Super pacs disclosures

OMB Watch notes some figures on Super Pac spending:

Outside groups are spending nearly 1,300 percent more on broadcast advertising for the 2012 election than they did in 2008, according to an analysis released on Jan. 30. This is the clearest demonstration yet that Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has fundamentally rewritten the rules for political spending.

The Jan. 31 disclosure reports filed by independent expenditure-only political action committees – typically referred to as “super PACs” – contained few surprises: super PACs have been raising, and spending, dizzying amounts of money in an attempt to influence the 2012 elections. In fact, these more than 300 “independent” (that is, “not coordinated” with a candidate or political party) groups have accounted for more than 40 percent of all the broadcast ads aired during the Republican presidential primaries, as compared to only three percent of the 2008 ads.

While candidates are vying to attract the support of a broad swath of voters, the super PACs endorsing them are funded almost entirely by very few, very wealthy donors. For example, more than 80 percent of the $17.9 million dollars collected by the super PAC supporting (but not connected to or coordinated with) Mitt Romney’s campaign came via six-figure contributions. Five other super PACs supporting Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman showed a similar pattern. Winning Our Future, a pro-Gingrich super PAC, received $10 million from just one couple.