Monday, September 19, 2011

FactCheck.org : Players Guide 2012

Players Guide 2012

The 2012 campaign cycle marks the first presidential election since the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that allowed corporations and unions to spend more freely in federal elections. The loosened campaign finance rules, coupled with an intense competition between the two major parties, have served only to embolden independent political groups that hope to influence the 2012 races.

Below is a list of most major groups that have been active or expect to be active in the 2012 federal elections. Many of these groups can accept unlimited donations. Others can accept unlimited donations and avoid disclosing their donors. There’s even a new breed of so-called independent groups that advocate solely for a single presidential candidate.

Who are these groups and who’s behind them? Click on the links below to find out.

The groups below were selected based on the amount they have spent, or say they plan to spend, or the media attention they have attracted. It is not a comprehensive list, and additional groups will be added as the campaign season unfolds.

American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS

Conservative-leaning group founded with help from Karl Rove and former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie.
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Priorities USA/Priorities USA Action

Liberal-leaning group founded by ex-White House staffers Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney to counter American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS.
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American Action Network / American Action Forum

Founded by a former Republican senator and a former GOP House aide. Leans GOP/Right-center.
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AFL-CIO

Large federation of labor unions is strongly Democratic.
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American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Labor union representing 1.6 million employees including health care workers, corrections officers and sanitation workers. Leans Democratic.
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Americans for Job Security

Pro-business group whose president is the former head of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
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American Future Fund

Republican-leaning group formed by Iowa political figures.
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Restore Our Future

A “super PAC” created by Republican Mitt Romney’s former campaign staffers to support his presidential candidacy.
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House Majority PAC

A new “super PAC” focused on returning Democrats to the majority in the House.
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Democracy for America

A liberal-leaning group founded by former DNC chairman Howard Dean.
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