Political action committees aligned with the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement have been slow to raise big money in their first few months. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy)(Sipa via AP Images)

Fundraising slow for new Black Lives Matter PACs

A month after reports that major liberal political donors discussed funding branches of Black Lives Matter, the diverse nationwide movement sparked in part by police killings of black men, two political action committees bearing the rallying cry have either yet to begin fundraising in earnest or are struggling to bring in money. That may yet change,…

The Office of Congressional Ethics investigated Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and found that his staff may have engaged in campaigning on staff time. He now trails his challenger, Ro Khanna, in fundraising. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

List of lawmakers losing fundraising race is dominated by the scandal-plagued

Several incumbent lawmakers who are giving off the whiff of scandal have another worry on top of their legal woes: They aren’t keeping up with their challengers, many from within their own parties, in the fundraising arena. Take Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), who’s facing a rematch against Ro Khanna, a former Obama administration official whom…

The U.S. Treasury Department and the I.R.S.are unlikely to change the 50 percent ceiling on political spending by social welfare groups any time soon. (Photo: Roman Boed, Flickr)

Two dozen dark money groups have busted 50 percent cap on politics at least once

This post has been updated. Twenty-four politically active nonprofits — including some of the biggest names in dark money — have devoted more than half their total spending to influencing elections in at least one year between 2008 and 2013, a Center for Responsive Politics analysis shows. At least three have done so more than once.…

(L-R) French President Francois Hollande, US President Barack Obama and Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates during the COP21 Climate Change Conference held at Le Bourget, near Paris, France on November 30, 2015. This week, Congress passed two bills that would block key parts of Obama's initiative to curb carbon emissions. Photo by Christian Liewig/Sipa USA

In climate debate, Obama faces a Congress heavily invested in the oil and gas industry

Back in Washington after a trip last week to the global climate change conference in Paris, President Barack Obama will soon find two new bills on his desk, both aimed at sinking his administration’s initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. The president isn’t expected to sign them. But the message from the Republican-majority Congress is unmistakable: When…

CREW wants the Justice Department to investigate whether several individuals lied in the course of a probe of the Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity. (Flickr/Dave Fleet)

Could criminal complaints be a new way to tackle dark money?

As “dark money” groups continue to devise new strategies to maximize their role in electoral politics, watchdog organizations may likewise begin exploring new measures to challenge what they see as a pattern that amounts to “the political equivalent of a hit and run.” Last week, the Washington-based, Democratic-leaning watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington…

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called on the Senate to pass legislation that would allow the refinancing of student loans last year. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)  (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Getting schooled: 1 in 10 members of Congress has student loan debt

While more than half of federal lawmakers are millionaires and their combined median net worth shot up 6.7 percent between 2013 and 2014, there’s at least one way in which many members of Congress can understand the plight of millions of Americans: They owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. With the astronomical…

Former House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., left Congress at the end of last year with plans to make a nationwide radio show. He also became honorary chairman of a new non-profit that received $200,000 of his old campaign money earlier this year.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Old campaign money flows to former intelligence chair’s new group, and former staffers

As they await January 2, 2016 — the day they can legally become lobbyists — former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and his former chief of staff, along with two more of Rogers’ onetime staffers, have found a use for some of the lawmaker’s $1.3 million leftover campaign funds. It doesn’t involve many contributions to other candidates or the…

The Pfizer flag flies in front of world headquarters in New York. Pfizer and Allergan will join in a $160 billion deal to create the world's largest drugmaker. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Pfizer won’t lack resources in lobbying for $160 billion Allergan deal

In politics, 2015 may be remembered as the year of Trump and Carson, Clinton and Sanders. In the business world, especially in the health care industry, it may be remembered as the year of the merger. But many politicians aren’t at all happy about the latest such effort: New York-based Pfizer‘s plan, announced Monday, to…