POLITICS
04/25/2012 07:41 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- Secret Donors Dominate 2012

"Nearly all of the independent advertising being aired for the 2012 general-election campaign has come from interest groups that do not disclose their donors, suggesting that much of the political spending over the next six months will come from sources invisible to the public," writes Dan Eggen in the Washington Post. The secret money groups like Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity, and others have launched the first salvo in the general election with giant ad buys and no requirement to disclose their even bigger funding sources.

With Newt Gingrich ready to end his presidential campaign, CNN looks at what the pro-Gingrich super PAC will do with its remaining $5 million in Adelson money. Perhaps it could be used to bail out one of Gingrich's many bankrupt non-profits to put him back to work.

One of the most maddening things in covering campaign finance is that the Senate insists on filing their disclosures on paper and not electronically. Back in the late 1990s they exempted themselves from electronic filing by writing a little loophole into the bill that mandated e-filing for the House, presidential candidates, and PACs. Why is this annoying? Instead of being able to download the campaign finance information as a spreadsheet or in raw data formats you have to download a PDF file that has been printed off of a computer and then rescanned onto a computer often making some pages illegible. It's absolutely outrageous that the Senate still does this and today the Senate Rules Committee held a hearing on a bill to fix it. The bill has existed in one form or another since 2003, but has been blocked by secret holds and other maneuvers emanating from the office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Over at the Center for Responsive Politics, former FEC communications director Bob Biersack discusses the odd opposition to the bill.

One conservative non-profit backing Sen. Dick Lugar in his tough primary fight is using a similar argument that the pro-Romney super PAC made when it was crushing Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum in the Republican presidential primary. Also notable, the non-profit arm of a super PAC connected to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is dropping into Indiana to support Lugar's reelection bid. This could earn back some brownie points from GOPers in Washington after Cantor angered them with a $25,000 donation to an anti-incumbent super PAC.

The Fix asks whether voters who hate super PACs so much will wind up voting against them.

University of Kansas assistant professor Felix Meschke finds that companies that make large political contributions have stocks that underperform.

The Obama campaign is banking on big union contributions to underwrite the Democratic convention, writes Bloomberg.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has a big day tomorrow with a number of advisory opinions to sort through.

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Help us populate our list of campaign videos. Send any notable TV, radio or web ads that you see to Fundrace. Send your submissions to paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.

Committee: Priorities USA Action & League of Conservation Voters
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Mitt Romney: Big Oil's $200 Million Man"
Market: Colorado and Nevada.
Buy: $1 Million.

Committee: Crossroads GPS
Candidate Opposed: Tim Kaine
Spot: "Similarities"
Market: Virginia.
Buy: Part of $1.2 million buy.

Committee: Crossroads GPS
Candidate Opposed: Jon Tester
Spot: "Remember"
Market: Montana.
Buy: Part of $1.2 million buy.

Committee: Crossroads GPS
Candidate Opposed: Claire McCaskill
Spot: "Quote Leadership"
Market: Missouri.
Buy: Part of $1.2 million buy.

Committee: Crossroads GPS
Candidate Opposed: Shelley Berkley
Spot: "Hole"
Market: Nevada.
Buy: Part of $1.2 million buy.

Committee: Republican National Committee
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "A Tale of Two Leaders"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Barack Obama for President
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Mitt Romney versus Reality: Student Loan Edition"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Richard Mourdock for Senate
Candidate Opposed: Dick Lugar
Spot: "Too Long"
Market: Indiana.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Jon Tester for Senate
Spot: "Montana Beef"
Market: Montana.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Scott Walker for Governor
Candidate Opposed: Tom Barrett
Spot: "Taxer"
Market: Wisconsin.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: David Dewhurst for Senate
Spot: "Conservative Businessman"
Market: Texas.
Buy: Undisclosed.

TRACKING INDEPENDENT SPENDING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

These numbers represent spending by independent groups, like super PACs and non-profits, to support or oppose a particular candidate for the presidency in 2012. Fundrace will update this spending daily to help show which candidates are gaining from the proliferation of independent groups in this coming election.

Newt Gingrich (R), $13,017,772 to support, $18,885,161 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $7,548,235 to support, $20,923,379 to oppose.
Mitt Romney (R), $3,317,306 to support, $7,630,170 to oppose.
Rick Perry (R), $4,167,697 to support, $1,404 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R), $3,748,218 to support, $214,158 to oppose.
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,453,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $298,856 to support, $1,071,699 to oppose. (+$54,356)
Herman Cain (R), $501,717 to support, $954 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

The American Foundations Inc., $85,223 to oppose Paul Coble for Congress in North Carolina's 13th District.
The American Foundations Inc., $8,144 to support George Holding for Congress in North Carolina's 13th District.
Jobs, Opportunity, And Freedom PAC, $23,115 to support Brad Mitzefelt for Congress in California's 8th District.
YG Network Inc., $104,628 to support Dick Lugar for Senate in Indiana.
Club for Growth Action, $209,292 to support Scott Keadle for Congress in North Carolina's 8th District.
Club for Growth Action, $171,258 to oppose Jon Bruning for Senate in Nebraska.
Majority PAC, $7,500 to oppose Dick Lugar for Senate in Indiana.
Club for Growth Action, $196,422 to support Richard Mourdock for Senate in Indiana.
Club for Growth Action, $617,848 to oppose Dick Lugar for Senate in Indiana.
American Action Network, $332,614 to oppose Richard Mourdock for Senate in Indiana.
Restore America's Voice, $4,000 to oppose Barack Obama for President.
Americans for Growth, Opportunity, And Prosperity, $5,924 to oppose Gary Moore for Congress in Kentucky's 4th District.
Americans for Growth, Opportunity, And Prosperity, $5,924 to oppose Alecia Dawn Webb-Edgington for Congress in Kentucky's 4th District.
Americans for Growth, Opportunity, And Prosperity, $15,006 to support Thomas Massie for Congress in Kentucky's 4th District.
Restore America's Voice, $50,356 to oppose Barack Obama for President.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative Inc PAC, Hinton, Va., Treasurer: Susan L. Hottel.
Libertarian Action Super PAC, Austin, Texas, Treasurer: Robert C.W. Benedict Jr. (Super PAC)
Liberty Through Grassroots Efforts Super PAC, Marquette, Mich., Treasurer: Brian Charles Peterson. (Super PAC)
End The Gridlock, Washington, D.C., Treasurer: Michael Tucker. (Super PAC)
Nebraska United, Alexandria, Va., Treasurer: Chris Marston. (Super PAC)
SC-07 Fund, Springfield, Va., Treasurer: Robert F. Carlin.
Stonewall Democrats of Ventura County, Oak View, Calif., Treasurer: K. Bradley Hudson.
Winning Our Liberty And Future (WOLF) PAC, Ball Ground, Ga., Treasurer: Destin Chase Murphy. (Super PAC)

Send tips, hints, submissions, rumors to HuffPost Fundrace at paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.

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