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HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- Big Day For Transparency At FCC, District Court

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Friday was a big day for transparency in the campaign finance world as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that broadcasters will have to place their political file -- information on political ad buys -- online for public disclosure and the district court that overturned a Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosure loophole refused to issue a stay and instead said that the court's ruling had invalidated the loophole.

HuffPost reports on the FCC: "The move amounts to a tectonic plate shift in the landscape as the 2012 election shapes up to be the most expensive in modern history. Third-party groups, who have been freed to raise and spend unlimited sums by court decisions, including the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, are expected to spend as much as $1 billion, nearly three times the amount shelled out during the 2008 election. Previously the political file was publicly available only to those people who could physically visit a broadcast station and then pay a small sum to copy the files. The FCC will now host a centralized database about political ad buys that can be accessed by members of the public, but broadcasters will not be required to make the information searchable or downloadable."

And HuffPost on the district court opinion: "On Friday, the court not only refused to stay the ruling, as requested by two intervening groups that are appealing the case, the Center for Individual Freedom and the Hispanic Leadership Fund, but the court also found that its ruling invalidated the FEC loophole, which required it to be immediately closed, resetting to the original language in the McCain-Feingold campaign reform law, known officially as the Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote, 'Prior to the promulgation of the regulation that was struck down, there was a valid regulation in effect implementing the BCRA's disclosure requirement. ... In light of the Court's ruling, that regulation now governs the disclosures required under the BCRA.' That language in the McCain-Feingold law required groups spending money on electioneering communications -- certain campaign ads running 30 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election-- to disclose all donors giving $1,000 or more."

On Thursday, HuffPost's Sam Stein reported on a fascinating move by the AFL-CIO to democratize the spending of their super PAC, "Participants who undertake campaign activities -- phone banking, neighborhood canvassing, field program volunteering and others -- will be rewarded the equivalent of super PAC currency. That currency, in turn, can be used to direct which candidates and issues Workers' Voice supports and how they support them, be it through online advertising, voter registration, Get Out The Vote operations or other mechanisms."

Vermont Public Radio follows the path of one mysterious shell corporation that gave $1 million to the pro-Romney super PAC.

Bloomberg reports that Clinton donors are waiting for Obama supporters to give to the pro-Obama super PAC before they start giving.

JJ Goldberg writes in Forward that super PACs mean that it's time to party like it's 1896.

A business group is making a huge advertising buy in the Wisconsin recall election of Gov. Scott Walker. Also in recall news, HuffPost reports on the campaign fundraising by Democratic candidates Tom Barrett and Kathleen Falk.

President Obama nominates another top fundraiser for an ambassadorship, reports iWatch News.

The FEC rejected yesterday a challenge to the limit on total contributions to candidates in one election cycle.

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: Barack Obama for President
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "One Chance"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Republican National Committee
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Obama 2012: #StillNotReady"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Youth & The Obama Economy"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Dick Lugar for Senate
Featured: Mitch Daniels
Spot: "Lucky"
Market: Indiana.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Dick Lugar for Senate
Featured: John McCain
Spot: "McCain Endorses Lugar"
Market: Indiana. (Radio ad)
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Our Country Deserves Better PAC -- Tea Party Express
Candidate supported: Richard Mourdock
Spot: "Richard Mourdock is the Tea Party favorite in Indiana"
Market: Indiana.
Buy: ~$6,431.

Committee: Patriot Majority USA
Candidate opposed: Dennis Rehberg
Spot: "WANTED"
Market: Montana.
Buy: ~$197,191.

Committee: Sherrod Brown for Senate
Candidate opposed: Josh Mandel
Spot: "How To Succeed"
Market: Ohio.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Ted Cruz for Senate
Candidate opposed: David Dewhurst
Spot: "Circus"
Market: Texas. (Radio ad)
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Massachusetts Democratic Party
Candidate opposed: Scott Brown
Spot: "Think You Know"
Market: Massachusetts.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Tim Kaine for Senate
Candidate opposed: George Allen
Spot: "Talk Is Cheap"
Market: Virginia.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Scott Walker for Governor
Candidate opposed: Tom Barrett
Spot: "Affordable"
Market: Wisconsin.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Tom Barrett for Governor
Candidate opposed: Scott Walker
Spot: "Teachers"
Market: Wisconsin.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Ron Barber for Congress
Spot: "Broke"
Market: Arizona's 8th District.
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), $13,017,772 to support, $18,885,161 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $7,548,235 to support, $20,923,379 to oppose.
Mitt Romney (R), $3,317,306 to support, $8,676,753 to oppose. (+$1,046,583)
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), $298,856 to support, $1,071,699 to oppose.
Herman Cain (R), $501,717 to support, $954 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Patriot Majority USA, $197,191 to oppose Dennis Rehberg for Senate in Montana.
Indiana Values Super PAC, $125,000 to oppose Richard Mourdock for Senate in Indiana.
DGA Action, $5,000 to oppose Mitt Romney for President.
Our Country Deserves Better PAC, $6,431 to support Richard Mourdock for Senate in Indiana.
YG Action Fund, $22,750 to support Richard Hudson for Congress in North Carolina's 8th District.
Indiana Values Super PAC, $125,000 to oppose Richard Mourdock for Senate in Indiana.
Senate Conservatives Fund, $44,463 to support Don Stenberg for Senate in Nebraska.
Priorities USA Action, $497,022 to oppose Mitt Romney for President.
LCV Victory Fund, $2,094 to support Barack Obama for President.
LCV Victory Fund, $544,561 to oppose Mitt Romney for President.
Main Street Advocacy, $6,101 to oppose John Hoogendyk for Congress in Michigan's 6th District.
FreedomWorks for America, $54,955 to oppose Dick Lugar for Senate in Indiana.
National Association of Realtors, $136,314 to support Gary Miller for Congress in California's 42nd District.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Utah Defenders of Constitutional Integrity, Lugan, Utah, Treasurer: Tim Stewart.
Public Campaign Financing Super PAC, Santa Fe, N.M., Treasurer: Stuart L. Stein. (Super PAC)
Fight For The Dream, Allentown, Penn., Treasurer: Robert Heimbacher. (Super PAC)
Asian Americans for Peace and Prosperity, Westminster, Calif., Treasurer: Joseph Ngo. (Super PAC)
It's Now Or Never, Las Vegas, Nev., Treasurer: Anthony J. Ferate. (Super PAC)

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

 
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