We won't know how much the candidates poured into Super Tuesday races until they file disclosure forms with the Federal Election Commission next month but it's not too soon to take a look at the Super Tuesday scorecard for super PACs, using Sunlight's Super PAC tracker.
What our analysis found: In these races at least, the biggest spenders didn't always bring home winners.
Here's a look at some of the states that saw heavy super PAC spending and how it broke down.
Biggest spender: Restore Our Future (Mitt Romney)
Winner: Mitt RomneyContinue reading
Of the nearly $10.7 million dollars in super PAC spending dumped on the super Tuesday states over the last two weeks, three — Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia — account for nearly all of the spending and almost half of the available delegates.
According to Sunlight's super PAC tracker, the race for Ohio and its 66 delegates leads the spending spree with nearly $4.5 million, nearly half of all the super PAC money spent in the past two weeks on super Tuesday states. The biggest spender has been Restore Our Future, which supports former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. That super ...Continue reading
The pro-Mitt Romney super PAC, Restore our Future, burned through $4 million in just three days this week on independent expenditures in half a dozen states with upcoming primaries. If it keeps up this rate, the super PAC would spend more than $16 million in the 12 days leading up to Super Tuesday, topping the total it spent in January.
Six states with primaries in the next two weeks--Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Tennessee--all saw a spending spike.
In Michigan, where voters go to the polls next week, the super PAC supporting Romney pummeled opponent Rick Santorum with more ...Continue reading
As the voting for the Republican presidential nomination gets underway, super PACs have already emerged as a big factor, spending more than $13 million so far in Iowa and other early-voting states. Yet a growing number of the independent expenditure groups active on behalf of presidential candidates has made moves to ensure that information on their donors will likely remain hidden until votes are cast in three more states.
Four of the biggest spenders—the pro-Romney Restore our Future PAC, the pro-Santorum Red, White & Blue Fund, the pro-Huntsman Our Destiny PAC, and the pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future, recently changed their ...Continue reading
With his penchant for sweater vests and stories about his coal miner grandfather, former Sen. Rick Santorum is setting himself up as the populist conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, the millionaire GOP presidential frontrunner who bested him by a mere eight votes in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses.
"I share the values of the working people," Santorum said in his speech to Iowa supporters as the caucus results were being tabulated.Continue reading
Tuesday, Oct. 11, will mark the 9th Republican presidential debate, two weeks after a string of debates in Florida, California and South Carolina. Sponsored by Bloomberg News and the Washington Post, this next matchup of Republican rivals will take place at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire. The Sunlight Live team will once again provide a live video feed, as well as real-time analysis, fact checking and context to help keep viewers informed.
The organizers say this debate will specifically address fears about the economy, jobs and a possible double-dip global recession.
Since the last debate, held Sept. 22 in Florida ...Continue reading
With a new face officially in the mix, eight Republican candidates will take the stage again next week to spar about the economy, jobs, budget deficit and more at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
It will mark the first debate for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who joined the race in August just as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty threw in the towel. Several of the latest polls now show Perry on the top of the pack, outshining Mitt Romney, who has led the group for several months.
Sunlight Live will cover the debate starting at ...Continue reading
Well then, it looks like Virginia has three Senators. This from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Before every election, the Post-Gazette routinely sends letters to the candidates seeking material for the Voters Guide. Back in March, as part of that process for the primary, the newspaper sent a letter to Rick Santorum at his home address, at least the one that he claims. Back from Penn Hills came the letter with a sticker from the U.S. Postal Service checked as "Not Deliverable As Addressed -- Unable To Forward." That is all you need to know about the nasty dispute between the Republican Sen. Santorum and his Democratic opponent, Bob Casey Jr., in the November election. The whole thing is rooted in one inconvenient fact for Sen. Santorum: He doesn't live here anymore.This controversy has been going on for some time and now it is really bubbling over. It also raises ethical questions about Rick Santorum and what kind of person he is to use an entire state like this. Continue reading
- TPM Muckraker reports (via the Washington Post) that Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), already under fire for his relationships with crooked characters Jack Abramoff and Brent Wilkes, "has been paying for babysitters out of his campaign till". Doolittle has spent $5,881 of his PAC money on child care costs since 2001. At least that's better than Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) who used his PAC to pay for groceries and Starbucks.
