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Paul Blumenthal
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Paul Blumenthal is a reporter at The Huffington Post covering campaign finance and money-in-politics. His work has appeared on PBS' Frontline, MSNBC, CNN and The New York Times and been included in Principles and Practice of American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 5th Edition and in Transparency International's Global Corruption Report: Climate Change. He previously worked as the senior writer for The Sunlight Foundation.

Entries by Paul Blumenthal

Nonprofit Tied To John Boehner Attacks His Foes In Homeland Security Fight

(9) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 1:43 PM

WASHINGTON -- The politically active nonprofit closely tied to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is intervening to help the Republican Party leader as he battles conservatives in his own caucus over the passage of appropriations legislation for the Department of Homeland Security.

American Action Network, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that does not...

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The Inside Story Of How Citizens United Has Changed Washington Lawmaking

(325) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 5:00 AM

Lobbyists and trade groups have pumped huge sums into the coffers of super PACs and nonprofits connected to Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ever since the Citizens United decision. (Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images)
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Lone Billionaire Hits Much, Much Higher Limit For Campaign Contributions

(117) Comments | Posted February 21, 2015 | 6:01 PM

WASHINGTON -- Ken Griffin, the hedge fund billionaire who once complained about the wealthiest Americans having “insufficient influence” in politics, has become the first -- and so far only -- donor to report giving the maximum amount to a national political party under newly loosened campaign contribution limits.

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GOP Consultant Pleads Guilty In First Super PAC Coordination Conviction

(54) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 5:48 PM

WASHINGTON -- A Republican Party political operative pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally coordinating with a super PAC while he ran a congressional campaign in the 2012 election.

Tyler Harber, 34, campaign manager for Virginia Republican congressional candidate Chris Perkins, used a super PAC he created to spend $325,000...

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2016 Presidential Candidates Use Pre-Announcement Phase To Push Fundraising Limits

(34) Comments | Posted January 31, 2015 | 12:28 PM

WASHINGTON -- The 2016 presidential campaign is already in its beta launch stage, as candidates are beginning to roll themselves out so audiences of party insiders and wealthy donors can test them for bugs. This process also requires a platform to allow access to the candidate during this important, formative...

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Groups With Liberal Ties Tapped To Re-Elect The GOP Establishment

(40) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 7:37 AM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) got a boost in the last election from a little-known nonprofit called Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions. The group calls itself conservative, but its support for greater federal funding of alternative energy drew the attention of Tennessee tea party groups,...

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Dem Donors Plot Campaign Battle Against $889 Million Koch Behemoth

(97) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 3:49 PM

WASHINGTON -- Reactions from Democrats to news that the billionaire Koch brothers are planning an $889 million blitz for the 2016 election has run the gamut from outright alarm to shoulder shrugs.

Various top party officials interviewed by The Huffington Post said they expected outside groups and...

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Democrats Link Middle Class Woes To Need For Campaign Finance Reform

(18) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 3:39 PM

WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday, the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, House and Senate Democrats aimed all the spotlights at campaign finance reform. They introduced a dozen bills designed to reduce the influence of money in politics. And they drew a clear line from fixing the electoral...

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5 Years After Citizens United, Money Controls Politics More Than Ever

(10) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 7:32 AM

WASHINGTON -- Five years ago this Wednesday, the Supreme Court overturned two decades of precedent in a bitterly divided 5-4 decision to open the door to unlimited spending by corporations and unions. It was the outcome of a case that began when the conservative nonprofit Citizens United, funded in part...

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Trail To The Chief: Dirty Dozen Donor Edition

(102) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 5:46 AM

The Dirty Dozen Donor Edition

Our inaugural Trail to the Chief ranked presidential candidates. Now we’re free to focus on the real...

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Jeb Bush's Decision To 'Actively Explore' 2016 Run Allows Him To Avoid Super PAC Rules

(96) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 3:23 PM

WASHINGTON -- When former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) waded into the 2016 presidential race in December, he did so with some awkward wording. He stated that he would "actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States."

This hedged language on the part of...

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Plunge In Wall Street Money Bolsters Populist Shift Among Democrats

(48) Comments | Posted January 10, 2015 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- With their first act in full control of the new Congress, Republicans tried to push through a bill to delay the Volcker Rule, which limits risky trades by banks. The plan failed as Democrats rallied a majority of their caucus to oppose the measure.

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Donors To Michael Grimm, The Convicted Former Congressman, Regret Nothing

(45) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 4:22 PM

WASHINGTON -- There are sound investments. There are risky investments. And then there are investments in individuals facing public disgrace and possible prison time.

Nearly 200 people made that last sort of investment in 2014. They're the folks who gave itemized donations (i.e., donations in the aggregate of more than...

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Christine O'Donnell Sued For Allegedly Breaking Campaign Finance Laws In 2010

(130) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 4:54 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission filed suit Monday against former Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell for allegedly using campaign funds for personal purposes.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for Delaware, claims that O'Donnell and then-campaign treasurer Matthew Moran illegally used $20,000 in funds raised...

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Here's Where Campaign Finance Reform May Move Ahead As Congress Dithers

(32) Comments | Posted December 20, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- Nearly five years after the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United altered the landscape for money in politics, Congress has done nothing to reverse the ruling's adverse side effects for disclosure and collaboration between independent groups and the candidates they support. A similar degradation of campaign finance rules...

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No One Wants To Take The Blame For The Omnibus Campaign Finance Rider

(39) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 8:41 PM

WASHINGTON -- Facing a tough election landscape this year, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had to go deep in the red, ending the electoral cycle with roughly $20 million of debt. But not all that money has to be paid off now. And a rider on the omnibus spending bill...

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Democrats Seek To Strip Big Hug For Rich Donors From Omnibus

(167) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 7:53 PM

WASHINGTON -- Democratic lawmakers expressed outrage at a provision slipped into the omnibus government funding bill that would expand the amount wealthy donors can give to national political party committees.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the leader of the House Democrats, called for the provision to be pulled from...

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Omnibus Bill Allows Wealthy Donors To Give Even More to Political Parties

(62) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 1:03 AM

WASHINGTON -- Congressional budget negotiators from both parties have included a provision in the bill to continue funding the government into next year that dramatically changes campaign finance law to allow lawmakers to solicit even bigger contributions from the wealthiest donors.

The omnibus bill includes a provision (on...

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Architects Of CIA Torture Program Raked In $81 Million, Report Reveals

(130) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 7:18 PM

WASHINGTON -- Two psychologists were paid $81 million by the CIA to advise on and help implement its brutal interrogation program targeting detainees in the war on terror, according to the Senate torture report summary released Tuesday.

The contract psychologists are identified with pseudonyms -- Grayson Swigert and Hammond Dunbar...

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These Super PACs Spent Big As Elections Neared, But Kept Donors Secret Until Now

(55) Comments | Posted December 6, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- The race to replace retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in his Los Angeles County district saw very little spending from outside groups -- until the final weeks of the campaign, when two super PACs backing Republican candidate Elan Carr began an advertising blitz.

One of the super PACs,...

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