Kim Barker was a reporter covering campaign finance and the aftermath of the BP oil spill; her stories have run in outlets such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic and Salon. She specialized in "dark money," or social welfare nonprofits that do not report their donors for election ads. In late 2009 and early 2010, Barker was the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where she studied, wrote and lectured on Pakistan and Afghanistan and U.S. policy. She was the South Asia bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune from 2004 to 2009 and was based in New Delhi and Islamabad. At the Tribune, Barker covered major stories such as the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and rising militancy in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Her book about those years, "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan," was published by Doubleday in March 2011.
Move America Forward has collected millions to send care packages to U.S. troops. But its appeals often rely on images and stories borrowed without permission, and its assets have been used to benefit political consulting firms and PACs.
Freedom Path was launched by backers of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and ran ads supporting Hatch and other Republicans in 2012. It said it suffered damages because the IRS flagged its application for extra scrutiny and disclosed its pending application to ProPublica.
Liberal spending via dark money groups and super PACs was relatively modest in 2012. But their spending has taken off this year in at least one state.
The Government Integrity Fund spent most of its money on election ads, despite IRS rules prohibiting a social welfare nonprofit from doing so.
Here are five takeaways ProPublica found from the documents released Wednesday by a House committee.
Obscure limited liability companies have ultimate say over the Koch network’s nonprofits, which spend hundreds of millions of dollars to advance conservative causes.
Sean Noble was a former congressional aide just starting as a political consultant when he was recruited to help run the Kochtopus — Charles and David Koch’s multi-layered political network.
The proposed regulations could dramatically limit how nonprofits spend money. But the proposals aren’t a done deal, and it’s not clear whether groups would comply.
The $26.4 million grant from Rove’s dark money giant, Crossroads GPS, to Americans for Tax Reform was supposed to be spent on social welfare and education. Instead, records show, at least $11.2 million of that grant money went to politics.
The biggest dark money group, launched by Republican strategist Karl Rove, shows in its tax filing that it got one donation of nearly $23 million and another of $18 million. (Donors names not included.)
Two groups linked to the Koch brothers admit they did not properly disclose contributions for state ballot measures. One says it did so inadvertently, blaming its unfamiliarity with California’s rules.
In a sharply worded ruling, a federal judge in Montana ruled that documents found inside a Colorado meth house pointing to possible election law violations will not be returned to the couple claiming the papers were stolen from one of their cars. Instead, they'll remain with a grand jury.
Tax regulators recognize two related dark money groups, even though they appear to have made misleading statements on their applications for tax-exempt status.
A Health and Human Services official, unable to attend a clinical drug trial conference, still made an appearance.
As Congress probes why the IRS flagged Tea Party applications, we offer some context on the rise of political social welfare nonprofits.
The IRS division responsible for flagging Tea Party groups has long been an agency afterthought, beset by mismanagement and financial constraints.
The IRS’s Cincinnati office last year sent ProPublica the unapproved applications for several conservative groups.
The California consulting firm Russo, Marsh and Associates has tapped into Tea Party true believers, and made millions as a result.
A former Illinois congressional candidate joins forces with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to challenge IRS oversight of social welfare nonprofits.
Controversial Dark Money Group Among Five That Told IRS They Would Stay Out of Politics, Then Didn't
Americans for Responsible Leadership, which California officials have accused of "campaign money laundering," promised the IRS it would not engage in elections, a confidential filing shows.