Money is Speech - What are People Saying? CBMG provides clear analysis of independent political spending  
September 30, 2014

Independent Expenditures: September 29 

After a run of heavy independent political spending, filings with the FEC slowed in volume and value to summertime levels. While millions still exchanged hands between super PACs, 501(c)(4) dark money organizations and media companies, many of the biggest spenders in the 2014 cycle took Monday off. Here are the quick hits...

The roundup: 19 groups disclosed $1.9 million targeting 30 candidates in 22 elections. 

Big spenders: For the first time in weeks, no single group disclosed more than $1 million individually. The interactive chart below displays an overview of Monday's top ten spenders. Hover your cursor over the bars for more detail on each organization's spending.

  • The pro-Democratic Party super PAC Senate Majority PAC allocated over $550K on a media buy opposing Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R-NC)

  • The Democrat-aligned union-backed group AFSCME PEOPLE used $511K on TV ad buys and ad production expenses opposing Senate hopeful Terri Land (R-MI)

The targets: Aside from disclosures targeting Tillis and Land, the following chart shows the other top 8 targets. 

Who's on top? Pro-Dem groups dominated the disclosures. Collectively, those organizations dropped $1.6 million or $5 for ever $1 disclosed by pro-Rep groups.

Location, location: Elections in Michigan and North Carolina attracted the most outside cash, $613K and $553K, respectively. Check the table below for a break down by state. 

House or Senate? The Senate. Elections for the upper house attracted over $1.6 million of the $1.9 million daily total. 

Cashing in: The big media group Waterfront Strategies earned a hefty $1.1 million from three pro-Dem groups - AFSCME, House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC. 

Check the interactive table below for a complete summary of Monday's expenditures. 

As ever, thanks for reading CBMG!

September 29, 2014

Independent Expenditures: September 26-28 

Recent disclosure trends continued over the weekend. Big-time independent spenders of all stripes dropped millions on both House and Senate elections across the country. Here are the quick hits...

The roundup: 26 groups spent $8.8 million targeting 54 candidates in 39 elections. 

Big spenders: Three groups disclosed more than $1.3 million. Check the chart below for an overview of the top 10 spenders. Hover your cursor over the bars for more detail on each expenditure.

The primarily pro-Republican Party National Association of Realtors Congressional Fund used nearly $1.9 million on media-related expenses supporting Joe Heck (R-NV), Ryan Costello (R-PA), Patrick Murphy (D-FL).

The targets: Groups focused over $900K on Democratic hopeful in Florida's 26th Congressional District, Joe Garcia. The chart below displays the remaining to 9 targets.  

Who's on top? Pro-Rep groups outspent their pro-Dem counterparts, $6 million to $2.7 million. 

Location, location: With the big expenditures on candidates from Florida, Patrick Murphy and Joe Garcia, the Sunshine State attracted the most cash ($1.6 million). Check the table below for a spending break down by state. 

House or Senate? In a change of pace, the House. Independent spenders used $5.6 million on House elections and $3.1 million on Senate contests. 

Cashing in: The National Media Research Planning & Placement group earned a tidy $1.4 million from the National Republican Congressional Committee. Not that it is a shock, but every day media companies earn millions furnishing independent spenders with ad-related products and services. 

Finally, the interactive table below provides a full summary of the weekend's independent political spending. 

As always, thanks for checking CBMG! 

September 26, 2014

Independent Expenditures: September 25 

As election day begins to approach, big money keeps flowing from big independent political spenders into elections across the country. On Thursday, the recent uptick in overall disclosure value continued with 14 organizations filing spending in excess of $100K. Here are the quick hits...

The roundup: 28 groups disclosed over $7 million targeting 38 candidates in 28 elections. 

Big spenders: The chart below displays the spending from Thursday's top 10 groups.

The pro-Republican Party NRA of America Political Victory Fund dropped nearly $1.5 million on media-related materials opposing Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Alison Grimes (D-KY), and supporting  Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The targets: The chart below shows which candidates were targeted by which groups. Hover your cursor over the chart for more detail on each expenditure. 

Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Thomas Cotton (R-AR) were the targets du jour, each attracting over $650K from outside spenders. 

Who's on top? For once, pro-Dem groups and pro-Rep groups ended the day in a virtual tie. Each set of groups filed over $3.5 million

Location, location: For the third day running, the Hawkeye State took top honors in this section. Groups spent over $830K on the US Senate election in Iowa. Review the chart below for a spending breakdown by state.

House or Senate? As usual, the Senate. Elections for the upper house received $5.7 million of the $7 million daily indy spending total. 

Cashing in: Starboard Strategic took home nearly $1.5 million from the NRA of America Political Victory Fund. House Majority and Senate Majority PACs paid Waterfront Strategies over $1 million. Both Starboard and Waterfront specialize in political media buys and production. 

If you want more detail, check the table below for a complete summary.

Thanks for reading CBMG! 

September 25, 2014

Independent Expenditures: September 24 

On Wednesday, heavy outside political spending continued in key congressional races. While expenditure filings by pro-Democratic Party groups decreased compared to Monday and Tuesday's spend, Republican Party-aligned organizations dominated the disclosure picture. Here are the quick hits...

The roundup: 14 groups spent $7.6 million targeting 25 candidates in 17 elections. 

Big Spenders: Disclosures by three groups accounted for $5.8 million of the daily total. Check the table below for an overview of their spending. 

