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Saturday, August 27, 2016
Super PACs
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

There’s One Good Thing About Donald Trump–As Long As He Loses

Donald Trump has shaken American politics to their very core. And in the process, he has, maybe without knowing it, completely re-aligned the positions and appeals of the two major parties. That’s because Trump is an opportunist.

July 29, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses an audience at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

Decoding Trump’s Disastrous May Campaign Finance Report

At the beginning of June, Donald Trump’s campaign had just $1.3 million in cash-on-hand, after paying for the previous month’s campaign expenses. Hillary Clinton had $43 million. Trump raised just $3 million in May. Clinton raised $26 million.

June 21, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump jokes about how difficult he says it is for him to listen to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's voice, as he holds a rally with supporters in Fresno, California, U.S. May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

Trump Hates Fundraising — That’s Why Watching Him Raise $500 Million Is So Entertaining

Fundraising has become Trump’s priority: He’s spending his time fundraising in solidly Republican states instead of focusing on battleground ones, and last week, Trump and RNC Chairman Reince Preibus went on a Southern fundraising tour.

June 20, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event on the day several states held presidential primaries, including California, at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York, U.S., June 7, 2016 REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Trump’s Fundraising Efforts Show He’s Now Part Of ‘The Establishment’

The Trump campaign’s lack of fundraising experience and infrastructure has forced it to rely more heavily on the Republican Party raise money than nearly any other Republican presidential candidate in modern history.

June 8, 2016
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump poses with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne Lapierre (R) and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox (L) at the National Rifle Association's NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during their annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Trump Currying Favor Among Republican Elite

Trump, who eschewed fundraising in his primary fight, primarily loaning himself $36 million, has started raking in super PAC cash. Great America PAC filed an unusual Federal Election Commission report this week, the Hill reported, claiming the bulk of its donations came in at less than $200. The super PAC said it raised $513,606 in April, more than 80 percent of which came in as small donations that do not have to be itemized.

May 22, 2016
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally in Salem, Oregon, U.S., May 10, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Sanders Feeling The Money Burn As Fundraising Slows

Sanders has seen his fundraising slow as the July 25 Democratic National Convention looms, despite continuing to amass primary victories. The Vermont senator’s April fundraising haul was a 70 percent drop from his $46 million March.

May 21, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after a campaign rally in Lynden, Washington, U.S., May 7, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

What Happens To All That Anti-Trump Money Now?

The real money is in the anti-Trump super PACs that have lost their mission. Right to Rise, the super PAC that supported Jeb Bush’s candidacy until he dropped out in late February, closed out March with $17.3 million on hand.

May 14, 2016
Donald Trump

Donald Trump STILL Isn’t Self-Funding His Campaign

Donald Trump is loaning his campaign money, not paying for anything outright. And you can bet he’ll want supporters’ help paying himself back.

April 22, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders laughs after sitting down for breakfast at Lou Mitchell's Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Bernie Sanders Breaks Fundraising Record

Fresh off big wins in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington, the ornery Vermont independent raised $44 million in March, narrowly breaking his own previous record of $43.5 million from February.

April 2, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump waits to come into the spin room with his wife Melania after the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Super PACs And Trump’s Wife: How A Photo Dispute Highlights Weakness In Campaign Finance Rules

There’s no evidence to support Donald Trump’s claim that Ted Cruz played a role in a super PAC’s attack on his wife. But federal rules barring coordination between candidates and the super PACs that support them have been so rarely enforced that even if Trump were right, it’s uncertain the Cruz campaign would be penalized.

March 31, 2016
Supporters of Dr. Ben Carson congregate near Dr. Carson's book tour bus after a book signing in Ames, Iowa.

Campaign Consultants And Media Companies Are Cashing In On Our Corrupt Elections

Carson, in an interview with CNN after he announced that he would be dropping out of the race, said “We had people who didn’t really seem to understand finances, or maybe they did—maybe they were doing it on purpose.”

March 23, 2016
Campaign buttons for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are shown outside a campaign event in Tucson, Arizona March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich

Trump ‘Needs All The Help He Can Get,’ Donors Say

Between June and February, Trump loaned his campaign $24 million and raised nearly $10 million more from small donors.

March 21, 2016
Singer, founder, CEO, and co-chief investment officer for Elliott Management Corporation, attends the Skybridge Alternatives Conference in Las Vegas

Why ‘Billionaires Against Trump’ Does More Harm Than Good

Trump’s populism takes square aim at these people.

March 9, 2016
Hillary Clinton Fundraising

Clinton Campaign Has A Money Problem: People Don’t Think She Needs It

Many of Clinton’s donors have reached the individual donations cap, which is set at $2,700 during the primary season.

February 24, 2016
Trump speaks in Reno

Analysis: Donald Trump Is Right About One Thing

Congress, Donald Trump is on to you. He knows you’re taking campaign donations and he knows you are doing something in return for the cash.

January 13, 2016
U.S. Republican candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks during the Heritage Action for America presidential candidate forum in Greenville

It’s Getting Harder To Tell What Separates A Super PAC From A Candidate’s Campaign

Many of the super PACs and the campaigns are run by a revolving door of close friends and staffers, ensuring that the two sides share a common playbook even when they avoid tripping over the vague Federal Election Commission rules banning coordination.

October 12, 2015
2015-08-22-dark-money-light-brigade

Another Way To Mask Super Rich Donors

Most political donations from businesses are coming from little-known LLCs whose founders and officers often don’t have to be disclosed anywhere.

August 22, 2015
campaign finance, citizens united, protest

Super-Rich Donors Turn Our Democracy Into Their Plutocracy

The real candidates are a small but powerful coterie of multimillionaire corporate executives and billionaires who fund secretive presidential super PACs that can determine who gets nominated.

August 12, 2015
Republican presidential candidates Jindal and Perry speak during a commercial break at a forum for lower polling candidates held before the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland

Ex-Texas Governor Perry Can’t Pay Presidential Campaign Staff: Reports

A Super PAC said they would step in, but they are not legally allowed to coordinate their activities with a candidate’s campaign, according to reports in the Washington Post.

August 11, 2015
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Million-Dollar Donations Fuel Super PACs’ New Dominance

Super PACs and other outside groups raised more than $250 million during the first half of 2015.

August 1, 2015
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker walks over to greet his childhood babysitter Janice Dietz at a campaign stop in Plainfield

Scott Walker Super PAC Raises More Than $20 Million In First Quarter

Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker’s Unintimidated Super PAC on Tuesday reported raising more than $20 million in its first quarter from nearly 300 donors.

July 21, 2015
Clown Car

Lack Of Clear Front-Runner In Huge 2016 Field Highlights Fractures Within GOP

If you’ve got a Twitter account, a Facebook page and a millionaire to fund your ‘super PAC,’ why not run for president?

June 30, 2015
640px-Hillary_Rodham_Clinton_at_Center_for_Global_Development

Why Hillary Clinton Can’t Win The Fundraising Expectations Game

As Hillary Clinton begins her second presidential bid, and the business of paying for it, her supporters predict that she will be deemed a fundraising failure no matter how much money she collects.

April 13, 2015
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks at the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, in National Harbor, Md. Cruz announced his presidential bid Monday. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Will Ted Cruz Super PACs Usher In New Frontier Of Donor Influence?

One of the constellation of committees appears to be underwritten by Republican mega-donor Robert Mercer and his family. Campaign lawyers said the arrangement is unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.

April 9, 2015
Bob Menendez

Menendez Same-Day Service Seen Upending His Just Friends Defense

For federal prosecutors, the timing of favors by Sen. Robert Menendez will be the key to their bribery case against him.

April 7, 2015