Sunday, October 13, 2013

Three articles you really need to read!

From the New York Times:
The current budget brinkmanship is just the latest development in a well-financed, broad-based assault on the health law, Mr. Obama’s signature legislative initiative. Groups like Tea Party Patriots, Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks are all immersed in the fight, as is Club for Growth, a business-backed nonprofit organization. Some, like Generation Opportunity and Young Americans for Liberty, both aimed at young adults, are upstarts. Heritage Action is new, too, founded in 2010 to advance the policy prescriptions of its sister group, the Heritage Foundation. 
The billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, have been deeply involved with financing the overall effort. A group linked to the Kochs, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, disbursed more than $200 million last year to nonprofit organizations involved in the fight. Included was $5 million to Generation Opportunity, which created a buzz last month with an Internet advertisement showing a menacing Uncle Sam figure popping up between a woman’s legs during a gynecological exam.
 From the Huffington Post Blog:
Outside groups spent over $338 million trying to influence the 2008 elections, which was the last presidential election cycle before the Citizens United ruling. A handsome sum to be sure, but one that pales in comparison to the mind-boggling figure of over $1 billion of outside spending in the 2012 elections. In fact, there was more outside spending in the 2012 election cycle then in every presidential election cycle since 1992 combined. 
The second is just how small the number of people doing this spending is. In the 2012 election cycle, 216 people -- that's .00007 percent of the population -- contributed over $560 million to super PACs alone, which is more than one and a half times the amount of all outside spending in the 2008 election cycle combined. Put another way, 216 people spent nearly 11,000 times the amount an average family of four makes in an entire year on vapid attack ads produced by nebulous groups with names like "Americans for a More American America."

  • The top 32 Super PAC donors, giving an average of $9.9 million each, matched the $313.0 million that President Obama and Mitt Romney raised from all of their small donors combined—that’s at least 3.7 million people giving less than $200.
  • Nearly 60% of Super PAC funding came from just 159 donors contributing at least $1 million. More than 93% of the money Super PACs raised came in contributions of at least $10,000—from just 3,318 donors, or the equivalent of 0.0011% of the U.S. population.
  • It would take 322,000 average-earning American families giving an equivalent share of their net worth to match the Adelsons’ $91.8 million in Super PAC contributions.
  • Super PACs accounted for more than 60% of outside spending reported to the FEC.
  • For the 2012 cycle, Super PACs received more than 70% of their funds from individuals, and a significant percentage (12%) from for-profit businesses. 

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