Serious spending in Independent expenditures continued on Monday. Groups disclosed nearly $13 million in election influence to the Federal Election Commission. 5 organizations reported spending in excess of $900K. Joining the frequent heavy spenders near the top of the list was the super PAC Government Integrity Fund Action Network with a $1.1 million disclosure. As has been reported elsewhere, at the time of writing, GIFAN has only disclosed $10.5K in contributions so far this election cycle. Whist the gap between reporting contributions and making independent expenditures is within the rules, a key characteristic of super PACs, differentiating them with other organizations within the campaign finance ecosystem, is that information on their financial support is supposed to be public.
The Roundup: $12.9 million disclosed by 24 organizations hoping to influence over 20 federal elections
The Big Spender: The National Republican Senatorial Committee disclosed $4.2 million opposing 7 Democratic candidates and 1 Independent candidate for the Senate. The labor union SEIU PEA Federal dropped over $2 million supporting Democratic candidates vying for the House, Senate as well as the White House.
Romney vs. Obama: President Obama. Groups disclosed over $3 million expressing targeting the President, with $1.8 million in opposition. The big groups focusing on Mr. Obama’s candidacy were the pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, with a $1.4 million disclosure (opposition) and the previously mentioned labor union, SEIU PEA Federal, with nearly $1.1 million (support). Mitt Romney was the direct recipient of only $162K – 67% of the cash supporting his campaign. Little heard from super PAC, Crossroads Generation, disclosed nearly $80K supporting the former Governor of Massachusetts.
Congressional Cabbage: Democratic congressional hopeful in Connecticut’s 5th District, Elizabeth Esty, was the big target among House candidates on Monday. The only disclosure naming Ms. Esty was the Government Integrity Fund Action Network’s $1.1 million opposition spending for media buys. Ms. Esty’s opponent, Andrew Roraback, was not named in any disclosures.
Democratic Senate candidate from Virginia, Tim Kaine, was the top recipient of Senate-focused spending - nearly $1.2 million in outside cash. Over $1 million was spent in opposition to Mr. Kaine, with the National Republican Senatorial Committee footing most of the bill. George Allen, the Republican challenging Mr. Kaine in this Senate contest, was named in disclosures amount to just over $16K
The Hot Spot: Virginia. Over $1.37 million in outside cash poured into Virginia on Monday. Elections taking place in Wisconsin ($1.34MM), Nevada ($1.28MM) and Connecticut ($1.1MM) also received a big time injection of outside cash within Monday’s disclosures.
The High Striker: The Republicans. Pro-Republican groups disclosed over $8.6 million on Monday – pro-Democratic groups $4.3. For every dollar disclosed by the Dems, the Reps reported just over $2.
As always, the complete disclosure summary table for Monday, October 15th: