Poet Shel Silverstein once noted that, “Some kind of help is the kind of help we all can do without.” While candidates targeted by independent ads are often the loudest critics of them, sometimes the intended beneficiaries are not enamored with them either.
A reader in Maine wrote to alert us to one such situation, in a Maine statehouse race, where the National Organization for Marriage is paying for flyers criticizing a Democratic incumbent who backed a state bill to expand civil marriage to same-sex couples.
AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees labor union, is spending a whopping $750,000 on a 30-second ad in Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District race — more than either candidate has spent since the start of the 2010 campaign cycle, according to AFSCME filings with the Federal Election Commission.
California Sen. Barbara Boxer is now being hit by independent expenditure ads in two languages. Yesterday, You Report: Election 2010 noted that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has an ad criticizing the Democrat for her budget votes. Now, two socially conservative groups based in Washington are running a Spanish-language ad blasting Boxer for her record on social issues.
Among the best-known independent expenditure groups attempting to shape the November election is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has decided that defeating California Sen. Barbara Boxer is in the best interests of its 3 million business members.
In the age of YouTube, it’s easy to forget that TV advertising doesn’t come cheap. Producing a spot, then buying air time in a TV market can quickly add up, which might help explain the series of similar ads running nationwide by American Future Fund (AFF).
AFF, one of the older 501(c)(4) groups running ads this year, says it provides “a conservative and free market viewpoint.”
While many of the independent groups trying to shape the outcome of the November election expressly endorse or criticize a candidate, some aim to highlight issues. Readers in both Grants Pass, Ore. and St. Paul, Minn. report seeing an independent ad run by BankruptingAmerica.org, a project paid for by a group called Public Notice.
A reader in Mukilteo, Washington, a coastal suburb about 20 miles north of Seattle, reports seeing an independent attack ad against Washington Sen. Patty Murray. The 30-second spot, entitled “Can’t Afford Patty,” bashes the third-term Democrat for having “increased our national debt by trillions." The reader's tip was submitted via Sunlight Foundation's Campaign Ad Monitor, with which the Center is collaborating to inform our You Report: Election 2010 reporting initiative this election season.
It’s hard to find a Republican politico anywhere who can match former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie’s frenetic pace and huge investment in raising millions and plotting strategy for two key GOP groups aiming to help scores of candidates this fall.