After the deluge of disclosures on Thursday and Friday - amounting to over $50 million in all - independent expenditure reporting went back to normal levels over the weekend. Despite the decrease in relative spending from the end of the working week, absolute disclosure values over the weekend days continue to rise. Spending focused on the Presidential race accounted for 86% of the total weekend spend, and pro-Republican groups continued to dominate their pro-Democrat counterparts.
The Roundup: $5.7 million in political spending disclosed by 13 groups attempting to influence over 20 federal elections
The Big Spender: The Republican National Committee disclosed $3.7 million for media production expenses opposing President Obama. Over the past 3 months, the RNC has reported over $33 million in spending to the FEC – all opposing Mr. Obama. Only one other group – the American Future Fund – eclipsed the $1 million mark over the weekend. The AFF, founded in 2007, is a relatively old dog in the new political spending universe. The 501(c)(4) organization disclosed nearly $1.5 million over the weekend supporting Mitt Romney ($988K) and supporting Republican efforts in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District ($411K).
Cashing In: National Media Research Planning & Placement stands to earn $3.7 million from this weekend’s disclosures. NMRP works frequently with large pro-Republican groups filing independent expenditures with the FEC. Counting their weekend takeaways, they have pocketed over $24 million this election cycle.
House or Senate? The House. Candidates vying for the lower house of Congress attracted $736K. Senate elections received only $82K from outside spending groups. A majority of the House spending focused on two races – Arizona’s 1st Congressional District (Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick versus Republican Jonathan Paton) and Texas’ 23rd District (Democrat Pete Gallego versus Incumbent Republican Francisco Canseco).
The Hotspot: Arizona. As stated above, race for the 1st Congressional District in the Grand Canyon State attracted a significant amount of cash. Of the pro-Republican $411K disclosed, $225K supported Republican Jonathan Paton and $186 opposed his Democrat rival and former 1st District Representative (2009-2011), Ann Kirkpatrick.
The High Striker: The Republicans, big time. Pro-Republican groups vanquished the pro-Democrat forces over the weekend. Right-leaning groups disclosed $5.6 million compared to a paltry $125K by the left-aligned organizations. For every $1 disclosed by the Dems, the Reps spent $44.7!
For the detail, the disclosure summary table: