Shock report: Liberal groups spent more on state elections in 2012 than conservatives

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Do you think the Koch brothers and other super-rich conservatives are the ones spending more money than anyone else to influence elections in states across the country?

You’re wrong.

A new study by a non-profit investigative journalism outfit says unions and liberal groups are actually the ones dumping the most dough into elections through third party groups.

The nonprofit Center for Public Integrity — funded in part by the liberal billionaire George Soros — did an analysis of spending since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision. That case opened up the ability of outside groups to spend freely on elections.

What the report found: in 2012, outside nonprofits and super PACs spent at least $209 million on state elections, but pro-Democratic Party groups outspent their Republican counterpoints by about $8 million.

The authors use last year’s gubernatorial election in New Hampshire to show how such spending from liberal groups have won races. Republican candidate Ovide Lamontagne had much more in the campaign coffers than Democrat Maggie Hassan. But the report points out that the groups with union ties spent nearly $7 million and national unions spent $2 million directly in support of Hassan, who went on to win the race.

“Hassan was propped up and carried to victory by the outside groups,” Fergus Cullen, a GOP operative, told the authors.


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