The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed modern politics. It made an unmistakeable effect on the ability for secretive and unaccountable groups and organizations to push their interests, as well as opened the floodgates for unlimited spending and helped spur the creation of super PACs. Check out below the milestones of the money and politics landscape since the Court’s ruling in January 2010.
The timeline covers four categories: Courts (major court rulings and cases), Disclose (legislation around greater disclosure of political contributions and spending), Super PACs (trend and news for independent expenditure only committees) and FEC (decisions made by the Federal Election Commission).
Hey, I think it’s election season, and you know what that means. It’s time to dig into campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission. The Washington Post gives you a view into the amount of money raised and spent in both camps, where it’s coming from and where it’s going. They start with the high-level aggregates, and as you scroll down, you get the time series, followed by the breakdowns for money raised.
Closing in on the upcoming party conventions, super PACs appear to have lost some of their steam in attracting the big bucks. The big guns of political ad spending took in $30 million during July, reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission show. That’s $25 million less than the previous month. In all, super PACs have raised $343 million since Jan.1, 2011, the beginning of this campaign cycle.
The top donors include names now familiar as repeat super PAC underwriters, along with a few newbies. Among the eight donors who write seven-figure checks last month are three corporate donors and one left leaning nonprofit.
For Mitt Romney, the magic number is $158 million. That’s how much he’ll have to outraise President Barack Obama over the last four months of the campaign to surpass the president, the record holder for campaign fundraising.
Obama’s advantage has been lost in media reports highighting the Republican nominee’s $106 million June haul. Even Obama’s campaign, including the president himself, has downplayed its financial advantage when it warns of being outspent by Romney and the Republican National Committee. For that to happen, Romney would have to best Obama by $39.5 million a month for each of the last four months of the campaign, which is $5 million more than the advantage Romney had in June.
An analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosure reports starting when Obama and Romney formally disclosed their candidacies running through the end of May 2012, and adding in totals the campaigns have announced for June, shows that Obama and his affiliated groups have raised $552.5 million, compared to Romney’s $394.9 million.
Us v. them, in one bar chart.
The final push for campaign checks is in full swing, with Mar. 31 marking the end of the first quarter. That’s when campaigns have to close their books and, within 15 days, report the contributions they received to the Federal Election Commission.
Based on the invitations we have received so far, there are at least 500 fundraisers planned this month, the busiest month for such events since September 2010, which was just before the mid-term elections.