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Tag Archive: 2012 elections

Outside spenders’ return on investment

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--Updated Dec. 18--

Outside groups spent more than $1.3 billion in independent expenditures to influence the outcome of the election, we now get to see just what all that money bought them -- or didn't. Turns out some of the smart money wasn't so smart after all when it came to making political bets. This year, the pro-business GOP Crossroads fundraising combine and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce weren't as good at picking winners as the labor movement, which appears to be one of the surprise winners of Election Day.

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And the ads go on: 2012’s big campaign spenders keep up the air wars

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Think the campaign season was over? Since Election Day, dozens of TV, web and radio ads have been airing in political battlegrounds, many of them directly naming lawmakers. The Sunlight Foundation has been archiving them on Ad Hawk, a mobile app that allows viewers to help flag political advertising that they are seeing and learn about the funders behind ads .

Many of these ads have popped up just this week. Though the ad content often relates to Congress’s handling of the impending fiscal cliff, in many cases they also have an eye on the 2014 election. Big spending groups ...

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Why American Crossroads’ millions weren’t enough on Election Day

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raining cashAmerican Crossroads, the super PAC whose success in the 2010 elections heralded a new era in big money in politics, came nowhere clost to matching that performance in 2012. Of the 30 largest outside spending groups that backed more than one candidate in the general election, it had the second lowest return on investment in the races in which it intervened.

Despite having the second largest pool of money to play with among super PACs--it spent $104.7 million (only Restore Our Future, the organization backing Mitt Romney, spent more), in race after race it bet on the losing side, with the lone exception of former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who sought to reclaim a spot in the Senate he'd left in 2001.

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A look at online ads in the 2012 election

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Super PACs, trade associations and other nonprofit groups that made campaign expenditures spent roughly $46.1 million on web ads. Though the Obama campaign considerably outspent Romney's campaign on web advertising, outside Republican outside spenders ponied up nearly five times more on online advertising than liberal outside groups, according to independent expenditure filings with the FEC.

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The 2012 super PAC million dollar club

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raining cashAt least 156 people and entities gave more than $1 million to super PACs, according to an analysis of post-election campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. See a list of the top 10 super PAC donors below.

This millionaires club accounted for 59 percent of the total $834 million that went to super PACs, committees that can spend and raise and unlimited amount on elections.

Nine donors gave at least $10 million. The biggest gave to the GOP: Sheldon Adelson, at $49.8 million, followed by his wife Miriam at $42 million. The next biggest givers are ...

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Tallying the Adelsons’ $92 million

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SheldonThe Adelson’s have given a mind-blowing $92.28 million dollars to outside spending groups this election. The Casino mogul and his physician wife were the impetus behind Newt Gingrich’s primary campaign. After Gingrich left the race, donations to “Winning our Future” became donations to “Restore our Future” the pro-Romney group that the Adelson’s would give the most to, $30 in all.

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Stealthy Wealthy: Donald Sussman, Rep. Pingree make strange bedfellows

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In the five or so years since hedge fund manager Donald Sussman and Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, have known each other, the investment tycoon has made his mark in her state, becoming its top political donor in 2012 and a major backer to Democratic super PACs. He's also found ways to bankroll her campaign, while buying a controlling interest in the local papers that cover her district.

Sussman, the billionaire manager of boutique hedge funds which manage about $8 billion in assets, married Pingree in 2011. She's the former president of campaign finance watchdog Common Cause. In his ...

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