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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

Tea Party Group Brings Trade Deal Opposition To New Hampshire Primary

(37) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 10:32 PM

WASHINGTON -- The debate over granting President Barack Obama fast-track authority to negotiate and approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is coming to the Republican presidential primary campaign in New Hampshire.

Americans for Limited Government, a conservative group founded by wealthy activist Howard Rich, will begin radio ads...

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Wealthy Donors Are Throwing Way More Money At The Republican Party This Year

(67) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 5:35 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Republican Party is taking full advantage of the new campaign contribution accounts and limits slipped into the omnibus budget bill that passed Congress in December.

In the first three months of 2015, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, the three main party...

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The Chamber Of Commerce Is Fighting Fiercely To Stop The Scourge Of Corporate Transparency

(214) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 7:36 AM

WASHINGTON -- This spring, shareholders in more than 100 companies will introduce resolutions calling for greater disclosure of corporations' political and lobbying activity. Six major companies -- Dean Foods, Eastman Chemical, H&R Block, Marathon Oil, U.S. Steel and Valero Energy -- have already reached agreement with New York state Comptroller...

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Clinton Campaign Will Accept Donations From Lobbyists And PACs

(124) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 1:09 PM

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign will accept donations from lobbyists and political action committees, a difference in policy from the man she's hoping to replace, President Barack Obama.

The Clinton campaign confirmed that there would be no prohibition on such donations, after The Huffington Post was tipped off...

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Ted Cruz Raises $4 Million In His First Week Running For President

(209) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 11:01 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) raised more than $4 million in the first week of his presidential campaign, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday.

Cruz announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on March 23. He is the first declared presidential candidate...

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Montana Republicans And Democrats Unite To Ban Dark Money

(79) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 7:53 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Montana legislature passed sweeping campaign finance legislation on Wednesday that will require the disclosure of all donors to any independent group spending money on state-level elections.

The bipartisan Montana Disclose Act will effectively end the flood of “dark money” -- electoral spending by nonprofit groups that do...

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Chicago Progressives Emboldened After Rahm Emanuel's Super PAC Fails To Beat Them

(6) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 11:36 AM

WASHINGTON -- Chicago voters re-elected Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a runoff race on April 7, the culmination of an expensive election campaign. But although Emanuel emerged from the runoff with a twelve-point victory over Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D), the mayor's support on the city...

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Bob Menendez Corruption Case Reads Like An Indictment Of Citizens United Ruling, Too

(654) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 4:46 PM

WASHINGTON -- The indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on public corruption charges is the first bribery case involving the use of corporate political spending to support a candidate since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision allowed corporations to do just that.

Justice Anthony Kennedy declared in...

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Super PAC Fires Fundraiser Involved In Menendez Corruption Case

(6) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 4:45 PM

WASHINGTON -- The super PAC caught in the middle of the corruption scandal involving Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has severed ties to an unnamed fundraiser who features prominently in the Department of Justice's indictment of the senator.

Senate Majority PAC released a statement Thursday from executive director Stephanie...

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Sen. Bob Menendez Indicted On Public Corruption Charges

(578) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 3:58 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) on Wednesday was indicted on public corruption charges for allegedly accepting donations and pricey gifts from a Florida ophthalmologist in exchange for using his position to push the doctor's interests.

The indictment laid out how Menendez allegedly took both expensive gifts and legal donations...

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White House Wannabes Drawing 2016 Battle Lines In Furious Money Chase

(146) Comments | Posted March 28, 2015 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- The 2016 presidential election’s “invisible primary” is in full swing as Republican candidates tour the country looking to secure donors for their real or potential campaigns and their super PACs.

“They’re all beating the bush as you’d expect,” said David Herro, a wealthy Chicago-based investor who...

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Anti-Citizens United Activists Get Ready For 2016 Presidential Candidates In Iowa, New Hampshire

(28) Comments | Posted March 20, 2015 | 6:42 PM

WASHINGTON -- As the candidates seeking the 2016 presidential nomination flock to Iowa and New Hampshire, they should be ready to answer questions about the role of big money in politics.

Iowa and New Hampshire, which have, respectively, the nation's first caucus and first primary of the presidential election season,...

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Republicans Heap Money On Rahm Emanuel's Re-election Campaign

(20) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 4:33 PM

WASHINGTON -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel received a big cash infusion to a super PAC supporting his re-election bid in the last weeks before the April 7 Democratic Party primary runoff election he faces against Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

Standing out among the big contributions to Emanuel’s...

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2016 Candidates Thumb Their Noses At Campaign Finance Rules

(94) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 7:28 AM

WASHINGTON -- Amid a busy schedule of fundraisers and meet-and-greets with party leaders around the country, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) stopped off at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February to tout his battles with liberals and unions. During his sleeves-rolled-up speech, Walker made sure to sneak in some...

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Online Payday Lender Pumped Dark Money Into Effort To Beat Back Regulation

(35) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 7:33 AM

WASHINGTON -- Facing the prospect of imminent oversight by a newly created government regulator, the much-reviled payday loan industry’s lobbying machine surged into action.

The campaign to blunt the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau included the usual monetary contributions to key lawmakers and hiring of well-connected lobbyists. But...

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Tom Cotton: 'No Regrets At All' Over Letter To Iran

(2120) Comments | Posted March 15, 2015 | 11:41 AM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said on CBS’ "Face the Nation" on Sunday that he had “no regrets at all” over the letter he orchestrated to be sent to Iranian ayatollahs warning them that any deal struck with the Obama administration over their country’s nuclear program could be cancelled...

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Mitch McConnell: 'Very Bad Deal' With Iran Prompted Letter To Ayatollahs

(372) Comments | Posted March 15, 2015 | 10:23 AM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the as-yet-undetermined deal currently being negotiated between the United States, its partner nations and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program a "bad deal” on CNN’s "State of the Union" on Sunday.

“[T]he main point is the president is about to make...

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Trey Gowdy On Hillary Emails: 'We Haven't Seen Any Evidence Of A Crime'

(434) Comments | Posted March 15, 2015 | 9:44 AM

WASHINGTON -- “We haven’t seen any evidence of a crime,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said Sunday about Hillary Clinton’s private email use during her service as Secretary of State.

Gowdy was speaking to "Fox News Sunday" days after Clinton responded to...

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Republicans And Iran Deal Opponents Are Funded By The Same Mega-Donors

(147) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 5:48 PM

WASHINGTON -- As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress last week, making his case against the deal the U.S. and partner nations are negotiating over Iran's nuclear program, Miriam Adelson -- the wife of billionaire casino operator Sheldon Adelson -- dropped her purple Hermes purse from the...

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Jeb Bush Is Taking Foreign Policy Advice From These Influence Peddlers

(300) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 6:33 AM

WASHINGTON -- After the attempted Christmas Day underwear bombing of a jetliner in 2009, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff blanketed cable news to reiterate his long-standing support for the adoption of full body scanners at airports. His revelation on CNN that Rapiscan Systems, the manufacturer of those machines, had...

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