Buying Your Future:

Exploring the Influence of Big Money in American Politics

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The following contains information about some of the top Super-PACs. This list is by no means exhaustive, and is not updated dynamically when the datasets supplying the main page change, and as such is more prone to human error.


Restore Our Future was founded by aides to presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2010. Charles Spies, the group's treasurer and former general counsel for Romney's 2008 campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination, described Restore Our Future as "an independent effort focused on getting Romney elected president." The group reported raising over $12 million in the first half of 2011, in the form of large donations from approximately 90 wealthy individuals and corporations. By the end of February 2012, Restore Our Future had raised over $43 million, nearly half from Wall Street contributors. Spies has declined to discuss specific contributors to the PAC.

Despite a 36-year-old ban against federal contractors making federal political expenditures, Restore Our Future has accepted donations of $890,000 from at least five such companies, who are taking advantage of a legal gray area created by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in the Citizens United case. Oxbow Carbon, a major coal and petroleum company founded by William Koch that contracts with the Tennessee Valley Authority, gave $750,000, and has insisted such donations are now legal. Another company, M.C. Dean, a Virginia-based electrical engineering company, donated $5,000, but has asked the funds to be returned after consulting with lawyers. The other companies are: B/E Aerospace, a U.S. Department of Defense contractor, which gave $50,000; Clinical Medical Services, which contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs, donated $25,000; and Suffolk Construction Co., which is building a U.S. Naval base, donated $60,000.


American Crossroads is a 527 organization that has raised and spent tens of millions of dollars to defend and elect Republican candidates to federal office, and was very active in the 2010 U.S. midterm elections. Its president is Steven J. Law, a former United States Deputy Secretary of Labor for President George W. Bush and the Chairman of the Board of Directors is former Republican National Committee chairman Mike Duncan. Advisers to the group include Senior Advisor and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.


This super-PAC was founded with the goal of electing Newt Gingrich president. As of July 2012, Winning Our Future's website has not been updated to reflect Newt's failed Republican primary campaign, and so its future is currently unclear.


From Priorities USA Action's website:
"At Priorities USA Action, we believe the stakes for protecting our country’s core values have never been higher as the far right pursues an agenda that rewards only the wealthiest few at the expense of middle class families. We are at the forefront of efforts to draw clear contrasts between progressive policies and those of the far right. We are committed to the reelection of President Obama and setting the record straight when there are misleading attacks against him and other progressive leaders."


Club for Growth Actions is the PAC arm of the Club for Growth, a politically conservative 527 organization active in the United States of America with an agenda focused on taxation and other economic issues. The Club advocates lower taxes, limited government, less government spending, free trade, and economic liberalism (libertarianism). Its PAC endorses and raises money for conservative candidates. The Club was founded in 1999 by Stephen Moore. The current president is the former Indiana Congressman, Chris Chocola.


From Majority PAC's website:
"Majority PAC is fighting to protect the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate in 2012. We're staffed by experienced strategists, and powered by the passion of everyday Americans. Together we'll stop Karl Rove and his friends from buying the Senate and prevent a radical Tea Party take-over in 2012."


From Worker's Voice's website
"Workers’ Voice seeks to connect and empower all working families, both union and non-union, by harnessing cutting edge technology and old fashioned energy. By signing up to get involved with Workers' Voice, you'll take the first step towards setting the direction of our work around political campaigns, legislative issues and holding elected officials accountable."