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HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- Fastest To Adapt Super PAC

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It's been no secret that Mitt Romney's candidacy has been bouyed by a super PAC run by his supporters and funded by his friends in the securities and investment industry. The Boston Globe looks into how quickly these supporters worked to take advantage of the new campaign finance landscape: "No candidate in the 2012 race adapted more swiftly and effectively to the rise of the super PACs in the wake of US Supreme Court and other rulings that effectively removed any barriers to individual and corporate donations to such so-called independent groups. ...The story of Restore Our Future provides a unique window into this still-evolving world. It is the story of several former Romney aides who were frustrated by the way he lost his 2008 campaign and had an epiphany about how to win in 2012. For the aides, the issue in 2008 was Romney’s refusal to run a very tough ad in Iowa against Mike Huckabee - a decision they believe contributed to Romney’s defeat. ...Thus was planted the idea for what eventually became Restore Our Future - an independent committee that would not hesitate, and would have the means, to vigorously attack Romney’s opponents. Among the founders of Restore our Future was Larry McCarthy, who worked on some of Romney’s ads for the 2008 campaign and knew, as well as anyone could, what a well-targeted negative ad can do. McCarthy had created the infamous “Willie Horton’’ ad in 1988 for an independent group called Americans for Bush. ...'It is a much smaller decision-making loop . . . you have more control. We basically decide what we want to do and it doesn’t involve 30 people,' McCarthy said in an interview."

The pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action, and the labor union SEIU launched a $4 million Spanish language advertising blitz in Colorado, Florida, and Nevada.

Next up in the world of super PACs: targeting the guy who fired you as an intern.

ProPublica examines how Microsoft and Yahoo are selling personal information to campaigns for online micro-targeted ads.

The billionaire behind the ill-fated plan to spend $10 million on Jeremiah Wright advertisements is set to host a fundraiser for congressional Republicans.

Forget 30-second commercials, Hawaii Senate candidate Linda Lingle is getting her own digital cable channel.

Billionaire hedge funder and major GOP donor Paul Singer is forming a super PAC to pressure the Republican Party to support gay marriage. Singer helped to fund the successful push in New York State to pass a bill legalizing gay marriage in the state legislature.

Super PACs can be a family and friend affair, reports WaPo's Dan Eggen.

On Saturday, HuffPost ran the final piece in our series on the political consultants making big money on this year's election. Learn about how difficult it is to trace the money spent by dark money non-profits, "Campaign committees and super PACs need to report to the Federal Election Commission who they pay and how much they pay them. According to a Huffington Post analysis, the top 150 consultants and media buyers have already grossed $466 million so far this election cycle. But there’s a whole other stream of money flowing through the system covertly, thanks to politically active groups that exploit a non-profit status -- under sections 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) of the tax code -- intended for social welfare organizations and trade associations. That status allows them to hide their donors entirely, and to report their spending not to the FEC, but to the Internal Revenue Service, as much as 18 months later, and in a limited fashion."

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: Priorities USA Action
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Donnie"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: SEIU
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "SEIU Jobs Nevada"
Market: Nevada.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: SEIU
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "SEIU Jobs Colorado"
Market: Colorado.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: SEIU
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "SEIU Romney Ad in Florida"
Market: Florida.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Spot: "Liderazgo Solido"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

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

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Fine?"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: American Future Fund
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Unpatriotic (:30)"
Spot: "Unpatriotic (:15)"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Barack Obama for President
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Mitt Romney's Economic Plan: It Didn't Work Then, It Won't Work Now"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: American Future Fund
Candidate Opposed: Joe Donnelly
Spot: "Did Joe Donnelly Betray Indiana?"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: American Future Fund
Candidate Opposed: Joe Donnelly
Spot: "Joe Donnelly Ignored Indiana"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Scott Brown for Senate
Spot: "Dad"
Market: Massachusetts.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Elizabeth Warren for Senate
Spot: "Heart"
Market: Massachusetts.
Buy: Undisclosed.

TRACKING INDEPENDENT SPENDING:

These numbers represent spending by independent groups, like super PACs and non-profits, to support or oppose a particular candidate 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.

Presidential Race:
Mitt Romney (R), $7,327,516 to support, $15,569,593 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $509,622 to support, $1,584,867 to oppose. (Support: +$17,895; Oppose: +$13,837)

Most Outside Spending for Congressional Candidates:
TX-Senate: Ted Cruz (R), $838,270 to support, $2,301,676 to oppose.
TX-Senate: David Dewhurst (R), $501,126 to support, $2,481,715 to oppose.
IN-Senate: Richard Mourdock (R), $1,442,961 to support, $634,899 to oppose.
IN-Senate: Dick Lugar (R), $208,628 to support, $1,671,841 to oppose.
AZ-08: Jesse Kelly (R), $249,401 to support, $1,152,390 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

1911 United, $17,895 to support Barack Obama for President.
FreedomWorks for America, $2,431 to oppose Orrin Hatch for Senate in Utah.
National Right to Life Victory Fund, $13,837 to oppose Barack Obama for President.
American Action Network, $7,043 to support Jesse Kelly for Congress in Arizona's 8th District.
Women Vote!, $32,722 to support Grace Meng for Congress in New York's 6th District.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Latino Empowerment PAC, Coral Gables, Fla., Treasurer: Jeffrey Garcia. (Super PAC)
Consumer Financial Protection Advocacy Committee, Waukesha, Wisc., Treasurer: Matthew Geske.

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

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