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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., left, shakes hands with Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, after he addressed their conference in Washington.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was called the “Road to Majority” conference, a not-so-subtle reference to winning control of Capitol Hill in the 2014 midterm elections. Some of the biggest names in the Republican Party — several potential presidential candidates among them — offered plans to strengthen the GOP. Breakout sessions included tips on “winning the hearts and minds of young people” and harnessing new technology to win elections.

The political overtones of last week’s Faith and Freedom Coalition conference were striking. But organizers insist the event was not focused on politics and say they’re not violating laws that prevent tax-exempt groups like theirs, classified as “social welfare” organizations under the tax code, from engaging in direct or indirect political campaigning.

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