As stated in the note from the Sunlight Foundation′s Board Chair, as of September 2020 the Sunlight Foundation is no longer active.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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McConnell fires back in early campaign air wars


On the defensive and trying to wade off a Tea Party challenge, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has hit the airwaves with ads 20 months before Election Day.

His campaign is dropping at least $21,000 to run its first ads of the 2014 campaign, in the Louisville TV market over the next week during the Today Show, the nightly news, Dancing with the Stars and Americas Funniest Home videos, new ad buys disclosed on Political Ad Sleuth show. The Associated Press quoted a McConnell's spokesman as saying the total ad buy will run into six figures. (Only ...

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With court case looming, FEC has trouble deciding how to say it can’t decide


The issue at the Federal Election Commission Thursday: Deciding how to say "we can't decide."

Not coming to a decision on the issue of how to regulate political speech has become commonplace at an agency divided between two Democratic commissioners in favor of increasing disclosure of the funders behind political ads and three Republicans opposing reform. With four votes needed to take any action, there are a lot of no decisions.

But on Thursday, things got a bit more frustrating than usual.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who is suing the FEC over donor disclosure

There was a brief ...

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Mark Sanford drops third ad in special election


Ahead of the primary in South Carolina's special congressional election later this month, former Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican who's trying to make a comeback after a particularly public scandal, released a new TV ad Thursday.

In all, that means the Sanford campaign has already spent about $170,000 on three TV ads, according to spokesman Joel Sawyer. More should be known about campaign's finances before midnight tonight, when their reports are due with the Federal Election Commission. The ads were discovered on Ad Hawk, a Sunlight Foundation mobile app to identify the funders behind political ads ...

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What Jon Kyl won’t be lobbying on


Photo of former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.Jon Kyl, the number two Senate Republican leader before retiring in January, has quickly become an advisor to influence powerhouse Covington & Burlington, a firm that has spent nearly $100 million lobbying in the nation's capital, Sunlight's Influence Explorer shows. Kyl will be joining a bipartisan stable of heavy hitters that includes Stuart Eizenstat, a top official in the Carter and Clinton administrations, and Senate parliamentary wizard Marty Gold.

Technically, the powerful Arizonan will of course not be "lobbying." U.S. statute (relevant section here) prohibits former senators from lobbying their ex-colleagues for two years.

As Sunlight has documented ...

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After $100,000 inaugural donation, nuclear deal gets closer


Energy Secretary Chu at the Vogtle nuclear power plant site

It turns out there was a good reason, The Nation points out, that we reported extensively on the donors behind President Obama's second presidential inauguration. One of the corporate donors, Southern Company, is expecting a big benefit from the administration. 

An executive with the Atlanta-based utility said last week that the company expects to finalize its long-awaited $8.3 billion loan guarantee from the administration by the middle of the year to help it build a new nuclear power plant with two reactors, the Wall Street Journal reported. The historic loan approval was made in 2010 -- to the ire ...

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Pro-gun interests hire new lobbyists


Three pro-gun interests have hired lobbyists, according to registration statements filed with the Senate Monday and last week, in the face of a push by Congress to introduce new gun control measures in the wake of the December massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

That includes two companies -- a Virginia firearms importer called Red, White and Blue LLC and Dick's Sporting Goods, a national chain that sells firearms, according to registrations filed Monday. Another group, the National Association for Gun Rights, has registered a lobbyist for the first time too, according to documents filed last week.

These registrations come on the ...

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