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 21, 2012 |
Billionaire political patrons filled the coffers of the presidential "super PACs" last month, spotlighting once again the enormous influence a tiny cadre of wealthy donors is having on the 2012 race. The biggest donations came from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his family, who pumped an additional $5.5 million into the pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future in February - 95% of the money the group raised, according to documents filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.
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.
February 3, 2012 |
President Obama's first campaign ad of 2012 decried "secretive billionaires attacking" him through conservative nonprofit groups that do not reveal their contributors. But two Democratic nonprofit groups that do not disclose their donors made payments last year to their affiliated "super PACs," a tactic that can be used to undermine transparency. Priorities USA Action, a group started by two former Obama White House aides, accepted $215,000 from its tax-exempt arm, Priorities USA, for "operating expenses," according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.
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.