Politico.com writes a hard hitting piece warning of the “scary” amounts of money being raised and spent by GOP-friendly, non-campaign groups to sway voters in the coming election. In addition to the headline grabbing fundraising numbers, I love their phrasing throughout the article which reads like a war correspondent in a losing battle (as if there was a question which side Politico is on in this race). Here is one of their hard-hitting “scoops”:
POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections – twice what they had been expected to commit.
And what will those dastardly Kochs spend this money on?
[F]unding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states…In targeted states, the groups’ activities will include TV, radio and digital advertising; voter-turnout work; mail and phone appeals; and absentee- and early-ballot drives.
Ummmmm, yes please!
Now, some of this is news and Politico does some very helpful reporting on the focus areas of the different groups:
- American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (GPS) — two-thirds of their spending on advocacy related to the presidential race, and the rest relating to House and Senate races.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce — congressional races, with the House as the top priority – what organizers call “the first insurance policy” if Obama were to get reelected.
- YG Action Fund — started by aides of Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy. No focus area identified. Notably this PAC backed Indiana Senator Richard Lugar’s losing primary.
- American Action Network — congressional races but also backed Lugar in the primary.
- Congressional Leadership Fund — Speaker John Boehner’s group. No focus area mentioned.
- Restore Our Future — Presidential general election solely for Mitt Romney
- FreedomWorks — backed challengers in GOP congressional primaries with a focus on issue advocacy, campaign ads and organizing
- Republican Jewish Coalition — largest, most expensive, most sophisticated outreach effort ever undertaken in the Jewish community
- Club for Growth — congressional races
Despite much of the good reporting, Politico’s bias and clear implication of the “nefarious” nature of such Republican moves pops up throughout the article. Early on they raise the specter:
If the GOP groups hit their targets, they likely could outspend their liberal adversaries by at least two-to-one.
But earlier in the piece Politico reported that McCain raised a total of $370 million in 2008 while Obama raised $750 million for a … drum roll please … TWO-to-ONE spending advantage. Duh-duh-dunnnnnnn! Oh me, oh my, it seems that at worst the GOP groups are simply trying to achieve the same advantage Obama achieved in 2008. How dare they!
Later our correspondent breathlessly signals back to the home front how dire these developments are:
The consequences of the conservative resurgence in fundraising are profound. If it holds, Romney and his allies will likely outraise and outspend Obama this fall, a once-unthinkable proposition. The surge has increased the urgency of the Democrats’ thus-far futile efforts to blunt the effects of a pair of 2010 federal court rulings – including the Supreme Court’s seminal Citizens United decision – that opened the floodgates for limitless spending.
Lest our dear readers miss the forest from these scary trees, Politico breaks another “scoop”:
Much of the public focus has been on how these outside groups will tilt the balance of power in fundraising at the presidential level. But POLITICO has learned that Republicans involved with the groups see the combined efforts playing out just as aggressively at the congressional level, in below-the-radar efforts designed to damage Democratic candidates for the House and Senate. The officials said that if Romney looks weak in the final stretch, the vast majority of the money could be aimed at winning back the Senate. Republicans need four seats to do that, if Obama is re-elected.
Wait, this isn’t all about Obama? Republicans care about the House and Senate too? The nerve!
Per usual, when Obama goes back on his word in 2008 to reject private financing only to forget all pretense once he realizes he can win the fundraising battle, the media whips him with a wet noodle before marveling at his fundraising prowess. In this cycle when his campaign leaks the goal of $1bn despite the horrific economy, they again marvel at how intimidating his campaign must be. Now that Obama is having trouble fundraising and the GOP is clicking on all cylinders the media finds such enormity beyond the pale of acceptable democracy. Of course this is the system THEY set-up (which party wanted McCain-Feingold?). They are just bitter that today Republicans appear to be better at it than they are.