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FCC database misses huge chunk of ads

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In key battleground states, huge numbers of presidential ads are airing on TV stations that are not required to post to the Federal Communications Commission's online political ad database, new data released by the Wesleyan Media Project shows. 

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Spending in Wisconsin spikes before debate

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As Rep. Tammy Baldwin and former Gov. Tommy Thompson prepare for the first of three debates tonight in a race that will help determine control of the Senate, their campaigns and outside groups are bombarding Wisconsin with advertising to sway the hearts and minds of undecided voters. 

An analysis of expenditures and political ad buys shows an increase in expenditures by campaigns and outside groups heading into the last month of the long, politically charged year. Since April, Wisconsin has garnered national attention from its Republican presidential primary, another primary to determine who would run against Gov. Scott Walker in ...

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A look at the Democratic super PAC targets

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Two of the guests at an exclusive brunch Wednesday where Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attempted to steer donors toward Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting President Barack Obama's reelection campaign, are seasoned campaign bankrollers -- one of them with a past that leans Republican. 

A look at the campaign giving histories of New York investor Orin Kramer and Chartwell Hotels CEO George Tsunis, identified by the New York Times as having heard Emanuel's official debut as a pitchman for the super PAC, gives an example of the type of donors Democrats are targeting as they try to catch up ...

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Super PAC Profile: CREDO takes aim at House freshmen

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Credo super PAC "Take Down the Tea Party Ten" logoThe CREDO SuperPAC exists in spite of—or because of?—its own desire to overturn Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that led to the creation of super PACs. “We wouldn't launch this SuperPAC unless we felt it was absolutely necessary to fight back,” says the group's website. But this sort of self-loathing isn’t the group's only unusual trait. Among organizations whose purpose is to obscure funding sources, CREDO is unique in its transparency.

For one thing, the group's name conspicuously excludes words like ‘freedom,‘ ‘future,’ ‘fund’ and ‘restore,' (see a list here) and makes ...

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In Wisconsin Senate primary, outside groups backing Neumann fall short

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In the month leading up to the Wisconson primary, outside spending groups poured more than $3.8 million into the state, much of it aimed at boosting former Rep. Mark Neumann's unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination. But while Neumann's numbers fizzled last night, there are signs that point to even more spending as the November election approaches. 

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who won the nomination with 34 percent in the four-way race, was an early favorite and held the lead throughout the primary, according to some polls. But as outside spending accelerated, poll numbers changed rapidly, with ...

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Politicians win Olympic gold too

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All eyes are on London for Friday's official opening of the 2012 Olympic Games, but the medal stands won't be the only place you'll find Olympic gold.Picture of Olympic flag flying over London Bridge

Since 1997, Olympic organizing groups in the United States have spent more than $10 million lobbying Congress. Some members of U.S. Olympic Committee's 15-member board of directors have also been generous political donors. Here's Sunlight's look at some of the top finishers in the influence Olympics:

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Penn State’s powerful political influence

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(photo credit: flckr drocpsu)

Penn State University, targeted for unprecedented penalties after NCAA officials concluded that top university officials covered up child sex abuse by an assistant football coach has received more than $6 million in federal earmarks in recent years -- a sign of the school's aptitude at the political influence game.

Some critics have contended that aptitude may have enabled the scandal to go on longer than it otherwise might have. In 2008, Pennsylvania's state legislature debated whether to require the school to disclose police records, email, phone records--information that might have led to earlier detection of ...

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Sunlight Live: Video stream with real time data as House panel grills EPA chief

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(Updated: 9:56 a.m. June 28: The House science panel has postponed this hearing, and so our Sunlight Live blog is postponed too. We'll let you know as soon as we can reschedule.)

Fracking is likely to be at the center of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson's first appearance before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on Thursday, which we'll be covering that day beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunlight Live, a tool that allows us to provide a video stream of the proceedings along with real time data and commentary. 

Tribal Energy Summit

Hydraulic fracturing ...

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