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Sean Noble

For a brief, giddy moment, Sean Noble—a little-known former aide to an Arizona congressman—became one of the most important people in American politics. Plucked from obscurity by libertarian billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, Noble was tasked with distributing a torrent of political money raised by the Koch network, a complex web of nonprofits nicknamed the Kochtopus, into conservative causes in the 2010 and 2012 elections. Read more»

Two Arizona dark money groups linked to conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch have paid a record $1 million in fines to California to settle allegations that the combined $15 million they spent on two ballot proposals in the state was not properly disclosed. Read more»

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island

A Democratic senator is pushing for an investigation of nonprofit groups that told the Internal Revenue Service they would not engage in political activity — and then spent millions attacking or praising candidates in 2012 elections. Read more» 1

Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, says the 'future of our democracy' depends on citizens knowing who is funding campaigns, something that certain corporations can keep secret because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling.

For all of the controversy during the last election over the influence of so-called dark money in politics, the Arizona State Legislature is unlikely to produce any laws on the subject this session. Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, introduced the only bill addressing dark money, one that would have increased disclosure requirements for groups making such donations, but it didn’t receive a hearing. Read more»

A bill by Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, would require corporations and individuals acting as intermediaries for political contributions to disclose the source and any other intermediaries behind them.

A state lawmaker wants to force shadowy political groups to disclose the sources of dark money they pump into campaigns. “Most Arizonans are tired of having dark money rule their politics,” said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson. Read more» 1

California voters cast their ballots in November.

Five conservative dark money groups active in 2012 elections previously told tax regulators that they would not engage in politics, including Arizona-based Americans for Responsible Leadership, which spent more than $5.2 million - mainly to support Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Read more» 1

Voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure to do away with Arizona’s partisan primary system in favor of open primaries advancing top vote-getters regardless of party. Read more» 1

Voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot proposition to establish a permanent 1 cent-per-dollar sales tax earmarked for schools, transportation projects and human services. Unofficial returns showed Proposition 204 trailing by a wide margin. Read more» 1

An obscure Arizona nonprofit that has contributed $1.5 million to campaigns opposing two Arizona ballot measures revealed Monday under court order that $11 million it contributed to California ballot measure campaigns passed through two other nonprofits. A California official said that this qualifies as money laundering and violates state law. Read more»

Americans for Responsible Leadership, a Phoenix-based nonprofit, continues to pour money into the opposition against Proposition 121 and Proposition 204 and added to its activities by funding a mailing this week opposing a Democrat for state House. Read more»

A website attributed to Americans for Responsible Leadership, which has given nearly $1 million to groups opposing Propositions 121 and 204 in Arizona, carries information about those measures. Little is known about the Phoenix-based group, which also has donated $11 million to a political action committee in California.

An obscure political group based in the Valley - Americans for Responsible Leadership - has spent nearly a million dollars against Propositions 121, which would replace Arizona's party primary elections, and 204, that would continue a one-cent sales tax for education. Read more» 1