By JEREMY W. PETERS, NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and SARAH COHENDespite repeated warnings from President Obama and his party that a flood of unrestricted donations from conservatives to outside groups would swamp them, the White House and its allies are at least holding their own. Over the last month, the pro-Obama forces have run more ads and, more critically, have reached audiences in roughly the same numbers as Mitt Romney and the group of well-financed conservative super PACs working to elect him.
By Kim Barker ProPublica and Rick Young and Emma Schwartz, FRONTLINEFound in a meth house in Colorado, they were somewhat of a mystery, holding files on 23 conservative candidates in state races in Montana. They were filled with candidate surveys and mailers that said they were paid for by campaigns, and fliers and bank records from outside spending groups. One folder was labeled “Montana $ Bomb.”The documents pointed to one outside group pulling the candidates’ strings: a social welfare nonprofit called Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP.
EditorialIn 2010, a group now called American Tradition Partnership brought a lawsuit against Montana, seeking to throw out the state’s anticorruption law. It argued that the law, which barred corporate spending on candidates’ campaigns, was unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. In June, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority obliged and handed the group a big victory by blocking the state law.
By Harriet RowanOne Wisconsin Now and theGrio have uncovered that the Milwaukee-based Einhorn Family Foundation is the “private family foundation” that funded controversial billboards in Milwaukee which warned: “VOTER FRAUD IS A FELONY! 3 1/2 years and a $10,000 fine.” The billboards were denounced as voter suppression by Mike Wilder, director of the African-American Round Table, and other community groups. The billboards were put up in largely African-American and Latino communities in Milwaukee, Cleveland and Columbus by media behemoth Clear Channel, but the client remained anonymous.
By JACK GILLUMWASHINGTON (AP) — A shadowy Tennessee company donated more than $5 million to a prominent conservative super political action committee days after establishing itself.
Candidates and parties
By Rick Hampton“I have a famous saying,” Foster replies. “No president has ever done anything for me or done anything against me. But you should pay attention to choosing someone who can tell you whether you can build a shed in your yard.”
By Charles JohnsonDemocratic Steve Bullock and Republican Rick Hill exchanged harsh words in a governor’s candidate debate Saturday night over Hill’s acceptance of a disputed $500,000 donation from the Montana Republican Party.
Lobbying and ethics
By Normimitsu OnshiRENO, Nev. — Representative Shelley Berkley, battling for a Senate seat, flew to northern Nevada hours after appearing with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at a rally in her Las Vegas district. On Oct. 19, before returning south for the start of early voting, Ms. Berkley crisscrossed Washoe County, the battleground where her image has been largely shaped by a barrage of television advertisements from her rival attacking her ethics.