Political war profiteers: 20 consulting firms churn 80 percent of super PAC cash

In the three years since the Supreme Court’s Jan. 21, 2010 ruling in Citizens United, the super PACs that the decision helped spawn have largely been seen as advertising machines. But an anniversary-eve analysis by the Sunlight Foundation show that they have created a class of super consultants.

Of the $620 million that super PACs doled out during the 2012 campaign cycle, records filed with the Federal Election Commission as of Dec. 6 reveal that 80 percent was spent through just 20 consulting firms. As the graphic above illustrates, a tightly interwoven network of Washington insiders reaped the biggest benefits of Citizens United and subsequent decisions that gave rise to a new class of outsider-insiders who have become a new political establishment.

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