This Week in Dark Money

A quick look at the week that was in the world of political dark money

the money shot

 

quote of the week

“If [Republicans] win in November, we won’t recognize the America they’ll create.”
A fundraising plea from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which previously warned big donors to “wake up” and start giving to super-PACs, decrying the “hundreds of millions in Citizens United corporate dollars” flooding into the 2012 election.

 

attack ad of the week

Planned Parenthood’s super-PAC has spent $1.8 million on a new ad hitting back at Mitt Romney over his hostility toward the group. The spot, titled “Mitt Romney Would Turn Back the Clock on Women’s Health,” will run in Ohio and Virginia, according to the group. (Romney has said that as president he would slash Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, but the ad takes a clip of him out of context to suggest he would “get rid of” the organization altogether.)

 

Chart of the Week

It’s too big to cram onto this page, but head over to the Texas Tribune for a great visualization of the Lone Star State’s deep-pocketed donors funding some of the country’s biggest super-PACs. Topping the chart: billionare businessman (and “Dallas’ most evil genius”) Harold Simmons, whose favorite super-PAC (to the tune of $11 million) is Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, and Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, who’s given $8.75 million to the pro-Romney Restore Our Future, among other groups.

 

stat of the weeK

$570,000: The minimum amount raised by the Coalition of Americans for Political Equality, a super-PAC run by a former Arizona GOP county chair that put up a series of websites disguised as candidate homepages in an apparent effort to trick prospective donors. After the National Journal reported on the websites last Sunday the super-PAC’s front sites briefly disappeared, but the group chalked it up to a GoDaddy outage. NJ snapped some screenshots just in case (note the disclaimer in the top-right corner):

 

more must-reads

• The dark-money group attacking Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), revealed. ProPublica
• “Changing corporations, not the Constitution, is the key to a fairer post-Citizens United world.” Democracy Journal
• Milllions of dollars from outside spending groups have flooded into the presidential race, but House candidates may have more reason to fear the groups. Center for Public Integrity
• Mitt Romney still hasn’t disclosed all of his, but the New York Times has a list of President Obama’s biggest bundlers.

More MotherJones reporting on Dark Money

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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