POLITICS
01/09/2012 06:27 pm ET

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE - Romney, Paul, Huntsman On Air In NH

Air War in New Hampshire: Voters head to the polls in New Hampshire tomorrow to determine the winner of the first primary in the Republican presidential race. Those voters have only seen a light dusting of advertisements from the candidates in the run-up to the primary as Mitt Romney's big lead has scared off much of the competition. Romney, who went up on air late in New Hampshire, has upped his ad buys in the Boston media market in January, which now reaches above $500,000 for this month. Romney's closest competitors in the polls, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, have had more support on air than the former Massachusetts governor. Over the course of the primary season, Paul's campaign has spent $1.14 million on television in the Boston market, which covers a large swath of New Hampshire, and a super PAC supporting Huntsman has dropped $1.25 million. Romney's campaign, aided by the big January buys, has spent just under $1 million. [HuffPost]

Nuclear Newt: Newt Gingrich's campaign releases two videos and two new attack web sites pillorying Romney for raising taxes as governor of Massachusetts and for his double-talk on having seen his super PAC's ads in Iowa. Meanwhile, the super PAC backing Gingrich received $5 million from Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate and close buddy of Benjamin Netanyahu, to spend on purchasing and airing a 27-minute documentary savaging Romney's time leading the private equity firm Bain Capital. The super PAC is planning a $3.4 million ad buy in South Carolina featuring footage from the documentary.

Adelson promises to give even more to help the eventual nominee, likely to the Karl Rove-linked Crossroads groups. [iWatch]

Mother Jones's Andy Kroll has a good profile of the man behind the Romney super PAC Restore Our Future.

What's the real danger of super PACs? University of California-Irvine professor Rick Hasen explains, "I am concerned that Super PAC spending will influence the outcome of close Senate and congressional races. And I am greatly concerned that when Election Day is over and the public will stop hearing about Super PACs, contributions to these groups will skew public policy away from the public interest and toward the interest of the new fat cats of campaign finance, as members of the House and Senate thank their friends and look over their shoulder at potential new enemies." [CNN]

We're coming up on the second anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. Fundrace will be keeping an eye on what reform groups are doing to ring in the anniversary. Today, the Sunlight Foundation released a new bill -- the SuperPAC Act -- that would set up a disclosure regime for the now hidden millions of dollars spent on super PACs and non-profits that are influencing our elections.

The Supreme Court today rejected a challenge to the ban on campaign contributions from foreign individuals. "We are pleased by the decision from the Supreme Court to affirm the lower court ruling and its recognition that certain restrictions on even independent expenditures are constitutional in federal and state elections," Tara Malloy, Legal Center Associate Counsel, said in a statement.

How is Google dealing with the coming in flux of super PAC spending on online ads? [TechPresident]

Behind Romney's lobbyist cadre and how Citizens United empowers big money in Washington. [NYT]

Goldman Sachs' big switcheroo: from Obama to Romney. [NYPost]

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: Winning Our Future
Candidate opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came To Town" -- The pro-Gingrich super PAC goes nuclear on Mitt Romney with a 27-minute documentary about the closing of the American Pad and Paper plant in Marion, Indiana by Bain Capital. The ad blasts Romney as a vulture capitalist who is more interested in making money than in creating jobs. This is the trailer for the documentary. If Romney becomes the GOP nominee this will be one of the greatest gifts to the Democrats and Barack Obama.
Link: [http://youtu.be/_evS-T-c35M]
Market: South Carolina.
Buy: Ad buy will ultimately reach $3.4 million.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Spot: "Tomorrow. Earn it." -- Mitt Romney's closing ad in New Hampshire features a speech by the candidate where he states that President Obama does not believe that a "free people" or "free enterprise" that make America strong, but in a "government."
Link: [http://youtu.be/I472FMAerWY]
Market: New Hampshire.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Newt Gingrich for President
Candidate opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Taxman" -- Newt Gingrich continues his negative turn against Mitt Romney with an ad attacking Romney for raising taxes and fees while serving as governor of Massachusetts.
Link: [http://youtu.be/j_k-0vvotQU]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Newt Gingrich for President
Candidate opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Stop the Pious Baloney" -- Gingrich piles on Romney for stating that he had not seen any of his super PAC's negative ads seconds before launching into a detailed description of one of those ads. The video features Gingrich's zinger, "Stop the pious baloney."
Link: [http://youtu.be/HRbHiQoeJ8E]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Jon Huntsman for President
Spot: "Country First" -- Jon Huntsman finally finds a message that resonates for his campaign in a one-minute ad, but it came a few days before the New Hampshire primary and he doesn't have much money to put it on air. This ad features Huntsman's retort to Romney about Huntsman's service under President Obama as the ambassador to China. Huntsman's strong response, "I will always put my country first," was one of the candidate's better moments during the campaign. The campaign is trying to raise $100,000 to put the ad on air.
Link: [http://youtu.be/zet8ZGXmjj4]
Market: Maybe New Hampshire.
Buy: Unknown.

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, $4,470,935 to oppose.
Rick Perry (R), $3,798,524 to support, $0 to oppose.
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,453,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R), $889,039 to support, $106,982 to oppose. (Support: +$138,305, Oppose: $26,157)
Rick Santorum (R), $832,436 to support, $2,407 to oppose. (Support: +$190,000), Oppose: +$3,550
Mitt Romney (R), $475,000 to support, $335,302 to oppose. (+$1,135)
Herman Cain (R), $462,217 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $0 to support, $429,919 to oppose. (+$12,000)
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Red White And Blue Fund, $190,000 to support Rick Santorum for President in South Carolina.
Endorse Liberty, $44,856 to support Ron Paul for President.
Endorse Liberty, $49,559 to support Ron Paul for President.
Endorse Liberty, $43,890 to support Ron Paul for President.
National Organization for Marriage, $25,126 to oppose Ron Paul for President.
National Organization for Marriage, $308 to oppose Ron Paul for President.
DGA Action, $468 to oppose Ron Paul for President.
DGA Action, $245 to oppose Ron Paul for President.
DGA Action, $529 to oppose Rick Santorum for President.
DGA Action, $614 to oppose Rick Santorum for President.
DGA Action, $641 to oppose Mitt Romney for President.
DGA Action, $494 to oppose Mitt Romney for President.
Freedom's Defense Fund, $12,000 to oppose Barack Obama for President.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Action4Liberty, Plymouth, Minn., Treasurer: Brian Baker. (Super PAC)

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

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