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

Mitch McConnell Paid For Koch Group Meeting Shortly Before Blitz Of Pro-GOP Senate Ads

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 4:07 PM

WASHINGTON -- In June, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took a break from the campaign trail to address a conference held in Dana Point, California, for donors to the political network operated by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

According to secret audio obtained by The Undercurrent,...

Read Post

Sandra Fluke's Election Bid Opposed By One Big-Spending Businessman

(48) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 7:32 AM

WASHINGTON -- Bill Bloomfield, the Republican-turned-independent real estate titan, nearly toppled Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in 2012 after putting more than $7 million of his own money behind his bid. Neither man is on the ballot this year, but that hasn't stopped Bloomfield from pouring another fortune into an electoral...

Read Post

Super PACs Keep Candidates Afloat With A Little Help From Their Friends

(26) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- In August, stories began to percolate that Terri Lynn Land, the Republican Senate candidate in Michigan, didn't have what it takes to win. Despite the GOP's quest to retake the Senate, the national party pulled back from that contest.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee made its...

Read Post

Outside Money Surge Makes Kansas Senate Race Costliest In State History

(108) Comments | Posted October 25, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- Few Senate races have seen a gush of spending like the competition in Kansas between Sen. Pat Roberts (R) and independent challenger Greg Orman. That may be because, until lately, it had been unthinkable that a Republican incumbent could lose in the solidly red state.

But Roberts

Read Post

Senate Democrats Not Running Or Already Retired Sit On $52 Million

(24) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 5:20 PM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats who aren't running for re-election this year and those who have retired were sitting on nearly $52 million in campaign cash at the end of September, even as their party's candidates are slogging through a difficult electoral cycle.

That untouched pot of money has become a...

Read Post

Koch Brothers Fund Group That Contradicts Their Ideology In 2014 Election Push

(23) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 3:36 PM

WASHINGTON -- Despite their stated support for both personal and economic libertarianism, billionaires Charles and David Koch are sending funds through their dark money political network to support a "get out the vote" drive by evangelical Christians who oppose abortion rights and are furious at recent court rulings that allow...

Read Post

Billionaires Answer Call To Donate To Republican Super PACs For 2014 Homestretch

(404) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 2:06 PM

WASHINGTON -- Billionaires are rushing to the aid of Republicans in the homestretch of the 2014 elections with a massive super PAC infusion after a plea from big money mastermind Karl Rove.

On Sept. 17, Rove, the co-founder of the super PAC and dark money duo American Crossroads and Crossroads...

Read Post

Senate Candidates Actually Debate The Insidious Influence Of Money In Politics

(18) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 7:35 AM

WASHINGTON -- The influence of money in politics was long treated as a side issue during the campaign season. But this year, in at least a half-dozen Senate races, large contributions to and big spending by independent super PACs and nonprofits have featured as key topics in candidate debates.


Read Post

Democrats, Republicans Take Advantage Of New Big-Money Rules

(18) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 9:08 PM

WASHINGTON -- Both the Republican and Democratic parties are raising historic sums from single donors for the 2014 midterm elections under new rules resulting from a major Supreme Court ruling in April.

The Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision struck down aggregate campaign contribution limits that prevented a single donor...

Read Post

Koch Brothers Reveal A Small Slice Of Their Political Donations

(83) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 6:36 PM

WASHINGTON -- Charles and David Koch have finally disclosed at least a small portion of the large contributions given to their political empire. According to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, each of the billionaire brothers gave $2 million to Freedom Partners Action Fund,...

Read Post

Dark Money Concentrates In Small Number of Pivotal 2014 Races

(35) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 6:03 PM

WASHINGTON -- As independent spending by nonprofit groups that fail to disclose their donors approaches $200 million in the 2014 midterm elections, it is increasingly evident that this spending is meant to influence only a handful of races.

This dark money spending -- so-called because it is not...

Read Post

Fishy Money Fuels Super PACs In Alaska Senate Race

(41) Comments | Posted October 11, 2014 | 10:27 AM

WASHINGTON -- Outside super PACs have played a major role supporting Sen. Mark Begich (D) as he faces a tough re-election race against former Alaska Natural Resources commissioner Dan Sullivan (R). These groups have already pumped $13.8 million into the state to support the first-term senator, according to...

Read Post

How Will Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS Stay Within The Law In 2014?

(41) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 4:55 PM

WASHINGTON -- Crossroads GPS, the political nonprofit founded by Karl Rove in 2010, announced on Oct. 3 that it has raised $75 million in 2014, just as it begins a massive advertising campaign targeting Democratic candidates for Senate. The group said it plans to spend at...

Read Post

Unlikely South Dakota Senate Race Attracts Big Money From Campaign Finance Reformers

(18) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 6:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- The "super PAC to end all super PACs" is making its second-biggest foray into 2014 elections with a $1 million expenditure supporting Democrat Rick Weiland’s Senate bid in South Dakota.

Mayday PAC, founded by Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, made the investment as Weiland has failed...

Read Post

Crowdpac Helps Small Donors Find A Perfect Match In Politics

(7) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- Combining a unique data set with a nonpartisan outlook, a new organization called Crowdpac hopes to break out of the pack of political campaign innovators with a feature that helps ordinary people find and contribute to candidates who share their views.

Crowdpac, an online and open...

Read Post

Mary Landrieu's Fossil Fuel Stance Both A Blessing And A Curse In 2014 Election Bid

(19) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 1:51 PM

WASHINGTON -- For Louisiana, the fossil fuel industry is both a blessing and a curse.

More than 300,000 people in the state are employed in the oil and gas sector, which provides tens of billions in tax revenue. The state hosts 19 oil refineries, second only to Texas, and...

Read Post

Top Billionaire Campaign Donors Favor Republicans In 2014

(479) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 8:58 PM

WASHINGTON -- The wealthiest Americans are playing a larger role in politics these days, thanks to campaign finance laws loosened by the Supreme Court's conservative majority. Billionaires can now make unlimited contributions to super PACs, or, if they prefer discretion, to nonprofit groups that don't disclose their donors.

Read Post

Where Billionaires Are Placing Bets In This Year's Elections

(99) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 7:34 AM

WASHINGTON -- As the Democratic Party works to hold control of the U.S. Senate for the final two years of Barack Obama's presidency, a key strategy for November's elections seeks to tie Republican challengers to policies advocated by billionaire donors, especially brothers Charles and David Koch.


Read Post

Surprise! House And Senate Fundraising Drops Ahead of 2014 Election, And Here's Why

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 7:37 AM

WASHINGTON -- It may come as a surprise, but politicians running for Congress have raised less money for November's midterm elections than they had raised at this point in the 2010 cycle.

According to data released Tuesday by the Federal Election Commission, congressional candidates pulled in $1.143 billion...

Read Post

Koch Central Bank Freedom Partners Distributed Millions In Dark Money In 2013

(181) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 12:26 AM

WASHINGTON -- Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the central hub of the political empire of the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, reported raising $57.5 million in 2013 and disbursing $41.7 million to organizations in the Koch network.

Freedom Partners, founded under the radar in 2011,...

Read Post