05/23/2012 06:42 pm ET


Super PACs raised less money in April as Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich departed from the stage. HuffPost reports: "Contributions to super PACs fell in April from the month before as the Republican presidential primary race ended. The unlimited money political committees that report finances monthly -- many super PACs only file every three months -- raised $12.4 million in April, $10 million less than either March or February, and down nearly $20 million from January. The drop in super PAC fundraising shows how the new fundraising committees have settled on pseudo-independent roles supporting one candidate for election. Super PACs came into existence after after two court decisions, including the U.S. Supreme Court with its Citizens United ruling, freed corporations, unions, and individuals from many campaign finance restrictions. Contributions to super PACs that backed Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who suspended their presidential campaigns last month, made up more than 70 percent of the difference between super PAC contributions in April and those in each of the first three months of 2012."

Contributions may have dropped in April, but the preeminence of mega-donors continued: "Super PACs remained largely the province of wealthy Americans in April. Individuals gave $7.73 million to super PACs during the month. Wealthy donors giving $100,000 or more accounted for 77 percent of those donations. Nonprofit groups, from social welfare organizations to trade associations, gave $2.14 million. Labor unions contributed $1.26 million, while corporations accounted for only $289,900. Donors giving more than $500,000 remained the biggest providers of super PAC funds. There are 84 donors who have given more than $500,000 to super PACs, accounting for 66 percent of all super PAC donations for the 2012 election cycle. In April, donations of $500,000 or more came from five donors and totalled $5.79 million, slightly less than 50 percent of all contributions for the month."

The Alliance for Justice hosted a discussion on whether a constitutional amendment would be an appropriate remedy for those seeking to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, iWatch News reports.

CORRECTION: Monday's edition of Fundrace featured the following line about a Politico story on comments made by Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donahue that the Chamber will continue with their election season advertising plan while maintaining donor secrecy despite the court ruling in Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) that would require them to disclose their donors if their plan looked anything like it did in 2010: "The Chamber's Tom Donahue announced that the group will just not abide by the court's ruling and still keep its donors secret." The Chamber says that this line is inaccurate as the Chamber will abide by the court ruling. Chamber communications director Blair Latoff writes, "...the Chamber always follows the rules of the road. Although we disagree with the district court’s decision, the Chamber will respect it by avoiding ads that would constitute 'electioneering communications' and lead to disclosure of our members under the court’s analysis. The Chamber will continue to educate voters using ads that do not put our members at risk." This would appear to be a shift from the Chamber's strategy in 2010 when the group spent $32 million on "electioneering communications," ads running within 60 days of the general election that mention a candidate.

Former Rep. Duncan Hunter is heading a new super PAC based in San Diego that will argue in favor of defense spending and will seek contributions from defense contractors.

Politico reports that Silicon Valley is cooling to President Obama. It's not clear that the data comparison in the article--from 2008 to 2012--is the fairest one to make. It's very hard to compare contributions from the spring of 2008, when then-candidate Obama was locked in the hottest presidential primary races since...well, who knows, to 2012 where the president hasn't had the competition yet that is needed to stimulate huge numbers of contributions.

A look at the super PAC spending of college student John Ramsey in Forbes.

CBS News reports that Obama and the Democratic Party are redoubling their fundraising efforts as Mitt Romney and the Republicans gain.

The Federal Election Commission released their enforcement and compliance handbook for the first time ever at the urging of members of Congress.

The super PAC that backed Newt Gingrich in the GOP primary is still trying to figure out what to do with its left-over $5.6 million.


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: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Stories From The Obama Economy"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Barack Obama for President
Spot: "Personal"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Barack Obama for President
Spot: "Sacred Trust"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Barack Obama for President
Spot: "President Obama and the Fight for LGBT Rights"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Barack Obama for President
Spot: "Letters to the President: Tanisha's Story"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Josh Mandel for Senate
Candidate Opposed: Sherrod Brown
Spot: "Change"
Market: Ohio.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Claire McCaskill for Senate
Spot: "Betty Ann McCaskill: Claire's commitment to veterans"
Market: Missouri.
Buy: Undisclosed.

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

Committee: David Dewhurst for Senate
Spot: "A Call From Mike Huckabee"
Market: Texas.
Buy: Robocall.

Committee: Scott Brown for Senate
Spot: "Education"
Market: Massachusetts. (Radio)
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Scott Brown for Senate
Spot: "Memorial Day"
Market: Massachusetts. (Radio)
Buy: Undisclosed.


These numbers represent spending by independent groups, like super PACs and non-profits, to support or oppose a particular candidate 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.

Presidential Race:
Mitt Romney (R), $7,327,516 to support, $12,382,717 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $491,730 to support, $1,290,831 to oppose.

Most Outside Spending for Congressional Candidates:
TX-Senate: Ted Cruz (R), $821,246 to support, $1,991,841 to oppose.
IN-Senate: Richard Mourdock (R), $1,423,990 to support, $1,278,762 to oppose. (+$2,003)
TX-Senate: David Dewhurst (R), $363,000 to support, $2,257,068 to oppose.
IN-Senate: Dick Lugar (R), $208,628 to support, $1,671,841 to oppose.
OR-01: Rob Cornilles (R), $98,051 to support, $1,219,148 to oppose.


Women Vote!, $10,794 to support Michelle Lujan Grisham for Congress in New Mexico's 1st District.
League of Conservation Voters, $118,020 to oppose Ciro Rodriguez for Congress in Texas' 23rd District.
Spirit of Democracy America, $21,379 to support Paul Cook for Congress in California's 8th District.
Campaign for Primary Accountability, $18,860 to oppose Ralph Hall for Congress in Texas' 4th District.
Campaign for Primary Accountability, $15,740 to oppose Ralph Hall for Congress in Texas' 4th District.
Committee To Elect An Effective Valley Congressman, $56,297 to support Howard Berman for Congress in California's 30th District.
FreedomWorks for America, $10,238 to oppose Orrin Hatch for Senate in Utah.
Stand With America, $40,000 to support Paul Cook for Congress in California's 8th District.


Fight 4 America, Tarzana, Calif. Treasurer: William Bennett. (Hybrid Super PAC)
KWBH PAC, Pittsburgh, Penn., Treasurer: David J. Hirsch.
Students for America, Louisville, Ky., Treasurer: Travis K. Allen. (Super PAC)
Science!, Atlanta, Ga., Treasurer: Loren C. Collins. (Super PAC)
America's Road Ahead Fund, Great Falls, Va., Treasurer: Greg Langhaim (Super PAC)
Better Future PAC, Kalispell, Mich., Treasurer: Renny Hellickson.
GFI Group Inc. PAC, Washington, D.C., Treasurer: Jim Peers.

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