POLITICS
04/14/2014 03:32 pm ET Updated Apr 14, 2014

Green Groups Join Forces To Direct Donor Dollars To Pro-Environment Candidates

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- The League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund announced Monday that they are joining forces on a multimillion-dollar electoral effort.

The goal of the initiative, which they're calling LeadingGreen, is to drive $5 million in direct campaign contributions to pro-environment candidates in 2014.

The League of Conservation Voters has traditionally pointed donors to individual candidates that it is supporting through its GiveGreen program. LeadingGreen would expand on that program with the support of the NRDC Action Fund.

The league has already raised nearly $3 million for 16 Senate and House candidates in this year's election, according to the group's website. The biggest recipient of those funds so far is Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who has brought in just over $260,000 through GiveGreen. Overall, GiveGreen raised $2 million for candidates in 2012 and $1 million in 2010.

Among national environmental groups, the League of Conservation Voters is the biggest electoral spender, between the GiveGreen contributions and its own spending on behalf of candidates. In 2012, the group spent $14 million on independent electoral expenditures -- a significant increase from the $5.5 million it spent in 2010.

The NRDC Action Fund has also directed potential donors to candidates in previous elections. In 2012, the group's supporters gave $3.9 million directly to candidates.

The two groups said in a press release that their combined effort will "unite top donors and influencers at the intersection of policy and politics to maximize their policy engagement and political leverage on climate change." They also said they plan to organize donor summits to "develop a unified strategy heading into each election cycle."

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