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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»

A money-in-politics index from the Center for Public Integrity. Read more»

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

Republican super PAC American Crossroads received a cash infusion last month from a mysterious limited liability company that lists its address as the Tempe training facility of the Arizona Cardinals football team. Read more»

President Barack Obama has selected Jane Hartley, a major campaign bundler, to be the next U.S. ambassador to France, the White House announced Friday afternoon. Read more»

An Iowa-based group dedicated to combating "the radical animal rights movement" forms a super PAC. Read more»

National Republicans have launched another jumbo joint fundraising committee in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling — this one with the goal of aiding some of the party's most promising challengers and open seat contenders, including Martha McSally. Read more»

Greg Speed, president of America Votes.

Even as top Democrats denounce Charles and David Koch's political "dark money" organizations, party operatives have built a secretive nonprofit network of their own — albeit a much smaller one. A dozen donors account for 60 percent of a Democratic nonprofit’s receipts — most of the $12.7 million the group raised during its last fiscal year. Read more» 3

A Supreme Court ruling eliminating aggregate limits on campaign contributions invalidates similar rules in states. Read more»

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»

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Democrats are fully embracing the independent political money groups they once derided in an effort to retain the Senate this year. Read more»

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010 did not, as some warned, unleash a flood of corporate money directly into elections. Read more»

Center for Public Integrity highlights key stories and trends Read more»

Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis, center, stands with two other of the party's candidates for office in Virginia, Keegan Sturdivant, left, and Laura Delhomme.

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»

Midler in 2009.

Donations from nonprofits to Americans for Responsible Solutions — including a $10,000 contribution from Bette Midler's family foundation — will be returned because the donors violated tax laws, the gun-control group founded by Gabrielle Giffords said. Read more»

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