Betting on Justice: Borrowing to sue

By Binyamin Appelbaum and Ben Hallman

Large banks, hedge funds and private investors hungry for new and lucrative opportunities are bankrolling other people’s lawsuits, pumping h

Excerpts from this story referencing "Buffalo":

"… opelling large and prominent cases. Lenders including Counsel Financial, a Buffalo company financed by Citigroup, provided $35 million for the lawsuits broug …"

"… same opportunity at about the same time, including a mortgage salesman in Buffalo; a subprime auto lender from Nashville; and a Las Vegas man who had been c …"

"… outstanding loans to law firms, shares a suburban office building outside Buffalo with an insurance firm. But the work sits somewhere between banking and g …"

Government bans robocalls? Not so much

By Ben Protess

FTC ban on telemarketing doesn't extend to insurance companies, telephone carriers, politicians or charities

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States Chamber of Commerce":

"… industry lobbyist. Other groups that signed the comment included the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Newspaper Association of America and the Consumer Bankers Association …"

Secretive nonprofits flourished — and succeeded — in 2014 state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits backed winning candidates, or bashed losers, in 63 percent of the state races in which they sponsored ads.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… her loss in November. The group, based in Phoenix, did not respond to the Center for Public Integrity for comment. Save Our Future Now is just one of 40 nonprofit groups that …"

"… 14 state-level elections while keeping their donors secret, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from media tracking service Kantar Media/CMAG. That’s …"

"… nd political parties, on the state level were successful, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis. Citizens United’s impact In 24 states including Ariz …"

"… t to Koch Industries who runs the group, declined to be interviewed by the Center for Public Integrity on the record.  Some conservatives, including Supreme Court Jus …"

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 "Supreme Court":

"… litical elections have received significant attention since 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision gran …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… ntegrity of analysis of new congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data. Spending by several others remained stagnant. Unlike last year …"

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 "Maine":

"… General Program at Columbia Law School and the former attorney general of Maine. Second, attorneys general are charged with bringing consumer protection …"

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 "Congress":

"… expenditure increase. All the same, Facebook reported lobbying Congress, the White House and numerous federal agencies on a variety of topics, fro …"

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 "Ed Gillespie":

"… erican Crossroads, which was co-founded by party strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, spending about $470,000. All the while, Democratic-aligned groups, inclu …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… the flow of corporate cash. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010 allowed corporations to pay for political advocacy — or d …"

'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 "Americans for Prosperity":

"… American Action Network, $25,000 to the 60 Plus Association and $15,000 to Americans for Prosperity. The Institute, the largest trade association of the oil and natural gas i …"

"… , has more than 500 members including BP America, Chevron and ExxonMobil. Americans for Prosperity, backed by oil moguls David and Charles Koch, provided about $486,000 in g …"

"… d the National Federation of Independent Business, which received $20,000. Americans for Prosperity awarded smaller grants to the American Energy Alliance, which spent hefty …"

"… and promotion and $3 million on travel in 2012. Of its advertising output, Americans for Prosperity paid $55.8 million to a right-leaning, Maryland-based contractor, Mentzer …"

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 "Verizon Communications":

"… , aerospace company Boeing, defense firm Lockheed Martin and telecom giant Verizon Communications. FedEx Corp., Koch Industries, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Ford Motor 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 "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 …"

D.C.-based groups bombarded state high court races with ads

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

Nearly $12 million spent by super PACs and nonprofits in 2012-13 state supreme court races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… n crime. The North Carolina arm of Americans for Prosperity, the northern Virginia-based group tied to billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, spe …"

"… that is technically non-partisan. Coleman’s other backer, the northern Virginia-based Law Enforcement Alliance of America, did not disclose its donors or …"

Chevron shareholders reject ban on political spending

By Michael Beckel

Only a sliver of shareholders want oil giant to stop using corporate funds for politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John Boehner":

"… ed by former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and associated with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Ahead of Chevron's annual meeting in California, the company's b …"

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 "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… bying through trade associations and tax-exempt organizations, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, which drafts “model legislation” to protect business interests. At C …"

Gun groups, defense contractors buck downward trend in lobbying

By Dave Levinthal

Gun groups, defense contractors, oil companies and Facebook increased spending on lobbying last quarter.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… rter lobbying spikes, including ExxonMobil ($4.2 million to $4.8 million), Koch Industries ($2.3 million to $2.6 million), Chevron ($3.2 million to $3.7 million), th …"

Easter has friends on K Street

By Reity O'Brien

From confectioners to egg cooperatives, a basketful of political influencers press agenda.

