After being trounced in 2010, Democrats, special interest groups, and liberal billionaires have begun assembling assets to rebound in 2012. The "House Majority PAC", a Democrat Super PAC, reported this week to have raised $800,000 in the two months from its inception to June 13, including the time leading up to May’s NY-26 special election where Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Jane Corwin. House Majority PAC attack ads in the final weeks prior to the election have been speculated to have had a key role in Hochul's victory. Politico has reported that $325,000 of the $800,000 amassed by the House Majority PAC since April came from three wealthy liberals.
“In addition to Soros’s $75,000 contribution, hedge fund billionaire Donald Sussman – a major donor who this month married Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) – gave $150,000 and Chicago media magnate Fred Eychaner, a major donor to President Barack Obama, gave $100,000.”
Aside from Soros and friends, the growing Super PAC received hefty donations from several labor unions such as the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who gave a combined $300,000.
Super PACs emerged in July 2010 and are a product of the federal court case known as SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission. Super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals to spend at will for or against political candidates. President Obama and other Democrats have derided corporate-backed third-party groups that advertised in support of Republican candidates over the last five years, saying they were drowning out real people’s voices. While the conservative American Crossroads far out raises all others, OpenSecrets.org shows that five of the top seven Super PACs in terms of independent expenditures support a liberal point of view. This list does not include the growing House Majority PAC.
While the House Majority PAC has gained media attention due to its part in NY-26 and for creating some infighting between Democrats, the Soros factor has also quietly applied to the election of 11 reform-minded progressive Democrats as secretaries of state in battleground states. From Washington Times:
"Known as the Secretary of State Project (SOSP), the organization was formed by liberal activists in 2006 to put Democrats in charge of state election offices, where key decisions often are made in close races on which ballots are counted and which are not.
The group’s website said it wants to stop Republicans from 'manipulating' election results.
'Any serious commitment to wresting control of the country from theRepublican Party must include removing their political operatives from deciding who can vote and whose votes will count,” the group said on its website, accusing some Republican secretaries of state of making 'partisan decisions.'"
In a less public but possibly more powerful fashion when compared to the House Majority PAC, the SOSP has backed 11 winning candidates in 18 races, including such key states as Ohio, Nevada, Iowa, New Mexico and Minnesota. While Soros only donated (in Soros terms) $10,ooo to SOSP in 2008, the Washington Times reports that many of the organization's founders and supporters have long-standing ties to Soros and the organizations he founded or helped fund, including Democracy Alliance; which was created in 2005 thanks to major financial backing from Soros and has since helped direct nearly $150 million to progressive organizations.
After sitting out by donating nothing to electoral efforts in 2010, Soros and friends appear to be assembling forces for a major push in 2012.