside spending in Mississippi's Senate primary — $5.26 million — benefited McDaniel, with tea party …"

"… is month — and personally secured a $150,000 loan to his campaign from a Mississippi bank. McDaniel's campaign, meanwhile, generated less than $60,000 in such …"

"… l records indicate. The incumbent's most generous air cover came from the Mississippi Conservatives Fund super PAC, the mainstream Republican-backing U.S. Chamb …"

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 "The Washington Post":

"… is inclusion last year on a “top 10” list of rising political stars by The Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog, might explain the early interest in his race. Also …"

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 "Ohio":

"… Tuesday in a long-shot primary bid to unseat House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and win North Carolina’s U.S. Senate primary. But they still sought to …"

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 "George Mason University":

"… siness. The three-day gathering in a Charleston, S.C., hotel is hosted by George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center. The “Judicial Symposium on the Economic …"

"… uests for comment. As the Center for Public Integrity reported last year, George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center regularly organizes business-friendly judic …"

"… debate. Two of the conference’s featured lecturers — Todd Zywicki, a George Mason University law professor, and Eileen Norcross, a senior research fellow at George Mas …"

"… University law professor, and Eileen Norcross, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s conservative Mercatus Center — co-wrote a 2010 op-ed headlined “Ho …"

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 "ExxonMobil":

"… rests and defense contractors, such as Northrop Grumman, General Electric, ExxonMobil, Chevron Corp., Edison Electric Institute, BP and American Electrical Powe …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… aces, according to data provided to the Center for Public Integrity by the Center for Responsive Politics. The phenomenon was repeated two years later in more than two dozen House …"

"… will dominate the race,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “Outside groups may not determine the victor, but they'll very often 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 "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… from the time show. Then, political groups were just making sense of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision that the Supreme Court dropped in late January 2010. It allowed c …"

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 "Wyoming":

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

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 "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… 2012. That means if you are interested in trade associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers or the Business Roundtable, you …"

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 "Fred Wertheimer":

"… r representatives of The Advocacy Fund responded to requests for comment. Fred Wertheimer, president of campaign finance reform group Democracy 21, says he's distur …"

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 "Secretary":

"… S. parent corporations, helping them cut tax bills. In 1937, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau warned President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Ame …"

'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 "ExxonMobil":

"… gas industry, has more than 500 members including BP America, Chevron and ExxonMobil. Americans for Prosperity, backed by oil moguls David and Charles Koch, p …"

'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 "West Virginia":

"… ups also had success helping to elect GOP attorneys general in Montana and West Virginia, which both elected Democratic governors last year. The RSLC reported spe …"

"… grates our system; I don’t think it was a clean or fair election.” In West Virginia, Patrick Morrisey became the state’s first Republican attorney general i …"

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 "Tom Donohue":

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

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 "National Association of Realtors":

"… ominent companies spending less in this year’s third quarter include the National Association of Realtors, General Electric, the American Hospital Association, Google, aerospace co …"

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 "General Dynamics":

"… crosoft ($3 million), Wal-Mart Stores ($2 million) and defense contractors General Dynamics ($3.2 million) and Raytheon Co. ($2 million). Many of them, too, included …"

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