A roundup of what we're noticing in the Reporting Group as we dig into government data and disclosures.
Fat Tuesday: Tuesday, Oct. 5, was the biggest day of outside money so far this election cycle, with 27 groups spending $16,115,748 on independent expenditures and electioneering communications. The biggest spenders were the DCCC ($5,450,102), the DSCC ($4,022,520) and Crossroads GPS ($2,572,017). Tuesday's total is nearly double the date with the next-highest spending, Sept. 30--a Thursday--when about $8.7 million was spent. The biggest day of outside spending in the 2006 midterms was Oct. 27, when $22.8 million was spent.
Be sure to check out our Follow the Unlimited Money tool--updated hourly!--to get all the latest info on outside groups.
Gainful employment: The Washington Post Company hires the Raben Group, led by former government official-turned lobbyist Robert Raben, to lobby on proposed "gainful" employment regulations for for-profit higher education institutions (scare-quotes from the lobbying form). The Post owns Kaplan. Keep an eye on this one.
Archives: Came across a copy of a form 990 tax return filed for Americans for Job Security covering Nov. 1, 2007 to Oct. 31, 2008 (most of the 2008 election season). It appears to be genuine. Americans for Job Security has spent more $5,825,646 on the 2010 mid-terms than the National Republican Senatorial Committee ($3,292,267).
Polls: Detroit Free Press says that Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who was first elected to Congress in 1954, is trailing by 4 points to his Republican challenger, Rob Steele. Dingell has outraised Steele by a wide margin according the Center for Responsive Politics (Steele has 0 dollars); as my colleague Paul Blumenthal noted a while ago, even candidates in wave elections need some parity on fundraising to defeat incumbents. The Federal Election Commission has more up-to-date numbers; using the "comparison" feature, we can see Dingell has outspent Steele by an almost 10-1 ratio, $958,210 to $97,321.
School monitors: General Accounting Office says Dept. of Education needs better controls to make sure higher education institutions don't offer financial incentives to recruiters for signing up students who get federal education assistance.