To Win - Fight Beyond Campaigns!

Private interests have taken over Elections – time to fight back

Democrats have a great opportunity to take majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. They need your help.

The contribution limit for Congressional candidates is $2,700 per election, or $5,400 if you max out your donation for both the Primary and the General Election.This is a great place to start (HERE is a list of suggested candidates), but it's not enough.

Outside spending in the form of "Independent Expenditures" (IE) is the name of the game in American politics today. There are virtually no limits to the amount of money in politics from outside spending sources. In the 2016 election cycle, reported IE expenditures represented 25% of all electoral spending. "Reported" is the key word here, because unreported spending (also called "Dark Money") pushes these figures far higher.

Independent Expenditure committees/organizations cannot legally coordinate with individual campaigns. They can -- and do -- work with each other, and this integration (along with no spending limits) has completely changed electoral politics in this country. You might not like it, but you can't ignore it; outside spending will decide the outcome of elections in 2018 and beyond.

Reported IE spending on Federal races has exploded this century:

Source: www.opensecrets.org

It is becoming more and more common for IE spending to exceed traditional campaign spending entirely. The chart below shows campaign and outside spending figures from four key 2016 Congressional races all across the country. In every one of these races, IE spending exceeded campaign spending...and the Democrat LOST. All four of these seats will again be hotly contested in 2018. All four will again likely be decided by IE spending.

Source: www.opensecrets.org

Only official Federal Political Action Committees (PACs) and media expenditures that name a federal candidate are reported to election officials like the Federal Election Commission (FEC). But if a candidate isn't specifically named, these IE expenditures normally go unreported. If a private person (or a corporation, business association, or non-profit) fund a 25,000-person door knocking campaign, that expenditure is not reported. The same holds true for a phone bank that calls 40,000 people, or an issue campaign that says “Protect Your Gun Rights on November 8" but never mentions a specific campaign.

In all of this discussion, we still haven't touched on outside spending for state-level candidates (Governor, Attorney General, state legislature, etc.). Reporting requirements for these expenditures vary wildly by state and are NOT reported to the FEC.

For example, in 2016 the Koch Brothers network alone spent more than $500 million on largely (legally) unreported actives impacting candidates and government policies. There are numerous examples of right-wing spending groups, including the Bradley Foundation, the Mercer family, the DeVos family, the Ulhines, Art Pope, and others. Let us repeat: All of this spending is ON TOP of any reported campaign spending, and we can only see a fraction of the true amount of money from outside sources.

Writing max-donation checks to targeted campaigns is important, but it you truly want to win in November, it is critical that you support IEs like those listed on the Blue Impact website. We have worked with state-based experts to pick the most effective groups and programs in each targeted area. None of our experts are compensated by these organizations for their advice.

There are just 100 days until the General Election on November 8. Take action today to create a Democratic majority in the U.S. House or to make critical investments in states where the 2018 election could determine political fortunes through 2030.

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