March 29, 2017

Influence of Special Interests Spikes

With the elections less than 2 week away, special-interest groups continue to take advantage of the recent Supreme Court ruling that allows special-interest groups to spend as much as they want on electioneering communications. During the 2nd week of October in the previous midterm cycle of 2006, there were 12 electioneering communications filings totaling $3,239,455, according to an analysis of the FEC database. Comparatively in the 2nd week of October of the current midterm cycle, there have been 22 filings totaling $8,777,893. After adjusting for inflation between 2006 and 2010, which is currently 6.8%, expenses on electioneering communications during the 2nd week of October in 2010 are 253% greater than the 2nd week of October in 2006. While this is not as large of a difference as the 1st week of October in 2010 compared to the 1st week of October in 2006, which is 1,720%, this 253% increase certainly shows how the influence of special-interest groups continues to rise in 2010.

In a separate comparison, the first 2 weeks of October of the previous midterm cycle in 2006 had 18 electioneering communications filings totaling $3,863,734. Whereas the first 2 weeks of October in 2010 have had 61 electioneering communications filings totaling $20,290,723. After adjusting for inflation, expenses on electioneering communications during the first 2 weeks of October in 2010 are 489% greater than the same period of the previous midterm cycle in 2006. Undeniably, special-interest groups have an increased influence in 2010.

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