POLITICS
03/30/2012 05:09 pm ET

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- Three To One

Four days until the next major state votes in the Republican primary election and the super PAC spending in Wisconsin continues to tilt heavily in favor of Mitt Romney. Romney's super PAC -- Restore Our Future -- has pumped $2.68 million into the state, all of which is landing on Rick Santorum's head. Santorum for his part has seen his super PAC and his buddy Foster Friess spend more money in the Badger State, but not nearly enough to close the gap with Romney's group. Romney's super PAC is outspending Santorum's by more than 3 to 1.

Here's the breakdown:

Anti-Santorum: $2,687,938
Anti-Romney: $677,536
Pro-Gingrich: $192,131
Pro-Santorum: $47,091

Restore Our Future is also starting to pepper other states with money. Maryland, which votes the same day as Wisconsin, has seen $1.3 million in spending from the Romney super PAC with almost nothing from Santorum's group. Other states seeing anti-Santorum spending by Restore Our Future include: New York ($130,221), Pennsylvania ($71,593), Rhode Island ($13,342), Connecticut ($8,928), and Delaware ($2,450).

Santorum's super PAC don Foster Friess, he of the Bayer-between-the-knees birth control solution, decided to temporarily split from the super PAC to fund his own independent expenditures in Wisconsin. This type of independent spending, funded by a single individual, was allowed under campaign finance law prior to the Citizens United and SpeechNow.org decisions that launched super PACs and countless other unlimited money efforts. The only thing is no one really ever wanted to attach their name directly to an independent expenditure. This independent spending only exploded once individuals could give to innocuous sounding PACs.

Republicans in Congress are universally opposed to increasing disclosure around campaign spending at the moment. That wasn't always the case and Public Campaign, a campaign finance reform group, put together a selection of quotes of Republicans voicing their unvarnished support for full transparency in the nation's campaign finance system.

Could super PACs be the perfect vehicle to suppress the vote? That's an argument laid out by Jim Arkedis and Lindsay Mark Lewis in the New York Times. UC-Irvine's Rick Hasen is skeptical, "I must say I’m dubious about this thesis."

The Crankocracy: Tim Noah argues that Citizens United has led not to a corporate takeover of politics, but rather to a political takeover by rich, old cranks with weird ideas. "It’s enough to make you nostalgic for an America in thrall to corporate power," Noah writes. "Corporations, after all—the publicly held ones, anyway—must answer to their stockholders. Super-rich crankocrats do not."

Super PAC donors are also playing in judicial elections across the country, according to the Washington Post. This is the area where Citizens United runs into the brick wall that is Caperton v. Massey. Both decisions were written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, but one (Citizens United) says that independent expenditures cannot corrupt while the other (Caperton) says that independent expenditures in judicial elections can corrupt the judicial process.

Remember Mark Block, the cigarette-smoking, viral video-starring, campaign manager for Herman Cain? He is, yet again, under investigation in Wisconsin for shady campaign practices related to a couple of organizations he is affiliated with.

Mitt Romney gave $10,000 to the National Organization for Marriage. The way he did it though shows that he didn't really want anyone to find out. HuffPost's Sam Stein runs down the contribution, "when Romney eventually made his donation, he did so quietly, and through an unusual channel. Records filed by Romney's Free and Strong America PAC with the Federal Election Commission did not include details of that $10,000 donation. Nor did NOM's public 990 form. In fact, record of the payment was only uncovered Friday when the pro-gay rights Human Rights Campaign was sent a private IRS filing from NOM via a whistleblower. The Human Rights Campaign shared the filing with The Huffington Post. ... Asked for comment, an aide to Romney said that the donation was made through the Alabama chapter of the Free and Strong America PAC. State records confirm this. However, the 990 NOM filed lists the donation as having come from PO Box 79226 in Belmont, Massachusetts."

A super PAC supporting Sen. Dick Lugar in his difficult primary battle for reelection against State Treasurer Richard Mourdock cut an ad attacking Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. The Club for Growth is one of the chief opponents of Lugar's in this campaign.

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.

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Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
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Committee: Heidi Heitkamp for Senate
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Candidate Opposed: Richard Mourdock
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Candidate Supported: John Barrow
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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), $12,997,467 to support, $18,881,563 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $7,446,247 to support, $20,651,758 to oppose. (Support: +$48,418, Oppose: +$239,247)
Mitt Romney (R), $3,018,895 to support, $6,652,163 to oppose. (+$183,975)
Rick Perry (R), $4,167,697 to support, $1,404 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R), $3,748,218 to support, $214,158 to oppose.
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,453,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $282,298 to support, $979,322 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, $6,366 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Wisconsin.
Restore Our Future, $6,347 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Wisconsin.
Restore Our Future, $8,928 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Connecticut.
Restore Our Future, $2,450 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Delaware.
Restore Our Future, $71,593 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Pennsylvania.
Restore Our Future, $13,342 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Rhode Island.
Restore Our Future, $130,221 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in New York.
Red White And Blue Fund, $15,759 to support Rick Santorum for President in Mayland.
Red White And Blue Fund, $25,161 to support Rick Santorum for President in Wisconsin.
Red White And Blue Fund, $183,975 to oppose Mitt Romney for President in Wisconsin.
Foster Friess, $7,498 to support Rick Santorum for President in Wisconsin.
SEIU COPE $15,799 to support Robert Garagiola for Congress in Maryland's 6th District.
League of Conservation Voters, $56,713 to support Jon Tester for Senate in Montana.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Turquoise PAC, Washington, D.C., Treasurer: Greg Levenson. (Leadership PAC: Rep. Ben Ray Lujan)
Human Rights for Vietnam, San Marcos, Calif., Treasurer: Xavier R. Martinez.

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

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