Anti-incumbent Campaign for Primary Accountability spent more than $640,000 in May


Roughly $545,000 of committee money spent went toward independent expenditures supporting or opposing candidates.

The super-PAC has spent nearly $3 million during this election cycle, pitting challengers against lawmakers in primaries across the country, and has raised nearly $3.2 million in the same time period. The group has nearly $228,000 cash on hand, as of the latest FEC filing.

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The committee is another example of the impact individual donors and super-PACs are having on elections. Super-PAC founder Leo Linbeck III has loaned $390,000 to the committee since April 30, not including other funds he’s donated to the group in 2011-2012, filings indicate.

Paul Ryan, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, told The Hill in May that the impact of super-PACs and outside spending groups will be “most significant” on the House and Senate level.

“It takes a lot less money to influence [congressional] elections,” Ryan said. “I think its possible or even probable this year that we will see super-PACs or outside spending groups out-spend the candidate campaigns themselves in some congressional races.”

The super-PAC, which targets incumbents regardless of party, made its influence known in several primaries earlier this year.  Reps. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) and Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) lost in part because the group opposed their candidacy.

But other incumbents proved more resilient to the super-PAC’s money binge, including Reps. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), Tim Murphy (D-Pa.), Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.).

Campaign for Primary Accountability spokesman Curtis Ellis told The Hill in May the group believes in competition.

“We believe in competitive elections,” Ellis explained. “We firmly believe that the first step in getting [good policy reforms] enacted is getting lawmakers in there who are accountable to the people, not to the corrupt system that’s in place now.”

He noted: “Of two things I’m certain: this is the world we live in now and the incumbents have a tremendous advantage in money, and I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them to give up that advantage.”

— This story was corrected at 1:17 p.m. to state that Campaign for Primary Accountability received $439,000 in May. An earlier version of the story contained incorrect information