LA Times: Election tone was anti-incumbent, but old pros handled the cash

Most went for a war on the airwaves, consultants say, making TV stations big winners. 

November 27, 2010- Anti-incumbent anger and "tea party" conservatives may have set the tone for this year's midterm elections, but it was mostly experienced political operatives — not fervent newcomers — who managed the money.

While billions of dollars were spent on campaign ads and other efforts to gin up discontent with Washington, much of the spending was handled by veteran political consultants at a few longtime media firms — many in Washington.

An analysis of campaign finance records and data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics found that 15 firms raked in more than $400 million just from the candidates, party committees and outside groups that advertised in federal elections.

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MSN: Jury Convicts Tom DeLay in Money Laundering Trial

Former U.S. House majority leader faces up to life in prison

November 24, 2010- Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay — once one of the most powerful and feared Republicans in Congress — was convicted Wednesday on charges he illegally funneled corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.

Jurors deliberated for 19 hours before returning guilty verdicts against DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces up to life in prison on the money laundering charge.

After the verdicts were read, DeLay hugged his daughter, Danielle, and his wife, Christine. His lead attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said they planned to appeal the verdict.

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The Hill: Outgoing Democrat blames Citizens United ruling for loss

November 20, 2010- Freshman Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.) blamed an influx of corporate and union money thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling for his loss to former Republican Congressman Tim Walberg.

During an interview with WKHM radio Schauer said reduced turnout combined with outside groups’ ability to spend millions anonymously doomed his candidacy. Schauer lost by five percentage points in one of the most closely-watched races nationally.

The Citizens United ruling “changed the world,” Schuaer said, adding that allowing corporations to run ads and send mailers without limit is hurting the political process.

“That’s not good for our democracy,” he added.

FULL STORY HERE:
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Mother Jones: Outside Spending: The Final Tally

November 8, 2010: By the time voters went to the polls last week, outside groups had spent more than $454 million to influence campaigns. But there's little evidence that all that spending benefited Republicans much more than Democrats, as the final tallies on spending were actually pretty close.

A total of $197.4 million was spent backing Republican candidates, while groups spent $181.1 million for Democrats, according to Federal Election Commission data compiled by the Sunlight Foundation.

On both sides, the overwhelming majority of outside money was spent on negative ads. Of the total for Republicans, $155.9 million was spent on ads opposing Democratic candidates. Outside groups spent $144.8 million on ads opposing Republican candidates.

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RAW Story: Newly elected GOP senator may back DISCLOSE Act

Nov. 8, 2010- Republican Senator-elect Mark Kirk may help push through a campaign-finance transparency bill opposed by Republican leaders during the lame-duck session.

Kirk defeated Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias for President Obama's former Illinois Senate seat and is one of three new members of the Senate who will be sworn in to the chamber during the lame-duck session.

The Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act (DISCLOSE Act) would force groups running election ads to disclose the sources of their funding. In addition, the bill would prohibit foreign corporations, government contractors and TARP recipients from making campaign contributions.

The bill has already cleared the United States House of Representatives but failed to be passed in the Senate due to a Republican filibuster.

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NY Daily News: Fox News’ Rupert Murdoch is distorting the American political process

November 8, 2010: Last week, big lies and big money spoke so loudly and with such influence that our political system was dramatically changed for the time being. Four billion dollars was spent on political campaigns, almost $3 billion of it on advertising.

Those who understand what this means are conventionally dismissed as part of the "liberal media." "Liberal" means "the Devil incarnate" to Republicans, who feel entitled by a recent ruling of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case, which allowed for corporations to freely fund political campaigns.

After it was discovered that the right-wing Chamber of Commerce was running political ads that were possibly funded by foreign money, President Obama said that this was "a threat to our democracy."

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