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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

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.

For...

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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

(43) 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

(370) 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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GOP Establishment Keeps Promise To Counter Tea Party With Surge In Primary Spending

(6) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 7:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- The Republican Party's internecine conflict has sparked a surge in independent spending in GOP congressional primaries as establishment elements defend incumbents against tea party-linked challengers.

Total spending by independent groups (excluding those known for supporting Democrats) in contested Republican congressional primaries soared to $46 million by...

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Justin Amash Got A Big Raise From His Dad Just Before Loaning His Campaign Money

(50) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 11:29 AM

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) received a handsome bonus from his father's company in 2010, the same year he first ran for Congress and loaned a similarly large sum of money to his campaign, according to disclosure documents released by his office.

The timing of the bonus and loans...

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Did Congress Really Delete A Key Disclosure Rule For Lobbyist Gifts? Not Really.

(6) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 2:15 PM

WASHINGTON -- It sounds so typical of Congress. An unnoticed committee action makes it harder for the public to figure out who's paying for private travel around the world for members of Congress and their top aides. To Americans who find the national legislature less appealing than potholes...

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Scott Walker Was Not A Target Of Investigation: Prosecutor

(82) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 4:44 PM

WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was not a target of an investigation into allegedly illegal campaign coordination related to the state's 2011 and 2012 recall elections, according to a lawyer for the special prosecutor running the probe.

"At the time the investigation was halted, Governor Walker...

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The Investigation Into Scott Walker Could Be Way, Way Bigger Than Scott Walker

(502) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 7:37 AM

WASHINGTON -- An investigation targeting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) for alleged illegal coordination with independent conservative groups during his 2012 recall election has been thrown into limbo by a lawsuit that could turn into the next big challenge to campaign finance limits.

The case has the potential...

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Democrats Launch New Bid To Unmask Secret Campaign Donors

(44) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 3:39 PM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats announced a new effort Tuesday to unmask secretive election spending, floating a bill that would require so-called dark money groups to disclose their campaign donors and expenditures.

Secretive spending became an issue in 2010, when the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision opened the door to unlimited...

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Prosecutors Allege Scott Walker At Center Of Campaign Finance Criminal Conspiracy

(707) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 6:11 PM

WASHINGTON -- Prosecutors allege that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was at the center of a criminal conspiracy to illegally coordinate the activities of independent conservative groups during recall elections in his state in 2011 and 2012, according to documents released Thursday and first reported on by the...

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