Money is Speech - What are People Saying? CBMG provides clear analysis of independent political spending
September 22, 2014
Independent Expenditures: September 19 - 21
Outside money groups spent a lot of cash on many elections throughout Friday and over the weekend. Large groups of all party affiliations and campaign foci took part in the independent expenditure bonanza. Here are the quick hits...
The roundup: 26 groups disclosed $14.9 million, targeting 47 candidates in 36 elections.
Big spenders: Of the heavy hitters, 5 groups dropped over $1 million. The table below summarizes their expenditures.
The NRA of America Political Victory Fund dominated the field, allocating $3.8 million targeting 8 Senate candidates and 2 House hopefuls. Nearly all of this cash went into Senate contests in 8 key states.
Who's on top? Pro-Republican Party organizations outspent their Democratic Party-aligned counterparts, $8.7 million to $6.2. The chart below displays group spending by party affiliation.
Location, location: Elections in the Natural State and Tar Heel State garnered more than $2 million each over the last three days. Check the chart below for a state-based break down.
House or Senate? The Senate. Outside spenders allocated $10.7 million on Senate races and "only" $4.1 million on House contests.
Cashing in: A new winner for the category - Starboard Strategic - took home a fat $3.2 million from the NRA Political Victory Fund.
Finally, if you want more info on the weekend's independent expenditures, check the table below for a complete summary.
Wednesday was big time spending day for independent expenditure groups. 11 groups dropped more than $200K each focusing on over $30 elections. Here are the quick hits…
The roundup: 20 organizations spent $11.5 million, targeting 42 candidates in 33 elections.
Big spenders: Even though tons of groups filed significant expenditures, two groups controlled the spending.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee allocated $3.8 million on 20 candidates for the House. DCCC purchased media buys and ad production services opposing 18 Republican and supporting 2 Democratic candidates.
The pro-Republican Party group, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies spent $2.5 million on ad-related expenses opposing three Democratic candidates for the Senate - Mark Udall (CO), Mark Begich (AK) and Mark Pryor (AR).
Who’s on top: Despite some large pro-Rep expenditures, pro-Dem groups collectively disclosed more cash, edging their rivals $6.3 million to $5.2 million. The chart below displays group spending by party affiliation.
Location, location: 5 states received over $1 million of independent expenditures - Iowa ($1.7M), Colorado ($1.5M), Alaska ($1.2M), Minnesota ($1M) and Kentucky ($1M).
House or Senate? As usual, the Senate. Groups disclosed over $6.8 million on Senate races and $4.7 million on House contests.
Cashing in: Two mega media companies earned more than $3 million on Wednesday. Great American Media pocketed $3.6 million from the DCCC. Main Street Media received a tidy $3.2 million from three pro-Rep groups - Crossroads GPS, Kentucky Opportunity Coalition and American Crossroads.
The table below is a full summary of yesterday’s spending. Enjoy!
Some big frequent outside spenders filed disclosures on Tuesday. Here are the quick hits…
The roundup: 9 groups disclosed $3.3 million, targeting 31 candidates in 23 elections.
Big spender: The National Republican Congressional Committee allocated $2.7 million targeting 14 candidates for the House. NRCC purchased media-related products and services opposing 11 Democratic candidates and supporting 3 Republican hopefuls.
Who’s on top? In a change of pace, pro-Republican Party organizations outspent pro-Dem groups, $2.8 million to $431K. The table below shows group spending by party affiliation.
Location, location: With the NRCC spreading their cash around, 10 states received over $100K of outside money. Four states, Minnesota ($505K), Arizona ($470K), New York ($463K) and California ($423K), experienced the highest levels of independent political spending.
House or Senate? The House, for a change. Tuesday’s spenders dropped $2.8 million on House elections and only $468K on Senate contests.
Cashing in: Frequent client of NRCC, National Media Research Planning & Placement earned a staggering $2.5 million for media-related support.
Finally, if you want more detail, check the table below for a complete summary of the day’s expenditures.
As usual, outside spending filings slowed to a trickle over the weekend. Only a few groups registered significant expenditures with the FEC. But, a few months away from election day, there are some significant patterns emerging over the last few months in this election cycle that differ from 2012.
1. Democratic Party-aligned groups are disclosing more cash than their pro-Republican Party counterparts. While the disparity is not always stark, pro-Dem groups collectively are consistently outspending all comers.
2. ‘Name brand’ groups, like the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, are much more visible than in 2012. In the last cycle, groups with explicit party affiliations were second fiddle to the mysterious sounding Senate Majorty-type and Crossroads GPS-esque organizations.
3. Most outside expenditures are ‘opposition spending’ against candidates. This was also the case in 2012, but this trend is deepening in this cycle. Because the actual campaigns prefer to run positive ads, this desire for these outside money groups to do the ‘dirty work’ calls into question direct / indirect coordination between campaigns and these outside money groups.
Okay - here are the quick hits from the weekend’s spending…
The roundup: 8 groups spent $334K, targeting 20 candidates in 14 elections.
Big spender:Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC dropped $131K on direct mail measures supporting Al Franken’s (D-MN) bid for the Senate.
Who’s on top? Pro-Dem groups, $200K to $134K. Check the chart below for a break down of group spending by party affiliation.
Location, location: With the big expenditure targeting the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, Minnesota garnered the top spot in this category receiving $131K. In second place, groups funneled $80K in to elections in Colorado.
House or Senate? The Senate. Organization’s used $205K on Senate races and only $129K on House contests.
Cashing in: The media company Mission Control earned a tidy $131K, all from Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC.
And finally, the table below includes a full summary of the weekend’s spending. Enjoy!
