The law forbids super PACs — political action committees permitted to raise unlimited funds with little disclosure of donors — from coordinating their activities with those of candidates’ formal campaign committees.
But, it seems, nothing prevents super PACs from coordinating their fundraising activities with each other. And this comes with the blessing of the Democratic fundraiser-in-chief.
From a report by Peter Stone of the Center for Public Integrity comes this tidbit:
Five Democratic super PACs are reaching out to party mega-donors, in a fledgling effort seeking $1 million to $10 million contributions, now that President Barack Obama has blessed the outside spending group working to get him re-elected.
And the reason? Stone reported in January that Democratic super PACs and nonprofits, formed last year, had only raised about $19 million.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics:
As of February 09, 2012, 314 groups organized as Super PACs have reported total receipts of $98,650,993 and total independent expenditures of $46,331,184 in the 2012 cycle.
In terms of money raised, the list of top 10 super PACs has five liberal groups and five conservative groups. But the conservative super PACs have a nearly 5:1 fundraising advantage — about $60 million to just more than $17 million.
The Dems are falling behind. So fundraising coordination may raising the level of disgust and revulsion at how national campaigns are run.
From Stone’s report:
Besides Priorities USA Action, the other Democratic groups involved in the joint committee talks include Majority PAC, which is focused on the Senate, and House Majority PAC, which is House-focused. The other two super PACs are American Bridge 21st Century, an opposition research entity that helps the other PACs, and America Votes, a get-out-the-vote operation for Democrats.
Economies of scale breed efficiencies in politics, too. Any quest for political power requires capturing the House (House Majority PAC), capturing the Senate (Majority PAC), putting or retaining the party leader in the White House (Priorities USA PAC), finding out the dirt on the other guys for the negative ads (American Bridge 21st Century), and getting out the vote (America Votes).
Coordination of fundraising, methinks, is about persuasion. The Democrats believe the party’s traditional big donors have not written enough and sufficiently large checks.
Again, from Stone’s report:
Other top Democratic fundraisers say that a joint fundraising entity is likely and stress that the White House’s abrupt shift on super PACs — which came Monday in a conference call to leading donors and fundraisers with campaign manager Jim Messina — could help prod large donors to write seven-figure checks.
Democratic fundraisers are hoping that several major donors such as Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and Chicago media executive Fred Eychaner, both of whom have already written large checks to Priorities USA Action, will pony up considerably more to a joint committee.
Katzenberg has donated $2 million to Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that Burton and ex-White House aide Sean Sweeney created, and Eychaner, an old friend of Obama’s, has chipped in $500,000 to the same PAC.
“There are donors who have expressed interest in a unified effort,” said Harold Ickes, president of Priorities USA Action, who is also a veteran Democratic fundraiser and a lobbyist with strong union ties. “A unified effort makes an enormous amount of sense and is likely to result in more money being raised.” [emphasis added]
Once again, just as you believe you’ve seen the worst in big-money politics, the bar is
raised lowered to new depths of miasmatic influence.