January 14, 2012
When the Supreme Court handed down its 2010 decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, reaction tended to break along familiar lines: Conservatives saw it as an affirmation of free speech, while liberals warned of the effects of lifting restrictions on corporate contributions to campaigns. (The political reaction mirrored the court's own split, which was 5 to 4, with the more liberal justices dissenting.) If contributions are a form of speech, conservatives reasoned, then the Constitution can't permit restrictions on speech by corporations — or unions, for that matter — any more than it can on individuals.
May 7, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Liberal philanthropist and financial guru George Soros is donating $1 million to American Bridge 21st Century, a “super PAC” that serves as a opposition research clearinghouse for pro-Democratic groups, his spokesman announced Monday evening. Soros' donation, first reported by the New York Times , is his first major political contribution of the 2012 cycle. He gave $175,000 last year to super PACs backing Democratic congressional candidates. Soros, whose worth is estimated at $22 billion by Forbes, is one of the most sought-after donors on the left.
January 27, 2012
The U.S. Senatecontest in Massachusetts between Republican incumbent Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren is fascinating not just because it's one of the more competitive races for the upper house, or because it's likely to be the most expensive in history, but because of a strange and unusually honorable deal struck this week by the two candidates. Under their agreement, if an independent group such as a "super PAC" buys a TV ad backing one of the candidates, that candidate will donate an amount equal to half the cost of the ad to the charity of the opponent's choice.
March 14, 2012 |
Alabama Rep. Spencer Bachus won the Republican nomination for the seat he has represented in Congress for 20 years, beating back three primary challengers and an anti-incumbent "super PAC. " The primary victory almost certainly assures him another term. But the narrowness with which he won - Bachus had 59% of the vote with 87% of precincts reporting, compared with the 76% he claimed in the 2010 primary - suggests that the campaign against him, coupled with allegations that he engaged in insider trading, has bruised his standing with voters.
April 20, 2012 |
Washington -- Priorities USA Action, the "super PAC" supporting Obama's reelection, raised $2.5 million in March, ending the month with just over $5 million in the bank. Its biggest benefactor was Amy P. Goldman, a New York-based writer and philanthropist who gave the group $1 million. Comedian Chelsea Handler gave the group $100,000. The pro-Obama group, which has struggled to raise money, nevertheless got more in March than American Crossroads, the heavyweight GOP super PAC that was founded in part by Karl Rove.
January 31, 2012 |
A veritable who's who of wealthy Texans poured money into a “super PAC” backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry before his presidential bid collapsed this month, along with nearly a dozen corporations, new campaign finance filings show. In all, Make Us Great Again, an independent political organization launched by former Perry chief of staff Mike Toomey and G. Brint Ryan, a longtime donor to Perry's gubernatorial campaigns, raised nearly $5.5 million last year. The super PAC spent $4.8 million, mostly in television advertising backing Perry's candidacy.
February 8, 2012 |
A day after former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum scored a trio of upset victories , a “super PAC” working on behalf of the GOP presidential hopeful said it was flooded with calls from donors who wanted to back its efforts. “We've been working at a speed faster than any other day the super PAC has seen in this election season,” Stuart Roy, a political advisor to the Red White and Blue Fund , wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau. “We haven't made a single fundraising call today because potential donors have been the ones calling us.” He declined to say how much money the super PAC -- which raised $729,000 last year -- had received in new commitments.
January 31, 2012 |
Satirist Stephen Colbert's "super PAC" has raised more than $1 million since it was formed last summer, the committee's treasurer said in a letter to the Federal Election Commission. The letter accompanied required financial filings for 2011, which show that the committee raised $824,305.46 and spent $151,521.01 last year. The PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, "would like it entered into the record that as of January 30th, 2012, the sum total of our donations was $1,023,121.24," wrote treasurer Shauna Polk.
July 19, 2012 |
Amid the teeth-gnashing about the gusher of big checks shaping this year's campaign, some liberal activists see an opportunity. A new “super PAC” called Friends of Democracy aims to tap into the distaste voters have for money in politics by making that the theme of their attacks against House incumbents in tight races. “You're not going to accomplish the kind of reforms that are needed unless politicians believe there is a consequence to inaction,” said founder Jonathan Soros, son of billionaire liberal financier George Soros.