Wisconsin contributors dole out a record amount of cash to special interest groups.
A watch dog group says the so-called 527s have raised $1.53 million over the course of 2009 for campaign advertising.
“You know all that money came from just 452 contributors — wealthy individuals, corporations and labor unions — more than half the money came from the top two contributors.”
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Executive Director Mike McCabe says that means a select group of very wealthy people have a big influence in establishing public policy, while keeping everyone else less powerful.
McCabe describes the special interest groups as receptacles for political money, to be used for negative advertising, while hiding from the American people the identity of individuals or corporations paying for the negative advertising.
“Some of the most loathsome smear campaigns … is often sponsored by these outfits.”
McCabe says the 527s — or “shadow party groups” — do the dirty work while candidates can stay on the high road, keeping their advertising relatively clean.
NOTE: The so-called 527s are political groups named after the section of the federal tax code under which they are organized. The $1.53 million in contributions are the most ever in a non-election year, smashing the previous record of $1.12 million set in 2007. WDC report shows last year’s top 527 recipient was the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund. The liberal group took in $400,000. The Republican Governors Association was next with $186,000.
Jackie Johnson report 1:17