Entries in Center for Responsive Politics (3)


Ron Paul’s Campaign Raised $3.3 Million in February

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ron Paul’s inability to win a single state through this election season is now affecting his ability to raise money.

February fundraising figures show Paul raised about $3.3 million for the month, less than the $4.5 million in January and beginning March with $1.6 million on hand.

The Texas congressman’s campaign filed the report with the Federal Election Commission Friday night, four days before the March 20 deadline.

Paul had been a prolific fundraiser. By the end of January he had raised $31 million, placing him second to Mitt Romney among his GOP rivals.

The bulk of the money came from small-dollar donations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan, non-profit research group dedicated to tracking money in U.S. politics.

Paul’s campaign does not have “bundlers,” people assigned to raise large amounts of money for the campaign.

Politico reported earlier this month that Endorse Liberty, one of the large Super PACs supporting Paul was reassessing its heavy financial support.

Endorse Liberty has tried to use online advertisements to broaden Paul’s appeal. But the Super PAC is also running thin on available cash. Through January, it reported less than $61,000 on hand.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Self-Funded Candidates 'Obliterated' on Election Day

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- Despite a large number of mega-rich candidates who funded their own political bids this campaign season, only one self-funded politician emerged from Election Day a winner. 
Republican Rick Scott, a health-care entrepreneur, barely squeaked by Alex Sink in the race to become Florida's governor, despite spending close to $73 million of his own fortune.

Former eBay executive Meg Whitman, however, lost her bid for the California governorship despite spending as much as $142 million of her own money, a new national record. Linda McMahon, a pro-wrestling magnate, burned through $47 million -- more than $90 per vote -- in her unsuccessful run for a U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut.

"This election cycle saw some very notable examples of candidates spending well into the seven if not eight-figure range and effectively getting nothing for their money," said Dave Levinthal, spokesman for the D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign spending.

In particular, self-financed candidates for federal offices "got obliterated," Levinthal said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Is Foreign Money Behind U.S. Chamber of Commerce Ads?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- To many Democrats, the accusation by President Obama and other party leaders that foreign money might be bankrolling some pro-Republican political attack ads sounds both compelling and ominous -- but is it fair?

"We learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign sources," President Obama said last week, referring to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the second biggest spender in the midterm elections, behind only the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

A Democratic National Committee TV ad warns conservative third-party groups like the Chamber are "stealing our democracy" and spending millions in "secret foreign money to influence our elections."

An ad by the liberal group asks, "Where has the Chamber been getting some of their money lately?  From foreign corporations in countries like China, Russia and India -- the same companies that threaten American jobs."

Yet while Obama is trying to tie Republicans and some of their backers to the specter of foreign interference in U.S. elections, an examination of the evidence provides little support for the claims.

"We have no idea if the Chamber or any 501(c) organization as defined by the IRS code is taking foreign money for the purposes of playing politics," said Dave Levinthal of the Center for Responsive Politics. "Saying that that foreign money is actually going toward attack ads or any type of messaging in the political realm, you just don't know. It's speculation and nothing more."

Some funding for the Chamber of Commerce does come from foreign companies and foreign-based Chamber affiliates (called "AmShams") similar in operations of some international nonprofit groups and labor unions.

Chamber of Commerce director of media relations J.P. Fielder said that money goes to the group's general fund and then to the international division, keeping it away from any political activities.

"No foreign money is used to fund our political activities," the Chamber said in a statement, citing the rules established by Congress more than a century ago.

"We are seeing an attempt to demonize specific groups and distract Americans from a failed economic agenda," said the Chamber's vice president for government affairs Bruce Josten of the charges.

"They have not one shred of evidence to back up that baseless lie," said Republican strategist Karl Rove of the claims.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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