POLITICO found nearly 20 business donations during a review of Federal Election Commission disclosure reports, those filed by more traditional political action committees that must reveal their donors and have announced that this year that they will take oversized corporate cash.
The profile of the 2010 corporate donor that can be gleaned from these public donations suggests that the vast majority of them represent long-time Democratic adversaries and former Bush loyalists.
Their reach is significant, as is the speed in which they can change the subject of a political debate. For perspective, a candidate would have to collect 1,251 maximum donations of $2,400 from individual backers to match that $3 million kitty provided by the firms owned by just [Jerry] Perenchio and [Harold] Simmons.
A common bond among most of the corporate donors listed at the FEC is that they are privately owned firms or companies dominated by one personality, which provides some insulation from investor revolts or a customer backlash.
Outside money looks red instead of blue, as the Wall Street Journal reports:
A late effort by Democrats to match record fund raising by conservative organizations has come up short, leaving the party more reliant than usual on the campaign efforts of labor unions.
A key pro-Democratic group, recently created by top party insiders to build a "firewall" around the Democrats' majority in the House, said Thursday it hoped to raise $10 million. That's a fraction of the $50 million that an alliance of GOP groups said Tuesday they would spend to help Republicans in dozens of House races.
"We are David vs. Goliath," said Ramona Oliver, a spokeswoman for the new Democratic group, called America's Families First Action Fund. Founded this summer, it began raising money after Labor Day to help counter Republican fundraising efforts. It once hoped to help protect up to 30 Democratic House seats, but is now focusing on just 18 campaigns, Ms. Oliver said.
In total, outside conservative groups—such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Action Network and American Crossroads—could spend more than $300 million on TV advertisements, campaign mailings and other efforts to elect Republicans to Congress this year. Outside Democratic groups, by contrast, plan to spend about $100 million on those activities. The largest labor unions say they will spend $200 million combined, but most of their focus will be on rallying union voters.