Environmentalists are making use of the new independent-spending rules, but opponents of regulation still have the upper hand
Just because a group has a SuperPAC, that doesn't mean it swims in cash.
Conservatives have undoubtedly gotten the better of things in the new era of deregulated campaign spending, but the left has taken advantage of the new rules, too, and environmental groups are no exception. They're having a hard time under the new fundraising and spending rules, however.
Two environmental SuperPACs have registered with the Federal Election Commission, and both can take in unlimited corporate and individual donations. Just like the interest groups that formed them, the green SuperPACs have struggled to keep up with their deep-pocketed adversaries.
The League of Conservation Voters, the main environmental group focused on election spending, jumped on the SuperPAC bandwagon early, forming one in July of 2010. Since then, the group has seen an uptick in spending among its three arms, which include a 501(c)4 social-welfare nonprofit and a traditional PAC.
"We ended up having our biggest year of spending in 2010 -- about $5.5 million among the three entities, which still pales in comparison to some of the corporate interest groups that are out there," said League of Conservation Voters Vice President of Communications Mike Palamuso. The organizations spent about $3.3 million in 2008, Palamuso said.