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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

Here's Where Campaign Finance Reform May Move Ahead As Congress Dithers

(28) Comments | Posted December 20, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- Nearly five years after the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United altered the landscape for money in politics, Congress has done nothing to reverse the ruling's adverse side effects for disclosure and collaboration between independent groups and the candidates they support. A similar degradation of campaign finance rules...

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No One Wants To Take The Blame For The Omnibus Campaign Finance Rider

(39) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 8:41 PM

WASHINGTON -- Facing a tough election landscape this year, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had to go deep in the red, ending the electoral cycle with roughly $20 million of debt. But not all that money has to be paid off now. And a rider on the omnibus spending bill...

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Democrats Seek To Strip Big Hug For Rich Donors From Omnibus

(167) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 7:53 PM

WASHINGTON -- Democratic lawmakers expressed outrage at a provision slipped into the omnibus government funding bill that would expand the amount wealthy donors can give to national political party committees.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the leader of the House Democrats, called for the provision to be pulled from...

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Omnibus Bill Allows Wealthy Donors To Give Even More to Political Parties

(62) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 1:03 AM

WASHINGTON -- Congressional budget negotiators from both parties have included a provision in the bill to continue funding the government into next year that dramatically changes campaign finance law to allow lawmakers to solicit even bigger contributions from the wealthiest donors.

The omnibus bill includes a provision (on...

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Architects Of CIA Torture Program Raked In $81 Million, Report Reveals

(128) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 7:18 PM

WASHINGTON -- Two psychologists were paid $81 million by the CIA to advise on and help implement its brutal interrogation program targeting detainees in the war on terror, according to the Senate torture report summary released Tuesday.

The contract psychologists are identified with pseudonyms -- Grayson Swigert and Hammond Dunbar...

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These Super PACs Spent Big As Elections Neared, But Kept Donors Secret Until Now

(55) Comments | Posted December 6, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- The race to replace retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in his Los Angeles County district saw very little spending from outside groups -- until the final weeks of the campaign, when two super PACs backing Republican candidate Elan Carr began an advertising blitz.

One of the super PACs,...

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Top Senate Democratic PAC Spent A Lot Of Money Trying To Elect Greg Orman

(2) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 6:00 PM

WASHINGTON -- Independent candidate Greg Orman tried as hard as he could to deflect any suggestion that he was a Democratic Party stalking horse in his ultimately failed bid to defeat Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas.

Orman, who faced Roberts one-on-one after the Democratic candidate dropped out, repeatedly...

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Hedge Fund Execs Spent Big In New York Elections, Now Likely To Reap Their Reward

(4) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 3:40 PM

WASHINGTON -- A handful of hedge fund executives aiming to direct more taxpayer money to charter schools pooled their own vast resources to help elect a Republican majority in the New York State Senate last month. They won on election night. Now, it looks like they'll get what they wanted...

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Mitch McConnell Rider Could Roll Back Campaign Finance Laws

(130) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 7:50 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is trying to use a massive appropriations bill to loosen campaign finance rules.

The Republican leader’s office is attempting to attach a policy rider to the omnibus bill that would effectively end limits imposed on coordinated spending by federal candidates and political...

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Zephyr Teachout Keeps Preaching 'We Can Actually Do Something' About Corruption

(9) Comments | Posted November 22, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- Earlier this year, Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout emerged as a political star among progressives when she challenged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary and performed far better than expected. Teachout received 35 percent of the primary vote and won over 20 counties despite raising...

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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'

(760) 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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