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Aug 17 2012

Conservative Third Party Groups Spending Big

ProPublica, a non-profit news organization that does incredibly good investigative journalism, has an article about two major conservative 501(c)(4) groups — Americans for Prosperity and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS — spending more than all the Super PACs combined in the presidential race so far.

Two conservative nonprofits, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, have poured almost $60 million into TV ads to influence the presidential race so far, outgunning all super PACs put together, new spending estimates show.

These nonprofits, also known as 501(c)(4)s or c4s for their section of the tax code, don’t have to disclose their donors to the public.

The two nonprofits had outspent each of the other types of outside spending groups in this election cycle, including political parties, unions, trade associations and political action committees, a ProPublica analysis of data provided by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, or CMAG, found.

Super PACs, which do have to report their donors, spent an estimated $55.7 million on TV ads mentioning a presidential candidate, CMAG data shows. Parties spent $22.5 million.

I’d be very interested in finding out how much similar groups, like the American Future Fund, are spending on downticket races, where a few million dollars in spending will make a much bigger difference than in the presidential race.

4 comments

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  1. 1
    theschwa

    Since suggesting a law/reg that lets us know who is financing these things will never get thru based on common good/common sense, couldn’t the GOP’s fear tactics be used against them? Couldn’t someone say “Hey, I think there are foreign terrorists financing elections/making contributions! We better list EVERY donor, just to be sure.”

  2. 2
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    @theschwa, #1:

    Nonexistent voter fraud is a problem that must be combated by law even at the cost of disenfranchising thousands of people

    Buying elections through campaign donations is democracy in action God bless the USA! USA! USA! USA!

  3. 3
    Reginald Selkirk

    Obviously, spending these huge amounts on political advertising is not an effective way of stimulating the general economy.

  4. 4
    Pierce R. Butler

    Since when do Republican fronts/factions count as “third parties”?

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