A mysterious super Texas-based PAC that received $ 2.3 million from undisclosed donors to air late-breaking commercials for the Democratic representative, Beto O. Rourke, was funded by the CAP, to senatorial majority and aligned with the Senate, made public. Thursday night.
SMP donated the money to the super PAC, Texas Forever, in a way that bypassed the deadlines of federal elections that trigger donor disclosure – an increasingly common tactic used by both Democrats and the Republicans during this electoral cycle who, although legal detractors say violate the spirit of disclosure requirements for the super PAC.
The O'Rourke campaign raised an additional $ 10 million in donations after mid-October, bringing the total amount raised for his failed Senate bid to $ 80.5 million, making him one of the most the most successful fundraisers of American politics. Half of the $ 10 million came from donations of less than $ 200.
O'Rourke's campaign has spent $ 19 million in the five weeks since Oct. 18, and had less than $ 480,000 in cash after the end of his campaign, setting new records.
The many last minute activities to support O & # Rourke in the Senate race highlight the national attention and fundraising base for the 46-year-old 46-year-old Congressman's campaign. while his current opponent, Senator Ted Cruz, still leads in the polls leading up to the elections.
O'Rourke now weighs in for a presidential bid for 2020, but new documents filed by the FEC show that he would start almost from scratch to raise funds for a possible presidential race.
The work of super PACs such as Texas Forever has injected millions of dollars to boost his candidacy and that of other runners participating in the most prestigious and competitive races in the country in the 2018 elections, the most expensive year of the year. history of the United States.
One of the major trends implicating the super PACs of this cycle is the number of super "pop-up" PACs that have been advertising for or against campaigns just before polling day without revealing their donors. Super PACs can collect and spend unlimited amounts of money in politics, but must disclose their donors and expenses.
More than a dozen super PACs launched or paid political ads in a way that allowed them to retain the audience who was spending money to influence voters until the following month the November elections show new documents. Some of these groups were linked to well-known national groups, but others were funded by a handful of wealthy donors.
It was not the first time that SMP, aligned with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) and working for the Democratic Election in the Senate, was the main backer of funds from a super PAC "ephemeral".
Similar earlier efforts in this cycle have been linked to SMP. It was the main donor of Red and Gold, a super PAC active in the Senate primaries of Arizona who were attacking Republicans. He was the largest contributor to Highway 31, accounting for $ 3.1 million of the $ 4.5 million spent by the super PAC to help Democrat Doug Jones win the race in the Senate. Alabama in 2017. In both cases, the super PACs were structured in such a way that donors would not be divulged before. after the election.
The last public reports before polling day had to be sent on October 17th. Documents released Thursday night cover donations and expenses from October 18 to November 26.
SMP declined to comment Thursday night.
Michael Toner, former Republican Chairman of the Federal Electoral Commission, said the super-PACs of both parties were enjoying a "critical hole in the disclosure regime" for super-PACs.
"The general rule is that the contributions received by super PACs and the expenses incurred by them are disclosed publicly, and I think there is a broad consensus on the relevance of this," Toner said. "The value of disclosure after polling day is not as relevant as before polling day."
Campaign Legal Center, which advocates tighter regulation of money in politics, said in a new report that these super PACs had spent more than $ 29 million in the last few weeks of the 2018 election without revealing their donors nor reporting on the magnitude of their spending before the election day.
Many groups seem to have local links, with a district or state-based mailing address, and a name suggesting that local donors have started or funded the group, said Brendan Fischer, who leads the regulatory work. Campaign Legal Center. .
Yet many of these groups that participated in the primaries were revealed after the primary elections tied to national super PACs, linked to the party, which means that they could have given a misleading impression to voters before voting, said Fischer.
"The tactics we have seen use by the super PACs widely use this election cycle undermine the transparency that voters should be entitled to expect from groups spending millions of dollars to try to influence their vote," said Fischer.
DefendArizona, a super PAC active in the Arizona Senate race, unveiled about $ 300,000 in cash before the November election. Then, he spent $ 7.7 million on independent political campaigns for Republican Martha McSally, as shown in the documents tabled by the FEC.
Of this amount, $ 1.9 million came from the Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with Senate Republican leadership. Ken Griffin, the GOP's chief donor based in Illinois and general manager of the Citadel hedge fund, donated $ 2 million.
In Ohio, a new super PAC named MeToo Ohio has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on independent political ads attacking Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown. In the documents filed Thursday, the group revealed that its main funder was Ohio First, another super PAC that had been postponed after polling day and funded by a handful of wealthy Republican donors and a non-profit organization politically active that did not reveal its donors.
The new documents also showed the rush of donors at the last minute to inject millions of dollars into large super PACs supporting congressional candidates from both parties.
America First Action, the super PAC that supports President Trump's program, raised $ 4.8 million between October 18 and November 26. Don McGill Toyota, a Toyota dealership in Katy, Texas, donated $ 1 million. Another $ 1 million came from Darwin Deason, a major contributor to Texas GOP and general manager of Deason Capital Services.
The Senate-majority PAC, aligned with Democrats, received $ 14.1 million over this period, including $ 1.1 million from Majority Forward, a non-profit organization that does not reveal its donors, and $ 1 million from Democratic heavyweight donor George Soros.
The Senate Leadership Fund, aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Reported collecting $ 9.1 million, including $ 5.7 million from his brother, One Nation , non-profit.
The House Majority PAC, the Super Democrat candidate in support of the House, has received last-minute funding of $ 19.2 million, the largest amount ($ 4 million) from the fund manager speculative, billionaire James Simons.
The US Congressional Fund for Leadership, the super PAC of the House of Representatives, has raised $ 14 million, including $ 5 million from billionaire Republican donors, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, bringing the total to $ 117 million. political contributions for the 2018 election cycle. Another $ 4.5 million came from the American Action Network, a sister organization of the CWF, a non-profit and politically active organization.