Lobbyists can not only attempt to influence members of the deficit-cutting super committee by donating to their campaign, but they also have another tool: giving to good causes that honor them.
Companies, advocacy groups and their lobbyists have spent at least $715,000 to honor and cover meetings costs for the 12 members of the super committee during the first half of the year, according to lobbying disclosures filed this month with the Senate Office of Public Records. In some cases, these payments were made in honor of many members of Congress—not only those on the Super Committee.
The ...Continue reading
Editor’s Notebook: Following the muddled money
Over the weekend, I came across a new group in our Follow the Unlimited Money tool called CSS Action Fund. I googled the group and didn't find anything about it; by Monday they'd set up a website. Curious, I asked Ryan Sibley, who's been all things post-Citizens United for us, to see what she could find out about the group.
When I sat down to edit her investigation into the 501(c)4 organization, which can run all kinds of political ads without revealing its donors, my head started to spin. There's a D.C ...Continue reading
‘Grassroots’ group grows mainly in offices of D.C. law and PR firms
A political committee called Citizens for Strength and Security Action Fund--usually abbreviated as CSS Action Fund--claims to be active across the country promoting the best solutions to America's problems, but the limited disclosures available about the group suggest that it's a creature of the beltway. The organization, which made its first noise in the 2010 mid-term elections by spending $640,000 supporting Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash in late September, shares a Washington, D.C. address with similar advocacy groups and lists political pros as its main players.*
CSS Action Fund lists a Southeast Washington, D.C., address ...Continue reading
Matching bundlers to fundraisers
Here at the Reporting Group, we’ve always wanted to tie the fundraising invitations in our Party Time database to actual donations reported to the Federal Election Commission by a politician or a political action committee--to be able to show a donor gave money to a politician at a certain event.
It’s nearly impossible, and there's a number of reasons we can't--not least of which is that dates in FEC records don't necessarily correspond to the day a contribution was given. (See here for an explanation.) Even when there's a disclosure intended to shed light ...