» Government Ethics and Lobbying Reform

» Money in Politics

» Open Government

» Stealth PACs

» Public Protections

Sign Up

To receive regular updates on our campaigns for government accountability. 

Recent Reports

February 20, 2017 - For-Profit President
February 16, 2017 - The Devil in the Details
January 5, 2017 - Jeff Sessions as Alabama Attorney General
November 16, 2016 - The People Shaping the Trump Administration
Sept. 15, 2016 - The Company They Keep
September 14, 2016 - The Historic Campaign for Corporate Political Spending Disclosure

Outside Money Takes the Inside Track

In First Full Post-Citizens United Cycle, Unrestricted Groups Moved Closer to Eclipsing Candidates and National Parties in Election Spending in 2012

Dec. 19, 2012 — Outside spending in the 2012 election cycle was historic. At more than $1 billion, outside groups’ spending surpassed the total spent by such groups in the four previous election cycles combined. This cycle’s spending came on the heels of near-record spending by outside groups in 2010, the year that the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and subsequent U.S. Appeals Court decision in v. Federal Election Commission lifted restrictions on the contribution amounts that such groups could receive. But, in 2012, the top three outside spenders alone spent more than all outside groups combined in 2010.

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.