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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

Wall Street, War Hawks Fund Challenger To Only Anti-War, Anti-Wall Street Republican

(3) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 12:31 PM

WASHINGTON -- Wall Street billionaires, financial industry lobbyists and neoconservative hawks are throwing money behind a primary challenge to Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican and veteran congressman.

From afar, Jones may look like a conventional conservative. He opposes gay marriage and abortion, calls Obamacare a "disaster" and pushes...

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There Is One Campaign Finance Regulation That Rand Paul Supports

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 11:22 AM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Rand Paul detailed on Tuesday the one element of campaign finance reform that he believed would pass constitutional muster and that he, personally, could support. The thing is, it's already the law.

In an appearance at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics, the Kentucky Republican...

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After Record $5 Billion Pollution Settlement, Oil Company Still Has Friends On Capitol Hill

(27) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 6:04 PM

WASHINGTON -- A joint fundraising committee controlled by Republican Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) received contributions exclusively from executives of the independent oil and gas company Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The McConnell Cornyn Victory Committee took in...

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Republicans Launch Second Post-McCutcheon Supercommittee To Tap Megadonors

(788) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 11:51 AM

WASHINGTON -- Every year, the Republican Party launches a fundraising committee linking a handful of its most important Senate candidates together to help them raise funds from corporate political action committees. These so-called Senators Classic Committees have generated modest sums in the past -- but now, thanks to the Supreme...

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Super PACs Raise Money From Family And Friends Of The Candidates They Support

(3) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 3:31 PM

WASHINGTON -- As super PACs supporting a single politician proliferate across the country ahead of the 2014 elections, some are reaching out for contributions from the family and friends of the candidates they support, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Family members and business associates of Dan...

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Alaska Super PAC Fixated On Local Cred Is Actually Funded Almost Entirely By D.C. Money

(6) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 12:24 PM

WASHINGTON -- In advertisements to support Sen. Mark Begich (D), Alaska-based super PAC Put Alaska First has questioned the home-state credentials of the one-term senator's opponents and critics.

The group has cast potential Republican opponent Dan Sullivan as an interloper who previously owned a home in Maryland, and has assailed...

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Senate Majority PAC Raises Large Sum To Fight Back Against Kochs

(540) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 3:13 PM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority PAC, the super PAC trying to hold the Senate Democratic majority in the 2014 elections, posted a huge fundraising quarter to start the election year with $11 million raised over the first three months of 2014, according to a filing with the Federal Election...

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Republicans Launch First 'Super Committee' To Rake In Post-McCutcheon Money

(158) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 2:56 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Republican Party has launched a "super committee" to accept the super-sized donations from wealthy donors that are now possible because of the Supreme Court's ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

The Republican Victory Fund, registered with the FEC as a joint fundraising...

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Wall Street, GOP Poised For Mutual Gain From Supreme Court's McCutcheon Decision

(58) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 4:58 PM

WASHINGTON -- Who will benefit first from McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission? The Republican Party and the financial industry are already primed to take advantage of the Supreme Court's April 2 ruling.

The decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, ended longstanding aggregate limits on campaign contributions,...

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Nothing Really Compares To The Koch Brothers' Political Empire

(144) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 7:32 AM

WASHINGTON -- As billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch become a focus of Democratic Party attacks for their big spending in the 2014 elections, conservatives have argued back that the Kochs' "dark money" is puny compared to the shadowy funds spent by an array of wealthy liberal interests...

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RNC Chairman: Bring Back The Gilded Age

(239) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 12:09 AM

WASHINGTON -- Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is now looking to overturn all campaign finance limits and maybe get rid of disclosure rules following the Supreme Court McCutcheon ruling that eliminated aggregate campaign contribution limits.

"I don’t think we should have caps at all," Priebus said...

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The Only Form Of Corruption The Supreme Court Cares About Is Almost Impossible To Prosecute

(2093) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 7:34 AM

WASHINGTON -- In striking down long-standing campaign contribution limits last week, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the right to donate to as many candidates as you like is protected by the First Amendment and that the government has an interest only in preventing direct quid...

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The Roberts Court Tees Up The End Of Campaign Finance Reform In Its Latest Ruling

(2010) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 7:36 AM

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission on Wednesday has potentially big implications for the future of limits on campaign money, far beyond the aggregate contribution limits it struck down.

The McCutcheon case could reverberate for years to come because...

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Figured Out Dark Money Groups, Super PACs? Thanks To The Supreme Court, You'll Have To Learn About This, Too

(14) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 5:42 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court's ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission has opened the door for wealthy donors to spend even more on political campaigns. It will also require interested citizens to learn some new terminology.

If you've finally wrapped your mind around the distinctions between two...

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After Today's Supreme Court Ruling, Here's How All This Will End

(1071) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 3:30 PM

If understanding campaign finance laws is still on your to-do list -- what's the difference between a super PAC and a 501(c)4 again? what counts as illegal coordination and what doesn't? -- don't spend too much time worrying about it, because those rules won't be here much longer. After

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The Supreme Court Has Struck Down Overall Campaign Contribution Limits

(6675) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 11:14 AM

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the aggregate campaign contribution limits, thereby opening the door to even more money in the political system.

The 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission was penned by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by justices Anthony Kennedy,...

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Bombshell Corruption Case Shines Merciless Light On How Politicians Raise Money

(229) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 7:38 AM

WASHINGTON -- California state Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat running for secretary of state, was arrested March 26 as part of a wide-ranging federal investigation into a San Francisco-based Chinese tong and charged with public corruption and arms trafficking. A federal affidavit, unsealed the same day,...

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Koch Brothers Accuse Democrats Of Being Backed By Evil Koch-Like Brothers

(303) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 6:06 PM

WASHINGTON -- In another example of the network funded by David and Charles Koch jumping to defend the billionaire brothers, a conservative nonprofit group released a new Web ad Sunday that counters Democratic attacks on the Kochs' election-year spending.

The Koch-backed group American Commitment spent $50,000 on...

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Koch-Funded Network Jumps To Defend Billionaire Brothers Against Democratic Attacks

(983) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 6:42 PM

WASHINGTON -- A nonprofit group funded by Charles and David Koch to promote the reduction of national debt and government spending has been pressed into service as a defender of the billionaire brothers, who have come under attack by Democrats for plowing millions into conservative causes.

Public Notice, a...

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Senate Candidates Find A Way To Give Those Friendly Super PACs A Helping Hand

(85) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 7:47 AM

WASHINGTON -- The latest trend in Senate campaigns is the posting of b-roll footage on the Internet, available to download. The goal isn't to draw the attention of comedians at "The Daily Show," but to provide footage of candidates for supportive super PACs and "dark money" nonprofits to use in...

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