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NEWS
December 5, 2012 | By Melanie Mason
One of the biggest outside spenders in the 2012 election has turned its focus to the "fiscal cliff" debate. Crossroads GPS, the conservative nonprofit founded in part by GOP strategist Karl Rove, released a new ad Wednesday slamming President Obama's opening bid in the negotiations to avert year-end tax increases and spending cuts. The spot says the president's plan -- which closely hews to his 2013 budget proposal -- offers "a huge tax increase" and "no real spending reforms.
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NATIONAL
October 23, 2010 | By Kim Geiger and Tom Hamburger, Tribune Washington Bureau
Voters in seven congressional districts and the state of Washington will see new ads on the airwaves by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is among a handful of conservative groups with plans to spend heavily in the final days of the midterm campaign. Armed with millions of dollars but facing a shortage of airtime in many television markets, the Chamber will spend $1 million on radio and Internet advertising in support of Dino Rossi, the Republican candidate challenging incumbent Washington Sen. Patty Murray.
NATIONAL
January 31, 2012 | By Melanie Mason, Tom Hamburger and Matea Gold, Washington Bureau
The new role that the super-rich play in electoral politics began to emerge with greater clarity Tuesday as recently formed "super PACs" publicly reported their donors and expenses for 2011. Restore Our Future, the super PAC backing Mitt Romney's candidacy, raised $30 million during 2011, thanks in part to separate $1-million donations from three New York-based hedge fund executives: Paul Singer, Robert Mercer and Julian Robertson. Two privately held corporations each gave $1 million to Romney as well.
NEWS
August 20, 2012 | By Matea Gold
WASHINGTON - Another ominous sign for embattled Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin: the heavyweight conservative groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are pulling out of the state and halting their advertising against Akin's opponent, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. “The act speaks for itself,” Crossroads spokesman Nate Hodson said Monday. Akin caused a furor Sunday after suggesting in a television interview that women who have experienced “legitimate rape” can biologically prevent a pregnancy.
NEWS
February 20, 2012 | By Melanie Mason
Restore Our Future, the independent group supporting Mitt Romney's presidential bid, raised $6.6 million last month, ending January with $16.3 million in the bank, according to filings submitted Monday to the Federal Election Commission. The group also spent almost $14 million in the first month of nominating contests. In all, the "super PAC" -- which can take unlimited donations from individuals and corporations -- has raised $36.8 million for the election cycle. This month's haul marks an acceleration in the group's fundraising pace, but unlike in months past, did not collect any million-dollar checks.
NEWS
January 17, 2012 | By Matea Gold
Republican voters may not have settled yet on a challenger to take on President Obama, but his reelection campaign is laying the groundwork for what could be a major television advertising buy to buttress his standing in the coming months. Campaign officials have requested ad rates from television stations in at least 14 states, according to a strategist with a prominent political media agency, the first step they would take before deciding to purchase air time. That does not mean a buy will definitely occur this quarter, but Republicans are bracing for what they believe will be a multimillion-dollar campaign on the heels of the South Carolina GOP primary.
NEWS
June 28, 2013 | By Sandra Hernandez
The Senate passed a sweeping bipartisan immigration reform bill Thursday that should be cause for celebration. The legislation offers much-needed changes to existing laws, including overhauling an outdated and dysfunctional visa system to allow more high-skilled and low-skilled workers to come to the United States. The bill would also create a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants who are already here and working in an underground economy.  The bill is far from perfect.
NATIONAL
October 7, 2010 | By Kim Geiger, Tribune Washington Bureau
Democrats and their allies, moving to counter millions of dollars flowing to Republican campaigns from groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have accused the international business organization of using foreign money to influence American elections. The effort to paint conservative political groups as fronts for multinational corporations and foreign billionaires gathered steam this week after an affiliate of the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress charged that the chamber was using funds from foreign corporations to finance its political operations in Washington.
NEWS
December 5, 2011 | By Kim Geiger
It all started when Sen. Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat facing a potentially tough reelection fight next year, appeared in TV and radio ads discussing issues such as Social Security and the national debt. The ads, it turned out, cost the Nebraska Democratic Party more than $600,000 -- well above the limit of what a political party committee can spend on a “coordinated” expenditure. The Nebraska Republican Party called foul in a complaint to the Federal Election Commission, arguing that Nelson and Democratic officials exceeded the limits for “coordinated” spending and failed to properly disclose how the ads were paid for. Democrats have contended that the Nelson ads don't fall within the narrow definition of a “coordinated” expenditure, and instead termed them “issue” ads, which are not subject to the spending limits.  That assertion was mocked last month by television satirist Stephen Colbert, who has made a personal crusade of pointing out the absurd complexity of campaign finance rules.
NEWS
August 1, 2011 | By Melanie Mason
With no contribution limits standing in their way, Hollywood bigwigs and finance executives shelled out top dollar to outside political groups that are looking to make a big impact in the coming election cycle. In the first half of the year, 91 “super PACs” - committees that can raise unlimited money from individuals, corporations and labor unions, but must work independently from candidates and political parties - raised $26 million, the Sunlight Foundation notes . But the vast majority of that total was raised by a just a handful of groups, whose filings reveal some noteworthy names.
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