Saturday, November 03, 2012

Latest Dark Money Tallies

The Sunlight Foundation reports the Latest Dark Money Tallies: $213 million in the general election and counting, 81% on behalf of Republicans; 34 races with $1 million or more.

"Back in July, Senate Republicans successfully blocked the DISCLOSE Act, which would have required all organizations spending $10,000 or more to reveal their donors. Now we understand why. Through Nov.1, at least $213.0 million has been spent in the general election by ‘dark money’ groups to influence the 2012 elections. Of that, $172.4 million (81%) has been spent to help Republican candidates, as compared to $35.7 million (19%) to help Democrats."

"As of our latest calculations, there are now 34 races (12 Senate and 22 House) where dark money groups have dropped at least $1 million. In the Senate, the five races with the most dark money are: Virginia ($19.0 million), Ohio ($13.1 million), and Nevada ($11.7 million), Wisconsin ($10.4 million), and Montana ($7.5 million). Dark money accounts for more than 40% of the outside money in Senate races in New Mexico (71%), Nevada (47%), Massachusetts (44%), Ohio (43%), and Virginia (41%)."

"These totals surely undercount the true amount of money these dark money groups have spent to influence elections, since they only have to disclose their election-oriented spending within 60 days of an election in House and Senate races, and following the national nominating conventions in the presidential race. Yet, when we looked at what Crossroads GPS was doing earlier in the cycle, we found that as of July 5, they had already announced $83 million in ad buys – more than they’ve reported in the disclosure window we are able to cover here."

Is this really how we want our elections to work?

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