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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

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

(180) 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

(12) 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

(813) 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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Democrats Ramp Up Dark Money Fight With Constitutional Amendment Bid

(138) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 7:07 PM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats took the first step to try and stem the flood of unregulated dark money that's swamped politics since 2010, with a first procedural vote on a constitutional amendment to allow stronger regulation of campaign finances.

The unregulated cash spigot opened in 2010, when the...

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It's Time To Name The 2014 Midterms The Dark Money Election

(381) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 7:43 AM

WASHINGTON -- If 2012 was the super PAC election, the 2014 midterms look to be the dark money election. Spending on ads that named federal candidates by nonprofit organizations, which are not required to disclose their donors, has soared in the months leading up to November.

Dark money groups...

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Corporate PACs Stick With Senate Democrats In Tough Races So Far

(190) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 7:35 AM

WASHINGTON -- In the most heavily contested Senate races over seats now held by Democrats, corporations and business trade associations are largely sticking with the Democrats as they dole out funds from their political action committees.

A review of Federal Election Commission records by The Huffington Post found that PACs...

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Facebook Is Quietly Making Friends With State Lawmakers Across The Country

(6) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 7:41 AM

WASHINGTON -- Just hours after Facebook officially went public on the New York Stock Exchange on May 18, 2012, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) signed a bill that granted the multibillion-dollar company an enormous tax break on its data center in Prineville, Oregon.

The legislation, dubbed the "Facebook...

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Zephyr Teachout Gets Big Boost In Challenge To Andrew Cuomo

(11) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 1:30 PM

WASHINGTON -- Harvard law professor and leading campaign finance reform advocate Lawrence Lessig called on supporters of his anti-corruption super PAC to help fund the campaign of Zephyr Teachout, the Democratic primary challenger to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"I’m writing today to ask you to support someone who I...

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Campaign Finance Reformers Regroup With New Goal: To 'Win The Debate On Solutions'

(7) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 5:08 PM

WASHINGTON -- Campaign finance reformers are taking their policy efforts to the hustings, raising millions of dollars in an unprecedented push to support candidates in the November elections. Among these groups, the pioneer of this electoral strategy is adjusting its tactics to advance campaign finance reform across the country.


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Corporations Have Found Yet Another (Secret) Way To Help Get Politicians Elected

(62) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 7:31 AM

WASHINGTON -- On June 14, 2012, someone created a corporation in Ohio called American Dream Fund LLC. Six months later, this corporation made a $250,000 contribution to a super PAC called Advancing Freedom Action Network, which supports the re-election of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted...

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Leaked Memo Tells Senate Candidate To Spend 80 Percent Of Her Time Raising Money

(74) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 5:41 PM

WASHINGTON -- A campaign strategy memo prepared for Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn last year and leaked online on Monday reveals far more than just the inner workings of one high-profile Senate campaign. Details in the memo illuminate the dominant role of fundraising in the political world.

"Hitting our...

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Under Fire For Meddling In Anti-Corruption Panel He Created

(7) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 5:45 PM

WASHINGTON -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is under fire from good government groups and his potential Democratic primary opponent after a New York Times expose revealed that his office interfered with an anti-corruption panel he created in 2013.

The revelations in the Times article showed that...

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Democrats Top List of Super PAC Mega-Donors

(46) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 12:21 PM

WASHINGTON -- Democratic super PACs continue to attract more money than their Republican counterparts, due in part to a huge amount of support from deep-pocketed mega-donors.

Overall, 81 individuals, organizations or families have given $500,000 or more to super PACs between January 2013 and June 2014, totaling $161.6 million for...

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A Personal Super PAC Is The Latest Weapon For This Year's Senate Candidate

(95) Comments | Posted July 19, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- This year, for the first time since the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling unleashed the unlimited-money super PAC, the majority of Senate races feature super PACs that focus on just one candidate.

These personalized super PACs had entered the presidential contest in a big way...

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Benjamin Netanyahu Stops Pretending To Support A Sovereign Palestinian State

(371) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 12:16 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank, he told reporters last week in remarks that largely have been overlooked.

“There cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the...

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Committee To Elect Senate Democrats Has Best 2nd Quarter Fundraising In Its History

(18) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 11:45 AM

WASHINGTON -- Continuing its trend of strong fundraising cycles, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will announce on Friday that it raised nearly $22 million during the second quarter of 2014, expanding its lead over its Republican counterpart.

The $21.7 million raised between April and June gave the committee its...

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How GOP Donors Funded Sen. Thad Cochran's Winning Appeal To African-Americans

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 11:36 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-Miss.) appeal to African-American voters in his winning primary election runoff last month was funded entirely by a super PAC supporting his campaign.

According to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday, a super PAC called All Citizens for Mississippi...

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Alison Lundergan Grimes Sets Kentucky Fundraising Record

(273) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 4:01 PM

WASHINGTON -- Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), raised more than $4 million from April through June, breaking a state fundraising record.

In a press release, her campaign also announced that Grimes had pulled in a total of $11.3 million in...

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