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DoD, military donors aide Democrats

by Emma Leathley | November 10, 2017 4 days ago

Department of Defense employees have given a greater percentage of their donations to Democrats so far this election cycle than they did under any Republican administration since at least George H.W. Bush’s presidency. CRP’s political donation data covers each year beginning in 1989 the first year of the elder Bush’s presidency and comes Continue Reading

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Flynn’s lobbying subject of probe

by Emma Leathley | November 8, 2017 6 days ago

Michael Flynn s failure to disclose to the Justice Department his lobbying on behalf of a Turkish businessman may carry legal consequences for the former national security advisor. NBC News reported this week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is investigating Flynn for failing to register as a foreign agent in connection with a lucrative lobbying

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Democrat outspends favorite in Utah special election

by Geoff West | November 6, 2017 1 week ago

Democrat Kathie Allen slightly outraised and outspent her Republican opponent in Utah’s special election for the congressional seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz. Allen raised and spent more than $800,000 for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District seat, a reliably conservative district that last chose a Democrat in 1994. Her opponent, Republican John Curtis, raised about $740,000 and

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How much influence does Bannon wield among big donors?

by Calin Brown | November 2, 2017 2 weeks ago

One of the most expensive elections this year has been the ongoing Alabama Senate special election. The GOP runoff saw two candidates, Roy Moore and interim senator Luther Strange, run head to head. Their differing sources of support — Moore’s grassroots, rural base plus the backing of a few key billionaires, in contrast with the

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Congress holds hearings on online political ads

by Emma Leathley | October 31, 2017 2 weeks ago

Representatives from Twitter, Facebook and Google are expected to testify this week at three congressional hearings on the influence of social media in the 2016 election. Today s hearing before the Senate judiciary committee and tomorrow s hearings before the Senate and House intelligence committees follow the introduction of the Honest Ads Act, which would require companies, such as

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Alabama Special Election A Shot for Democrats?

by Emma Leathley | October 27, 2017

Polls suggest Alabama s special election may be the closest U.S. Senate race in the two decades that Republicans have dominated both of the state s Senate seats. Republicans claimed both seats for the first time in the modern party s history with Jeff Sessions election in 1996, and have not ceded them since. In December, Republican Roy Moore

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Unusually large number of incumbents facing challengers

by Sarah Bryner | October 24, 2017

Earlier this summer, OpenSecrets Blog reported that members of the 115th Congress are facing more and better-funded challengers at this early point in the election cycle. Third quarter campaign filings indicate that this trend is continuing. So far, 267 members of Congress face challengers. While this is still fewer than the 441 members

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Lobbying spending hits historic lows

by Geoff West | October 23, 2017

Washington lobbying groups spent less money and reported fewer lobbyists during the third quarter of 2017 than in any quarter since at least 2008, when Center for Responsive Politics began tracking the totals. Congress spent the summer considering Obamacare repeal, a tax overhaul and immigration reform, yet controversy failed to inspire an expected uptick in

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The politics of your clothes

by Calin Brown | October 18, 2017

Designers are renowned for their bold political statements – from Tommy Hilfiger’s use of white bandanas on the runway this year to fashion designer Tracy Reese’s advocacy for Planned Parenthood. However, many clothing brands and manufacturers choose a more subtle route by speaking with their wallets. During the 2016 election cycle, the clothing manufacturing industry

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Speaker Ryan s challenger receives $1 million boost

by Geoff West | October 16, 2017

Democrat Randy Bryce raised more than twice as much money in the third quarter than in the first six months of 2017 as he mounts a long-shot bid to upend House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in 2018. Bryce’s campaign raised a little over $1 million from July 1 to Sept. 30 after collecting about $433,000

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OpenSecrets releases new 2015 personal financial data: Senators get richer; others not so much

by Geoff West | October 13, 2017

The majority of Congress are still millionaires, but Senators increased their net worth in 2015 at a far greater rate than Congress as a whole. In 2015, the median net worth of Senate Republicans rose 13 percent from $2.9 million to $3.3 million, according to personal financial disclosure data filed by congressional members and reviewed by

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Qatar Spent Nearly $5 Million on U.S. Influence Campaigns Following its Isolation by Saudi Coalition

by Emma Leathley | October 13, 2017

Qatar has hired seven American lobbying firms and spent nearly $5 million on U.S. lobbying and media campaigns in an effort to fight its isolation by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and others in June. The Saudi-led coalition began its economic and diplomatic boycott of Qatar on June 5 after the country’s

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Why some campaign contributions get returned

by Andrew Mayersohn | October 10, 2017

It s been a big week for politicians refunding tainted campaign donations. First, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. returned a $32,000 contribution from Donald Trump s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz, who made the donation in 2013 after Vance decided not to pursue a fraud investigation against Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. Now, at least a

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Grant to Trump: How court cases influenced campaign finance

by Calin Brown | October 6, 2017

When Ulysses S. Grant ran for president in 1868, he benefited from large contributions from wealthy entrepreneurs, such as railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. “Never before was a candidate placed under such great obligation to men of wealth as was Grant,” one historian said of Grant’s donors’ largesse. But if Grant was among the first presidents to

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