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Real Time Investigations

  1. Oddball PT Round-up: Party Time’s top 10 zaniest political fundraisers of 2014

    Party people, the year is quickly drawing to a close and you know what that means: A look back at the best – as in, creative/kooky/oddball – parties of 2014! (If you know of a winner that we don’t have, you know what to do! Send it right here.)  

  2. PT Round-up: Sen. Rand Paul headlines Mississippi fundraiser, more debt retirement parties and some expensive pancakes

    With the holidays fast approaching and the midterms officially wrapped up after Saturday’s runoff in Louisiana, politicians seem to have their eyes squarely on their impending winter break. But before they hit the road for home, members of Congress will cram in some last minute partying this week.  

  3. PT Round-up: Dueling fundraisers for Landrieu, Cassidy; Ready for Hillary parties on; and holiday-themed get-togethers

    Hey, party people, hey! After a spat of post-midterms thank you parties and debt retirement receptions, Capitol Hill denizens took a break from the fundraising circuit for some turkey time in their home districts. But don’t worry; Thanksgiving didn’t turn members of Congress into a bunch of...  

  4. Extra! Extra! Party Time learns Sen. Mary Landrieu to throw two D.C. fundraisers, Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Bob Dold to retire campaign debt, and Rep. Ken Buck to thank old donors and ask for cash from new friends

    Party people, we asked and you answered! When we last checked in, this week’s social calendar was shockingly thin. We were sure it indicated that parties were still in the planning stages, not that politicos had given up on the joys of fundraising.  

  5. Party Time’s post-midterms funk, aka share those fundraiser invites!

    Hello, party people! Everyone, and we mean everyone, seems to be coming down from the high of midterm mania.  

  6. PT Round-up: Debt retirement underway for Sen.-elect Tom Cotton, GOPers have their Monday Meeting and Sen. Mike Crapo fundraises with some R&R on the side

    Party people, we did it – we made it through the midterms! As the dust settles on last Tuesday’s elections, Democrats are left licking some major wounds and (if they are doing it right) Republicans are still celebrating in the streets.  

  7. PT Round-up: Pre-election pasta; Sen. Roy Blunt has Election Day fundraiser and Sen. David Vitter cashes in on Disney magic

    Hello, party people! It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for: The midterm elections are finally here!  

  8. PT Round-up: Sen. Marco Rubio parties in Iowa, Vice President Joe Biden is Boston strong, Hillary Clinton fundraises in New Hampshire, plus a panty party (sort of)

    Party people, can you believe it? We are one week out from the midterms! After all of the ads, all of the money and all of the parties, it’s down to the voters, who seem to be prepping for Election Day with a resounding “meh.” Gallup recently reported that voter enthusiasm is way down this cycle,...  

  9. PT Round-up: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama hit up ATM states; Rand Paul, Chris Christie party in Iowa; Rick Scott beats the FanGate heat with a Florida fundraiser

    Hey, party people, hey! The whirlwind of pre-midterm political fundraising continues this week, with another packed social calendar that takes us from Illinois to Iowa, from California to the Carolinas. It’s crunch time, folks, so ready those checkbooks!  

  10. PT Round-up: Donald Trump goes to Iowa, President Obama and Vice President Biden fundraise for Democrats, and Govs. Christie and Jindal party for fellow GOPers

    Hello party people! As the march toward midterms continues, so does politicians’ cross-country cash grab. Your elected representatives are working hard for the money, partying big time with deep-pocketed donors and bringing in dough at a breakneck pace.  

  11. PT Round-up: Barack Obama raises goop-loads of money with Gwyneth Paltrow; Joe Biden, Carole King make donors sing; Mitt Romney fundraises with Republican heavyweights; plus, a “Game of Thrones” party

    Hello, party people! This week’s social calendar is a little less packed than recent weeks, but most of the parties on the books boast big names and carry a high price tag. Over here at Party Time, we like to think of that as strategic partying: If you can charge way more money at a handful of...  

there's more

We're moving

Look around and say ta-ta to the somewhat worse for wear furnishings surrounding this story: We at Sunlight's Reporting Group are packing up our trenchcoats and fedoras, our pencils and notebooks and surfing on over to join the rest of our Sunlight colleagues on the foundation's main blog.  Beginning next week, that's where you'll find all of our work. And we'll be starting off with a literal and figurative bang, so you'll definitely want to check us out on Monday.

Not to worry faithful readers: The same URL that you've already got bookmarked will take you there and any RSS feeds you've got automatically will transfer over. But if you have any problems, email us here.

For the foreseeable future, this site will remain live for those who want to check out some of our trackers in the carousel above. But all of our new writing will appear on the main blog. You'll also be able to enjoy and be enlightened by posts from Sunlight's labs, policy and communications teams there but if you want to filter for just the Reporting Group's posts, you can do that here, or by signing up for our RSS feed.

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Christmas comes early? US Chamber spends $750k in one week

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent an astounding $750,000 in the past week alone on ad buys for mainstream Republican candidates in four different races, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. and Senate hopeful Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.V.

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IRS takes aim at $300 million campaign influence industry

Updated: 11/26; 6 p.m.

Tuesday's surprise announcement that the Internal Revenue Service intends to take aim at campaign spending by so-called social welfare non-profits could substantially alter the political landscape  -- if the tax agency's proposed new regulations eventually take effect. That's a big if given the lengthy and, given the stakes involved, highly contentious path ahead.

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Happy Thankgiving! How does campaign cash affect the food on your plate?

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, with President Barack Obama scheduled to deliver the annual stay of execution for the National Thanksgiving Turkey on Wednesday. But on Capitol Hill, there's less goodwill: An end to the impasse on the farm bill is not in sight. Last year at this time we reported that Congress had let the massive bill that governs farm programs as well as food programs for the needy expired months before the holiday; this year is much the same, with little hope of the lawmakers -- who are off on their own holiday recess -- coming to agreement come December let alone by Thanksgiving Day.

Where there's controversy, there's political money, and agribusiness continues to pour campaign contributions into the coffers of the members of Congress who matter most:  So far this election cycle, top recipients of donations from agricultural services companies, according to Sunlight's Influence Explorer  were Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla, who happens to be chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee but, perhaps more to the point, he happens to be the Senate Republican leader. He's also facing a tough reelection fight next year that's likely to make him especially grateful for contributions.

MORE: See Party Time's list of fundraisers for members of the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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