- 308: The number of outside groups, excluding party committees, that reported spending money on this year’s elections
- 166: The number of those groups that provided any information about the sources of their funding
- $266.4 million: The total amount spent by all outside groups in 2010 to influence this year’s elections
- 27.1: Percentage of disclosed campaign expenditures from outside groups
Wanted: Nightlight to show voters in the dark just who was funding those attack ads
The U.S. Senate should pass a version of the DISCLOSE Act following the onslaught of undisclosed corporate campaign contributions in the 2010 elections, six good government groups said at a press conference this week at the steps of the U.S. Capitol. A version that strips some of the more controversial items from the legislation and focuses on disclosure is a vital first step to protecting the integrity of American elections, said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. Such a measure would require the funders of broadcast ads to own up to their political expenditures. At the press conference, Public Citizen also released a report showing that the amount of information available to voters about who was behind midterm attack ads was dramatically less than in previous years.
Anti-gay organizations spent nearly $1 million to oust three Iowa justices
Three Iowa Supreme Court justices lost their jobs in the midterms after five out-of-state organizations spent $948,355 to boot them from office. The groups’ gripe? They didn’t like a 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.
In DeLay trial, GOP official says corporate money was segregated
Latest news from the trial of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, on trial in Texas on corruption charges: The Republican National Committee committee’s chief financial officer, Jay Banning, claims no corporate money was donated to seven Texas candidates in 2002. DeLay is accused of laundering $190,000 of corporate money during the 2002 elections, but Banning says the money was kept in accounts separate from individual donations.
Democratic donors meet to plan for 2012
Top Democratic funders met this week to strategize on how to counter the conservative money machine in 2012. More than 100 donors went to the meeting, which was a conference organized by Democracy Alliance, an organization formed in 2005 and whose members include billionaire George Soros, a big backer of progressive causes. Among the topics of conversation: what went wrong in the midterms and what to do to win in 2012. What Soros said: Maybe Dems shouldn’t put their money on Obama in 2012.
Midterms may have just tested the waters of campaign finance ruling
It will take more than one election cycle to see how the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will fully play out for campaign finance. Record amounts of outside spending flowed into this year’s midterm elections, laying the groundwork for how corporations and outside groups will operate. However, the millions of dollars of secret money spent by outside groups and business and labor interests could be doubled in 2012.
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