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Saturday, October 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Vestal: Microsoft PAC backs broad slate

The explosion of money – and particularly secret money – in politics has gotten a lot of attention. Much of that attention has focused on groups and donors who tend to heavily support one side or the other. Super PACs and “outside contributors.” But there is another kind of political giver: organizations that apply a No Candidate Left Behind approach. Lots of large, mainstream corporations have political action committees that fit this bill; in Washington, our biggest one is Microsoft’s PAC, which spreads a lot of money to a lot of people on both sides of the aisle.

Election hits $2B mark amid last-minute donations

WASHINGTON (AP) — Remarkable for its last-minute surge of contributions, the U.S. presidential election witnessed unprecedented sums of cash boosting two men in their quest for the White House. It was a cost that surpassed $2 billion and sometimes came with the cloak of anonymity for billionaire donors. The election was the first in which "super" political action committees spent hundreds of millions on television ads, especially those supporting GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Super PACs, like those helping President Barack Obama, benefited from deep wells of money from wealthy donors and corporations.

$2 billion price tag for presidential election

WASHINGTON (AP) — The 2012 presidential election broke the $2 billion milestone in its final weeks, becoming the most expensive in American political history, according to final federal finance reports released Thursday. The reports detailed a last-minute cascade of money from mega-donors and an onslaught of spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns and "super" political action committees. The final campaign finance tallies filed with the Federal Election Commission included nearly $86 million in fundraising for the losing presidential candidate, Republican Mitt Romney, in the election's last weeks. That final burst brought the Romney campaign's total for the election to above $1 billion. Final fundraising and spending totals for President Barack Obama's victorious drive also topped $1 billion.

US Sen. DeMint resigns to head conservative group

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, a favorite among tea party activists who has backed challenges to centrist veterans he didn't view as conservative enough, said Thursday he was resigning to take the helm of a conservative think tank. The South Carolina lawmaker said in a statement he was stepping down to become president of the Heritage Foundation. His office said he would take the new job effective Jan. 1.

Tea Party group chief quits, cites internal split

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eased out with an $8 million payout provided by an influential GOP fundraiser, former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey says he has left a conservative Tea Party group, FreedomWorks, because of an internal split over the group's future direction. A confidential contract obtained by The Associated Press shows that Armey agreed in September to resign from his role as chairman of Washington-based FreedomWorks in exchange for $8 million in consulting fees paid in annual $400,000 installments. Dated Sept. 24, the contract specifies that Armey would resign his position at both FreedomWorks and its sister organization, the FreedomWorks Foundation, by the end of November.

Court won’t hear anti-gay marriage group appeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from a national anti-gay marriage group that tried to thwart Maine's campaign disclosure law requiring it to release its donor list. The high court turned aside an appeal from the National Organization for Marriage, which donated $1.9 million to a political action committee that helped repeal Maine's same-sex marriage law.

Super PACs now a force in the presidential race

The special political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited campaign money while operating independently of candidates have jumped into the presidential contest with an unmistakable message: Game on.

Forcing transparency of PACs would be sound step forward

Here’s a modest proposal on campaign finance reform that might meet constitutional muster with the U.S. Supreme Court: Let’s have a truth-in-labeling law that requires political committees to say what they really are up to. Democrats got in trouble last week – potentially big enough trouble to void an election – while playing the old “hide the hit money behind nice-sounding PACs” game in a Snohomish County legislative race. They’re facing sanctions for deliberately not reporting the money and hiding the donors to a conservative state Senate candidate, all part of an effort to whipsaw a moderate incumbent Democrat the unions didn’t like.