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January 25, 2024

Campaign Finance Roundup

Campaign Finance Roundup: January 25, 2024

January 25, 2024
Published By American Promise
Another installment in our series of stories about how our elections are being bought out from under us and all that matters is fundraising and the donor class.

Outside spending on 2024 elections tops $318 million…

From OpenSecrets:

… Is not a sentence you’d hope to hear in mid-January. That’s more than six times what we saw at this point in 2020, putting us on track for the most expensive election year of all time. Advertising analytics firm AdImpact predicts that political ad spending will top $10.2 billion this year. So, who’s ready for yet another year of endless negative ads and fundraising?? 

DeSantis PAC Makes Donations to Iowa Lawmakers Who Endorsed Him

From the New York Times:

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “quid pro quo” as “something given or received for something else.”

A PAC controlled by Gov. Ron DeSantis, Great American Comeback, gave almost $100,000 to 14 different state legislators in Iowa after they endorsed his campaign for president, including $15,000 each to the Iowa State Senate president and the Iowa House majority leader. Never Back Down, a DeSantis-backing Super PAC, has also held fundraisers for Iowa legislators who endorsed him. 

Biden and Democratic Allies Announce $97 Million Fund-Raising Haul

From The New York Times:

And here we go! Between the campaign and two allied committees, President Biden’s re-election campaign has raised more than $97 million in the last fundraising period, putting them at over $117 million cash-on-hand. The campaign claimed that this money shows strong support from voters, but neglected to mention how much came from donors giving less than $200. You know, the type of donation that average people could afford to give, rather than massive donations from wealthy donors. 

Iowa Republican caucus sets new record for state political ad buys: $120 million

From CNBC: 

Starting the year off strong: campaigns and PACs spent more than $120 million on ads in just the Iowa caucus this year, signaling the start of record-breaking spending this election season. Now that Iowa is over, candidates and their allies are immediately pivoting to drop millions of dollars more in the next several primary states. And once the primaries are done, we all get to see ads for the general election! And when that’s done, we’ve got to start fundraising for 2028! It just never ends. 

Virginia House panel advances perennial measure seeking to ban personal use of campaign funds

From The Associated Press:

Today in “how is this not already illegal,” the Virginia House has advanced a bill that would ban the use of campaign funds for personal expenses, such as hotels, meals, country club memberships, and vacations. You know, normal campaign stuff. For more than a decade, VA lawmakers have killed versions of the bill while insisting that they totally, definitely, want to get it passed this time for sure. Somehow, a group of people who personally benefit from the status quo refuse to pass a bill that would turn off their free money spigot. Never could’ve seen that coming. 

The next fight in Tennessee’s campaign finance disclosure laws

From the Tennessee Lookout:

Tennessee is having to contend with yet another source of untraceable money flowing into the state’s elections. Although state disclosure laws require nonprofits that spend money on state elections to disclose their donors, those laws do not apply to nonprofits connected to national organizations. As a result, organizations giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to PACs in the state are able to do so without disclosing their donors, disguising the real source of the money.  

Partisans are Politicizing our Schools

From the Texas Observer:

When you think of a school board election, most people think of a relatively friendly, low-budget election where concerned parents and educators might print out a couple flyers and go door-to-door in their neighborhoods. Not anymore. Apparently having run out of national elections to blow millions of dollars on, professional political consultants have turned to school boards as the next battleground for PACs to fight over divisive national issues. This piece by the Texas Observer details how professional political consultants have moved into school board races in Texas, making hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to education PACs across the state. 

Angry? Here’s what you can do:

Secure Candidate Pledges:

It’s easy to get angry at our elected officials for taking money from wealthy donors and ignoring the issues that matter most to us. And don’t get me wrong, a lot of the time they deserve it. But it’s important to remember that they work for us, and to give them a chance to prove that they’re committed to that ideal. Get your elected officials and candidates to sign the American Promise Candidate Pledge, affirming that they’ll use their office to advance the For Our Freedom Amendment and fight for We the People, not money. 

Donate to power American Promise Campaigns:

American Promise and citizen-powered campaigns across the country are fighting for the For Our Freedom Amendment to eliminate dark money corruption in politics. Support our cross-partisan work and donate now to help give the power back to the people. 

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