POLITICS
04/09/2012 05:57 pm ET Updated Apr 09, 2012

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- Crossroads Makes Big Move

The Karl Rove-linked mega-PAC American Crossroads is launching its first "general election" ad blitz against President Barack Obama now that the Republican primary picture has cleared up. According to the New York Times, "The ultimate goal of the Crossroads campaign, Mr. Law said, would be to better connect Americans’ disappointment with the economy to their views of the president, especially among crucial swing voters. ... The Crossroads advertising push — the timing of which has been the subject of avid speculation at the Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago — would give the campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner, the time and cover to map out its national organization, replenish its bank account and put the finishing touches on its own long-discussed advertising plan, which is expected to highlight the economic pain of ordinary Americans."

The Federal Communication Commission looks like it will go ahead with a plan to create a national online database of local television station ad buy sheets. The move would vastly increase the disclosure of campaign ad buys during an election season expected to be dominated by big money in a way not seen in more than 100 years.

Elizabeth Warren raised a staggering $6.9 million in the first quarter of 2012. She still trails Sen. Scott Brown in cash on hand by about $4 million, but she has been closing that gap fairly fast.

Mitt Romney pulled an attack ad targeting Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. Count this as just another sign that the Romney camp considers the primary to be all but over.

The Center for Responsive Politics has a different take on the recent launch of the banking industry super PAC, "a close look at the people associated with Friends of Traditional Banking reveals a more nuanced picture. Instead of being just another tentacle of Wall Street, the group might be a sign of an intramural fight amongst bankers -- Wall Street versus Main Street. ... Not all bankers are built the same way, and those affiliated with the new super PAC aren't particularly cozy with Wall Street. They're more the small-town, Main Street variety, and they aren't regulated the same way, nor do they have the same kind of access to Washington power circles, as their much bigger siblings."

CBS interviewed a couple super PAC donors. Jeffrey Katzenberg explains his big super PAC contribution supporting President Obama, "I was concerned about the attempted hijacking of the elections by Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, and other extreme right wing special interest money and felt strongly that a defense had to be mounted." Julian Robertson, a Romney super PAC donor, explains his motivations, "I want a great president of the United States. That's what I want."

No one seems to know why William Dore is making big contributions to the super PAC supporting Santorum's candidacy. NPR reports.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will have a super PAC by his side to support his reelection campaign in 2014. McConnell is, perhaps, the biggest opponent of campaign finance reforms on Capitol Hill.

The National Rifle Association targets Sen. Dick Lugar in his tough primary race.

How did campaign finance come up in the Supreme Court arguments over the health care law? Paul Clement, arguing for throwing out the entire law instead of just the mandate, raised the specter of Buckley v. Valeo, the infamous campaign finance decision that threw out spending limits, but upheld contribution limits. Many have stated that this created a swiss cheese system that Congress has been trying to fix now for nearly four decades.

A state-lawmaker won a defamation suit that was filed over an attack ad aired by his campaign opponent. This is a highly unusual ruling as political candidates are pretty free to lie as much as they want while campaigning.

Some money in politics Texts from Hillary.

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: Republican National Committee
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Obama: From Hope to Hypocrisy"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: National Rifle Association
Candidate Opposed: Dick Lugar
Spot: "Change"
Market: Indiana.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate Opposed: Dick Lugar
Spot: "Choice (TV)"
Market: Indiana.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate Opposed: Dick Lugar
Spot: "Choice (Radio)"
Market: Indiana.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate Opposed: Dick Lugar
Spot: "Statesman (Radio)"
Market: Indiana.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Dick Lugar for Senate
Candidate Opposed: Richard Mourdock
Spot: "Mistake"
Market: Indiana.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate Opposed: Rick Santorum
Spot: "Pulled Attack Ad"
Market: Pennsylvania. (Was pulled off the air by the campaign.)
Buy: None.

Committee: Tim Kaine for Senate
Spot: "Our Best Days Are Still Ahead"
Market: Virginia.
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), $13,014,518 to support, $18,885,161 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $7,548,235 to support, $20,914,763 to oppose.
Mitt Romney (R), $3,054,324 to support, $6,927,290 to oppose. (+$272,026)
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

SEIU COPE, $5,546 to support Mark Critz for Congress in Pennsylvania's 12th District.
Majority PAC, $37,485 to support Claire McCaskill for Senate in Missouri.
Priorities USA Action, $272,026 to oppose Mitt Romney for President.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Grassroots Action PAC, Lansing, Mich., Treasurer: Hank Fuhs. (Super PAC)
Committee for the Re-Election of the President, Washington, D.C., Treasurer: Robert Lucas. (Super PAC)
Zapata Win 5-2012, Washington, D.C., Treasurer: None listed.
Coalition of Presidential Candidates, Casa Grande, Ariz., Treasurer: Roger Jewell.
USA Super PAC, Terre Haute, Ind., Treasurer: Kathleen Flanagan. (Super PAC)
Arizona Pipes Trades Local 469 PAC, Phoenix, Ariz., Treasurer: Phil McNally.
Wake Up America Super PAC, Raleigh, N.C., Treasurer: William Gwynne Head III.
Perryfire! PAC, San Antonio, Texas, Treasurer: Rebecca Winterowd.
Netflix Inc PAC (FLIXPAC), Los Gatos, Calif., Treasurer: Christopher Libertelli.

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

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