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HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- The Donald Drapers of Super PACs

First Posted: 03/ 8/2012 7:04 pm Updated: 03/ 9/2012 9:25 am

Who are the ad men behind some of the super PAC ads that have roiled the Republican presidential primary election? HuffPost reports, "Both Romney and Santorum, however, have been boosted by television ads from their respective super PACs, which, despite their crude visuals, came from two of the most sought-after advertising firms on the Republican side of the aisle in Washington.

The men behind those firms, McCarthy Hennings Media and SRCP Media, have created some of the most notorious ads of the last 25 years. In the past, those ads targeted Democrats, but now the firms have turned their fire inwards, as the Republican super PACs try to blast each other's chosen candidate into oblivion."

Those two ad firms were responsible for the some of the most well-known negative ads of the last 25 years including: Willie Horton, the Dukakis tank ad, and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

A little-known super PAC is looking to take out incumbent members of Congress in primary elections. In Ohio, they may have found their first scalp.

Once upon a time, Republican were the ones trying to get 501(c)(4) nonprofits engaging in electoral politics to disclose their donors. What happened?

What are the top five most aired political ads of the 2012 cycle? They were run by: (1) Barack Obama, (2) Crossroads GPS, (3) Mitt Romney, (4) Restore Our Future, and (5) Democratic National Committee.

Mitt Romney just had his best small donor reporting period ever, according to the campaign, but he still trails the rest of the pack.

A mystery super PAC made robocalls for an unknown Ohio primary candidate, who won his primary election on Tuesday, whom no one has seen.

A group in Michigan is seeking ballot signatures for an amendment to require more disclosure from corporations and others seeking to influence elections in the state.

The head of the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action dismissed comparisons between Bill Maher, who donated $1 million to Priorities, and Rush Limbaugh for both using derogatory language about women. Priorities head Bill Burton said, "the notion that there is an equivalence between what a comedian has said over the course of his career and what the de facto leader of the Republican Party said to sexually degrade a woman who engaged in an important political debate of our time is crazy."

Crossroads GPS is going up with another big ad buy against Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri. This one totals approximately $300,000.

AD WATCH

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: Crossroads GPS
Candidate Opposed: Claire McCaskill
Spot: "From There"
Market: Missouri.
Buy: $300,000.

Committee: Barack Obama for President
Spot: "The Road We've Traveled On Trailer"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Campaign for Primary Accountability
Candidate Opposed: Spencer Bachus
Spot: "Rock The Boat End Spencer Bachus' Cruise"
Market: AL-06.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Campaign for Primary Accountability
Candidate Opposed: Donald Manzullo
Spot: "Rock The Boat End Don Manzullo's' Cruise"
Market: IL-16.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Ben Quayle for Congress
Spot: "President Obama and Attorney General Holder Need To Be Held Accountable"
Market: AZ-06. (Radio)
Buy: Undisclosed.

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), $9,707,415 to support, $18,405,716 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $5,278,529 to support, $14,082,624 to oppose. (Support: +$162, Oppose: +$2,132,802)
Mitt Romney (R), $2,242,312 to support, $5,869,021 to oppose. (+$3,730)
Rick Perry (R), $4,167,697 to support, $1,404 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R),$3,746,817 to support, $133,333 to oppose.
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,453,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $287,153 to support, $813,197 to oppose.
Herman Cain (R), $501,717 to support, $954 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Restore Our Future, $787,567 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Alabama.
Restore Our Future, $431,179 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Louisiana.
Restore Our Future, $909,437 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Illinois.
FreedomWorks for America, $101,939 to oppose Orrin Hatch for Senate in Utah.
Susan B. Anthony List, $162 to support Rick Santorum for President.
Campaign for Primary Accountability, $103,123 to oppose Spencer Bachus for Congress in Alabama's 6th District.
Campaign for Primary Accountability, $49,542 to oppose Jo Bonner for Congress in Alabama's 1st District.
Campaign for Primary Accountability, $600 to oppose Donald Manzullo for Congress in Illinois' 16th District.
American College of Radiology Association PAC, $25,744 to support Orrin Hatch for Senate in Utah.
NARAL Pro-Choice, $3,730 to oppose Mitt Romney for President.
NARAL Pro-Choice, $4,619 to oppose Rick Santorum for President.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

NONE.

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

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