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Can Crist the Democrat raise as much money as Crist the Republican?

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Charlie Crist has a knack with political donors. In between campaigns, he even got a job with one of his largest political benefactors. But as the formidable fundraiser -- who raked in more than $33 million over the course of his political career -- launches his challenge to Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott this week, the question is whether he'll be able to manage an encore performance in a different role.

Elected Florida's 44th governor in 2006, Crist is running to reclaim his old job with a new resume: A one-time Republican who turned independent in 2010, he's now ...

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Donors flooded state level PACs with big checks

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If you think the $6 billion spent during the last election cycle on federal races was a lot, consider this: Another $1.4 billion that up until now was nearly impossible to total up on a national level flowed into campaigns through political committees that don't report to the Federal Election Commission because they operate only at the state level.

That's more than the $1.2 billion traditional PACs--the kind that give directly to candidates--collected at the federal level. And it reflects giving in just 23 states, those included in a new Sunlight Foundation analysis of data compiled ...

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Senate incumbents already seeing an uptick in campaign cash

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A little more than a year before the next round of congressional elections, at least 25 Senate incumbents and challengers have raised $1 million or more for their campaign war chests, second quarter reports now available at the Federal Election Commission show.

The filings are a testament to the power of incumbency: All but one of the 25 members of the million-dollar club are either incumbent senators or House members seeking a promotion to the upper chamber of Congress.

At the top of the heap are two early-bird candidates: Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., who just won a special election to ...

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A timeline of immigration policy in the United States

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As the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday begins readying a sweeping bipartisan immigration bill for floor action, it's worth remembering why the issue stirs up such heated emotions in the U.S. Congress.  A look at some of the landmark legislation enacted over the past century shows that the nation has spent much of its history arguing over who should be allowed to become an American.

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Gun legislation in states forecasts close fight in Congress

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As the Senate opens debate on gun control after a last-minute bipartisan deal, a review of legislation now before state lawmakers gives a striking evidence of how difficult it will be to enact restrictions on firearms into law, even given the political momentum such measures have received following the December shooting tragedy that left 26 people -- most of them young children -- dead at the Sandy Hook elementary school at Newtown, Conn.

A review of nearly 1,500 firearms-related bills introduced in the 50 state legislatures since the beginning of the year by Sunlight reveals that the post-Newtown push for stronger ...

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Immigration: Give me your poor, your tired . . . your lobbyists?

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Image of the statue of libertyLong before the last election put new political momentum behind the stalled efforts to enact a comprehensive update of the nation's immigration laws, Washington's influence industry was teed up to make it a titanic battle, an analysis of lobbying disclosures by the Sunlight Foundation shows.

Amidst widespread reports that bipartisan groups of lawmakers in the House and Senate are hoping to unveil immigration proposals after Congress's upcoming spring recess, research shows there is an army of lobbyists ready for action. More than 3,000 people were listed as lobbyists in forms which cited immigration as an issue ...

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California group targets McCain on immigration

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Californians for Population Stabilization, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based nonprofit, is running ads in Arizona against the state's senior senator, Republican John McCain, asking his constituents to call him and tell him to change his stance on immigration reform.

The ad buy, which cost more than $22,000, is scheduled to air through March 29 on the ABC network during prime time and the morning news slot. The group has run similar ads in the past, attacking Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., during the 2012 campaign, calling them out for supporting increased immigration instead of ...

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Anti-immigration lobby runs first ad targeting Lindsey Graham

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The first issue ad of the immigration reform battle hit the airwaves in South Carolina last week, targeting Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is up for reelection in 2014. NumbersUSA, one of the leading groups opposing comprehensive immigration reform paid for the ads, reports filed with the Federal Communication Commission show. The group, headed by long time advocate Roy Beck, has been around since the late '90s and argues that increased immigration will deplete the country’s resources, leading to sprawl, congestion and restrictions on individual liberties.

The new ad targets two key elements of the immigration debate, granting ...

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Key players in immigration debate have support of special interests

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San Ysidro border crossing

President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night set the stage for today’s Senate hearing, where the Judiciary Committee is poised to take on comprehensive immigration reform, in an attempt to balance a path for legalization for the 11 million undocumented people presently in the country with the need to secure the U.S. border.

The post election number crunching made it imperative for Democrats and Republicans alike to work together bringing the immigration discussion back into the daylight after it’s been on the back burner since the last failed push in 2007. Late in January ...

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