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Interest-Group Spending Is Up Five-Fold in 2010 Midterms

4 years ago
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Special interest groups outside the Democratic and Republican parties have spent $80 million on midterm election campaigns this year, five times the amount spent at the same point in 2006. Even more striking, the vast majority of the money is coming from conservative organizations, which have outspent Democratic-aligned groups by 7 to 1 in recent weeks, the Washington Post reports.

The disparity apparently stems, at least in part, from a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that removed spending limitations on unions, corporations and other interest groups.

"The outside group spending is primarily being driven by the political climate," said Anthony Corrado, a professor of government at Colby College who studies campaign finance. "Organized groups are looking at great opportunity. . . . You've got the possibility of a change in the control of Congress."

The Post reports that one of the biggest spenders is Iowa-based American Future Fund, which has pumped out $7 million in support of Republicans in more than two dozen House and Senate races. Donors were not disclosed in records the group filed with the Federal Election Commission.

That lack of disclosure aligns with another trend of the 2010 elections, which is that much of the spending is being "conducted largely in the shadows," the Post says. Overall, less than half of donors' identities have been disclosed. In the last midterm cycle, that figure was over 90 percent. Many interest groups are organized as nonprofits, which are not required to disclose their financial backing.

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This is an absolutely deplorable trend, whether the money is comiing from unions, the Chamber of Commerce, MoveOn or Ruppert Murdoch. The TPs should be furious if they really are concerned about corruption in government but, as the right appears to be the biggest beneficiary, I suspect the TPs will display typical hyprocisy on this issue.

October 04 2010 at 1:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pgbrooke's comment

It's only deplorable when it's going to Republicans. When it's going to Democrats it's perfectly ok.

October 04 2010 at 3:36 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

This is disgraceful. Corporate America has bought the government of the US,

October 04 2010 at 11:47 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

Personally I believe it has much less to do with the Supreme Court Decision and is mostly due to disatisfaction with Obama's Promise Presidency and a shockingly arrogant one-solution spending Dem Congress who calls Americans (their employers)names if they dare disagree with them.

October 04 2010 at 10:25 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply


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