Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Top Democrat Sounds Alarm On Right-Wing Spending: ‘We Can’t Keep Up With Them’

Top Democrat Sounds Alarm On Right-Wing Spending: ‘We Can’t Keep Up With Them’

Republican-leaning outside groups are spending unprecedented amounts on the 2014 midterm elections, stoking Democratic fears that their candidates could be buried early on in the critical campaigns.

The 2014 elections are on track to be easily the most expensive in American history, and right-wing, 501(c)(4) “dark money” groups are leading the way. The Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity alone has already spent more than $20 million on ads attacking Democratic congressional candidates, vulnerable incumbent senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) being the primary target.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) sounded the alarm during an interview with the New York Times.

“We’re faced with a grim reality that more money is being spent earlier in some of these hot races than we’ve ever seen,” Senator Durbin said. “We’re spending some, but we can’t keep up with them.”

Outside groups won’t be the only Republicans to spend liberally in the 2014 campaigns. The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced Tuesday that it raised $4.62 million in January, making it the committee’s most productive month of the 2014 campaign cycle.

The big haul marks the second consecutive strong fundraising month for the Republicans’ Senate campaign arm. The committee raised $4.02 million in December, narrowly edging the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s total of $4 million. The DSCC has not yet released its January fundraising amount; the deadline for it to do so is Thursday.

Overall, the DSCC still holds a decisive fundraising advantage for the cycle; the Democratic committee has outraised its Republican counterpart by almost $16 million, and outspent it by more than $10 million. The DSCC currently has just over $12 million in cash on hand, with $3,750,000 in debts. The NRSC has just over $8 million to spend, but is debt-free.

UPDATE: On Wednesday morning, the DSCC revealed that it raised $6.6 million in January. It now has $15 million in cash on hand, and $2.5 million in debt.

Photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund via Flickr

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • sigrid28

    If Democrats decide the only way to win is to fight fire with fire, then big donors on the left will have to step up, and the campaigns will have to quit holding back and charge into these 2014 elections. What a waste of time it is to cram my mailbox daily with emails asking for $3? Big money needs to go to liberal advertising/campaign coffers to give candidates the best possible presentation and oppose Republican lies in the media. So much for the contributions of elite Democrats–and don’t tell me there aren’t any!
    What the rest of us CAN do is register voters and get them to the polls. It’s raining to beat the band: You have on your boots and rain slicker, and go out to register voters. It’s hotter than fill-in-the-blank: You put on your sunglasses and sun block, and go out to register voters. It’s snowing and sleeting: Pick your Olympic uniform–slalom or Nordic ski–and go out to register voters. As soon as they are ready, be prepared with absentee ballots, voting day calendars with times, number to call if voter is not sure about polling place or needs a ride, number to call if voter is harassed by this year’s version of True-the-Vote–you get it. Can’t leave home? Call voters using the Democratic candidates’ volunteer phone bank put together by the elite Democrats and their minions. Too busy to register voters or call? On Election Day, volunteer to drive voters to and from the polls, and most importantly, see to it that you vote and so do all of your friends and family. In each and every state, there are enough unregistered voters and Democrats to elect our candidates if we can only get them to the polls–if we all do what we can.

    • charleo1

      Well said. There is no substitute for a good ground game, not even
      big money. So, if we can’t outspend them, we out work them. But,
      I would also like to see Democrats make campaign finance reform
      a much more central part of their overall message. To continue to
      rebuild the Middle Class, by providing regular Americans with more opportunities to advance themselves, and their children financially. And, be very clear in making the case, how that is just not going to happen, if we allow millionaires, billionaires, and corporations, to
      control the process. And finally, that this election is about changing the do nothing, obstructionism. That has hurt everyone but, those big money interests. That no one, whatever their political leanings, wants to have their say silenced by a very small band of extremely wealthy individuals. And that’s what their vote for the Republican Party will get them.

      • sigrid28

        I agree that all of these policies need Democratic support. Some campaign ought to put you on its pay roll, because this is pitch perfect messaging. However, only once the Democrats take back the House, hold onto the Senate, and retain the presidency can any of these reforms be put in place. For that, the only solution is the votes.

      • Allan Richardson

        And why not MAKE campaign finance reform an issue in OUR campaign? Ads that say, for example, “WHY is Amalgamated Oil spending $200 million to elect Joe Blow? What do THEY know about Joe Blow that WE don’t? Why is ANYONE allowed to spend that much corporate money?” etc. etc. etc.

    • Kansan

      I probably have a great deal less money than you and don’t get many solicitations by snail mail, because I get the same ones by e-mail. They are a pain in the ass.

      However, I have found that I can be effective by doing self-supported opposition research and have turned up enough to unseat numerous Republican candidates and incumbents in state after state. Some even went to jail, though more should. It requires only vigorous persistence and a self-didactic process.

      There is no one who will match the Kochs, dollar for dollar. Their latest heist has been to contribute hundreds of millions to ostensible “social welfare” 501(c)4 organizations. Those “donations” are tax-deductible. We need some help from the IRS to stop this larceny.

