Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s political groups spent more than twice as much on advertising for “immigration reform” than all of the bill’s opponents combined since April. The Senate’s immigration bill passed on Thursday 68-32, with 14 Republicans in support. The immigration fight will now go to the House, where leaders have indicated they, too, want some type of “comprehensive” reform even if the bill does not mirror the Senate’s.
A National Journal analysis found that Zuckerberg’s front group, Americans for a Conservative Direction, spent “almost $4.4 million on advertisements that ran in 16 states and the District of Columbia.”
Opponents of the bill–like SC Conservative Action Alliance, Numbers USA, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform–spent a combined $1.94 million.
The publication concluded this massive amount of money “provided cover to key Democrats and Republicans who voted in favor of the bill.”
Other groups in favor of the Senate’s immigration bill that passed on Thursday spent a considerable amount in less than three months. The Chamber of Commerce spent $345,000 and the SEIU spent $365,000.
The American Action Network, described as “a Republican super PAC with ties to House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH),” spent $611,000 on national advertising.
Zuckerberg formed his advocacy group with the intention of passing immigration reform. His group brought on a bipartisan group of advisers from the permanent political class, including Republican Dan Senor and Democrat Joe Lockhart.
The National Journal analysis validates conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh’s assertion two weeks ago that “big money” and “crony capitalists” were influencing Republicans in passing “immigration reform.”