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FEC deadlocks on and delays key decisions

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In a session marked more by delay than by decision, the Federal Election Commission did not approve a request by the Democratic Governors Association to use soft money to fund a new group that would participate in federal get-out-the-vote efforts, a matter it put off voting on at its last meeting in August. 

By forming a separate organization, the group of state governors was seeking to get around a legal ban on groups of state lawmakers from playing in federal elections with unlimited funds.

The two Democrat-appointed commissioners voted against approval, disappointing the three GOP commissioners who believed the DGA ...

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Missouri just the latest state to test limits of gun law nullification

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One day after Colorado voters ousted two state senators over their support for gun control, Missouri lawmakers are debating whether to try to make federal gun control measures illegal in their state. In a special legislative session opening today, opponents of gun control in the Show-Me State are vowing to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that would effectively nullify federal gun control measures.

The law would make it illegal for state employee to enforce them. Nixon (pictured right) called it unconstitutional when he vetoed the measure in July.

As Sunlight first reported in March, the ...

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Citing Sunlight Foundation report, watchdog groups file complaint against Santorum

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Campaign finance watchdog groups filed a complaint Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Rick Santorum's presidential campaign illegally directed a donation to a super PAC.

The complaint is based on a Sunlight Foundation report in which Louisiana mega donor Bill Doré recounted how he was instructed to donate $1 million to the Red, White and Blue Fund, the super PAC supporting Santorum's 2012 run for the presidency. It comes days after Santorum triggered speculation about an encore presidential run with a visit to Iowa, the state that will kick off the 2016 campaign with its much-watched ...

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Obama library bid gets lobbyist donors

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President Barack Obama has yet to pick a site for his presidential library, but Hawaii's bid for it got a $5,000 donation from the global law and lobbying firm Skadden Arps.

The disclosure was made last week, when lobbyists reported their 2013 contributions to candidates and for presidential libraries and other causes. The donation came in January when Skadden Arps co-sponsored the Hawaii Presidential Center Inaugural Gala in Washington during the weekend of Obama's second inauguration. 

While the money did not go to the president or any committees associated with him, it's an early indication of ...

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New super PACs drawing big bucks

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Among super PACs organized this year, 13 of them have raised at least $50,000 already. Altogether, the 13 newcomers have raised $16.5 million just months after forming. That's more than a quarter of the $59 million that all super PACs have brought in so far this cycle.

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FEC puts off enforcement fight

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The Federal Election Commission demonstrated a rare burst of productivity Thursday, when commissioners settled one major issue, investigated another, but put off a brewing fight over how it conducts investigations for another day. 

The Republican and Democratic commissioners had no trouble giving the green light to requests brought by two separate committees to treat same-sex married donors the same as opposite-sex donors. Married donors can jointly contribute $10,400 to a candidate, even if only spouse earns income. The move was expected after the Supreme Court's reversal of the Defense of Marriage Act. 

The  commissioners were also unified in ...

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