The first data analysis released by the Wesleyan Media Project is making national news. The findings, reported by BusinessWeek, among other outlets, indicate that spending on political ads has increased by $220 million over the 2008 campaign cycle. Some of the increases are a result of senate races in more populous states than in 2008, including California, New York, and Florida. However the recent Supreme Court ruling in the ‘Citizens United’ case allowing more special interest and union money to flow into the campaigns has had an effect, with political action groups and unions coming in as top 10 spenders, some in a less than transparent manner.
“We are seeing evidence of changing tactics as groups seek shelter in the rules for nonprofits that allow such organizations to withhold their donor names,” said Erika Fowler, assistant professor of government and director of the Wesleyan Media Project.
The full results and data can be found at the Wesleyan Media Project’s site. The Wesleyan Media Project is a nonpartisan initiative that operates with grant support from The Knight Foundation, The Sunlight Foundation and Wesleyan University.