On Friday, things cooled off after two days of big disclosures. Lots of groups still disclosed lots of cash, but the overall amount of money spend was less than half of the previous two day average. Here are the quick hits…
The roundup: 21 groups disclosed $3.4 million, targeting 44 candidates in 34 elections.
Big spender: The pro-Democratic Party super PAC, Senate Majority PAC, allocated $819K on media-related expenses opposing four Republican candidates for the Senate. There bill included:
$249K on a media buy opposing Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
$225K on a media buy opposing Thomas Cotton (R-AR)
$216K on a media buy opposing Joni Ernst (R-IA)
$127K on a media buy and production expenses opposing William Cassidy (R-LA)
Who’s on top?Pro-Dem groups barely outspent pro-Rep organizations, $1.8 million to $1.5 million. The chart below displays group spending by party affiliation.
Location, location: Outside spenders disclosed more than $300K in six states. Check the chart below for the break down.
House or Senate? The Senate, $2.2 million to only $1.2 million for House races.
Cashing in:Waterfront Strategies took home $894K from Senate Majority PAC and House Majority PAC.
And finally, the long table below has a full summary of Friday’s spending.
Tons of independent expenditures filings for the second straight day. Many of the frequent spenders continued to funnel cash into over 20 elections. Here are the quick hits…
The roundup: 14 groups spent $7 million, targeting 32 candidates in 22 elections.
Big spender: Two groups disclosed more than $1.5 million.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dropped $3.5 million on media buys opposing 8 Republican candidates for the Senate.
National Republican Senatorial Committee allocated $1.5 million on media buys and production expenses opposing 5 Democratic candidates for the Senate.
Who’s on top? With the big DSCC expenditure, pro-Democratic Party groups outspent their Republican Party-aligned counterparts $4.8 million to $2.2 million. The chart below displays group spending by party affiliation.
Location, location: The chart below shows how the Thursday’s independent expenditures were distributed by state. Three states, Iowa, Alaska and North Carolina, received $1.7 million, $1 million and $1 million, respectively.
House or Senate? The Senate. Elections for the upper house received nearly all of the attention to the tune of $6.6 million of the $7 million total.
Cashing in:Great American Media pocketed a hefty $3.5 million from DSCC for media-related services.
As always, check out the table below for a complete summary of Thursday’s spending.
Outside expenditures continue to trend upward in this second week of September. 9 groups filed expenditures worth over $100K and over 31 elections across the country experienced outside spending influence. Here are the quick hits:
The roundup: 16 groups dropped a massive $8.4 million, targeting 45 candidates in 31 elections.
Big spenders: Three groups spent more than $1.4 million on Wednesday.
The National Republican Congressional Committee allocated nearly $2.9 million on media-related expenses opposing 11 Democratic and supporting 1 Republican candidates.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee disclosed $2.4 million on media-related expenses opposing 14 Republican and supporting 1 Democratic candidates.
The pro-Republican group Freedom Partners Action Fund spent $1.5 million on TV/media-related expenses opposing 4 Democratic and supporting 1 Republican candidate.
Who’s on top?Pro-Republican groups outspent their Democratic Party-aligned counterparts $5.2 million to $3.2 million. Check the chart below to see group spending by party affiliation.
Location, location: Groups spread their cash pretty evenly across the targeted states. Elections in Arizona experienced this most with $1.1 million. The chart below has the break down.
House or Senate? In a change of pace, the House. Outside cash flowed into the lower house to the tune of $5.7 million. The upper house received a respectable. $2.6 million.
Cashing in: When the outside money is flying big media companies are lapping it up. National Media Research Planning and Placement took home $2.3 million from the NRCC. Great American Media earned a hefty $2.1 million from the DCCC. And a mysterious organization, cryptically referred to as only 1360, pocketed nearly $1.5 million from Freedom Partners Action Fund.
And if that is not enough, take a gander at the long table below for a full summary of the day’s expenditures.
Welcome back to CBMG. Tuesday was 2012 Election Cycle reunion day for some of the heaviest spenders. Well, not really. But a few of old standbys from 2012 dusted off their FEC expenditure filing skills and dropped money into some key Senate races. Here are the quick hits…
The roundup: 10 groups disclosed $1.86 million, targeting 16 candidates in 11 elections.
Big spenders: Three groups filed expenditures totaling more than $250K.
Karl Rove’s 501(c)(4) Crossroads GPS allocated $804K on TV/media buys and ad production expenses opposing US Senate candidates in Alaska, Mark Begich (D).
GPS’s super PAC sister organization, American Crossroads, spent $573K on TV/media buys and ad production expenses opposing US Senate candidate in Iowa, Bruce Braley (D).
The pro-Dem group, SEIU COPE, used over $253K on TV buys and ad production costs opposing US Senate candidate from Colorado, Cory Gardner (R).
Who’s on top? In a change of pace, pro-Republican Party groups outspent pro-Dem filers by a large margin, $1.4 million to $475K. As usual, the chart below breaks down group spending by party affiliation.
Location, location: In a day where a few big expenditures dominate the disclosure picture, states receiving the most cash usually mirrors where the heavy spenders put their cash. So, on Tuesday, elections in Alaska ($806K), Iowa ($588K) and Colorado ($260K) - the places where Crossroads, GPS and SEIU targeted candidates - took the top places in this category.
House or Senate: The Senate. Out of $1.8 million outside spenders only disclosed $8,345 on House elections.
Cashing in: Frequent clients of the Crossroads family, Mentzer Media and Main Street Media pocketed hefty sums on Tuesday. Mentzer received $789K and Main Street earned $560K.
And, if you want more, the table below includes a summary of every expenditure on the 9th.