One report circulating among Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill last week estimated that more than $300 million has been budgeted for the campaign by a group of 15 conservative tax-exempt organizations.See also a Mother Jones piece on corporations in the post-Citizens United world.
"A commitment of $300 million from just 15 organizations is a huge amount, putting them in record territory for groups on the right or left," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign contributions. "With control of Congress hanging in the balance, this kind of spending could have a major impact."
The money's power is magnified because it will be concentrated in a relatively small number of swing states and districts. Of the 435 House and 37 Senate seats at issue in November, about 100 House seats and 18 in the Senate are considered competitive.
The conservative fundraising commitment has stunned Democrats.
"It's raising the alarm bell," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which spent $177 million in all of 2008 for congressional races.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Alarm Among Dems at Independent GOP Efforts
Tom Hamburger reports at The Los Angeles Times: