September 3, 2004 |
The largest of the Republican independent groups raising money to help reelect President Bush set up shop this week at the Ritz Carlton Hotel -- where top Bush-Cheney campaign fundraisers were staying for the Republican National Convention. "We received a lot of enthusiasm for what Progress for America is doing," said Brian McCabe, president of the Progress for America Voter Fund.
October 31, 2011
Mention "social welfare organization" and the last thing that comes to mind is a group that expends millions of dollars to influence a federal election. But Crossroads GPS, which spent more than $17 million in 2010 to elect Republicans to Congress, claims to be a social welfare organization — which gives it tax- exempt status and allows it to conceal the identities of its donors. Now two campaign-reform groups have written to the Internal Revenue Service challenging the right of Crossroads GPS and three other organizations to 501(c)
November 1, 2004 |
Software entrepreneur Terry Ragon didn't want to wake up Wednesday morning in Cambridge, Mass., and wonder whether he'd done enough to help defeat President Bush. So he and his wife donated $3 million to America Coming Together. Texas investor T. Boone Pickens, a lifelong Republican, couldn't stand to see the millions pouring into the Democratic 527 groups. So he gave $5 million to two conservative groups, one of which was lashing Sen. John F. Kerry about his service in Vietnam.
May 10, 2005 |
From the Los Angeles mayor's race to the race for the presidency, the role of independent campaign finance spending -- money that isn't directly coordinated with candidates -- has never been more important. In the Hahn-Villaraigosa contest, independent spending is at a record of more than $2.3 million, which frees the candidates to exceed the $1.8-million spending cap each agreed to when he took partial public funding for his campaign.
December 14, 2006 |
In 2004, Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth played a highly visible role in the presidential campaign by running ads in key states questioning the Vietnam War record of the Democratic candidate, Sen. John F. Kerry, and charging that "he cannot be trusted." Likewise, the MoveOn.org Voter Fund criticized President Bush, repeatedly referring in its ads to his "failure of leadership." Both operated as "527" organizations independent of political parties.
January 28, 2010 |
Media coverage and commentary have vastly overstated the likely impact on federal election campaigns of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which ruled that corporations have the same right to free speech as individuals. It has also obscured the extent to which members of Congress from both parties had previously opened the door for corporate and union financing in federal campaigns. As associate director for policy of the Campaign Finance Institute from 2002-09, I wrote a number of studies showing the rise of corporate and union spending, via tax-exempt organizations, in federal elections.