Report:

Million-Dollar Megaphones

Released by: PIRGIM Education Fund and Demos

A new analysis of data through Election Day from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other sources by U.S. PIRG and Demos shows how big outside spenders drowned out small contributions in 2012: just 61 large donors to Super PACs giving on average $4.7 million each matched the $285.1 million in grassroots contributions from more than 1,425,500 small donors to the major party presidential candidates.

In addition, the analysis found that just 132 donors giving at least $1 million were responsible for 60.4% of all the money Super PACs raised in the 2012 cycle.  $71.8 million of Super PAC money came from for-profit businesses.

This evidence shows that the first post-Citizens United election afforded corporations and large donors the opportunity to use their wealth to amplify their voices far beyond the volume of the average member of the general public - threatening the basic American principle of political equality - and they took full advantage.

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