For the first time, Donald Trump is actually getting hit by a strong opposition super PAC campaign.Continue reading
Citizens United is a revolving door problem
Before considering an amendment to combat Citizens United, perhaps there's another approach to limit the ability of well-heeled special interests to give to political organizations that act as surrogates for politicians.Continue reading
Outside spending nears $500 million in Election 2014; Sunlight’s new overview pages break it down
Less than three weeks before Election Day, spending reported to the FEC by outside groups trying to influence the outcome of campaign 2014 is approaching $500 million. Now, Sunlight's giving you new functionality to track it.Continue reading
DCCC and NRCC drive outside spending in the House
What makes a House race expensive? Generally, its national party committees and a small group of closely aligned outside players.Continue reading
Outside political spending = economic boom in D.C.
The politicians may love to hate Washington but guess where most of the money being spent on their behalf is going.Continue reading
Just how big is Cory Booker’s financial edge in Tuesday’s primary?
Cory Booker has had a huge financial advantage to help propel him to a likely victory in Tuesday's Democratic primary for the special Senate election in New Jersey.Continue reading
Health group airs ad backing Obama EPA nominee
The American Public Health Administration has begun airing a new TV ad supporting Pres. Obama's nominee for EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy. It's the first time the nonprofit group has aired an ad backing a specific nominee, according to a spokeswoman.Continue reading
Final look at outside spenders’ 2012 return on investment
The controversy over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of Tea Party groups has put a spotlight on the non-profit groups that played such a prominent role in the 2012 campaign. The groups have become popular conduits for political funds because, unlike political action committees, they do not have to disclose donors to the Federal Election Commission. While most of the groups whose applications the IRS slow-walked were relatively small givers, many groups that did land non-profit status gave big. Check out this page to see the "social welfare" non-profits who made political expenditures in the 2012 election cycle. Because of the interest, the Sunlight Foundation has decided to update the Return on Investment feature we first published the day after the election. This analysis looks at more than 100,000 lines of itemized expenditures made by outside spending groups (super PACS as well as 501(c) non profits) and calculates the amount of money that went toward the desired result on Election Day. Our update accounts for updated filings and amendments at the Federal Election Commission and our own data cleanup. For more details on each group listed below click on the “see ROI breakdown” button. You can sort by general election spending, candidate, support or oppose, and election result.Continue reading
On Wisconsin: Badger State gets no break from political air wars
(Updated Feb. 8, 2:45 p.m. ET)
Conservative outside spending group Wisconsin Club for Growth has purchased at least $111,000 in television ads in support of incumbent Justice Pat Roggensack, ramping up a political ad war in what is officially a non-partisan race for the state's Supreme Court.
The advertisements are set to start today and run at least until Feb. 18 -- the day before the primary election -- according to information gathered from Political Ad Sleuth, a Sunlight tool that tracks political ad purchases, and phone calls to local stations. Steve Scadden, a sales manager for Madison ...Continue reading
Primary Spending Strategies May Have Shifted General Election Outcomes
In the two weeks since Election Day, Sunlight -- along with many others -- have examined the impact of outside money. In competitive House seats we found no statistically observable relationship between the outside spending and the likelihood of victory, and found no evidence of spending impacting outcomes for the Senate either. It's important to note that those who contributed to the $1.4 billion spent by outside groups still matters, though. As Executive Director Ellen Miller notes: "Even if their candidates lost, the influence bought by America's new class of mega donors will remain." Here, we find some indication that outside spending in primary races may have had implications for general election outcomes this cycle. In the competitive races where there was significant primary activity by outside spenders, as compared to a baseline in which parties retaining control of seats they held in the 112th Congress, Democrats over-performed while Republicans significantly underperformed. Furthermore, we found notable involvement by outside Democratic groups in Republican primaries which may have played a roll, while finding little evidence of parallel Republican activity. We looked at the 90 races in the House that were competitive as of September 6th, according to the Cook Political Report (Likely, Lean or Tossup). Of these competitive seats, in the 19 where there was more than $10,000 in outside Democratic spending, Democrats won 17, a success rate of 89%. This was despite the fact that 12 of those 19 seats were previously held by Republicans. In contrast, of the 25 seats where there was over $10,000 in outside Republican spending, Republicans only won 11, or 44%. 17 of these seats had been held by Republicans prior to the election.Continue reading