Despite storm, parties continue in St. Paul

By Fredreka Schouten and Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY

Even as Republican John McCain sharply scaled back his party's national convention in St. Paul out of concern over Hurricane Gustav, the parties and receptions for delegates and donors continued. (read more...)

Loopholes let lawmakers live large

By Fredreka Schouten and Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY

The chance to sip cocktails with actress Ashley Judd, dance to the beat of the Black Eyed Peas or listen to Willie Nelson croon country tunes. All this and more await members of Congress at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. (read more...)

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Donors pick up convention tab

By Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY

Labor unions and wealthy donors are helping to close funding gaps for both national political conventions, sometimes contributing more than what they could legally donate to Barack Obama or John McCain. (read more...)

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McCain OK with aide's lobbying past

By Matt Kelley and David Jackson, USA TODAY

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain told USA TODAY on Sunday that he has no problem with his top foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann's past lobbying work. (read more...)

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Gender gap emerges in fundraising ranks

By Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY

In a historic election in which a woman almost won the Democratic nomination, men dominate the ranks of elite fundraisers in the presidential race, a USA TODAY analysis shows. (read more...)

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Obama shifts stance on environmental issues (July 17)

By Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY

In May 1998, at the urging of the state's coal industry, the Illinois Legislature passed a bill condemning the Kyoto global warming treaty and forbidding state efforts to regulate greenhouse gases. Barack Obama voted "aye." (read more...)

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Obama camp cash intake doubles in June (July 17)

By Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY

Democrat Barack Obama more than doubled his fundraising in June, establishing better than a 2-to-1 financial advantage over Republican rival John McCain. (read more...)

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Elite fundraisers bundling donations for Obama, McCain (July 15)

By Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY

Republican John McCain's elite fundraisers have helped collect more than half of his presidential campaign money, while Democratic rival Barack Obama has relied on his own top fundraisers for nearly one-fifth of his coffers, a USA TODAY analysis shows. (read more...)

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McCain accepts ex-Swift Boaters' donations (June 30)

By Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY

Republican John McCain, who four years ago condemned independent ads challenging Democrat John Kerry's military record, has accepted nearly $70,000 for his presidential campaign from the top donors of the group behind the attack ads and their relatives, a USA TODAY analysis shows. (read more...)

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Candidates get little of ex-GOP leaders' funds (June 26)

By Brian Kalish and Matt Kelley, USA TODAY

Even after leaving office, former Republican Senate leaders Rick Santorum and Bill Frist continue to raise and spend big money, but little of it has gone to GOP candidates, campaign finance records show. (read more...)

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Independent groups plan big '08 spending (June 17)

By Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY

The first wave in a flood of spending by independent groups in the general election race for the White House came Tuesday with a TV ad blasting Republican John McCain for his support of the Iraq war. (read more...)

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McCain adviser's work as lobbyist comes to light (May 20)

By Matt Kelley, USA TODAY

John McCain's top foreign policy adviser lobbied the Arizona senator's staff on behalf of the republic of Georgia while he was working for the campaign, public records show. (read more...)

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GOP congressional exits to cost party millions (May 18)

By Brian Kalish, USA TODAY

The number of Republicans leaving Congress will cost the GOP millions of dollars in party-building funds for the fall congressional elections, campaign-finance records show. (read more...)

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McCain action helped Arizona land developer (May 15)

By Matt Kelley, USA TODAY

Sen. John McCain secured millions in federal funds for a land acquisition program that provided a windfall for an Arizona developer whose executives were major campaign donors, public records show. (read more...)

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Convention perks exploit loopholes (April 30)

By Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY

House and Senate campaign committees of both parties are explicitly offering lobbyists access to members of Congress at this summer's political conventions in exchange for campaign contributions. (read more...)

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Obama tied to lobbyists, but boasts of not taking money (April 15)

By Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY

Barack Obama often boasts he is "the only candidate who isn't taking a dime from Washington lobbyists," yet his fundraising team includes 38 members of law firms that were paid $138 million last year to lobby the federal government, records show. (read more...)

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Telecom lobbyists tied to McCain (March 23)

By Matt Kelley, USA TODAY

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has condemned the influence of "special interest lobbyists," yet dozens of lobbyists have political and financial ties to his presidential campaign — particularly from telecommunications companies, an industry he helps oversee in the Senate. (read more...)

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