Monday, October 18, 2010

The Big Spenders Behind the Scenes

Many political pundits and even the President and Vice-President themselves are decrying the amount of money being spent behind the scenes in the 2010 election. I happen to agree, as I have been concerned about this for about a decade now. Nearly half a trillion dollars, some $480 million, was spent just on 527 committee activity in the 2004, 2006, 2008, and so far in the 2010 elections.

However, look at who and which organizations are spending behind the scenes by examining the contribution to 527 political organizations, otherwise known as "soft money." This money is not subject to the same legal constraints as direct contributions to a state or national candidate.

Fortunately, organizations like the Center for Responsive Politics ( scour the required campaign disclosure statements and publish the results.

Here are the total for the top contributors to 527 committees for the time period covering the 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010 election cycles. Obviously, not all the 2010 contributions are included as the 2010 election is still in progress.

A few things are notable from the table and chart.
It is also interesting to see the contributions by election cycle. It becomes obvious that SEIU is the dominant 527 committee donor. It also becomes obvious of the huge sums spent in the 2004 and 2008 elections, which were Presidential election years.

See also ...

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