Shadowy Groups Have Poured Nearly $227 Million Into 2010 Elections

A spokesman for the group said that Rightchange.com aims to be "a departure from the traditional political or issue advocacy organization model," contracting with film production companies and animators to produce creative and sometimes satirical web videos aimed at going viral.

Rightchange.com is one of many groups that have set up a separate arm that is not required to disclose its donors. Lincoln says that the shadowy nature of such groups is bad for the electoral process.

"It's not good for democracy to have all these attack ads when no one is standing behind them," said Lincoln, who acknowledges that the actual impact of the spending is largely unknown. "The question is – how much of this stuff sticks? To what extent do voters tune out when the ad comes from Americans for America?"

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Chris James contributed to this report.

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