Money is Speech - What are People Saying? CBMG provides clear analysis of independent political spending  
August 5, 2014
Independent Expenditures: August 4

On Monday, cash continued to pour into the 2014 election cycle from outside money groups. Collectively, these dark money organizations filed over 440 individual spending disclosures with the FEC. While it is difficult to say that these expenditures directly influence voter behavior, the massive industry servicing these expensive expressions of speech continues to grow. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $573K spent by 13 groups, targeting 20 candidates in 17 elections. 

Big spender: The Republican Party-aligned super PAC, Citizens 4 Ethics in Government dominated the daily spend. Citizens 4 Ethics dropped a total $296K on TV and Radio Media supporting U.S. Senate primary candidates in Tennessee, Joe Carr (R) and Scott Desjarlais (R). Citizens 4 Ethics targeted Carr with $269K and Desjarlais with $26K

Who’s on top? Pro-Republican Party groups outspent their Democratic Party-aligned friends, $2.8 to $1. The chart below displays organization spending segmented by party affiliation. 

House or Senate? After a day in second place, races for the Senate returned to the top spot. Senate contests attracted $495K. House elections received only $79K. 

Location, location: Elections in the Volunteer and Aloha States received most of the attention on Monday. The chart below presents the independent expenditures by state. 

Cashing in: Whenever their is big spending by outside money groups, media companies servicing the campaign sector take home big checks. Jamestown Associates earned a healthy $269K from Citizens 4 Ethics in Government for TV and Radio media support. 

If that is not enough, every disclosure from Monday is summarized in the table below.

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11:09am
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August 4, 2014
Independent Expenditures: August 2-3

Outside spending groups filed 218 independent expenditures with the FEC over the weekend. Much of the spending centered on U.S. House races in Michigan and Tennessee. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $194K spent by 10 groups, targeting 9 candidates in 8 different elections. 

Big spender: Only three groups disclosed spending in excess of $15K.

  • Character Counts PAC, a Republican Party-aligned group, dropped $95K on a media buy supporting U.S. House candidate in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District, Thomas Wamp (R).
  • Campaign for Jobs and Opportunity allocated $51K for a TV media buy supporting John Moolenaar (R-MI), a candidate for Michigan’s 4th Congressional District.
  • Women Vote! spent $25K on radio buy and production services supporting Democratic Party candidate in Michigan’s 14th Congressional District, Brenda Lawrence

Who’s on top? Pro-Republican groups outspent their pro-Dem counterparts, $157K to $38K. The chart below displays group spending by party affiliation. 

House or Senate? The House. In a change from the norm, organizations prioritized House races over Senate contests. Elections for the lower house received $169K compared to just $25K for the upper. 

Location, location: Much of the weekend’s cash flowed into three states. The chart below breaks down the disclosures by state.

Cashing in: Herd Media earned a tidy $85K from Character Counts PAC for media-related products and services.

As always, the table below summarizes all of the weekends expenditures. Enjoy!

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4:36pm
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July 29, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 28

After a wild weekend, outside spending returned to typical levels. Aside from a big expenditure by pro-Democratic Party group Women Vote!, pro-Republican Party organization’s controlled the spending. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $802K disclosed by 9 organizations, targeting 15 candidates in 14 elections. 

The details: The table below summarizes Monday’s spending.

As is readily visible, four groups (Women Vote!, American Chemistry Council, The 60 Plus Association and American College of Radiology Association PAC) were the only groups to drop more than $50K. Groups allocated high-dollar expenditures for ad-related products and services ranging from TV to print.

Lift up or break down? Because these groups are officially not affiliated with the candidate or parties they support, they tend to do the dirty work and use most of their cash on opposition spending. Monday’s spending represented a shift from the norm. As the chart below displays, the high-value expenditures are red and blue, cash supporting either Republican or Democratic Party candidates. 

The only serious opposition expenditures were made by three conservative-aligned groups (60 Plus, Freedom’s Defense and Now or Never) against Republican primary candidates. 

Who’s on top? Pro-Republican groups outspent their pro-Dem counterparts $532K to $270K. The chart below displays group spending by party affiliation. 

Come back tomorrow for more CBMG!

10:23am
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July 28, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 25 - 27

It was a huge weekend for outside spending. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $3.56 million disclosed by 15 groups, targeting 25 candidates in 17 elections. 

10:56am
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July 25, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 24

After a little break, we’re back. On Thursday, the pro-Democratic Party big boppers disclosed heavy spending, dwarfing the contributions by their pro-Republican counterparts. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $1.42 million spent by 11 groups, targeting 17 candidates in 14 elections.

Big spenders: 3 pro-Dem heavyweights accounted for over $1.3 million of the daily spend. 

