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Off to the races: Two tales about money in politics

Politico: “An Arlington, Va.-based conservative group, whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide. The group, Freedom Partners, and its president, Marc Short, serve as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly. The 38-page IRS filing amounts to the Rosetta Stone of the vast web of conservative groups — some prominent, some obscure — that spend time, money and resources to influence public debate, especially over Obamacare. The group has about 200 donors, paying at least $100,000 each in annual dues. It raised $256 million in the year after its creation in November, 2011, the document shows.”

“Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that a New York marketing executive received more than $600,000 in illicit funds from a Washington businessman to do unsolicited campaign work for a 2008 presidential candidate, identified by a campaign lawyer as Hillary Rodham Clinton,” AP reports. “Troy White pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Wednesday for failing to file tax returns reflecting the amount that his company, Wytehouse Marketing Inc., was paid. But court documents outlined an elaborate scheme in which White allegedly worked with Washington businessman Jeffrey Thompson to help a presidential candidate during several Democratic primaries in the winter and spring of 2008. While the candidate was not identified in court documents, an attorney for Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid confirmed that the case involved her campaign.”

Speaking of money, Republicans are worried they won’t have enough for the 2014 midterms.

Look at me! Look at me! Newt Gingrich wants to be a debate moderator.

KENTUCKY: Someone’s up for reelection… Mitch McConnell is banging conservatives’ favorite piñata again… Politico: “Senate leaders agreed to keep the debate over Syria out of an energy bill on the floor but there will be no such luck for Democrats on Obamacare. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) submitted an amendment Wednesday evening to the energy efficiency bill under consideration that would delay the health care law’s individual mandate for a year. It would also codify the White House’s one-year delay of the employer mandate, which Republicans believe may be legally murky.”