iOS app Android app

Paul Blumenthal
GET UPDATES FROM Paul Blumenthal
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

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Under Fire For Meddling In Anti-Corruption Panel He Created

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 5:45 PM

WASHINGTON -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is under fire from good government groups and his potential Democratic primary opponent after a New York Times expose revealed that his office interfered with an anti-corruption panel he created in 2013.

The revelations in the Times article showed that...

Read Post

Democrats Top List of Super PAC Mega-Donors

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 12:21 PM

WASHINGTON -- Democratic super PACs continue to attract more money than their Republican counterparts, due in part to a huge amount of support from deep-pocketed mega-donors.

Overall, 81 individuals, organizations or families have given $500,000 or more to super PACs between January 2013 and June 2014, totaling $161.6 million for...

Read Post

A Personal Super PAC Is The Latest Weapon For This Year's Senate Candidate

(95) Comments | Posted July 19, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- This year, for the first time since the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling unleashed the unlimited-money super PAC, the majority of Senate races feature super PACs that focus on just one candidate.

These personalized super PACs had entered the presidential contest in a big way...

Read Post

Benjamin Netanyahu Stops Pretending To Support A Sovereign Palestinian State

(360) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 12:16 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank, he told reporters last week in remarks that largely have been overlooked.

“There cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the...

Read Post

Committee To Elect Senate Democrats Has Best 2nd Quarter Fundraising In Its History

(18) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 11:45 AM

WASHINGTON -- Continuing its trend of strong fundraising cycles, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will announce on Friday that it raised nearly $22 million during the second quarter of 2014, expanding its lead over its Republican counterpart.

The $21.7 million raised between April and June gave the committee its...

Read Post

How GOP Donors Funded Sen. Thad Cochran's Winning Appeal To African-Americans

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 11:36 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-Miss.) appeal to African-American voters in his winning primary election runoff last month was funded entirely by a super PAC supporting his campaign.

According to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday, a super PAC called All Citizens for Mississippi...

Read Post

Alison Lundergan Grimes Sets Kentucky Fundraising Record

(268) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 4:01 PM

WASHINGTON -- Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), raised more than $4 million from April through June, breaking a state fundraising record.

In a press release, her campaign also announced that Grimes had pulled in a total of $11.3 million in...

Read Post

GOP Establishment Keeps Promise To Counter Tea Party With Surge In Primary Spending

(6) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- The Republican Party's internecine conflict has sparked a surge in independent spending in GOP congressional primaries as establishment elements defend incumbents against tea party-linked challengers.

Total spending by independent groups (excluding those known for supporting Democrats) in contested Republican congressional primaries soared to $46 million by...

Read Post

Justin Amash Got A Big Raise From His Dad Just Before Loaning His Campaign Money

(50) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 11:29 AM

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) received a handsome bonus from his father's company in 2010, the same year he first ran for Congress and loaned a similarly large sum of money to his campaign, according to disclosure documents released by his office.

The timing of the bonus and loans...

Read Post

Did Congress Really Delete A Key Disclosure Rule For Lobbyist Gifts? Not Really.

(6) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 2:15 PM

WASHINGTON -- It sounds so typical of Congress. An unnoticed committee action makes it harder for the public to figure out who's paying for private travel around the world for members of Congress and their top aides. To Americans who find the national legislature less appealing than potholes...

Read Post

Scott Walker Was Not A Target Of Investigation: Prosecutor

(82) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 4:44 PM

WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was not a target of an investigation into allegedly illegal campaign coordination related to the state's 2011 and 2012 recall elections, according to a lawyer for the special prosecutor running the probe.

"At the time the investigation was halted, Governor Walker...

Read Post

The Investigation Into Scott Walker Could Be Way, Way Bigger Than Scott Walker

(502) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 7:37 AM

WASHINGTON -- An investigation targeting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) for alleged illegal coordination with independent conservative groups during his 2012 recall election has been thrown into limbo by a lawsuit that could turn into the next big challenge to campaign finance limits.

The case has the potential...

Read Post

Democrats Launch New Bid To Unmask Secret Campaign Donors

(44) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 3:39 PM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats announced a new effort Tuesday to unmask secretive election spending, floating a bill that would require so-called dark money groups to disclose their campaign donors and expenditures.

Secretive spending became an issue in 2010, when the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision opened the door to unlimited...

Read Post

Prosecutors Allege Scott Walker At Center Of Campaign Finance Criminal Conspiracy

(707) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 6:11 PM

WASHINGTON -- Prosecutors allege that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was at the center of a criminal conspiracy to illegally coordinate the activities of independent conservative groups during recall elections in his state in 2011 and 2012, according to documents released Thursday and first reported on by the...

Read Post

Rising GOP Star Jeb Hensarling May Undercut His Own Crusade

(22) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 4:50 PM

WASHINGTON -- When Rep. Jeb Hensarling walked into the Lehrman auditorium at the Heritage Foundation in late May, it was ostensibly to give a speech on the perils of crony capitalism and the Republican Party's troubling relationship with big business. But everyone in attendance knew the event was serving double...

Read Post

Citizens United Makes Lawmakers 'Bit Players In Their Own Campaigns,' Report Says

(16) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 6:30 PM

WASHINGTON -- A new report from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law sheds light on how the millions in independent spending unleashed by the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision affects the political process.

Daniel Tojaki and Renata E.B. Stause conducted more than 40 interviews with House members,...

Read Post

Washington Lobbyists Pour Money Into Mississippi Senate Race To Fend Off Tea Party

(135) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 7:34 AM

WASHINGTON -- Lobbyists in Washington are pouring money into Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-Miss.) runoff campaign, helping the six-term incumbent with a long history of securing funds for well-represented industries in Washington battle his toughest challenge in more than three decades.

Registered lobbyists and lobbying firms' political action committees have given...

Read Post

Billionaire's Campaign Contribution Among Biggest In Recent History

(313) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 7:24 PM

WASHINGTON -- With a $2.5 million contribution to Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, Chicago-based hedge fund executive Ken Griffin has written the largest check to a political campaign in recent history.

Griffin, well known for saying the very wealthy have an "insufficient influence" in politics, is the...

Read Post

How David Brat Turned Eric Cantor's Fundraising Advantage Against Him

(58) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 3:28 PM

WASHINGTON -- On May 1, economics professor David Brat, the little-known challenger to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, appeared before the Mechanicsville Tea Party in Virginia to pitch his candidacy. During an hour-long populist conservative critique of the second most powerful House Republican, Brat implored his small audience...

Read Post

How Democrats Are Accidentally Helping The Koch Brothers

(307) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 10:02 AM

WASHINGTON -- Over the past two years, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has repeatedly wrestled with factions of his own party as he tries to bring traditionally uncontroversial bills to the floor, only to see a legislative war break out between tea party hard-liners and old-guard conservatives. But Cantor...

Read Post