Campaign Finance

Five days before the Nov. 6 election, Republican nominee Mitt Romney and independent groups that support the presidential candidate are poised to outspend President Barack Obama on television ads targeting New Hampshire voters.

A review of television contracts filed this week with Federal Communications Commission show that the pro-Romney team reserved about $947,000 in air time from Oct. 29 through Election Day on WMUR, WBZ and WHDH.

Meanwhile, the Obama for America campaign reserved about $653,000 in air time on the three stations during the final week of the campaign.

N.H. Congressmen Lag In Campaign Fundraising

Oct 16, 2012

The latest campaign finance reports show New Hampshire's Republican congressmen lagging behind their Democratic challengers in fundraising.

Ovide Lamontagne / YouTube

In what will likely be the most expensive gubernatorial campaign in New Hampshire history, independent political groups supporting candidates Maggie Hassan and Ovide Lamontagne have reserved nearly $7.5 million worth of television ads in the final month of the election.

The political ad barrage is here. Watch a TV show or check out a YouTube video and you’re likely to see the commercials. Same goes for fliers in the mail or yard signs on street corners.

Those ads and signs mean campaign money is flowing into the state, and this past Wednesday, New Hampshire candidates filed their latest campaign finance reports. 

NHPR correspondent Brian Wallstin joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson with a little of what’s in those reports.

Outside Spending Plays Large Role In N.H. Campaigns

Sep 21, 2012
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/59937401@N07/5856886727/">Images of Money </a> / Flickr

In the days leading up to the Sept. 11 primary, a Manchester-based political action committee called New Hampshire Republicans for Freedom and Equality launched a direct-mail campaign to support the re-election of 40 Republican House members who helped turn back efforts to repeal the state's same-sex marriage law.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6757875045/">401(k) 2012</a> / Flickr

After the U.S. Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision two years ago, state campaign finance laws have come under scrutiny. Now, the N.H. Attorney General has weighed in saying state restrictions on certain political donation no longer apply. We get reaction to this change, and what it means for future elections.

Guests

Larry Noble – CEO and president of Americans for Campaign Reform, working to enact public funding of all federal elections

Gov. Candidate Kevin Smith Collects on LLC Loophole

Aug 24, 2012

No candidate in the  2012 gubernatorial race benefited more from a major loophole in New Hampshire's political-finance regulations than Republican Kevin Smith. 

State election law limits corporate campaign contributions to $7,000 per election cycle, the same as individual donors. But nothing in the law prohibits multiple limited-liability companies controlled by the same individual to donate on behalf of each LLC, making it easy for wealthy donors to exceed the statutory limits.

Campaign finance disclosures are a bedrock principle of open government, which assumes that citizens have the right to know who is paying, and how much, to affect the outcome of an election.

The candidates for governor are touting their fundraising ahead of Wednesday's midnight deadline to submit campaign finance.

What we know so far: Republican Ovide Lamontagne says his campaign raised about $1.2 million dollars. Democrat Maggie Hassan, $930,000; Democrat Jackie Cilley about $281 thousand dollars. No word as of Wednesday afternoon from Republican Kevin Smith.

That's what we know; but there’s a lot we don’t know about campaign money. And many election observers say a lot of campaign money won’t ever show up in candidate reports anyway.

Most Campaign Money Remains Hidden In New Hampshire

Aug 22, 2012
Beverly and Pack / Flickr

With the 2012 primary less than three weeks away, candidates for state office in New Hampshire have until midnight Wednesday to file their first campaign finance reports with the Secretary of State's office.

This story is part of our series on money in politics.

We imagine the lobbyist stalking the halls of Congress trying to use cash to influence important people. But it doesn't always work that way. Often, the Congressman is stalking the lobbyist, asking for money.

When it comes to campaign money, there's one industry GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney can count on: finance.

Some of the single largest checks to the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future come from hedge fund managers. People at securities and investment firms have contributed more than $16 million.

Paul Singer, the man behind the hedge fund Elliott Management, has contributed $1 million.

As of Dec. 31, Elliott Management had $19.2 billion in assets, making it one of the nation's largest hedge funds.

Prospective jurors head to court in North Carolina on Thursday to find out whether they'll be chosen to sit in judgment of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

Only four years ago, Edwards was running for the White House as a Democratic candidate. Now, he's a defendant, fighting campaign finance charges that could send him away for as long as 30 years.

The latest reports from the Federal Election Commission shed new light on the political largesse of two Texas businessmen who have become common names in the world of Republican fundraising.

With a $1 million check in February to the superPAC backing Rick Santorum, Dallas nuclear waste dump owner Harold Simmons and his wife, Annette, have now contributed to groups supporting all three of the top GOP candidates.

Mitt Romney had the strongest fundraising among the Republican presidential contenders last month. But a deeper look raises questions about just how strong it is in the long run.

The Romney campaign is unusually reliant on big donors — and weak on small donors.

In one sense, big donors are great. It's a lot quicker and cheaper to raise $2,500 from one person than to get $10 from 250 people. But there's a catch: $2,500 is the legal limit for donations to a candidate's campaign. Once that donor maxes out, you need to find another donor.

The Republican presidential campaign has provided the first test of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens’ United” decision which allowed outside groups to spend millions on campaigns. While some decry their power, others say they represent free-and-democratic speech.  We’ll look at this issue and new information on who’s providing Super-Pac dollars.  

Guests

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