The GOP’s Shadow Campaign Finance Network

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Randy Barrett (202) 481-1256 or Steve Carpinelli (202) 481-1225

The GOP’s Shadow Campaign Finance Network

WASHINGTON - Outside groups allied with the GOP and the Democratic Party are poised to spend an estimated $500 million on the mid-term elections, according to an investigation of key political money sources by the Center for Public Integrity.

The deluge of money comes in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling which opened the door for corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums on ads and other campaign activities that can directly call for the election of individual candidates.

Center reporter Peter H. Stone explores how a network of GOP groups, encouraged by Republican consultants Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, are coordinating many of their ad and other efforts and seizing the lead in the money chase by hitting up super rich conservatives and companies. Key targets: Companies in the financial services, healthcare and energy sectors upset about new regulations enacted by the Democrats.

Through interviews with many leaders of independent GOP groups, fundraising sources, and election data, Stone shows how both new and older groups, such as American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, respectively, are raising and spending tens of millions in largely anonymous donations. The money is being spent on TV ads and get-out-the-vote efforts to help dozens of Republican congressional candidates.

The Chamber, the American Future Fund, and the Business Industry Political Action Committee said they intend to spend at least double what they did in the last elections - a figure that could go as high as $100 million. Paul Singer, the founder and CEO of the $17 billion hedge fund Elliott Management, has given a seven figure check to Crossroads GP, a GOP-supporting group that doesn't have to disclose its donors.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the AFL-CIO, and the Service Employees International Union, are plotting a counter strategy. They are hiking their budgets, polishing their famous "ground game" tactics, and expanding cooperative efforts of their own to avoid a debacle in November. The three unions combined are aiming to spend more than $150 million, Stone reports.

Despite these defensive efforts, it's expected that GOP-allied groups will likely outspend their Democratic foes by more than 30 percent.

Read and link to the Center story, "Campaign Cash: The Independent Fundraising Gold Rush Since ‘Citizens United' Ruling."

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The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world.

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