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The Top-10 Big-Money Senate Races in 2016 — So Far

March 31, 2016 | Sunlight Foundation | News
Since the fate of the Senate is at stake in November, we examined the campaign finance data around the most expensive contests using Sunlight's Real-Time Influence Explorer tool. The spending here includes candidate committees, super PACs and 501(c)(4) groups. (And remember, dark money groups can run issue ads to influence elections, and those are not disclosed with the FEC or accounted for in this post.) We’ll get a chance to see who is raising more money after April’s upcoming filing deadline, but, until then, here are the top 10 big-money Senate races so far in 2016 cycle.

How the G.O.P. Elite Lost Its Voters to Donald Trump

March 28, 2016 | The New York Times | News

As the Republican Party collapses on itself, conservative leaders struggling to explain Mr. Trump’s appeal have largely seized on his unique qualities as a candidate: his larger-than-life persona, his ability to dominate the airwaves, his tough-sounding if unrealistic policy proposals. Others ascribe Mr. Trump’s rise to the xenophobia and racism of Americans angry over their declining power. But the story is also one of a party elite that abandoned its most faithful voters, blue-collar white Americans, who faced economic pain and uncertainty over the past decade as the party’s donors, lawmakers and lobbyists prospered.

Marco Rubio’s Secret (Money) Legacy

March 28, 2016 | Politico | News
Marco Rubio’s campaign is dead. His secret-money legacy lives on. Nobody knows who funded the nonprofit group that spent more than $10 million on TV ads boosting Rubio, and untold more on mailers and research. And, unless those donors out themselves, nobody ever will.

When Mad Men Meet Dark Money

March 12, 2016 | The Center for Investigative Reporting | News
In this Reveal hour, a collaboration between The Center for Public Integrity’s campaign finance reporting team and WAMU in Washington, we look at who’s spending, how much, where the money’s flowing and what it’s paying for.

The FEC Just Made it Easier For Super PAC Donors to Hide Their Identities

March 07, 2016 | The Washington Post | News
A divided Federal Election Commission cannot agree to investigate whether super PAC donors used corporations to mask their identities in the 2012 campaign, effectively giving a green light to contributors writing checks through limited-liability companies in this year's elections.

Exiled From Koch Orbit, American Future Fund Turns to GOP Establishment For Cash

March 07, 2016 | Center for Responsive Politics | News
New tax filings obtained by OpenSecrets Blog suggest that, of all the still-existing groups that have been exiled from the Koch network, American Future Fund has been the most successful at surviving — mostly, it appears, as a (c)(4)-for-hire, functioning as a conduit for establishment-leaning groups like Crossroads GPS, the granddaddy of politically active nonprofit groups that don’t disclose their donors.

Koch-Linked Group Releases Ad Backing G.O.P. Candidate for Harry Reid’s Seat

March 01, 2016 | New York Times | News

As early as Wednesday, television viewers across Nevada will start to see an ad showing military veterans voicing their support for Representative Joe Heck, the Republican challenger for Mr. Reid’s seat when he retires at the end of his term. The ad is part of a $700,000 broadcast and digital buy from the Concerned Veterans for America, an organization dedicated to overhauling the Veterans Affairs Department from a conservative viewpoint and part of the vast political network affiliated with the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch.

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