POLITICS
12/19/2011 06:40 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE - Newt's "Baggage"

Negative ads work. Case in point, voters in Iowa are now mimicking an anti-Newt Gingrich ad plastered across television screens throughout the state. The ad, courtesy of more than a million dollars in ad buys made by the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, states that Gingrich has "a ton of baggage" before reciting the litany of offenses committed by the unexpected front runner. According to HuffPost's Elise Foley, Republican voters across the state are now using the phrase "baggage" to describe Gingrich. [HuffPost]

Gingrich comments: "Watch TV here for two nights ... You have all sorts of people that have consistently been running negative ads. Well, you get a number of negative ads before you start answering them, you're numbers will go down for a while." [DMR]

Slate's Dave Weigel writes on the subject, "TV and radio hold power over the conservative movement in a way that's evolving, not declining. ... If you drive around Iowa and listen to Rush Limbaugh, you hear anti-Newt ads in commercial breaks. Watch Fox News at home and you see the anti-Newt "baggage" ad either as a 30-second clip or as a subject of panel discussion." [Slate]

Newt's fighting back with a $242,000 ad buy in Iowa. That's a drop in the bucket compared to the $1.9 million Restore Our Future is dropping on him in Iowa. (See our section Tracking Spending by Independent Groups in the Presidential Race below.) Restore Our Future has already moved on to running attack ads in Florida.

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The pro-Newt super PAC, Winning Our Future (get's confusing, I know), has cut its first ad, but has not put any money down yet for air time. [Politico]

Did Newt Gingrich bend campaign finance laws when running American Solutions for the Future, a 527 group that acted as a political front for his future ambitions? [McClatchy]

Trevor Potter, former FEC chairman, general counsel to John McCain's presidential bid, lawyer to Stephen Colbert, and president of the Campaign Legal Center, gave a useful and informative speech about super PACs. Read it here for some background on the subject.

CAMPAIGN VIDEOS
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: Our Destiny PAC
Candidate supported: Jon Huntsman
Spot: "Quotes" -- The pro-Jon Huntsman super PAC cuts it's second advertisement. This time the group features complimentary quotes from conservative taste-makers, George Will, Erick Erickson, and the Wall Street Journal. The ad is very heavy on quotes from Red State founder Erickson, who previously wrote an article titled, "Why I Will Never Support Jon Huntsman. Ever."
Link: [http://youtu.be/VCFj0GkbFw4]
Market: New Hampshire.
Buy: Part of a $409,483 ad buy.

Committee: Rick Perry for President
Spot: "Momentum Part II" -- This web video takes a large portion of Perry's recent debate performance and plays it up as a defining moment for the candidate. The Tim Tebow reference made by Perry is clearly viewed by his staff as a very positive moment. (Tebow's winning streak ended last night at the hands of the New England Patriots, hailing from Mitt Romney's former home state of Massachusetts.)
Link: [http://youtu.be/SSEtv328TVs]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Winning Our Future
Candidate supported: Newt Gingrich
Spot: "Newt Gingrich -- Proven Conservative Leadership" -- The first video cut by the new pro-Newt super PAC touts his conservative leadership. The ad states that Gingrich stood with Ronald Reagan and up against Bill Clinton while fighting for conservative values.
Link: [http://youtu.be/5KGzop28sJI]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video. (For now.)

Committee: National Republican Senatorial Committee Candidate opposed: Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) Spot: "Integrity Matters, Ben Nelson" -- The NRSC adds to the pile-on from independent groups pounding Nelson for voting for the health care law. The ad focuses on Nelson's receipt of a special deal for Nebraska Medicaid recipients as Democrats sought to secure his vote on the bill. The deal was eventually applied to all state Medicaid plans after Nelson took heat for appearing to trade his vote for a special deal for his constituents. Interestingly, every group that has run an ad against Ben Nelson so far this cycle has chosen this exact narrative. This includes Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity, and now the NRSC. Technically Crossroads and AfP cannot coordinate with the NRSC, but they can copy themes from previous publicly aired ads. Link: [http://youtu.be/TS0QKs-LKqw] Market: YouTube. Buy: None. Just a web video. 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), $0 to support, $2,211,988 to oppose. (+$1,385,270)
Rick Perry (R), $1,977,058 to support, $0 to oppose. (+$5,000)
Jon Huntsman (R), $1,864,956 to support, $0 to oppose.
Herman Cain (R), $462,217 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $0 to support, $357,929 to oppose.
Mitt Romney (R), $0 to support, $329,473 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $200,500 to support, $0 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Restore Our Future, $1,093,255 to oppose Newt Gingrich for President. (Ads in Iowa.)
Restore Our Future, $292,015 to oppose Newt Gingrich for President. (Ads in Florida.)
FreedomWorks, $43,085 to oppose Orrin Hatch for Senate in Utah.
Stephen Hotze, $5,000 to support Rick Perry for President.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Cain Connections PAC, Alexandria, Va., Treasurer: Anthony Holm. (Super PAC)
MAV6 Edgefighter PAC, Alexandria, Va., Treasurer: David Ruppert.

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

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