- Hotline On Call Blog posts a quote from Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) pillorying the Senate for their profligant additions to the emergency supplemental bill. "Any calls from the Senate for an across-the-board cut to make room for a bloated supplemental will be met by a busy signal in the House. The House will not join a shell-game spending spree with taxpayer dollars."
- The aforementioned Sen. Santorum seems to be in trouble again. Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) has filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that two former staffers for Santorum "violated several provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA)." I feel that someone should keep a tally of which legislator receives the most filed complaints against them by CREW in a given year.
- The Los Angeles Times reports that Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), once an aspiring screenwriter, "will return $23,000 he received for a screenplay option from a Hollywood producer who pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding dozens of people into investing in a bogus television series about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security." This happens to be one of the funnier tales of influence buying in the current Congress but it leaves one question. Why didn't Rohrabacher sell his conservative themed script to his buddy Jack Abramoff, former movie producer? Abramoff produced the unbelievably bad conservative movie "Red Scorpion", why couldn't he help make Rohrabacher's tale of a grizzled war veteran who goes into Baja California with a stereotypical liberal straw man and hijinks ensue. I guess the answer is that if you want to make a wretched movie like that you need to have the backing of the secret intelligence service of an oppressive regime.
- Will Bunch reports in the Philadelphia Daily News, “A faith-based Philadelphia group at the center of a flap over whether tax-exempt religious groups are aiding the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum has won more than $250,000 in federal grant money pushed for by Santorum over the last three years.” The group, the Urban Family Council, participated in a training session held by the ad-hoc group Pennsylvania Pastors Network, “which pushed a church-based get-out-the-vote drive for November.” Santorum addressed the meeting by video and spoke about stopping same-sex marriage raising questions about the political purposes of the tax-exempt group.
- The New York Times reports on the auction of jailed ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham’s goods. The auction netted $94,625 or, “about two-thirds of the $150,000 that the military contractors who gave the items to Mr. Cunningham as bribes reportedly paid for them.” TPM Muckraker has the full list of items and what they sold for in their document collection. The San Diego Union-Tribune has the pictures of the auction that even includes bidding paddles with the face of Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert glued on.
- Adam Kidan and Jack Abramoff will be subpoenaed by the defense in the Gus Boulis murder case, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. In 2001, Boulis was ambushed and slain in his car following a bitter, months-long sale of his SunCruz casino lines to Kidan and Abramoff. Anthony Moscatiello and two associates, hired to provide security for the casino boat line, were indicted in Boulis’ murder last year. Moscatiello was hired by Kidan and Kidan “has not been eliminated as a suspect in the murder case”.
- The Washington Post looks deeper into the activities of MZM and Duke Cunningham as the Pentagon prepares to look for earmarks that Cunningham may have written for MZM:
"…prosecutors said that in fiscal 2003 legislation, the congressman, who was a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, set aside, or earmarked, $6.3 million for work to be done ‘to benefit’ the Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), created in 2002. …
In 2004, three MZM employees served as staff consultants to the presidential commission investigating prewar Iraq intelligence, which was run by federal Judge Laurence H. Silberman and former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.). One of the three was retired Lt. Gen. James C. King, who then was a senior vice president of MZM for national security. King, who before joining MZM had been director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, played a consultant's role in the establishment of CIFA in 2002 before MZM received its first contracts from that agency.
The Silberman-Robb commission report in 2005 recommended that CIFA play a bigger role in the government's counterterrorism activities.”
Silberman denies that King and the other two MZM employees played any role in recommending a bigger role for CIFA.
- MSNBC reports that Abramoff associate David Safavian is headed to court today for a pretrial hearing.
- The Christian Science Monitor provides yet another story that ethics reform is stalling in Congress. Norm Ornstein says, “Some members are pulling the blanket over their heads and hoping the storm will pass. For others, there is also a genuine belief that if you just jump in a spasm of reaction, you could do some things detrimental to a good deliberative process.”