Spotlight on Congress

MapLight research on the influence of money and politics in U.S. Congress.

“Dark Money” Groups More Likely to Sponsor Attack Ads

Screenshot of television ad paid for by Club For Growth

August 17, 2016 -“Dark money” groups were more likely to pay for attack ads than other political organizations during the presidential primary season, a MapLight analysis has found. Attack ads accounted for about 70 percent of the airings paid for by politically active nonprofits, according to the analysis of television ads identified as positive or negative. By comparison, fewer than 20 percent of airings paid for by all political groups were critical in tone.

Pro-Trump Super PAC Hire Tests Federal Election Rules

August 16, 2016 -- 
Trump accused rivals of being "in cahoots" with super PACs. Is he doing the same thing now?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Gets Last-Minute Help From Super PAC In Primary Race

Flyer supporting Debbie Wasserman Schultz paid for by Patriot Majority PAC 

August 4, 2016 - A week after Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign from her position as head of the Democratic National Committee, a national Democratic super PAC is spending big money to keep her in Congress.

Democratic Delegates Party With Lady Gaga And Snoop Dogg, Thanks To Super PACs

July 29, 2016 - While Democratic politicians have long lamented the Citizens United decision, they have also reaped the benefits of super PACs -- from the super PAC that helped President Barack Obama win reelection, to the support Democratic congressional candidates have received from House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC.

What WikiLeaks Emails Reveal About The DNC, The White House And Lobbyists


President Obama with White House Political Advisor David Simas / Getty Images 


July 26, 2016 - Under the Democratic party’s new fundraising policy, detailed by the Washington Post in February, lobbyists cannot participate in DNC events with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden or their wives. But lobbyists can attend party events with White House staffers, according to a MapLight review of DNC emails. The messages were part of the nearly 20,000 emails from hacked DNC accounts that were released by WikiLeaks on Friday