POLITICS

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE - Dems Go After Super PACs

01/25/2012 06:44 pm ET | Updated Mar 26, 2012

Democrats in the House are ready to introduce a new bill to expand disclosure for super PACs. The presidential campaign has already seen millions of dollars spent by super PACs, which have effected the outcomes in early primary races. HuffPost's Sam Stein writes, "The new DISCLOSE Act, like the original version, would not attempt to challenge legal rulings and put actual curbs on such spending. But it would require timely disclosure by super PACs and 501(c)(4) organizations that spend money on campaign advertisements. It would require lobbyists to disclose their campaign expenditures to these groups. It would force corporations to disclose campaign expenditures to their shareholders. It would force super PACs to reveal their top five donors in each ad. And it would require that the heads of these groups literally "approve" an ad's message at the end of each one."

The bill, however, contains some of the same exemptions from disclosure for big groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA). This isn't sitting well with everyone. A tweet from the Sunlight Foundation's Lisa Rosenberg reads: "The D's proposed bill sounds like #Sunlight's #SUPERPAC Act, except we don't have special interest carve outs."

Sen. John McCain held forth in a conference call this morning in the only way he knows how to, saying things that he probably shouldn't be saying. The call was supposed to be about Newt Gingrich's record on earmarks -- he oversaw their explosion in the 1990s -- but McCain tossed out an offhand remark, which he has said before, that super PACs were going to lead to a major scandal. Of course, this conference call was at the behest of the Mitt Romney campaign, which is benefiting mightily from tens of millions of dollars spent by a super PAC that Romney has personally raised money for. [HuffPost]

Maybe McCain meant to say that Newt Gingrich's super PAC is going to lead to a major scandal. The only reason that Newt is even competitive with Romney is because of a super PAC funded by Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who loves Benjamin Netanyahu and has extensive investments in China. [NYMag]

FEC Chair Caroline Hunterwrote this in a Washington Times op-ed: "[S]uperPACs may not coordinate with any candidate." Rick Hasen raises issue with this: "The accurate statement is that Super PACs may not illegally coordinate."

The Center for Responsive Politics has an excellent infographic about the bundlers raising money for Barack Obama and the Republicans. One problem, none of the Republican candidates have disclosed their bundlers. Womp womp. [CRP]

If you like SOPA you probably also get a lot of campaign contributions from Hollywood. [CalWatch]

Republican Jewish donors aren't that excited about their candidates. They are giving very little so far this cycle. [Tablet]

An outside group is going to spend some money to support Sen. Orrin Hatch in Utah. [RC]

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: Restore Our Future
Candidate opposed: Newt Gingrich
Spot: "Reagan" - Newt Gingrich invokes Ronald Reagan a lot, but Reagan barely mentioned him in his diary. That's this gist of this ad from the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC.
Link: [http://youtu.be/q9Ixx8sFZh4]
Market: Florida.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate opposed: Newt Gingrich
Spot: "Hechos" - This Spanish language ad hits Gingrich for calling Spanish the "language of the ghetto." It also repeatedly invokes Ronald Reagan to say that Gingrich is nothing like the former president.
Link: [http://youtu.be/a1_taR9pl5s]
Market: Florida.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate opposed: Newt Gingrich
Spot: "Nevada Families" - This is the same as the "Florida Families" ad that hits Gingrich for his work as a "historian" for Freddie Mac.
Link: [http://youtu.be/pSRk4MJ_a2I]
Market: Nevada.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Republican National Committee
Candidate opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Familiar Rhetoric, Failed Record" - Apparently Barack Obama from 2010 is the same guy as Barack Obama from 2012. This web video shows Obama's State of the Unions over the past few years and reveals that Obama has said the same thing in many of them. It's not entirely clear what the meaning of this is.
Link: [http://youtu.be/UDDRiGIUYQo]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Republican National Committee
Candidate opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Failed Promises: Washington Still Broken" - From the party that began 2009 with a policy of opposing anything and everything proposed by President Obama comes this video about how the president has failed to fix the partisan fighting and gridlock in Washington.
Link: [http://youtu.be/m4BJzPXgSh8]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Newt Gingrich for President
Spot: "Newt Gingrich for President" - A Spanish language Newt ad to air in Florida.
Link: [http://youtu.be/LRzTgVSBj_Q]
Market: Florida.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: American Bridge 21st Century
Candidate opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Where Does Mitt Romney Stand On Immigration? Does He Even Know?" - This video has a bunch of clips of Romney providing different positions on immigration.
Link: [http://youtu.be/SECkUiJvVmU]
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), $1,712,759 to support, $10,494,975 to oppose. (+$345,522)
Mitt Romney (R), $1,262,223 to support, $4,393,906 to oppose. (+$65,977)
Rick Perry (R), $3,964,824 to support, $0 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R), $3,426,938 to support, $165,339 to oppose. (+$29,607)
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,453,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $1,810,519 to support, $444,355 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $23,997 to support, $630,124 to oppose. (Support: +$5,480, Oppose: +$18,327)
Herman Cain (R), $486,717 to support, $0 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Winning Our Future, $345,522 to support Newt Gingrich for President in Florida.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $100,117 to support Suzanne Bonamici for Congress in Oregon's First District.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $100,117 to oppose Rob Cornilles for Congress in Oregon's First District.
FreedomWorks Action, $18,327 to oppose Barack Obama for President.
FreedomWorks Action, $18,971 to oppose Orrin Hatch for Senate in Utah.
Florida Watch Action, $8,362 to oppose Mitt Romney for President in Florida.
Planned Parenthood Action, $2,750 to support Suzanne Bonamici for Congress in Oregon's First District.
Planned Parenthood Action, $2,750 to oppose Rob Cornilles for Congress in Oregon's First District.
Endorse Liberty, $29,607 to support Ron Paul for President.
1911 United, $5,480 to support Barack Obama for President in Florida.
SEIU COPE, $57,615 to oppose Mitt Romney for President in Florida.
SEIU COPE, $33,685 to oppose Rob Cornilles for Congress in Oregon's First District.

POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Standard Aero PAC, Tempe, Ariz., Treasurer: William Chiulli.
Advancing Manufacturing And Industry In America PAC, Mentor, Ohio, Treasurer: Robert Patrick Cvetichan.
We The People For A Constitutional America PAC, Sacramento, Calif., Treasurer: Corie Mattar. (Super PAC)
Tea Party Express Presidential Campaign, Willows, Calif., Treasurer: Kelly Lawler. (Super PAC)
National Youth Association, Gaithersburg, Md., Treasurer: Tim Hwang.
Families Save America PAC, Washington, D.C., Treasurer: Daniel Joseph Bower.
Taxpayer Network, Rocklin, Calif., Treasurer: Kelly Lawler. (Super PAC)
The Hive, Belchertown, Mass., Treasurer: Jeromie Patrick Whalen.
We The People PAC, Johnson City, Tenn., Treasurer: Lynn Scott.

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

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