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Money, power and influence: all part of the election process

Posted: Oct. 29, 2012 | Tags: campaign finance

The influence of money in politics, particularly by donors who want to remain anonymous, has played a pivotal role in the 2012 campaign across the country. Now FRONTLINE has collaborated with Marketplace to produce "Big Sky, Big Money," a new documentary that airs Tuesday, Oct. 30, on PBS. (Check local listings for the time in your area.)

The program focuses on Montana's tight Senate race, one of the most-watched in the country. Montana lost its effort to maintain a state ban on corporate election spending in the wake of the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling. FRONTLINE looks at the impact of unlimited spending on the race between Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and his Republican challenger, Rep. Dennis Rehberg, and examines the influence of outside groups on the election.

FRONTLINE, Marketplace and Pro Publica reporters also produced a series of stories related to the project, all exploring the impact of the Citizens United case, and which we have been running on our site (the documentary was produced in association with the Workshop). 

And our former colleague, John Dunbar, now running the politics desk at the Center for Public Integrity, and reporter Paul Abowd, have been producing campaign-finance stories throughout the year. Last week, Abowd wrote about the influence of such little-known outside groups as American Tradition Partnership even beyond Montana. And Dunbar wrote a primer on why Citizens United matters, and why it's so hard to track down some of these mystery donors.

All great reading as we near Election Day. 

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