Today is third-quarter Federal Election Commission filing day, which means it’s the last day for candidates and political committees to report their hauls (and
Today is third-quarter Federal Election Commission filing day, which means it’s the last day for candidates and political committees to report their hauls (and the donors behind them) to the FEC before the November 2 elections. Between now and then, committees will be required to file 24-hour reports indicating how much money they spend on any new campaign advertisements, but that’s it.
Most of the reports filed at the last minute today won’t be available online until sometime over the weekend, but the Sunlight Foundation takes a bird’s-eye view of spending so far and notes that of the more than $200 million already spent on independent expenditures in this election cycle, a solid majority of it is being laid out by independent groups as opposed to the traditional political committees. This varies greatly even from 2006, when party committees like the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee still dominated the picture, as you can see clearly in the graphic provided by Sunlight:
This decline in the influence of the traditional political committees is probably one of the most notable effects of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Campaign finance legislation sponsored nearly a decade ago by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) prevented the parties from raising unlimited “soft money” contributions, but recent court rulings in the wake of Citizens United have allowed PACs to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money as long as they promise to do so independently from candidates and political parties. And as the popular levers of raising and spending money have shifted, the traditional avenues of power and influence have been upended.
That’s not to say, of course, that the parties no longer wield a lot of power. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee all still rank in the top 10 for independent expenditure outlays among outside groups, and they also still enjoy special privileges — like coordinating with and donating directly to candidates — that the new Super PACs, as they are known, do not.
Also of note is the fact that conservative-leaning groups are outstripping liberal leaning groups in surpassing the traditional party committees by a wide margin. It’s hard to say whether liberal outside groups are behind the curve in forming 501(c)(4)s and Super PACs, unable to raise the same kind of money from wealthy donors as conservatives have done during this cycle, or taking a principled stand against the breakdown in campaign finance law, but it will be interesting to see how they react and regroup following the midterm elections.
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
Army Data Shows Constraints on Troop Increase Potential
If President Obama orders an additional 30,000 to 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, he will be deploying practically every available U.S. Army brigade to war, leaving few units in reserve in case of an unforeseen emergency and further stressing a force that has seen repeated combat deployments since 2002.
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
1. Lindsey Graham
Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.