Money is Speech - What are People Saying? CBMG provides clear analysis of independent political spending  
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!

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9:54am
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July 14, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 11 - 13

Lots of independent expenditures poured in over the weekend. Large super PACs and organizations on both sides of the aisle spent big on U.S. Senate and House races. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $978K disclosed by 11 groups, targeting 19 candidates in 16 different elections.

Big spenders: Four organizations spent more than $100K over the last three days. 

  • The behemoth Democratic Party super PAC Senate Majority PAC dropped $302K on a media buy and production expenses opposing Republican U.S. Senator and general election candidate for reelection in Kentucky, Mitch McConnell.
  • The American Hospital Association PAC allocated over $212K for TV ad and production expenses supporting Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) bid for the U.S. Senate. 
  • Sierra Club Political Committee disclosed $193K on a TV ad and other expenses opposing U.S. Senate candidate in Iowa, Joni Ernst (R).
  • Character Counts PAC spent nearly $112K on a media buy and media production supporting U.S. House candidate in Tennessee, Thomas Wamp (R) .

Who’s on top? Pro-Dem groups outspent their pro-Rep counterparts $546K to $432K. The chart below displays group disclosures by party affiliation. 

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Location, location: As usual, spending on the state-level corresponds to the location of the largest expenditures. Kentucky ($302K), Kansas ($245K), Iowa ($193K) and Tennessee ($112K) attracted the most cash from independent political spenders. 

House or Senate? The Senate. The races for the upper house gobbled up $738K compared to $240K for lower house contests. 

Cashing in: As usual, the big media facilitators took home most of the cash. Waterfront Strategies, a group that normally handles big pro-Dem ad/media buys, earned $495K. Mentzer Media Services, an organization that handles big pro-Rep ad/media buys, received $200K for related services.

Now the summary table providing an overview of all the weekend’s expenditures. 

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10:22am
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July 11, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 10

Thursday’s independent political spending focused on 3 elections in Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina. All groups filing disclosures are known to be aligned with Republican Party candidates. Here are the highlights…

The roundup: $221K disclosed by 4 groups, targeting 5 candidates in 3 elections. 

The table below summarizes of all the disclosures

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All expenditures $50K and above were allocated for ad-related products and services. Southern Conservatives Fund engaged Media Ad Ventures, Inc. to work on their TV ad. Kansans for Responsible Government used Strategic Media Services for their ad production & placement needs. America, Inc. went to Creative Response Concepts for help with their web/digital ads. While earning a tidy sum for their services, these three media companies are not usually engaged by the larger super PACs and 501(c)(4) groups to produce the high-dollar ads and make significant media buys. 

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6:43am
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July 10, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 9

On Wednesday, there was big spending by large outside money organizations of both party affiliations. Most of the large spending went toward media-related expenses - ad production and media buys. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $1.97 million disclosed by 9 groups, targeting 13 candidates in 10 elections. 

Big spender: Three groups spent in excess of $350K, accounting for 95% of the daily disclosure amount. 

  • The Republican-aligned US Chamber of Commerce dropped $779K on a TV/digital ad supporting Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia, Jack Kingston
  • behemoth pro-Democratic Party super PAC, Senate Majority PAC, allocated $725K for media buys and production expenses opposing U.S. Senate candidates Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Corty Gardner (R-CO). Senate Majority spent $482K on Tillis and $243K on Gardner
  • Another large pro-Dem super PAC, LCV Victory Fund, went large and used $365K on TV ad buy and production services opposing candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, Scott Brown (R)

Who’s on top? Pro-Dem groups. Democratic Party-aligned organizations spent over $1.1 million or $1.32 for every pro-Rep $1. The chart below displays group spending by party affiliation. 

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House or Senate? The Senate, by a mile. Groups allocated $1.92 million on Senate contests and only $51K on House races.  

Location, location: Nearly all of the cash went into four states in different parts of the country. Georgia attracted $800K, North Carolina received $498K, New Hampshire garnered $380K and Colorado xxx $493K. As usual, these amounts align with the large expenditures by the day’s big spenders. 

Cashing in: Two groups, Waterfront Strategies and Revolution Agency, took home most of Wednesday’s cash. Senate Majority PAC, LCV Victory Fund and Put Alaska First collectively paid $1.1 million to Waterfront Strategies for media and ad-related services. Revolution Agency received all of their princely $779K from the US Chamber of Commerce group for help with a TV/digital ad. Most groups cashing in on independent expenditures receive their money along partisan lines and do not provide services to groups across the aisle.

As always, below is a table summarizing all of Wednesday’s independent spending. Enjoy!

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9:58am
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July 9, 2014
Independent Expenditures: July 8

Many of Monday’s spenders came back for seconds on Tuesday. Lots of cash is mounting up against Alison Grimes in Kentucky and Brian Ellis in Michigan. Here are the quick hits…

The roundup: $937K spent by 6 groups, targeting 8 candidates in 7 elections

Big spender: For the second day running, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition disclosed big cash opposing U.S. Senate hopeful from Kentucky, Alison Grimes (D). The 501(c)(4) group used $710K on TV/media ad production and placement services.

Another pro-Republican Party group, Club for Growth Action, disclosed a large expenditure on Tuesday. This super PAC allocated $176K on TV/media ad production and placements opposing U.S. House primary candidate in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, Brian Ellis (R)

Who’s on top? Pro-Republican Party groups. For every $1 spent by pro-Dem groups, pro-Rep organizations dropped $32. The chart below displays group spending by party affiliation. 

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House or Senate? The Senate. Outside spending organizations allocated $741K on Senate contests and $196K on House races. 

Location, location: Aside from the big spending in Kentucky ($710K) and Michigan ($176K), groups targeted North Carolina with $26K

Cashing in: A majority of the big expenditures by Kentucky Opportunity Coalition and Club for Growth Action went to Main Street Media Group and Red Sea LLC, respectively. Main Street took home $694K and Red Sea earned $176K. Each group specializes in ad production and placement services. 

As always, the table below summarizes all of Tuesday’s independent political spending. 

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