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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

Outside Money Surge Makes Kansas Senate Race Costliest In State History

(36) 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

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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...

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

(18) 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...

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

(403) 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...

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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.


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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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.


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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...

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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,...

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Dark Money Groups That Spent Millions In 2012 Vanish In 2014

(13) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 7:32 AM

WASHINGTON -- The Iowa-based conservative nonprofit group American Future Fund released new advertisements nearly every week from the spring of 2012 through Election Day that year, hitting President Barack Obama or Democratic Senate candidates in competitive races. By mid-September, the group had spent $9.5 million. It went on to spend...

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Koch Brothers' Real Fear Revealed In Secret Audio: Liberal Money

(819) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 12:47 PM

Charles and David Koch may be annoyed at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has made it his mission to elevate the billionaire industrialist brothers to the highest level of political villainy. But when it comes down to it, the biggest issue weighing on the Kochs' network of wealthy...

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Is Washington The Only Place Where Campaign Finance Is A Partisan Issue?

(18) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 8:02 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted Monday to debate a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision and allowing Congress and the states to enhance limits on the amount of money raised and spent in elections. The proposed amendment is nearly universally supported by Democrats and...

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