As stated in the note from the Sunlight Foundation′s Board Chair, as of September 2020 the Sunlight Foundation is no longer active. This site is maintained as a static archive only.

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Billionaire green dumps at least $750,000 into Bay State special election


The super PAC funded by a former hedge fund manager turned environmental activist has made its latest move in the Massachusetts special Senate election, donating $250,000 to another super PAC run by the League of Conservation Voters, which supports the primary campaign of Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., according to Federal Election Commission reports.

Tom Steyer, a billionaire based in San Francisco, has shaken up the race by giving at least $750,000 to the NextGen super PAC, to which he is the sole donor so far. Steyer's ire is aimed at Markey's opponent, Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass ...

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FEC deadlocks on whether fundraising firm gave improper benefit to California GOP


Members of the Federal Election Commission deadlocked Thursday on whether a fundraising firm's decision to forgive an estimated $138,000 in interest owed by the California Republican Party constituted an improper political contribution.

The failure to reach a decision, which means the California GOP will not be penalized, came despite a finding by the commission's professional staff that the write-off by the Minnesota-based Strategic Fundraising Inc. (SFI) was not "in its ordinary course of business," which would amount to breaking campaign finance law.

The commission deadlocked, as usual, along partisan lines: The two Democratic commissioners found that it ...

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Progressives campaign online, on paper and on the Hill against chained CPI


Liberal groups have launched a multifaceted campaign to oppose a Social Security cut expected to be included in the president's budget Wednesday, coordinating online activism, old-fashioned petition signing and traditional lobbying. It's an all-hands-on-deck approach in an attempt to send a loud message to the administration, and to congressional Democrats.

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As Congress weighs gun control, many states try Congress control


Updated on April 5 at 1:42 p.m. ET (see below)

While attention is focused on the U.S. Senate, which could begin voting as early as next month on gun control legislation, some state lawmakers are trying to move in the opposite direction.

Bills to nullify any gun control measures that Congress enacts have been introduced in at least 37 states since the beginning of the year, according to an analysis using Scout, Sunlight's legislative alert system. To browse the list and click through to the text of the bills, click here.

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House panel tries to open the (financial) books of presidential libraries


As President Obama faces choosing between Hawaii and Chicago as the site of his presidential library, a House committee today greenlighted a bill that would make donors to the institution public.

The next step will be a vote in the full House.

The bill would require future presidential library foundations to report donors to the National Archives on a quarterly basis. The Archives would then post them online in a searchable, downloadable database. The Sunlight Foundation's policy counsel, Daniel Schuman, testified in favor of the measure last week.

The state of Hawaii wants the library near this spot in ...

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In South Carolina special election full of characters, donors are just as colorful


As voters go to the polls in today's primary contests for a South Carolina special congressional election that has garnered attention for its share of colorful candidates, the donors appear just as just as worthy of a second look.

That's not just because the donors are, in most cases -- the candidates themselves. They also include a diverse range of out-of-staters from infamous dark money man David Koch to comedian Stephen Colbert's wife, as Sunlight has reported.

In the final days before polls opened, donations continued to pour in. We're keeping tabs using our Follow the Unlimited Money alert service that sends us emails every time one of the committee's we're watching files with the Federal Election Commission.

Most of the late cash has gone to former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who is trying to make the political comeback of a lifetime just two years after departing office in disgrace. Revelations of Sanford's extra-marital affair with his Argentine lover (now fiance) ended his marriage but not, it now appears, his once-promising political career. By late last month, Sanford was already the dollar frontrunner in the contest to replace Tim Scott, a Republican appointed to the Senate this year. That financial momentum has only continued to build with more late contributors jumping on the frontrunner's bandwagon.

In the 20-day period before today's primary, Sanford raked in $80,050 in contributions of $1,000 or more, bringing him to a total of at least $414,447, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Combined, the six leading Republicans and the Democrat most likely to win her primary, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, have raised over $3 million so far in the race.

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