No sequester for political ads


In honor of the snowquester, as the Washington Post's cheeky Weather Gang has dubbed the spring storm that so far has proven more effective than the Tea Party in reining in government, Sunlight has decided to take a look at the efforts getting underway by various groups to keep the actual sequester at bay.

Like the Atlantic snowstorm, this effort is starting slowly but likely to build.

The Sunlight Reporting Group is using two of our foundation's tools, Ad Hawk and Political Ad Sleuth, to keep an eye on this year's political ads. We'll be updating as they, like today's snow, pile up. Seen ads we don't know about? Email us here.

National Association of Letter Carriers

Picture of Stamp

Postal workers are taking their sequester greviences to airwaves. Politcal Ad Sleuth found The National Association of Letter Carriers purchased ads with two D.C. TV stations, as of March 5. 

The advertising has cost $294,000 so far.

Public Notice

Meanwhile, Public Notice, a Republican-linked group that has been funded by conservative Koch brothers, is taking the opposite approach, according to Politico. The newspaper reported that Public Notice ads are slamming President Barack Obama for over-hyping the effects of the sequester and arguing that more should be cut.

Public employee labor unions

Paperwork filed with a station in the swing state of Ohio indicates that four big labor unions who represent government workers are planning an advertising campaign focused on the sequester. The unions are all political powerhouses: AFSCME, SEIU and the nation's two major teachers' unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. So far, we know they're spending more than $30,000 to air 55 spots at a station in Cleveland. So far, no sign of the ads, but you can probably get a sneak preview by checking out this made-for-the-web version on AFSCME's YouTube site.

Update: Mar. 11, 2013 — The first of the ads are scheduled to air on the local Fox channel this week, according to reports tracked via Sunlight Foundation's Political Ad Sleuth. According to a press release by the National Education Association, one of the partners in the ad campaign, "the ads single out Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Congressmen Gary Miller and Jeff Denham of California, Congressman Bob Gibbs of Ohio, Congressman Daniel Webster of Florida, Congressman Tom Latham of Iowa and Congressman Dan Benishek of Michigan."

(Photo credit: United States Post Office)