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July 6, 2015

Posts in "Super PACs"

June 12, 2015

Operative Gets 2 Years in First Campaign-Super PAC Coordination Case (Updated)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:35 p.m. | Tyler Harber, a former Republican political operative, was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in illegal coordination between a campaign and a super PAC, according to The Washington Post, in the first case of its kind.

Harber — who pleaded guilty to the charges in February — is the first political operative to go down for an illegal coordination violation, according to federal prosecutors. Those prosecutors lobbied for a harsh punishment to try to deter others from engaging in similar activities.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 12:58 p.m.
FEC, Shop Talk, Super PACs

June 4, 2015

Democrats Frustrated by Unions’ Cash Freeze Over ‘Fast Track’

Richard Trumka is president of the AFL-CIO, which has frozen campaign contributions to Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Richard Trumka is president of the AFL-CIO, which has frozen campaign contributions to Democrats over a trade bill being debated in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of Democrats’ best team players on the campaign finance front is playing hardball this cycle, withholding campaign cash over a package of trade bills being debated in Congress.

The AFL-CIO, along with some public sector unions, announced a campaign finance freeze in March. Unions hoped the threat of withholding contributions would scare Democratic lawmakers out of supporting President Barack Obama’s Trade Promotion Authority, or “fast track,” to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade agreement labor groups say would hurt manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Full story

May 14, 2015

Lieutenant Governor Moves Closer to Florida Senate Bid

Rubio is running for president in 2016.  (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rubio’s seat is open because he is running for president in 2016. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera moved closer to entering the open Florida Senate contest late Wednesday, announcing a super PAC to help him raise money for a potential candidacy.

Lopez-Cantera would be the second top-tier Republican to enter the contest — left vacant thanks to GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential bid. GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis, a favorite of tea party-aligned outside groups, announced a bid earlier this month.

Full story

October 9, 2014

The 5 Big Questions on Senate Race Spending

2014 senate races

Republicans are closely keeping tabs on Tillis, right, and the North Carolina Senate race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s decision Wednesday to drop $1 million into South Dakota, a race previously written off as a Republican win, was just the latest shakeup of the Senate landscape this week.

On Tuesday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee cut its financial investment in Michigan, where an open seat and a favorable national environment had created an opportunity for the party.

With the Senate majority at stake, the national campaign committees and their outside-group allies are constantly re-evaluating races and analyzing where their resources are most needed and best put to use. It’s all part of a real-life game of Tetris, as the groups meticulously watch each other’s moves and look to fit their ads and messaging into a larger picture.

Many of the moves by the NRSC, the DSCC and other outside groups likely will fly under the radar over the next 26 days — though with potential runoffs in Louisiana and Georgia, Senate ads actually could be airing on TV into early next year. But others, including spending by the campaigns themselves, will offer definitive signs of a race’s potential competitiveness, as in South Dakota and Michigan.

With less than four weeks to go, here are some big questions about the Senate playing field and where the millions more in spending to come will land: Full story

September 25, 2014

Democratic Super PAC Enters Maine Race (Video)

house majority pac

Cain is a Democrat running in Maine. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC will start airing advertisements Friday targeting an open seat in Maine, suggesting Democrats are concerned the race could become more competitive than initially anticipated.

HMP, a super PAC aiding House Democrats, laid down a $270,000 buy on broadcast television in the Bangor and Portland markets, according to spokesman Matt Thornton.

Thornton said the buy aims to get their candidate “across the finish line safely” — and before other groups start spending there.

Maine’s 2nd District features an open seat race between state Sen. Emily Cain, a Democrat, and former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, a Republican. The race is currently rated a Leans Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Full story

September 18, 2014

Meet the Super PAC Woman

2014 house races

Lapp is the executive director of House Majority PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the political ad wars rage on television sets from New England to Southern California, Democrats think they have their answer to the Koch brothers and Karl Rove: a mother of three sons from suburban Virginia.

Meet Alixandria Lapp, the executive director of a super PAC with the sole mission of electing as many House Democrats as possible.

At House Majority PAC, she oversees tens of millions of dollars in television advertising every fall. But Lapp’s place in Democratic politics goes beyond a single political organization.

Behind the scenes, the seasoned operative plays traffic cop among House races, wrangling the spectrum of Democratic groups to ensure they work together to get the best bang for their buck in the super PAC ad wars. Full story

August 20, 2014

Super PAC Greets Sullivan Win With Attack Ad

elections 2014

Begich-friendly super PAC has a TV ad against Sullivan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Alaska’s newly minted Republican Senate nominee will awake the morning after his primary victory to a negative TV ad from a Democratic super PAC.

Put Alaska First, a group formed to support Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, launched an ad Wednesday against Republican Dan Sullivan targeting his lack of Alaska roots and using a controversial mining project in the state as a wedge issue.

“There’s two things you need to know about Dan Sullivan,” a Dillingham, Alaska, resident says in the ad, which is airing statewide on broadcast and cable. “He’s not from Alaska, and he supports the Pebble Mine.” Full story

July 21, 2014

Super PAC Targets Democrat in Georgia

Nunn is being targeted on TV as the GOP primary concludes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the Georgia Republican Senate runoff ending Tuesday, an outside group focused on eradicating wasteful government spending launched a TV ad against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn.