  • Patriot Majority USA dropped $561K on TV ads opposing U.S. Senate Candidate in North Carolina, Thom Tillis (R)
  • Environmental Defense Action Fund allocated $414K for a TV ad opposing U.S. Senate Candidate in Colorado, Cory Gardner (R).
  • Senate Majority PAC spent a total of $332K opposing 2 candidates for Senate, Scott Brown (R-NH) and Joni Ernst (R-IA)

Who’s on top? Pro-Dem groups, by a huge margin. Collectively, 5 pro-Rep groups disclosed only $63K. Pro-Dem organizations spent $26 for every $1 disclosed by pro-Rep groups. The chart below displays group spending segmented by party affiliation. 

House or Senate? The Senate. Groups targeted U.S. Senate races with $1.35 million, leaving only $70K for U.S. House contests. 

Location, location: The chart below displays the spending by state. Four states - North Carolina, Colorado, New Hampshire and Iowa - took top billing. 

Cashing in: It wouldn’t be a big spending day for pro-Dem groups if Waterfront Strategies didn’t take home a big check. Waterfront earned a staggering $855K from Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority USA. The runner-up, SKDKnickerbocker grabbed a tidy $452K from Senate Majority, Patriot Majority and Environmental Defense Action Fund. 

And if that is not enough, the table below summarizes all of Thursday’s spending. Enjoy!

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July 19, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 18

Friday was a slow day for outside money filings. Two groups posted just one individual disclosure each totaling a meager $89,481. The table below summarizes the spending, including the company paid for providing the products and services to the outside spending groups. 

Each of these filings represent the first expenditures targeting Huelskamp and Clarke during this cycle.  

Now or Never PAC is a pro-Republican Party super PAC that was a heavy spender in 2012, disclosing nearly $8 million. So far in this cycle, Now or Never has dropped $370K targeting 5 Republican candidates. The chart below displays a rough overview of their disclosures thus far.

Women Vote! is a Democratic Party-aligned super PAC that spends nearly all of their cash supporting female candidates for the U.S. House and Senate. In this election cycle, they have disclosed over $1.66 million. Women Vote! spent over $10 million during the last cycle. The chat below breaks down their 2014 cycle allocations by target candidate and position on each. 

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10:37am
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July 18, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 17

Cash from outside spending groups poured into the FEC filings on Thursday. Heavy-hitting organizations came out to play posting 350 individual disclosures amounting to what had previously been spent over the last three days combined. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $1.79 million disclosed by 11 groups, targeting 27 candidates in 22 elections.

Big spenders: Five groups spent $100k or above influencing elections. Each group has a long and deep disclosure history during this cycle.

  • Americans for Common Sense, a pro-Republican Party group, used $512K on ad services opposing Lee Zeldin (R-NY). These expenditures are updated filings of expenses originally allocated in June.
  • Senate Majority PAC, a pro-Democratic Party super PAC, disclosed a total of $489K on ad and media-related services opposing three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell (KY), Joni Ernst (IA) and Cory Gardner (CO)
  • The pro-Dem SEIU COPE spent $256K on TV ad buys and production expenses ranging from $33K to $47K that opposed 7 Republican candidates, 6 for the U.S. House and 1 for the Senate. 
  • Patriot Majority USA, a large pro-Dem super PAC dropped $236K on a TV ad buy and production expenses opposing Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Arkansas, Thomas Cotton
  • America Inc, a pro-Rep organization allocated exactly $100K on web/digital ads and production expenses opposing Republican runoff candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia, David Purdue

Who’s on top? Pro-Dem groups outspent their Republican-aligned counterparts $1.04 million to $745K. The chart below displays group spending by party affiliation. 

House or Senate? For once, a close contests. Senate elections attracted $957K. House races received $831K. 

Location, location: As is generally the case, the big expenditures drive the geographic disbursement of the cash. Predictably, groups funneled a majority of the money into elections taking place in New York, Kentucky, Arkansas, Iowa, Colorado and Georgia. The chart below shows a basic distribution of the spending percentage by state.

Cashing in: Three big media groups took top honors in this segment. Waterfront Strategies earned a whopping $624K from pro-Dem groups Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority USA. Main Street Media Group took home the $500K balance of the pro-Rep American’s for Common Sense Disclosure. Chambers Lopez Strategies received $250K from SEIU COPE. Each of these media groups provided TV/media buy and ad production services. 

Still want more? The table below provides a summary of each disclosure. For clarity, it is segmented by target candidate. 

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11:03am
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July 17, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 16

After a few days of heavy spending things cooled off on Wednesday. Despite the low dollar amount of most of the disclosures, many of the groups filing expenditures are well known outside spending groups from both sides of the aisle. Here are the quick hits… 

The roundup: $480K spent by 5 groups, targeting 6 candidates in 6 elections. 

