#1 Super PAC in 2014 backed Democrats

This Super PAC Was Behind 1 Out of Every 20 Senate Ads

That’s the article from publicintegrity.org that shows how much money the Citizens United-hating Democrats got from a Super PAC that utterly dwarfs Citizens United. 

If Democrats lose control of the U.S. Senate, it won’t be because they didn’t fully unleash the powers available to them in a post-Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission era of politicking.

Senate Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC dedicated to holding the Senate, has blasted out more than 40,000 Senate-focused television ads this election cycle — more than any other outside spending group.

For context: Senate Majority PAC alone is responsible for roughly one out of every 20 Senate race ads, including those sponsored by candidates and political party committees….

The group’s core contributors are a cross-section of Democratic stalwarts, dominated by billionaires and labor unions with reasons for making sure Democrats continue to control the Senate….

Nearly two-thirds of the money — about $34 million— came from contributors giving half a million dollars or more… That’s roughly the same percentage as marquee Republican super PAC American Crossroads, though that group has reported raising just more than $28 million so far this cycle, far less than Senate Majority PAC.

Note that this doesn’t mean Republicans are being outspent, just that Democrats are doing a damned fine job of spending:

Overall, CRP expects combined spending by Republican candidates, party committees, and conservative-leaning outside groups to outstrip spending on the Democratic side this cycle.

Note also that it’s not just Rethuglicans taking money from businesses with special interests:

Senate Majority PAC’s contributors each have their own reasons for spending to keep Senate Democrats in charge. Take Sealaska Corp., a southeast-Alaska based corporation created by a federal act and owned by thousands of native shareholders. The company contributed $10,000 to Senate Majority PAC in September.

Jaeleen Araujo, the company’s general counsel and corporate secretary, said Sealaska’s board wanted to support the re-election bid of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), the current chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, because Landrieu has supported the land legislation that is Sealaska’s top priority.

Senate Majority PAC has spent more than $2.4 million against Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Landrieu’s main challenger.

Sealaska is owed lands under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has sponsored a bill that would allow the company to acquire lands outside of those originally designated under the act. Sen. Landrieu is listed as a co-sponsor on an earlier version of the bill. The current version is now awaiting floor votes in both the House and the Senate.

“If you could even understand the effort we’ve had to put into this land legislation over the past four congresses,” Araujo said, adding that Landrieu’s continued support “is just so important to us.”

Araujo explained that she and others called contacts in Washington, D.C., trying to find out which group was best positioned to take a contribution aimed at boosting Landrieu. Araujo said a Washington, D.C.-based board member heard Senate Majority PAC would be a good option. Sealaska said the money was to be used to benefit Landrieu. “We did specify the direction on the check,” Araujo said.

Senate Majority PAC spokesman Ty Matsdorf declined to discuss how it used Sealaska’s contribution, citing a policy of not commenting on fundraising.

And remember when the Democrats were all about small donors?

Senate Majority PAC’s largest contributor is environmental activist and former hedge fund investor Thomas Steyer, who together with his super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, which is primarily funded by Steyer, gave $5.5 million.

Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner, the top donor to Democratic super PACs during the 2012 election cycle, gave $5 million, the next largest amount. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an advocate for stronger gun laws who has spent millions of dollars on elections so far this cycle, contributed $2.5 million.

Unions and groups associated with unions have so far contributed about $12.5 million, with the single largest amount — $2.75 million — coming from Working for Working Americans, a political action committee affiliated with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Trial lawyers, via the American Association for Justice PAC, contributed $925,000.

‎Money means advertising. 

More than 230 candidates, political committees and nonprofit organizations have combined to run about 908,000 U.S. Senate-focused TV ads through Oct. 27, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from Kantar Media/CMAG, an advertising tracking service.

With nearly 45,000 TV ads through Oct. 27, Senate Majority PAC easily bests all other individual super PACs and nonprofits….

Compare Senate Majority PAC’s TV ad sponsorship to conservative nonprofit outfit Crossroads GPS, which has produced about 29,000 ads so far this election and ranks a distant second among super PACs and nonprofits. Conservative, Koch brothers-backed nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, with about 28,300 Senate-focused TV ads, ranks third….

‎For perspective: Only five other super PACs or nonprofit groups this cycle have produced as many Senate race TV ads — across all 36 races in play this year — as Senate Majority PAC has in North Carolina alone.

Got that? 908,000 to 29,000. ‎

‎Democrats should feel good: They’re not nearly the outspent pikers their leaders make them out to be. ‎

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