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Dark money groups flooded Albuquerque’s airwaves in August, aiming to sway a hotly contested U.S. Senate race by making more than half the political ad buys on top TV stations. More »

The FCC vote on Friday mandating broadcaster disclosure comes with caveats. More »

What is dark money? How is it impacting the election? Are both Republicans and Democrats taking advantage? Highlights from our Reddit chat with campaign finance reporter Kim Barker. More »

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Crowdsourcing Campaign Spending: What We Learned From Free the Files

This fall, ProPublica set out to Free the Files, enlisting our readers to help us review political ad files logged with Federal Communications Commission. Here’s how we did it.

FCC’s Plan for Fixing Its Political Ads Transparency Site? It Won’t Say

The agency’s new system to put political ad spending information online turned out to be deeply flawed.

What We Learned from Free the Files—and How to Make It Better

After spending months digging through the tens of thousands of documents the country's television stations uploaded as part of our Free the Files project, we look back on what we learned and how to make it better.

Outside Groups Dominated Las Vegas Airwaves in 2012 Campaign

An analysis of political ad files in our Free the Files database found spending by dark money nonprofit Crossroads GPS and its affiliate super PAC rivaled spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns combined.

Meet the 10 People Leading ProPublica’s Free the Files Effort

All told, 880 people have helped review at least one file as part of our Free the Files initiative. But 10 people led the pack, collectively reviewing half of all the files reviewed.

Dark Money and the 2012 Election: We Need Your Help!

Join ProPublica’s campaign to shine a light on the hidden aspects of campaign finance by chronicling ad spending in Las Vegas, one of the nation’s most heavily blanketed cities.

Your ‘Free the Files’ Election Day Challenge: Liberate Las Vegas

We want a better picture of who’s behind the Vegas ad blitz, which is why we’re declaring an Election Day Challenge here at ProPublica. The mission? To liberate Las Vegas.

Debate Night Snacks: Help ProPublica Take a Bite out Dark Money Spending

Tonight, while Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are preparing their foreign policy talking points for the final presidential debate of the 2012 election, we’ll be joining a group of Ohio volunteers focused on uncovering political spending at home.

Big Electric Companies Behind ‘Grassroots’ Ad Campaign in Florida

Defend My Dividend calls itself a grassroots campaign to halt a dividend tax hike. But the group's ad buys are linked to trade groups for utilities and other dividend-paying companies.

Free the Files Tracks $294 Million in TV Ads, With Obama Topping Buyer List

In just two weeks, volunteers for our Free the Files project have liberated information on $294 million in political ad buys.

Reporting Recipe: Four Stories You Can Write Using Free the Files

The FCC is finally requiring TV stations to upload political ad files online. Here's how to use them.

Free the Files Frequently Asked Questions

Free the Files is a new ProPublica news application tracking political ad filings from television stations in swing markets.

Free the Files Teams Up with Huffington Post to Unlock Political Ads in Swing States

In our ever-expanding quest to Free the Files, ProPublica is teaming up with Huffington Post in Denver, Detroit, Miami and Washington, D.C. to unlock campaign spending.

Free the Files Volunteers Unlock $160 Million in Ad Buys in First Week

In the seven days since werebooted Free The Files, nearly 350 people have “freed” a political ad contract from the Federal Communications Commission database, unlocking more than $160 million in ad spending by 325 groups in more than 30 swing markets.

Dark Money Group Told IRS It Wouldn’t Be Political—Then Spent $1 Million on Campaign Ads

New details emerge about the Government Integrity Fund, which has run ads attacking Sen. Sherrod Brown in the Ohio U.S. Senate race.

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Free the Files: Help ProPublica Unlock Political Ad Spending

Outside groups are spending millions of dollars hoping to influence political campaigns – but they're hard to track down. Detailed information about spending is locked in documents filed at TV stations across the country. Help us uncover this spending by reviewing documents.

Dark Money Poured Into New Mexico Senate Contest

An analysis of newly available TV station political ad files shows how groups that don’t have to report their donors played a major role in one race for an open U.S. Senate seat

Search Political Ad Files from the FCC

Search political ad files published by the Federal Communications Commission.

Free the Files: Help Reveal Dark Money in the Election

Today, we’re rebooting Free the Files with a new tool to help uncover outside spending in the final days of the campaign.

New Details Emerge About Dark Money Group in Ohio U.S. Senate Race

A former aide to Republican candidate Josh Mandel reportedly did work for the Government Integrity Fund.

Revealed: The Dark Money Group Attacking Sen. Sherrod Brown

Documents show an Ohio lobbyist chairs an opaque group, the Government Integrity Fund, which has spent over $1 million on pro-GOP ads in the key Senate contest.

Political Ad Data Comes Online — But It’s Not Searchable

The new system is a big step forward for those seeking to understand campaign ad spending, but it’s far from perfect.

Broadcasters Make Emergency Motion to Block Transparency Rule

The National Association of Broadcasters, an industry group representing television stations around the country, is asking a court to block the implementation of a new rule that will put political ad information online before it goes into effect next month.

Political Ad Transparency Rule Clears Another Hurdle

Over the objection of broadcasters, the Office of Management and Budget OKs measure to put political ad information on the Internet.

Republicans Back Down On Effort to Defund Transparency Rule

A House committee drops legislation that would have blocked an FCC rule to put political ad data online.

Media Companies Make Yet Another Push to Defang Transparency Rule

Broadcasters file a petition with the FCC to water down a new political ad disclosure rule.

Republicans Vote to Block Transparency on Political Ads

Language in appropriations bill would block funding for an FCC rule to put political ad data online.

New Disclosure Rules for Political Ads Could Take Months

Under a new Federal Communications Commission rule, political ad data showing election spending could be posted online as early as July — or much later.

Broadcasters Sue to…Block Transparency

The National Association of Broadcasters argue that the FCC's new rule requiring the posting of political ad data is "arbitrary" and "capricious."

FCC-Required Political Ad Data Disclosures Won’t Be Searchable

The FCC vote on Friday mandating broadcaster disclosure comes with caveats.

Broadcasters’ Last-Ditch Push to Hide Political Ad Data

Media giants are scrambling to water down a proposed FCC rule on disclosure that will be voted on Friday.

Public Files? Not On A Student Budget

Students checking public files at TV stations in Cleveland encountered unaffordable fees and camera-shy employees.

Meet the Media Companies Lobbying Against Transparency

Corporations that own some of the country’s biggest news outlets are fighting an FCC measure to post political ad data on the Internet.

Broadcasters Are ‘Against Transparency,’ Says FCC Chairman

Julius Genachowski criticizes TV stations for trying to keep political ad data off the Internet.

Behind Closed Doors, Broadcasters Battle Online Disclosure of Political Ad Buys

TV stations are taking their lobbying efforts directly to the FCC, which is expected to vote later this month on whether public data about what ads are bought, who bought them and for how much must be posted online.

Pennsylvania: Help Keep TV Political Ads Transparent

We need Pennsylvanians to help us “Free the Files” on political ads ahead of the April 24 primary.

Campaign Ads: How To Free the Files at Your TV Station

Whether you work for a news organization or not, we’re asking for help posting public data detailing what super PACs are spending on political ads. Here’s how to do it.

Help Us Track Political Ads In Wisconsin

Local TV stations hold key information on political ads — accessible only by visiting the station. We need people in Wisconsin to help.

If TV Stations Won’t Post Their Data on Political Ads, We Will

TV stations are fighting efforts to put their public data on political advertisements online. So we’re doing it for them.

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