Posts tagged money in politics

Follow the money from big Dem donors to super PACs to races

Big money won big on Election Day. That is, big money supporting Democrats.
In this year’s campaign, many wealthy individuals and groups with large campaign coffers were involved — directly with contributions to candidates or indirectly through outside spending. Sunlight decided to zero in on five mega-donors who gave the most to super PACs backing liberal candidates.

Check out the House and Presidential races.

Follow the money from big Dem donors to super PACs to races

Big money won big on Election Day. That is, big money supporting Democrats.

In this year’s campaign, many wealthy individuals and groups with large campaign coffers were involved — directly with contributions to candidates or indirectly through outside spending. Sunlight decided to zero in on five mega-donors who gave the most to super PACs backing liberal candidates.

Check out the House and Presidential races.

Just How Small Is the Super-PAC Gazillionaire Club?

The 2012 elections are on track to be the nastiest in recent memory. By the tail end of primary season, in May, 70 percent of all presidential campaign ads were negative, up from a mere 9 percent at the same point in 2008. The culprits for this spike in attack ads were super-PACs and shadowy nonprofits, which together dominate the growing universe of outside political groups poised to spend billions of dollars this election season.

Now a new report from the liberal think tank Demos and the nonpartisan US Public Interest Research Group has revealed how what has beencalled a “tsunami of slime” is funded by a tiny cadre of wealthy donors.

Per Bluman v. FEC, Romney should be disqualified as a candidate for taking money from foreign donors on foreign soil.

But don’t take my word for it.

Let’s ask the Supreme Court and their 9-0 decision in Bluman v. Federal Election Commission:

(a) Prohibition

It shall be unlawful for —

(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make —

(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;

(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or

(C) an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 434(f)(3)of this title); or

(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph 

(A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.

2 U.S.C. § 441e(a).[fn2] The statute continues to define “foreign national” to include all foreign citizens except those who have been admitted as lawful permanent residents. Id. § 441e(b).

The average member of the House of Representatives has to raise $367 for every hour they’re supposedly serving their constituents to pay for their re-election campaigns. The average senator needs to wrangle $819 per hour.
Chronicling a four-decade fight over campaign finance, and how American politics is fueled by secret spending.

For decades, the campaign finance wars have pitted two ideological foes against each other: one side clamoring to dam the flow while the other seeks to open the floodgates. The self-styled good-government types believe that unregulated political money inherently corrupts. A healthy democracy, they say, needs robust regulation—clear disclosure, tough limits on campaign spending and donations, and publicly financed presidential and congressional elections. The dean of this movement is 73-year-old Fred Wertheimer, the former president of the advocacy outfit Common Cause, who now runs the reform group Democracy 21.
On the other side are conservatives and libertarians who consider laws regulating political money an assault on free markets and free speech. They want to deregulate campaign finance—knock down spending and giving limits and roll back disclosure laws. Their leaders include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), conservative lawyer James Bopp Jr., and former FEC commissioner Brad Smith, who now chairs the Center for Competitive Politics, which fights campaign finance regulation.

“Follow the Dark Money.” — Andy Kroll, Mother Jones
More from Mother Jones

Chronicling a four-decade fight over campaign finance, and how American politics is fueled by secret spending.

For decades, the campaign finance wars have pitted two ideological foes against each other: one side clamoring to dam the flow while the other seeks to open the floodgates. The self-styled good-government types believe that unregulated political money inherently corrupts. A healthy democracy, they say, needs robust regulation—clear disclosure, tough limits on campaign spending and donations, and publicly financed presidential and congressional elections. The dean of this movement is 73-year-old Fred Wertheimer, the former president of the advocacy outfit Common Cause, who now runs the reform group Democracy 21.

On the other side are conservatives and libertarians who consider laws regulating political money an assault on free markets and free speech. They want to deregulate campaign finance—knock down spending and giving limits and roll back disclosure laws. Their leaders include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), conservative lawyer James Bopp Jr., and former FEC commissioner Brad Smith, who now chairs the Center for Competitive Politics, which fights campaign finance regulation.

“Follow the Dark Money.” — Andy Kroll, Mother Jones

More from Mother Jones