The House in 2012: Dark Money Still Works at the District Level

By: Wednesday November 7, 2012 12:50 pm

The more important point is that dark money does work. It works in the House. SuperPACs and independent expenditure groups wasted historic amounts of money running into a demographic brick wall at the national level. Even at the statewide level, Democrats could withstand the attacks. But in the House, late money that poured into a discrete number of seats had a real impact. Winnable seats turned sour, even in places where Democrats did well.


Was All That Campaign Money Ineffective?

By: Tuesday November 6, 2012 12:30 pm

One big question in the aftermath of this election will be whether the power of big money will be seen as impotent. We’ve heard these stories of SuperPAC money migrating into safe red and blue states at the end of the election because there was literally no time left on the air in the swing states. Billions – yes, billions – of dollars were spent on TV advertising, with no discernible impact.

California Agency Releases Evidence of Money Laundering in Right-Wing Campaign Spending on Ballot Measures

By: Monday November 5, 2012 2:15 pm

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission forced a mysterious $11 million donor to two ballot measures to reveal its secret funding sources today, and the result showed how most of these independent expenditure groups work, mostly through money laundering:

Politicians in a SuperPAC World Won’t Be the Ones to Stop SuperPAC Spending

By: Thursday November 1, 2012 10:37 am

The new report that campaign spending in the 2012 cycle will reach $6 billion has come as depressing news to many despairing over the purchasing of our democracy. Some have held out hope that the sheer numbers will provide a wake-up call to all Americans that something must be done to take this democracy back. I think that’s highly unlikely.

SuperPACs More Effective Downballot Than in Presidential Races

By: Thursday September 27, 2012 8:15 am

Funny how campaign finance is coming back to bite the independent expenditure campaigns in the rear. But this only works when you have a free spending candidate on the other side. That’s usually not the case in downballot races, where resources are more constrained. A Democratic House candidate up against a SuperPAC onslaught won’t fare as well as a well-heeled Obama campaign.

American Bankers Association Creates Slush Fund for Secret Campaign Spending

By: Thursday September 6, 2012 2:33 pm

The American Bankers Association, a trade group for thousands of banks headed by former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, voted to start a legal entity for this federal campaign cycle, adding millions of dollars into an already overstuffed election.

The ABA entity would reportedly donate to existing Super PACs, so that the member banks can keep their donations secret.

Inside a SuperPAC Fundraiser With Karl Rove

By: Friday August 31, 2012 10:22 am

Aside from the death threats to Todd Akin, the insider account of a Karl Rove fundraiser was enormously revealing. First of all, you get an eye into the Crossroads strategy, and since it promises to have $300 million behind it, it’s a heavy part of the strategy to recapture the White House.

SuperPAC Organizer Rove to Speak at Candidate Romney’s Donor Event

By: Thursday June 21, 2012 3:56 pm

This really makes minced meat of our campaign finance laws. Mitt Romney is holding a “Victory Leadership Retreat” this weekend in Utah. It sounds like a fine affair, if your idea of a good time is listening to former secretaries of state James Baker and Condoleezza Rice, Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman, Sen. John McCain, Rep. Paul Ryan, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and a parade of mostly older white men opine on national and world affairs. But among the guests is the head of a leading SuperPAC that’s supposedly barred from coordinating with any political campaign, Karl Rove.

McCain Accuses Adelson of Using “Foreign Money” to Buy Election for Romney

By: Friday June 15, 2012 12:20 pm

John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for President and an endorser of Mitt Romney, has launched a broadside against Romney’s new patron, Sheldon Adelson, alleging that Adelson is using foreign money for his SuperPAC donations to help Republicans win the White House in 2012.

SuperPAC Spending Shifts to Congress

By: Monday May 21, 2012 8:30 am

It’s always been the downballot races that are at risk to a SuperPAC spending surge. We saw this in 2010, when all kinds of money flowed into Congressional and state lesiglative races late in the game, often determining the outcome. Those candidates are not well-known and can easily be defined by a flood of negative ads. We’re already seeing this happen in 2012, where it will almost certainly take place at a larger scale than the test run two years ago.

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