Big spender: Behemoth pro-Republican Party groups American Crossroads, Freedomworks, Club for Growth all filed disclosures, but pro-Democratic Party super PAC Senate Majority PAC controlled Wednesday’s spending. Senate Majority dropped $346K - 72% of the daily spend - on a media buy opposing U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R-NC)

Who’s on top? Pro-Dem groups are back on top with the single disclosure by Senate Majority. The spending by the pro-Rep groups, despite the presence of the heavy hitters, spent only $134K. The chart below displays group spending by party affiliation. 

Location, location: Leaving aside the Senate Majority PAC expenditure targeting an election in North Carolina, Wednesday’s spenders funneled cash into Minnesota ($53K), Georgia ($39K), Washington ($39K) and Iowa ($3000). 

House or Senate? In keeping with the recent trend, Senate contests attracted most of the cash, $402K to $78K. Only two groups, Freedomworks for America and Club for Growth Action, targeted House races. 

Cashing in: If a big pro-Dem group drops a large bundle on any media-related expense, it is a good bet that Waterfront Strategies is providing the service. Waterfront took home the balance of Senate Majority PAC’s disclosure, earning a tidy $346K

Finally, for your viewing pleasure, the table below summarizes all of yesterday’s spending. 

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10:11am
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July 16, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 15

On Tuesday, outside money groups poured over half a million dollars into U.S. Senate and House races across the nation. Most of the cash went toward TV media-related products and services, print mailouts/ads and voter contact calls. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $569K disclosed by 7 groups, targeting 10 candidates in 10 different elections.

Big spenders: After two days of being outclassed by pro-Democratic Party spenders, a pro-Republican Party group dominated the day’s spending. Aside from that large expenditure, only one other group eclipsed the $20K mark. 

  • American Crossroads spent $433K on TV/media production and placements for ads supporting Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Iowa, Joni Ernst.  Crossroads also allocated $2,500 for a web ad opposing U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant (D-WV). 
  • Communication Workers of America PAC dropped $94K on direct mail services opposing Jack Kingston (R-GA). CWA PAC spreads there money around, but they are spending most of their cash supporting Democratic Party candidates or opposing Republicans. 

Who’s on top? Pro-Rep groups took this prize, outspending their pro-Dem counterparts $4.9 to $1. The chart below breaks down the group spending by party affiliation. 

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Location, location: Aside from the big expenditures in Iowa and Georgia, groups targeted elections in Louisiana, Alaska and Colorado with $17K, $11K and $6K, respectively. 

House or Senate? In keeping with the recent trend, Senate elections attracted more cash than House contests. Nearly all of the expenditures targeted Senate races, accounting for 98% of the total spend.

Cashing in? If it isn’t Mentzer Media or Waterfront Strategies handsomely profiting from these outside political expenditures, it is the Main Street Media Group. Main Street took home $416K, nearly the full balance of the Crossroads disclosures.  

And if you still want more, the table below provides a complete summary of Tuesday’s independent expenditures. 

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10:06am
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July 15, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 14

For the second day running, pro-Democratic Party groups spent big on media-related expenditures targeting U.S. Senate races. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $781K disclosed by 7 groups, targeting 8 candidates in 7 elections. 

Big spenders: Three groups poured more than $100K of outside money into elections on Monday. 

  • For the second day in a row, the pro-Dem Senate Majority PAC was the biggest spending. Majority allocated $355K for media buy and production expenses opposing U.S. Senate candidate Terri Land (R-MI)
  • Another large Democratic Party-aligned super PAC, Patriot Majority USA, spent heavily on ad-related expenses opposing a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. Patriot Majority dropped $204K targeting William Cassidy (R-LA)
  • A big pro-Republican organization, The 60 Plus Association, took the bronze, disclosing $108K on TV and radio ads opposing U.S. Senate primary candidate Sid Dinsdale (R-NE). Unlike the rest of the day’s spending, these disclosures from 60 Plus were backdated to early May. 

Who’s on top? Pro-Dem spenders, $574K to $208K. The chart below displays group spending segmented by party affiliation. 

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Location, location: Monday’s spenders spread their cash all around. Since the day was dominated by large single-target expenditures, most of the money flowed into Michigan ($370K), Louisiana ($204K), Nebraska ($110K) and Georgia ($95K). 

House or Senate? As usual, Senate races attracted the most cash. House elections received just over $110K compared to $671K for Senate contests. 

Cashing in: As if independent expenditures were made for them, Waterfront Strategies and Mentzer Media Services took home the gold and silver for the second day in a row. Waterfront earned over $521K from the big pro-Dem spenders, Senate Majority and Patriot Majority. Mentzer received $108K, nearly the full balance of the 60 Plus disclosure.

And if that is not enough, the table below summarizes all of Monday’s spending. Enjoy!

image

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9:54am
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