POLITICS
01/03/2012 05:49 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE - The Money Story Out of Iowa

Today's the day where the Republican presidential primary contestants finally face the voters for their first test. How has all of the money they've raised and spent played out? The big take-away has been the phenomenal effect that the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has had on the race. Super PACs dominated Iowa with Mitt Romney the top recipient of support. His super PAC annihilated his competition with an unprecedented negative campaign that totaled $3.3 million in Iowa alone.

Here's a round-up of recent coverage:

"The 2012 Iowa caucus is, increasingly, not about the individuals running. Campaign finance observers have warned repeatedly that independent groups, enabled by the Supreme Court's January 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to raise and spend unlimited sums, would alter the balance of campaigns, once run primarily by candidate committees and party organizations. So far, those warnings are looking prescient.

As evidenced in Iowa, campaigns now operate as political parties of one. Candidates with enough financing can lay their own groundwork for voter mobilization efforts and remain positive, while a supportive super PAC runs negative ads beating off opponents. Voter mobilization and opponent attacks were roles traditionally reserved for the party organizations in the general election, but thanks to Citizens United and the birth of super PACs, each individual candidate can now operate in this fashion." [HuffPost]

"The [anti-Gingrich] ads, which continue to blanket Iowa days before the caucuses here, were created and paid for by people with deep knowledge of the Romney campaign's strategic thinking, close relationships with Mr. Romney's most generous donors, and even research on what television viewers like and dislike most about Mr. Romney himself.

Yet neither Mr. Romney nor his staff has had to lift a finger or spend a dollar to make it happen. In a stark illustration of how last year's landmark Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance has created powerful new channels for outside money to influence elections, the negative onslaught is the work of a group called Restore Our Future." [NYT]

"The highest-profile victim so far is Newt Gingrich, whose rapid descent in opinion polls correlates with the drubbing he received in negative ads produced by a super PAC aligned with Mitt Romney.

That group, Restore Our Future, has outspent the official Romney campaign on TV and radio in Iowa by more than 2 to 1, according to sources familiar with the ad buys. Ultimately, the independent committee will spend $3.1 million in the state, according to the organization's director, Carl Forti." [LAT]

"New outside spending groups, dubbed super PACs, that can accept unlimited donations from corporations and wealthy individuals, spent $12.9 million in Iowa and other early GOP battleground states through New Year's Day, according to an analysis of federal data.

The top beneficiary was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. A total of $4.6 million was spent to help the nominal front-runner, the vast majority for ads torpedoing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Second was Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who benefited from $3.7 million in outside spending." [iWatch]

Follow HuffPost's Iowa caucus coverage all night at our live-blog reported from both Iowa and Washington.

Newt Gingrich calls Mitt Romney a liar for stating that he had no role in the negative ad campaign from Restore Our Future, the super PAC backing Romney. Election law professor Rick Hasen says that this is almost certainly not true. In making this assertion, Gingrich is essentially alleging that Romney has broken laws prohibiting him from coordinating with the super PAC. [ELB]

There was not a single anti-Mitt Romney ad run by any of the Republican presidential candidates in Iowa. Why? [Yahoo]

Something's happening in Montana.

The conservative group Club for Growth is targeting three Republicans, Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Tim Murphy (R-Penn.) and Senate candidate David Dewhurst (R-Texas), as too liberal. This anticipates conservative primary challenges in each race. The Club has already endorsed Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the race against Dewhurst. [HuffPost]

