Virginians contributed approximately 40 times more to conservative Super PACs than to liberal ones in the first six months of 2012, numbers released by the Virginia Public Access Project show.
Residents of the commonwealth gave a little more than $4 million to Super PACs, according to the VPAP data released Monday. Approximately $3.7 million went to conservative groups, while nearly $90,000 went to liberal ones.
"The money that's spent by these groups is rivaling the amount spent by the candidates," says David Poole, VPAP's executive director. "We think it's important to just make people aware of where this money is coming from and perhaps who in Virginia is giving to these groups."
Of the money going to conservative Super PACs, more than half came from just four donors. The largest contributor in Virginia is Richard Baxter Gilliam, who gave $750,000 to conservative Super PACs. He was also one of the top five individual donors to Republicans nationwide in 2010 according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The Center gathers national data on money in politics and is partnering with VPAP to make Virginia-specific data available. The organization ranks Super PACs based on their political contributions.