Daily Archives: May 21, 2014

Dark money flooding this year’s campaigns

cashAt the current rate, unregulated and undisclosed “dark-money” spending on this year’s congressional elections could top $1 billion. “This is really a perfect storm of political spending,” Michael Toner, former head of the Federal Election Commission, told the Financial Times. The most prominent spenders are Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners, which are both linked to the Koch brothers. In 2012, the Koch network was responsible for about 1 in 4 of the total dark-money dollars spent, according to the campaign-finance watchdog group Open Secrets.

Open thread (May 21)


Kansas ranks low in legislative pay

capitoldomeA recent proposal by Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, to more than double state legislators’ pay generated criticism and little interest. But an analysis by Stateline, a service of the Pew Charitable Trusts, found that only eight states pay state lawmakers less than Kansas does ($7,979 base salary during the 90-day session, plus off-session pay for a total $14,708 a year). At the bottom of the pay scale is New Mexico, which pays $150 a day during the session with no base salary. The big spender is California, where legislators get a base salary of more than $90,000.