So far this year, groups that do not disclose their donors, and legally are not required to do so, have reported almost $12.4 million in political spending to the Federal Election Commission, much of it made possible by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.
Some $8.4 million of this dark money has paid for independent expenditures--advertisements, phone banks, get out the vote operations and other spending aimed at electing or defeating a specific candidate. Non-profits organized under section 501(c) of the tax code spent the bulk of the money; under federal law, they are not required ...Continue reading
This Sunday is the 40th anniversary of the break-in that led to President Richard Nixon's downfall. The commemorations this week will mostly focus on the investigative reporting that unravelled the story -- and that now is in danger. That's a concern that we at the Sunlight Foundation share and try to address in the tools we make available to help journalists and citizens be better civic watchdogs.
But it's also important to remember Watergate's other legacy: Two years after the burglary of the Democratic National Committee offices -- by a group of so-called plumbers who were paid by ...Continue reading
Tuesday's contest in California's 31st Congressional District morphed into the biggest outside money spending spree of any House primary so far, thanks a massive influx of funds by the National Association of Realtors on behalf of Rep. Gary Miller.
Late unofficial returns from the California Secretary of State's office show that Miller, a seven-term Republican running in a new district, topped a six-person field with nearly 27 percent of the votes cast, winning a slot on November's ballot. Because of a new California primary system that sends the top two finishers in a free-for-all primary to ...Continue reading
That sniffling sound you hear is not Rick Santorum's supporters bemoaning his decision Tuesday to pull the plug on his presidential campaign but the managers of the Keystone State's television stations counting the ad dollars they have lost. There are 46 of them, according to the Community Media Database created and maintained by Rob McCausland.
So far this year, the race for the Republican presidential nomination has brought a bonanza of ad dollars to broadcasters in states that have played host to early contests, the more so because of the rise of super PACs, political action committees that ...Continue reading
The May 24 special House election in upstate New York is attracting the first slew of outside spending in the current election cycle. Party committees and other nonprofit groups have spent more than $1.88 million on this race so far.
The three-way race between Democrat Kathleen Hochul, Republican Jane Corwin and self-described Tea Party candidate Jack Davis has attracted spending from both national party committees and some outside groups that were the most prolific spenders in the 2010 elections. The National Republican Congressional Committee that has spent more than $424,000 opposing both Hochul and Davis, which is less ...
This week marks the fifth anniversary of the Sunlight Foundation. It is exciting to reflect on how far we’ve come,... View ArticleContinue reading
Fred Eshelman, CEO of North Carolina-based Pharmaceutical Product Development, has given $3.38 million to RightChange.com, an organization taking part in the onslaught of outside spending this election cycle, according to documents filed with the IRS. Almost all of the money going to RightChange comes from Eshelman; the organization is a vehicle for him to air his political views, which happen to align with the GOP's.
The documents also show that, in addition to Eshelman's support, RightChange.com received $105,000 from a group sharing its name, RightChange II. The ultimate origins of that money was not ...Continue reading
The National Education Association Advocacy Fund, a Super PAC which has spent $4.2 million to influence the 2010 election cycle so far, receives all of it's funding from the National Education Association, a labor union—or a 501c6—and also its parent organization. No individual donors are listed.
While one can probably safely assume the NEA's money comes from members dues, this is an example of the ability influential nonprofit groups have to completely hide who funds their political agendas. In cases like this, money is shifted from the parent group to its advocacy fund or action ...Continue reading
As of this writing, Super PACs, labor unions and political nonprofits have reported spending a hefty $336.5 million to the... View ArticleContinue reading
Of the $189 million spent so far by Super PACs, non-profits and labor unions to influence the 2010 mid-term elections, $97.5 million has come from groups that do not disclose any donors, an analysis of Federal Election Commission contribution records shows. That is, about 52 percent of the money spent so far on everything from political ads to phone banks to fliers promoting or opposing federal candidates has come from groups that don't disclose the sources of their funds.*
Of the 218 non-party committees that have spent money on independent expenditures or electioneering communications, only 100 have disclosed ...Continue reading