The 2012 elections will be more expensive than originally thought, according to new Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub. Her estimate: $7 billion. That’s higher than the $6 billion estimate from the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks political spending.
Weintraub said presidential, Senate and House candidates spent around $3.2 billion, the political parties $2 billion and outside groups $2.1 billion. If her estimates prove correct, it would mark the first time that the outside groups, which include super-political action committees such as American Crossroads and Priorities USA Action and nonprofits that hide their donors such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, spent more than political parties.
Bloomberg BNA’s Kenneth Doyle reported that the record spending has led to a large number of complaints of election-law violations, resulting in what Weintraub said was the largest backlog that the commisison has faced.