Holding Politicians Accountable

Posts tagged elections

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Our elections: a shouting match between wealthy Democrats:

"In early February, Mr. Steyer gathered two dozen of the country’s leading liberal donors and environmental philanthropists to his 1,800-acre ranch in Pescadero, Calif. — which raises prime grass-fed beef — to ask them to join his efforts. People involved in the discussions say Mr. Steyer is seeking to raise $50 million from other donors to match $50 million of his own."

and wealthy Republicans:

A group of major GOP donors, led by New York billionaire Paul Singer, is quietly expanding its political footprint ahead of the midterm elections in an increasingly assertive effort to shape the direction of the Republican Party.

Filed under campaign finance politics elections billionaires

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Center for Public Integrity: How Washington starves its election watchdog

The Federal Election Commission is in trouble, according to the Center for Public Integrity:

  • The commission over the past year has reached a paralyzing all-time low in its ability to reach consensus, stalling action on dozens of rulemaking, audit and enforcement matters, some of which are years old.
  • Despite an explosion in political spending hastened by key Supreme Court decisions, the agency’s funding has remained flat for five years and staffing levels have fallen to a 15-year low.
  • Analysts charged with scouring disclosure reports to ensure candidates and political committees are complying with laws have a nearly quarter-million-page backlog. Commissioners themselves are grappling with nearly 270 unresolved enforcement cases.
  • Staff morale has plummeted as key employees have fled and others question whether their work remains relevant. Among top FEC jobs currently unfilled or filled on an “acting” basis: general counsel, associate general counsel for policy, associate general counsel for litigation, chief financial officer and accounting director. The staff director doubles as IT director.

Filed under FEC elections politics campaign finance

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Roll Call: Want to Run for Congress? Prepare to Ask People for Money 8 Hours a Day

"The dirty secret of campaigns is that unless a candidate is independently wealthy, the vast majority of his or her time will be spent raising money. Those kitchen table meetings with struggling parents and standing up for the Constitution on a street corner soapbox? They’re put on the back burner compared with fundraising for candidates who hope to win."

Filed under congress elections campaign finance

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Los Angeles Times: 2012 campaign set to cost a record $6 billion

"Accelerating spending by outside groups in the final weeks of the 2012 campaign will drive total spending on federal elections this cycle to a record $6 billion, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan research group Center for Responsive Politics.

"That tops the record set in 2008 by $700 million, making this campaign the most expensive in U.S history."

Filed under big money 2012 elections campaign finance

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The period of time that remains is going to be totally supercharged in terms of fundraising. It’s an absolute blizzard. A tsunami. It’s completely and utterly intense.
Democratic lobbyist Larry O’Brian on the flurry of last-minute Congressional fundraising heading into Election Day. Via Roll Call.

Filed under fundraisers Congress elections

5 notes

Conservative interest groups have dumped well over $20 million into congressional races so far this year, outspending their liberal opponents 4 to 1 and setting off a growing panic among Democrats struggling to regain the House and hold on to their slim majority in the Senate.
Washington Post.

Filed under outside spending 2012 elections