Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 27, 2014

Posts in "Independent Expenditures"

July 16, 2014

Big Checks Strengthen Super PACs

Super PACs collect contributions in unlimited amounts for making independent expenditures, and new disclosure reports show some donors are willing to write a check for a quarter of a million dollars, or more.

American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic-oriented super PAC reported the following major donors: Mark Heising, investor, Medley Partners Management CA), $500,000; Ann Earhart, investor (CA) $400,000; Susie Buell, retired (CA) $250,000; Amy Fowler, author (NY) $250,000; and Phillip Ragon, founder, InterSystems (MA) $250,000.

Friends of Democracy, a Democratic-oriented super PAC reported receiving $500,000 from Jonathan Soros, CEO, JS Capital Management LLC (NY).

Americans for Common Sense, a Republican-oriented super PAC, reported receiving $500,000 from Angelo Tsakopoulos, chairman, AKT Development (CA).

Character Counts PAC, a Republican-oriented super PAC, reported receiving $322,000 from Gary Davis, president, AAT Carriers(TN).

Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, a super PAC formed by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., reported receiving $250,000 from Kelly Dale, homemaker (CA). They also received $100,000 from Louis Bacon, CEO of Moore Capital Management (NY).

West Main Street Values PAC, a Republican-oriented super PAC, reported receiving $250,000 from Michael Bloomberg, president of Bloomberg Inc. (NY).

Full story

July 14, 2014

AFL-CIO Moves $3 Million to Super PAC

The AFL-CIO moved $3 million to a Super PAC for use during the 2014 elections, as well as for its Immigration Activism program.

A new quarterly report from Workers’ Voice, a Democratic-oriented super PAC, showed it received $3 million on April 7th from the AFL-CIO COPE Treasury account and $200,000 on June 30th from the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Pipe Fitting Industry. Full story

July 12, 2014

Super PAC Spends $1 Million Against Kingston

A Republican-oriented Super PAC has reported spending more than $1 million against Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., in his July 22nd Republican Party Senate primary run-off election.

CWA PAC, formerly known as Citizens for a Working America PAC and based in Beaufort, South Carolina, reported it spent $1,031,400 from May 1 through July 2nd, on independent expenditures opposing Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga.

CWA PAC reported Full story

July 10, 2014

Chamber of Commerce Spends $780K for Kingston

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported yesterday it spent $779,116 on July 8th for independent expenditures supporting Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga.,  in the July 22nd Republican party Senate primary runoff election.

The Chamber paid Revolution Agency of Alexandria, Virginia, $779,116 for TV and digital advertisement to run from July 8th through July 22nd.

This brings the Chamber’s independent expenditures supporting Rep. Kingston to $1,415,451 for calendar year 2014. View earlier posting on the Chamber’s May 28th spending.

Kingston is running against David Perdue, R-Ga., to become the Republican opponent of Michelle Nunn, D-Ga., in the November General Election.

July 3, 2014

Court Rules Super PAC Not Quite Independent

A federal court has ruled that a super PAC making independent expenditures was not functionally distinct from its sister committee that was making contributions to candidates.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled yesterday in Vermont Right to Life v. Sorrel. Vermont Right to Life has two state accounts, one for a regular political committee that gives contributions, and one for a super PAC for making independent expenditures.

The Court found that the two committees were “enmeshed financially and organizationally.” The two entities had shared staff and often made joint expenditures. The Court found the two had not been acting independently and thus must share the state’s limitations on contributions to candidates.

At the federal level, hybrid Super PACs may Full story

July 1, 2014

FEC Seeks Answers From Pro-Cochran Super PAC

The federal agency regulating and monitoring money in federal elections is seeking answers from a pro-Cochran Super PAC regarding what appears to be campaign finance violations.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has sent a Request For Additional Information (RFAI) to Mississippi Conservatives, a Super PAC supporting the re-election of Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.  The committee has until August 1st to respond, or the failure to do so “could result in an audit or enforcement action.”

The FEC letter states Full story

June 24, 2014

Millionaires Keep Shoveling Money Into Politics

The flow of money into politics continues with a steady stream of large contributions from millionaires and wealthy donors.

Recent financial reports from Super PACs, showing May activity, disclose several large contributions. For example, American Crossroads, a Republican-oriented Super PAC reported receiving $1 million from Paul Singer, President and CEO of Elliott Management Group (NY); $200,000 from Ruben Martin, President and CEO of Martin Resource Management Corporation (TX); $100,000 from James MacDougald, chairman of Westshore Ventures (FL); and $100,000 from Geoff Palmer, owner, G.H. Palmer Associates (CA). The Super PAC had receipts o $1.66 million during May, and has $4.6 million cash on hand as of May 31st.

The House Majority PAC, a Democratic-oriented super PAC, received $1 million from Fred Eychaner, CEO of Newsweb Corporation (IL); $300,000 from Jon Stryker, architect (MI); $100,000 from the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (DC); $100,000 from the UAW Education Fund (MI); $100,000 from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association PAC; and $100,000 from the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union Active Ballot Club(DC).

The Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic-oriented Super PAC, reported receipts of over $2 million during May Full story

June 17, 2014

Koch’s Freedom Partners Action Fund Registers as Super PAC

A new Super PAC related to operatives of Koch Industries has registered with the Federal Election Commission to make independent expenditures during the 2014 elections.

Freedom Partners Action Fund is based in Arlington, Virginia, with Thomas F. Maxwell as treasurer. The group registered as a Super PAC to raise funds in unlimited amounts, not to make contributions directly to federal candidates, but to make independent expenditures for or against candidates.

