Daily Disclosure: Environmental groups battle for New Mexico Senate seat

Sierra Club and others report spending against GOP candidate Heather Wilson

By

 Updated:

New Mexico’s U.S. Senate race, which pits former Republican congresswoman Heather Wilson against current Democratic congressman Martin Heinrich saw more outside money flow in from environmental groups opposing Wilson.

The nonprofit Sierra Club Political Committee reported spending $140,000 on salaries, benefits, consulting and media buys against Wilson, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission Thursday.

On July 17, the Sierra Club began airing the anti-Wilson ad, “Dirty Water, Dirty Politics,” featuring a school child drinking from a water fountain gushing brown water.

And Environment America Inc., also a nonprofit, reported spending about $13,000 canvassing and strategizing on behalf of Heinrich between July 11 and July 19, the group reported.

The race, to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman, is as an important test for Republicans since the state has a large Hispanic population and those voters tend to lean left. A win for Republicans in New Mexico could help the GOP take the Senate.

The League of Conservation Voters has aired three TV ads against Wilson since June 21: “We’re All Paying for It,” “Emma” and “Who’s Wilson With?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and conservative super PACs American Commitment and American Crossroads have aided Wilson’s run with “Another,” “Stands,” and “Fighting for New Mexico.”

The Sierra Club Political Committee, Environment America Inc., and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce can accept unlimited donations from individuals, corporations but are not required to reveal their donors.

In other outside spending news:

  • Disastrous,” an ad opposing U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, who was appointed to the seat vacated by John Ensign, began airing July 10. The buy cost liberal nonprofit Patriot Majority USA more than $271,000, the group reported Thursday. The ad is still not on YouTube and was produced in conjunction with Majority PAC, another Democratic super PAC.
  • Majority PAC also reported spending nearly $329,000 on July 17 on ads opposing Richard Berg, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in North Dakota, and John Brunner, the Republican candidate for Senate in Missouri.
  • Pro-President Barack Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action reported a $1.1 million TV ad buy on July 17 to oppose Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for further detail.
  • Conservative super PAC American Crossroads is hitting Obama with “Smoke,” an ad airing in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia to the tune of $8.8 million.
  • American Crossroads debuted “Build,” an anti-Obama ad framed around a much-criticized statement Obama made about small businesses. It is unclear where the ad will be airing and how much it cost.
  • The Republican National Committee reported spending $4.4 million on “media placement” on July 18 on ads opposing Obama.
  • Conservative super PAC Freedom PAC began airing “Obama Visits Florida,” a pro-Connie Mack ad. Mack, a Republican, is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. A filing with the FEC shows the air time cost $50,000.
  • “Denny, who do you think you are?” opposes Denny Rehberg, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Montana. Released Thursday, the Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund reported the ad’s cost as $42,000.
  • Union PAC SEIU COPE and pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action co-produced the Spanish-language “Sin Confianza” (without confidence) ad attacking Romney. “He wants us to show our papers, but he won’t show us his,” the ad says. The cost of the ad buy and targeted markets are unknown and the video is available on YouTube unless you know the link.
  • Dump West, a super PAC dedicated to removing Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., from office, officially filed its statement of organization July 17, FEC records show. The super PAC was cited in a news report to have financial backing from George Soros — a representative for the billionaire hedge fund manager said the report was “absolutely not true.”
  • The American Optometric Association’s super PAC spent $100,000 on radio ads supporting the candidacy of Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., on July 10, the group reported.
  • The National Association of Realtors super PAC and congressional fund spent more than $277,000 on TV ads, consulting and public opinion polls in support of Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., on July 18, FEC filings show.

Care about freedom of the press? Support independent investigative journalism.

Donate now
Donate now