This Week in Dark Money: July 13, 2012

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We’re proud to collaborate with Mother Jones in sharing insightful journalism related to money and politics. We’ll be posting this weekly roundup every Friday. Share your thoughts about these must-read stories and always feel free to suggest your own in the comments section.

A quick look at the week that was in the world of political dark money

THE MONEY SHOT

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“We openly acknowledge the irony of being a super PAC trying to address money in politics.”
—Jonathan Soros, son of billionaire philanthropist George Soros, explaining his new anti-super PAC super PAC, Friends of Democracy. His super PAC joins several others formed to protest the amount of money in American politics. (The Open Society Foundations, chaired by George Soros, have supported Mother Jones’ campaign-finance reporting.)

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

The Center for Public Integrity’s Michael Beckel hits the streets of DC to ask citizens what they think of super PACs. Most were not fans (one man suggested they be “blown up”):

STAT OF THE WEEK

$200,000: The amount that LPAC, a new, first-of-its-kind lesbian and women’s-rights super PAC, reports that it raised on its first day. The group hopes to raise a modest $1 million. It’s headed by Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts, a major bundler for President Obama. Her dad, Joe Ricketts, is also a Cubs co-owner and has his own super PAC, the anti-Obama Ending Spending Fund.

 ATTACK AD OF THE WEEK

A conservative dark-money group called American Commitment is using some of the $7 million it’s raised to attack Democrats in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Nevada. (Last month, the group spent $1 million on ads opposing EPA regulations.) American Commitment was started by Phil Kerpen, who has also worked for the Koch brothers-connected Americans for Prosperity and Club for Growth. In Ohio, the group has spent $1.2 million on ads attacking Sen. Sherrod Brown. This one accuses Brown of being “the deciding vote” in favor of Obamacare:

MORE MOTHER JONES DARK MONEY COVERAGE

• Karl Rove & Company’s New “Sucker-Punch” Ad Strategy: How outside-spending groups sidestep federal election law to obscure their ad spending.
• Shadowy Group Pushing for Tax Chaos in Michigan: The Michigan Alliance for Prosperity is trying to fundamentally alter the state’s political calculus.
• Dems: Dark Money Groups Use “Secret Money to Subvert the Democratic Process”: A new complaint targets political nonprofits that attack Democrats and hide their donors.
• Mother Jones reporter Andy Kroll discusses 501(c)(4) groups on The War Room with Jennifer Granholm

MORE MUST READS

• Casino magnate and megadonor Sheldon Adelson gives another $1 million to a super PAC. Sunlight Foundation
• Ross Perot’s son gives $100,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. iWatch News
• Jamelle Bouie questions whether out-of-control fundraising will really have much of an impact on the presidential race. American Prospect

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  • Martinflick47

     What’s really amazingly ironic is that, in the midst of an ever-deepening economic crisis worldwide, these jokers are spending, spending, spending – supposedly to reduce wasteful spending in government! This’d be hilarious if it weren’t so stupid! I totally agree w/Ms. Bair and all those whose solution is to go after waste and corruption NOW! IMHO, the deficit could be halved, easily, by pursuing that tactic, rather than attack ads for and against OBAMACARE!