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Real Time Investigations

  1. Shalabh Kumar gives nearly $900,000 to Trump Victory

    Donald Trump’s campaign and the RNC got a major financial boost with a massive $898,800 contribution from Indian-American industrialist — and longtime GOP ally — Shalabh Kumar. Donations this big are possible thanks to Trump’s joint fundraising committee with the RNC and multiple state GOP...  

  2. New report shows GOP turning to deep-pocketed private donors to fund 2016 convention

    How many deep-pocketed individuals have ponied up $100,200 — the maximum limit allowed — to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland? How many millions in private funds has the GOP raised to pay for this year’s event? How much of that money came from high-dollar donors? The answer to...  

  3. Big money fuels expensive party conventions

    These aren't your grandfather's conventions. While the RNC and DNC extravaganzas continue to lose their shiny aura, they still perform one crucial role for the parties: fundraising.  

  4. Rubio returns with reception for the ages

    Welcome back to the fundraising circuit Senator Rubio. Thanks for lining up an all-star cast of PAC support.  

  5. How you can officially be on the “Trump Train” or become a “Hillblazer”

    You can show your admiration for Donald Trump by joining his "Trump Train" or your love for Hillary Clinton and become a "Hillblazer". But these tiers and benefits come at a price.  

  6. Episode 3: Political Party Time Podcast — Congressional fundraising and ‘dialing for dollars’

    Listen in to the third episode of our Political Party Time Podcast. Melissa Yeager, Libby Watson and Drew Doggett discuss money in politics in 2016, congressional “dialing for dollars” and Donald Trump’s “180″ on fundraising. Send us your comments here, or tweet at...  

  7. Cruz, Kasich and the industries that fueled their campaigns

    Ted Cruz and John Kasich never came close to catching Donald Trump's delegates. But their plentiful resources from special interests kept them afloat until May.  

  8. Hillary Clinton’s most ’scandalous’ fundraiser yet

    While Hillary Clinton’s weathered her fair share of scandals, it seems she’s finally encountered one that could actually boost her political career. The cast of “Scandal,” ABC’s drama about a cheating president and his mistress, is supporting the former secretary of state at...  

  9. Party Time Vault: Trump the benefactor

    The Donald openly admits to his contributions on both side of the aisle, but his past beneficiaries may surprise you. From the founder of Jimmy John’s to Henry Kissinger, here’s whom Trump has fundraised with in the past seven years. — He partnered with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — who...  

  10. Marco Rubio rides into the sunset

    After failing to secure his home state of Florida last week, Marco Rubio bowed out of the 2016 presidential race. The pro-Rubio super PAC – Conservative Solutions PAC – raised $25 million in February, and his official campaign raised $9.6 million, but it wasn’t enough to keep his campaign afloat....  

  11. Members of Congress shoot hoops and collect shamrocks for fundraising

    The madness has begun. Well, fundraising madness never really ends, but the March Madness basketball tournament now begins. Spring is in the air. St. Patrick’s Day has arrived. And our lawmakers are looking to use all three to increase their cash flow. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va. likes to wear green...  

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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