[Republicans] take care of big money for big money takes care of them. – 20 September 1931 Will Rogers
I don’t think that even Will would have dreamed that we would one day have something called “Citizens United”. That is the Supreme Court decision that opened the money spigot in today’s politics. There are now dozens of groups both Republican and Democrat, but mostly Republican, that go by various innocuous names that put out much of the mud in today’s politics.
Since these guys can hide behind noble sounding names and don’t have to say what their political bent is it is hard to know where they stand without a program. So I took the effort to track down the top fifteen pacs for you. It is shown below. In case you are interested the totals add up to
Republican – $263 million
Democrat – $48 million
So even though Will’s words are from eighty years ago they are still valid today. Next time you see an ad that seems to be authoritative look them up here to see who is really giving you this “information”.
1 Republican — Restore Our Future — $95,369,101 85% spent on attack ads
Created by former aides to Mitt Romney, this super PAC has turned its attention to criticizing President Obama and promoting Mr. Romney’s campaign.
2 Democratic — Priorities USA Action — $44,579,362 100% spent on attack ads
Bill Burton, a former Obama White House aide, heads this Democratic super PAC, which has not been as active as its Republican counterparts.
3 Republican — American Crossroads — $44,323,976 99% spent on attack ads
This super PAC was active in many Congressional races during the 2010 midterm elections and has Karl Rove as its senior adviser. It has spent money on advertisements opposing President Obama and congressional Democrats.
4 Republican — Americans for Prosperity — $30,800,720 100% spent on attack ads
Backed by David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch, Americans for Prosperity is a conservative issue advocacy organization with ties to the Tea Party movement. It recently began running advertisements expressly calling for the defeat of President Obama.
5 Republican — Republican National Committee — $28,038,239 100% spent on attack ads
The R.N.C. is the national party organization for the Republican Party and raises and spends money on behalf of its candidates nationwide. Its chairman is Reince Priebus. Its spending total does not include about $21 million in advertising coordinated with Mitt Romney’s campaign, or general party spending on other Republican candidates and administrative costs.
6 Republican — Winning Our Future — $17,003,038 24% spent on attack ads
This super PAC was created by Becky Burkett, the former chief development officer for American Solutions, a PAC that Newt Gingrich founded. Since the reporting period ended, the super PAC has reportedly also received at least $10 million from a wealthy casino owner, Sheldon Adelson, and his wife.
7 Republican — Americans for Job Security — $16,457,078 100% spent on attack ads
A nonprofit group with ties to a Republican consulting firm, Americans for Job Security began broadcasting advertisements opposing President Obama in late September.
8 Republican — Crossroads GPS — $9,543,123 98% spent on attack ads
A nonprofit social welfare organization, Crossroads GPS is a companion group to American Crossroads, a Republican-backing super PAC active in the presidential and Congressional races. A lawyer for President Obama has asked the Federal Election Commission to force GPS to reveal its donors.
9 Republican — Red White and Blue Fund — $7,529,620
This committee, founded by a former Iowa adviser to former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, is one of two super PACs supporting his candidacy.
10 Republican — American Future Fund — $6,752,902 74% spent on attack ads
A conservative nonprofit organization based in Iowa, American Future Fund has spent money attacking Democratic candidates for Congress and President Obama.
11 Republican — Ending Spending Action Fund — $4,016,836 71% spent on attack ads
Financed primarily by Joe Ricketts, a billionaire businessman from Nebraska, Ending Spending Action Fund is the super PAC of a group dedicated to reducing the federal debt. Mr. Ricketts had considered bankrolling a $10 million advertising campaign against President Obama earlier in the election cycle.
12 Republican — Make Us Great Again — $3,959,824
A super PAC that supported Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who left the race in January. It is headed by Mike Toomey, Mr. Perry’s former chief of staff.
13 Republican – NRA of America Political Victory Fund –$3,933,069 65% spent on attack ads
The national gun lobby organization has used its PAC to finance advertisements, mailings and other outreach efforts opposing President Obama.
14 Republican — Republican Jewish Coalition — $3,768,770 100% spent on attack ads
Backed by contributions from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and other donors, the non-profit Republican Jewish Coalition is airing broadcast advertisements “to win over Jewish voters who could be persuaded to turn away from President Obama and support Mitt Romney.”
