|Filed Under:||Politics / US Politics|
|Posts on Regator:||2595|
|Posts / Week:||9.7|
|Archived Since:||April 3, 2008|
Yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered a blunt apology to Apple CEO Tim Cook, scolding his fellow senators for criticizing Cook and his company for using offshore havens to avoid billions in tax bills. Apple doesn't have a PAC, so...Show More Summary
Two liberal tax-exempt groups, Citizens for Strength and Security and Patriot Majority, have killed themselves off and re-established multiple times, and sprouted various offshoots that play by different sets of rules. It makes them virtually impossible to track for the average citizen -- and maybe for the IRS, too.
Last week's collapse of a massive precious metals mine in Indonesia, which killed at least 17 workers, brought unwanted attention to the American company that owns the facility, Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold. But the company is already...Show More Summary
Use our new Anomaly Tracker to look for data outliers -- and story ideas.
Conservative nonprofits that received tax-exempt status since the beginning of 2010 and also filed election spending reports with the Federal Election Commission overwhelmed liberal groups in terms of money spent on politics by a factor of nearly 34-to-1.
The real IRS scandal, Sheila Krumholz and Robert Weinberger write in today's New York Times, is not so much the targeting of tea party groups (though that was bad) but the apparent lack of oversight of tax-exempt groups that were spending major money in the last two election cycles.
OpenSecrets.org's resources on politically active 501(c) groups, which we've been digging into for more than a year.
A mash-up of data on bill sponsorships, campaign contributions and lobbying shows that in some cases, lawmakers have sponsored bills of interest to just one entity -- which happens to be a top contributor to the lawmaker's campaign fund.
The anti-breast cancer group spent $140,000 on lobbying in the first quarter of 2012. A year later, that had dropped to just $10,000 -- a further indication that it hasn't recovered from the debacle caused by its short-lived decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood.
All members of Congress get checks from outside their districts or states. But in the 2012 election cycle, at least 66 senators and House members relied on out-of-state donors for more than half of their campaign funds.
Our second piece highlighting the abundant resources available on OpenSecrets.org.
The candidates facing off in Tuesday's special election in South Carolina have roughly the same amount of money at their disposal. But the outside spending in the race -- fueled by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC -- heavily favors Colbert Busch.
Obama announces the nominations of Penny Pritzker as Commerce Secretary and Michael Froman to be U.S. Trade Representative. Both were bundlers for his campaigns.
It was the National Association for Gun Rights -- not the NRA -- that drove the spike in lobbying by gun rights groups in the first quarter of the year. The group had never lobbied at the federal level. Plus, OpenSecrets Blog finds more ties between the group and Ron and Rand Paul.
Following a pattern that has been playing out for the last few years, spending on federal lobbying declined in the first quarter of 2013. There were exceptions in connection with the hottest issues of the past three months, like the gun control debate; but overall, most organizations that traditionally spend big on lobbyists have cut back once again.
It's been said if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. Just make sure it's blue. Members of the House Blue Dog Coalition contribute to other Blue Dogs to an unusual degree.
While Massachusetts voters are at the polls, we're unable to compare the candidates' fundraising profile.
A former fishing regulator and adviser to Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was sentenced to five months in jail for lying about his own fishing records. Now he's back in Washington -- as a lobbyist for commercial fishing companies.
Plenty of companies and trade groups are weighing in against being required to disclose their contributions to secretive tax-exempt groups that are active in the political arena. Just such a proposal may be coming from the SEC, and a bill is pending in Congress that would address the issue too.
Congressional supporters of the Internet sales tax purport to be torn between antitax orthodoxy and helping out the small bricks-and-mortar retailers. It might ease the pain when the gargantuan box stores appear with checks in hand.