Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nonprofits, Not Super PACs, Spent More In 2010 Election

So-called Super PACs (Political Action Committees) have received a lot of attention in today's politics. The 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, opened the door for these groups to splurge on political campaigns. But according to a new study, nonprofit groups actually spent more than Super PACs, at least during the 2010 elections.

An investigation released yesterday by the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Responsive Politics showed that nonprofit groups spent $3 for every $2 spent by Super PACs, according to CBS News. These groups actually have a bit of an advantage over the PACs, as they are not required to release the names of their donors as outlined by section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code.

In total, nonprofit "social welfare" organizations spent a total of $95 million during the 2010 midterm elections, compared to $65 million by Super PACs. Much of the spending by nonprofits came from conservative groups, outspending their liberal counterparts $78 million to $16 million. Given the results of that election, those numbers aren't too surprising.

Things are a little different so far in the 2012 election season. The report states that Super PACs are currently outspending nonprofits, though it noted there is a possibility that could change now that there are clearly defined candidates for both the presidency and Congress.

You can read the full story on CBS News' website.

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