Presidential campaign 2016 off and running


Yep. We just got over the last one. Even so, the negative ads for the next presidential race already are starting.

Patriot Super PAC has purchased $4,300 worth of ads in Iowa, the state where the presidential contest traditionally kicks off, attacking Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell as a tax and spend . . . Republican. Sunlight spotted the ad on Ad Hawk, our mobile tool for monitoring political campaign ads.

Update 3/12: Patriot Super PAC has now posted a version of the ad for New Hampshire, where the second contest of the presidential sweepstakes — and the first primary election — traditionally is held shortly after Iowa's caucuses. A filing with the FEC says the group, headed by conservative activists, has spent $7,800 for air time.

McDonnell, who is term limited, has been mentioned as a potential GOP presidential contender. The Patriot super PAC ad predicts he'll soon be making the rounds in the Hawkeye State.

In 2012, Patriot Super PAC was not exactly a financial powerhouse: The group spent just under $171,000 trying to defeat President Barack Obama and helping two unsuccessful GOP congressional candidates, Allen West in Florida and Mia Love in Utah.

To add insult to injury, the group uses an address in Chantilly, Va. — McDonnell's state. It ended last year with just under $40,000 in the bank.