State Politics

Environmental super PAC spent a lot on campaigns in 2016 – including Burr-Ross

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images

The League of Conservation Voters has become increasingly active raising money on behalf of political candidates.

According to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund was No. 17 on the list of biggest-spending super PACs in the 2016 election cycle.

The league’s super PAC raised nearly $20 million and spent more than $16 million. More than $1 million of that went to the unsuccessful attempt to defeat U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.

The league says the $1 million spent on that North Carolina race through the super PAC is separate from $3 million the organization itself spent on ads targeting Burr, a Republican who fended off a challenge by Democrat Deborah Ross.

The league targeted Burr in a series of ads about pollution.

Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals supporting or opposing candidates. However, they are supposed to be independent of the candidates, and cannot coordinate their efforts with the campaigns.

The biggest spender was Priorities USA Action, formed to boost Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It raised $190 million. The second highest was Right to Rise USA, which supported the candidacy of Jeb Bush and raised $122 million.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO