December 30, 2012 As a new class of million-dollar political donors rises, conservatives are fighting for continued secrecy around their contributions. Strategist Karl Rove is citing a 1950s Supreme Court case that protected NAACP members, arguing that conservative donors are also being subjected to intimidation.
November 13, 2012 Political observers are still working through the rubble of the unprecedented $6 billion presidential campaign, but we're getting a steady stream of reaction and analysis.
November 12, 2012 A "return on investment" is a concept better known to Wall Street than to Washington. But after President Obama and the Democrats won most of the close elections last week, there are questions about the seven- and eight-figure "investments" made by dozens of conservative donors.
November 7, 2012 Utlimately, the most important legacy of the first big-money campaign unleashed by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling may have been allowing rich individuals to prop up Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — prolonging the bitter GOP primary fight and perhaps crippling Mitt Romney's presidential bid.
November 7, 2012 This presidential election attracted $1.5 billion in outside spending — TV ads, robocalls and other political activity by groups created to take advantage of the new rules of campaign finance law. But on the day after the voting, their track record is open to question.
November 7, 2012 The battle for the Senate was a proving ground for the new Citizens United politics. Outside groups unleashed heavily funded barrages of attack ads meant to help elect candidates while letting them keep their distance from the nastiness. In Ohio and Virginia, the tactic failed in rather dramatic ways.
November 6, 2012 Republican Senate candidates Linda McMahon in Connecticut and Tom Smith in Pennsylvania spent a combined $56 million of their own money in losing efforts.
November 5, 2012 It has been seen for decades as a fundamental premise of campaign finance: The public has an absolute right to know who gave and who got, so it can make an informed judgment as to what those contributors might want, and then hold elected officials accountable. But the rules have changed.
November 1, 2012 Republican candidates have benefited more than twice as much as their Democratic counterparts from the spending by outside groups. More than 80 percent of all the Republican outside money comes from secret donors. On the Democratic side, less than 10 percent of the money is secret.
November 1, 2012 We've reshaped the United States based on where superPACs and other outside groups spent their money to air political ads aimed at influencing the presidential election. The result? One weirdly telling map.
October 26, 2012 President Obama's campaign, including affiliated Democratic Party committees, announced that it has raised in total more than $1 billion this election cycle. Republican Mitt Romney's not far behind and also could pass the $1 billion mark when all is said and done.
October 26, 2012 Democrats and Republicans are on track to spend about $1 billion each on TV advertising in the presidential race — most of it negative and almost all in battleground states. There's little evidence the ads sway voters, but the campaigns are happy to settle for low odds, given the lingering memories of the close 2000 election.
October 25, 2012 Karl Rove's tax-exempt Crossroads GPS group said it was interested only in advancing issues, not engaging in electoral politics. But now it's running a minute-long ad telling viewers to vote for Mitt Romney — with no mention of those very issues it had been saying were central to its mission.