Elsewhere online
April 27, 2012

Political Nonprofits Dominate Ad Spending on Presidential Race

Politically active nonprofit organizations have accounted for 90 percent of spending on independent advertising in the general-election presidential campaign, says The Washington Post.

Most of the $28.5-million spent thus far in connection with the November election has come from conservative groups paying for ads critical of President Obama and airing in swing states, according to a Post analysis. The review did not include spending on the Republican primary campaign.

Unlike political-action committees, nonprofit 501(c)(4) groups such as the pro-Republican Crossroads GPS are not required to disclose their donors. Because their ads focus on specific issues and do not directly urge voters to support or oppose a particular candidate, they are not considered counter to Internal Revenue Service or Federal Election Commission rules.

"I think there is a potential to see a tremendous amount of money flowing through these nonprofit groups," said Bill Allison of campaign watchdog group the Sunlight Foundation. "For an awful lot of donors, it’s a very attractive way to give without leaving any kind of footprint."