The group listed Freedom Partners as its website. Freedom Partners, also based in Arlington, Virginia, is a 501c6 nonprofit organization that “promotes the benefits of free markets and a free society.”  Freedom Partners “awards grants to organizations to conduct nonpartisan issue advocacy and bring these important societal and economic issues to the public’s attention.“ The establishment of a sister Super PAC, which must disclose its donors, is a new step for the organization, which as a 501c6 is not required to disclose its donors.

Full story

June 16, 2014

Super PAC Spends Against New York Tea Party Candidate (Corrected)

Update 4:10pm A Republican Super PAC has spent over $500,000 opposing a New York tea party candidate in the June 24th Republican primary.

The American Unity PAC, a Republican-oriented Super PAC, reported it spent $559,516 opposing state assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., a tea party candidate in the 22nd Congressional District of New York. Tenney is running against Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., in the June 24th Republican primary. During the period April 1 through June 4th, the PAC raised $412,545 and sent $835,497, with $2,353,444 in cash on hand as of June 4th.

The major donor to the Super PAC was Cliff Asness, a financial theorist and co-founder of AQR Capital Management, in Greenwich, Connecticut. Asness contributed $300,000 on May 20th.
Paul Singer, founder and CEO of Elliott Management Corporation (NY), gave $6,514. Earlier in the 2013-2014 cycle Singer gave $2,155,735 to the American Unity PAC.

The PAC spent $559,516 on Full story

June 13, 2014

After Cantor Shock, Independent Expenditures Resume (Updated)

Updated 8:00pm  The day after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary loss, major national organizations quickly resumed making large independent expenditures for and against candidates in the 2014 elections.

Those making independent expenditures on June 11th include American Crossroads spending $461K, the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees PEOPLE spending $652K, and the National Association of Realtors Congressional Fund spending $400K. Other spending included $600K spent by the Club for Growth Action, and $500K spent by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

American Crossroads spent $460,730 on independent expenditures opposing Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska. This included $423,000 to Mentzer Media for TV and media placement; $20,000 to IMGE LLC for online advertising, and $17,730 to McCarthy Hennings Walen Inc. for TV and Media production.

Full story

June 12, 2014

Conservative Super PAC Goes After Durbin

A conservative Super PAC has reported spending over $300,000 on media ads against Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., who is up for re-election this year.

Americas PAC reported it had receipts of $400,000 and disbursement of $383,596 between April 1st and June 4th. The PAC has $22,202 cash on hand as of June 4th.

The only donor during this period to the Super PAC was Richard Uihlein, CEO of Uline Corporation, an Illinois distributor of shipping and packaging materials. Uihlein contributed $400,000 on April 15th. In March, he gave $50,000.

From April through June 4th, the PAC reported Full story

June 10, 2014

Super PAC Donor Gives $585K More, Joins Top Tier (Updated)

An individual donor to Super PACs has given $585,000 in April and May, moving him into the top ten Super PAC donors this election cycle.

John Jordan, the CEO of the Jordan Winery in Healdsburg, California, has contributed $585,000 to the New Republican.org super PAC during April and May. He gave $285,000 on April 24th, and $300,000 on May 5th, which was reported today.

The New Republican.org super PAC was founded in 2013 by Alex Castellanos to promote a positive GOP agenda for the future. Its earlier ads featured former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, R-Fla., and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, R-La. The group received $500,000 in early funding from members of the DeVos family. From May 1st through May 31st the group has spent $248,634 on independent expenditures supporting Monica Wehby, R-Ore., in the Oregon U.S. Senate race.

John Jordan had previously given Full story

June 4, 2014

Super PAC for Campaign Finance Reform Swallowed by Fat Cats (Updated)

A Super PAC set up to work on curbing the influence of big money in politics has received more than a million dollars from a few donors, and hopes to get pledges from other large donors of $5 million more.

The goal of the Mayday PAC was to get enough Americans involved to dilute the dominance of big money from a few.

Mayday PAC claims it raised $1.2 million in amounts of $5 to $10,000 since it was launched in May, with an average May contribution of $82.50 prior to the match. Seven large donors then provided a $1.1 million matching amount.

The PAC received large contributions from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, including $150,000 from Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linked-In; $150,000 from Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal; $250,000 from Chris Anderson, curator of TED; $100,000 from Brad Burnham, managing partner of Union Square Ventures; $100,000 from Fred Wilson, partner of Union Square Ventures and his wife, Joanne Wilson, angel investor, blogger, and co-founder of Women’s Entrepreneurial Festival; $250,000 from Vin Ryan, founder of Schooner Capital; and $100,000 from David Milner. 

Full story

May 30, 2014

Chamber of Commerce Buys $636K in Ads Supporting Jack Kingston

The Chamber of Commerce of the U.S., using funds contributed by undisclosed corporations and business interests, is pumping over $600,000 into support for a U.S. Senate candidate running against a former company CEO.

The Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. reported Friday afternoon that it had paid $636,335 on May 28th to Revolution Agency for TV and digital advertisements as independent expenditures supporting Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., in his race for the U.S. Senate. The ads will run from May 28th through June 17th.

Full story

May 23, 2014

Air Traffic Controllers Direct $800K to Super PACs

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association PAC has reported directing $800,000 to Super PACs during April.

The PAC reported it had receipts of $347,601 and disbursements of $934,485 during April, leaving $1,145,529 cash on hand as of April 30th. The PAC gave $800,000 to Super PACs and $111,000 to party committees, federal candidates and their committees.

The PAC gave $400,000 to Majority PAC, a Democratic-oriented Super PAC; $250,000 to End Gridlock Committee, a Democratic-oriented Super PAC; $100,000 to the House Majority PAC, a Democratic-oriented Super PAC; and $50,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican-oriented Super PAC.

In other filings, Super PACs reported receiving more large Full story

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