These groups, formed under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, primarily were involved in issue advocacy and weren't permitted to tell the public explicitly to elect or defeat a particular candidate – until the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010. Now, they may engage in the full range of political activity, including asking the public to vote for or against a would-be officeholder. Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which ran "issue ads" critical of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's Vietnam War record in 2004, was one of the more well-known 527 groups in the pre-Citizens United years. Some organizations, including labor unions, use 527 accounts to support or oppose state and local candidates and contribute to other committees.
In addition, some large, national party-connected groups are formed as 527s, such as the Republican State Leadership Committee and the Democratic Governors Association.
* To avoid double-counting, these figures do NOT include fundraising by Joint Victory Campaign 2004, a joint fund-raising committee
|Service Employees International Union||$27,465,223|
|American Federation of Teachers||$17,927,893|
|Service Employees International Union||$18,992,658|
|American Federation of Teachers||$18,728,746|
|Carpenters & Joiners Union||$6,394,443|
|Karla Jurvetson MD||$5,037,465|
|Lewis, Daniel R. & Jan (Coral Gables, FL)||$1,500,000|
|Soros, George (New York, NY)||$1,350,000|
|Henry P. van Ameringen (New York, NY)||$1,111,000|
|Ackerman, Peter (Washington, DC)||$1,093,000|
|Eychaner, Fred (Chicago, IL)||$1,000,000|
This data is based on records released by the Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday, April 03, 2019.
Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics. For permission to reprint for commercial uses, such as textbooks, contact the Center: firstname.lastname@example.org