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HUFFPOST FUNDRACE - GOP Starts To Sour On Super PACs

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Dabbing their heads and waving paper fans, Republican big-wigs are now decrying the unprecedented spending by super PACs in the GOP primary. HuffPost's Sam Stein writes that former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge and Sen. John McCain have both stated that there needs to be more disclosure around the super PACs, which dominated the Iowa caucuses and blasted Mitt Romney's opponents into smithereens. Of course, McCain voted against a bill in Congress that would have increased transparency for super PACs and other groups spending money. That bill--the DISCLOSE Act--was one vote shy of clearing a Republican filibuster in the Senate. [HuffPost]

Mitt Romney's super PAC continues to pummel away at Newt Gingrich. The group reported another expenditure totaling $264,700, including an ad buy, targeting Gingrich in Florida. That brings the total amount spent in Florida against Newt to nearly $600,000. Restore Our Future also spent $101,537 to buy air time in South Carolina for what might be the group's first positive ad of the cycle. (I repeat, might.)

Who's funding the pro-Rick Santorum super PAC? That would be the wealthy Wyoming investor Foster Friess. Friess also helps shed some light on the thinking behind some Santorum supporters, "He's incredibly versed in one of the No. 1 issues of our time -- and that is violent Islamic extremism ... he'll be able to appeal to the Jewish vote, which last time went 68 percent for Obama." [NBC]

Someone finally runs a negative ad against Mitt Romney! Newt Gingrich calls Romney's economic plan "timid" in an ad set to run in New Hampshire. I assume this is all a warm-up to the coming apocalypse in South Carolina. [HuffPost]

Newt, however, is suffering from a bit of buyers remorse over his previous support for super PACs. [Politico]

A couple of good posts from the Open Secrets crew: Ron Paul leading the GOP in military donations and how the Democrats are seeing a big boost in small donors.

Santorum is barely making a dent on air in New Hampshire. [Politico]

Meanwhile, Santorum supposedly raised $1 million after winning the Iowa caucuses. That's about the same amount that he had raised from April through September 2011. [Atlantic]

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 opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Bold, Conservative Leadership" -- The first ad to go directly at Mitt Romney in the Republican primary features an attack on Romney's economic plan. The ad uses quotes from the Wall Street Journal and Forbes calling Romney's plan "timid" and identical to Obama's economic policy. "Timid won't create jobs," the ad says. Pivoting to Gingrich, the ad brings in positive music and colorful video of Gingrich while assigning all of the positive economic trends of the 1990s to his leadership.
Link: [http://youtu.be/qPXostqGHUI]
Market: New Hampshire.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: MoveOn.org
Candidate opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Mitt Romney: Job Creator?" -- If Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee expect to see endless ads like this one. A working class man who lost his job after Bain Capital bought a steel company and shut down the Kansas City factory he worked at for 32 years. "Mitt Romney wants to call himself a job creator. Mitt Romney doesn't care about jobs. He cares about money," the man says.
Link: [http://youtu.be/IIUNtHm22-Q]
Market: New Hampshire.
Buy: $15,000.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Spot: "Free Enterprise" -- Mitt Romney blasts the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for taking action against a Boeing factory in South Carolina in this ad set to air in, wait for it, South Carolina. Romney is seen saying that the NLRB, "now stacked with union stooges," is taking action solely for political reasons.
Link: [http://youtu.be/qytehw0vU9I]
Market: South Carolina.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: American Bridge
Candidate opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Romney's Energy Loan Hypocrisy" -- The Democratic super PAC blasts Romney as a hypocrite for his continued criticism of the failed Solyndra loan. The web video references news stories about two loans Romney's administration in Massachusetts made to companies run by campaign contributors that the companies eventually defaulted on. Taxpayers were left with the bill, millions of dollars, in both cases, which is exactly what happened with Solyndra.
Link: [http://youtu.be/SWDpMs0DfqY]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

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.

Newt Gingrich (R), $982,082 to support, $4,380,974 to oppose. (Support: +$108,982, Oppose: +$264,700)
Rick Perry (R), $3,798,524 to support, $0 to oppose.
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,233,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Mitt Romney (R), $475,000 to support, $329,473 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R), $650,516 to support, $80,825 to oppose. (+$31,161)
Rick Santorum (R), $629,735 to support, $0 to oppose.
Herman Cain (R), $462,217 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $0 to support, $417,919 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Restore Our Future, $264,700 to oppose Newt Gingrich for President in Florida.
Restore Our Future, $101,537 to support Mitt Romney for President in South Carolina.
Winning Our Future, $108,982 to support Newt Gingrich for President.
Endorse Liberty, $31,161 to support Ron Paul for President.
Club for Growth, $263,870 to oppose David Dewhurst for Senate in Texas.
Club for Growth, $19,571 to oppose Fred Upton for Congress in Michigan.
Club for Growth, $44,844 to oppose Tim Murphy for Congress in Pennsylvania.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $196,650 to oppose Rob Cornilles for Congress in Oregon.
FreedomWorks for America, $31,831 to oppose Orrin Hatch for Senate in Utah.
Senate Conservatives Fund, $215,086 to support Don Stenberg for Senate in Nebraska.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Liberty Action PAC, Orlando, Fla., Treasurer: Deryl Edwards. (Super PAC)
New Independent Party, McLean, Va., Treasurer: Michael Barron. (Super PAC)
Skateboarder for Car and Road Safety, Alameda, Calif., Treasurer: Alec Foster.

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