Campaign Finance

2014 Elections
10:39 am
Fri September 26, 2014

What Exactly Can Candidates Do With Their Campaign Cash After Election Day?

There are plenty of things a candidate can't do with campaign cash, but there are also plenty of loopholes.
Tracy Olson/Flickr flickr.com/tracy_olson/

With less than six weeks before the general election, candidates are burning through their campaign cash to make that final push to win. But, when the race ends, some still have money left in the bank.

So what are lawmakers allowed to do with that money? 

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Crime & Justice
6:24 am
Mon July 28, 2014

When Did Companies Become People? Excavating The Legal Evolution

Volunteers at the Lincoln Memorial help roll up a giant banner printed with the Preamble to the Constitution during an October 2010 demonstration against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 12:52 pm

Are corporations people? The U.S. Supreme Court says they are, at least for some purposes. And in the past four years, the high court has dramatically expanded corporate rights.

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Austin
10:40 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Money Race for Austin City Council Starts Today

Credit Photo by KUT News

Today is the first day that campaigns and candidates for the Austin City Council can start soliciting or accepting political contributions. Although many things will be radically different this election cycle, asking for money will remain practically the same. 

When Austin voters changed the city’s form of government in 2012, they did not change anything when it comes to campaign contributions. Still, the city’s clerk Jannette Goodall says campaign contribution limits are adjusted every election cycle according to inflation.

For instance, the charter says 300 dollars “and I believe the current amount is 350,” says Goodall.

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Texas
5:10 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Campaign Contributions From 'Dark Money' Groups Under Spotlight at Texas Capitol

The Texas House State Affairs Committee took up campaign finance transparency at a public hearing on May 1, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill last session that would have subjected some groups to stricter campaign finance disclosure rules.  Now, the Texas House State Affairs Committee is taking another look at campaign finance law. 

The committee is taking up the issue of secret campaign spending by politically active nonprofits – aka "dark money" groups that can contribute large sums of money to political action committees without having to disclose their donors. Committee Chair Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, says voters have a right to know who’s influencing elections.

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Politics
5:56 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Harold Simmons, GOP Mega-Donor, Dead at 82

Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who passed away on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013.
Texas Tribune

Harold Simmons, a Dallas businessman and billionaire, philanthropist and Republican mega-donor, died Saturday at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. He was 82.

His death was first reported by The Dallas Morning News. Simmons’ wife, Annette, told the paper he had been “very sick for the last two weeks” and said the family had celebrated Christmas at the hospital.

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Politics
4:48 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Puncture A Key Campaign Cash Limit

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to campaign-finance laws that could open the door to further money in politics beyond what Citizens United achieved.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:48 pm

Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.

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2012 Presidential Election
1:21 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

How Far Does $1.09 Go Towards Office Supplies? Ask Ron Paul

Change Ron Paul can believe in: Paul's campaign has itemized over 100 expenses under one dollar.
Paul photo courtesy house.gov; Change photo courtesy flickr.com/ldrhcp

A big part of Ron Paul’s Libertarian-informed message is fiscal conservatism. And he has the campaign records to prove it.

ProPublica surveyed the campaign finance filings of the Texas congressman running for the GOP presidential nomination, and found that Paul’s campaign cataloged practically every petty cash expenditure – even though candidates don’t need to write down individual expenditures totaling less than $200.

Pro Publica notes:

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2012 Presidential Election
11:16 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Lots of GOP Money Flowing From the 'Texas Two'

Houston home builder Bob Perry at the sales center of one of his developments in 2002.
Melissa Phillip AP

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 9:50 am

The latest reports from the Federal Election Commission shed new light on the political largesse of two Texas businessmen who have become common names in the world of Republican fundraising.

With a $1 million check in February to the superPAC backing Rick Santorum, Dallas nuclear waste dump owner Harold Simmons and his wife, Annette, have now contributed to groups supporting all three of the top GOP candidates.

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