The group, Ending Spending Action Fund, spent more than $200,000 to produce and place the ad, according to an independent expenditure report filed Sunday with the Federal Election Commission. It also spent more than $28,000 on opposition research.

The 30-second ad, which is running statewide and kicked off over the weekend, was timed to run just as either Rep. Jack Kingston or former corporate CEO David Perdue wins the Republican nomination and the general election officially begins. The seat in this Republican-leaning state is one of Democrats’ only pickup opportunities. Full story

July 12, 2014

Terri Lynn Land Targeted in Super PAC Ad in Michigan

Senate Majority PAC launched a TV ad Saturday aimed at the Republican vying for Michigan’s open Senate seat.

The Democrat-aligned super PAC’s spot, backed by a nearly $650,000 buy and running for two weeks, features three state residents criticizing former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land on issues including tax breaks for the wealthy and women’s health, while labeling Land a “career politician.” Full story

July 9, 2014

Super PAC Makes $7.3 Million in TV Reservations for Midterms

House Majority PAC announced Thursday it had placed a third round of television advertisement reservations worth $7.3 million.

The super PAC, which aims to elect Democrats to the House, made the reservations across across 13 media markets.

“As races across the country start to shape up, it is clear that we are well-positioned to have a successful cycle,” HMP Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said in a statement. “These early reservations will help our dollars go further and secure the air time we will need to pick up seats in November.”

Democrats must pick up a net of 17 seats to win the House majority — a difficult task this cycle. Party organizations, including the congressional campaign committees, are in the process of reserving airtime in many of the most competitive districts for the fall.

A super PAC spokesman declined to specify race targets, noting that many of those markets feature more than one House race.

HMP has now made $20 million in television airtime reservations for the 2014 elections. However, groups often release these reservations to the press as a means to communicate with other party entities about buying television ads in the same races.

These are the markets and values of the reservations:

June 25, 2014

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

club for growth

The Club for Growth, a perpetual thorn in the side of many Republican operatives, took a hit Tuesday in Mississippi, where Sen. Thad Cochran survived a primary challenge despite a significant investment from the anti-tax group.

The Club for Growth’s super PAC arm spent $2.4 million against Cochran, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a significant chunk of the $3.8 million it’s expended so far this cycle against Republicans.

What’s more, the defeat of state Sen. Chris McDaniel means the club has now failed to topple arguably its top two GOP incumbent targets of the midterm cycle — Cochran and Rep. Mike Simpson. The club spent nearly $500,000 for Bryan Smith, who lost his May 20 challenge to the Idaho Republican.

Full story

June 17, 2014

Reinforcements Infiltrate Mississippi Senate Race Runoff

In the Mississippi Senate race, McDaniel received more outside help Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Conservatives Fund launched a new TV ad in Mississippi on Tuesday, becoming the latest outside group to spend significant money on the state’s Republican Senate primary runoff.

With a week to go in the three-week-long race, the SCF’s political action arm expended $210,000 for a spot arguing “it’s time for a conservative change” from six-term Sen. Thad Cochran to state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR9DSxO4hfE 

The outside help comes as both candidates have pushed to raise money of their own for the extended contest. Cochran benefited from a 250-person fundraiser at the National Republican Senatorial Committee last week that provided an $820,000 financial surge. Full story

June 16, 2014

Crossroads Upends New York’s 21st District Primary

new york 21st district

Crossroads is spending heavily in New York's 21st District primary against Matt Doheny, above. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In New York’s sprawling 21st District, a recent influx of more than $1 million from outside groups has catapulted a 29-year-old first-time candidate ahead of the two-time nominee in the Republican primary for this coveted seat.

American Crossroads alone has already made more than $750,000 in independent expenditures to boost former White House aide Elise Stefanik’s bid — the group’s only spending in a House primary so far in 2014.

The June 24 Republican primary pits Stefanik against Matt Doheny, a deep-pocketed businessman and repeat candidate.

Early on in the race, Doheny’s familiarity with local voters and track record of self-funding his campaigns gave him an advantage. But two outside groups have flooded the district’s airwaves in a way that sources say has thrown the momentum to Stefanik.  Full story

May 22, 2014

Tom Steyer’s 2014 Targets Start With Four Senate Races

Tom Steyer, the Democrats’ financial answer to the Koch brothers, has set his sights on specific Senate and gubernatorial races to spend the $100 million he’s earmarked for the midterm elections.

His super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, aims to promote candidates who support action to mitigate the effects of climate change. It was active in last year’s elections for Virginia governor and a vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts.

The group has now targeted the competitive Senate races in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire, and the Florida, Pennsylvania and Maine gubernatorial contests. It will back the Democratic candidate in each case. Full story

May 20, 2014

GOP Super PAC Ad Ties Grimes to Hollywood, Obama

A super PAC supporting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky is launching a TV ad on Wednesday against likely Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes.

With the state’s primaries Tuesday set to cement the general-election matchup between McConnell and Grimes, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership is immediately releasing a TV ad tying Grimes to liberals, Hollywood and President Barack Obama.

The new ad is the latest attempt by the group to define Grimes at the outset of the race. It’s already spent well more than $1 million on TV and radio ads before this latest ad, which the group announced is backed by a $575,000 expenditure and airing statewide on broadcast and cable through June 2. Full story

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