Sponsored by
citizens united

citizens unitedRSS

Sunshine Week commentary

True disclosure demands full accountability

With its Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court clearly articulated the value of disclosure and transparency to the health of our democracy. After all, transparency is the best disinfectant, to paraphrase Justice Louis Brandeis’ famous quote. Sadly, the type of transparency and disclosure envisioned by the justices doesn’t exist.... Read more»

 1 2 3 >  Last »

The conservative playbook for keeping 'dark money' dark

In internal memos, groups opposing tighter state campaign finance rules coach their local supporters on how to battle disclosure of political donors. Since 2008, dark money groups have spent more than $690 million in federal races. The same story is playing out on the state level, including in Arizona.... Read more»

Could Scott Walker's legal victory expand PAC superpowers?

Proponents of tighter reins on political money worry that a Wisconsin ruling about the governor's recall campaign could carry seeds of another 'Citizens United.'... Read more»

Secretive nonprofits flourished — and succeeded — in 2014 state elections

Groups that don't disclose donors were more successful with TV ads than other political advertisers. ... Read more»1

Public has dark opinion of dark money in elections

Dark money spending reached record levels this fall, with little sign of abating, even as polls showed overwhelming numbers of Americans troubled by the practice. In one poll, 80 percent of voters said they were worried that donors were "abusing" the system for their own gain.... Read more»

GOP rides cavalry to U.S. Senate majority

Republican candidates wagered that big bucks from outside political groups could overcome their own fundraising shortfalls ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. They were right. Last Tuesday night, Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate for the first time in eight years.... Read more»

Secretary of state candidates seek more dark money disclosure

Democrat Terry Goddard and Republican Michele Reagan say they want Arizona to have laws taking a harder line with so-called dark money groups, shadowy nonprofits that for now can spend money on behalf of campaigns without disclosing sources of their funding. ... Read more»

Koch-backed seniors group low-balling election spending?

The 60 Plus Association — a nonprofit senior citizen advocacy group funded largely by billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch’s conservative political network — appears to have vastly understated its level of election spending on federal tax filings, a Center for Public Integrity review of documents indicates.... Read more»1

IRS chief promises stricter rules for 'dark money' groups

Expect a new round of proposed regulations during early 2015. ... Read more»

IRS pushes back new rules for dark money groups

The agency has pushed back indefinitely a hearing on new regulations for social welfare nonprofits that spend money on politics. ... Read more»

Dark money group sues IRS over targeting, disclosure

Freedom Path was launched by backers of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and ran ads supporting Hatch and other Republicans in 2012. It said it suffered damages because the IRS flagged its application for extra scrutiny and disclosed its pending application to ProPublica.... Read more»

Super PAC leaders score perks from political donations

The People’s Majority super PAC advertises itself with lofty goals. “We are the only super PAC dedicated to the research, development and enhancement of motivating conservatives to the polls,” it proclaims on its website. “No dinners, no pictures with VIPs, no shirts or yard signs here. People's Majority uses every penny of your contribution to identify and motivate low-turnout voters on Election Day.” Well, not every penny. ... Read more»

What newly released docs tell us about the IRS and how it handles dark money groups

A GOP-led House committee voted Wednesday to seek criminal charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner, who used to run the IRS division in charge of tax-exempt groups. In a party-line vote, the committee accused Lerner of unfairly targeting the applications of conservative groups and misleading the Treasury inspector general, which was auditing the IRS based on allegations of bias against conservative groups.... Read more»

McCutcheon ruling ignores disclosure reality

The Supreme Court decisions in both McCutcheon and Citizens United placed great faith in 'robust' campaign-finance disclosure as an antidote to the corrupting influence of political donations. The problem is, this relies on a faulty view of today's reality in the 50 states.... Read more»

Supreme Court opens door to flood of political cash — again

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an opinion that is likely to further increase the flow of big money into politics. In a 5-4 decision, the high court’s conservative-leaning justices struck down aggregate contribution limits to candidates and parties but kept base limits intact.... Read more»

Nonprofits spent money on Az campaigns despite donor warnings

Two of the tightest races for U.S. Senate in 2012 were in Nevada and Arizona. Republican candidates eked out wins in both states with help from four so-called “dark money” nonprofits, whose funding can be traced back to the network of organizations backed by the Koch brothers.... Read more»

 1 2 3 >  Last »