Fiscal cliff, elections boost spending on lobbying

By Dave Levinthal

Year-end reports show outlays on influence by most active groups went up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Gabrielle Giffords":

"… obbying opponents this year, most notably organizations led by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I). Pro-gun advocates …"

Daily Disclosure: Congressman gets help from Chevron-powered super PAC

By Rachael Marcus

Corporate donation helps super PAC spend big in Ohio congressional race.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic candidate":

"… and “Levantando pesas” oppose Nevada Assemblyman John Oceguera, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House in the state’s 3rd District.“Mad Science” opposes phy …"

"… state’s 3rd District.“Mad Science” opposes physician David Gill, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House in Illinois’ 13th District.“Standing” opposes former …"

"… linois’ 13th District.“Standing” opposes former Rep. Rick Nolan, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House in Minnesota’s 8th District.Conservative super PAC Ending …"

"… w ads:“Wrong” opposes former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona.“Energy Virginia” opposes President Barack …"

Secret money thrives in presidential, high-profile congressional contests

By Viveca Novak and Robert Maguire

The presidential contest and most high-profile Senate races are attracting big spending from groups that don't disclose their funders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "congressional races":

"… f an ad blitz over the summer, much of which was never reported.In the 100 congressional races where there's been some shadow money spending since the beginning of Septe …"

Stealth spending on the rise as 2012 election approaches

By John Dunbar

Outside spending as likely to come from nonprofits as super PACs, records show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harold Simmons":

"… ion Commission records. Its top donor is Texas billionaire and businessman Harold Simmons, who along with his company, Contran Corp., has given $13 million to the g …"

Daily Disclosure: California contest tops outside spending in House races

By Rachael Marcus

It's pro-energy versus pro-environment in California's 7th District House race.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… ungren and Republican Reps. Dan Benishek of Michigan, Ann Marie Buerkle of New York, Francisco Canseco of Texas and Joe Walsh of Illinois.California’s 7th D …"

"… ide spending news:The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a series of ads in New York congressional districts at a total cost of $1.8 million:“Pay More” opp …"

"… f $1.8 million:“Pay More” opposing Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop  in New York’s 1st District cost $305,000;“Wrong” opposing Democrat Sean Maloney …"

"… s 1st District cost $305,000;“Wrong” opposing Democrat Sean Maloney in New York’s 18th District cost $380,000;“Broken Trust” opposing Democratic Rep …"

Canadian-owned firm's mega-donation to super PAC raises ‘legal red flags’

By Michael Beckel

Foreigners are prohibited from spending money on U.S. elections, law not so clear on foreign corporations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Haley Barbour":

"… d of the 1994 election, then-chairman of the Republican National Committee Haley Barbour secured a $2 million loan from a Hong Kong businessman for a Republican gr …"

Daily Disclosure: Mystery group goes after Dems in Senate races

By Rachael Marcus

A conservative nonprofit with mysterious origins goes after Democratic Senate candidates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… nprofit American Future Fund announced the release of attack ads to run in Florida and Wisconsin, battlegrounds for control of the U.S. Senate.In Florida, De …"

"… in Florida and Wisconsin, battlegrounds for control of the U.S. Senate.In Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is facing $1.9 million in outside spending fr …"

Daily Disclosure: Virginia politics is for haters, not lovers

By Rachael Marcus

Heavyweight outside spending groups jumped into the U.S. Senate race in Virginia this week.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… headed by animal rights activist Julie Caramante.  …"

"… an anti-Kaine ad Wednesday that suggests he favors “union bosses” over Virginia jobs. (The Chamber released a similar ad the same day attacking Sen. Bill …"

"… focused two on criticizing Kaine. “Cost” hits Kaine for “not putting Virginia first” by voting to cut back spending on defense, an industry that emplo …"

"… by voting to cut back spending on defense, an industry that employs many Virginians. “Pledged” criticizes Kaine for “higher taxes, reckless spending ( …"

Outside groups spend $2.2 million in Missouri Senate race

By Michael Beckel

Attack ads by Republican and Democratic super PACs may lead to a dark-horse winner in Missouri GOP Senate primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… mer Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has advocated for the repeal of the President Barack Obama’s signature health care law and calls the Humane Society a “radical sp …"

Daily Disclosure: U.S. Chamber drops $5.9 million on ad blitz

By Rachael Marcus

Ad blitz targets eight key Senate races with attack ads.

Million-dollar donation in Indiana race may skirt limits on corporate giving

By Paul Abowd

D.C.-based Republican Governors Association uses super PAC to move $1 million to GOP candidate in Indiana.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana Election Division":

"… e laws “as efficiently as possible.”According to Abbey Taylor with the Indiana Election Division, “It’s a pretty nice little loophole, and loopholes are meant to be ex …"

"… Because Right Direction is registered with both the state and the FEC, the Indiana Election Division cannot regulate its spending activity. Co-Director Trent Deckard says stat …"