Here is a list of everything you need to know about campaign finance from the last 4 days compiled into one thread:
Eight of the top 10 SuperPAC donors are Republicans – courtesy Think Progress:
Ad spending by interest groups – courtesy of Andrew Sullivan:
Conservative Groups Spending Heavily in Bid to Win a Senate Majority – courtesy of the NY Times:
The conservative groups that helped Republicans win the House in 2010 are pouring money this year into an aggressive campaign to capture the Senate, a goal that they consider just as vital as winning the White House.
Already, they have committed at least $17 million to television commercials in more than a dozen states from Florida to Hawaii, in most cases dwarfing what their Democratic opponents have spent. Their plans call for an effort that will exceed $100 million by Election Day, strategists for these groups said, far surpassing their efforts in 2010, a high-water mark for outside money in politics.
Obama Whomps Romney in 2012′s Campaign Cash Grab (So Far) – courtesy of Mother Jones:
Here’s the most eye-popping stat: By the end of March, Obama’s reelection effort had 10 times more money in the bank than Romney’s campaign, $104.1 million to $10.1 million. Looking at the entire 2012 campaign, Obama’s haul is now at $196.6 million, while Romney’s is at $88.7 million. Below, we’ve visualized the January-to-March fundraising totals for the Obama and Romney campaigns, the Democratic and Republican National Committees, and a handful of key super-PACs. One takeaway: Democrats may be dominating the traditional campaign and party cash grab, but GOPers, led by Karl Rove, are dominating the outside-money battle.
Reports show hard-to-track donors dominate outside giving – courtesy of USA Today:
Nearly $110 million — more than half the money raised by super PACs since Jan. 1, 2011 — came from just 46 people, businesses and organizations that donated at least $1 million each. Super PACs can raise unlimited amounts of cash to influence elections.
More than $8 out of every $10 collected during the first three months of this year by two conservative groups associated with Republican strategist Karl Rove, for instance, went to a non-profit branch that does not have to reveal its donors. The two groups have surpassed the fundraising of the candidate their spending will help the most — Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney.
Romney Trails Obama, Bush With Small-Dollar Donors – courtesy of Buzzfeed:
Koch Coughs Up Another $Mil for Pro-Walker Group – courtesy of Washington Monthly:
Among Walker’s biggest backing groups is the Republican Governors Association, which has created an entity dedicated to Walker’s defense. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s enterprising Daniel Bice reports:
The Republican governors’ group has made Walker’s recall contest one of its top priorities.
Under the name Right Direction Wisconsin, the RGA has bought slightly more than $3 million worth of TV time to air its commercials in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, La Crosse and Wausau, according to political insiders.
Obama Sees Steep Dropoff in Cash From Major Donors – courtesy of the NY Times:
From Wall Street to Hollywood, from doctors and lawyers, the traditional big sources of campaign cash are not delivering for the Obama campaign as they did four years ago. The falloff has left his fund-raising totals running behind where they were at the same point in 2008 — though well ahead of Mr. Romney’s — and has induced growing concern among aides and supporters as they confront the prospect that Republicans and their “super PAC” allies will hold a substantial advantage this fall.
With big checks no longer flowing as quickly into his campaign, Mr. Obama is leaning harder on his grass-roots supporters, whose small contributions make up well over half of the money he raised through the end of March, according to reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission. And Mr. Obama is asking far more of those large donors still giving, exploiting his joint fund-raising arrangement with the Democratic National Committee to collect five-figure checks from individuals who have already given the maximum $5,000 contribution to his re-election campaign.
62 Percent Of Karl Rove’s $123 Million In ‘Crossroads’ Fundraising Comes From Secret Donors – courtesy of Think Progress:
A Center for Public Integrity analysis of the two groups reveals that of the combined $123 million raised by the two groups in 2010 and 2011, $76.8 million, or 62 percent, was secret money contributed to Crossroads GPS. That money came from fewer than 100 individual donors — meaning an average donation of more than $750,000.
Crossroads GPS has made more than $1.3 million in “electioneering communications” — independent broadcast ads referencing federal candidates, run shortly before an election — since its formation. While the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as McCain-Feingold) required that groups identify the donors who pay for these types of ads, a 2007 Federal Election Commission regulationeffectively neutered this requirement.
Read the Tax Returns From Karl Rove’s ‘Dark Money’ Group (Donors Still a Mystery) – courtesy of ProPublica:
Nonprofits like Crossroads GPS, classified by the IRS as “social welfare” organizations, are not required to disclose their donors, even if those organizations spend money on political ads. That is why they are sometimes referred to as “dark money” groups.
Yesterday, two campaign-finance watchdog groups again called for the IRS to investigate the tax status of Crossroads GPS. Critics have complained that the group and others like it use the IRS social-welfare status as a fig leaf to be able to hide the names of donors. The IRS says a social-welfare nonprofit, or 501(c)4, must have social welfare as a “primary purpose” but has never defined what that means. Most groups interpret this to mean social-welfare nonprofits can spend up to 49 percent of their money on politics.
It Takes Dark Money to Make Dark Money – courtesy of Mother Jones:
When Crossroads GPS, the conservative nonprofit started by GOP political gurus Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, isn’t dropping millions of dollars on anti-Obama ads, it’s doling out tens of millions more to like-minded groups. “The ATM of the Right,” Politico recently calledCrossroads. Between May 2010 and December 2011, new tax records show, Crossroads gave$4 million to Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and $500,000 to former Sen. Norm Coleman’s American Action Network, among others.
But there was another recipient of Crossroads cash that stood out: the Center for Individual Freedom, which snagged $2.75 million. Among political money experts, CFIF is known for its aggressive legal strategy aimed at toppling disclosure laws at the state level. In other words, Crossroads GPS, which doesn’t name its donors, gave millions to another dark-money group whose goals include fighting to keep dark money in the dark.
Billionaires fall in line – courtesy of Politico:
Casino mogul Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who donated more than $15 million to a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, gave $5 million to a super PAC linked to House Speaker John Boehner in February — according to newly released filings. And Adelson is hosting a fundraiser next Friday at one of his Las Vegas hotels for a Boehner umbrella group that works closely with the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, POLITICO has learned.
Last week, Friess, a Wyoming investor who donated $1.7 million to super PACs backing Rick Santorum’s since-aborted presidential campaign, told POLITICO he intended to support third-party groups backing Romney.
And even supporters of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, like homebuilder Bob Perry and investors Harold Simmons and Harlan Crow, are giving six- and seven-figure donations to super PACs backing Romney and establishment Republican candidates.
First-Quarter Fundraising Reports for Senate | Jan. 1 to March 31 – courtesy of Roll Call…
1Q 2012 House fundraising reports roundup – courtesy of Daily Kos Elections…
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