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Undercard debate gains attention, and Sunlight Live’s focus

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Tonight, Vice President Joe Biden and the Republican who wants to replace him, Rep. Paul Ryan, meet in Danville, Ky., for their lone debate of the 2012 campaign and Sunlight is offering you a chance to participate. The event comes a week after their running mates squared off and, thanks to a strong performance by Mitt Romney and a weak one by President Barack Obama, upended the polls. As with last week's presidential debate, the Sunlight Foundation will cover tonight's event using our award-winning Sunlight Live platform. With live streaming video, contextual data, and real-time analysis, we'll offer insights, context and help answer viewers' questions in real time.

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Sunlight Live covers the conventions

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Image of Tropical Storm Isaac

Republican conventioneers may have dodged Tropical Storm Isaac. Now they're facing another challenge: Sunlight at night.

Throughout this week's GOP convention in Tampa and next week's Democratic gathering in Charlotte, the Sunlight Foundation will be covering major speakers with a tool that will allow us -- and you -- to provide real-time commentary and analysis. 

Starting at 7 p.m. ET, we'll open up our Sunlight Live website, where you can watch a video stream of the convention and, at the same time, read information and background about the speakers and their themes, mined from the Sunlight Foundation ...

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FCC ruling could exempt 160 markets from posting political ad data

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Red shows TV markets left out if the FCC orders stations in the top 50 to post political ad buys. For a closer view, zoom in; for more information, click on an area.

The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote Friday on a rule that would require broadcast stations to post online their public files, including records of political advertisements. That could provide a crucial source of information about the shadowy groups that can now spend unlimited sums to advocate for or against political candidates without having to register with the Federal Election Commission.

 

But the proposed rule would ...

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Coincidence? Sunlight map shows how Obama fundraising crosses paths with his super PAC

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Obama and Priorities USA fundraising paths often cross.

Although super PACs are not allowed to coordinate with candidates when it comes to campaign spending, the Federal Election Commission has determined that it's permissible for candidates to raise money for the super PACs supporting them. 

With that in mind, Sunlight analyzed President Obama's campaign fundraisers and cross-referenced them with the locations of donors to the Priorities USA Action super PAC, which supports Obama.

We drew on data from our Follow the Unlimited Money tracker as well as  Political Party Time, our database of political fundraisers. We also got an ...

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Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia see super PAC influx

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Of the nearly $10.7 million dollars in super PAC spending dumped on the super Tuesday states over the last two weeks, three — Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia — account for nearly all of the spending and almost half of the available delegates.

According to Sunlight's super PAC tracker, the race for Ohio and its 66 delegates leads the spending spree with nearly $4.5 million, nearly half of all the super PAC money spent in the past two weeks on super Tuesday states. The biggest spender has been Restore Our Future, which supports former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. That super ...

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Super PACs make Super Tuesday even more… Super

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Heading into super Tuesday, when voters in 10 states go to the polls, super PACs supporting Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have dumped nearly $10 million into those races. Following the money reveals that half are key battlegrounds.  

According to our Super PAC Tracker, total super PAC spending topped $67.5 million as of Friday, as expenditures continued to mount in Super Tuesday states. The pro-Romney Restore Our Future  has spent slightly more than $5.1 million in five of them: Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee. That compares to nearly $3.3 million dropped on five states ...

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Super PACs fund final push in Michigan

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Voting in today's Michigan primary follows a week in which super PACs spent more than $2.7 million to influence the contest. And nearly all of that money was spent either in support of or in opposition to Rick Santorum.

Since Feb. 21, Mitt Romney's Restore Our Future super PAC spent $1.67 million opposing the former Pennsylvania senator, while Santorum's Red White and Blue Fund spent $773,700 in his support.

The filings provide some insight into who is perceived by Romney backers as the former governor's biggest threat. In the last week of January ...

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