Liberals and Democrats, including President Barack Obama, spent much of 2010 and 2011 excoriating the impact of outside spending on elections. This year they're getting into the game themselves, but fundraising on the Democratic side has stalled, with Republicans out-raising them by tens of millions of dollars.
So who are the few big donors behind the Democrat's big money? Talking Points Memo's Eric Lach takes a look:
[O]f the 31 individuals or married couples listed by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) as having given $1 million or more, only seven are considered to "generally" support liberal candidates. (This list, of course, only includes disclosed donors to outside groups.) These top seven "liberal" donors have combined to donate $10,180,042 so far to outside spending groups—less than has been individually spent by both Sheldon and Miriam Adelson and Harold and Annette Simmons, who have donated $25,000,000 and $15,200,000, respectively, to conservative groups. (Not on the current CRP list: George Soros, who last month pledged $1 million to both America Votes and American Bridge 21st Century.) But $10 million is still $10 million.
Meanwhile, Guy Cecil, the executive director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, is pleading with wealthy liberals to start writing checks to outside groups that have no limits on the amount they can give.
"June, July and August are a critical time," Cecil told TPM's Evan McMorris-Santoro. "We need our side to wake up."