Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Big $$$, Secret $$$

"Astroturfing The Airwaves: Right-Wing Groups Have Now Aired 60,000+ TV Ads Since Aug. 1" (Political Correction-Media Matters):
Some changes this week to our ongoing coverage of TV activity from heavy-hitter conservative groups. We have expanded the list to 10 groups because the National Rifle Association's PAC has gotten in the game in a big way. The NRA had limited its electioneering to radio ads and direct mail until last week, but FEC filings show they've spent almost $2.7 million on TV ads. The advertising data we reviewed suggests the nation's leading pro-gun group has aired 1,822 ads across four Senate races. MORE...
"Secret Donations Could Haunt 2012" (Howard Fineman):
Corporations are funneling money into trade associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- a fact that President Obama is noting at every campaign stop.

But the bulk of the action -- and money -- tends to involve individual, high-rolling conservative donors who stayed away from the action in 2006 and 2008.
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Now they are back, and in greater numbers, according to a top campaign-finance lawyer, who declined to be named because he may advise a candidate.

There are questions about whether high rollers, secret or not, would want to get involved in GOP intramurals -- even at presidential level. "These are guys who want to be in the inner circle," said the lawyer. "If you're 'independent,' you have to stay on the outside."

No one expects Karl Rove, the hub of the wheel of independent GOP spending, to choose sides in the GOP primary early on -- let alone lead an independent campaign for or against a presidential contender.

But many of the donors -- and others -- may well feel differently. Conservative cash supporting Tea Party candidates will see no reason to rest once the congressional campaign has ended -- and the more established contenders may hope that friends will defend them.

"I could see a Mormon-Harvard-Bain Capital coalition getting out there to defend Mitt Romney even before he is attacked," said Tracey. It's a potential gold mine for an enterprising "independent" consultant. (I wouldn't be surprised if some guy with a Power Point isn't on his way to Boston even as I write.) MORE...

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