We’re experimenting with a slightly altered format for today’s post - the quick hit categories will be above the disclosure summary table.
Wednesday was a huge day for two of the most prominent Super PACs involved in the 2012 election cycle: Americans For Prosperity (backed by the richer than rich Koch Bros.) and Crossroads GPS (the brainchild of Karl Rove). Aside from these leviathans of dark money there was significant spending from the US Chamber of Commerce, Conservative Majority Fund, Patriot Majority USA and the ever present Freedomworks.
The quick hits for August 15th:
- The Roundup: $9.6 million in disclosed political spending by 14 groups targeting 20 different federal elections
- Big Spender: Americans for Prosperity lavished $6.6 million to produce and place a TV ad opposing President Obama. Prosperity has deep pockets and backers with even larger pockets and has pledged to spend heavily in the final stages of this cycle. Even though they didn’t get close to the stop spot, Crossroads GPS eclipsed the $1 million mark spending over $1.5 million in total opposing two Democrat candidates for the US Senate - Representative Shelley Berkley of Nevada and former Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia. Like Propserity, GPS spent their cash on TV production and placement.
- Cashing In: Mentzer Media walked away with the most independent expenditure cash, pocketing $6.6 million in fees. In the past 15 months Mentzer media has received a staggering $71.5 million from prominent Republican allied groups Americans for Prosperity, Amercian Crossroads, Freedomworks, US Chamber of Commerce and Restore Our Future - the Super PAC created to support Mitt Romney’s bid for the Presidency. In what would have been a winner in other days, Crossroads GPS kept their money in-house paying Crossroads Media nearly $1 million.
- House or Senate? The Senate. Groups spent $2.3 million to influence Senate contests whereas only $223K went toward the House races.
- The Shopping List: As usual, media-related products and services was the hot ticket item for groups filing independent expenditures. 9 of the 14 groups on today’s list focused on media-related purchases.
- Hotspot: The Presidential race aside and Prosperity’s mammoth media buy, the races for US Senate in Virginia between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen and in Nevada between Democrat Shelley Berkley and Republican Dean Heller. In excess of $1.3 million was spent on TV ads opposing Mr. Kaine and nearly $900K was spent ads in opposing Mr. Heller and Ms. Berkley in Nevada. (Honorable Mention - House races in AZ. Spending dramatically increased over the last three days)