With the race for a special House election in South Carolina now set, and polls showing it could be close, the outcome may partly hinge on who has the most money.Continue reading
As voters go to the polls in today's primary contests for a South Carolina special congressional election that has garnered attention for its share of colorful candidates, the donors appear just as just as worthy of a second look.
That's not just because the donors are, in most cases -- the candidates themselves. They also include a diverse range of out-of-staters from infamous dark money man David Koch to comedian Stephen Colbert's wife, as Sunlight has reported.
In the final days before polls opened, donations continued to pour in. We're keeping tabs using our Follow the Unlimited Money alert service that sends us emails every time one of the committee's we're watching files with the Federal Election Commission.
Most of the late cash has gone to former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who is trying to make the political comeback of a lifetime just two years after departing office in disgrace. Revelations of Sanford's extra-marital affair with his Argentine lover (now fiance) ended his marriage but not, it now appears, his once-promising political career. By late last month, Sanford was already the dollar frontrunner in the contest to replace Tim Scott, a Republican appointed to the Senate this year. That financial momentum has only continued to build with more late contributors jumping on the frontrunner's bandwagon.
In the 20-day period before today's primary, Sanford raked in $80,050 in contributions of $1,000 or more, bringing him to a total of at least $414,447, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Combined, the six leading Republicans and the Democrat most likely to win her primary, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, have raised over $3 million so far in the race.Continue reading
Political upstart Teddy Turner bankrolls himself as corporate bigs bankroll disgraced ex-Gov. Mark Sanford in a lively special election for a South Carolina House seat.Continue reading
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who has managed to upend the adage about freshmen being seen and not heard in the less-than 10 weeks since he took his seat as the Lone Star State's junior senator, likes to portray himself as a political maverick. But when it comes to fundraising, he's playing like a classic insider.
The brash Texas Republican, who this week is trying to defund President Barack Obama's signature health care law, earlier this month registered the Cruz Victory Committee, a joint fundraising arm. By creating the group, Cruz eases the way for big givers to ...Continue reading
Updated 1:44 p.m. 3/8
David Koch, one of the nation's most generous underwriters of conservative causes, is among more than 250 donors chipping in to help disgraced former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford get his political career on track. So is Foster Friess, a conservative millionaire who bet heavily last year on former Sen. Rick Santorum's failed bid for the Republican nomination and made headlines with his unorthodox views on contraception.
Both gave $2,500 each to Sanford's campaign to win back the House seat that that he held in the 1990s, according to ...Continue reading
Tonight, at Washington's stately Mayflower Hotel, just a few blocks from Sunlight's offices, family and former aides to the late President Richard Nixon will gather to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth in Yorba Linda, Calif. Who knew that it would also be an occasion for campaign finance reform nostalgia?
It was actually Nixon who, in 1971, signed into law the Federal Election Campaign Act, limiting the amount of money that could be donated to congressional and presidential campaigns and requiring that those donations be reported. And ...Continue reading
Big money won big on Election Day. That is, big money supporting Democrats.
In this year's campaign, many wealthy individuals and groups with large campaign coffers were involved -- directly with contributions to candidates or indirectly through outside spending. Sunlight decided to zero in on five mega-donors who gave the most to super PACs backing liberal candidates. They comprise two millionaires, two unions and a political action committee with strong ties to labor:
- Media executive Fred Eychaner, who gave $12 million;
- Retired hedge fund manager James Simons, $7.5 million;
- The National Education Association (NEA), $8.5 million;
- The United ...
American Crossroads, the super PAC run by Karl Rove, has spent more than $100 million.Continue reading
The nonprofit group Americans for Tax Reform is flooding several House races with more than $14 million in independent expenditures this month.
The 501(c)4 lobbying group run by prominent conservative Grover Norquist has spent $1 million in six Senate contests, but its primary focus has been on bolstering Republican candidates for the House. Recent activity by ATR has made it one of the top spenders in a number of tight races, and in some districts the huge purchases have dwarfed all previous outside spending, according to Sunlight's Follow the Unlimited Money tracker.Continue reading
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Deep-pocketed corporate moguls have captured most of the headlines this year when it comes to creative campaign giving, but the working class is showing it can play the same game.
The Supreme Court's landmark 2010 decision in Citizens United gave unions, as well as corporations, the right to spend money directly from their treasuries to influence elections. An examination of independent expenditures by labor unions, captured by Sunlight's Follow the Unlimited Money, reveals an interlocking web of donations to a plethora of super PACs, some of them clearly ...Continue reading