Ending Spending readies air war in Virginia governor’s race


Updated: 9/20, 9:25 a.m.

Ending Spending, a group bankrolled by Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts that spent $13 million in the last election, is gearing up in the Virginia governor's race.

A new ad by the group, attacking Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe, appeared Wednesday in Sunlight's Ad Hawk, a tool that tracks campaign advertisements. Later in the day, documents in  Political Ad Sleuth, another tool that compiles information about political ad buys from the Federal Communications Commission, showed that Ending Spending is spending $10,800 to air 13 spots beginning Friday in on Washington station WUSA, which covers northern Virginia.  On Thursday, another document showed the group dropping $40,900 for 22 spots on another top DC outlet, WJLA.  The ads are airing on news programming and on popular game shows such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

The Sunlight Foundation has left a message with Ending Spending seeking more information and will update this post if we receive a response.

Ending Spending endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli early this year and on Tuesday, Todd Ricketts, son of Joe Ricketts, praised Cuccinelli's efforts to undercut President Barack Obama's health care legislation in a new blog post.

In the 2012 cycle, Ending Spending spent lavishly, but only posted a 15 percent return on its political investment, according to the Sunlight Foundation's calculations. The lion's share of the group's money went towards an unsuccessful effort to defeat Obama. In Virginia, the group spent more than $134,000 in an unsuccessful effort to keep former Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, from winning a Senate seat.  

(Contributing: Jacob Fenton)