POLITICS
03/22/2012 05:52 pm ET Updated Mar 22, 2012

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- "That Socialist"

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal super PAC donor Harold Simmons explains his reasoning for pumping millions of dollars into a series of conservative super PACs: "Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist, Obama ... Obama is the most dangerous American alive … because he would eliminate free enterprise in this country."

Simmons' super PAC contributions have gone to nearly all of the super PACs backing candidates in the Republican primary. An unintended consequence of spreading his money around is that he is sowing chaos in the primary by funding all sides in the ad war between the candidates.

Conservative groups and super PACs linked to Republican members of Congress are battling in primaries and the long-established conservative groups are trying to prevent the super PACs from getting involved.

The super PAC backing Mitt Romney is raising money from industries that have found themselves the subject of new regulations under the Obama administration. These include for-profit colleges and payday lenders, both of whom have been targeted by new regulations for abusive lending practices.

Those payday lenders are largely hiding behind obscure corporate names when they donate to the Romney super PAC.

Is the potential Koch brothers takeover of the libertarian Cato Institute part of an effort to turn 501(c)(3) nonprofits towards electoral politics? HuffPost's Dan Froomkin investigates.

UC-Irvine professor Rick Hasen writes about super PACs and corruption, specifically on the assertion by Justice Anthony Kennedy that independent expenditures cannot corrupt, "[C]onsider evidence described by the late Judge M. Blane Michael in a 2008 case challenging North Carolina’s limit on contributions to what we would now call Super PACs. ... “[Farmers for Families] created advertisements directly opposing certain legislative candidates. Instead of simply running the advertisements during election time, Farmers scheduled meetings with legislators and screened the advertisements for them in private. Farmers then explained that, unless the legislators supported its positions, it would run the advertisements that attacked the candidates on positions unrelated to those advocated by Farmers."

The president of American Crossroads Steven Law lays out his take on Obama and campaign 2012 to HuffPost.

Burt Neuborne argues in The Nation why the ACLU is wrong on Citizens United and campaign finance.

Rick Santorum is headed to Hollywood to raise money at the home of Pat Boone.

The state assembly in California voted in favor of a resolution calling for the adoption of a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.

The Obama campaign unveiled a web page touting the landmark health care reform law that turns two years old tomorrow. The page contains high-quality videos of the personal stories behind different aspects of the law. This comes as a report shows that health care reform opponents have outspent proponents on television ads by a 3-1 margin since the bill was signed into law.

Campaign finance geek alert: The Federal Election Commission launched a nice new portal for their data.

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 On Empty"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Spot: "Conservative Record"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Americans for Prosperity
Candidate Opposed: Bob Kerrey
Spot: "Our Words: Reject the Liberal Policies of Bob Kerrey"
Market: Nebraska.
Buy: Undisclosed.

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

Committee: Democratic National Committee
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Unshakeably Extreme"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Newt Gingrich for President
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Sketchy Romney: Everything Changes"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Barack Obama for President
Spot: "President Obama's Message to Gen44"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Citizens for Strength and Security
Candidate Opposed: Dennis Rehberg
Spot: "Helicopter"
Market: Montana. (Radio)
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), $12,760,055 to support, $18,881,563 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $7,396,653 to support, $17,616,253 to oppose. (Support: +$9,770, Oppose: +$789,865)
Mitt Romney (R), $2,525,334 to support, $6,460,682 to oppose.
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), $280,441 to support, $928,780 to oppose.
Herman Cain (R), $501,717 to support, $954 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Restore Our Future, $789,865 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Wisconsin.
Red White And Blue Fund, $9,770 to support Rick Santorum for President in Louisiana.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

NONE.

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

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