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October 18, 2010

Independent groups spend 73 percent more on campaigns than two years ago

Campaign spending by independent groups on congressional candidates continues to soar--up 73 percent from a comparable period two years ago, a new report from the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute said Monday.

Through mid-October, non-political party independent campaign spending in Senate and House of Representatives elections totaled $147.5 million, well above the $85.3 million reported in mid-October 2008. By the middle of the month four years ago, spending was $32 million.

Republicans are the chief 2010 cycle beneficiaries--spending to back GOP candidates has hit $105.5 million, compared to $42 million to support Democrats.

The spending is believed to have been stoked in part by the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year allowing corporations and labor unions to spend more freely to advocate for candidates. 

So far, the spending tops all non-party independent groups' spending in 2008. "And," the institute reported noted, "this is before the traditionally heavy-spending final weeks of the campaign."

Democrats now control both Houses of Congress. Republicans need net gains of 39 House and 10 Senate seats to win control of each House.


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Too bad for America that half and more of our Supreme Court is unwilling to permit our Constitution to stand between them and accomplishing the goals of their ideology.

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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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