  • howa4x

    One thing everybody has to keep in mind is that the Koch bros threw everything against an unpopular Obama and lost. The 1% spent over 300 million and blew it. No matter how many times they run commercials telling people that purple is really green, the people will look around and think are the GOP policies of repealing Obamacare, denying people access to health care in 24 states, privatizing social security, vouchering Medicare, funneling public money to religious schools, creating a gun culture, giving everything to the 1% going to make my life better or worse? That is an issue that no amount of money can change. If the GOP keeps only appealing to their base they are no going anywhere.

  • charles king

    I do not give MONIES to any politician and all the MONIES that these so call people gives can not undermind your (Critical Thinking) The VOTE is the most important resource in the fight for the SEAT. What? the hell do these people with MONIES want for their MONIES. I know you are not going to VOTE for someone Who? supposed to be representing YOU. Think People WHICH? one is telling the truth about the situation. They think WE are Stupid but We the People know other-wise about our Democracy (It is Not for sell) The VOTE is still the BIG-Equalitzer and Democracy still rule. I know the People are thinking (because Obama Would not have been re-elected if the People were not Thinking) MONIES are no match when it comes to (critical Thinking and your Voting power for the People) Thank You are the magic words with me. I Love Ya All. Keep the Faith ! Check-out Webster’s Dict. Democracy Vs Plutocracy. Mr. C. E. KING

  • ThomasBonsell

    Okay, Sen. Durbin, here’s what you can do.

    Introduce a constitutional amendment that specifies that all campaigns are to be publicly funded. The US will fund campaigns for the presidency. States will fund campaigns for senators and governors, and local districts will fund campaigns for other offices. Each funding source shall use $1 of tax money for each resident, to be adjusted for inflation. If money is “free speech,” everyone has a dollar’s worth of speech involved.

    When an advertisement mentions, or alludes to, an opponent or an opponent’s position on any issue, that ad must be shown to the opponent’s campaign for a rebuttal to be added to the original ad. Perhaps this will address the disgusting practice of character assassination.

    Specify that no private money can be expended on campaigning after the Fourth of July in any election year but no restriction can be imposed on any party prior to that date for party building or for selection of candidates or promotion of issues. We don’t after all, allow enormous amounts of money to be spent on advertising to determine the decision in any trial, either criminal or civil, and political campaigns shall not be different.

    Keep beating the drum for this common-sense proposal until the people have had enough disgust for the present nonsense that they are overwhelmingly for you. I don’t have the position to do anything about this problem; you do, so start doing it.

  • fredamae

    Here’s a thought–Make them Waste their Ad Investment-Educate all of us to turn off the source of the Big Money Ads-My personal best friend is the MUTE Button. Mark the mailers “Return to Sender”—Simply Don’t listen and understand that if they are so worried they’ll lose that they Must invest a Kings Ransom in winning elections based on Lies, Mis-Info-without credible factual information? Ought to be a Red Flag Clue in and of itself……but we tend to ignore the obvious.
    Politicians in large part don’t Deserve and have done Nothing to Earn Respect, Trust and Votes. Are Democrats afraid of the truth or What? All Dems have to do to Win–is call them out and tell the truth. That’s Free of Charge because the GOP record is Established and it’s So bad? So Egregious. So Surreal-One doesn’t even need to elaborate to make it Seriously Sobering…..I don’t listen to Any ads–I review Voting Records cuz-finger pointing, shifting blame and pretty speeches/interviews don’t inform us at all-it’s All about Political Talking Points—Voting Records–now, That’s where the rubber hits the road–for Every Politician. And that’s What we need-is to follow their Voting Records to Know if they are or are Not working for their respective constituencies and whether or not they have Any demonstrated responsibility to country and earned the privilege of representing us.
    Imo-Politicians have made it quite clear they don’t respect Us–so what the hell do they Expect from us?

    • sigrid28

      Great idea. Along with citing a candidate’s voting record, why not also give voters an idea of when the House, Senate, or legislature was in session–how many days each year. If there is a public tax return, include that, too. Another interesting point of reference: Are there cronies or relatives prominent in the candidate’s state of origin. A pamphlet with easily obtained and verified information on each candidate, to be read and contemplated, might do more than millions of dollars to elect those worthy to hold office and eliminate the rest.

      • fredamae

        The Simple truth is priceless and yet–so cash economical. Simple brochures and tv/on-line short ads telling you Where to access info on-line…many sites already compile that stuff–so for this purpose with a bit of refining – it would be an Easy thing to access–no installed “fear”-no enhanced “glory”–just the facts. And let the voter’s decide whether to “keep ’em” take ’em or leave ’em”…

  • dpaano

    One GOOD thing is that they’re spending their own money and not the taxpayer’s money!! If they were running this country, they’d be spending more money than they accuse President Obama of spending. If you look at Republican presidents, they are the spendthrifts and not the Democrats!!