Political Capital
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Jonathan Salant

covers campaign finance and lobbying in Washington. He was president of the National Press Club and started in Washington in 1987.

Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., signs autographs for attendees following a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on March 5, 2014.

Photograph by Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., signs autographs for attendees following a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on March 5, 2014.

Elon Musk Shaking Up D.C. — Like Auto and Space Races

Billionaire Elon Musk doesn’t do anything quietly. His Space Exploration Technologies Corp. won a battle with Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos to lease a historic Kennedy Space Center launch pad, was the first private U.S. company to dock a spacecraft at the...

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A model Shadow M2 unmanned aerial vehicle, manufactured by Textron Systems Corp., during the Singapore Airshow on Feb. 11, 2014.

Photograph by Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

A model Shadow M2 unmanned aerial vehicle, manufactured by Textron Systems Corp., during the Singapore Airshow on Feb. 11, 2014.

Textron’s Lord Seeks Relaxed Export Controls

Textron Systems, the defense division of Textron Inc., has plans to grow its international sales to 50 percent of revenue by 2016, up from more than 35 percent in 2013.  The overseas business will help offset the loss of U.S....

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An AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile manufactured by Raytheon Co., is seen on a Lockheed Martin Corp. F-16D Fighting Falcon aircraft, during the Singapore Airshow in Singapore on Feb. 12, 2014.

Photograph by Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

An AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile manufactured by Raytheon Co., is seen on a Lockheed Martin Corp. F-16D Fighting Falcon aircraft, during the Singapore Airshow in Singapore on Feb. 12, 2014.

Defense Companies Play Offense in 2014 Elections

Government contractors are putting their money where their mouths are. The top 10 contractors, as compiled by Bloomberg Government, have increased their political action committee spending by 29 percent for the 2014 congressional elections, compared with their donations for the 2012 races....

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National Park Service park ranger Richard Trott removes a closed sign at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17, 2013 after the government shutdown.

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

National Park Service park ranger Richard Trott removes a closed sign at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17, 2013 after the government shutdown.

Chamber Backs Gov’t-Shutdown Republicans in TV Ads

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest business lobby, is out today with ads in two Senate and 11 House races, all on behalf of Republicans –including support for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in his effort to...

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U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) speaks to members of the media outside his office on April 29, 2014 on Capitol Hill.

Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) speaks to members of the media outside his office on April 29, 2014 on Capitol Hill.

Grimm Opponent Leveraging Legal Trouble for Fundraising

For New York City Councilman Domenic M. Recchia Jr., the Democratic challenger to Rep. Michael Grimm, the Republican incumbent’s legal problems provide a welcome way to raise campaign cash. In fact, Recchia supporters agreed to match all donations two-for-one on...

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U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) arrives at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol.

Photograph by Win McNamee/Getty Images

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) arrives at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol.

Companies Disclosing Once-Secret Donations — a Growth Political Industry

A total of 127 publicly traded companies have agreed to reveal their corporate political contributions, according to the Center for Political Accountability, a Washington-based advocacy group that has been pushing for disclosure. A decade ago, none did. The effort to require...

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Space launch vehicles at the Orbital Sciences Corp. booth during a National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

Photograph by Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

Space launch vehicles at the Orbital Sciences Corp. booth during a National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

Orbital Sciences Takes Off in Space — and on Capitol Hill

Orbital Sciences Corp., which announced yesterday that it would merge with Alliant Techsystems Inc., has been flying high due to the success of its Antares rocket, which carries the Cygnus supply capsule to the International Space Station. Unlike its competitors...

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Is the job market taking off, or are there still problems on the pad?

Photograph by Chris Thompson/SpaceX via Bloomberg

Is the job market taking off, or are there still problems on the pad?

SpaceX Lobbying Going Where Others Have Gone Before

Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., which hired two new lobbying firms last month, reported a 15 percent increase in expenditures during the first three months of 2014 compared with the same period a year ago. SpaceX reported spending $310,000 to lobby...

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Anti-abortion activist Brian Normile of Beavercreek, Ohio, outside a Planned Parenthood on Jan. 21, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Anti-abortion activist Brian Normile of Beavercreek, Ohio, outside a Planned Parenthood on Jan. 21, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Abortion Foes Renew Obamacare Assault as Court Hearing Nears

When Ohio Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus sought re-election in 2010, the anti-abortion group, Susan B. Anthony List, tried to erect billboards highlighting his vote for the Affordable Care Act. The organization contended that the law included taxpayer funding for abortion....

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