With 2014's final recount now in the books, Sunlight takes a final look at our return on investment study for outside groups — some of which can count on a late Christmas present with the start of the new Congress.Continue reading
Outside groups’ Return on Investment: Rove leads 2014 conservative rebound
Sunlight's analysis of outside spenders' return on investment in the 2014 elections. Unlike in 2012, conservative groups got more bang for their buck while liberal supporters faced serious losses.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
Planned Parenthood targets Mitch McConnell
Planned Parenthood has become the latest big-spending political group to try to erode the political base of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., more than a year before his next election.
A new ad that surfaced this morning in Ad Hawk, Sunlight's searchable database of political advertising, paints the five-term Republican as opposing the interests of women. Because the ad does not explicitly call for a vote for or against McConnell, Planned Parenthood's expenditure does not have to be reported to the Federal Election Commission, but a contract on file in Political Ad Sleuth, Sunlight's database for ...Continue reading
Outside spenders’ return on investment
--Updated Dec. 18--
Outside groups spent more than $1.3 billion in independent expenditures to influence the outcome of the election, we now get to see just what all that money bought them -- or didn't. Turns out some of the smart money wasn't so smart after all when it came to making political bets. This year, the pro-business GOP Crossroads fundraising combine and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce weren't as good at picking winners as the labor movement, which appears to be one of the surprise winners of Election Day.Continue reading
Why American Crossroads’ millions weren’t enough on Election Day
American Crossroads, the super PAC whose success in the 2010 elections heralded a new era in big money in politics, came nowhere clost to matching that performance in 2012. Of the 30 largest outside spending groups that backed more than one candidate in the general election, it had the second lowest return on investment in the races in which it intervened.
Despite having the second largest pool of money to play with among super PACs--it spent $104.7 million (only Restore Our Future, the organization backing Mitt Romney, spent more), in race after race it bet on the losing side, with the lone exception of former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who sought to reclaim a spot in the Senate he'd left in 2001.Continue reading
Outside spenders’ return on investment: Capitol Hill edition
Sunlight calculates outside spenders return on investment for congressional races and hosts a webinar on how to use the dataContinue reading
More than two-thirds of outside spending backed losing candidates
Republican-leaning outside groups got trounced in Tuesday's election results, with the biggest spenders getting little return for their investment. Labor unions had a much better track record, with some directing 75 percent of their money--or more--to winning causes.
Overall, of the 1.07 billion spent on the general elections by some 629 outside groups, just 32 percent yielded the desired results, an analysis based on the results and independent expenditure reports filed with the Federal Election Committees shows. We looked at candidates that groups supported and opposed to determine their desired candidates in specific races, and calculated what percentage ...Continue reading
Magna Carta 2.0: a transparency research agenda
Last week I attended the first Global Conference on Transparency Research at Rutgers University-Newark, which brought together two hundred transparency... View ArticleContinue reading