WASHINGTON -- The presidential election witnessed unprecedented sums of cash boosting two men in their quest for the White House. It cost more than $2 billion and sometimes provided a cloak of anonymity for billionaire donors.
It was the first election in which "super" political action committees flourished. They drew from deep wells of money from wealthy Americans and used it to blitz television viewers with seemingly endless political ads.
Tens of millions more flowed to candidates and super PACs in the weeks leading up to the election. Because of federal rules, those donors effectively remained hidden until after ballots were cast.
Unknown still are the sums of cash raised by nonprofit groups that ran so-called issue ads but didn't have to reveal their donors.