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 ...Continue reading
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.Continue reading
With the election over, a Congress full of lame ducks -- along with next year's class of soon-to-be sworn-in lawmakers, ready for freshmen orientation -- returns to Washington next week. Lobbyists and special interests that opened their wallets for candidates are poised to call in chits in a tense environment dominated by the budget impasse that threatens to impose sweeping automatic cuts to defense and social programs if Congress doesn't act.
Top CEOs of more than 80 companies issued a statement on October 25 calling on Congress to solve the issue by considering tax increases along with spending cuts. In ...Continue reading
American Crossroads, the super PAC run by Karl Rove, has spent more than $100 million.Continue reading
It doesn't take a whole lot of money to make a big difference in some House races, and as the days dwindle down to hours before polls close on Nov. 6, some outside interest groups are trying to do just that. Sunlight's weekly survey of independent campaign expenditures found that some congressional contests that hadn't previously registered on our radar were suddenly drawing lots of outside cash late in the campaign.
Seven of ...Continue reading
In the last full week before the election, outside spending groups have bombarded voters with a record $210 million in ads, direct mail, and other political expenditures, and, as in weeks past, the vast majority of the funds went to support Republican candidates.
Since Sept. 7 -- when the FEC began requiring all groups to disclose independent expenditures, regardless of the content -- the rate of outside spending has ballooned, reaching a new high this week. A Sunlight analysis of Federal Election Commission records shows that organizations dropped $132.6 million to back Republicans in the period between Oct. 26 and Nov. 1, while just $76.4 went to help Democrats. That compares to $26 million for the second week of September.Continue reading
Back in July, Senate Republicans successfully blocked the DISCLOSE Act, which would have required all organizations spending $10,000 or more to reveal their donors. Now we understand why. Though Nov.1, $213.0 million has been spent by “dark money” groups to influence the 2012 elections. Of that, $172.4 million (81%) has been spent to help Republican candidates, as compared to $35.7 million (19%) to help Democrats. (By “dark money” we mean groups that do not disclose their donors and only are required to disclose their congressional race spending within 60 days of House and Senate elections and their presidential race spending following the national party conventions).Continue reading
Outside money is flooding into U.S. House races, primarily from party committees, but also significantly from dark money groups and super PACs. And though Democrats need to win 25 seats to take back the House (which most forecasters deem unlikely), nobody is giving up on anything, judging from the recent cash infusions. We are now at $218.8 million in House outside spending, with almost one-third of that money coming in the last 10 days, and more than half of it coming since October 1. Republicans lead in outside money $119.6 million to $96.7 million, including a two-to-one lead in dark money. Democratic super PACs, meanwhile, have outspent Republican super PACs. What this money all adds up to, we are still waiting to see. For now, the best we can do is to give our best take on the current state of play.Continue reading
Blowing away the competition, the GOP-aligned independent groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS have now dropped a combined $78 million in October alone to influence the 2012 election.
That’s about double what the official Republican party committees have spent on independent expenditures so far this month.
Among outside givers, the conglomerate founded by longtime Republican strategists Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove, are in a class all their own. You would have to total the October spending of the next eight biggest spending GOP outside groups to surpass the Crossroads machine – from the pro-Romney Restore Our Future’s $31 million ...Continue reading
Outside money continues to pour in at a record pace this election cycle, and beyond the presidential race, the biggest general election spending totals are all in Senate races: $29.7 million in Virginia; $24.6 million in Ohio; $22.2 million in Wisconsin; $18.5 million in Nevada; $16.3 million in Montana. And counting. All told, outside groups have dropped $189.4 million into Senate races as of October 23. And no wonder: the Senate remains very much up for grabs, and the parties are very close in their levels of outside spending – unlike both the presidential and House races, where Republicans have the outside spending edge. In the Senate outside money chase, Republicans have a very narrow lead, $97.3 million to $92.1 million. Of particular interest is that Republicans are relying much more on non-party organizations – primarily Crossroads GPS and the Chamber of Commerce – that don’t have to disclose their donors and only have to report their spending within 60 days of an election. Among these types of groups, Republicans lead Democrats $56.2 million to $24.6 million. And significantly, while party committees are limited in the amount of money they can raise from any one individual ($30,800 per cycle), groups like Crossroads GPS and the Chamber can receive unlimited contributions. By contrast, Democrats are still relying much more on the traditional party structure. First, an overview of the outside spending, by state:Continue reading