Special interests step up in ad season

Steve Brown wears an NRA hat in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Brace yourselves: the political ad season is approaching. Could be a special year for it, too. Special as in special interest. Steve Henn explains.


Steve Henn: Come October, we can all expect a barrage of messages like this one from Freedoms Watch:

Political Ad: Tell Travis Childers Mississippi can not afford higher taxes.

Steve Weissman at the Campaign Finance Institute says expect to see more of these efforts -- probably exceeding the half a billion spent in 2004.

Steve Weissman: When you take a look at it, it's not only the candidates money -- and not mainly the candidates' money -- that is spent in these elections.

Congress has tried to limit ads paid for by corporations or unions that mention candidates, but:

Tara Malloy: The Supreme Court has certainly shown itself very willing to be more protective of these independent groups' speech.

Tara Malloy, an attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, says that court decision could open the floodgates. And it looks like it has: This week, the NRA also announced plans to spend more than $40 million on this election.

In Washington, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

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