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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

Democrats Used Twitter, Too, To Coordinate With Outside Groups

(8) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 4:00 PM

WASHINGTON -- Republican Party committees and outside groups shared polling data over Twitter during the 2014 elections, according to a CNN report on Monday. The purpose was to circumvent federal anti-coordination rules -- and the practice appeared to be part of a growing bipartisan effort to get around...

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Where Campaign Finance Reformers Actually Won On Election Day

(6) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 12:31 PM

WASHINGTON -- Midterm voters boosted Republican power in Arkansas by electing all Republicans to statewide office, enhancing the party's control of the state legislature and sending Rep. Tom Cotton (R) to Washington as their next senator. At the same time, they also voted in support of a broad...

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Remember Who Held Election's Purse Strings As Congress Sets 2015 Agenda

(181) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 7:34 AM

WASHINGTON -- Following the Republican wave that swept away the Democratic Senate majority last week, reporters, advocates and pundits debated the efficacy of the estimated $3.7 billion in political spending shelled out over the past 22 months.

Articles pondered whether all the money spent even mattered....

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Obama: 'I'm Going To Do What I Can Through Executive Action' On Immigration

(714) Comments | Posted November 9, 2014 | 11:32 AM

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said on Sunday that he will pursue an executive order on immigration reform and that congressional Republicans can take further action if they so please.

"I'm going to do what I can do through executive action," Obama said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "It's not...

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Current And Incoming Republican Senators Set Out Pro-Corporate Agenda For 114th Congress

(723) Comments | Posted November 9, 2014 | 11:05 AM

WASHINGTON -- Republicans senators, including those already in office and incoming new members, discussed across morning television shows on Sunday what they would like to see done in the 114th Congress.

The suite of issues senators want addressed include a grab-bag of policies sought by the powerful U.S. Chamber of...

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George W. Bush Says Jeb Bush 2016 Presidential Run Is 'A Toss-Up'

(759) Comments | Posted November 9, 2014 | 9:40 AM

WASHINGTON -- Former President George W. Bush said on Sunday that the odds of his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, running for president in 2016 are evenly split.

"I'd give it a toss-up," the former president told Bob Schieffer on "Face The Nation," according to a transcript.

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Mitch McConnell's Triumph Strikes Worry In The Hearts Of Campaign Finance Reformers

(176) Comments | Posted November 8, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- Over the past three years, House Republicans have repeatedly tried, and failed, to bar federal agencies from adopting regulations to govern the campaign finance landscape created by the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision. Now, with their party seizing control of the Senate, that effort to stop new...

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Mayday PAC Lost Nearly All Its Races This Year, But Refuses To Concede Defeat

(4) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 5:28 PM

WASHINGTON -- Nearly every effort by Mayday PAC to elect a candidate who favored campaign finance reform in a contested race fell flat on Tuesday.

The super PAC to end all super PACs, established in May 2014, was highly successful in raising money but much less so in...

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Tallahassee Voters Said No To Big Money, Corruption In City Politics

(3) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 10:07 PM

WASHINGTON -- After wealthy donors helped fuel the most expensive midterm election in history, voters in Tallahassee, Florida, passed a referendum to stem that tide.

On Tuesday, 67 percent of voters in the city backed a referendum to amend the Tallahassee charter to limit the influence...

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Here Is Your First $100 Million Senate Race

(66) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 12:34 PM

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) on the election trail Oct. 25 to rally Democrats ahead of Tuesday's crucial midterm elections. The two Democrats had more in common than just a stage: Hagan's re-election race, like Clinton's 2000 bid, was in...

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Here Are The Top Super PAC Mega-Donors In 2014 Elections

(56) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 8:04 PM

WASHINGTON -- In Iowa, a television station recently created a new program so it could sell more advertising to political campaigns, party committees and independent groups bombarding voters in this year's battleground states.

The advertising crush is being driven in large part by big-spending independent groups, including super...

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

(21) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 5:07 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,...

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

(61) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 8:32 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...

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

(26) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 8:30 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...

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Outside Money Surge Makes Kansas Senate Race Costliest In State History

(108) Comments | Posted October 25, 2014 | 8:30 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

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

(24) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 6:20 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...

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

(23) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 4:36 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...

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

(404) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 3:06 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...

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Senate Candidates Actually Debate The Insidious Influence Of Money In Politics

(18) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 8:35 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.


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Democrats, Republicans Take Advantage Of New Big-Money Rules

(18) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 10:08 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...

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