POLITICS

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE - A $20 Million Contribution

12/15/2011 06:45 pm ET

Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas casino magnate, is alleged to be throwing $20 million into a pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC. This would be one of the biggest single contributions, if not the biggest, to a political group registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) ever. [Politico]

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post explains how this is even possible. It would have been totally legal for Adelson to give $20 million to a 527 supporting a candidate even before Citizens United. (And yes, there were 527s supporting candidates before Citizens United.) [WaPo]

There have only been two donors who have exceeded the $20 million mark in one election cycle: George Soros and Peter Lewis in 2004. [HuffPost]

A PAC backing presidential candidate Rick Santorum launched a $200,000 ad buy with a spot boosting the candidate and knocking the other candidates in the race.

Mother Jones' Andy Kroll goes behind the scenes on the effort to roll back Citizens United. [MoJo]

The FEC deadlocked (again) on new rules for the disclosure of funding for independent groups empowered by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling. This is the second time the FEC has deadlocked on the issue and it looks like this will get solved in court in the Van Hollen v. FEC challenge.

Watchdogs have filed a complaint with the FEC over the apparent use of Super PAC footage by the Rick Perry presidential campaign. [CBS]

Will Rick Perry's anti-gay, Internet smash sensation ad actually kill homophobia as an election tactic? Josh Green thinks so: "In politics, failure is radioactive. After Walter Mondale, no presidential candidate for a generation campaigned on raising taxes. Should Perry lose badly, as seems likely, a similar stigma could attach itself to gratuitous attacks on gays - and what candidate would dare risk recalling the foundering calamity of the Perry campaign?" [Boston Globe]

Republicans are running an all-out blitz from independent groups against Sen. Ben Nelson in an effort to push him to reconsider running for reelection. [Hotline]

CAMPAIGN VIDEOS

Help us populate our list of campaign videos. Send any notable TV, radio or web ads that you see to Fundrace. Send your submissions to paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.

Committee: Newt Gingrich for President
Candidate supported: Newt Gingrich
Spot: "We Deserve Solutions" -- Newt does a Michael Dukakis impression and hits his opponents for going negative. "Others seem to be more focused on attacks rather than moving the country forward," Gingrich says in the ad. Gingrich proposes "bold ideas" and "new solutions" to "unleash America's creative spirit."
Link: [http://youtu.be/iu89otu-T9A]
Market: Iowa.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate supported: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Moral Responsibility" -- In this well put together ad Romney calls it a "moral responsibility" to reduce spending and the national debt. The ad also features something that we should expect to see even more of in political campaigning: China anxiety. Romney says about spending, "My test for the federal government is this: If a program is so critical, so important, that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it, it is a moral responsibility to believe in fiscal responsibility."
Link: [http://youtu.be/8BFM2-IpPzU]
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate supported: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Praise" -- The Romney team digs up a 2010 video of Newt Gingrich explaining how awesome Romney is and how many jobs he's created. The Gingrich quote: "Governor Romney in his business career created more jobs than the entire Obama cabinet combined." This comes after Gingrich swiped at Romney and claimed that he made his millions at Bain Capital by taking over companies and firing workers.
Link: [http://youtu.be/OqFPDL5d62A]
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Rick Perry for President
Candidate opposed: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich
Spot: "Problem/Solution" -- This Perry ad knocks Newt Romney as government insiders. The ad states that Gingrich supported $1 trillion in raises to the debt ceiling and billions in earmarks. Romney, for his part, backed a $20 million business tax increase in Massachusetts. The ad then pivots to Perry's record of job creation in Texas.
Link: [http://youtu.be/cTZUV6pz_CM]
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Red White And Blue Fund
Candidate supported: Rick Santorum
Spot: "True Conservative" -- Out-of-nowhere a PAC backing Rick Santorum runs an ad calling the candidate the "true conservative" in the race. The three positive conservative traits the ad ascribes to Santorum: "a champion for life," "a visionary that saw and understands the threat of radical Islam," and "a proven reformer who took on Washington and won."
Link: [http://youtu.be/J1l9igJewf0]
Market: Iowa
Buy: $200,500

Committee: National Republican Congressional Committee
Candidate opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Corzine -- Where's the money?" -- Where's the money Lebow--I mean, Corzine? This is one of my favorite ads of the cycle. Not because it means anything, but because they actually have text on screen that says, "Where's the MF money?" Yeah, that's all.
Link: [http://youtu.be/A3tbamzFiIc]
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Americans for Prosperity
Candidate opposed: Sen. Ben Nelson
Spot: "Tell Ben Nelson to protect Nebraska families and stop bankrupting Medicare"-- A conservative group that supports massive, fundamental changes to Medicare is running an ad about protecting Medicare. It's 2010 all over again! This ad features a bunch of Nebraskans telling viewers that Ben Nelson "sold out our nation" when he sought a special deal that would have increased money for Medicaid recipients in Nebraska and for cutting funds from Medicare. This presages another election where both sides will try to say that the other side is trying to kill Medicare.
Link: [http://youtu.be/P5go0dowxow]
Market: Nebraska
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: American Crossroads
Candidate supported/opposed: None
Spot: "Karl Rove: Let's Get This Done"-- This web video has Karl Rove explaining why donors need to give money to American Crossroads. If anything this video shows how much money the Crossroads groups have. It's a really slick video with amazing visuals. Crossroads is paying the right people.
Link: [http://youtu.be/NzcVxbk-txI]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Ted Cruz for Senate
Candidate supported: Ted Cruz
Spot: "The Ghost of Obama's Future"-- In this "A Christmas Carol" parody Cruz envisions a world where Obama is defeated for reelection and more "constitutional conservatives" are elected to office. Cruz is one of those "constitutional conservatives," of course. The Christmas theme gets tired fast.
Link: [http://youtu.be/D77Vv3U8ofU]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Iowans for Christian Leaders In Government
Candidate opposed: Newt Gingrich
Spot: "Bob Vander Plaats Christmas List"-- A (supposed) group of Iowa social conservatives are very much against Iowa's social conservative leader Bob Vander Plaats endorsing Gingrich for president. This ad, which gets annoying quickly, uses a Christmas theme to explain their displeasure.
Link: [http://youtu.be/E1tCnMBxaM8]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Ending Spending
Candidate supported/opposed: None
Spot: "Ending Spending"-- This ad from the non-profit funded by TD Ameritrade founder and Chicago Cubs co-owner Joe Ricketts calls for candidates to do something about the national debt, which, according to the ad, "will surely destroy America."
Link: [http://youtu.be/mJjCaVwc67E]
Market: Iowa
Buy: $400,000

TRACKING INDEPENDENT SPENDING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

These numbers represent spending by independent groups, like super PACs and non-profits, to support or oppose a particular candidate for the presidency in 2012. Fundrace will update this spending daily to help show which candidates are gaining from the proliferation of independent groups in this coming election.

Rick Perry (R), $1,972,058 to support, $0 to oppose.
Jon Huntsman (R), $1,455,473 to support, $0 to oppose.
Newt Gingrich (R), $0 to support, $826,718 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, $329,473 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $200,500 to support, $0 to oppose. (+$200,500)
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Red White And Blue Fund, $200,500 to support Rick Santorum for president.
Senate Conservatives Fund, $14,515 to support Mark Neumann for Senate in Wisconsin.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

NONE.

Send tips, hints, submissions, rumors to HuffPost Fundrace at paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.

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