POLITICS
03/27/2012 05:50 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- His Name Was Robert Paulson

The super PACs and political nonprofits that are part of the secretive Weaver Terrace Group (named for Karl Rove's house, where the groups first met) are facing new problems, according to report by Politico's Ken Vogel. The introduction of leadership super PACs and an internal split between groups associated with Rove and other establishment Republicans and groups linked to the Koch brothers have the potential to create a rift within the successful conservative unlimited money coalition.

Vogel writes, "An email sent to attendees Friday by Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio warned participants that POLITICO “is calling folks up asking who attends the Weaver Terrace meetings” and included as a reminder “for those of you who don’t remember the rules of the road” a YouTube link to footage from the film "Fight Club." In the clip, Brad Pitt’s character says: “The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.”

But the group’s biggest challenge this year may have less to do with secrecy and more to do with the third rule: “Someone yells ‘stop,’ … the fight is over.” Internecine rifts that reappeared after the historic 2010 effort and widened during the congressional and presidential primaries suggest that a bigger, wealthier tent won’t necessarily translate into a more cohesive effort come the general election — unless attendees can set aside their mixed feelings about Mitt Romney and quash other beef."

One of the most interesting splits is between the leadership super PACs of Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

As Fundrace once pointed out, running a campaign is like building a railroad and super PACs are the tool to blow up the mountains that stand in your way. No super PAC has followed this statement so closely as Restore Our Future, the super PAC backing Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primary. Bloomberg points out that the super PAC has spent $35 million attacking both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in the campaign.

Sen. John McCain, the architect of the country's most recent campaign finance reform bill, said today that super PAC's will undoubtedly lead to "huge scandals." McCain also stated that the assertion that super PACs are independent from the campaigns they support is "the worst joke in Washington."

Rep. Anna Eshoo proposed an amendment to a bill to reform the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that would require all groups running political ads to disclose their donors giving $10,000 or more. The House initially voted down the amendment in a voice vote. A roll call vote should be held today.

Sheldon Adelson, casino billionaire and king of the super PACs, will shift his contributions to other super PACs supporting Republican congressional candidates and the eventual GOP nominee.

The Senate Rules & Administration Committee is holding a hearing on the DISCLOSE Act on March 29 at 10am. Witnesses include Democracy 21's Fred Wertheimer, Center for Competitive Politics' David Keating, and UC-Irvine law professor Rick Hasen.

Rep. Charlie Rangel will pay a $23,000 fine to the Federal Election Commission for his improper use of a rent-controlled apartment.

The Brennan Center for Justice's Adam Skaggs issued the following statement on Montana's challenge to the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, "The Montana Supreme Court was right to uphold the state’s law banning corporate money in elections. The state’s experience with corruption, and the flood of super PAC spending today, makes clear that corporate spending in elections can give rise to the appearance and reality of corruption. The Supreme Court has an opportunity to reconsider the real-world consequences of Citizens United, and the devastating effect it has had on our democracy. The Court can improve confidence in our electoral system by reconsidering or narrowing the ill-conceived Citizens United opinion, which gave rise to the candidate-specific Super PACs that are dominating this election and making a mockery of reasonable campaign contribution limits."

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: Restore Our Future
Candidate Opposed: Rick Santorum
Spot: "Care"
Market: Wisconsin.
Buy: Part of an ~$900,000 campaign.

Committee: Democratic National Committee
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Not Ready To Lead"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: American Bridge 21st Century
Candidate Opposed: Richard Lugar
Spot: "Dick Lugar's Even Worse Week"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Matt Cartwright for Congress
Spot: "Jet"
Market: Pennsylvania's 17th District.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Matt Cartwright for Congress
Spot: "Limo"
Market: Pennsylvania's 17th 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), $12,817,294 to support, $18,881,563 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $7,396,653 to support, $18,347,430 to oppose. (+$75,401)
Mitt Romney (R), $2,525,334 to support, $6,461,014 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), $282,298 to support, $979,322 to oppose. $50,000)
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, $75,401 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Wisconsin.
Life And Liberty PAC, $50,000 to oppose Barack Obama for President.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

NONE.

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

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