15 Democratic — Service Employees International Union — $3,589,500 90% spent on attack ads
The S.E.I.U., with around two million members, has been a strong supporter of President Obama and has joined with the super PAC Priorities USA Action to pay for advertisements opposing Mitt Romney.
9 thoughts on “Big Money….”
That was a great site. It was interesting to see some of the larger ones were formed for the primaries and not used since.
I don’t agree with super pacs…at all. I think it takes away the common peroson’s voice. I also do not agree with unions giving to campaigns. There are so many in unions who do not agree withthe pocket.
Thanks for the website!
Wow…this makes me sick. To think of all the good that could have been done with those millions that are so easily collected and thrown to the wind. And yet all those same folks scream and cry about the few bucks in taxes that they might have to pay to save our sinking economy and help those in need. It’s downright criminal. There has to be a better way.
Unions giving to campaigns are almost a thing of the past. As you can see as a superpac they gave $3million out of $300 millions. Not too much power in that. Right now about the only voice heard for the common worker is the unions so I have a different view than you do Janette. Have some abused power; you betcha. But corporate money dwarfs them in both regards.
Yeah, Jane. I see how much good $300 million could have done and it also sickens me to see it wasted this way. But what gets me almost as much are the names they choose to hide behind!!
If 3 million doesn’t buy power then why do union leaders waste the workers money? It must buy something for someone.
By law, unions must have the written authorization of it’s members to donate to a politcal campaign or cause. I question whether that actually happens. I was a member of SEIU for several years, and my husband was a 49er. We don’t remember ever giving such authorization. I don’t think a lot of union workers know where their dues go. Maybe that’s their own fault and maybe it’s because union leaders like to keep it quiet.
Don’t get me wrong, unions can be great. But, they can also go astray if they become too powerful and lose sight of their original purpose…which is listening to and protecting workers. My school clerical union dropped SEIU because of high dues and little action on our behalf. We formed a group with a lawyer and a committee of representatives who negotiated on our behalf. Dues were lower, results were better.
Just my thoughts on the subject. Thanks for listening.
Jane, I didn’t mean to say $3 million didn’t buy power but compared to the overall spending by the power brokers it is minuscule. I agree with you that some unions are not well run and some probably abuse power. But without unions it is very hard for workers’ voices to be heard. We know for the last 30 years corporate profits have continued to rise while workers pay is actually dropping. I think a big reason for that is the loss of power by the workers. If they had the power they had 30 years ago they would be getting a larger share of the profits and the middle class would be growing instead of shrinking. Instead it is going to the upper 1% now and they have much more than they need already.
I don’t recall that worker power 30 years ago. About 37 years ago, I was laid off from Ma Bell and I was a union member. About 30 years ago I was a computer programmer in NYC, living in NJ because I could not afford NY. I know I do not have any ‘power’ today (I am way too aware of this) as a worker but I don’t recall having any power as an employee, ever.
Scott, I am sorry to hear that you believe you have been powerless throughout your work career. Maybe I didn’t go back far enough as 1982 was about the time everything was starting to unravel. It started with Reagan and the air traffic controllers union. Maybe I should have said 40 years ago.
I too worked for AT&T for many years. When the IBEW union got extended benefits including enhanced healthcare, employee stock plans, and general salary increases I was fortunate enough, even though I wasn’t union, to reap the benefits of those negotiations. I too lived in NJ after my job was moved there.
But when my division was sold to a Far East company all those things ceased and I too was laid off after I had trained my Asian replacement who was making less than half what I did.
We seem to have a lot in common even though we might view the same things differently. Interesting world isn’t it??
Did you notice how many of the above super pacs have spent no money during this part of the election cycle?
RJ- I was a union member for most of the 80’s/90’s. I did not have a vote or say in how my union money was spent when it came to national or even state elections. I was told what was best for me. Same as my father in law—plumbers union for 40 years—from 1949 on.
Yes Janette, about 10% was spent during the Republican primaries (6,9,12). I am not saying that unions are any better then corporations in that don’t get the members/employees permission to spend money. But what I am saying that you and especially your father-n-law gained advantages from union membership. Do you imagine that your employers would have just given you raises out of the goodness of their hearts without someone twisting their arms. Knowing you I would never believe you would be that naive. If that were true then why have they stopped giving raises today or even for the last decade? Unions like everyone else did some stupid things but they also did some good.