-By Kenneth P. Vogel
August 5, 2011- If Texas Gov. Rick Perry ultimately decides to run for president, it would shake up the Republican race, directly threatening Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and the other candidates vying to be the leading alternative to front-runner Mitt Romney.
But it could also make things tricky for another powerful Texan — Karl Rove.
Rove, who served as George W. Bush’s political strategist in Texas on his way to becoming the GOP’s best known political operative, had a falling out with Perry and his staff when Bush was governor in the 1990s that has become the stuff of Lone Star lore.
Records offer no clues who was behind mystery company that donated to 'super PAC'
-By Michael Isikoff
August 4, 2011- A mystery company that pumped $1 million into a political committee backing Mitt Romney has been dissolved just months after it was formed, leaving few clues as to who was behind one of the biggest contributions yet of the 2012 presidential campaign.
The existence of the million-dollar donation — as gleaned from campaign and corporate records obtained by NBC News — provides a vivid example of how secret campaign cash is being funneled in ever more circuitous ways into the political system.
The company, W Spann LLC, was formed in March by a Boston lawyer who specializes in estate tax planning for “high net worth individuals,” according to corporate records and the lawyer’s bio on her firm’s website.
The corporate records provide no information about the owner of the firm, its address or its type of business.
Huffington Post: Priorities USA Raises $5 Million To Counter Attack Ads From Karl Rove-Backed Crossroads GPS
-By Jack Gillum
July 31, 2011- WASHINGTON -- An outside group founded this spring by two former Obama White House advisers has raked in millions in donations since April, relying in part on top-flight fundraisers and labor unions to counter GOP-leaning ads this summer critical of the president and congressional Democrats.
Priorities USA Action, an independent group founded by former Obama aides Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, said Sunday its donations included $2 million from film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, as well as $500,000 each from Newsweb founder Fred Eychaner and the Service Employees International Union.
Priorities USA Action and sister Priorities USA have raised more than $5 million since this spring, Burton said Sunday. Those amounts paled in comparison to the $86 million raked in by the Democratic National Committee from April through June, as top donors focused on President Barack Obama's first fundraising quarter.
-By Kase Wickman
July 27, 20141- Conservative political group Crossroads GPS, co-founded by former Bush adviser Karl Rove, is notorious for spending millions on political advertising, most recently doling out $20 million for anti-Obama ads. It wasn't until this week, however, that the placement of their ads drew as much attention as the content.
A tipster notified The Hill that one of the group's "blank check" ads — with the message that President Barack Obama's spending is out of control — have begun scrolling along the bottom of a smartphone app called Grindr. Grindr allows gay and bisexual men to locate other gay men in their immediate vicinity, opening the door to a sexually-charged encounter.
Huffington Post: Crossroads GPS, Priorities USA Violate Tax Laws: Reform Groups Allege In IRS Petition
-By Dan Froomkin
July 27, 2011- WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service should crack down on organizations that are soliciting anonymous tax-free donations for blatantly political purposes, two good-government groups demanded Wednesday.
Political organizations like Karl Rove-affiliated Crossroads Grassroots Political Strategies (GPS) have embraced 501(c)(4) tax status as a way to secretly funnel unlimited contributions from big donors into colossal political-advertising buys -- unleashing a flood of secret campaign money the likes of which haven't been seen since Watergate.
Unlike section 527 of the tax code, which was explicitly created for political advocacy groups, section 501(c)(4) doesn't require groups to disclose their donors. But that designation was intended for what are known as "social welfare" groups.
-By Amanda Terkel
July 22, 2011- WASHINGTON -- The Democratic National Committee is out with a new Spanish-language ad meant to reinforce the party's appeal to Latinos and counter a similar ad running from a conservative group.
The first ad buy by the DNC in the 2012 season, the spot accuses Republicans of wanting to "end the Medicare guarantee while protecting tax cuts for the very rich," while stressing that President Obama "extended health insurance to our children," financial aid for students and middle-class tax cuts.
The DNC spot will be running in Reno, Las Vegas, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Denver, Albuquerque and Washington, D.C.
The ad hits back at Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, which also went on the air with a Spanish-language ad on Monday. That spot ran in Denver, Colorado Springs, Albuquerque, El Paso, Las Vegas, Reno, D.C., Miami, Orlando and Tampa.
-By Stephanie Strom
July 19, 2011- Three nonprofit advocacy groups that recruited and trained potential political candidates in the last several years have been denied tax exemption by the Internal Revenue Service.
Copies of the letters informing the groups of the decisions were heavily redacted by the I.R.S. when it released them last week, so it was impossible to know the names of the organizations involved, or which political party they might have worked with.
“You are not operated primarily to promote social welfare because your activities are primarily for the benefit of a political party and a private group of individuals, rather than the community as a whole,” the I.R.S. wrote in the letters. “Accordingly, you do not qualify for exemption.”
-By Dan Froomkin
July 18, 2011- WASHINGTON -- Every election cycle brings new concerns about foreign interests influencing U.S. elections and secretly funneling money to U.S. political campaigns.
Yet foreign governments and corporations are openly spending tens of millions of dollars a year buying influence in Washington by hiring well-connected lobbyists, according to research by the Sunlight Foundation and others who have examined the filings those lobbyists have to make to the Justice Department.
And some of that money may well be wending its way into politicians' election coffers through the generous campaign contributions those lobbyists routinely make to buy access and reward friends.