AP: Big money: Outside groups spending for Republicans

Written by admin on October 26th, 2010

The Associated Press reports on the record amounts of money being spent on a midterm election.  Bruce Josten of the US Chamber of Commerce is a participant in The Best Government Money Can Buy?.

AP via Yahoo News

The $264 million in outside group spending reported to the Federal Election Commission as of Tuesday already exceeds outside spending in the 2008 presidential year and is four times the outside spending seen for the 2006 midterms. Moreover, actual spending could be far higher because the reports cover only spending on communications. There is no accounting for get-out-the vote field operations by conservative and liberal groups.

The money comes amid a new landscape in campaign finance created when the Supreme Court, in a case known as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission earlier this year, opened the way for corporations and unions to spend money in elections. While that ruling and other court decisions have created a more freewheeling environment, the lack of disclosure makes it difficult to determine whether corporations have stepped up their giving.

Bruce Josten, top lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber, said the business group saw Democratic-allied groups in 2008 pour vast sums of money into TV advertisements and achieve historic successes and decided to “take a page out of their book, learn a lesson.”

“We’ve been able to do what we’ve done because people are angry,” Josten said.

Money alone does not decide political contests. In 1994, the Democratic fundraising advantage could not stop a Republican tidal wave that switched control of Congress.

But is one significant barometer of partisan fervor.

“Money does follow momentum,” Josten said. “You saw that in ’08, and you’re seeing it now.”


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