So much for a level playing field in American politics. The Wall Street Journal has the gory details.
An alliance of Republican groups is launching a $50 million advertising blitz this week in a final push to help the GOP win a majority in the House, representing the biggest spending blitz ever by such groups in a congressional election campaign.
The coordinated effort, which the groups have dubbed the "House surge strategy," tops what the official Republican House election committee expects to spend on television ads for the entire contest. It is aimed at the few dozen competitive races where Democratic candidates have significantly more money in the bank than their Republican opponents, eating into one of the Democrats' last financial advantages.
Democratic candidates, notably incumbents, have raised more cash than many of their Republican rivals in this year's most competitive House races, according to a Wall Street Journal tally of Federal Election Commission data. In the 40 races deemed toss-ups by the Cook Political Report, a political handicapper, Democratic candidates had a combined $39.3 million of cash on hand as of June 30, the most-recent filing deadline. Republican candidates had $16.5 million in the bank.
Steven Law, who runs two of the Republican organizations, American Crossroads and its affiliate Crossroads GPS, said the effort was "aimed at putting Republicans over the top by evening out the financial disparities and dramatically expanding the field of battle."
The other two groups are the American Action Network, run by former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, and the Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity, a relative newcomer to the scene founded by Republican campaign consultant Scott Reed.
The spending campaign underscores a phenomenon that emerged with force in the 2010 elections: Outside political groups, most of which don't have to disclose their donors, are rivaling the traditional dominance of political parties' official campaign committees. Many of these groups, including those launching the ad blitz, are less than a year old.
"The scales have tipped from the political party to the outside political organizations," said former Rep. Bill Paxon of New York, who once led the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party's House campaign arm.
Evan Tracey, head of Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks campaign-ad spending, called the combination of ad outlays by the groups "historic" in its size, an assessment echoed by other campaign-finance experts and officials.
It appears that funds raised by the DNC and the RNC will become obsolete as long as shadow groups with PO boxes for their addresses are allowed to swing elections as we move forward. What we feared before this ruling is now a reality, and all those who were in favor of giving Big Corp the opportunity to spend without limits, might have meant well, but the results have given the GOP a stacked deck and tainted our electoral process for the future.