Liberal Groups Lead in Fundraising for First Half of Year

Thursday, 01 Aug 2013 01:19 PM

By Dan Weil

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Democrats and liberal causes bested Republicans and conservative causes in fundraising from outside groups for the first half of the year, according to analyses of campaign filings by news organizations.

"Of course, this is just a snapshot in time. GOP mega-donors could easily write a couple of checks to close the gap or surpass Democratic spending," Politico states.

Nonetheless, Democratic super PACs collected $31.9 million for the first six months of the year, compared to $13.7 million for Republicans, according to a USA Today analysis of super PACs that raised at least $100,000.

"After every presidential loss, there is an understandable disappointment among donors," Fred Malek, a long-time Republican fundraiser with ties to several of the top groups, told the paper.

Super PAC American Crossroads and advocacy group Crossroads GPS — groups linked with Republican strategist Karl Rove – took in a combined $3.37 million in the first half of the year.

That represents a decline from 2011. A spokesman attributed the drop to the lack of a presidential race next year, according to Politico.

The Democratic group Senate Majority PAC, which focuses on Senate candidates, about equaled the two GOP groups, with $3 million in donations.

In fundraising for House races, the Democratic House Majority PAC garnered $3 million this year through June. Meanwhile, two groups backing House Republican candidates generated only $770,000 combined. That includes $600,000 for the Congressional Leadership Fund and $170,000 for the YG Action Fund.

YG Action is unbowed by its small sum. “There’s a lot of ground to cover between now and next November — and believe me, no one is interested in Nancy Pelosi becoming speaker of the House again,” Chris Bond, spokesman for the Fund told Politico.

“The story heading into 2014 is, and will remain, how liberals are going to explain their unpopular, job-killing policies to middle-class families, and not conservative groups’ off-year finance reports,” Bond said.

As for research groups, the Republican Party's America Rising drew only $22,048 since its February debut and that came from its for-profit arm that the GOP has hired to research Senate races rather than from contributors.

But the group is just starting its fundraising operation, spokesman Tim Miller told Politico.

“America Rising PAC had our first fundraiser and brought on a finance director in July, and we are very optimistic about being able to fund a robust operation that will hold Democrats accountable in the mid-terms and 2016,” he said.

Meanwhile, Democrats' American Bridge research group, which started in late 2010, brought in about $3 million in combination with its non-profit division.

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