Campaign Finance

Liberal groups spend big

Marketplace Contributor Aug 22, 2012

Liberal nonprofit Patriot Majority USA is behind two major ad campaigns that kicked off Tuesday. One targets billionaire GOP patrons Charles and David Koch and the other is a coordinated effort with super PAC Majority PAC targeting competitive Senate races in four states.

Patriot Majority USA’s $500,000 ad buy produced spots targeting the Koch brothers called “Greed Agenda” and a shorter version, “Tycoons.”

The minute-long “Greed Agenda” claims the Koch brothers are “buying this year’s election” with $400 million in spending, as Politico  reported in May.

Patriot Majority USA claims the Koch brothers and the groups they fund support conservative candidates who will create “tax cuts for the rich, eliminate the minimum wage” and make “big cuts to our schools but big subsidies for oil companies.”

The Koch brothers are known for funding non-disclosing nonprofit groups like Americans for Prosperity, which support an anti-regulatory, free-market agenda. The Kochs are also major funders of conservative think tanks including the Cato Institute and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

“Greed Agenda” and “Tycoons” are part of a larger campaign that Patriot Majority USA is calling “Stop the Greed Agenda.” The effort will extend into next year and include online and TV ads, direct mail and “citizen participation,” according to a press release from the nonprofit.

The second campaign, coordinated with Majority PAC, costs $1.6 million and features ads that will air in Indiana, Ohio, Montana and North Dakota.

  • Means,” from Patriot Majority USA, criticizes Montana U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg’s votes to privatize Social Security. Rehberg is running against Democratic incumbent Jon Tester for U.S. Senate.
  • Unconstitutional,” from Majority PAC, opposes Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock’s views on Social Security and Medicare. The tea-party backed Mourdock is running for Senate after besting six-term Sen. Dick Lugar in the state’s May primary.
  • Stocked,” from Majority PAC, cites a Dayton Daily News report that says Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel hired friends and college buddies when he was Ohio’s treasurer.
  • Sly One,” also from Majority PAC, attacks North Dakota Republican Senate candidate Rep. Rick Berg for his votes on Medicare and Social Security.

In other outside spending news: 

Super PAC Planned Parenthood Action Fund slams Republican Missouri Rep. Todd Akin for his remark that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant and points out a number of other quotes from the congressman regarding his views on abortion.

WOMEN VOTE! spent nearly $662,000 on advertising opposing former Republican Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who is running for U.S. Senate in the state.

Union PAC SEIU COPE spent more than $223,000 on advertising to oppose presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

The pro-life nonprofit Susan B. Anthony List Inc. made a series of independent expenditures targeting Obama and House and Senate candidates across the country.

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