After the Supreme Court paved the way for super PACs, many Democrats were uncomfortable with the idea of limitless political spending—but as Republican-backing groups rake in the cash, it seems reluctant Democrats are coming around. As of the beginning of September, more than 40 donors had given at least $250,000 to top Dem super PACs, the New York Times reports. The biggest donor: one James Simons, an investor and philanthropist who has given Priorities USA Action $2 million—without donating anything to President Obama's campaign itself.
But top Obama insiders aren't the ones offering the big bucks, the Times notes: Instead, it's longstanding Democratic constituencies, including unions, trial lawyers, and Hollywood, who are doing so. It's looking like Obama will need it, with GOP backers planning a concerted advertising push; two groups established by Karl Rove are aiming to raise $300 million, while the four Democratic super PACs had hit just $74 million at the start of the month. One of those groups, Priorities USA Action, is flexing its muscles in a new radio ad in Virginia and Ohio focused on Mitt Romney's "47%" comments, CNN reports. "One hundred fifty million Americans: seniors, veterans, the disabled. Romney attacked them when he thought no one else was listening," it says.