Spotlight on Congress

MapLight research on the influence of money and politics in U.S. Congress.

Recent Monthly Filings Show Super PACs Spent $30 Million on Federal Races in July 2012

Aug. 28, 2012–MapLight has run an analysis of independent expenditures made from Jan. 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012 by so-called super PACs to influence congressional and presidential races in the 2012 election cycle.

In July 2012, super PACs that file monthly reports spent $29.6 million on independent expenditures across the country. Of that total, $25.9 million (88 percent) was spent by just five super PACs. Figures from super PACs that file quarterly reports will not be available until October.

Super PAC Influence on House and Senate Races in Your State

Aug. 16, 2012MapLight has conducted an analysis of independent expenditures made by so-called super PACs across the country from Jan. 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 and found that almost $138 million has been funneled by big-monied interest groups to dictate outcomes of the 2012 election.

Super PACs have already made over $30 million in independent expenditures to influence House and Senate races in the 2012 election cycle, in addition to the nearly $107 million spent swaying the outcome of the race for the White House.

Super PACs Distort per Capita Influence

Aug. 15, 2012 -- MapLight, a nonpartisan research organization that tracks money's influence on politics, has conducted an analysis of census data combined with the geographic origin of over $306 million in contributions to super PACs from Jan. 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012. The analysis found that a disproportionate amount of contributions comes from a few states:

Senators Reach Out to Defense Contractors Who Contribute Heavily to Their Campaigns

July 9, 2012– On Friday, Politico's Morning Defense blog reported on a letter from a group of U.S. senators to a number of defense contractors requesting their insight on the effects of impending budget cuts referred to as "sequestration."

Who Can Afford Our Congress?


June 19, 2012—Rootstrikers and GOOD Magazine have launched a new infographic series, "Capital in the Capitol," highlighting the huge amounts of money influencing our electoral system and where it comes from. To view the first infographic, which utilizes MapLight's data, click below. </div