Santa shunning the NRA? Follow November fundraising returns with Influence Explorer’s Real-Time FEC

Photograph of an array of one hundred dollar bills

(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

As monthly campaign reports trickle into the Federal Election Commission ahead of Friday’s midnight deadline, so far the newsiest tidbit appears to be an unusually anemic month for the nation’s biggest gun rights advocacy group.

The Sunlight Foundation’s Real-Time FEC tool is tracking the latest financial reports in ways that are easy for users to sort. Some samples:

Friday’s deadline is for political committees that file to the FEC on a monthly schedule (some file quarterly). While some of the 2014 cycle’s biggest players — the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee — have already announced their hefty fundraising hauls, we’re still waiting on reports from other heavy hitters like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee  and National Republican Congressional Committee.

The political arm of the National Rifle Association — the Political Victory Fund — posted its worst fundraising month of an otherwise sterling year. The group raised just under $500,000 in November, around half of its October haul. Even so, the gun rights group has a total of nearly $12 million on hand in the wake of what the Connecticut Post called the NRA’s best fundraising year in the past decade, an indication that the calls for gun regulation following last December’s Sandy Hook school massacre motivated gun rights advocates to open their wallets.

Also important to note: The Political Victory Fund’s ledger doesn’t give us the full picture of NRA fundraising. The organization also maintains a 501(c)4 nonprofit group, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, that does not have to file its fundraising disclosures before the year’s end.

Though candidate’s campaign committees file quarterly, and hence won’t land at the FEC until next month, congressional leadership committees (the vehicle for pols to raise money for other candidates) file on the monthly schedule. As of press time, Every Republican is Crucial, the leadership arm of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., led all leadership PACs in November with $192,930 raised while he doled out dough to congressional allies.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the plumbing and pipefitting union also pulled in around $500,000, while contributing $250,000 to the Democratic Governors Association and $100,000 to the campaign of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. The vast majority of this union’s funds came in unitemized contributions of less than $200 — likely from membership dues.

The federal arm of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA Action) raised $493,403. Among other disbursements, the governors’ group was able contribute $200,000 directly to the campaign coffers of the Virginia governor-elect Terry McAuliffe thanks to his state’s nonexistent contribution limits. The RGA’s  Right Direction PAC files biannual reports.