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Tag Archive: Political Action Committees

Why does the IRS regulate political groups? A look at the complex world of campaign finance

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The controversy over the Internal Revenue Service's handling of applications for non-profit status from Tea Party groups has put a spotlight on a subject with which we at the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group are all too painfully familiar: The migraine-producing complexity of the nation's campaign finance system. To shed some light on the ongoing debate, we've decided to share what we know. As often is the case with systems worthy of Rube Goldberg, it's easier to draw than to describe.

Graphic by Jenn Cheng

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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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Super committee member Upton creates joint fundraising committee

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Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., one of the members of the Joint Select Committee for Deficit Reduction, filed paperwork Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission to create a joint fundraising committee. Contributions collected by the committee will be split between Upton's campaign and leadership PAC.

The creation of a joint committee, the Upton Victory Committee, allows fundraising that benefits both Upton's political action committee, TRUST PAC (Team Republicans for Utilizing Sensible Tactics), which distributes thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, and his campaign, Upton for All of Us. FEC rules require that money given to the joint committee be ...

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Everyone and their plumber forming independent expenditure committees

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Everyone wants in on the unlimited fun in this post-Citizens United world. Even Joe the Plumber—legally known as Samuel Joseph Worzelbacher—has formed an independent expenditure only committee.
 
Now, in addition to Joe and several other new IE committee registrants, a Political Action Committee, unconnected to any candidate, has asked the Federal Election Commission to determine it legal for groups like theirs to receive unlimited contributions to pay for independent expenditures such as political ads, which expands on what the FEC made clear in two advisory opinions in mid-July.
 
The group that submitted the request, the National Defense PAC ...

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Citizens United: Tennessee’s response

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The Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United v. FEC case has rendered 24 states' election laws unconstitutional. The 5-4 ruling in favor of Citizens United reversed a provision of the McCain-Feingold act that prohibited any electioneering communication—defined as advertising via broadcast, cable or satellite that is paid for by corporations or labor unions. Many states have acted fast to counter corporations’ ability to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections by passing laws that force disclosure of all independent expenditures in near real time. The Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group has decided to report what each of ...

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OOIDA spells it out

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The Real Time ticker kicked out this new filing with the Federal Election Committee--the OOIDA PAC, which stands for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Political Action Committee. I googled "OOIDA" and found the group's Web site -- it's a remarkable model of candor:

OOIDA is just one of hundreds of representative groups vying for the attention of lawmakers and candidates. In recent years, OOIDAs Washington office staff has made great progress in reaching out to members of Congress and their staffs, educating them on the needs of professional truckers and securing their support. The association follows a strategic plan ...

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