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: Rick Perry for President
Candidate opposed: Rick Santorum
Spot: "Unelectable" -- Rick Santorum's surge isn't going unnoticed by the pile-up of fourth to sixth place candidates in Iowa. Perry's campaign blasts Santorum in this web video for supporting and securing billions in earmarks while voting to raise the debt ceiling and the national debt.
Link: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt6XCZz2X1Y]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Jon Huntsman for President
Candidate opposed: Ron Paul
Spot: "The Ron Paul Chronicles" -- This Twilight Zone style web video from the Huntsman camp pulls together some Ron Paul quotes that appear to be unacceptable for a Republican audience. These include rambling about Skull and Bones and the Council on Foreign Relations, President George H.W. Bush and the New World Order, and Paul's opposition to fighting the Civil War, among other things.
Link: [http://youtu.be/WGcy8MhJo9w]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Jon Huntsman for President
Candidate opposed: Ron Paul
Spot: "The Ron Paul Chronicles" -- This Twilight Zone style web video from the Huntsman camp pulls together some Ron Paul quotes that appear to be unacceptable for a Republican audience. These include rambling about Skull and Bones and the Council on Foreign Relations, President George H.W. Bush and the New World Order, and his opposition to fighting the Civil War, among other things.
Link: [http://youtu.be/WGcy8MhJo9w]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Spot: "Restore American Greatness" -- This Romney ad could double as an intro to Extreme Home Makeover or some other feel good television show. The ad seeks to show the people who have come out to Romney's events in Iowa represent a movement to get rid of President Obama.
Link: [http://youtu.be/hoo5xNmLJbg]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Rick Perry for President
Spot: "America is Calling" -- This ad features many of the same themes as other closing videos from the GOP candidates. Perry's ad notes that this election is incredibly important, perhaps the most important, and leans strongly on religious imagery.
Link: [http://youtu.be/4IBUNh0llpY]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Barack Obama for President
Spot: "2008 Iowa Caucus Victory Speech: Promises Kept" -- The Obama campaign releases this video of the president's speech upon winning the Iowa caucus four years ago today. The video spotlights four promises that it says the president kept when he took office. They were making health care more affordable, cutting middle class taxes and ending loopholes for corporations shipping jobs overseas, end dependence on foreign oil, and end the War in Iraq.
Link: [http://youtu.be/f86IferxohM]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Republican National Committee (RNC)
Candidate opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Failed Promises: Iowa Edition" -- The RNC responds to Obama with a video highlighting negative economic indicators and statements from Democrats and liberal commentators regarding their disappointments in Obama or about the general state of the economy.
Link: [http://youtu.be/5vmuc4Z5Oqk]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate opposed: Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.)
Spot: "Enough" -- The conservative group Club for Growth targets three Republicans for being too liberal in an ad campaign. In this case, the target is Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton, a moderate Republican who recently turned hard-right to secure his chairmanship. The ad labels him as in favor of bailouts, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and earmarks like the Bridge to Nowhere.
Link: [http://youtu.be/ndrzuk1X5Uw]
Market: Michigan-06.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate opposed: Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Penn.)
Spot: "Card Check" -- The conservative group Club for Growth targets three Republicans for being too liberal in an ad campaign. In this case, the target is Rep. Tim Murphy. This ad attacks Murphy for voting in favor of a form of card check legislation, favored by labor unions, in 2007.
Link: [http://youtu.be/7bd7P97WZb4]
Market: Pennsylvania-18.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate opposed: Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Penn.)
Spot: "Earmarks" -- The conservative group Club for Growth targets three Republicans for being too liberal in an ad campaign. In this case, the target is Rep. Tim Murphy. This ad attacks Murphy for voting in favor of the Bridge to Nowhere, a notorious earmark, in 2005.
Link: [http://youtu.be/WZadNLPbvAg]
Market: Pennsylvania-18.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate opposed: David Dewhurst (R-Texas)
Spot: "Health Care" -- The conservative group Club for Growth targets three Republicans for being too liberal in an ad campaign. In this case, the target is Senate candidate David Dewhurst. This ad attacks Dewhurst for allegedly supporting an increase in federal involvement in the state's health care system back in 2007.
Link: [http://youtu.be/tAd3QwF0XeU]
Market: Texas.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Club for Growth
Candidate opposed: David Dewhurst (R-Texas)
Spot: "Taxes" -- The conservative group Club for Growth targets three Republicans for being too liberal in an ad campaign. In this case, the target is Senate candidate David Dewhurst. This ad attacks Dewhurst for allegedly supporting increasing state and business taxes back in 2005.
Link: [http://youtu.be/TrHN1K0vKIM]
Market: Texas.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Scott Walker for Governor
Spot: "Results" -- Walker discusses the promises that he made to the voters when he ran for election in 2010. He says these promises were to "rein in spending, eliminate the deficit, and hold the line on taxes." According to Walker, he did all of these things and his controversial public sector union busting bill helped.
Link: [http://youtu.be/vYFrt_jwdCk]
Market: Wisconsin.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Ron Cornilles for Congress
Spot: "Rob Cornilles: Change We Need" -- Cornilles, running in the special election to fill the seat in Oregon's 1st District, uses this ad to knock his opponent, Democrat Suzanne Bonamici, as a tax-hiking liberal. Cornilles repeatedly refers to himself as a "job creator," a favorite term from 2011.
Link: [http://youtu.be/xnV0mJu0UT8]
Market: Oregon-01.
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), $866,950 to support, $4,116,274 to oppose. (Support: +$600,627, Oppose: +$126,556)
Rick Perry (R), $3,798,524 to support, $0 to oppose.
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,233,204 to support, $0 to oppose. (+$368,248)
Mitt Romney (R), $475,000 to support, $329,473 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R), $557,688 to support, $80,825 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $629,735 to support, $0 to oppose. (+$92,535)
Herman Cain (R), $462,217 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $0 to support, $417,919 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

Correction: Previous versions of this chart missed numbers for Ron Paul's presidential run. Those have now been updated.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Our Destiny PAC, $368,248 to support Jon Huntsman for president.
Endorse Liberty, $67,618 to support Ron Paul for president.
Endorse Liberty, $107,718 to support Ron Paul for president.
Endorse Liberty, $37,502 to support Ron Paul for president.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Americans for Transparency, San Diego, Calif., Treasurer: Phil Herr.

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

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