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IRS grants nonprofit status to 'dark money' group founded by Karl Rove

Crossroads GPS gets declared a nonprofit five years after applying, meaning that its donor list can remain private. ... Read more»

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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»

The IRS moves to limit dark money – but enforcement still a question

The IRS and Treasury Department announced proposed guidelines clarifying the definition of political activities for social welfare nonprofits Tuesday afternoon, a move that could restrict the spending of the dark money groups that dumped more than $254 million of anonymous money into the 2012 elections.... Read more»

New tax return shows Karl Rove’s group spent even more on politics than it said

On its 2012 tax return, GOP strategist Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS justified its status as a tax-exempt social welfare group in part by citing its grants of $35 million to other similarly aligned nonprofits. The return specified that the grants would be used for social welfare purposes, “and not for political expenditures, consistent with the organization’s tax-exempt mission.” But that’s not what happened. ... Read more»

Libertarians declare 'mission accomplished' in Virginia — after super PAC help

Two days after Virginia voters narrowly elected Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe over Republican Ken Cuccinelli, Libertarian National Committee Executive Director Wes Benedict declared "mission accomplished."... Read more»

Analysis

Sound, fury and the IRS mess

ProPublica’s job is to report the news rather than to make news ourselves, but sometimes we find an article of ours to be itself a subject of public debate. Last week was such a time, when two articles we had published back in December and January became the subject of significant attention in light of the uproar over IRS oversight of the process for granting tax exemption to so-called “social welfare” groups.... Read more»

Guest opinion

Sunshine Week: We need to follow all of the money, and faster

There are still only two important things in politics, as the 19th century’s own Karl Rove, a Republican fundraiser named Mark Hanna, once said: “The first is money, and I can’t remember the second.” For Americans who want to make sure that their government isn’t for sale to the highest bidder, that first item should be transparency.... Read more»

GOP super donor's foundation leans left

Republican mega-donor Harold Simmons considers President Barack Obama to be "the most dangerous man in America," and in a bid to unseat him, fueled conservative political groups with tens of millions of dollars.... Read more»

From Citizens United to super PACs: A campaign finance reading guide

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging caps on overall campaign contributions. The new case could become the most important since the 2010 Citizens United decision, which opened the way for record levels of election spending last year.... Read more»

Think again

Mainstream media gobbling up conservative crazies

The sad truth is that this nonsense is introduced into the media ecosystem by right-wing reality-denying sources, and it almost always makes its way into the mainstream media—often going unchallenged. ... Read more»1

Karl Rove’s dark money group promised ‘limited’ lobbying

In a confidential 2010 filing, Crossroads GPS — the dark money group that spent more than $70 million from anonymous donors on the 2012 election — told the Internal Revenue Service that its efforts would focus on public education, research and shaping legislation and policy. ... Read more»

Smart v. Stupid

Something died on Election Day

What’s that smell? A whole lotta conservative memes rotting on the trash pile of history – that’s what. ... Read more»

Analysis

Crossroads: Rove-affiliated groups lose big in election

If Karl Rove was an NFL coach and not a political strategist, he would probably be looking for a new job about now. Organizations co-founded by the GOP’s most effective fundraiser spent more than $175 million only to see President Barack Obama win a second term and Democrats actually gain seats in the U.S. Senate.... Read more»

FactCheck

Scary Medicare claims

A new TV ad in Florida harkens back to the notorious “death panel” falsehood. It wrongly claims Medicare benefits could be “rationed” and seniors denied treatment by the new health care law. In fact, the law specifically forbids rationing or restriction of benefits. ... Read more»

Two dark money groups outspending all super PACs combined

Two conservative nonprofits have spent more on TV ads to influence the presidential race so far than all other super PACs put together, new spending estimates show. ... Read more»

New Republican super PAC targets young voters

Three Republican groups have formed a super PAC called “Crossroads Generation” and given it $750,000 in seed money in an attempt to attract young voters, a population that has traditionally eluded the GOP.... Read more»

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