Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Barbara Holzer, Broadcast Manager
w. (202) 588-7716
bholzer@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

Ben Somberg, Press Officer (regulatory matters)
w. (202) 588-7742
bsomberg@citizen.org, Twitter

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

Nov. 3, 2010

Winning Candidates Rode a Wave of Spending by Outside Groups

Public Citizen Analysis Breaks Down Spending in 74 Races in Which Power Changed Hands
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Outside groups put their money behind the winners in 58 of the 74 races in which power changed hands Tuesday, according to a new Public Citizen analysis.

 In only 14 contests did the loser benefit more from spending by outside groups, said the analysis, which looked only at those races in which a winner had been projected by CNN as of 7:30 a.m. today.

Winning candidates in elections in which power changed hands were aided by average spending of $764,326 to help their cause while losing candidates were aided by average spending of $273,268, a ratio of nearly 2.8 to 1. The analysis deemed outside spending as aiding candidates if it either praised them or criticized their opponents and does not include outside spending for primaries. Spending by party committees and traditional political action committees (PACs) also was not included.

“This election showed the power of front groups using massive, secret contributions from corporations and wealthy individuals,” said David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “We can expect much more of the same in 2012. Our democracy is seriously threatened when a small group of powerful elites wield so much influence over elections.”
 
 The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission opened the way for corporations to spend unlimited amounts to influence elections. Public Citizen is pushing for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision, as well as several legislative responses.

 “It will take years to undo the damage from Citizens United, but the Senate can start right away with a simple step that the vast majority of Americans support - requiring better disclosure of election spending,” said Arkush.

 Public Citizen’s election analysis includes charts that break down spending by outside groups for each of the candidates in the 74 races reviewed.

Additional information is available at http://www.citizen.org/stealthpacs.

Copyright © 2014 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

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.