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The Issue Groups Taking to TV So Far in 2013

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While it’s not at the volume of the Fall, our television screens are continuing to experience a case of “political ad fever.” From commercials about gun laws and tax rates to ads about alleged animal cruelty, issue groups took to the airwaves this winter. We reviewed the ad files in Political Ad Sleuth for the first three months of 2013 and mapped the trends among issue group advertisers in the nation’s top 50 media markets.

Sidebar: Don't let broadcasters shut down FCC political ad database over online ripoff

Broadcast TV stations in 32 media markets aired issue ads from at least 55 advertisers. The political ads were split pretty evenly between a local or national scope, covering 27 different topics. Three markets had a diverse selection of advertisers:
  • Washington, DC — 14 issue groups bought airtime, including four on the topic of gun control, three urging the Senate not to appoint Chuck Hagel and one supporting the U.S. postal service.
  • Milwaukee — 7, with issue ads around candidates for the city’s judge circuit race being the majority of the ones we found.
  • Los Angeles — 6, mostly centered on candidates in the LA mayoral race.
Watch the latest Political Money Weather report to learn about these issue ads or keep reading for more.

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Walk the Scandal Walk

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This morning the Washington Post featured a great article and video by Dana Milbank highlighting all the locations in the district that hot spots in the current pantheon of political scandals. From Abramoff's restaurant Signatures to the Capitol Yacht Club, where Sens. Ted Stevens and Larry Craig slept while Duke Cunningham ran amok, this scandal tour has everything. So, I decided to do the Web 2.0 thing and turn this tour into a Google Map. I whittled the list of locations down to congressional scandals. (Make sure to zoom in on the D St. locations. That's a central point of muck.) Check it out and let me know what I missed.


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