The Federal Election Commission deadlocked in a tense meeting over whether the super PAC American Crossroads could create ads that were "fully coordinated" with candidates. Stephen Colbert was repeatedly mentioned after mocking the Crossroads request on his Comedy Central show while directing hundreds of his supporters to send comments to the FEC. [HuffPost]
Earlier in the same FEC meeting commissioners rejected a proposal from Tea Party Sen. Mike Lee to create a super PAC inside his leadership PAC. Reform advocates had long called this absurd. The commission agreed. [HuffPost]
Sen. Lee's lawyer Dan Backer sent Fundrace a statement:
On the decision: "I believe the Commission misapplied the law, and the result is a dangerous precedent that when the Constitution prevents regulation of a particular form of speech, the speech may then be banned outright."
On whether he's taking it to court: "It's up to my client (CCF) to decide whether to go to Court, though I think their interest in defending their rights to Free Speech & Association may be best served by doing so, and it's a logical next step."
The GOP primary has been the cheapest primary in recent history. This defies predictions that this election will be more expensive than any previous election. [Bloomberg]
Help us populate our list of campaign videos. Send any notable TV, radio or web ads that you see to Fundrace. We also have a thing for terrible historical campaign ads so please send along your favorites. Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committee: Ron Paul for President
Candidate opposed: Newt Gingrich
Spot: "Newt Gingrich: Serial Hypocrisy" -- As Newt Gingrich rises to the top of the GOP primary pack Rep. Ron Paul hits him with one of the most ruthless attack ads of the cycle. The video hits Gingrich for taking money from Freddie Mac and health care companies and supporting an individual mandate in health care reform and a plan to stop climate change. It closes with a line from Gingrich himself, "It's wrong to go around and adopt radically different positions because then people will have to tell themselves, 'What will you tell me next time?'"
Buy: None. Just a web video.
Committee: Rick Perry for President
Candidate supported: Rick Perry
Spot: "Leno ad" -- The Perry campaign is running this ad before and after the candidate's appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" tonight. The ad makes light of Perry's "oops" moment during a debate in November. After showing the embarrassing moment, Perry appears to explain that the third government department he wants get rid of, but couldn't remember, is the Department of Energy. He also states, "We've all lost our train of thought before ... If you want a slick debater I'm obviously not your guy."
Market: NBC (The Tonight Show)
Committee: Jon Huntsman for President
Candidate opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Mittstant Replay" -- This Huntsman web video splices Romney's contentious Fox News interview with video of Romney's many flip-flops on issues. The Democratic National Committee sent this video out to their entire press list.
Buy: None. Just a web video.
Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate supported: Mitt Romney
Spot: "The Right Answer - Iowa" -- This ad is a near carbon copy of an ad released just two days ago. It is, however, intended for Iowa, which marks Romney's debut on the air waves in the first in the nation state. The ad features Romney's call to "stop the growth the federal government and to start the growth of the private sector." The only major change is that the Iowa-specific ad features a shot of South Dakota Sen. John Thune standing next to Romney and other shots of Romney at Iowa state fairs.
Buy: at least $144,000.
Committee: Majority PAC
Candidate supported: Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)
Spot: "Ben Nelson Helps Nebraska's Veterans" -- This super PAC ad backing Sen. Ben Nelson touts his support for Veteran's Administration hospitals, expanded health care for veterans, and backed a bill to increase job opportunities for veterans.
Committee: 9-9-9 Fund
Candidate supported: Herman Cain
Spot: "Vindicating Herman Cain" -- This ad from a super PAC supporting Herman Cain features a lie detector test expert explaining that Herman Cain is telling the truth when denying allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and adultery. Cain is also a "Reagan conservative."
Market: Iowa and parts of Minnesota
Committee: Herman Cain
Candidate supported: Herman Cain
Spot: "America needs jobs!" -- This ad features Cain's message that a business leader, a CEO, like himself, should be in charge of the country. Things aren't going to get any better, Cain says, "until we put an executive into the executive office."
The Brennan Center's Adam Skaggs calls for the abolition of the FEC writing, "It has refused time and again to enforce the campaign finance laws its commissioners are sworn to uphold." [The Atlantic]
Barack Obama apparently raised $2.4 million while criss-crossing New York City to a number of fundraisers on Wednesday. [Village Voice]
The House of Representatives voted to end the presidential public financing system that was obliterated when then-Sen. Obama chose to forgo the public matching funds program to be able to raise nearly $1 billion. [The Hill]
Bill Richardson enters John Edwards territory. [WSJ]
Conan O'Brien runs a mock Herman Cain ad that doesn't have such a bad message. [Team Coco]
TRACKING OUTSIDE SPENDING:
Jon Huntsman (R), $1,455,473 to support, $0 to oppose.
Rick Perry (R), $895,230 to support, $0 to oppose.
Herman Cain (R), $462,217 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $0 to support, $357,929 to oppose.
Mitt Romney (R), $0 to support, $306,229 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.
RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS
Cadence Bank, Birmingham, Ala., Treasurer: Chris Gossett.
Citizens United for Action, Fredericksburg, Va., Treasurer: Lawrence Davies.
RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES
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