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Tag Archive: 2012 elections

Super PAC profile: Ron Paul Volunteers offers contributors’ protection program?

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Lack of transparency can be a good thing, declares the treasurer of “Ron Paul Volunteers,” a Miami-based Super PAC he recently established in hopes of raising “in the low six figures” to help support Paul bid in Florida's Jan. 31 presidential primary.

“I think to a certain extent we have an entrenched political establishment that for the most part has a clear punishment and reward system,” treasurer Hector Roos told Sunlight in an interview. “If you are going to put money out there against a candidate it might hurt you immediately in the public light or when it comes ...

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Super PAC profile: Restore Our Future helped Romney and infuriated Gingrich

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Arguably the most influential political advertisements so far of the 2012 cycle -- ads that helped topple Newt Gingrich from GOP presidential frontrunner to out-of-the-money finisher in Iowa on Tuesday -- were produced and purchased by a super PAC that purports to be making "independent expenditures" in the campaign but that has plenty of connections to Mitt Romney.

Restore our Future, a super PAC established and operated by a group of Romney's former staffers and supporters, spent $4.1 million before the Iowa caucus on an ad blitz aimed largely at Gingrich, the former House speaker who once appeared to be ...

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Super PAC profile: Leaders for Families pushed Santorum’s Iowa surge

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Rick Santorum's late surge in Iowa was aided by a lately formed Super PAC. Leaders for Families takes its name from the Family Leader, an umbrella name for a pair of nonprofit organizations that oppose Iowa's same sex marriage law. Chuck Hurley, the PAC's treasurer, is president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, the "education division" of Family Leader, and president of the Iowa Family PAC, a state-level committee affiliated with Family Leader. 

Hurley endorsed Mike Huckabee in 2007. In an interview with the Iowa Independent in July of that year, Hurley said that Romney's ...

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Pro-Gingrich group moves to delay revealing donors

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Another leading presidential super PAC signaled Thursday that it plans to keep its donors' identities under wraps until Jan. 31, meaning voters in four crucial early contests will go to the polls without knowing who is behind two well-funded efforts to influence their decisions.

Winning Our Future, an outside group backing Newt Gingrich, notified the Federal Election Commission that it is changing its filing status to push back a deadline for making donations public by four weeks, copying a move made earlier this month by Restore Our Future, a group backing Mitt Romney, one of Gingrich's chief rivals for ...

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Presidential Super PAC disclosures may leave voters in the dark

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When voters cast their ballots in January’s presidential nominating contests, they may not know the moneyed interests behind the attack ads run by shadowy outside groups trying to influence their votes, despite a Federal Election Commission deadline requiring many of them to disclose information next week. 

Although FEC regulations suggest that groups making expenditures in New Hampshire’s Jan. 10 primary must file a pre-primary report on Dec. 29, it’s not clear how many of them will do so.  

There are plenty of opportunities for these groups to avoid scrutiny until, in some cases, Jan. 31. The first ...

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The Political One Percent of the One Percent

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This piece was prepared in collaboration with Ethan Phelps-Goodman. If you think wealth is concentrated in the United States, just wait till you look at the data on campaign spending. In the 2010 election cycle, 26,783 individuals each contributed more than $10,000 to federal political campaigns. Combined, these donors spent $774 million. That's 24.3% of the total from individuals to politicians, parties, PACs, and independent expenditure groups. Together, they would fill only two-thirds of the 41,222 seats at Nationals Park the baseball field two miles from the U.S. Capitol. When it comes to politics, they are The One Percent of the One Percent. A Sunlight Foundation examination of data from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics reveals a growing dependence of candidates and political parties on the One Percent of the One Percent, resulting in a political system that could be disproportionately influenced by donors in a handful of wealthy enclaves. Our examination also shows that some of the heaviest hitters in the 2010 cycle were ideological givers, suggesting that the influence of the One Percent of the One Percent on federal elections may be one of the obstacles to compromise in Washington.

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