Facing South

Buying 2012: Nearly two-thirds of House campaign cash flowing to Republicans

As the role of big money in elections steadily grows, the 2012 Congressional elections are on track to shatter all earlier records for campaign cash.

According to data released by the Federal Election Commission this week, U.S. House and Senate candidates raised more than $287 million so far for next year's contests. That's $33 million more than Congressional hopefuls hauled in during the first half of 2009, which marked the earlier off-year record.

Who's winning the Congressional money race? Republicans, so far: 57 percent of the total raised has flowed to GOP candidates, compared to just 43 percent for Democrats.

But most of the GOP's fundraising advantage is thanks to an eye-opening $114.9 million fundraising haul among Republican House candidates, more than 62 percent of the total raised for House candidates so far.

That eclipses the small edge Democrats have among Senate candidates, where Dems have raised $53.1 million to the GOP's $47.8 million.

Here's a chart with the details:


Of course, this doesn't include the outside spending from 527s, 501c4s and Super PACs --  vehicles made increasingly popular by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which loosened rules on how corporations and unions can spend money during election season.

Super PACs -- including comedian Steve Colbert's "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow" -- have already raised $26 million for the 2011-2012 election cycle, according to the Sunlight Foundation.

But 527s and Super PACs are required to disclose their donors, something not required of their nonprofit cousins, the 501c4s, which rose to prominence in 2010. That will continue to make them an attractive option for rich donors seeking to conceal their election spending, especially after the Internal Revenue Service abruptly shut down an investigation earlier this month into whether five GOP donors had illegally failed to declare their 501c4 contributions as gifts.


People Referenced:


re: Buying 2012: Nearly two-thirds of House campaign cash flowin

Shrewd, hard-headed businessmen are putting up a quarter of a billion dollars to influence the outcomes of 470 legislaive races.
With this amount of cold hard cash going into the selection process of public offficals, can anyone believe that government doesn't decisively affect the economy?
This money is not being spent for good government, this money is not direct investment for activities that will directly increase sales, revenues and profits.
These funds are being spent to assure that Congress legislates to PROTECT EXISTING BUSINESSES AND FORTUNES. Business and the wealthy are spending to stifle competition in the cradle. This money is anti-entrepeneurial: influenced by these donors, Congress will act to place barriers to competition and to protect existing businesses and fortunes.
These campaign donations are being spent to short circuit market discipline.
One can extrapolate from the direction of the funding, which party the wealthy investors expect to be most pliable to their will.
If capitalism is actually live up to Schrumpeter's ideas of destructive creativity, we need severe limits on campaign spending.
Let's work as hard to cut campaign spending as some are working to cut waste and corruption in government. IF we get clean elections, that might, just possibly, have an effect on legislation and how government works in our lives.