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May was a kind month to RNC, some super PACs, FEC filings show

Monday, June 22, 2015 11:58
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(Before It's News)

By The Sunlight Foundation

Man in dark suit and blue shirt stands at blue podium, about to address audience.
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) meeting.

The Republican National Committee lapped its Democratic counterpart while the House Democrats’ outraised their GOP rivals; super PACs received six- and seven-figure checks, and outside groups attacked presidential candidates.

More then seven months before the Iowa Caucuses and 17 before the November election, filings at the Federal Election Commission show that some of the bigger supporting players in politics are getting into electoral form.

The Republican National Committee raised more than $9 million in month of May according to its most recent filing with the FEC. The GOP’s principal fundraising arm spent more than $6 million, leaving it with $14.7 million in cash on hand.

The RNC laid out more than $150,000 for independent expenditures opposing Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate for president in 2016, including $10,000 for Twitter ad buys, $20,000 for commercials on music-streaming service Pandora and more than $100,000 for Facebook spots for the months of May and June.

The RNC has uploaded five issue ads opposed to Clinton in the last month on its YouTube channel, including one in Spanish critical of her stance on immigration.

Over the same time period, the Democratic National Committee raised $4.5 million dollars and spent $5.4 million, leaving the committee with $7.4 million on hand.

But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party committee that works to elect Democrats to the House, raised $4.4 million in May, outpacing their counterpart, the National Republican Campaign Committee, which raised $3.7 million.

NextGen Climate Action, the super PAC arm of the climate change advocacy nonprofit founded by hedge fund magnate Tom Steyer, raised $5 million in May, almost all of it from one mammoth contribution by Steyer that was the single-largest contribution among monthly filing political committees disclosed in May. Many super PACs, as well as all of the major presidential campaigns, have opted to file quarterly. How much they raised in May–and the months before and after–won’t be disclosed until July 15.

Club For Growth Action, a Super PAC that pushes for limited government and balanced budgets, received $500,000 from Richard Uihlein, the owner of a Wisconsin shipping company. Uihlein has maintained a low profile despite a history of many large contributions to Republican candidates and conservative Super PACs.

Club For Growth has spent $1 million on ads targeting House Republicans over their positions on the Export-Import Bank, which the Club vehemently opposes. The group also ran ads critical of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee last month over the former governor’s tax record.

But Huckabee wasn’t the only presidential candidate to be attacked by a Super PAC. Citizens United, the organization whose successful suit against the FEC over a movie it made critical of Hillary Clinton led to the 2010 Supreme Court decision that opened the door to unlimited spending by super PACs and dark money groups, returned to its roots. The group disclosed spending $140,000 on a telemarketing campaign opposing Clinton, perhaps coming to a phone line near you soon: the campaign runs from June 9 to June 30.

The Sunlight Foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike.


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