DES MOINES, IA – A new breed of political action committee is buying the lion’s share of TV time in the GOP nomination race. Dubbed “Super PAC’s”, these committees may accept unlimited contributions and allow candidates to deceive the voters by allowing the candidates they support to appear “positive” while the “Super PAC’s” use their funds to launch attacks on opponents.
While former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has raised the most cash for his campaign, his “Restore Our Future” Super PAC is outspending Romney’s campaign in Iowa by hurling attack ads against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Romney is not the only candidate with a Super PAC.
"The campaigns can say, ‘We’re not running negative ads,’ and ‘That’s that other bunch,’" said Mark Lundberg, chairman of the GOP in Iowa’s Sioux County. "Both sides of the political aisle say they dislike negative advertising, but this is absolute proof that negative advertising works. We’re just seeing the beginning."
The new groups are making themselves felt in Iowa. According to data supplied by the Republican media buyer, Romney has paid for $287,000 worth of TV advertising in Iowa during the week that started Monday, just ahead of Iowa’s caucuses next week. But $780,000 is being spent in Iowa by the independent group supporting Romney.
This is one more example of unintended consequences. Every time Congress attempts to “clean up” campaign finance, campaign finance lawyers (a sub-specialty of law that did not even exist when the first federal campaign finance laws were enacted in the 1970’s) figure out ways around the law AND spend even MORE money than previously possible.