Bloomberg reports on an aspect of the recent Supreme Court decision allowing for unlimited campaign spending by corporations without having to identify themselves.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the top business lobby, plans to spend $75 million on the elections and is leading the advertising spree for Republicans. Another group, Crossroads GPS, and its sister organization, American Crossroads, expect to spend $52 million. Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush’s chief political strategist, advises and raises money for that pair, which have brought in $32 million so far.
Targeting Senate Races
The groups are mainly targeting Senate races, reports to the FEC show.
Because the chamber is a trade group and the others, such as Crossroads GPS, are organized as nonprofit issue groups, they don’t have to report donors. They can also take unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and individuals.
“We can see for ourselves how destructive to our democracy this can become,” President Barack Obama said in his Sept. 18 weekly address, the second in a month to take on the issue. “We see it in the flood of deceptive attack ads sponsored by special interests using front groups.”
Obama is pushing a proposal, so far blocked by Republicans in Congress, to make such groups disclose their donors.
The organizations reported their spending because their ads mentioned candidates within a certain window before an election, and the $5 million figure excludes spending that was clearly intended only for primaries. The group also includes former Republican Senator Norm Coleman’s American Action Network and Americans for Prosperity, whose sister foundation is headed by David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc.