A roundup of what we’re noticing in the Reporting Group as we dig into government data and disclosures:
Dark money descends: Groups that haven’t disclosed donors have spent money influencing 168 races around the country–some $110 million. There are 110 such groups. Full report here.
Top priority: More dark money spent on Illinois Senate race than anywhere else in the country; top target of dark money ads is Illinois Senate Democratic candidate Alexander Giannoulias.
How high will it go? Outside groups have spent more than $431 million so far influencing mid-term elections. In 2008, outside groups spent a total of $557 million–a number that includes spending on presidential races, including all Democratic and Republican primary campaigns.
New Super PACs: Voting is just days away, but new groups continue to file. The most recent: Patriot’s Fund. It hasn’t disclosed any spending yet; the treasurer is Scott Greenlee–there’s a Scott Greenlee who’s Coalitions Vice Chair of the Michigan Republican Party, “known for grassroots organizations.” A union, Carpenters District Council of Kansas City and Vicinity Political Fund, has also filed, as has a group called Working for Working Americans, which shares an address with the United Brotherhood-Carpenters in Las Vegas. Workers for Working America has a website as well; the latest news item is from December 2007.
Be sure to check out our Follow the Unlimited Money tool–updated hourly!–to get all the latest info on outside groups.
Keystone state: Pennsylvania Senate race between Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak has drawn the most spending over the last five days. Over the same period, more ads identified Sestak than any other candidate. Details here.
Daily Poligraft: Former President Bill Clinton urged Florida Senate candidate Kendrick Meeks to drop out of the race so independent Charlie Crist would have a better shot? That also inspires today’s Politiwidget: