OpenSecrets.org Newsletter: Lobbying surge helped end oil export ban, and more…

Crude export issue saw a surge of lobbying ahead of omnibus

The oil industry‘s victory in the battle to lift the crude export ban didn’t come out of thin air. Opponents of the prohibition — long some of the biggest forces in the Washington influence game — began lobbying on the issue in earnest in early 2013, with the effort building until they accomplished their long-sought goal when language was inserted into a must-pass spending bill that funds the government until October 2016.

The language lifting the ban found its way into the $1.1 trillion omnibus package this week through some congressional horse-trading: Environmentalist Democrats got half-a-decade of tax credits for solar and wind projects, while their industry-friendly counterparts like Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and most Republicans got an end to the prohibition on overseas crude sales.

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Super PACs rule the airwaves in GOP primaries: Wesleyan Media Project and CRP document the onslaught

Super PACs have sponsored 81 percent of the TV ads in the GOP presidential primaries, up about 71 percent over 2011 and a 12,000 percent jump over 2007. The findings are included in a new report from the Wesleyan Media Project, with which the Center for Responsive Politics partnered. The report shows that this year (through Dec. 9), outside spending groups have sponsored 35,743 of 44,270 of the ads in the Republican primaries. But there’s a big disconnect, in most cases, between the amount of money spent advertising on a candidate’s behalf and how well that candidate is doing in the … read more

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, but not without a little hand-wringing. Kenny Murdock, who has run Black Lives Matter PAC LLC since early October, said his committee has yet to see much of a cash inflow but is currently in talks with two billionaire funders. One difficulty, according to Murdock: Wealthy would-be contributors are wary of political … read more

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