  • Freedom Partners Action Fund dropped over $2 million on media-related products and services primarily opposing 6 Democratic candidates for the Senate and House. 
  • National Republican Senatorial Committee allocated nearly $2 million opposing many of the same candidates targeted by Freedom Partners - Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Udall (D-CO), Bruce Braley (D-IA) Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Mark Begich (D-AK).
  • Ending Spending Action Fund used $1.8 million for media-related expenses opposing two democratic Senate candidates, Gary Peters (D-MI) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Who's on top: Pro-Republican Party groups. Pro-Rep organizations accounted for $7.1 million of the $7.8 million total. The chart below displays group spending segmented by party affiliation. 

Location, location: Elections in the Last Frontier State attracted over $1.6 million. The chart below displays spending by state. 

House or Senate? The Senate, $7.1 million to $471K. 

Cashing in: The cryptically named "I360" earned $2 million from the Freedom Partners Action Fund. 

For more on Wednesday's spending, the table below includes a full summary of the independent expenditures. 

As ever, thanks for checking CBMG!  

September 24, 2014

Independent Expenditures: September 23 

Tuesday was a huge day for outside spending. The collective value of the disclosures was the largest of any day over the last four months. As has been the case in the 2014 cycle, big directly party-affiliated organizations led the way with the heaviest spending while other frequent spenders filled in behind. Here are the quick hits...

The roundup: 13 groups spent $15.8 million targeting 53 candidates in 36 elections.

Big spenders: In a day where 5 organizations disclosed over $1 million each, two groups accounted for $10 million, or nearly two thirds of the total. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee allocated a staggering $6.5 million on media-related expenses targeting 23 candidates for the House. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee dropped over $3.5 million media-related expenses primarily opposing 17 candidates for the House. 

Other groups, all Republican Party-affiliated, expending a lot of cash - Crossroads GPS ($2.2 million), American Crossroads ($1.3 million) and Kentucky Opportunity Coalition ($1 million) - were overshadowed by the mammoth DCCC and NRCC filings. 

Who's on top? Despite the big DCCC filing, Pro-Republican Party groups outspent pro-Democratic Party organizations $9.2 million to $6.5 million. The chart below summarizes group spending by party affiliation. 

Location, location: Elections in the Rocky Mountain and Hawkeye States received outside cash attention to the tune of over $2.3 million each. Check the chart below for a breakdown of indy spending by state. 

House or Senate? In a change of pace, groups targeted House contests with nearly $10.1 million and used $5.7 million on Senate races.

Cashing in: Three media companies took home over $3.2 million on Tuesday. Great American Media pocketed nearly $6 million from the DCCC. Main Street Media earned $3.6 million from Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads. National Media Research Planning & Placement received over $3.2 million from NRCC. 

Finally, check the table below for a full summary of Tuesday's disclosures.

As ever, thanks for reading CBMG!

10:30am
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September 23, 2014

Independent Expenditures: September 22 

After a stretch of hefty FEC outside money filings happening at a torrid pace, disclosure volume and value lessened a little on Monday. Nearly all of the groups expending cash were frequent filers and most of money flowed in the typical way - to high-profile Senate contests. Here are the quick hits...

The roundup: 13 groups dropped $2.1 million, targeting 25 candidates in 18 elections. 

Big spenders: Disclosures from two groups, summarized in the table below, accounted for $1.7 million of the daily spend. 

  • The pro-Republican Party super PAC NRA of America Political Victory Fund spent nearly $1.1 million on opposition media expenses primarily targeting 4 candidates - Mary Nunn (D-GA), Bruce Braley (D-IA), Alison Grimes (D-KY) and Natalie Tennant (D-WV).
  • A Democratic Party-affiliated group League of Conservation Voters used almost $600K opposing Bruce Braley's competition in the Iowa Senate race Joni Ernst (R-IA)

Who's on top? For the second day running, Pro-Rep groups outspent their pro-Dem rivals by a significant margin, $1.4 million to $676K. The chart below displays group spending by party affilliation. 

Location, location: With two big groups targeting the Hawkeye State, Iowa attracted the most outside cash. Check the following chart for a breakdown of spending by state. 

House or Senate? The Senate, big time. Groups allocated over $1.8 million on Senate contests and only $256K on House elections. 

Cashing in: Starboard Strategic keeps getting the fattest checks this week, earning $1.1 million from the NRA of America Political Victory Fund and NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

Finally, the table below summarizes all of Monday's expenditures.

As always, thanks for checking CBMG!

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.

As every, thanks for reading CBMG! 

10:41am
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September 19, 2014

Independent Expenditures: September 18 

Daily outside spending totals keep going up with 5 groups disclosing over $1 million dollars each. Here are the quick hits...

The roundup: 20 groups dropped a mammoth $12.2 million targeting 32 candidates in 16 elections. 

Big spenders: Two groups expended over $2.3 million, dominating the daily spending.

  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent nearly $3.5 million opposing 8 Republican candidates for the Senate. 
  • The pro-Democratic Party group, NextGen Climate Action Committee allocated $2.3 million on media-related expenses opposing Senate candidates Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Joni Ernst (R-IA).

Who's on top? As usual, pro-Dem groups outspent their pro-Rep rivals by a substantial margin, $7.5 million to $4.6. Check the chart below for details on group spending by party affiliation. 

Location, location: Elections in Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire were the primary targets for the heaviest of the heavy spending organizations. 

House or Senate? The Senate. Groups allocated $10.3 million on Senate races and "only" $1.9 million on House contests. 

Cashing in: Great American Media took home $3.6 million from the DSCC and DCCC. Waterfront Strategies pocketed over $2.2 million from NextGen. 

Finally, if you want more detail, check the interactive summary table below that provides an overview of Thursday's expenditures.

12:38pm
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September 18, 2014
Independent Expenditures: September 17

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!

Thanks for checking CBMG!

September 17, 2014
Independent Expenditures: September 16

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. 

Thanks for reading CBMG!

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