Federal Campaign Spending Data Confirms Escalation for Mega-donors and Super PAC’s

Media Contacts
Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG; Director, Stop Toxic PFAS Campaign, PIRG

Statement on the federal campaign spending data recently posted by the Federal Elections Commission:

Maryland PIRG

“New campaign finance data from the FEC confirms that this year’s congressional election will mark yet another escalation for mega-donors and Super PACs to be able to drown out the voices of ordinary Americans. With campaign contribution and spending information now updated through August, it’s clear that outside spending from Super PACs and dark money groups is set to burst records: Excluding party committees, this spending has already reached $232 million — compared to $390 million by this point in the cycle in 2012, and just $77 million in 2010, the previous midterm election.

“Incredibly, if outside spending follows the same trajectory as it did in 2010, we’d ultimately see $919 million in outside spending this year — only slightly less than the $1.04 billion in 2012, a presidential election year.

“Meanwhile, here in Maryland, candidates only got 12% percent of their funds from small donors giving $200 or less.

“This isn’t the way our democracy was meant to work, and it doesn’t have to be this way. We can amplify the voices of small donors with tax credits and matching funds, which would make sure out-of-district mega-donors aren’t the only way for candidates to finance their campaigns. We’re excited that Montgomery County is voiting on a local small donor program next week. Ultimately, we need to roll back Citizens United and a string of other wrong-headed Supreme Court decisions that have unleashed this tide of big money into our elections.”

Information on outside spending via the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets database.

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staff | TPIN

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