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Sanford continues to draw big money in S.C. race versus Colbert Busch

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How many political lives does former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford have? Even though much of the Republican establishment abandoned him after news broke that his ex-wife is suing him for trespass, a stream of last-minute contribution reports shows that the bottom has not fallen out completely for the once-rising and now badly tarnished political star.

As he heads into the final week of this effort to win back his old House seat in a race against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, Sanford continues to reel in support from some prominent party mavericks, as well as some deep-pocketed donors. The two ...

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Big tech, big oil and defense help underwrite Obama inaugural

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Image from President Barack Obama's inauguralPresident Barack Obama raised more than $43 million for his second inaugural, including seven-figure donations from some of the nation's biggest tech, defense and energy companies, a report filed on Saturday with the Federal Election Commission shows.

The top donor to the 2013 presidential inaugural was AT&T, which gave $4.6 million in equipment and services. That single donation equalled more than all of the inaugural committee's smallest donors (those who gave $200 or less than therefore did not have contributions itemized in the FEC report) combined.

Other members of the seven-figure check club: Microsoft, which gave ...

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Why pro-gun groups still have the upper hand in Congress

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Image of U.S. CapitolTo understand why the Senate voted today to reject a bipartisan deal on gun control, despite emotional -- and heavily broadcast appeals -- by parents of children gunned down in the Newtown, Conn. massacre, it helps to take a look at the influence profiles of groups on both sides of the debate.

Although Mayors Against Illegal Guns, one of the groups pressing for stricter regulation of firearms, dominated the airwaves in the weeks leading up to the vote, groups opposed to such measures have spent far more money over a far longer period of time to win friends and intimidate people on ...

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GOP dominates list of top House fundraisers in 2013

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On the heels of the most expensive campaign in the nation's history, members of the House and the candidates who want to replace them are already raking in cash for the 2014 mid-terms. In the first three months of 2013, they collected a total of $68 million, records just submitted to the Federal Election Commission show.

Most of the biggest fundraisers are party leaders, topped by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, came in third. But Aaron Schock, a three-term Illinois ...

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The list: who gave to Obama’s new political non-profit

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(Updated: 6:44 p.m. ET)

Organizing for Action, the committee formerly known as Obama for America, released its first list of donors today, inconveniently organized alphabetically on 26 separate pages.

Sunlight has parsed the data and put this in table format for your convenience. Click here to see a Google spreadsheet of reported donors. The second tab gives you state-by-state totals for the committee's contributions. 

We have done this quickly to be helpful and we are reasonably confident that this data is correct. If you see any errors or problems, email us here.

The list includes some familiar ...

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Obama phones go by another name in Congress

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Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty's intriguing story today about the coining of a term and its political impact got us to wondering just how far the term "Obama phone" had embedded itself into the political culture. We've written before about how compounds of President Barack Obama's name have become politically charged. 

We took a look via Capitol Words, Sunlight's tool that scans the Congressional Record and allows users to analyze speech patterns.

So far, no recorded mentions of "Obamaphone" or "Obama phone" on the floor of the House or Senate.

However, we did find a number ...

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Political heavy hitters lining up behind gay marriage

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Updated: 1:20 p.m.

As the Supreme Court weighs the issue of equal marriage rights, the political momentum -- and money --  appears to be lining up behind gay rights, an analysis of campaign finance reports for some key organizations involved in the debate indicate.

Gay rights activist rallies outside high court Wednesday

That balance was on display in front of the Supreme Court Wednesday as the justices considered a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. At least several hundred sign-wielding gay rights activists filled the sidewalk before the steps of the Supreme Court and only a handful of gay ...

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Newt Gingrich forms joint fundraising PAC

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Seems that 2012 is the (fundraising) campaign that just won't die. We already know that President Barack Obama, despite winning what he loudly advertised would be his last campaign, is still hot on the fundraising trail. And Politico is reporting that Obama's unsuccessful GOP rival, Mitt Romney, is going to be feting donors later this spring. 

Now Newt Gingrich appears to be getting into the act. Sunlight's Follow the Unlimited Money tracker turned up a registration for the not-so-modestly named "Committee for America," which has been established as a joint fundraising committee for Newt 2012, the ex-speaker ...

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No sequester for political ads

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In honor of the snowquester, as the Washington Post's cheeky Weather Gang has dubbed the spring storm that so far has proven more effective than the Tea Party in reining in government, Sunlight has decided to take a look at the efforts getting underway by various groups to keep the actual sequester at bay.

Like the Atlantic snowstorm, this effort is starting slowly but likely to build.

The Sunlight Reporting Group is using two of our foundation's tools, Ad Hawk and Political Ad Sleuth, to keep an eye on this year's political ads. We'll be updating ...

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